A five-agency effort to investigate recent threats to a hospital, a mall, and school campuses in the San Gabriel Valley was successful in identifying a suspect. He was arrested Tuesday in the city of Monrovia.
A series of phone calls last week threatening to shoot people at a hospital, a mall, and school campuses in the San Gabriel Valley resulted in numerous locations being locked down, and police officers and sheriff’s deputies searching the campuses, hospitals, mall, other buildings, and nearby communities. Out of an abundance of caution for public safety, the schools, hospital, and mall were searched in the cities of Arcadia, Covina, Duarte, Glendora, Monrovia and West Covina.
A five-agency effort was formed to put a stop to these threats and included investigators from the police departments of the cities of Arcadia, Covina and Monrovia, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators from Temple Station, Major Crimes Bureau, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Using advanced technology and investigative techniques, key information was gathered by the team, and the suspect was arrested as he left his Monrovia home about 4:00pm Tuesday, September 17, 2013. Investigators are continuing the investigation, including serving a search warrant at his home.
26-year old Suspect Gerardo Cortez was booked at Monrovia Police Department for five counts of felony Making Criminal Threats (422 of the California Penal Code), and five counts of False Report of an Emergency (148.3(a) California Penal Code). This case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office by Monrovia Police Department detectives for consideration of criminal filing. At this point his bail is set at $250,000.00 and his next court date is Thursday, September 19, 2013
All policing agencies involved in this investigation took this very seriously. The nature of these criminal threats brought tremendous fear to students, faculty, parents, patients, and the community. It also drew a significant amount of policing resources away from other legitimate purposes. Incidents such as these will continue to be handled in a serious manner.
The incidents that led to this arrest was the caller said he had an AK-47 and threatened to shoot people at the following locations:
Covina: A call was made referencing “Citrus Medical Center:” (there is no hospital by that exact name) On Monday, Sept. 9, the threatening call was made to the Covina Police Department. Covina Police Dept. officers searched Intercommunity Hospital in Covina. West Covina Police Dept. officers searched Queen of the Valley of the Valley Hospital and East San Gabriel Valley Hospice in the City of West Covina. Glendora Police Dept. officers searched Foothill Presbyterian Hospital in the Glendora.
Monrovia: A call was made referencing Sante Fe Middle School: On Monday, Sept. 9. the threatening call was made to the Monrovia Police Department.
Arcadia: Santa Anita Mall: Tues, Sept 10: Arcadia Police Department News Release http://local.nixle.com/alert/5063996/
Duarte: Duarte High School: Tues, Sept. 10: LASD Temple Sheriff’s Station News Release http://nixle.com/alert/5060862/
Arcadia: Arcadia High School: Thurs, Sept 12: Arcadia Police Department News Release http://local.nixle.com/alert/5063996/
Anyone with information regarding these incidents that may be of assistance to investigators please contact the Monrovia Police Department at 626-256-8041. Or if you wish to remain Anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org
Local policing agencies have been conducting drills with school administrators and students to help ensure campus safety through the County of Los Angeles. For information about how parents, school administrators and law enforcement are working together to maximize campus safety refer to the booklet:
Standing Up For School Safety handbook
Joint News Release:
Arcadia Police Department
Covina Police Department
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Monrovia Police Department
Captain Mike Parker
Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Here are links to the APD News Releases for each event:
Westfield Santa Anita Mall http://arcadiapolice.blogspot.com/2013/09/news-release-threats-to-westfield-santa.html
Arcadia High School Lockdown http://arcadiapolice.blogspot.com/2013/09/news-release-arcadia-high-school.html