Los Angeles: The recently installed surveillance cameras along Hollywood Boulevard are being credited with the quick arrest of a transient who brutally stabbed a 21-year-old local resident in the neck as the victim sat, eating his lunch in a Hollywood Burger King.
At 3:50 PM on April 16, 2005, the victim was eating his lunch at the Burger King in the 1700 block of North Highland Avenue in Hollywood when the transient walked up behind him and stabbed him in the neck with a large knife. The incident appeared to be random and unprovoked.
Later that evening, an officer, reviewing surveillance tape at the Hollywood police station, recognized a man who fit the suspect’s description. The officer created a crime alert flyer from the surveillance picture. The flyer was handed out to officers.
The suspect was described as a Male, Black, 5’10", 220 pounds, about 50 years old, and appeared to be a transient.
The next day, April 17, Hollywood officers Hugo Garcia and Jerry Stephens detained the man in the photograph on Las Palmas Avenue, near Selma Avenue. After his arrest, the man was identified as Robert Smith, 50 years old, of Hollywood.
The victim of the stabbing survived his wound, but is in serious condition. He is being treated at Cedar Sinai Hospital. He has sustained partial paralysis from the attack.
The five surveillance cameras were unveiled January 24, 2005 by Mayor James K. Hahn and Chief of Police William J. Bratton. The cameras operate 24-hours a day and are controlled from the Hollywood police station. The cameras are located along Hollywood Boulevard at Vine, Cahuenga, Whitley, Highland, and Sycamore. They were paid for by the Hollywood Entertainment District Property Owners Association (HEDPOA).
Detectives are still looking for any witnesses to the stabbing. Persons with information related to this crime should call the Hollywood Robbery Detectives at 213-972-2932. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk
at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).