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9-1-1 Call Leads to the Arrest of Robbery Suspects in Fashion District

Los Angeles:  Three bandits are behind bars after a witness saw a woman being robbed in the Los Angeles Fashion District.  The witness dialed 9-1-1 and provided the operator with a license plate number of the getaway car which helped lead police to the suspects.

On October 23, 2008, the witness information, along with surveillance footage in which the suspect was seen using a victim’s credit card to purchase gas, led to the arrest of Miguel Sanchez, 27, Gamaliel Hernandez, 22, and Hector Flores, 42.  Sanchez was charged with seven counts of robbery and one count of attempt robbery.  His bail is set at $2,555,000.  Flores was charged with one count of mayhem and two counts of robbery and is being held in lieu of $180,000 bail.  Hernandez was charged with one count of robbery and his bail amount was set at $75,000.    

The armed bandits are believed to be responsible for at least 10 robberies that have occurred from May through September, mostly in the Fashion District.  The robberies included two businesses and eight street muggings.  Detectives said that the trio went on a brazen string of robberies and preyed mostly on Asian female victims who walked alone.  The suspects approached their victims from behind and wrested their purses away.  If any of the victims resisted, the suspect either threatened them with a handgun or physically harmed them.

Most of the robberies have taken place in the afternoon hours, with two incidents occurring in late morning.  The robberies attribute to these suspects are summarized as follows:

  • May 16, 2008, at 4:05 p.m., two suspects entered a business, pointed a handgun at an employee, ransacked the office, and took money.     
  • May 24, 2008, at 11:40 a.m., two suspects forced their way through a door as a customer was leaving a check cashing business.  The suspects kicked an employee several times, ransacked the office and fled with an undisclosed amount of money.  
  • July 12, 2008, at 4:15 p.m., a woman was punched in the face after she refused to give up her purse.  The suspect took the victim’s keys and fled.  The woman was severely injured and suffered facial fractures.  
  • July 25, 2008, at 4:00 p.m., after a brief struggle with the suspect, a woman’s purse was pulled away from her.   
  • August 1, 2008, at 5:40 p.m., at gunpoint, two suspects made their way inside of a business, and demanded money.  During the robbery, one of the victims was brutally kicked in the face.  
  • August 4, 2008, at 2:15 p.m., the suspects walked up to a woman from behind and punched her in the back of the head before stealing her purse.  
  • August 15, 2008, at 10:25 a.m., the suspects approached a female victim and stole her purse.  When a witness tried to intervene, the suspect threatened that person with a handgun.    
  • August 29, 2008, at 5:15 p.m., a suspect violently pushed a woman to the ground and took her purse.   
  • September 6, 2008, at 11:45 a.m., a woman was walking up a stairway leading to her business when a suspect approached her and snatched her purse.  
  • September 8, 2008, at 4:00 p.m., a suspect struck a female victim in the head and took her purse.  A witness saw the robbery go down, called 911 and provided the operator with the license plate number of the getaway car.

Investigators have determined that the surveillance tapes or mug shots should not be released to help ensure the validity of future identification of the suspects.

Detectives believe that the suspects are responsible for several more robberies and seeking additional witness.  

Anyone with information regarding these robberies is asked to call Newton Division robbery detectives at (323) 846-6572.  After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website www.lapdonline.org.  All tips will remain anonymous.

Knife-Wielding Suspect Results in Officer Involved Shooting

Los Angeles: On October 28, 2008, at about 12:45 p.m., three Los Angeles Police Department officers on bicycle patrol with the Department’s Operation Safer City Task Force encountered a suspect who threatened them with a knife, resulting in an officer involved shooting (OIS).

The shooting occurred in the area of 6th Street and Stanford Avenue where the officers observed a drug transaction. Suspect Benny Allen, already on parole for narcotics and burglary convictions, was involved in the transaction. When he became aware of the officers’ presence, he walked into the middle of the street. When officers ordered Allen to walk out of the street in order to make a pedestrian stop, he ignored them and continued walking away from the officers.

