LAPD Decline To Book Armed Man Arrested By LAX Cops
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A San Jose man who was spotted with a gun at LAX was freed Saturday, when Los Angeles police declined to book him because his acts “did not meet element of the crime,” an LAX police sergeant said.
The 27-year-old man was arrested by Airport Police and taken to a Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Area Station. LAPD officers released him sometime between midnight and 2 a.m., said Airport Police Sgt. Karla Ortiz.
Although the city operates both police departments, they are independent. Airport police do not run a jail, and typically have LAPD officers book arrested people at the nearby Pacific Area Station on Culver Boulevard at Centinela Avenue, north of LAX.
Airport police arrested the man just before 9 p.m. Friday because several people saw him take the gun from his bag. His name has not been released.
The man had apparently declared that he had packed the gun in a suitcase to clerks at San Francisco International Airport, when the San Jose man checked in for his Virgin Atlantic flight to LAX, Airport Police said.
Following the course of the investigation, the 27-year-old man was taken to the LAPD Pacific station, where he was then released.
“According to them, the actions of the suspect did not meet the elements of the crime,” Ortiz said.
It was the second scare at the airport Friday night, she said.
A Los Angeles man checking in for a TACA Airlines flight in the ticketing area of Terminal 2 around 8 p.m. said he had some kind of explosive in his luggage when asked if he was carrying anything dangerous, she said.
Police evacuated the ticketing area until a Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad arrived and determined there was no threat, Ortiz said.
That man was identified as Oscar Gomez, 55, of Los Angeles, Ortiz said.
Gomez, who said he was only joking, was booked at the LAPD Pacific Station for suspicion of making a false statement of having explosive material, she said.
Gomez was being held at the LAPD’s Pacific Station in lieu of $20,000 bail, according to sheriff’s online booking records.
One week earlier, TSA agent Gerardo I. Hernandez was killed by a gunman at Terminal 3, prompting a chaotic daylong evacuation.
A memorial service for the public servant will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, 3939 S. Figueroa St., in Exposition Park. It will be open to the public, the TSA said.