Los Angeles: On August 3, 2004, at about 9:55 p.m., Police Officer Alfredo Aleman, 27 years of age, and four years with the Department, was off-duty and in plain clothes. Officer Aleman is assigned at 77th Area.
Officer Aleman parked his private vehicle in front of the Rincon Taurino, a fast food Mexican restaurant located at 14551 Nordhoff Street, in Panorama City. Officer Aleman entered the enclosed patio area, placed an order at the take-out counter and then returned to his vehicle to converse with a friend who had remained in the car. Officer Aleman’s back was facing the front of the restaurant.
After a few minutes, Officer Aleman heard a commotion behind him. He turned and observed other customers fleeing the patio area rapidly. A female stated in Spanish that the restaurant was being robbed. Officer Aleman armed himself and entered the restaurant. He observed the suspect behind the counter near the cash register. The suspect was pointing a handgun at one of the employees. Officer Aleman identified himself as a Los Angeles Police Officer and ordered the suspect to drop the weapon. The suspect continued to point the gun at the employee. Officer Aleman believed the suspect was about to shoot the employee and fired his pistol, striking the suspect. The suspect was then taken into custody.
Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics responded and transported the suspect to a local hospital. The suspect is listed in critical condition. The suspect’s weapon was recovered. It turned out to be a replica of a semi-automatic pistol. The suspect was booked for Robbery and he has been identified as 24 year-old Luis Cota-Palafax.
Preliminary investigation indicated that the suspect matched the description and modus operandi of several robberies in the Foothill and Devonshire areas.
This news release was prepared by Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section, at 213-485-3586.