A former San Diego police sergeant out on bond after being accused of soliciting sex from a minor failed to show for his arraignment on Monday and was discovered dead in his home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound a few hours later.
Joseph Ruvido, 49, was taken into custody on July 26 two days after a Crime Stoppers tip identified him, among others, as someone who had allegedly solicited minors for sex. After posting a $100,000 bail, he was charged with two counts of arranging a meeting with a juvenile with sexual intent and one count of attempted lewd acts on a minor between the ages of 14 and 15. Ruvido faced four years in state prison and lifetime sex-offender registration if convicted, according to Deputy District Attorney Stephen Marquardt.
However, after Ruvido failed to show up for his initial court hearing Monday afternoon in downtown San Diego, the judge issued a warrant for his arrest and officers were sent to check on him at his Carmel Valley home.
San Diego Police Department Chief David Nisleit told reporters at a news conference Monday night that Ruvido had shot himself.
"All signs, all indications are that this is a suicide," Nisleit said.
Officers with the SDPD, including fully-equipped SWAT personnel, armed arrived at Ruvido's home for a welfare check around 4 p.m. on Monday. The officers used cameras and other devices to try and determine whether the former SDPD sergeant was inside before they entered the residence.
The department confirmed Ruvido's death at around 6:40 p.m.
According to Marquardt, the alleged solicitation occurred on July 6, but, he declined to provide further details on the case.
Ruvido, who served in the SDPD for 21 years, was a patrol sergeant for the eastern division before being assigned to the Watch Commander's office about a year ago. After the allegations, Ruvido was placed on unpaid leave. The 49-year-old lived alone in a rented home and did not have a wife or children, Nisleit said.
The SDPD's investigation of the case in ongoing.
Photo: San Diego Police Department