A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy died at Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage after a battle with COVID-19.
Deputy Anthony “TonyTone” Bautista was pronounced dead on Wednesday, the department announced. Bautista was a 14-year veteran with LASD, most recently assigned to the Compton station.
"Deputy Bautista was a remarkable partner, father to three kids, a family man, a loyal friend and man of faith. He always managed to bring spirit to the station with a smile and encouraging attitude. Deputy Bautista took pride in the cases he investigated. He became a Deputy to protect all community members. He will be greatly missed, and will always be remembered as someone who would give the shirt off his back to others," reads a post by LASD on social media.
Bautista is survived by his parents, three children and two brothers, LASD added.
Law enforcement members from multiple departments gathered at Eisenhower Health Thursday afternoon to lead a procession as the deputy's body was taken to a funeral home.
Several viewers spotted a large police presence at the hospital and traveling along Interstate 10.
Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, there have been at least 99 law enforcement members who have died as a result of COVID-19 in 2021. This accounts for nearly half of all law enforcement deaths they have counted so far this year.
The next nearest cause of death is gunfire, which has cost the lives of at least 39 law enforcement members this year.
In 2020, 241 of the 370 law enforcement deaths recorded by the organization that year were due to COVID-19.