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Police Arrest Gang Members in Crime Spree

September 15, 1988|BETTINA BOXALL | Times Staff Writer

Authorities have arrested several gang members suspected of engaging in a two-county crime spree earlier this week, including a rape and robbery in a Cerritos park and a Lakewood park.

Mario Cummings, 23, of Long Beach and Terrance Lavelle Joiner, 25, of Compton were arrested early Tuesday morning in Long Beach after deputies saw their car run a red light in a nearby city and pursued them, authorities said. They have been booked on charges of robbery, kidnaping, rape, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer. Police have declined to identify the gang.

Authorities say the two may have had four accomplices in at least some of the crime incidents, which started Sunday night and continued until their arrests. The other four, some of them juveniles, were arrested by Long Beach police early Tuesday, according to a member of the Lakewood Sheriff Station's anti-gang unit, who had no further information about the four.

The spree began shortly after 10 p.m. Sunday in La Palma, when three men brandished a gun at a young man and woman on a street corner. Frightened away by a crowd of pedestrians, a group then purportedly drove to Cerritos Regional Park, robbed an 18-year-old couple and raped the young woman. Shortly thereafter, authorities say the suspects tried to force a woman bicycling near the park into their car. When she refused, they struck her with the car. The 26-year-old woman suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from a local hospital.

Monday night a group accosted a young couple in Lakewood's Simon Bolivar Park, robbing the pair and raping the woman, according to authorities, who say all six are gang members.

Joiner is being held on $100,000 bail. Cummings, who was recently paroled from state prison after serving a sentence for burglary, has been denied bail.

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