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News Release

Monday, May 10, 2004

Media Relations

PT Cruiser Kidnap Suspect Is Arrested


Los Angeles: On May 6, 2004, a 17 year old female was abducted by a man who dragged her, at knife point, into his car while she waited for friends in the area of McCormick Street and Tujunga Avenue. The victim fought the suspect for several minutes and was cut twice by the knife during her struggle. She was able to get free and ran screaming for help to her friends who had come to pick her up. The victim and her friends then followed the suspect, who was driving a metallic blue Chrysler PT Cruiser, on the 170 freeway until they lost him.

During the weekend of May 8 and 9, 2004, the victim’s parents were driving on Lankershim Boulevard and spotted a metallic blue PT Cruiser parked at the Advantage Rent-A-Car parking, located at 5728 Lankershim Boulevard. This information was relayed to North Hollywood detectives on Monday. Detectives examined the vehicle and saw what they believed was blood spots inside the car. The investigation revealed that the car had been rented by 27 year-old Damian Fernandez, a resident of North Hollywood who was on Parole. A photo line-up was completed and shown to the victim who immediately identified Damian Fernandez as the person who kidnapped and assaulted her. Detectives contacted California State Parole for background information on the suspect and sat up a surveillance at the suspect’s residence.

On May 10, 2004, at 11:35 a.m., the suspect left his house and was arrested. Detectives served a search warrant at the suspect’s residence and recovered additional evidence that linked him to the crime. The suspect was booked at Van Nuys Jail for 209 P.C. Kidnap with a Parole Hold.

This news release was prepared by Public Information Officer Eduardo Funes, Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.