Biography of Officer Nicholas Lee

Nicholas Choung Lee was born on August 16, 1973 in Seoul, Korea and moved to the United States with his parents Heung Jae Lee (father), and Choung Ja Lee (mother) when he was six years old.  Nicholas has a younger brother Danny and a sister, Jenny.  Nicholas was raised in Koreatown, Los Angeles, California.  Nicholas graduated from University High School, Los Angeles in 1991 and attended California State University Fullerton where he graduated in 1996.

Nicholas met Cathy Kim and they married in May 2001.  Their first daughter, Jalen, was born in April 2000, followed by daughter Kendall in November 2007.  Nicholas loved his girls and would go scootering with the girls as he took them to school.  Nicholas loved barbecuing and serving family and friends.  Nicholas was a loving father, husband, and a great provider.  Nicholas ensured his family came first in all aspects of his life.

Nicholas Lee joined the Los Angeles Police Department on August 31, 1998, a member of the 8B-98 Class. In March 1999, Officer Nicholas Lee completed his academy training and was transferred to Van Nuys Division.  Nicholas completed probation at Van Nuys and transferred to Hollywood Division where he worked patrol.

Nicholas was selected as a Police Officer III on October 19, 2003 and assigned to the Juvenile car where he worked for over 2 years.  Nicholas transferred to Wilshire Division in December 2005 where he worked as a Training Officer and was later selected to work Wilshire Vice.  Nicholas returned to patrol in March 2008 as a Field Training Officer in Hollywood Division.

Nicholas was an exemplary police officer and received numerous awards and commendations for his work ethic, professionalism and compassion.  In addition to the many Department commendations, Officer Nicholas Lee was the subject of myriad Citizen Commendations.  On July 10, 2004, Officer Lee was commended for helping a stranded motorist by pushing her car two city-blocks to a gas station where he waited till help arrived; On September 7, 2005, Officer Lee was commended for his dedication and compassion in the search and location of a missing child; On January 25, 2006, Officer Lee put an end to a crime spree by taking two narcotic suspects off the streets.  

“Nick was a great cop.  His hard work, dedication and leadership helped mold young police officers into law enforcement professionals,” said Chief Charlie Beck. “Nick's death is a great loss to our police family, all of law enforcement and the residents of Los Angeles. The LAPD is forever grateful for the 16 years he spent protecting our great City. I send my most sincere thoughts and prayers to his wife, two daughters, and the entire Lee family. “

NR14112bb Officer Nicholas Lee

Officer Nicholas C. Lee
EOW: Friday, March 7, 2014


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Come Get Your Car Washed By LAPD Officers

Officers of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Valley Area will be hosting a bar-be-que and car wash to take care of one of their own. One of the Area’s veteran sergeants is having an especially difficult holiday season. Her husband, a California Highway Patrol officer, is undergoing lengthy treatment for cancer. The sergeant has been home taking care of her husband and their six children.

The men and women of LAPD’s West Valley Area are seeking the community’s help. They are committed to making this holiday season a bright one for this family.

Come visit with your local police officers, while they wash your car and grill burgers. Donations of $5.00 for a car wash and $5.00 for lunch are appreciated.

WHEN:    Sunday, December 10, 2006
              9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

WHERE:   19036   Vanowen Street, Reseda
               Behind the West Valley Library next to West Valley
               Community Police Station

CONTACT: West Valley Area Watch Commander at 818-374-7611


This summer, four Los Angeles Police Department officers experienced life-altering events.  Officers Kristina Ripatti, Michael Toth, Enrique Chavez and James Tuck suffered life-threatening injuries in unrelated incidents.

Though their lives have changed dramatically, the officers opt to view the future with optimism, contesting clinical challenges.  The LAPD extends its sincere appreciation for the public's outpouring of concern and support. Updates on the officers follow:

Officer Kristina Ripatti
Photos Courtesy of Daily News

Dn00ripatti22hg Her days are spent struggling to cope with the loss of her legs.  On June 3rd a man who had just robbed a gas station gunned down Southwest Area Officer Ripatti.  One of the bullets damaged Ripatti's spine leaving her paralyzed from the chest down. Now this former athlete spends several days a week in rehab at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, and working out in a gym to increase her upper body strength.Dn00ripatti25hg

Besides learning how to adjust her life, home and family to accommodate her paralysis, Officer Ripatti fights to stay strong so that she is physically and mentally able to challenge conventional medical wisdom that she will never walk again. Kristina and husband, LAPD Officer Tim Pearce, hope that one day medical science will help Kristina walk again.

Officer Michael Toth

On June 17, West Traffic Division Officer Michael Toth, 45, was involved in a traffic accident while driving home from work.  Officer Toth, who was riding a Department motorcycle at the time, stopped to assist officers from the California Highway Patrol. The officers were conducting an investigation on the southbound Santa Ana Freeway in Anaheim.

A sports utility vehicle struck Officer Toth, as he was leaving the scene. The 10-year veteran suffered severe injuries to this face, ribcage and legs. Officer Toth underwent extensive surgery immediately following the accident.  He is now receiving physical therapy and recently underwent additional surgery to repair damage to his right foot.

Officer Enrique Chavez

On July 11, Newton Area Officer Enrique Chavez, 35, was seriously wounded when his 3-year-old son picked up his service weapon and accidentally shot him in the back as the pair drove near their Anaheim home.

Officer Chavez underwent surgery on July 20, at which time a metal rod was placed in his spine. His injuries resulted in paralysis from the waist down.

In early August, Officer Chavez began rehabilitation. Department personnel close to the 10-year veteran report that he is doing well and his progress is ahead of schedule. 

Officer James Tuck

On August 12, Hollenbeck Area Officer James Tuck was seriously hurt when a suspect attacked himPolice_car4_1 with an AK-47 assault rifle during a traffic stop in the Montecito Heights area.

Police_car2 As their police car rolled to a stop behind the vehicle, a passenger jumped out and charged the officers, spraying their police car with high-velocity rounds. Officer Tuck was hit three times, with one shot severly damaging his left wrist.

Nearly three weeks after the incident, Officer Tuck remains healthy and high-spirited. According to physicans, Officer Tuck will spend about one year in rehabilitation and regain 85-percent use of his hand. He is scheduled to begin physical therapy in early September.  The photographs show the damage an AK-47 can create.