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Woman brandishing a knife in Westlake is subdued by police

A woman brandishing a knife in a Westlake doughnut shop early Sunday was subdued after being hit with two of non-lethal bean bag rounds, police said.

The incident occurred in the same area where a Guatemalan day laborer wielding a knife was fatally shot by officers, sparking days of community unrest.

Police received a call at about 4:30 a.m. reporting a possible robbery attempt by a woman with a knife at a doughnut shop at Sixth and Coronado streets.

Two officers encountered the woman, who was acting erratically, in a nearby parking lot, where she refused orders to drop the knife. An officer fired a bean-bag round, which had no effect; another round was fired, causing the woman to fall.

“Her agitation had increased and she appeared to be under the influence of something,” said Lt. Wes Buhrmester of the LAPD’s Rampart Station. “It was later found that she had been drinking. The officers feared that she would charge at them. She was hit in the midsection and fell to the ground and taken into custody without incident. A folding knife was recovered.”

The woman, described as a 35-year-old Los Angeles resident, was treated at the scene by paramedics. She was taken to County-USC Medical Center where she was undergoing a mental health evaluation, Buhrmester said. Police did not release her name. They determined that there was no robbery attempt and said she was not likely be charged with any crime.

On Sept. 5, Manuel Jaminez Xum, 37, was fatally shot near Union Avenue and Sixth Street after allegedly threatening two women with a knife and lunging at two police officers who were on bicycles. The shooting sparked several days of protests, including a gathering of more than 300 people at the LAPD’s Rampart Station, where eggs and other objects were hurled at windows and police cars.

In Sunday’s incident, there were fewer bystanders and officers had better control over the situation and environment, including using their patrol car as cover, Buhrmester said. The bicycle officers in the previous incident also did not have the use of the non-lethal bean bags, he said.

“From here on out it may be that some type of device is given to bicycle officers and those on foot similar to the bean-bag round so that they have some other type of non-lethal weapon to use,” Buhrmester said. 

The policemen who encountered the woman were training officers with years of experience, he added.

“Even had the incident on Labor Day not occurred, I’m fully confident this incident would have been handled the same way,” he said.

-- Carla Rivera

Comments () | Archives (21)

The illegal interlopers in Westlake rioted when a knife-wielding maniac was shot by LAPD officers. As this story illustrates, now the LAPD has been relegated to using NON-LETHAL force against suspects brandishing LETHAL weapons. When did we become such a nation of schmucks? When did we start letting illegals dictate the way our police force would operate? This is disgusting.

Is there something in Westlake's drinking water that makes people wield knives? Perhaps the local city council should declare the city a knife-free zone. That policy seems to work really well keeping guns off of campuses.

The really sad part of this story is that the success of the police will be used to hurt other police officers who are forced to shoot under similar circumstances.

What the news media doesn't ever seem to get is that a knife is a deadly weapon, and subduing somebody with one in their hand is, even under ideal scenarios, risky and of uncertain outcome. Had this woman slit somebody's throat, the same news media that is only to eager to crucify the officers who pulled the trigger would pivot on a dime and ask with a rhetorical flourish of indignation why our officers aren't doing more to protect unarmed citizens. They can't win.

Obviously the officers had more time to react with this idiot, as opposed to the surprise they received with Jaminez.


Well, this is much better.

I certainly hope there will be more follow-up on this story; the little here raises more questions than it answers, despite Carla R filling up a third of her space with what seems to be an excuse for treating this woman like a stray child instead of a responsible adult.
"brandishing a knife in a Westlake doughnut shop... was acting erratically, [in parking lot]she refused orders[from police] to drop the knife... The officers feared that she would charge at them."
Sounds straightforward to me; unless this woman is legally incompetent surely she should at least be charged with drunk and disorderly.
"She was hit in the midsection and fell to the ground and taken into custody without incident."
Having to be bean-bagged twice and have a weapon taken from you by force is not an incident in itself? If this is not a white-wash should that not at least read "further incident"?
"A folding knife was recovered."
Could that be less informative; was it a pen knife; was it a 3-inch jackknife; was it an 8 inch Buck knife; or was it a 9-inch balisong or switchblade? I think this information is rather significant to the story.
"she[is] undergoing a mental health evaluation..."
…and? Was she deranged from missing meds and then got drunk? Is she under someone's guardianship? Why are there no charges for taking the time of the police and hospital and scaring civilians at the coffee shop with a deadly weapon while drunk? If I did that KNOW that I would end up in County Jail and charged up one side and down the other!
"It was later found that she had been drinking."
So, isn't that usually seen as a REASON to charge someone with a crime, rather than an excuse to be forgiven criminal behavior in public?
"Police did not release her name."
Why not? Surely they owe the public an explanation of the REASON for shielding her from legal disclosure that another miscreant, charged or not, is subject to as regards privacy; 35 is a lot of years past being a juvenile.
"They determined that there was no robbery attempt and said she was not likely be charged with any crime."
A little more information would be nice! Just HOW did they determine this; witnesses; did shop staff declining to file a charge and state the robbery "impression" from 911 was false; was there a desire to not to "provoke" the locals into another riot; was it the precinct Capt.'s personal decision?

