Put Ink To Paper and Protect Us From Evil

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 |

Jason, the son of murdered LAFD Firefighter Tom TaylorA colleague approached me this morning to say I looked ill at ease. Rather than reply to his polite inquiry, I handed him a letter I was preparing to mail, and this photo of Jason, the orphaned son of a Los Angeles Firefighter...

July 25, 2007

John Monday, Executive Officer
Board of Parole Hearings
Post Office Box 4036
Sacramento, CA 95812-4036

Mr. Monday:

As a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), I pledged a solemn oath to protect the lives of the citizens of Los Angeles understanding the risks associated with my chosen profession. Unfortunately, the highest risks Firefighters often face come from arsonists who insidiously work to destroy innocent lives and terrorize society.

On January 28, 1981, the LAFD tragically lost Apparatus Operator Thomas G. Taylor to such an individual, Mario Catanio, who killed Thomas Taylor and nearly eight other Firefighters as they battled the fire he set at Cugee’s Restaurant in North Hollywood. Inmate Catanio (CDC No. 77711) eventually stood trial and was justly convicted of murder, arson and fraud in the conspiracy to burn down the financially ailing restaurant.

It is inconceivable to think that Inmate Catanio, now serving 25 years-to-life in prison, could actually be released back into society to again endanger the public or take the life of another brave Firefighter. When considering the gravity, special circumstances and aggravating facts of Inmate Catanio’s crimes, a clear danger to public safety continues to exist in granting his parole.

Therefore, to address the overriding concern of public safety, I respectfully urge Inmate Catanio be denied parole and that he remain incarcerated to serve out the remainder of his "life" sentence as prescribed by law.

The LAFD will always remember the courageous service of Apparatus Operator Thomas G. Taylor while remaining vigilant to protect society from individuals who commit such heinous crimes.


Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

Like my fellow Firefighters, I will certainly be at greater ease when I know that Mario Catanio remains safely behind bars.

Kindly copy and share this link or e-mail your friends and family in The Golden State and beyond. When it comes to those who murder Firefighters, we must speak as one.

Still not sure?

Please take a look at these photos before you decide that Mario Catanio should be walking among us.

NOTE: The decision of the Parole Board can be viewed here.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department


David Barrett said...


Thank you for submitting the letter that you've posted to the LAFD Blog. The loss of anyone due to an arson fire is tragic, and it becomes even more devastating when a sworn member of the department is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice.

With events such as last night's major emergency fire in which A/O Caldwell fell through the room always a threat, one would hope the penalty for those who ignore the laws of the land and worse, who show such disrespect for other human beings would be a deterrent.

Thank you again. Please advise us of the outcome of the parole hearing, once it takes place.


LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Mr. Barrett,

Your words closely reflect the thoughts of the men and women of the LAFD, as they pray for the health and well-being of their colleague Chayene Caldwell.

Arson is a heinous crime, and the loss of Firefighter lives is certainly not restricted to Los Angeles.

Since some have asked...

You are welcome to use the letter above as a template or inspiration for your own correspondence to the Board of Parole Hearings.

I am pleased to again offer the address that appears at the top of my 'letter':

John Monday, Executive Officer
Board of Parole Hearings
Post Office Box 4036
Sacramento, CA 95812-4036

I will closely monitor the proceedings for Inmate Catanio, and look forward to soon affirming that he will remain safely behind bars.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

G said...

This was a very good idea. I receive your LAFD messages, and am a member of many scanning groups. I am not a firefighter, but share the info, and this opinion. Too many lives are lost by "accidents" and none should be lost to people like M. Catanio. I wrote to the Parole Hearings Office too. I hope many will also.
Gene S Salvetti

Anonymous said...

I went to high school with Chayane, and just found this article. Did he make it through ok?

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