Arrest in Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed LAPD Officer - NBC Southern California

Arrest in Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed LAPD Officer



    Three days after a hit-and-run crash killed LAPD Officer Robert Sanchez, police have arrested a suspect. Gadi Schwartz reports live from San Pedro on the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, 2014. (Published Wednesday, May 7, 2014)

    An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run crash that left an LAPD officer dead over the weekend.

    Mynor Enrique Varela, 20, of LA, was booked on suspicion of murder, police said.

    He was arrested in connection with the death of Officer Roberto Sanchez, 32. He died Saturday after a crash at West Anaheim and Senator streets in LA.

    Varela was arrested Saturday just 12 hours after the crash, released, and arrested again on Tuesday. He is believed to be the hit-and-run driver of the SUV that struck the police car and killed Sanchez.

    LAPD Family Remember Fallen LAPD Officer

    [LA] LAPD Family Remember Fallen LAPD Officer
    When he was killed in a fatal car accident, Officer Roberto Sanchez was working a challenging assignment in LA’s Harbor Gateway area. As his family mourns their loss, his LAPD colleagues are mourning the loss of yet another beloved comrade. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Harbor City for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 5, 2014.
    (Published Tuesday, May 6, 2014)

    The LAPD is not releasing specifics on the case and will not comment as to whether the first arrest had anything to do with the crash.

    "What I dont want to do is prejudice the District Attorney's case by revealing details at this point," LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck.

    Sanchez's partner, who suffered a broken jaw and other injuries, was released from the hospital on Monday. He is expected to make a full recovery.

    The officers were chasing a white Chevrolet Camaro east on Anaheim Street when both vehicles made U-turns, police said.

    The Camaro was being pursued "for a traffic violation," police said.

    The patrol car was struck on the driver's side by an SUV, which also had been heading east on Anaheim Street.

    It was unclear if the cruiser's emergency lights and siren were on.

    The second officer, Richard Medina, used his cellphone to call for help, because the car was so damaged the radio in it was unusable, police said.

    Sanchez became the third Los Angeles police officer to die in wrecks in two months.

    In March, an officer was killed when an out-of-control truck struck his patrol car on steep Loma Vista Drive.

    In April, a motorcycle officer was killed when he was struck from behind by an alleged drugged driver and pinned against the vehicle in front of him.

    A San Bernardino officer was killed while riding his motorcycle Thursday on the Riverside (91) Freeway.

    Donation accounts have been set up for each officer at the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 10188, Van Nuys, CA 91410. Donations should be sent with checks made payable either to "Blue Ribbon Trust for Roberto Sanchez" or "Blue Ribbon Trust for Richard Medina."


    Samia Khan contributed to this report.

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