Man, 29, arrested in kidnapping of Northridge girl; second suspect still at large
Suspects have long criminal histories
by Eric Hartley
Los Angeles police have arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of kidnapping a 10-year-old Northridge girl last week, and are still looking for another man wanted in connection with the crime.
Daniel Martinez of West Hills was arrested early Sunday in the 18200 block of Rayen Street in Northridge, about two miles east of the girl's residence. Police announced the arrest Monday afternoon and said Martinez was being held on $1 million bail.
The LAPD did not disclose why Martinez was on Rayen Street at the time of his arrest.
They did not specify what led them to Martinez or what the motivation for the kidnapping might have been.
Tobias Dustin Summers, 30, whom police publicly identified Saturday as a suspect, is still at large.
"Investigators have reason to believe that Summers may be in the San Diego area and may have changed his appearance by shaving his head," police wrote in a news release Monday.
Both suspects have long criminal records.
Summers is a parolee with prior convictions for theft, battery, receiving stolen property and possession of explosives. He has been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, robbery and auto theft, police said. Summers also has been accused of child annoyance, but is not a registered sex offender.
LAPD records show Martinez has been arrested at least seven previous times on suspicion of crimes including battery, possession of a dangerous weapon and making criminal threats.
He has been convicted of making criminal threats, burglary, theft, unlawful entrance, resisting or obstructing an officer and possession of a nunchaku, court records show.
Their connection to the girl and her family was not clear.
The girl went missing for 11 hours Wednesday. Her mother saw her in bed about 1 a.m. that day.
The mother woke to a noise about 3:30 a.m., checked on her daughter and discovered her missing. A child living nearby later told his mother he heard a door slam about that time.
The girl later told police she was abducted by two men, put in several vehicles and taken to a vacant home and a warehouse.
They dropped her off at Kaiser Permanente's Woodland Hills Medical Center, and she was spotted shortly before 3 p.m. wandering shoeless around a Woodland Hills strip mall.
She had "facial bruising and lacerations," police said. After being evaluated at a hospital, she went home to her family.
The Los Angeles Times quoted sources saying the girl was sexually assaulted, but police have not publicly confirmed or denied that.
"We're not discussing that part of the case," Lt. Andrew Neiman, an LAPD spokesman, said Monday.
He cited the fact the victim is a minor and the ongoing investigation.
While the LAPD record of Martinez's arrest showed his residence as a home in the 23300 block of Hatteras Street, a man who came to the door there Monday afternoon was surprised to hear of the arrest.
"He does not live here, and we have not seen him in at least a year," the man said of Martinez. "We don't have any contact with him."
The man would not give his name and would not say how he knew Martinez.
On the street of modest single-family homes in Northridge where Martinez was arrested, residents described a close-knit and normally quiet community.
It was unclear how Martinez ended up on the street.
Ron Sires, who's lived in the neighborhood about 20 years, said he'd recently called police on a man and two women who had been living out of a Toyota Corolla for about two weeks.
Sires said he came home about 5 or 5:30 a.m. Sunday and saw undercover police officers arresting someone near that car.
Detectives could not confirm whether that was Martinez, who according to police arrest records was taken into custody at 4:25 a.m.
On Monday afternoon, four plainclothes LAPD Robbery Homicide detectives knocked on the door of the home at the address where Martinez was taken into custody, though it was not clear if he was inside or outside the building at the time of the arrest. The detectives said they were there in response to a different tip relating to the kidnapping case and were surprised to see reporters around.
After talking to resident Hector Ruiz and walking inside the house briefly, the detectives left and said their tip had not checked out.
Ruiz told the Daily News the detectives asked to look through his house and asked whether he knew Martinez. He said he didn't know anything about Martinez or the arrest until a television reporter knocked on his door Monday.
Ruiz said he's lived in the neighborhood for 10 years. It's normally quiet, he said, yet he wasn't surprised to hear of an arrest.
"You never know," he said as he rolled his trash can up from his curb. "No more surprises. ... Sometimes things happen everywhere."
Parolee throws K-9 police dog out second-story window
by Melissa Pinion-Whitt
A wanted parolee threw a Fontana police dog out of a second-story window on Sunday, leaving the dog with head injuries.
Police sent the dog, Jaris, into a home in the 9500 block of Mango Avenue in Fontana about 12:30 p.m. when the suspect, Bryan Bills, 28, of Fontana, refused to surrender.
When Jaris ran toward Bills, Bills used the dog's momentum to throw the animal out of an open window. The dog fell on his head on the concrete below, police said.
The dog suffered a large gash on his head. He was bleeding from his nose and staggering.
He is being examined by a veterinarian today.
Bills was arrested on suspicion of injuring a police dog, resisting an officer and violating parole. He was booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.