Los Angeles resident? What is her name, ethnicity?

“From here on out it may be that some type of device is given to bicycle officers and those on foot similar to the bean-bag round so that they have some other type of non-lethal weapon to use,” Buhrmester said.

Oh so now we have a copy-cat idiot.... be careful, play with fire, you will get burned, shot or deported.

The people who are doing things like this are obviously very mentally ill. Drunk or not, only a severely mentally ill person would do something like this.

"Suicide by cop" may also be playing a role; some of these people may WANT to die, and they KNOW that by brandishing a weapon and charging at a cop, they'll get their wish.

note to self: donuts from the Winchell's at Western & Melrose really isn't out of the way

Mr. DeWhitney, allow me to answer some of your questions. I was quoted in the article.

The knife was a folding knife with a four-inch blade. We were unable to establish that the subject was on any prescription medication, or was the subject of any type of guardianship. She was not arrested because there is not necessarily criminal behavior involved with all persons who have the police called on them, and who are subsequently transported to a hospital. In this instance, the officers and a supervisor weighed the circumstances, and arrived at the decision that she was more in need of psychiatric evaluation, rather than criminal charges.

Regarding the psychiatric evaluation, because that is a medical process, I chose not to disclose her name, as it is a confidentiality matter. The determination not to charge her with a crime was made after interviewing two witnesses and the donut shop owner. She was seen with the knife in the donut shop at 4:30 a.m. A reasonable conclusion would be that she was committing a robbery, and that was one of the calls we received. The donut shop owner, while a bit rattled, did not describe any substantial fear, nor an attempt to take property from him. The decision not to pursue a robbery charge was made by the officers, the supervisor at the scene and the Watch Commander at the time, as is commonly done, many times each day at each station. The commanding officer was not consulted regarding potential charges, although he was advised of the incident at a later time.

Bottom line is that lethal force was not utilized in this specific instance, because it was not needed.

Bean bags and/or other nonlethal weapons ought to have been given long ago to all officers who patrol the streets. Why on earth weren't they? Many lives might have been saved. Those lives may have belonged to undocumented foreigners and to disturbed individuals, but they are still worth preserving, whatever the bloodthirsty maniacs who authored some of the other comments on this page say.

Thats more like it, Police. No need to kill anyone over some crazy person brandishing a knife at a distance.

good god, what is wrong with people in westlake?

"From here on out it may be that some type of device is given to bicycle officers and those on foot similar to the bean-bag round so that they have some other type of non-lethal weapon to use."

Did Lieutenant Buhrmeister really say that? Sounds unbelievable to me.

“From here on out it may be that some type of device is given to bicycle officers and those on foot similar to the bean-bag round so that they have some other type of non-lethal weapon to use,” Buhrmester said.

Yeah, I can see bike officers, motors and those on foot beats with BB guns slung on their backs. Are you kidding me? How about holding people accountable for their actions. How about charging this "resident" with brandishing?

I have full faith and trust in the LAPD. All the idiots here criticizing all the time should either find a job or do their job so they are not here constantly criticizing alike arm chair quarterbacks. Move along and lets clear the board for insightful thoughtful valuable commentary.

When an ax wielding ex US soldier was shot dead by police their weren't any protesters because he was white. When minorities that are breaking the law, get shot by cops, their are protesters and riots because minorities believe its ok to be scum bag criminals and ruin every neighborhood they live in.

Must be off spring from the Mariana boat lift fiasco.

Must of been the full moon?


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