Monday, October 9, 2006
Two Attacks on Undercover Officers over Weekend
Los Angeles: Officers conducting undercover operations were assaulted in two separate incidents on Saturday night, October 6, 2006. In each of the assaults, the suspects' actions were unrelated to the officers' undercover operations.
"Armed criminals pose a danger to society out of their willingness to confront persons whom they do not recognize in their neighborhood," said Lieutenant Paul Vernon. "One thing is clear, it is not out of any legitimate effort to protect the neighborhood. Gang members and narcotics dealers often see strangers as a threat to their criminal enterprise. That kind of a response is a threat to everyone."
The first incident occurred in Lincoln Heights, near Broadway and Avenue 19. Two undercover vice officers had just finished a decoy operation regarding liquor sales at a nearby store when they noticed two men standing across the street. Police Officer Werner Flores, 31, and his partner were stopped at a red traffic signal. Flores saw one of the men point a gun at them. Flores fired at the man. Both men ran, but were quickly captured. The man with a gun turned out to be 17 years old. He was booked for Assault with a Deadly Weapon. No one was injured in this incident.
The second incident occurred about three hours later when members of the Special Investigation Section were conducting a surveillance near Stanford Avenue and 32nd Street. A car, unrelated to the surveillance, parked across the street from the officers' unmarked police car. Two men got out of the suspects' car. One approached the officers directly, said something, then pulled a gun from his waistband and fired at the officers. Detective Jeffrey Nolte, 40, returned fire at the gunman. As Nolte and his partner chased the man, a second suspect fired at them from behind, but neither officer was hit.
The first suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Ronald Parada, was captured after he ran into the yard of a nearby house where a party was going on. Police surrounded the house and brought out about 30 occupants. Detective Nolte was able to identify Parada from among the partygoers. It turned out that Parada was suffering from a gunshot wound to his torso. He was treated at a local hospital and booked for Attempt Murder of a Police Officer. Neither officer was injured in this incident. The second gunman was not captured.
Force Investigation Division is investigating both officer-involved shootings.
Officer Flores has been with LAPD for 10 years. Detective Nolte has nearly 17 years with LAPD.