Flight attendants at LAX demand small knives be kept off planes
by City News Service - dailybreeze.com
LOS ANGELES - Flight attendants for U.S. airlines plan to distribute leaflets at LAX and other airports across the nation today to demand that small knives be kept out of their cabins.
The Association of Flight Attendants members will pass out leaflets at LAX and seven other airports asking passengers to demand that current regulations not be changed, as the Transportation Security Administration plans to do.
The TSA has announced plans to allow small pocket knives to be brought aboard planes, with the goal of increasing enforcement against larger potential weapons by not worrying about smaller implements. But the union decries any move that could make flight attendants and passengers "written off as acceptable casualties."
"Risk-based security screening makes sense," the union said in a statement. "Introducing risks into the system does not."
The leafleting is planned for LAX and airports at Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Seattle, and Washington/Dulles. The local effort will be at the Bradley International Terminal departure level from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Explainer: What is the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas?
by Holly Yan and Deborah Feyerick
(CNN) -- As investigators scramble to figure out who killed two Texas prosecutors, suspicions abound over whether the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas played a role.
Authorities have not officially linked the two slayings, nor do they know whether the white supremacist group ordered the attacks.
But a series of events leading up to the killings have raised questions about the group's possible involvement.
Here's a primer on the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas:
What is the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas?
The FBI describes the group as a "whites only," prison-based gang that has been operating since at least the 1980s.
"I think the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas today is arguably the most violent white supremacist prison gang out there," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The group has been blamed for more than 100 homicides and at least 10 kidnappings since the early 1980s.
Is the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas part of the Aryan Brotherhood?
Inmates in Texas asked the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang, for permission to start a Texas chapter, but they were denied membership, the Southern Poverty Law Center said. It's not clear why.
Nonetheless, the Texas-based group modeled itself after the California gang.
What does the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas stand for?
Like the Aryan Brotherhood, the Texas group's main purpose morphed from protecting white inmates to criminal activities involving drugs, extortion and murders, authorities say. It also espouses a white supremacist ideology.
"At the end of the day, these organizations are really fundamentally criminal enterprises," Potok said. "That means, above all, their interest is in green. In money. Skin color comes long after that."
Its reach began to extend outside prison walls as more members finished their sentences. ABT members on parole are required not only to remain loyal to the gang, but also to recruit new members.
"Brutal beatings, fire bombings, drug trafficking and murder are all part of ABT's alleged standard operating procedures," said Lanny Breuer, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney General.
Did the group play a role in the deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse?
Authorities don't know.
But McLelland's office was one of numerous agencies involved in a multi-year investigation that led to the indictment of 34 alleged members of the ABT -- including four of its senior leaders -- on racketeering charges in November.
At the time, Breuer called the indictment a "devastating blow" to the organization.
Weeks later, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a statewide warning saying it had "credible information" that members of the group were planning to retaliate.
In an interview with The Associated Press after Hasse's death, McLelland said his deputy hadn't been involved in the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas investigation. But the district attorney nevertheless raised the possibility the group was behind the death.
"We put some real dents in the Aryan Brotherhood around here in the past year," McLelland told the news agency.
How do members join the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas?
"It is said to be one of the gangs that live by the 'blood-in, blood-out' code, meaning that you can only get into ABT by carrying out some kind of attack," Potok said. "And similarly ... you can only leave in a body bag."
Mag Mile Alderman wants more police to prevent disturbances
by Tonya Francisco
One Chicago alderman wants police to step up their presence downtown following a series of disturbances over the weekend.
Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, says more help, more planning and more resources are needed to deter outbursts like the one that happened on the Magnificent Mile on Saturday.
There were two separate incidents downtown that called for police response.
17 young people were arrested for disturbances along Michigan Avenue. Police say the suspects bumped into people, blocked sidewalks and stopped traffic.
11-teenagers were arrested after 2 women were attacked on the CTA's red line in The Loop. Several people have been charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct.
Ald. Reilly has praised the police response to the incidents. But he wants police to do more to prevent the attacks from happening in the first place.
The attacks have business owners and city officials worried about the impact these incidents will have on tourism.
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy points out that his police officers were on top of the situation right away.
“The answer is: We're there, we're doing our jobs,” McCarthy said. “And the strategy downtown is high-profile visibility and enforcement where appropriate.”
When asked if the groups of young people organized through facebook and twitter, McCarthy quickly shot it down.
“They're not organized,” he said. “If they were, it'd be an entirely different issue. The fact is, nice weather, people go downtown and those kids have every right to go downtown. They behavior they engage in, if it's illegal, they'll be arrested quickly.”
The Mayor believes it will take more than police to deter the disturbances created by young people.
“Parents have a role to play,” Emanuel said. “The kids of those parents on the weekend have a role to play. So nobody gets a pass who is an adult and accountable. Nobody.”
This comes as the Chicago Police Department releases new crime statistics showing that overall, crime in the city is down 8% in the first three months of this year.