The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Pierce College Sheriff’s Department joined forces Saturday evening in an attempt to track down three assailants who had allegedly terrorized passengers on the westbound Metro Line 164 bus near the campus.
LAPD first received information that three males boarded the bus somewhere along Victory Ave and attempted to rob paying Metro passengers at gunpoint.
The attackers reportedly fled the bus at the route’s Victory and Winnetka bus stop and ran. One victim called LAPD, who responded immediately by deploying multiple units to the corner of Victory Boulevard and DeSoto Avenue across from the Pierce College Farm Center.
A Mobile Command Post was formed in the parking lot of International Golf, and Pierce Sheriff’s Deputies were deployed to assist in the effort.
“We bring them right in so that they can be part of the planning and the coordinated effort,” said Lt. Moreno when asked to describe working in cooperation with Pierce’s sheriffs.
Lt. Orlando Moreno of the LAPD Topanga Station sent an LAPD supervisor to catch up to the Metro bus in order to secure statements.
Simultaneously, officers evacuated the area surrounding Pierce’s Farm Center and prepared a containment area for the fleeing assailants.
“It was a big deployment, there were [roughly] 30 officers here, [including] air support and K-9’s,” said Lt. Moreno.
The search turned up a single firearm in the pumpkin patch, as the suspects escaped on foot.
No other evidence linking the weapon to the perpetrators existed at the time LAPD was forced to end the operation. LAPD could neither confirm nor deny the weapon belonged to one of the suspects.
Although initial reports mentioned the use of a gun, witnesses later retracted those statements.
Sgt. Michael Wolfe spoke about the event later at the Pierce College Sheriff’s Station.
“Anything that happens around here, we’re going to help [the LAPD], just like they help us,” Sgt. Wolfe said. “If we hear it, we’re gonna come and help.”
Without official witness statements, there is no official crime. The alleged victims’ unwillingness to make a statement forced Lt. Moreno to cease the investigation.