You Can Run, You Can Hide, But LAPD & America’s Most Wanted Television Show Will Still Catch You!

July 19, 2002

Los Angeles: On Thursday, July 18, 2002, at approximately 6:50 p.m., 33-year-old Zeke Cooper stepped off an airplane at Los Angeles International Airport, handcuffed and accompanied by Los Angeles Police Department Robbery Homicide Detectives.

The story regarding the arrest of Cooper is based on an incident that occurred eight months ago in Los Angeles. On November 17, 2001, two Los Angeles Police Officers were on routine patrol when they observed two men riding on one bicycle. The men on the bike were pedaling along a one way street in the wrong direction, and the officers stopped the pair to investigate. One of the men, later identified as Zeke Cooper, jumped from the bicycle, and pulling a handgun from his waistband, fired five rounds at the officers who were still inside their police car.

One bullet struck Officer Rodney Carter in the arm. The officers quickly sped away from the scene, and requested assistance from other units. Other police officers immediately responded to the shooting scene and found clothing nearby that was discarded by the gunman. Inside the clothing, police discovered a pager, which was later linked to suspect Cooper. After the confrontation, Cooper then fled to the New York area where he was allegedly tied to several criminal acts including a home invasion robbery.

Fearing an arrest by the New York Police Department, Cooper escaped and attempted to hide in Boise, Idaho. There, at the Mountain Home Air Force Base, Cooper was living comfortably with a female Air Force Staff Sergeant and appeared confident that he would not be apprehended.

On July 13, 2002, the nationally broadcast television show, “America’s Most Wanted” featured a segment on fugitive Cooper. As always, the program urged viewers with information regarding Cooper’s whereabouts, to step forward.

Two Boise residents, who recognized Cooper on the program, called the program’s hotline and reported that they not only saw Cooper, but they knew of his whereabouts. Notified by the program’s producers, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide Division, the United States Marshals Office, the Boise Sheriff’s Department, and The United States Air Force Tactical Team combined their efforts and took Cooper into custody without incident. At the time of his arrest, Cooper had a loaded handgun in his possession. Cooper was booked on two counts of Attempted Murder.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jack Richter, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.