Riverside County DA charges fugitive Christopher Dorner with murder, attempted murder
Los Angeles News Group
RIVERSIDE -- A fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer was charged Monday with murdering a Riverside police officer and special circumstances that could bring the death penalty.
Christopher Dorner was also charged with the attempted murder of another Riverside officer and two Los Angeles Police Department officers, Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach said.
A no bail warrant was also obtained which means Dorner can be arrested anywhere in the country and once captured will not be freed .
"It is our opportunity as citizens to assist law enforcement in the apprehension of this individual." said Zellerbach.
The charges filed today are one charge of murder & 3 counts of attempted murder in the fatal shooting of Riverside Police Officer Michael Crain and the wounding of Crain's partner.
The 2 officers started their shift at 10 p.m. last Wednesday when they first received information about Dorner and were allegedly gunned down by the now fugitive around 2 a.m. while sitting at a stoplight at the intersection of Magnolia and Arlington Avenues in Riverside.
Shortly before the two Riverside officers were ambushed, a Los Angeles Police officer was shot in Corona while protecting an individual that was named in Dorner's manifesto.
Law enforcement says they need community help because "there's a lot more of you than us."
"There is no reason to withhold filing charges; Dorner is a felon-at-large." Zellerbach at the press conference.
Authorities will not release information about other targeted law enforcement officials living in the Inland Empire for their safety.
The search for Dorner continues in the mountain community of Big Bear.
Today, the search includes more patrols in the Big Bear Valley, where authorities are searching vacation homes and government-lease cabins in more remote areas, San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller said.
Miller said thirty additional law enforcement personnel are continuing to search for Dorner and provide additional patrol to the residents of the Big Bear Valley.
The Los Angeles Police Department this morning ended its tactical alert status that was brought on by the search for fugitive Christopher Dorner.
The status has been in effect in the city off and on since Thursday when Dorner, a former LAPD officer who is the subject of a statewide manhunt, allegedly shot and killed a Riverside police officer.
Police have been focused on checking out tips regarding Dorner's whereabouts, so have not been focusing as heavily on non-emergency calls.
"We're back to normal patrol service and answering our basic calls for service said Los Angeles police Officer Alex Martinez.
"Dorner's words and conduct have made it very clear that every law enforcement official in California is in danger of being shot and killed." Zellerbach said.
Authorities suspected ex-cop headed to Mexico
by Ruby Gonzales and Eric Hartley
Federal agents expressed concern that Christopher Dorner was fleeing to Mexico, hours after shooting and killing a Riverside police officer, according to a court affidavit filed last week.
While the search for Dorner has focused on the Big Bear area, where his burning truck was found Thursday, patrols have also been increased near the Mexican border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have stepped up their inspections at the San Ysidro border crossing into Tijuana, and Mexican officers have been given photographs of Dorner, with a warning to consider him armed and extremely dangerous, The Associated Press reported on Monday.
A hotel in Tijuana was raided early Monday in search of Dorner, the San Diego Reader reported. More than 20 officers searched the Hotel Tapatio, which is located about 250 meters from the U.S. border, the publication's website reported, but no evidence of Dorner was found.
A federal court affidavit filed by a U.S. Marshals Service inspector on Thursday noted that a wallet and identification cards belonging to Dorner were found Thursday near the San Ysidro crossing.
The complaint, signed Thursday by a U.S. magistrate judge in Orange County, charges Dorner with fleeing the country to avoid prosecution, suggesting that even as hundreds of officers have spent days searching for him, he might already be out of the country.
Authorities have said there is no indication now that he is in Mexico. But they have not had any confirmed sightings of him since he engaged in shootouts with police in Corona and Riverside early Thursday morning, killing one officer.
The court affidavit also reveals how authorities found Dorner's burning truck in San Bernardino.
The affidavit is supposed to show there is sufficient cause for an arrest warrant and a criminal complaint against Dorner.
In the affidavit, Inspector Craig McClusky of the U.S. Marshal Service wrote there was probable cause to believe Dorner has moved and traveled from California to Mexico with the intent to avoid prosecution.
McClusky referred to the Feb. 7 incident in San Diego where Dorner allegedly tried to steal a boat and told the victim he was taking the boat to Mexico.
He added that a guard at the Point Loma naval base in San Diego reported later that day seeing a man matching Dorner's description trying to gain access to the base.
According to the same affidavit, the marshals had also been tracking a known associate identified only as "J.Y."
