Massie Ritsch, Times Staff Writer January 16, 2001, Tuesday, Home Edition Copyright 2001 / Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times January 16, 2001, Tuesday, Home Edition
(LOS ANGELES) -- Police shot and wounded an agitated, knife-wielding man in a San Fernando Valley hospital waiting area early Monday after pepper spray, stun guns and lead-filled beanbags failed to subdue him, authorities said.
Peter Correa, 26, of San Fernando was in guarded condition Monday afternoon after undergoing surgery for gunshot wounds at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center, where the incident took place. Police arrested him on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.
Police said onlookers in the emergency room picked up chairs to protect themselves from the suspect.
"Nothing they were doing appeared to have an impact on this guy," said Lt. Horace Frank, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman.
There were no other injuries in the incident, which began about 2 a.m. when paramedics took Correa to the hospital's emergency room for undisclosed reasons. After about two hours, he refused treatment and began to leave, activating a fire alarm, authorities said.
When the hospital's security guards responded, Correa became "violent and bellicose," Frank said, threatening guards, doctors and nurses with a knife.
Police arrived at 4:45 a.m. and tried without success for 15 minutes to talk Correa into surrendering the knife, Frank said.
An officer fired a Taser--commonly known as a stun gun--at Correa, attempting to subdue him with its electrical charge of 50,000 volts. Instead, Correa yanked the Taser's darts from his jacket, Frank said.
Another officer fired bags of lead pellets at the 5-foot-10, 260-pound man. Frank said Correa did a "karate fly kick" at the officer. Officers fired more Taser darts at him and up to 16 shots from the beanbag gun.
Still holding the knife, Correa advanced toward several officers, Frank said. Officer Roy Guthrie of the LAPD's North Hollywood Division fired his 9-millimeter pistol, hitting Correa at least once in the torso. Wounded, Correa continued to be aggressive and ran past the officers, Frank said. As he did, officers were able to slam a door on his arm to pry free the knife and wrestle him to the floor.
Police released little information about Correa and offered no explanation for his behavior.