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Police to Boost Presence at Local Park After Melee

April 29, 1993|VICKI TORRES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PASADENA — A shootout last weekend between police and gang members in which three people were injured during a picnic of 200 gang members in Brookside Park has prompted police to beef up their presence there.

Officers will be assigned to cruise in patrol cars through the 61.1-acre park in the Arroyo Seco, Pasadena Police spokesman Lt. Rick Law said. But the hours for the extra patrols and the number of officers assigned to them have not been decided, he said.

No officers are now assigned solely to the park. Officers cruising surrounding neighborhoods include the park in their rounds, Law said.

The new patrols will be conducted to "eliminate the possibility" of another incident similar to the one last weekend, Law said. "Summer is coming up and we don't want to make this an everyday event."

Sunday's shooting occurred after about 150 residents from Los Angeles and another 50 from Pasadena, all members of the same gang, came to the park for a picnic, Law said. They gathered in the north end, near the park's baseball diamond on a grassy area in front of the Fannie Morrison building complex.

Officers later found a flyer advertising the picnic with directions to the site from Los Angeles, Law said.

Three plainclothes officers monitoring the gathering reported seeing two men leave the party about 6:30 p.m. One man was carrying a handgun as he approached a group in a parking lot 150 yards away.

A dispute broke out and the gunman fired at those in the parking lot. He then turned and ran back toward the picnic. When the officers identified themselves and tried to intervene, the man fired at them. The officers returned fire, wounding the man, who managed to escape.

More gunfire erupted, police said, with five other people firing, some into the crowd and at the officers. Two women and a man were wounded, but none of the injuries was life-threatening, Law said.

Amid the melee, a car raced into the park, overturned, was righted by party-goers and sped off.

Corey Brown, 25, of Los Angeles was arrested and jailed without bail. Charges of attempted murder of a police officer were filed Wednesday in Pasadena Municipal Court, police said. Arrest warrants have been issued for two more shooting suspects.

Both Law and Bob Baderian, the city's director of recreation and parks, said the gathering and shooting were unusual for Brookside Park. The city's largest park, it includes the Rose Bowl, the city's aquatic center, numerous buildings, five lighted tennis courts and two lighted softball and baseball fields.

Over the last five years, only a handful of gang-related violent incidents have occurred in the park, Baderian said. They include a shooting at a talent show three years ago, in which no one was injured.

Baderian said the extra patrols will enhance a sense of security at the park. Law added that the patrols are not intended to discourage use of the park by gang members but only to ensure that they do not break laws while there.

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