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Rooftop-hopping suspect in Westwood subdued by bean bag rounds

February 9, 2012 |  1:49 pm

Westwood suspect
A suspected car thief who spent five hours on the rooftop of a Westwood home after threatening authorities Thursday surrendered to police after being hit with at least two bean bag rounds.

The suspect, who was not immediately identified, told Los Angeles police officers earlier in the day, "If I could get to my gun, I would kill all of you," according to KTLA-TV.  A Los Angeles Police Department spokesman could not immediately verify the quote.

The pursuit of the suspect, which was carried live on and off by L.A. TV stations, began shortly before 8 a.m. when an LAPD cruiser attempted to pull over the suspect after a database flagged his license plates  as belonging to a stolen car, according to police.

The man, dressed in a gray skull cap, a black long-sleeved shirt and baggy shorts, initially fled by car north on Malcolm Avenue, then fled on foot after passing Wilshire Boulevard, running to the 800 block of Malcolm, a block southeast from the UCLA campus, said LAPD spokesman Richard French.

By 8:20 a.m., KTLA-TV was broadcasting images of the suspect hopping from roof to roof in a residential neighborhood of Westwood, evading police. At times he approached officers, who were on the ground, while keeping his hands raised, and then he would suddenly move away, staying on the rooftops.

Initially, officers placed ladders close to the suspect and then backed away, apparently inviting him to come down peacefully. The LAPD brought in its SWAT team, which approached the suspect around 1 p.m.

Department officials said that after officers fired at least two bean bag rounds the suspect surrendered. He was detained and then taken down to the ground on a ramp that had been raised  to the roof.


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-- Andrew Blankstein