A 17-year-old was shot in the shoulder early Sunday morning when he and a 20-year-old companion allegedly tried to rob an undercover Garden Grove police officer investigating male prostitution along Garden Grove Boulevard, authorities said.
The teen-ager was shot when he wrestled with a second policeman who emerged, gun drawn, from the back of an undercover vehicle and the service revolver discharged, said Sgt. Harlen Hanson.
Both the teen-ager, in good condition at the UCI Medical Center jail ward, and his companion, Richard Lynn Lockwood of Anaheim, were booked on suspicion of robbery, Hanson said.
Officer Frank Hauptmann and Sgt. Pat Thrasher were in a pickup truck conducting an undercover vice investigation of male prostitution about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Hanson said.
Hauptmann was driving the truck and Thrasher was hiding in the back, able to listen through a connecting window opening, Hanson said.
Pair Approached Officers
They stopped at 8550 Garden Grove Blvd., where male prostitutes "hang around," Hanson said. Hauptmann was approached by the two males, who "suggested having a party," and the two got into the truck and directed the undercover officer to drive to the area of Cerritos Avenue and Yana Drive, about three miles away, Hanson said.
When they arrived at the area, one of the males got out of the truck, walked around to the driver's side and grabbed Hauptmann around the neck, Hanson said. The suspect told Hauptmann he was robbing him and got the undercover officer's wallet, Hanson said.
Hanson said initial reports were unclear as to which suspect accosted Hauptmann, but said it appears to have been Lockwood.
Thrasher, hearing the robbery, came "through the boot (window opening)" and said " 'I'm a police officer and you're under arrest,' " Hanson said. The male who had remained seated in the cab grabbed Thrasher's gun-holding arm and began "wrestling in the car" with Thrasher, Hanson said.
The gun accidentally discharged during the tussle and the juvenile was injured, Hanson said.
Hauptmann arrested Lockwood at the scene, Hanson said. The injured teen-ager ran off and was chased by Thrasher, who arrested him at a nearby home, he said.
Officers from Stanton and Anaheim police departments were called for assistance. Hanson said the neighborhood of Cerritos Avenue and Yana Drive is in Stanton, near the Anaheim city limits.
Hanson said the stretch of Garden Grove Boulevard where the two males were picked up is the site of repeated complaints by residents and business operators about male prostitution. He did not know how many arrests have been made in the area.
An investigation into the incident will be conducted by the Orange County district attorney's "shooting team," which probes officer-involved shootings, Hanson said.