Los Angeles: On April 21, 2002, at approximately 5:30 p.m., two male Hispanic victims drove one of the victim’s 1997 custom Ford pick-up to El Sereno Park to watch a baseball game. Shortly after parking in the main entrance parking lot, two male Hispanic suspect’s exited a black Honda armed with semi-automatic handguns and demanded money and jewelry from the victims. The victims in fear of being shot gave the suspects their wallets. During the robbery several other male Hispanics that were in the park approached and assisted in assaulting the victims. The original two suspects forced the victims to lie down in the cab portion of their truck. The suspects drove the victim’s truck with both victims inside to an unknown location in Highland Park.
The two suspects joined up with a female suspect. The three suspects made numerous telephonic ransom demands to the victims’ friends. The suspects demanded ten thousand dollars in thirty minutes or they would kill the victims. After negotiations, the suspects dropped the ransom demand to three thousand dollars and agreed to a money drop for the release of the victims.
Robbery Homicide Division, Robbery Special Section, with the assistance of Detective Services Group, Special Investigation Section, and Air Support worked in conjunction and formulated a plan to safely apprehend the suspects and recover the victims. A "money drop" point was established. A lone male suspect drove a red Toyota followed by the other male and female suspects, driving a black Honda with the two victims seated in the back seat. Detectives arrested the lone suspect in the red Toyota out of view of the additional suspects. The male and female suspects shortly after released the victims near Avenue 63 and York Avenue. Detectives recovered the victims who had been pistol-whipped. The victims received treatment for their injuries and both were released from the hospital in stable condition with bruises and contusions.
Detectives followed the other two suspects to an apartment building located in the 100 block of E. 52 Avenue. The residents of the apartment building were evacuated and members of the Los Angeles Police Special Weapons and Tactics Platoon made entry into an apartment at this location and apprehended the two other suspects. The victims positively identified all three suspects. The suspects were arrested and booked at Jail Division for "Kidnap for Ransom" with additional charges of Robbery and Carjacking.
The Suspects were identified as Manuel Perry, 28 years of age, a resident of Azusa, Richard Gomez, 28 years of age, a resident of San Bernardino, and Reanita Bell, a female Hispanic, 20 years of age, a resident of Highland Park.
The victim’s 1997 Ford pick-up is still outstanding. Anyone with further information regarding the incident is requested to call the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide Division, at 213-485-2511. On weekends and during off-hours, contact the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-529-3855, or 1-877-LAWFULL.
This press release was prepared by Officer Alex Baez, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.