A transient sought in the slaying of a Glendale gardener was arrested in Studio City after he jaywalked in front of two officers on the lookout for errant pedestrians, authorities said Friday.
Los Angeles police officers Ken Green and Ann McGrew noticed that a jaywalker they intended to ticket at Vineland venue and Ventura Boulevard Thursday matched the composite drawing of a homicide suspect shown at their morning roll call, said Los Angeles Police Capt. Dan Watson.
The jaywalker, Christopher Pinedo, 28, was jailed in connection with the April 5 slaying of Jimmy Noda, 67.
"He ran across the street against the 'Don't Walk' sign, and that's what got him arrested," Watson said.
Watson said he recently told officers to crack down on jaywalkers because of a rash of traffic accidents in the area involving pedestrians.
Glendale Police Lt. Roger Brown said his department will ask the district attorney's office Monday to charge Pinedo in the death of Noda, who was found strangled in his Wilson Avenue home in Glendale. He said Pinedo, described as a homeless day laborer, is being held without bail in Los Angeles County Jail, pending an arraignment next week.
"We got lucky," Brown said of the events leading to Pinedo's arrest.
Brown said his department had just begun circulating the composite drawing to area police and hospitals when a North Hollywood officer realized that it resembled a transient he had questioned last week concerning a robbery. He told fellow officers that the transient was frequently seen near Ventura and Vineland.
Watson said Green and McGrew recalled that report when the jaywalker caught their attention at the intersection, and they matched him to the drawing.
Brown said Glendale police have linked Pinedo to the Noda homicide scene through physical evidence, but he declined to elaborate. Brown said Noda and Pinedo had no family or business ties.
"There wasn't any prior relationship," he said. "We think they just met that night. They ended up at Jimmy's house, and that's where the murder occurred."
North Hollywood police were called April 5 after a Toyota Camry was discovered at a restaurant near Sherman Way and Coldwater Canyon
Avenue with an open door and trunk and fresh blood inside. The car was registered to Noda. Glendale police officers then found the door ajar at Noda's home and the gardener's body in the living room.
Brown said investigators believe that Noda was killed by someone that he had admitted to the home. He said they believe the killer was cut during a struggle with Noda and fled in the gardener's car.
After the slaying was discovered, a North Hollywood police officer recalled that he had questioned a man with a fresh cut on his right hand shortly before the blood-stained car was found.
That officer--and a witness who had seen the suspect at the restaurant--helped a Los Angeles Sheriff's Department artist prepare the composite drawing that was shown during Thursday's roll-call meeting.