The life of Stockton police Sgt. Timothy White was dedicated to two responsibilities: “One of them was his family, the other was his police department,” said Bob Byington. White’s brother-in-law.
White, 32, died Feb. 4, 1990 after spending 12 days in two hospitals, unconscious and in critical condition. White was hospitalized after he was attacked and severely beaten by James D. Allen, a 20-year-old parolee whom White was chasing through central Stockton early Jan. 22, 1990.
The charge against Allen was changed from attempted murder to first-degree murder with special circumstances – killing a police officer in the line-of-duty. Allen was tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“The vicious act of a parolee has changed our lives,” Lucian Neely, the police department’s deputy chief in charge of operations, said at a news conference. White “was a very aggressive, dedicated officer. He took very, very seriously his responsibility to the community.”
White was the 12th San Joaquin County peace officer killed in the line-of-duty – the second in a five-month period. “The department has lost a valuable member,” Neely said. “The family has lost a husband and father. This community has suffered a grievous loss.”
Timothy White, the oldest child of Mary Larson and David White, a captain in the Stockton Fire Department, was born in Stockton on Jan. 16, 1958.
He was an Eagle Scout during his high school years and maintained a love of camping and traveling throughout his life. White was a graduate of Stagg High School and San Joaquin Delta Community College and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at California State University, Sacramento in 1979.
He joined the police department on Oct. 12, 1979, after scoring first on the civil service exam. The next summer he married Susan Byington, whom he had met through the First Baptist Church, which they both attended. The couple had two children, Missy, 5, and Andrew, 2.
In 1986, White became a K-9 patrol officer, an assignment he continued until his promotion to sergeant Jan. 1. His police dog, Lump, continues to live with the White family.
White’s death “is particularly upsetting to us because of the way it happened,” said Sgt. Bob Mariano, who was White’s supervisor periodically during the past five years.
Officers realize their jobs are dangerous, Mariano said, but several people looked on as White was being severely beaten. “Nobody went to his aid,” Mariano said. Though physically small – 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 150 pounds – White was a spunky and tenacious officer who had a reputation for not backing down.
Rick Freeman, a fellow K-9 officer, said his friend was the hardest-working cop he’s known. “He always had to be doing something,” Freeman said. “It was just the way he was. He couldn’t stand to sit still.” Mariano said he would always request that White accompany him when he was transferred because of White’s work ethic.