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News Release

Wednesday, August 12, 1998

Media Relations

LAPD Press Release-Cuesta Suspect Arrested

On August 9, 1998, Southwest Area CRASH Police Officers Filbert Cuesta and Richard Gabaldon, were monitoring a party which was attended by known gang members in the 5300 block Carlin Street.

As the officers waited for other police units to arrive several bullets struck the police car, shattering the rear window of the car and mortally wounded Police Officer Cuesta.

Officer Cuesta failed to respond to emergency treatment at Cedar Sinai Hospital, and was pronounce dead at 3 pm the same day.

An intensive search of the area, followed by an equally intensive investigation by this Department's police officers and detectives, especially by detectives assigned to Robbery-Homicide Division, has been taking place since this tragic incident took place.

With the help and cooperation from countless community members who provided crucial information to our officers and detectives, we learned the identity of a suspect believed responsible for the shooting.

Late on August 11, 1998, after becoming aware that he had been identified and was wanted by this department, the suspect opted to surrender himself at Parker Center. He was booked early on August 12, 1998.

The suspect is identified as: Catarino Gonzalez, Jr.
Male, Hispanic, 20 years of age
Resident of Los Angeles.

We want to express our most sincere gratitude to all who have contributed to this investigation, and the interest the community has demonstrated in assisting in this arrest.

For Release 10:30 pm PST
August 12, 1998