07.26.06 Nick Tomasito Birco
SFPD Killed In Auto Accident
SF Police Officer Killed
During ChaseSuspects Under Arrest
July 26 - BCN - San Francisco police are mourning the
loss of Officer Nick-Tomasito Birco, who was killed in
the line of duty this morning.
Birco, 39, served in the San Francisco Police Department
for five years and was assigned to Bayview station,
He was on the way to assist in a chase after some
robbery suspects when their van crashed into his patrol
car at Cambridge and Fulton streets around 1 a.m.
Birco's car spun out, hit a curb, flipped and hit a
utility pole, according to police.
The van crashed into a home and all four suspects, three
men and a woman, have been detained, police said.
Birco was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where
The incident began when a person in the 500 block of
Bayshore Boulevard reported being robbed and offered to
accompany officers looking for the assailants. When
police spotted the van, the driver led them on a chase
down Interstate Highway 280 to South San Francisco and
back into San Francisco.
The van also turned out to be stolen, according to
Police have not said how fast the van and pursuing
officers were going at the time of the crash. Eric Nubla,
who was watching television in his home when the van
came barreling toward it, said, "I thought it was an
Nubla's neighbor Paula Gonzales came out of her home to
find the right rear of her Jeep Cherokee smashed, along
with her front gate and a potted plant. Police arrested
the suspects in front of her garage, where blood was
splattered on the door.
Police described the suspects' injuries as
In a statement this afternoon, police said Birco had
earned a commendation for bravery in December 2002 for
executing a search warrant at a home containing
"numerous firearms and rounds of ammunition." He also
received 11 "Captain Complimentary" awards and two
letters from citizens "impressed with his level of
service and professionalism."
Flags are flying at half-staff today at Bayview station,
where officers have seen two of their own killed in just
over two years. Officer Isaac Espinoza was shot to death
on April 10, 2004 when he and his partner approached a
man they thought was suspicious.
Copyright 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication,