SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged today with shooting at two on-duty Brea Police Department (BPD) officers through a motel wall when they responded to a call to check his welfare. Thomas Michael Dawson, 56, Yorba Linda, is charged with two felony counts of assault with a firearm on a peace officer and a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 31 years in state prison. Dawson is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Aug. 18, 2016, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Aug. 15, 2016, two BPD officers were dispatched to a motel to conduct a welfare check on Dawson.
The officers attempted to contact Dawson, who is accused of refusing to leave his room, and paramedics were called to assist. As officers spoke to the defendant from outside his room, Dawson is accused of firing a single shot through the motel wall. The round nearly struck a BPD officer, missing his head by approximately six inches. The officers called for assistance from the SWAT team and did not return fire. The defendant is accused of refusing to comply with orders to leave the room before the SWAT team took Dawson into custody using less than lethal force.
Dawson was arrested and transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Brett Brian of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.
*BPD officers did not return fire
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 16NF2275 / August 17, 2016