Friday, August 16, 2002
Police and Community Efforts Result in Capture of Rape Suspect
Los Angeles: On August 15, 2002, at approximately 7:45 PM, a Los Angeles resident dropped off two vehicle passengers in the area of 1st Street and Formosa Avenue, within the Wilshire Area of Los Angeles. There, he observed a suspicious male who was standing in front of a residence, and that the suspect resembled a composite drawing of a serial rape suspect wanted by the Los Angeles Police Department, Robbery Homicide Division. The resident called his Rabbi and asked for assistance and advice. Together, the two Los Angeles residents notified the LAPD and followed the suspect until he was subsequently taken into custody by the rapid response of Wilshire Community Area patrol officers. Robbery-Homicide Division, Rape Special Section Detectives responded and assumed investigative responsibility. The suspect was booked for the series of sexual assaults and has been identified as 41-year old Gary David Johnson, with no known address. Suspect Johnson, who has an extensive multi-state criminal history, was booked for Rape by Force or Fear and held for $250,000 bail.
Between July 27, 2002 and August 13, 2002, during mid-afternoon and early evening hours, a male suspect assaulted four elderly females in their residences. The suspect gained entry into the residences via an open door or he forced his way in when the victim opened her front door. The suspect demanded property and sexually assaulted the victims, Three of the attacks occurred in the area between La Cienega Boulevard and June street, and Beverly Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard, within the Wilshire Community Area. One attack also occurred in the area of the 6000 block of Ivarene Avenue in Hollywood. The suspect also attempted to gain entry into four other residences by engaging the elderly female occupants in conversation. When the females would not open their door, the suspect walked away. On August 15, 2002, a press conference was held at the Pan Pacific Park within the Wilshire Area to mobilize the community and ask for their assistance in identifying the suspect. LAPD Deputy Chief David Kalish, announcing a $25,000 reward said, "We, as a community, will do what is necessary to bring this individual into custody and to keep our communities safe." The Los Angeles City Council approved the reward, which was proposed by Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Jack Weiss.
Anyone with information is requested to contact Detectives Roberts or Antenucci, at Robbery-Homicide Division, Rape Special Section, at 818-756-8309 or Detective Headquarters Division, off-hours, at 1-877-529-3855.
This press release was prepared by Officer Jack Richter, LAPD Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.