Update: Hammer-Wielding Man on the Loose in East L.A.

April 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Sheriff’s investigators are trying to track down a man who used a hammer-like weapon to seriously injure two people in separate unprovoked attacks within a few blocks and hours of one another in East Los Angeles.

Both assaults occurred March 25, the first in the 1400 block of South Bonnie Beach Place and the second in the 4400 block of Triggs Street, according to Detective Ed Sanchez of the sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station.

In the first attack, the suspect, who appeared to be in his mid-40s, approached a man Sanchez described as “elderly” and without provocation or warning struck him with “a hammer-like weapon.”

“When the victim fell to the ground, the suspect kicked the victim,” Sanchez said.

The suspect fled south from the location and out of view.

On Thursday LASD released a sketch of the suspect and described him as a Hispanic male with a goatee between 40 and 50 years of age. He is believed to have fled in a dark 1990s Toyota Tacoma with an extended cab.

LASD

LASD

A few hours later and less than three block away from the first crime scene, a woman standing in front of a home was similarly attacked by a man wielding a hammer-like weapon, according to Sanchez.

The woman was struck several times “about the head” and knocked unconscious, the detective said.

Both victims were taken to hospitals, where they were admitted in serious condition, Sanchez said.

Maria Contreras, told EGP she and her family helped the first victim who is her neighbor. “It happened in broad light around 2pm,” she said in Spanish. “But I didn’t see the attacker.”

Sanchez said the same person is suspected of committing both crimes, though the descriptions provided to investigators varied slightly.

In the first assault, the suspect was described as a heavyset Hispanic man, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, wearing a straw hat and a blue windbreaker-type jacket.

In the second case, the suspect was described as 6 feet tall, around 240 pounds and wearing a black jacket and black pants.

The priest of the local church Our Lady of Victory, Armando Lopez told EPG they have already warned parishioners to be vigilant and notify police about any suspicious activity.

Anyone with information about the attacks was urged to call the sheriff’s East LA Station at (323) 264-4151 or 911. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers by calling (800) 222-TIPS. All tips can be made anonymously.

Update 11:55 a.m., April 7, 2016 This post has been updated to include a sketch of the suspect and quotes from a witness.

Deputies Need Public’s Help Identifying Man Who Tried to Kidnap Girl From East L.A. Park

March 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A composite sketch of a man suspected of attempting to kidnap a young girl at over the weekend at a park in unincorporated East Los Angeles was released today by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

At approximately 2:47 p.m. on Saturday, deputies assigned to the Parks Bureau received a 9-1-1 call of an attempted kidnapping at Salazar Park, located at 3646 Whittier Blvd.

According to deputies, two juvenile sisters were walking towards the water fountain near the restroom area on the east side of the park when the older sister saw her younger brother talking to the suspect.

The older of the two girls told authorities she confronted her brother, asking why he was talking to a stranger. That’s when the suspect grabbed the younger sister, but the older sister was able to pull her away from him.

The suspect then began pulling the older sister in the direction of the men’s restroom, deputies said. As the older sister screamed at the suspect to let her go, she fought back, punching the suspect several times.

L.A. County Sheriff composite drawing of suspect in attempted kidnapping Saturday at Salazar Park in unincorporated East L.A.

L.A. County Sheriff composite drawing of suspect in attempted kidnapping Saturday at Salazar Park in unincorporated East L.A.

She was able to break away, grabbed her little sister and ran to their mother, telling her what had occurred.

The mother confronted the suspect near the men’s restroom as he was fleeing from the scene. She quickly alerted park staff and followed the suspect north through the park, but he crossed Whittier Boulevard and disappeared, authorities said.

The attempted kidnapping comes just two days following a public meeting at Salazar Park where speaker after speaker told county officials, including the captain of the East L.A. Sheriff’s Station, they fear for their safety due to a large uptick in crime at the park and in the surrounding area.

Capt. Steven Biagini told the audience the department has stepped up patrols in the area.

Detectives are seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating the man in the sketch. He’s described as a male Hispanic male, between 30 and 40 years old, with brown eyes, black hair, a small mustache and goatee. He is 5’7” to 5’9” tall and weights160-180 lbs. He was wearing a white T-shirt and faded black pants a the time of the attack, and has a tattoo of a dragon wrapped around his right arm with the head of a creature on the back of his hand.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Parks Bureau, Sergeant Kemp, at (909) 394-9705.  If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

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