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Police say man kidnaps four children after assaulting girlfriend

July 5, 2009 |  3:25 pm

[UPDATE: 8:21 p.m.Los Angeles police apprehended a suspect accused of kidnapping four children Sunday evening. Officer Karen Ravner, an LAPD spokeswoman, said the children were not harmed. Details were still emerging about the arrest in the 1500 block of Pacific Avenuein Long Beach, but Ravner said the department was investigating an officer-involved shooting related to the arrest. Another LAPD official said the suspect was injured during a confrontation with police.]

Los Angeles police issued an Amber Alert today in the alleged kidnapping of four children by a suspect who police said sexually assaulted one woman and later shot another during an attempted carjacking.

The unidentified suspect, 29, was last seen in a 1991 gold and brown Toyota Previa, with license plate number 5SEF614. He was described as Latino, 5 feet 11, 220 pounds, with black hair tied in a ponytail and wearing a red shirt, blue shorts and red-and-white tennis shoes.

Police said the incident began Saturday afternoon when the suspect sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint in South Los Angeles. He then fled with the victim and her daughter, 11, and her niece, 6.

On Saturday evening, the suspect allegedly shot a 24-year-old woman during an attempted carjacking at a gas station at 45th Street and Avalon Boulevard, police said. During the incident, the ex-girlfriend managed to escape, but the suspect fled with the two children, police said. The shooting victim was taken to a hospital, where she was listed in critical but stable condition.

The suspect then met with his mother at a liquor store in Long Beach, police said. He left with two additional children, both of them his own, according to police. The suspect subsequently offered by telephone to trade some of the children for his ex-girlfriend, said LAPD Det. Jason De La Cova.

The missing children were identified as Matthew Angel Samos, 1; Jose Angel Diaz, 5; Ariyanna Denise Wade, 6; and Ashley Elizabeth Tathkran, 11.

Police asked anyone with information to call 911 or Det. Arroyo at (213) 485 2511.

-- Patrick McDonnell