Barricaded Suspect Keeps Rockdell Neighbors Inside Homes

An LAPD vehicle blocks Rockdell Street on Friday during a standoff with a male as a police helicopter hovers overhead.
Photo by Bethany BROWN

By Bethany BROWN

During an investigation into an alleged assault with a firearm in Tujunga on Friday, Los Angeles Police Dept. identified a male suspect who led them to a La Crescenta neighborhood.

The initial call of an assault with a deadly weapon in Tujunga was made about noon. LAPD obtained a search warrant and responded to the 2400 block of Rockdell Street about 3:30 p.m. and attempted to make contact with the suspect, who refused to exit the home.

The LAPD SWAT – Special Weapons And Tactics – team was called in and a standoff began. Due to the possibility that the suspect was armed the surrounding area was secured and some residents were evacuated while others were told to stay in their homes.

Todd Franklin, a Briggs Terrace resident and uniformed essential worker at Los Angeles County Medical Center’s Burn Unit, was told by officers that he could not leave.

“As a nurse trying to get to work, it is frustrating to be told you can’t pass through,” Franklin said. “But I understand the need for public safety and greatly appreciate law enforcement’s efforts to keep our community safe.”

Another neighbor who lives on Shields Street, just north of Rockdell Street, Chuck Weiss, reiterated Franklin’s frustration with the closure of Briggs Avenue.

“I got lucky because I was allowed to go up Briggs and make it home seconds before the police force-closed the road,” Weiss said. “I do know from talking with a lot of other neighbors in upper Briggs Terrace that this frustration was widespread. People felt like they were essentially trapped in their homes and could not leave during the situation.”

After a three-hour long standoff, the suspect surrendered and was taken into custody without incident.

“He initially did not want to come outside, but he ultimately cooperated and exited the home,” Detective Bill Barretta said. “He acted on his own free will after some time.”

Weiss said that, despite the frustrations due to the road blockage, he did feel very safe with such a strong police presence addressing the situation and was grateful that it unfolded peacefully. He stressed that he would always much rather local law enforcement err on the side of being cautious than to be unprepared if the suspect decided to fire weapons at officers on the scene or at any potential bystanders.

As of press time, LAPD is not releasing any information concerning the arrest or the name of the man.

Mary O’Keefe contributed to this story.