Suddenly, Allen turned and faced the officers with the blade of a folding knife in the locked-open position. While yelling, waving and pointing the knife toward the officers, the suspect rapidly approached them. One of the officers backed away as Allen continued to advance, so Officer Nathaniel Anderson (three years, eight months with the Department) fired at Allen, striking him in the torso.

Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics transported Allen to a local hospital in critical but stable condition. Allen was arrested and charged with assault against a police officer, and LAPD Force Investigation Division is handling the investigation of the shooting incident.

In-Custody Death Investigation

Los Angeles:  Officers detained a subject who was possibly suffering from mental illness died despite emergency treatment by rescue ambulance personnel.

On October 27, 2008, just after 8:00 a.m., Officers Joel Gutierrez and Alan Ghasserani, each with 5 years and 7 months on the Department, responded to a radio call concerning a disturbed male on the Corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and Basset Street.  As the officers were responding to the location, the officers were requested to respond with red lights and siren.

The officers located the subject in the Valley Presbyterian Hospital parking lot, disoriented and lying on his back.  He repeatedly stated that he needed shelter from “the earthquake.”  The subject submitted to arrest without the need for force; the officers handcuffed the subject and requested a rescue ambulance.  The officers assisted the subject to his feet and walked him to their police car.  

A few moments later, Sergeant Kyle Campbell along with Officers Jose Saldana and Daniel Schneider arrived at the scene.  Due to the subject’s actions, Sergeant Campbell determined that the use of hobble restraint was appropriate and the hobble was applied to the subject’s ankles.  As the subject was placed in a sitting position; paramedics arrived and examined him.  They determined that the subject had stopped breathing.

Due to the proximity of Valley Presbyterian Hospital, the subject was taken to the emergency room.  While at the hospital, the subject was resuscitated and regained consciousness for a short time, but was pronounced dead by the attending physician at 3:15 p.m.

The subject has been identified as 45-year old Anthony Brookman.

Force Investigation Division personnel responded and are conducting an In Custody Death investigation.

Hit and Run Driver Kills 45-Year-Old Man in Rampart

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a hit and run driver who killed a 49-year-old man yesterday evening in Los Angeles.

At about 8:20 p.m., a man was standing in the alley near 6th and Grand View Streets when he was struck and killed by an unidentified vehicle that was traveling west in the alley.  The driver of the vehicle fled the scene of the accident without identifying himself or rendering aid to the victim.  

The victim suffered severe injuries to his chest and died at the scene.  The name of the deceased victim will be withheld until a family member has been notified.

Investigation have very few leads and there are no description of the suspect vehicle or the driver.

Anyone with information about this accident is asked to contact Central Traffic Division, Detective Michael Kaden at 213-972-1853.  After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips.  When using a cell phone, messages should always begin with “LAPD.” All calls and contacts are anonymous.

Carotid Restraint Hold Used on Aggressive Suspect

Los Angeles: On the evening of Oct. 24, 2008, two Los Angeles Police Department officers responded to a domestic violence incident and encountered a very combative suspect who had to be restrained using a technique known as the “carotid restraint control hold,” which involves pressure to the carotid artery.

Shortly before 9 p.m., LAPD officers arrived at the 900 block of Albany Street and met with a person who had reported a fierce domestic dispute at a nearby residence. When officers approached the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Antonio Salinas, he resisted arrest and initiated a physical conflict. As the officers grappled with the suspect, he twice attempted to get control of one of the officer’s batons. Both times, as the officer tried to gain control of the baton, the suspect bit the officer on the forearm. On the second attempt, Salinas wouldn’t release his bite, so the partner officer, Oscar Duenas (10 years, three months with the Department) applied a modified carotid restraint control hold to the suspect, causing him to release his bite but not causing him to lose consciousness.

Although the suspect continued resisting arrest, two additional officers arrived at the scene and were able to handcuff him without further incident and complete the arrest. The suspect was then transported by paramedics to a local hospital where he was treated for facial lacerations and trauma. The suspect was booked for an outstanding 2005 murder warrant, and investigators with LAPD’s Force Investigation Division (FID) are expected to file more assault-related charges regarding the current incident at a later date.

