The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on November 21, 1996 · Page 46
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 46

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, November 21, 1996
Page 46
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B12 THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1996 F LOS ANGELES TIMES Metro News Officials Urge Multifaceted Response to 18th Street Gang Violence: They call for a range of social and police initiatives to track, combat and prevent crimes committed by members of the group. By RICH CONNELL and ROBERT J. LOPEZ TIMES STAFF WRITERS I ; Saying prompt action must be taken to curb the violence and growth of the 18th Street gang, officials from Washington to Sacramento called Wednesday for a range of new social and law enforcement initiatives, including better efforts to track the gang's highly mobile members. ! "This problem is so immense and devastates so many lives, it requires action by federal government, state government and county government," said Gov. Pete Wil Investigation Intensifies Into Woman's Fatal Fall Case: Friends say Sandra Orellana was planning to file sexual harassment charges against her supervisor. He was with her when she died. By MAYRAV SAAR and NICHOLAS RICCARDI SPECIAL TO THE TIMES Sheriffs investigators Wednesday intensified their probe of a bizarre death, flying to Texas to chase new leads and dropping a makeshift mannequin 10 stories to reenact a Houston man's claim that his coworker fell to her death as the two had sex on a City of Industry hotel balcony. Robert Salazar, 33, was arrested last week after he told investigators that Sandra Orellana, 27, fell 10 stories while the two were having sex while on a business trip. Prosecutors declined to file murder charges, and Salazar was released. But Orellana's friends called investigators earlier this week and said Orellana had told them she was considering filing sexual harassment charges against Salazar, who was her supervisor, Los Angeles County Sheriffs Lt. Ray Peavy said. So on Wednesday detectives flew to Texas to track down Salazar, who was not at his office. They also tried to reenact Orellana's fall, even consulting with a Hollywood stuntman and then dropping a mannequin made of fire hose and duct tape from the balcony to test the angle of the fall. "We've put a lot of time and effort into this case," Peavy said. "He told his side of the story. Hers we have to kind of put together ourselves." . Salazar's story, recounted by investi : Metro Briefs Battering Ram Ends 14-Hour Standoff; Man Arrested After a 14-hour standoff in which phone calls and tear gas failed to sway a heavily armed, barricaded suspect, Los Angeles ' police dusted off a tool of the '80s the tank-like battering ram to plow into a Boyle Heights home and arrest the man. Glenn Edward Rivas, 37, a six-year Army veteran, was taken into custody Tuesday night Inside his half of a duplex, partially bulldozed by the battering ram vehicle, police found an assault rifle, an explosive device, homemade silencers, bullet holes in the walls and ceiling, acidic liquid, 4-inch bullets, wads of cash and at least three handguns. Bomb and booby-trap recipes decorated the walls. A military-type cot faced the Those spacey rock stars: You may have noticed that just after Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jackson were married in Australia, that country was gripped by another drama. A Russian space mission had failed and there were predictions that the craft would crash in Australia. This chain of events prompted rock historian Steve Propes of Long Beach to recajl how a 1957 visit to Australia changed the life of one of Michael Jackson's heroes, Little Richard. In his autobiography, Little R. relates that he was performing at a concert when suddenly it appeared that a "big ball of fire came directly over the stadium about 200 to 300 feet above our heads." It was Sputnik, the first Russian satellite. "It shook my mind," Little R. said. "I got up from the piano and said, "This is it I am through. I am leaving show business to go to God."' son's spokesman, Sean Walsh. "We are going to have to bring all these elements together to combat this problem." Los Angeles County officials, responding to a three-part series in The Times on 18th Street, said they will explore ways to enhance and integrate computer data to help analyze criminal activity by 18th Streeters, as well as identify parole and probation violators. With a membership estimated as high as 20,000, 18th Street respects no jurisdictional borders in its criminality. The gang has been accused of creating a climate of intimidation and lawlessness in the many working-class communities where it has gators and an attorney for his employer, goes like this: He and Orellana came to Los Angeles on Nov. 12 after their company, SkillMaster Staffing Services of Houston, had purchased local companies. As worker's compensation claims manager, Orellana was reviewing the new companies' claims, and Salazar, a vice president, was meeting with clients and staff. The two checked into adjoining rooms at the Industry Hills Sheraton, had dinner with a client that night, then retired to the bar for drinks. About midnight, they went to Orellana's room and then the balcony, where, Salazar says, they had sex and Orellana fell. Her half-naked body was found the next day on a veranda, and the death was initially investigated as a suicide until Salazar came forward with his story. Investigators