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Ripon shooter won't cover upgrades

The new Ripon police station features bulletproof windows in a hallway leading to offices.  Police dispatchers sit on the other side of the windows.  The building was planned before the 2006 shooting.
The new Ripon police station features bulletproof windows in a hallway leading to offices. Police dispatchers sit on the other side of the windows. The building was planned before the 2006 shooting. Modesto Bee

STOCKTON -- A man who shot up the entrance to the Ripon police station during an alcohol-fueled rage will not have to pay for the station's $98,000 bulletproof windows and door upgrades, a San Joaquin County judge ruled Monday.

However, Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss ordered Jason Walraven, 37, to pay $12,984.55 in restitution for window repairs, damage to a roundabout and the police response to the Dec. 2, 2006, shooting.

"I feel I need to pay what I'm responsible for," said Walraven, who accepted the $4,700 in repairs to the police station and roundabout, but was disappointed in having to pay for the police costs that made up the balance of the restitution. "When I was in jail, I met a lot of people who had the attitude, 'It isn't my fault' (about their crimes), and that's not how I feel. But I want to pay for what is equitable."

Besides the cost of the upgrades, Ripon police and the San Joaquin County district attorney had asked for about $13,000 for the officers' time. That included the cost of calling in 13 off-duty police officers, logging 96 items into evidence and writing 20 supplemental reports on the shooting.

The judge said that was too much. He ruled that Walraven should pay only for the initial response triggered by the shooting.

"We would have liked the full amount," Deputy District Attorney Robert Baysinger said. "But I think this is reasonable. It was his action that caused the need for the response. ... It is unusual to have this type of a situation in a small town and have to call in SWAT and other agencies in direct response to a situation he created."

Deputy Public Defender Bill Fattarsi, Walraven's attorney, argued that having his defendant reimburse the police agency for its costs is not allowed under the law and said he plans to appeal the judge's reimbursement order.

"It's statutorily not authorized to grant restitution for investigating a crime or for responding to a crime, and (Van Oss) has come up with an exception to those rules," Fattarsi said.

He characterized prosecutors' restitution requests as vindictive.

Police also had maintained that Walraven should reimburse the city $98,000 it paid to install bulletproof windows and a bulletproof door, because those changes were necessary to make dispatchers feel safe after Walraven's attack. The shooting happened at the old station, but the upgrades were installed in the new station, which was planned before the shooting but built afterward. The judge did not include the upgrades in the restitution order.

"That was always ridiculous," Fattarsi said. "(Police) Chief (Richard) Bull wanted my client to remodel the police station, essentially."

A number of police and law enforcement officials came out to protest Walraven's sentencing in August, which allowed him to avoid prison. He pleaded guilty to the shooting and violence that began at his house on Rose Court about 1 a.m. His wife and 8-year-old daughter fled, and he held police at bay by telling them by phone that he was armed.

With his lights off, he slipped past officers in his car and drove toward the Milgeo Avenue overpass. He crashed into a roundabout on Wilma Avenue about a block from the police station, then ran there with a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun and a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

Walraven dropped the wea-pons after firing three bullets through the police station glass. No one was injured.

Van Oss sentenced him to a year in jail and allowed him to be released on probation with time served. Walraven served almost nine months.

Van Oss cited a history as a productive citizen in allowing Walraven to avoid a lengthy prison sentence. Walraven worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory at the time of the shooting. He said money problems fueled a depression that led to the shooting, which he has described as a suicide attempt.

Bee staff writer Inga Miller can be reached at imiller@modbee.com or 578-2324.

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