Los Angeles Fire Department personnel treated Officer Duenas at the scene for minor cuts and scratches, and an LAPD sergeant transported the officer bitten by the suspect to an area hospital for treatment of cuts, scratches and bite marks.

FID personnel are investigating the incident and the officer’s use of the modified carotid hold.

COMPSTAT Citywide Profile

Crime Statistics October 29, 2008

                2008**             2007**          % Chg

Homicide                             306*               334             -8.4%
Rape                                    647                755             -14.3%
Robbery                            10774             11017             -2.2%
Agg Assaults **                  10015             10707             -6.5%
Total Violent Crimes      21,742          22,813              -4.7%


Burglary                             15463              16178            -4.4%
BTFV                                  24153              24934           -3.1%
Personal/Other Theft         22025              22450            -1.9%
Auto Theft                        18177              19255             -5.6%
Total Property Crimes    79,818           82,817            -3.6%
Total Part I Crimes        101,560        105,630            -3.9%

* Numbers reflects a change in reclassification for Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) guidelines and numbers are adjusted accordingly.

** Prior to 2005, Aggravated Assaults included Child/Spousal Simple Assaults

Notes for the October 28, 2008 Police Commission Weekly Meeting

• Police Chief William J. Bratton said that he attended a roundtable summit in New York and Washington D.C on Homeland security.  The intent of the summit was to put together thoughts for the new administration coming into office.  Chief Bratton also said he was going to attend the LAPD Women’s Leadership Conference.

• The department’s verbal presentation relative to the status of the Scientific Investigation Division Task Force was given by Deputy Chief Charlie Beck. He stated that two significant developments with regards to the fingerprint issue were the movement of Scientific Investigation Division to the command of Detective Bureau and the formation of the task force.  The task force is designed to look at ways to clean up the DNA backlog, keep current on incoming DNA kits, examine where the division has been, its current status and where it is headed, and to restore faith in the fingerprint process.  Councilman Jack Weiss then thanked Police Chief Bratton and the Police Commission for their leadership, commitment, and focus on the issue from day one.  He also added that the first 6 months of funding for the unit may be approved by the City Council as early as Wednesday, October 29.

• The Department’s verbal and power point presentation relative to the training provided to other law enforcement agencies by Force Investigation Division was given by Captain Kris Pitcher.  He stated the Officer Involved Shooting school was created by Force Investigation Division because of outside agency interest.  The program is certified by Peace Officer Standards Training and is a 3 day course.  Fourteen different states as well as Canada have participated in the program. Local agencies have shown a great deal of interest as well.  The program has benefited the department by enabling the exchange of information between agencies and the development of best practices. 

• The Department’s report, dated October 22, 2008, relative to City Council action (CF #07-2473), relative to the purchase and distribution of X-26 Tasers, was approved and transmitted to the City Council.

• The Department’s report, dated October 15, 2008, relative to the City Council action (CF #08-1639), regarding Illegal Dumping, was approved and transmitted to the City Council.

• The Department’s report, dated October 17, 2008, relative to the Transmittal of the Grant
Application for the “Next Generation – Click It or Ticket Program” from the University of California, Berkeley, Traffic Safety Center, was approved and transmitted the report concurrently to the Mayor and City Council.

• The Department’s report, dated October 27, 2008, relative to the Destruction of Obsolete Original Records for Original/Official Records for Central Traffic Division, Commercial Crimes Division, Devonshire Area, Employee Relations Group, Internal Affairs Group, Juvenile Division, Metropolitan Division, Narcotics Division, Operations-Central Bureau, Personnel Division, Rampart Area, Records and Identification Division, Southeast Area, and West Valley Area, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.

• The Department’s report, dated October 8, 2008, relative to the Criminal Case Filing Rates of Individuals Arrested – 3rd Quarter Report (July 1, 2008 – September 30, 2008), was approved. 

• The Department’s report, dated October 10, 2008, relative to the Non-Categorical Use of Force Reporting – Revised, was approved.  Captain Scott Sargent said that the area watch commanders have increased insight when there is a non-categorical Use of Force.  A supervisor will enter all information into the data system and the watch commander will do a comprehensive review of each Use of Force by each offer involved. 