arrested Salazar on suspicion of murder but released him two days later when the district attorney's office declined to prosecute, citing lack of evidence. Investigators say Salazar then left for Houston. He was placed on leave by SkillMaster pending an investigation, said attorney Hugh J. Plummer, who is representing the company. Peavy said witnesses confirmed parts of Salazar's tale. "They seemed to be getting along pretty well," according to employees who saw them in the bar hours before Orellana's death, Peavy said. "One of the waitresses said they seemed like a couple." In Houston, Orellana's friends and relatives expressed disbelief at Salazar's story. "It couldn't have happened,' said her sister Katherine Orellana, and friends remembered Sandra Orellana as a bright, well-educated woman with a fiance. Peavy said investigators had not yet Please see FATAL, B13 doorway. An American flag hung on the back wall. Rivas had tunneled through the center wall of the duplex, giving him access to both units, police said. The standoff began after neighbors heard gunshots coming from the house at 4:30 a.m. and again half an hour later. Next-door neighbor Evie Dimaggio said she had heard occasional shots in the house before, but this time the repeated firing prompted her to call police. By nightfall, police had arrested Rivas on suspicion of shooting a weapon within city limits. Although he was not injured, he was being held for medical observation at County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $l-millionbail. The LAPD unveiled its battering ram in the mid-1980s to knock down well-fortified homes that were being used for selling and smoking crack cocaine. The technique was controversial; civil libertarians contended that it was excessive. The ram had last been used in 1991, but Tuesday's unusual circumstances led police to bring it W" "T -f '"T "f '"f ?f "T 1 1 ')'' 1 M NOW RFNI ING U BACHELORS? LPAULCOOK For The Times Proof that single men still abound. And he swore off rock music forever (later commuting the sentence to seven years). Now, back to 1996. The crippled Russian spacecraft missed Australia, plopping down in the South Pacific. But Propes, co-author of "What Was the First Rock 'n' Roll Record?" wonders if Jackson will go through some type of lifestyle change himself. Hey, maybe he'll become a father! BUT ENOUGH ABOUT MARRIED MEN: Sure, Michael Jackson is no longer avail- taken root The Times found that law enforcement agencies have not adjusted to the challenges presented by the gang, including its rapid spread and shift toward tighter organization. Local police agencies, often consumed by battling their own piece of the 18th Street problem, admit they have failed to adequately share information and pool resources. "I just think we all are spending a lot of resources on gang problems," said Los Angeles County's chief probation officer, Barry Nidorf. "But I'm not sure we are making the most effective, coordinated use of resources." Although 18th Street's biggest concentration is in the central city, the gang also has brought widespread fear and dismay to the blue-collar communities of southeast ffy"f ' 1 S3 . 1 ggj HuiimiMMimmmi i i wf p iMMM&iMMsmm "I mm f 4 HI: ' : A mannequin made of fire hose and duct tape is dropped from the balcony of the Industry Hills Sheraton to test theories of how Sandra Orellana may have died. 4 out of retirement During the standoff, a delivery service brought a package to Rivas' home. Inside the box labeled as containing cookies police found 600 rounds of automatic-weapon ammunition. About the same time, police determined Rivas had 12 guns registered in his name. 1. The standoff in the 3200 block of East 5th Street lasted from 6 a.m. until after 8 p.m., with the street blocked off most of that time. With the battering ram on 5th and an 18-wheel mobile command unit on a side street, the neighborhood looked like a movie set About 30 heavily armed SWAT officers walked along the streets wearing gas masks. When they released the tear gas, many spectators retreated from their lawns to their homes to avoid the fumes. The SWAT team fired 38 rounds of tear gas, which failed to bring Rivas out Police then obtained a warrant for use of the ram. Police said Rivas' father and stepmother, who live in a unit behind the duplex, told them they had heard banging inside the Only in LA. BY STEVE HARVEY WE ACCEPT FOOD STAMPS ? IN BREAD AND CAKE Los Angeles Times Baked goods with a rather raw appeal. i able, ladies. But there are lots of other single guys around, as this photo by L. Paul Cook of L.A. illustrates. Since they're bachelors, we imagine a large damage deposit would be required, however. FROM COOK TO BAKER: A reader Los Angeles County. The Times articles help reinforce what I have been trying to say there is a problem there," said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Los Angeles), referring to the portions of her district in the southeast area. When it comes to allocating resources, the congresswoman said, officials in Washington often view gangs as a Los Angeles problem. