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Man Sentenced for Attacks on Motorists : Crime: Derek Jay Barretto rammed one vehicle with his pickup truck on the 134 Freeway. He attacked a second victim's car with an ax handle.


GLENDALE — A Glendale man was ordered to serve 1 1/2 years in jail for a "rampage" involving unprovoked violent attacks on motorists in Eagle Rock and Hollywood.

Derek Jay Barretto, 29, was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest in Hollywood Municipal Court to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of possessing a billy club in the May 26 crime spree, said Mike Qualls, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney's office.

Barretto was on probation for a Jan. 7 conviction for attacking a convenience store clerk with an ax handle in a dispute over a two-cent box of matches when the rampage began at about 9:30 p.m. on the westbound Venture Freeway (134) in Eagle Rock, authorities said.

Driving a Toyota pickup, Barretto repeatedly rammed a Buick Skylark driven by a woman he did not know, Qualls said. Barretto then pulled alongside and repeatedly swerved toward the Buick in an attempt to force the car off the road. The woman, who had been on her way to work, veered her car across four lanes of traffic and escaped down an off-ramp. The pickup continued down the freeway.

About two hours later, Qualls said, Barretto forced a Volkswagen Rabbit containing four women, also unknown to him, to the curb at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue in Hollywood. He got out of his truck and attacked the vehicle with an ax handle, smashing one of the windows.

The driver accelerated and attempted to flee into a nearby parking lot, but Barretto got back in his truck and stopped the Volkswagen again, Qualls said. Barretto renewed the attack, getting out of his truck and smashing the windshield and rear window with the ax handle before the motorist was able to drive away.

Both motorists provided descriptions of the truck and driver to authorities. Barretto was subsequently arrested when, for an unexplained reason, he went to the Hollywood police station to report that he had been attacked, Qualls said.

In addition to the jail time, Barretto was ordered to undergo psychological treatment and serve three years' probation after his release from jail.

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