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Alhambra Police Arrest Rodney King in Assault Incident

July 15, 1995|SUSAN MOFFAT and RICHARD WINTON | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Rodney G. King was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence Friday after his car knocked a woman to the ground as he drove away from a home in Alhambra, police said.

Police said King--whose videotaped beating by police sparked rioting in Los Angeles three years ago after the officers involved were acquitted in state court--had been sitting in the car about 5:30 p.m. Friday, arguing with the woman, who was not immediately identified.

Officers said the woman got out, then reached back into the car for her purse.

As she reached inside, the car sped away, knocking her to the ground, investigators said. The woman was transported to a hospital, and after treatment for cuts, she was released, officers said. The woman told police that the driver of the car was Glenn King, and gave his address in Altadena.

Alhambra police notified sheriff's deputies in Altadena, "who said they were familiar with the address," Alhambra Police Lt. Robert Panza said.

Sheriff's officials dispatched deputies and a video crew to the home, which is the residence of Rodney King. There, Alhambra police made the arrest as the cameras rolled.

"Anytime there's potential for something they'll want to memorialize, they'll send a video crew," Panza said.

"Hopefully, this time it will be used to our benefit," said Angie Pruett, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department.

Panza said King was "verbally combative" while the arrest was being made.

King was transported to the Alhambra City Jail, where he was booked on the assault with a deadly weapon [the car] and domestic violence counts. Bail was set at $50,000.

Unable to make bail, King remained in custody overnight.

For the 30-year-old King, it was another in a series of clashes with law enforcement.

He was arrested in Hollywood in May, 1991, after police alleged that he had tried to run down an undercover vice officer who surprised him with a transvestite prostitute. No charges were filed.

In June, 1992, King was taken into custody after his wife accused him of beating her. She later declined to press charges.

King was charged with drunk driving in New Castle, Pa., last May after he refused to take a blood-alcohol test, police said.

By then, his name was known around the world.

His renown had begun after a bystander videotaped Los Angeles police beating him at the end of a high-speed pursuit on March 3, 1991.

When four of the officers were acquitted of wrongdoing in state court on April 29, 1992, rioting erupted in the streets of Los Angeles. Two of the officers later were convicted of federal civil rights violations.

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