A suspect sought in the wounding of a veteran California Highway Patrol officer has been identified as the armed bandit who committed a robbery shortly before the shooting in Glassell Park, authorities said Tuesday.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Dino Fulgoni said he expects the district attorney's office to add a robbery count to an attempted murder charge already filed against Florentino Silva, 25, a Glendale resident, in the shooting of CHP Patrolman Gary Baker, 32, over the weekend.
Baker, who was shot in the face and underwent hours of surgery for removal of a bullet from his brain, regained consciousness at Huntington Memorial Hospital on Tuesday and spoke to members of his family. The hospital upgraded his condition from critical to serious.
Silva is being sought throughout California, and authorities at the border are on the alert to watch for his attempted return to Mexico, along with Jiavonna Castro, who is eight months pregnant, and their 15-month-old son.
Silva has been connected with a Saturday-morning holdup through his photograph and the positive identification of a nickel-plated .357 Magnum with a four-inch barrel used in robbery, Fulgoni said.
The deputy district attorney declined to identify the business that was robbed until detectives have completed their investigation.
Near Scene of Robbery
But Fulgoni said the holdup scene was "within a few minutes" by car from where motorcycle patrolman Baker stopped a Nissan 300 ZX sports car belonging to Silva on York Boulevard, just west of the Glendale Freeway, about 8:20 a.m. Saturday.
The CHP reported that when Baker tried to search the motorist, there was a struggle. The driver ran back to his car, appeared to reach inside the left front door, shot the patrolman in the left side of the head, and sped off.
The next day, Silva's car was found parked in Crescenta Valley. And, investigators said, Silva and his family were no longer living at their Glendale apartment in the 1100 block of Boynton Avenue.
Silva came to the United States from Mexico in 1985 and worked as a cook at various restaurants in the South Pasadena area, Fulgoni said. He said Silva had been named in several traffic warrants since he arrived in this country.
In another shooting, which took the life of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy, a 41-year-old South-Central Los Angeles resident was arraigned Tuesday in Los Angeles Municipal Court on charges of maintaining a house where cocaine was sold.
Dorothy Waters and her 17-year-old son were arrested Friday after a gun battle erupted at a house in the 1400 block of West 55th Street when two sheriff's deputies and six police officers sought to serve a search warrant for cocaine.
Deputy Jack B. Miller, 33, a 12-year veteran, was shot in the head. He underwent seven hours of surgery and died Saturday night at County-USC Medical Center. Deputy John Dickenson, 29, was wounded in the arm.
The teen-ager was named Tuesday in a district attorney's complaint charging him with feloniously assaulting another sheriff's deputy inside the ambulance that was taking him to a hospital.
The young man's name was not disclosed because of his age, but the district attorney's office identified him as the brother of Edward Lamont Walker, 20. Edward Walker, who the coroner said died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at the scene of the gun battle, was described as a suspected narcotics dealer.
Sheriff's investigators said the 17-year-old suffered a minor gunshot wound in the gun battle and was on his way to the hospital for treatment when he allegedly grabbed a handgun from the jacket of a deputy sheriff.
In the ensuing struggle, the gun went off and the youth was wounded in the chest and right arm, authorities said. None of his wounds was considered serious.