Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department detectives arrested the 14-year-old suspected in the Saturday afternoon attack of two 11-year-old boys on Colden Avenue in Watts.
Detectives, acting on a community tip, arrested the young suspect at a relative’s home, about 15 blocks from the site of the original crime. Officers found the suspect hiding in a closet, under a pile of clothes, after his aunt gave police permission to search the house. The suspect put up some resistance, but he was not injured in the arrest. He was armed with a knife, which was similar to the one described by the victims in the Saturday attack.
“This is a terrible tragedy for everyone involved,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Earl Paysinger. “The suspect’s age only compounds the tragedy. A great deal of credit goes to the officers and detectives who solved this case so quickly. I’d also like to recognize the community, which mobilized so quickly to find the perpetrator.”
The investigation began Saturday, March 4, 2006, just after an 11-year-old boy and his father reported the boy had been attacked and sexually assaulted as he played with a friend in a grassy area of the Colden Oaks apartment complex in the 200 block of Colden Avenue in Watts. The boy’s 11-year-old companion was physically assaulted by the attacker.
Sunday’s arrest came after 30 hours of non-stop investigation by specialized detectives and uniformed officers. Detectives had identified the attacker by 10 PM Saturday night after witnesses’ descriptions led investigators to believe a 14-year-old local gang associate was responsible for the attack. Reviewing his criminal record, they found he had been convicted for sexually assaulting a child in April 2005, for which he was given 10 years of probation at home. He was more recently found guilty of committing a robbery, in January of this year, for which he was again sentenced to home probation.
During the weekend investigation, detectives checked on the suspect’s whereabouts at his grandmother’s home in Lawndale. There, they learned that the 14-year-old suspect had attempted to forcibly molest a 7-year-old niece Saturday morning, just hours before the attack on the 11-year-old boys. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating that incident.
The 14-year-old suspect was arrested for Sodomy with Child Under 14 in the attack on the 11-year-old boy, and will also face charges of kidnapping and aggravated assault. Detectives hope to have the youth tried as an adult.