Rialto Detective Kurt Kitterly is recovering at Loma Linda University Medical Center after surgery to remove a brain tumor.
The well-known detective and president of the Rialto Police Benefit Association had surgery Feb. 2 and is now regaining his strength, although his long-term prognosis is still unknown.
Kitterly, 48, felt ill and excused himself while interviewing the suspect in the city's first murder of the year, said Police Chief Mark Kling. The murder took place Jan. 31, and Kitterly worked about 40 straight hours before falling ill.
"He's a big, strong guy that has his whole life ahead of him," said Sgt. Reinhard Burkholder, his close friend and supervisor in the detective bureau.
Burkholder said Kitterly had a fist-sized tumor between his scalp and his brain. For a time, he lost control of the right side of his body and had a seizure.
As soon as Kitterly is stronger, Burkholder said the doctors want to begin chemotherapy and evaluate whether the tumor spread.
Police volunteer Judy Roberts said she has worked closely with Kitterly in a number of different capacities.
"He's just a really, really good person," she said of the 18-year department veteran.
Roberts said one of Kitterly's most notable qualities is his wit.
"He's got an unbelievable sense of humor," she said.
As the only corporal in the detective bureau, where he has served for six years, Burkholder said Kitterly is his right-hand man. He said Kitterly is very popular with other members of the department.
Kitterly has a wife and three children. Burkholder said he plans to retire in a few years and spend more time camping and riding dirt bikes. He said he has some property in Tennessee where his parents live and might move to.
Kitterly also has been active in the community. In March, he spoke to residents at Cavalry Chapel Church about the work the department does to fight crime and discussed some of the cases he has investigated.
"I'm just completely grateful for all he's done for the city," Roberts said.
BS Ranch Perspective:
I worked most of my career with this Detective, he started a year after me at the Police department and we used to go to lunch and then spend some of our After hours together, when we first started out. We were on the bowling league that was started by the Graveyard Bowling league, it was fun.
Kurt, I am and always have been keeping you in my prayers, and I hope that you have a full recovery. It has been a long time since we have seen each other and I want you to know that I hope that you gain that full recovery and get either a Retirement or full duty back to work, they need you at Rialto!