A Riverside park has been remade and renamed in honor of a local police officer slain in action in 2010.
Ryan Bonaminio Park at the Tequesquite Arroyo was slated to be celebrated Saturday with baseball games and 4 p.m. grand re-opening ceremony for the 44-acre park.
Bonaminio, a 27-year-old Riverside native and U.S. Army veteran who had served in Iraq, was killed by a suspect he had been attempting to arrest in 2010. The park had been re-dedicated in honor on Bonaminio, pictured below, in 2012.
A barbecue dinner and other free fare will be offered to visitors a the park at the corner of Tequesquite and Palm avenues (map).
The park has seen two lighted basketball courts installed, its children's playground remodeled, and three picnic shelters put in place. New walking paths are also available, as is a trailhead for the Santa Ana River Trail.
The site alos includes an Asian Garden designed to commemorate Riverside’s Chinatown, an alkali meadow that has been restored, and a community garden.
A Facebook page in the officer's honor noted that Saturday was set to approach record-breaking heat levels across Southern California, but encouraged supporters to attend.
"It might be hot as hell on Saturday but it will be a beautiful day for Ryan! Please come out and join the celebration! " the page In Loving Memory of Officer Ryan Bonaminio posted this week.
Bonaminio had been called to the area of Fairmont Park to respond to a hit and run on Nov. 8, 2010, when he encountered parolee Earl Ellis Green in a stolen semi-trailer truck.
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A foot chase ensued, and Bonaminio caught Green but lost his footing and fell into the mud. Green then attacked, striking the officer with a steel pipe and grabbing his service weapon. Green shot him in the head at point-blank range.
Green was sentenced to death a year ago.
Thousands attended Bonaminio’s funeral in 2010.
The park's name change was originally suggested by the slain officer's father, Joe Bonaminio, and city officials supported the idea, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported in 2010.
Residents can sponsor a tree to be planted at the park, and the Riverside city parks department has made applications available with more information.