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office, meanwhile, said 18th Street's spread across state and international borders underscores a need for tougher federal street-gang laws. "It's clear that the 18th Street gang exemplifies how frighteningly large this problem has gotten and how pervasive it is," said Feinstein spokeswoman Susan Kennedy. She said Feinstein plans to introduce Associated Press duplex for the past couple of days and believed that Rivas had dug a hole or tunnel through the kitchen floor. They said he was distraught over his grandfather's death two weeks ago and had been volatile. A 1995 restraining order barred Rivas from approaching them. FAA Gives City Until Dec. 2 to Return Airport Funds The Federal Aviation Administration softened its demand Thursday that the city of Los Angeles return $31 million to the Department of Airports by Tuesday, and allowed officials until Dec. 2 to give back the money. The reprieve came in response to a letter City Councilman Nate Holden wrote to Susan Kurland, the FAA administrator who issued the order. In a letter to airports chief Jack Driscoll, Kurland wrote she was granting the exten-Please see BRIEFS, B13 imbued with the holiday spirit sent us a coupon from an Inglewood cake-maker that has a somewhat unappetizing notation. THE ANIMALS DON'T DISCRIMINATE: "Handling wild seals and sea lions require skill and technique rather than brute strength," writes Hugh Ryono of the Marine Mammal Care Center at Ft. MacArthur. "Thus, some of the best 'seal jumpers' volunteers that restrain animals during treatment at the care center are female." Ryono noticed that one of the spectators on several Sunday mornings was a boy who asked the handlers numerous questions. But one Sunday, the lad was very subdued. Finally, with tears in his eyes, he asked Ryono, "Do you have to be a girl to work with the seals?" By coincidence, the boy had seen nothing but all-female crews and concluded it was a female profession. Ryono tried to assure him otherwise, "but I don't legislation that would mandate stiffer penalties for gang-related crimes ranging from recruiting minors to crossing state lines for criminal purposes. Assemblyman Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles) said he has instructed his staff to explore ways of improving interagency communication and gang prevention programs. "Intelligence gathering," he said, "is completely missing here." Beyond law enforcement issues, Los Angeles city officials said more federal and state assistance is needed to underwrite intervention and prevention programs aimed at 18th Street's prime recruiting pool junior high school students. "We need a continued understanding that the problem exists and continued Please see GANG, B13 FBI Expert Says Simpson Wore Rare Shoein Photo Trial: Footwear appears a match for distinctive Bruno Maglis that left bloody prints near victims' bodies. Limo driver Allan Park also takes stand. By STEPHANIE SIMON TIMES STAFF WRITER A color photo shows O.J. Simpson wearing expensive Italian shoes with the same sole pattern, stitching and contours as the rare Bruno Magli brand that tracked size-12 bloody footprints by the bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman, an FBI shoe print expert testified Wednesday. FBI Special Agent William Bodziak matched 18 features on the shoes Simpson is wearing in the photo with the distinctive characteristics of the Bruno Magli Lorenzo style. Bodziak identified the angled heel, the waffle-pattern sole, the deep stitching groove and other features that he said were proof positive Simpson was wearing Bruno Maglis when the photo was taken at ' a Buffalo Bills football game about nine months before the murders. . "Based on all these characteristics combined," Bodziak said, "I was able to determine that the shoe depicted on the right foot of Mr. Simpson in that photo is a Bruno Magli, Lorenzo style right shoe." The left shoe, while less, clear in the photo, was also a Bruno Magli, he testified. Simpson has said that he does not recall ever owning Bruno Magli shoes, but emphasized that he does not pay attention to brand names. He also declared under oath in a pretrial deposition that he would never have worn the particular style of shoe linked to the killer, since he found them ugly. The Bruno Magli shoes in question are pricey and unusual they retail for $160, and only 299 pairs of size 12s have been sold in the United States, Bodziak testified. Prosecutors in the criminal trial could not unearth proof that Simpson had ever purchased or worn the same brand and style as the killer. The photo that Bodziak examined surfaced only after Simpson's acquittal, when it was printed in the National Enquirer. Plaintiffs' attorneys say a veteran FBI analyst has authenticated the photo. The defense, however, has vowed to produce another expert who will prove it is a phony. Defense attorneys will cross-examine Bodziak today. Before Bodziak took the stand Wednesday, jurors heard from limousine driver Allan Park, who drove Simpson to the airport on June 12, 1994. Park said he arrived at Simpson's house early and repeatedly rang the intercom at Please see SIMPSON, B13 think he believed me until I actually put on some rain slickers later and held an elephant seal pup as it was being treated." ONE-WAY STORM: Jay Berman of Man-, hattan Beach heard this on the radio Wednesday afternoon from a weather reporter: "There is rain falling in the northbound lanes of the 405." Commented Berman: "I was glad I was in a southbound lane." miscelLAny: This ironic moment, caught by Deborah Hastings of the Associated Press, occurred in a virtually empty L.A. courtroom. Trying to explain the American justice system to a Spanish-speaking defendant the judge asked: "Have you ever seen a jury trial on television?" The judge, made world-famous by television a year ago, was Lance I to.

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