On Friday, July 8, at 1:30 p.m. officers of the Santa Monica Police Department went to the 1800 block of 16th Street after they received a report of a vehicle containing individuals who were brandishing a handgun and flashing gang signs. As the officers were en route to the scene they noticed a suspect vehicle and conducted a high-risk traffic stop.
The officers detained the occupants of this vehicle and when they began a search of the vehicle, they found a black BB gun in the passenger compartment. This BB gun looked very similar to their police issue Heckler and Koch semi-automatic pistol.
The officers conducted an investigation and discovered that the victim had been standing outside his residence when this vehicle drove by slowly. The occupants were flashing gang signs, and at one point they pointed the gun at the victim. The vehicle then returned a second time, and the victim had entered his own vehicle, started the engine, and followed the gang vehicle. As he was following the gang vehicle he called the police. The occupants of the gang vehicle repeated their performance of flashing gang signs, and brandishing the gun. At this point the victim, believing the fun to be of the more deadly variety, (wisely) stopped following them.
The occupants of the vehicle gave their version of events that consisted of a claim that they had been driving around the area smoking marijuana before they had intended to visit a youth center located near the area of Lincoln Boulevard and Pico Boulevard (does that seem like a reasonable excuse?).
The officers arrested a 21-year-old male resident of Santa Monica (charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor), a 16-year-old male resident of Santa Monica (charged with participation in a street gang, and brandishing a firearm), and another 16-year-old male (charged with participation of a street gang, and brandishing a firearm). The 21-year-old had bail set at $5,000, while the other two did not receive bail.
Editor’s Note: These reports are part of a regular police coverage series entitled “Alert Police Blotter” (APB), which injects some minor editorial into certain police activities in Santa Monica. Not all of the Mirror’s coverage of incidents involving police are portrayed in this manner. More serious crimes and police-related activities are regularly reported without editorial in the pages of the Santa Monica Mirror and its website, smmirror.com