• The Department’s report, dated October 17, 2008, relative to the Operations – South Bureau Gang Enforcement Detail Command Accountability Performance Audit (AD No. 08-087), was approved.

• The Department’s report, dated October 17, 2008, relative to the Newton Area Gang Enforcement Detail Command Accountability Performance Audit (AD No. 08-088), was approved.

• The Department’s report, dated June 25, 2008, and Inspector General’s report, dated October 1, 2008, relative to the Categorical Use of Force Investigations Audit (Fiscal Year 2007/2008), was approved.

• The Department’s report, dated September 23, 2008, relative to the Follow-up Report to Hunter-LaLey Fiscal Year 2007-08, Fourth Quarter Report, was received and filed.  Captain Kevin McClure stated the Department has made every effort to create level playing field for promotions and make test taking available to everyone.  He added the Department ensures having diversity on boards for coveted positions.  Police Chief Bratton was intrigued by a proposed idea of using CompStat to ensure diversity in divisions and holding area Captains accountable. 

Chief Bratton Response to DNA Backlog

Click the following for podcast:

Chief    /  Mayor   /  Weiss   / Gruel 

Los Angeles:  All victims of rape deserve justice and all rapists deserve prison.  By steadily increasing the Los Angeles Police Department's ability to process DNA evidence, we can reach these two goals over the next several years.  I applaud the efforts of the Mayor, the City Council and the City Controller to get the Department the needed funding for these efforts.  They have given us a tremendous opportunity that will not be wasted. 

We are committed to testing all viable evidence contained in our DNA backlog. The political, well demonstrated here, puts us on the road to the realization of that commitment.

Robbery Suspect at Subway Restaurant Shown on Surveillance Video

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department robbery detectives are looking for a suspect they believe is responsible for a series of robberies at local businesses, the last of which was an attempt at robbing a Subway Restaurant in the 8200 block of Beverly Boulevard.

On October 14, 2008, just before 1 a.m., a young man entered a Subway Restaurant and handed an employee a note stating he had a drug problem and demanding money. However, when another customer came in, he immediately left without taking anything. Detectives believe he is responsible for several other robberies in the area, and he’s been seen with a handgun.

The suspect is described as a white male with black hair and green eyes. He is approximately 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs about 185 pounds and appears to be 20-25 years old. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans.

The LAPD is asking for the community’s help in apprehending this dangerous suspect. Anyone with information about this incident or the suspect is asked to contact Detectives Avila or Humphreys at the Wilshire Community Police Station, 213-922-8205.

After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips.  When using a cell phone, messages should always begin with “LAPD.” All calls and contacts are anonymous.

Two Men Shot in Parking Lot

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating two murder suspects who shot and killed one and injured another.

On Saturday, October 25, 2008, at about 8:15 p.m., 25-year-old Guillermo Lopez and his 19-year-old friend were at a parking lot located in the corner of Washington Place and Wade Street. Two suspects, male Hispanics, possibly gang members, approached them on foot and confronted them.  Both suspects were armed with handguns.  One of the suspects asked the victims where they were from.  The victims responded that they were not gang members, whereupon both suspects began shooting at them.     

Guillermo was struck multiple times and collapsed in the parking lot where he died.  The second victim was also struck multiple times.  He was transported to a local hospital where he is in critical condition.  

The first suspect is described as 5’5” in height, 180 pounds, 18-20 years of age, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and blue pants.  The second suspect is described as 5’9” in height, 150 pounds, 18-20 years of age dark complexion and also wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, with black pants.  They were seen driving away in a gray, 4-door Honda, driving Northbound on Wade Street.

Anyone with information about the shooting urged to contact Pacific Homicide detectives J. Lumbreras or Carranza at 310-482-6316 or 310-482-6349.   After hours and on weekends calls may be directed to the 24-hour toll free number, 1-877-LAW-FULL (529-3855).  Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or by logging on to www.lapdonline.org and clicking on Web Tips.  When using a cell phone always begin the message with “LAPD.” All calls and contacts are anonymous.