Los Angeles: An unarmed security guard disarmed a robber with only his hands and a flashlight after the suspect, dressed in a full Lakers uniform, pointed a Tech 9 submachine gun at the guard as he patrolled the World Trade Center complex, at 350 South Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles.
“It’s rare to see this type of weapon on the street, and even rarer to have the victim disarm his assailant,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Central Detective Division. “While we don’t recommend such actions on the part of victims, every victim has to assess their situation, based on their fear, confidence, and ability. This victim believed the robber was going to shoot him.”
Just after midnight on June 24, 2010, the 33-year-old guard was patrolling the north side of the World Trade Center. The guard saw a man stop in a black van near 3rd Street and Figueroa Street, then walk toward the guard and ask, “Where’s Figueroa Street?” Sensing the question as odd, the guard stepped back and pointed to the street. The 40-year-old Black man swung a Tech 9 submachine gun from behind his back and said, “Give me your wallet or I’ll kill you!”
The robber ordered the guard to lie on the sidewalk, but the guard refused and only dropped to his knees. The guard gave up his wallet, to which the robber said, “There better be money,” as he pointed the gun barrel at the victim’s head. With the gunman’s attention on the wallet, the guard saw his chance to act. He grabbed the gun with one hand and swung the flashlight around with this right hand, hitting the robber in the head.
The robber fell back, stunned, and released the gun. The guard followed up with several more blows to the groin, then ran away with the gun. Police officers later found the gun’s magazine and the robber’s glasses at the scene. These items, as well as the blood-stained flashlight and Tech 9 were held as evidence. “We hope we’ll able to identify the robber through prints or DNA,” Lt. Vernon said. “But in the mean time, maybe someone will remember seeing a Black man in his forties with a gash on his head and wearing a bloody Lakers uniform. If so, give us a call.”
The suspect’s black van was an early 1990’s model with a luggage rack on top. The victim did not know the model, but described it as “boxy,” which means it is probably a domestic van.
Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call Detective Al Rasch, Central Robbery Unit, at 213972-1245. Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.
The victim is unable to give a statement to media due to employer policy. Photo of Tech 9 is available from Media Relations Section.