He wrote that a family member of J.Y. owns residential property in Arrow Bear. The marshals and the San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies were doing surveillance of the property at 12:45 p.m. Thursday when they found a gray 2005 Nissan Titan on fire. It was later identified as Dorner's pickup.
J.Y. was seen at 12:25 p.m. in Costa Mesa, according to McClusky.
Dorner, a fired Los Angeles police officer, was charged Wednesday with murder in the Feb. 3 Irvine shooting deaths of Monica Quan and her fiance, Keith Lawrence.
Quan is the daughter of retired LAPD captain Randal Quan, who represented Dorner at his 2008 internal trial before his firing.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Dorner threatened revenge on LAPD officers he believes wronged him, as well as the officers' families. He accuses Quan of not representing his interests.
According to the court affidavit, on Thursday afternoon a man identified in the document as R.Q. - apparently Randal Quan - got a call from a man identifying himself as Dorner, who told Quan he "should have done a better job of protecting his daughter."
The phone call was traced to Vancouver, Wash., but authorities don't believe Dorner was actually in Washington state at the time.
Police officials on Monday said they believe the call was a prank.
A Marshals Service spokeswoman couldn't be reached for comment Monday.
The affidavit by Inspector Craig McClusky gives new details of the timeline authorities have been able to piece together of Dorner's apparent movements Thursday.
After firing on two LAPD officers about 1:30 a.m. in Corona, slightly injuring one, he shot two Riverside police officers in Riverside about 2 a.m., killing one, the marshals believe.
About 3 a.m., the affidavit says, he tried to steal a boat from a captain in San Diego, identified as C.C.
"C.C. reported that at approximately 3:00 A.M. today, a man matching Dorner's description had subdued him and tried to steal his boat, stating that he (Dorner) would be taking the boat to Mexico, and that C.C. would be able to recover the boat there," McClusky wrote.
But the bow line got caught in the propeller, and Dorner fled, the affidavit says.
Rome police expand Community Impact Unit
by NED CAMPBELL
A new unit of the Rome Police Department is winning fans in the city.
The Community Impact Unit – dedicated to addressing quality-of-life-related crimes ranging from graffiti to underage drinking – is the brainchild of Peter Maher, a Hamilton College senior who conducted an 18-month study of policing operations in Rome as part of his two-year internship with the department.
The unit formed in September. But Rome Police Chief Kevin Beach recently added two more officers to the now six-member team based on its early success.
“We just think that there's such a demand for it,” Beach said.
In its first 90 days, the fledgling unit made more than 135 arrests and partnered with detectives to investigate at least 200 reports of graffiti, according to a report from the Rome Police Department. It also recently partnered with Oneida County Stop DWI to crack down on underage drinking at local bars.
That work has not gone unnoticed.
Bonnie Platt, a 13-year resident of Liberty Gardens Apartments in Rome, was one of two residents who recently filed petitions, totaling about 120 signatures, showing support for the Community Impact Unit. She said unit members have attended the apartment complex's tenant meetings and are quick to return calls.
“They move very fast,” she said. “It's wonderful.”
Beach said the decision to assign two more officers to the unit was not influenced by the petitions, however. Instead, its part of a plan related to new patrol patterns.
“What we've been able to do is implement this kind of policing without increasing our manpower,” Beach said. “We have shifted around the way we respond to calls and do policing.”
Finding volunteers wasn't difficult, he added; officers have vied to be part of the Community Impact Unit from day one. The original four members — Frank Fragapane, Jeffrey Buckley, Cheyenne Schoff and Jeffrey Lanigan — are now joined by Michael Uhl and Brian Gualtieri.
Fragapane said he's been more productive and had more pride in his job since joining the new unit. In September, he pulled someone over for a traffic violation on East Dominick Street and found 8 pounds of marijuana in the vehicle's trunk. The Community Impact Unit also worked with the Department of Public Works to remove litter and graffiti from one crime “hot spot,” the South James Street Bridge, while also upping patrols there.
“It gets you out of the car a lot more, interacting with people a lot more, and it's not just going call to call on a daily basis,” Fragapane said. “You're patrolling more proactively.”
In addition to the increased face-to-face communication, the unit also can be reached directly by phone or email. When people see suspicious activity in their neighborhood, they often hesitate to report it because they think police officers don't want to be bothered, he said.
“We're the ones that say, ‘Bother us,'” he said. “We want to be bothered.”
The Rome Police Department's Community Impact Unit can be reached by phone at 525-8015 or by email at CIU@romepd.com. In the case of an emergency, dial 911.