Friday, February 13, 2009

Neighborhood Excitement

Often heard this when living on Magnolia: the sound of tires skidding or squealing just before a thump. One Sunday morning there was screaming first and the thump was a much louder bang. The neighbor told me someone died in that accident; car flipped over on it's roof. Did not read about it in the local papers. Saw quite a few accidents on my block, especially at the intersection.

Sunday, I was going to go outside to look down the block where the thump came from, but too cold and too quick heard the sirens. The thumps are usually minor fender benders and it took much longer than this for the police, paramedics, etc to arrive. The sirens kept on blowing, so I opened the back door. I was not sure, but thought: must be something happening on the next block, Redondo Ave 'cause the sirens seemed to be coming from several directions, suddenly silent; must have stopped nearby.

Again I was tempted to take a walk to see if something big was going on ~ unrelated to that soft thump.

This is what happened:

Cops tried to pull over a driver on Temple at 7th Street. They followed the driver who hit a parked car on Coronado and 10th Street. The guy got out and ran. Police chased him and found him crouched behind a vehicle. The news account says "to a local business" and I assume that could be Ralph's parking lot or maybe the Arco mini-mart or nearby 7/11. The man reached for his waistband, cop shot him.

New report says it is believed the car was stolen and the 29-year-old driver is expected to survive the gunshot wound.

That explains why I heard the first sirens ~ which sounded like the vehicle was coming North on Redondo Ave ~ seconds after I heard the squeal/skid/thump sound. Perhaps the cops in pursuit had already radio-ed for back-up when the driver refused to stop and only put on it's siren when the suspect hit the parked car. I would have seen something if I had decided to go outside and walk to the corner to see what car got hit! Maybe the cops jumping out of their car, running.

Later the helicopter started it's continuous loop over my building and the trees. I thought they were a bit late to be looking for a suspect, due to how long after all those sirens started, that they arrived. I was wondering if there had been a gangbanger shooting, having nothing to do with the corner accident. "I saw him head that-a-way" I imagined witnesses saying. The copter circled for 15 minutes. By the time that copter arrived, I am sure the shot driver was already en-route to the hospital. During one of the copter's passes, the light hit me. Not knowing what really happened, I began to wonder if their would be a cop soon at my door to see if some fleeing suspect fled here.

Now that I know what happened, I think City tax dollars were wasted on that helicopter. The paper says the area from "10th and Redondo up to Anaheim and Redondo, was blocked off, as police investigated the scene." That surely means the driver had not run up Coronado, but along 1oth and north on Anaheim. I guess it is possible that it took the pursuing officers that long (amount of time for helicopter to arrive) to find the guy behind the car. Yet there were no more sirens after the first burst of 5 - 10 minutes seconds after I heard the accident.

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