DATE/TIME: Monday, June 1, 2020 2:04 a.m.
INCIDENT: Investigation of Employee
LOCATION: Big 5 Sporting Goods, 2150 East Highland Avenue, San Bernardino
SUSPECT: Erdem Gorgulu, 46 year old resident of Redlands
VICTIM(S): Juan Martinez, 28-year-old resident of San Bernardino
Big 5 Sporting Goods, 2150 East Highland Avenue, San Bernardino
On Monday, June 1, at about 2:00 a.m., Central Station deputies assisted the San Bernardino Police Department at the Big 5 sporting goods store on Highland Avenue in San Bernardino reference an in-progress looting call. Erdem Gorgulu, who was a deputy sheriff at the time, responded and while inside the business, contacted a Hispanic male adult, later identified as Juan Martinez. Gorgulu used force and placed Martinez into custody. Martinez was arrested and booked for looting, burglary and committing a felony offense while out on bail.
Another deputy sheriff, who believed Gorgulu’s actions were unwarranted and unethical, notified the watch commander. Additional notifications were made according to Sheriff’s Department policy, proper procedures were followed, and a criminal investigation was initiated immediately. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Specialized Investigations Division were assigned to conduct the criminal investigation. An internal administrative investigation was also launched and Gorgulu was placed on paid administrative leave on Wednesday, June 3.
As the criminal investigation continued, it was discovered that Gorgulu may have committed an additional crime by taking property from the business. Investigators served a search warrant and recovered the stolen property from Gorgulu’s personally owned vehicle.
Gorgulu is no longer an employee of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. He had been a deputy sheriff for 11 1/2 years. Additional information regarding Gorgulu’s seperation from the department, which was effective August 24, is not able to be released.
The criminal investigation was submitted to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office for their independent review.
“The criminal acts committed by Gorgulu while serving in his capacity as a deputy sheriff are inexcusable and undermine all the good, valuable work deputies do every day. Although Gorgulu’s acts were unacceptable and disheartening, this incident serves as an example of how deputies are willing to come forward and report unethical behavior. Community trust is absolutely essential for law enforcement to exist and be effective. I will not allow criminal acts to go unchecked and assure the public our deputies will be held to the highest standard. I applaud deputies for standing up for what is right along with the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers across this great nation who do the right things for the right reasons every day.” said Sheriff John McMahon
Refer: Detective Josh Guerry or Sergeant Troy Mooradian
Station: Specialized Investigations Division
Phone No. (909) 387-3589
Case No. DR #602000095 H #2020-049
JOHN McMAHON, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department