Los Angeles: On Monday, January 19, 2004, at about 12:35 p.m., Van Nuys Area patrol officers responded to a woman screaming for help in the 13900 block of Sherman Way. Upon arrival the officers located an adult female, who said she had been kidnapped and raped. The victim described the suspect as a male White, bald, with distinctive tattoos. The victim also told the officers that the body of a dead person was in the back of the suspect’s vehicle. Officers located the vehicle and found a dead body wrapped in a rug in the cargo area of the vehicle. The victim has been identified as Edith Mejia, a 42 year old resident of Los Angeles.
Due to the nature of the crimes, detectives from Robbery-Homicide Division were assigned to investigate. Detectives identified the suspect as Paul Alan Ott, a White male, 35 years of age. The Special Investigations Squad worked with Robbery-Homicide Detectives in an effort to locate Ott.
Through a continuous investigative effort, assisted by personnel from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, during the early morning hours of Thursday, January 22, 2004, detectives tracked suspect Ott to an apartment building at 7130 Hollywood Boulevard.
At about 1:30 a.m., personnel from Special Investigations Squad tactically deployed to secure the perimeter of the apartment building, an arrest team was positioned at the front door where Ott was staying. Detectives entered through the front door, at which time Ott attempted to escape through a second floor kitchen window into a rear parking lot. Detective Alejandro Arredondo, 38 years of age, 16 years with the Department and Detective Armando Romero, 38 years of age, 14 years with the Department, were deployed in the rear parking area. Detective Arredondo saw Ott open the rear kitchen window, push the screen out from the window opening and began to exit. Detective Arredondo identified himself as police and ordered Ott to stop. Ott failed to comply as he thrust his right arm and torso through the window into Detective Arredondo’s direction.. In the belief the suspect was armed with a firearm, and was preparing to shoot, Detective Arredondo fired two rounds from his service pistol at Ott, missing him. Ott continued through the window and jumped down to the parking lot below and ran eastbound towards Detective Romero who was positioned at the rear southeast corner of the parking. Ott ignored the detective’s commands to stop and charged forward while raising and lowering his hands toward his waistband. In the belief that Ott was arming himself with a firearm and was preparing to use deadly force, Detective Romero fired a single round at Ott, missing him. Ott stopped his forward advance, then turned away from Detective Romero and as he continued to move his hands to the front of his torso. In the belief, the suspect was attempting to arm himself, Detective Romero stepped forward and delivered a front kick to Ott’s buttocks area. Ott fell to the ground and was taken into custody. It was subsequently determined Ott was unarmed at the time of his arrest.
Ott was transported by Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was examined for complained of pain to his back and legs. Ott was released from the hospital and was booked at the Los Angeles County Jail for 187(A) PC (Murder). His bail was set at $1,000,000.
Department personnel were not injured during the incident.
This news advisory was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.