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Brown Calls on Public to Help Identify Suspects Who Attempted to Kill Police Officers

Thursday, March 18, 2010
Contact: (415) 703-5837

Riverside, Calif.—Following three “brazen attempts to kill” police officers in the past several weeks, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today joined Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco, Riverside County Sheriff Stanley Sniff, Hemet Police Chief Richard Dana and Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone to urge the public to come forward with any information on these incidents.

There is currently a $200,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for these attacks.

“These brazen attempts to kill police officers in the line of duty are an outrage, and even a form of urban terrorism. Our brave men and women in uniform put their lives on the line every day to keep our streets safe,” Brown said. “We urge anyone with information on the attacks to come forward immediately.”

Today’s plea follows three separate potentially deadly attacks targeting members of the Hemet Gang Task Force, including:

• On Dec. 31, 2009, criminals targeted the unmarked Hemet Gang Task Force headquarters, redirecting the natural gas line on the roof into the building to fill the office with potentially deadly gas. With the flip of a light switch or an electrical spark, the building could have exploded, leveling an entire city block.

• On Feb. 23, 2010, criminals targeted officers at the same Hemet Gang Task Force headquarters, carefully hiding and attaching a homemade zip gun to a security gate outside of the building. As a task force member opened the gate, the weapon fired, missing the officer’s head by inches.

• On March 5, 2010, criminals targeted a task force member who had parked an unmarked police car in front of a convenience store in Hemet. When the officer returned to the car, he found what appeared to be a homemade pipe bomb hidden underneath the vehicle. Had the device detonated, it could have killed the officer and others nearby.

“These obvious attempts to murder law enforcement officers - who each day put their lives on the line to rid our communities of violent gang members - are indicators of the callousness of these domestic terrorists,” said District Attorney Rod Pacheco. “These criminals are willing to put the lives of the residents of this county in extreme jeopardy while targeting those who have chosen to protect those same residents.”

Anyone with information about these attacks is asked to call the Hemet Police Department Tip Line at: 951-765-3897.

The $200,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for these attacks includes $100,000 from the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, $50,000 from the Governor’s Office, $20,000 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, $10,000 from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, $10,000 from the City of Hemet and $10,000 from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

Brown’s office is assisting local officials with the investigation into these attacks.

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