LAPD Releases Community Alert Following First Incident
The Los Angeles Police Department has issued a community alert, warning Palisadians not to approach a suspect involved in a hate crime/criminal threat incident on Thursday, April 18.
Near 8:10 p.m. that day, Palisades Lutheran Church Pastor Kenneth Davis and his daughter Cassadi, both African American, were verbally assaulted in the parking lot of Ralphs, subjected to racial epithets and threats of gun violence.
The West Los Angeles Area Crime Analysis Detail reported that the suspect is a white female in her mid-40s, roughly 5’9’’ and 130 lbs. with blonde hair and brown eyes, described as driving a white, four-door Volkswagen Passat.
The day before the alert came out, local gardener Freddy Banuelos said he was physically assaulted inside Ralphs after walking through the self-checkout aisle on Wednesday, June 12, at 11 a.m.
“I was minding my own business at the self-checkout, and right when I was coming out of the aisle, I see this lady abruptly put her back against the wall opposite me,” Banuelos told the Palisadian-Post. “I felt a look on her face, like she was looking at me, but I didn’t pay her any mind. Then as I was walking away, she kicked me—reached all the way across my left leg and kicked my right leg. After a few seconds, she was already gone, nowhere in sight.”
Banuelos described the attack as a “total shock.” After getting the attention of nearby clerks who had witnessed the incident, he left to recoup at his truck, where he was again confronted by the woman.
“It was like a horror movie,” Banuelos said. “There she is, back at my car, filming me, so I filmed her. I think that spooked her because she took off, but before she left, I heard her yelling [racial epithets].”
Banuelos captured the suspect’s license plate on camera and filed a police report that same afternoon.
After seeing the photo, Banuelos said he believes he was assaulted by the same woman, though the identity of his attacker has yet to be confirmed. The suspect of the June 12 incident was caught on camera driving a gray, four-door Nissan Altima.
“I think it was that same Caucasian lady who assaulted the pastor,” Banuelos told the Post after seeing the LAPD picture of the suspect. “I’ve been going to Ralphs for 27 years and I never thought this would happen to me.”
“The customer did talk with our manager on Wednesday after the incident happened and I believe he filed a police report,” District Spokesperson for Ralphs John Votava told the Post. “We cannot confirm that it was the same woman from the April 18 incident. We haven’t received a request from the police for the footage yet, but once we do we will definitely comply with those instructions.”
“I am unsure if there is a connection but we will look into it,” LAPD Detective Gail Russell told the Post. “As of now we don’t have any updates, nor have we identified the woman.”