Recording Shows Police Doubted USC Dean's Story


An audio recording of the interaction between a police officer and the then-dean of USC's medical school, Dr. Carmen Puliafito, regarding the overdose of a young woman has been released.

The audio includes the officer questioning Dr. Puliafito about how he knew the woman, why he was renting the room for her, what he saw in the room, and his interactions with the woman.

Dr. Puliafito said the woman, Sarah Warren, was simply a family friend that he was trying to help out by getting her a room.

He said that she had just finished rehab three weeks ago, so when he entered the room and saw her passed out with alcohol nearby, he called the hotel's front desk, who then called emergency services.

(Warren said Dr. Puliafito picked her up from Huntington Memorial Hospital just six hours after she overdosed, upon which they returned to the hotel room and continued to use drugs together.)

Following the officer's interaction with Dr. Puliafito, you can hear the officer speaking to a social worker at the hospital.

During their conversation, they both express their doubts about Dr. Puliafito's account of the incident.

Listen to the full recording here.

Despite the initial doubts, the officer did not file the required report on the incident for three months.

No arrests were made.

Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez defended this lack of action, saying they lacked evidence to arrest Dr. Puliafito in connection with the drugs they found in the room.

Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell sent a memo to city council members last week.

In it, he said, "As indicated in the article, initially there was no police report made of the incident.  There should have been and that was a failure on the part of our responding officer. Once this came to light, [police] undertook an appropriate investigation and ultimately the involved officer was the subject of disciplinary action."

Read the full story at Los Angeles Times


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