Ex-Ramona Track Star Accused of Shielding Son from Jail in Groping Case

San Diego police Capt. Manuel Guaderrama allegedly protected son Alex after August arrest.

Manuel “Manny” Guaderrama set a still-standing record in the 2-mile run at Ramona High School in the late 1970s, but he’s apparently having trouble outrunning accusations that he shielded his son from jail.

According to U-T San Diego and other news reports, Guaderrama—a captain with the San Diego Police Department—is accused of keeping his son, Alex, out of lockup in August.

The Associated Press reported that “some San Diego police employees are questioning the treatment of [Alex Guaderrama] who was not taken to jail after allegedly groping two women, punching another in the face and drunkenly smashing a car window in Pacific Beach.”

Alex Guaderrama was treated for cuts, put in the front seat of a police cruiser unhandcuffed and shuttled to a parking lot in La Mesa, where his mother picked him up, U-T San Diego reported Saturday.

“This kind of thing happens,” police spokeswoman Lt. Andra Brown was quoted as saying. “It doesn’t just happen in Pacific Beach and it doesn’t just happen to 23-year-old sons of police captains. Many times a month we take the exact course of action.”

Neither father nor son was available for comment, police told U-T San Diego, but a month ago Manuel took part in a Patch interview and was asked about his philosophy in terms of transparency and communication with the public.

“I guess that depends a lot on what you mean by transparency,” he said. “Working in law enforcement, there are things we can’t share right away because of the nature of what we do—if it’s an investigation that requires us to not share information because it could compromise that investigation. But we’re real open here. Whatever we can share, we’re willing to share.”

Guaderrama also told freelance writer Annie Lane in the Patch Q&A:

I’m a hands-on manager. I like to be kept informed and I really believe it’s important to lead by example here. I try to do that all the time. I don’t ask people to work harder than I do.

An editorial in U-T San Diego posted Monday afternoon alleged a pattern of preferential treatment by police.

“And this incident comes in the wake of a U-T Watchdog report earlier this month about officers negotiating directly with defense attorneys to have traffic tickets reduced or dismissed—a practice that could clearly lead to abuse, which is why the department put a quick end to it after publication of the story,” the editorial said.

“There is nothing that threatens the credibility of a police department more than these kinds of incidents. Chief Bill Lansdowne must seek independent review and report the results publicly.”

In the Patch interview posted Aug. 21, the same day as the incident involving Alex, Guaderrama said his middle of three sons was a waiter at the Brigantine Restaurant near La Mesa.

In 1977, Manny Guaderrama ran two miles in a Ramona High record 9 minutes, 19.7 seconds. In the 1990s, Manny Guaderrama was chairman of the California Board of Prison Terms, the state parole board, and heard the cases of Charles Manson and others. 

In the Patch interview, Guaderrama was asked if he had a secret talent.

He replied: “I don’t think I have a secret talent. I think if I have a talent, everybody knows about it.”

Woody Kirkman September 25, 2012 at 04:32 AM
This isn't "Breaking News" Fires, road closures, and immediate threats to the community are "Breaking News"
Jolinda September 25, 2012 at 05:46 PM
While it's not ideal police behavior, many dads would make the same choices in his situation. A better question is, IMO, is the son in counseling to examine what prompted such anti-social behavior in the first place? It seems to me there may be some deep seated issues, (perhaps even his own boundaries having been violated in his past?) which may need some healing. Dealing with it will promise a better outcome than just hoping it doesn't happen again.
Morgaine O'Malley December 28, 2012 at 03:49 PM
A police chief's son physically assaults three women and breaks a car window, the chief uses his position to coddle the son and keep him out of jail (really, using a police car and police staff as a personal chauffeur for the son to take him to a site where he could be picked up by his mother?) and you don't think that warrants a "breaking news" heading? I think women in San Diego have the right to know when they will not be protected by their police department from physical assaults by the chief's son because the police feels it is more important to use police services' resources to help cover-up the seriously dangerous actions of his son. The poor folks in Paso Robles are now stuck with this compromised police chief. Did his dangerously screwed up son move to Paso Robles with his dad? The people of Paso Robles just got rid of one loser police chief, and now they are stuck with San Diego's police chief, who has some serious problems with priorities when it comes to the safety of women in public.
Morgaine O'Malley December 28, 2012 at 03:57 PM
His son physically assaulted three women, and broke car windows, as well. And you think the biggest issue is if the police chief's physically violent son is getting counseling? How about the women victims? Are they just "collateral damage" in the fallout from Guaderama's violently screwed up son? How about the wasted police resources, illegally used by Guaderama to coddle his violent son from suffering the repercussion of his actions? How about the safety of women in the future? The chief is now chief of police in Paso Robles. Do we need to put up posters with a photo of the son so women can have their taser set and ready to go if he goes psycho and tries to violently assault them? These are what I think are the most important questions: 1. Is the son now locked up where he cannot again physically assault women? 2. Where is the son living? Are the women in that area aware of his presence, and the fact that he can physically assault women without repercussions, thanks to his dad pimping his influence as police chief? 3. How long will it take to get Guaderama terminated from his position as Paso Robles' chief of police?


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