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News Release

Monday, May 13, 2013

Media Relations

President Barack Obama to Present LAPD Officers with the National Association of Police Organizations “Top Cop” Award NA13079SF

WHAT:
Awards Presentation

WHEN:
Saturday, May 11, 2013
11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time

WHERE:
The White House
Rose Garden
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

WHO:
President of the United States Barack Obama
LAPD Sergeant Joel G. Miller, Rampart Division
LAPD Sergeant Joseph W. Sanchez, Rampart Division
K-9 Officer Hans C. Almaraz, Metropolitan Division
Officer Joseph O. Arevalo, Rampart Division
Officer Mark Austin, Rampart Division
Officer David Blake, Rampart Division
Officer Joseph Broussard, Olympic Division
Officer Juan Garcia, Rampart Division
Officer Bradford Gorby, Rampart Division
Officer Ryan P. Nguyen, Rampart Division
Officer Clinton Perez, Rampart Division
Officer Sean Schneider, Olympic Division

WHY:
On September 11, 2012, at around 6:30 p.m., Rampart Patrol Division officers were in pursuit of a stolen white two door Honda Civic.  The Honda had been taken in a carjacking earlier in the afternoon from the North Hollywood area, at 5:30 p.m.

The victim’s Honda was equipped with the Lo-Jack theft recovery system, which allowed the officers to trace the location of the stolen car. Once the suspect was spotted, Sgt. Joseph Sanchez joined the pursuit and assumed the role of Incident Commander.

Officers Juan Garcia, Bradford Gorby, David Blake, Mark Austin, Ryan Nguyen and Clinton Perez also pursued the stolen vehicle. Shortly after the pursuit began, Sgt. Joel Miller confirmed the identity of the car thief, and notified Sgt. Sanchez that the suspect told his friends that “he wouldn’t get caught alive.” Sgt. Sanchez immediately requested additional units to help catch the life-long criminal.

Officers Joseph Arevalo, Joseph Broussard, Sean Schneider, and Metropolitan Division K-9 Officer also Hans Almaraz responded to the back up call.

Patrol officers remained in pursuit of the Honda in the Rampart Area.  Communications Division     updated the involved units with the suspect’s description and that he was armed.  As the suspect was driving west on 7th Street crossing Bixel Street, he drove through a mid-phase red signal and collided with a white four door Nissan Altima being driven north on Bixel Street, disabling the Honda. The suspect, identified as Ian Schlesinger exited the Honda with a rifle and concealed himself behind the Honda and Nissan, as responding patrol units and K-9 units stopped their police vehicles east and south of the Honda and Nissan.  As the officers exited their vehicles, the suspect began shooting at the officers and the officers returned fire.  

Officer Broussard saw a citizen pinned down by the gunfire and immediately made his way over to the innocent civilian. Officer Schneider also assisted with the rescue and together they removed the victim from harm’s way.

Sgt. Miller noticed the driver of the car crash was still in her vehicle, adjacent to the shooter. As officers provided cover fire, Sgt. Miller opened the rear passenger door and pulled the female     over the front seat and into the rear of the vehicle where he guided her to safety.

The suspect, now injured from gunshot wounds was no longer able to shoot his weapon but still     refused to comply with the officer’s orders and remained uncooperative.  K-9 handler Officer Almaraz directed his dog Pecco to assist with taking the suspect Schlesinger into custody.  

Suspect Ian Schlesinger was booked for homicide, attempted homicide on police officers, carjacking, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and other felony charges.

The National Association of Police Organizations recognize that the Los Angeles Police Officers worked as cohesively as a well-oiled machine, trusting each other to perform their assigned tasks throughout this potentially deadly incident. Their exemplary skill, courage and professionalism under pressure are what make them the National Association of Police Organizations 2013 TOP COPS.

RSVP:
Members of the media who wish to cover this event must RSVP to: media_affairs@who.eop.gov<mailto:media_affairs@who.eop.gov with the subject line “TOP COPS”

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