A firebomb attack at a Los Angeles Police Department station early Sunday was captured on camera, as the unidentified suspect seen tossing a Molotov cocktail at the building was swiftly taken into custody.
At approximately 12:55 a.m. local time Sunday, a suspect approached the LAPD Topanga Division station with a Molotov cocktail and threw it against the station doors, police told Fox News. It ignited and started a fire. The incident was witnessed by several officers, who chased the suspect and arrested him. The suspect was uncooperative and the motive is unknown, police said.
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Video of the attack shared with Fox News showed a hooded individual walk toward the doors. A fireball erupts and the individual runs away from the blaze. It’s unclear how many officers were inside the building at the time.
The LAPD Major Crimes Division is handling the investigation into the incident and is expected to provide more information about the suspect and possible charges later Monday, police spokeswoman Detective Meghan Aguilar told Fox News over the phone.
The spokeswoman said incidents involving attacks on police stations are not too common in the Los Angeles area, but admitted that over the past year incidents in the vicinity of police stations have increased to some degree, without providing a specific number. She pointed to one officer-involved shooting at another station that happened within the past two months.
On March 23, an individual, described by police as a 36-year-old Black male, came to the front doors of the LAPD’s Olympic Division station around 2:20 p.m. and tried to enter the building, but the doors were locked due to COVID-19 protocols. Officers who came outside to speak with the individual to determine what he needed saw he was armed with a handgun and summoned help, police spokesman Sgt. Bruce Borihanh said at the time. One officer fired a single round that struck the man, police said.
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The suspect underwent surgery at a local hospital and was listed in critical but stable condition, LAPD headquarters said in a Twitter update later that day. Borihanh said a handgun was recovered at the scene and no officers were injured.
The shooting happened about six months after an incident at the LAPD’s Harbor Division station involving an individual who punched a desk officer who came to unlock the door to the lobby, wrestled away his gun and opened fire without striking the officer, the Los Angeles Times reported. Jose Cerpa Guzman, 29, was arrested after the brazen attack on Sept. 26, 2020, captured on surveillance and body camera video, KABC reported.