- Saturday July 30th, 2011 :: 09:22 a.m. PDT
Good Samaritan shot at after witnessing criminal graffiti vandalism. Two LaPuente gang members sentenced to 25 yrs prison #LASD
(To see PHOTOS, click on hyperlink at the bottom of this message)
Two gang members were sentenced to 25 years in prison for shooting at a Good Samaritan who dialed 9-1-1 when he spotted the gang members spray painting (criminal graffti vandalism) on a wall of a strip mall.
On November 14th, 2010, at around 8:30 P.M., a Good Samaritan was driving in the area of Azusa Avenue and Main Street in the City of La Puente when he saw two gang members.
One was spray painting gang graffiti on a wall of a strip mall (criminal graffiti vandalism), while the other gang member stood near the tagger being the lookout.
The Good Samaritan is familiar with gang violence and knew not to interrupt the gang members as they defaced the wall of the strip mall. Instead, the Good Samaritan did the smart thing and grabbed his cellular phone and attempted to call Industry Sheriff's Station. But before he could dial the short 9-1-1 call, he saw the gang members looking at him.
The gang members got into their car and started driving towards him. The Good Samaritan started to drive away, but only to come face to face with his would be attackers. Both of their cars met head-first at the mouth of a driveway to the strip mall. He tried to pretend like he was just minding his own business and waived the gang member’s car to drive past him.
The gang members, peering at the Good Samaritan like wolves to a sheep, waived him past them.
The Good Samaritan took the opportunity and drove past the gang members and out of the parking lot.
Trembling from the close encounter, the Good Samaritan had yet to make the call to the Sheriff’s Department. He stopped at the stop sign on Main Street, fumbling with his cellular phone. He then looked in his rear view mirror and saw one of the gang members standing outside of his car pointing a gun at him. He felt the situation was surreal. He froze until he heard a gunshot and saw his rear window shatter. He sped away and heard more gunshots.
The gang members missed their intended target.
He was finally able to make a frantic 9-1-1 call for help. At this time he noticed the gang members vehicle accelerating toward him. He braced himself as he believed he was going to be shot when the gang members drove past him. As the gang members drove past him, they made a U-turn and drove directly towards him again. The gang member driver leaned out of the car and fired a few more shots at him.
The gang members drove out of the area, but were were spotted speeding away by Industry Sheriff's Station patrol deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
As the 9-1-1 call was dispatched to the area patrol cars, the alert deputies had seen the gang members car driving erratically. The deputies knew they had the suspects car in their sights and conducted a high risk traffic stop.
The driver, Raul Montes De Oca of La Puente and known “East Side Puente” gang member, pulled over and was detained. His accomplice, Edmund Gail, also of La Puente and a known “East Side Puente” gang member, ran from their car and hid until he was located by a Sheriff’s Canine and handler deputy. Both of the gang members were arrested.
The Good Samaritan’s arm was riddled with glass fragments. The injuries were caused by his car windows when they were shattered by the bullets.
While the patrol deputies conducted their field investigation, a second victim came forward. The second victim told deputies that a bullet pierced the window of her home and lodged in a wall. The patrol deputies recovered the bullet which appeared to be almost completely intact. The patrol deputies also collected samples from Montes De Oca and Gail’s hand using a Gunshot Residue Kit. The kit reveals whether the presence of gun powder is on the area sampled.
The case was assigned to LASD Operation Safe Streets Bureau, Gang Investigator Glen Eads. Detective Eads reviewed all of the reports that were submitted, reviewed the evidence that was booked, and looked at the photographs of the crime scene and the victim’s injuries. He also saw that the gun used to shoot at the victim had not yet been recovered.
Det. Eads interviewed both suspects at the Industry Sheriff's Station station jail. During the interviews, Gail told Det. Eads that he and Montes De Oca were drinking beers and decided to go for a drive afterwards.
While driving around the City of La Puente, they decided to write their gang name on the walls in their rival gang’s territory.
Det. Eads questioned Gail until he told Eads where he tossed the gun when he ran from deputies. He admitted he threw the handgun into a bush, and jumped a wrought iron fence and hid by a building. Gail agreed to show Eads where he threw the handgun. Industry Deputy Marquez and Eads drove Gail to an area in the City of Industry. Gail said he threw the handgun into a big bush that was on the southeast corner of the property. Gail hid on the southeast corner of the main building on the property until he was arrested.
A new dragnet was launched to locate the handgun. The large, dense bush hindered Eads’ ability to thoroughly search it. Eads employed the help of city workers from The City of Industry to cut the branches of the large bush and clear the area. Los Angeles County Probation Officer Ed Gomez and Eads searched the cleared area of the large bush. Unbelievably, they spotted a black revolver handgun with wood grips lying on the ground, partially covered with debris (photo). Eads noticed the handgun was loaded with five expended .38 caliber shell casings and one .38 caliber live bullet.
Det. Eads submitted the .38 caliber revolver and the recovered bullet to the Crime Lab (Scientific Services Bureau ) of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for a ballistic comparison. The results of the comparison revealed that the bullet that was taken out of the wall at the scene of the shooting was indeed fired from the recovered revolver. The results of the gunshot residue test revealed that both Montes De Oca and Gail had traces of gun powder on them.
Det. Eads presented all of the reports and evidence to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. Charges of Attempted Murder and illegal shooting, both enhanced by gang allegations, were filed on Gail and Montes De Oca. On July 25th, 2011, Montes De Oca and Gail pled guilty to the charges filed and were sentenced to 25 years in state prison.
Sergeant Luis Angel Trejo said, "Detective Eads’ tenacity and detailed investigation paid off, and resulted in justice for the victim."
Sergeant Luis A. Trejo
Operation Safe Streets Bureau
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Industry Sheriff’s Station
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
150 North Hudson Avenue
City of Industry, CA 91744
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(PHOTOS - Click on hyperlink below)
Raul Montes De Oca (wearing grey t-shirt)
Edmond Gail (wearing hospital clothing)
LASD - Industry Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff
150 N Hudson Ave
Industry, CA 91744