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LAPD Considers New Tactics to Curtail Rave Parties


November 30, 2004
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LAPD Considers New Tactics to Curtail Rave Parties

Reacting to A Shooting Saturday, The Chief Says Officers May Start Seizing Sound Equipment. Schools, Other Agencies Will Join Crackdown.

By Richard Winton and Erika Hayasaki, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton said Monday that his department may seek to seize expensive sound equipment to prevent illegal rave parties like the one Saturday night in South Los Angeles at which four people were shot before an officer killed the shooter.

"The quickest way to shut down these parties is to seize the equipment," Bratton said. "It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Without the equipment, there can't be a party."

But Bratton said that ultimately, parents were responsible for their children.

"Any parent who has a kid who is roaming around the streets at 1 or 2 in the morning has a significant responsibility for this particular problem," Bratton said. "Some parents need to keep kids at home where they should be."

Bratton met with Los Angeles fire and school officials and city prosecutors Monday to discuss new tactics, as three partygoers who were shot remained in stable condition. They have not been identified.

The fourth wounded person was Officer Mario Cardona, who shot the teenage suspect. Cardona, 30, was in stable condition after surgery for a stomach wound. Bratton said Cardona could be released as early as this morning.

"He's in very good spirits," Bratton said.

The shooting was the fifth such incident at illegal parties this year in the 77th Street Division and the second in the same building.

Saturday's violence erupted after a dispute over a woman, police said. About a dozen police officers had gone to the building on South Broadway to shut down the party when Jeremy Andre Cervantes, 19, opened fire, wounding three before Cardona confronted him.

Cervantes shot Cardona and Cardona returned fire, investigators said.

Many of the 200 partygoers stampeded for the door when the shooting started. Neighbors said some jumped over a back fence and disappeared.

About 100 were rounded up by police for questioning. There were no reported arrests.

Los Angeles Deputy Fire Chief Jim Hill said the LAPD and the Los Angeles Unified School District would join his department in cracking down on the organizers of parties and the owners of buildings where the parties are staged. The organizers of Saturday's party have not been identified.

School district Police Chief Alan Kerstein said school officials would seize fliers advertising the parties. "All of our officers are going to be much more vigilant," Kerstein said.

Word of the parties usually starts on campus, where slick, lurid handbills, often promising sex, illicit drugs and alcohol, are distributed.

"They post fliers on poles, pass them out in high schools and junior high schools, everywhere there's young people," LAPD Officer Jose Torres told the Board of Education last month.





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