During the early morning hours of Thursday August 10, 2006, Newton Area officers responded to a radio call of a despondent male inside a two-story single family home in the area of 29th Street and Maple Avenue. Located just south of Downtown Los Angeles. Officers found a man confined to a wheelchair, indeed despondent, but armed with a high-caliber rifle with possible hostages.
Under the leadership of Captain Dennis Kremins, Newton Area, a command post was established to coordinate the response of Department and City resources, e.g.,SWAT, Los Angeles Fire Department and Crisis Negotiators. Unlike television programming and or motion pictures where incidents like this take minutes to resolve this incident would take 20 hours. LAPD SWAT officers, Newton Patrol officers, and the Crisis Negotiators worked jointly to bring stability to the problem. This included evacuating nearby residents, who were provided temporary housing by the American Red Cross, and re-directing both pedistrian and vehicular traffic. LAFD Firefigthers and Paramedics worked through shifts to provide adequate resources.
SWAT, an experienced and elite team, was able to make entry when the suspect momentarily released the high caliber rifle. The entry team was able to secure the home and take the suspect into custody without harm to either the suspect or officers. The suspect was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
A job well done by Newton Area, whose quick response and analysis stabilized the situation. SWAT and the Crisis Negotiators for their expertise and extreme patience in dealing with a person in need of medical attention. LAFD, as always, the finest fire department in the world.
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Lieutenant Ruben De La Torre
Public Communications Section