SOUTH PASADENA, CA – On September 29th at about 3:30 a.m., a South Pasadena Police Officer was returning to the city after transporting a prisoner to the University of California Los Angeles campus. As the officer was transitioning from the eastbound 10 freeway to the northbound 110 freeway, the officer saw what appeared to be a disabled school bus stopped in the island between the merging traffic lanes.
The officer pulled his police car onto the island in an attempt to render aid. The officer contacted the bus driver who told him he had come across a downed motorcycle in traffic lanes. The bus driver further explained to the officer that he pulled the motorcycle out of traffic and onto the island, but was unable to locate the rider.
The officer then searched the brush along the freeway shoulder for the rider, but was unable to locate anyone. The officer returned to the bus driver and while he was getting further information, the officer saw a male subject approach on foot and walk towards the police car. As the officer and bus driver were away from his police car, the officer believed the subject was the rider of the downed motorcycle who was approaching the police car for aid thinking it was occupied by him.
The officer then saw the suspect climb into the police car through the passenger’s door. The officer ran back to his vehicle and attempted to disable the police car. A struggle between the officer and suspect for control of the vehicle resulted, but the suspect was able to drive off with the officer being momentarily dragged by the vehicle.
The officer was able to relay incident information to our communications center and a search for the suspect and vehicle was immediately started and local law enforcement agencies were notified. Within minutes, the California Highway Patrol received 9-1-1 calls from motorists reporting a crashed police car at the junction of the northbound 110 freeway transition to the eastbound 101 freeway. CHP officers as well as officers from the South Pasadena Police Department responded to the scene. A solo male occupant was found sitting in the driver’s seat of the carjacked South Pasadena Police Department cruiser. The occupant was deceased. Information regarding the suspect’s identity will be released by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office in accordance with their policies.
Although the officer was dragged during the struggle for control of the vehicle and injured, his injuries are not life threatening. He has been treated and released from a local hospital.
At this point in the investigation, we have no information regarding the motive of the suspect and if he was in fact the rider of the motorcycle that went down. The investigation is continuing and further information will be released as it becomes available.
Firearms inside all SPPD vehicles are robustly secured in racks and require a multi-step process to release them. All firearms in this vehicle were found still secured in their racks and were not disturbed. There is no indication at this point the suspect attempted to remove those firearms.
If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact SPPD Detectives at 626-403-7280.