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By Miriam Raftery

October 16, 2017 (Julian) - A retired La Mesa Police officer, Tom Ruth, was killed Saturday in a motorcycle accident.

According to the California Highway Patrol, he lost control of his motorcycle and struck a parked truck on State Route 79 near Julian.

The La Mesa Police Officers Association has issued a statement offering “thoughts and prayers” for retired Officer Ruth’s wife.

On the group’s Facebook page, several officers shared memories of Ruth. 

Ryan Rogers wrote, “My very first beat partner. He was the best person to learn from. Great guy on and off duty. What a tragic loss. My prayers for his family.”


I called him 'Babe'

One day, Tom was headed east on Lyons Valley Road and I was going west. I saw his bike and did a u-turn to see if he wanted to play. We exchanged contact info and became friends, we met at the Jack in the Box in La Mesa and went for day rides. As we gained each others trust we became 'Sparing' partners in several matches, cornering within inches of each other exchanging positions for the lead. Tom was often quite difficult for me to lay down a 'clean pass' as he was a very accomplished rider. I used to watch smoke come off his rear tire while chasing him up Montezuma Grade. He was a retired Police Officer and I would envy and tease him about his "Get out of jail Free card" that he had in his wallet. He was stopped for going 81 mph on Silver Strand and when he showed his retired P.D. card, cops would close their ticked book and tell him to 'just take it easy'. I was sick in bed last October, went on vacation in November, and of course there's Christmas time, and I had not contacted Tom Lately. I wanted to go for a ride with Tom in March but he did to respond to my text, phone calls or email. I called the La Mesa Police Department last week and got the bad news. He was intelligent, witty, humorous, tall, muscular, non-smoker, and very very talented. A handsome healthy fine figure of a man. I can't believe he's gone just like that. I wish to express my deep condolence to Tom's loved ones, I am very sorry and sad, Frank Bollinger

Tom Ruth

You will be missed dear friend. Our lives will never be the same. Just hanging out in the evenings, being there for each other. Our trips to Maui will never be the same. All the fun memories we will hold forever in our hearts. God Bless,Rest in Peace dear friend. Robert & Rebecca