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LAPD Chief Beck 'extremely pleased' at Northridge suspect capture

April 24, 2013|By Andrew Blankstein, Richard Marosi and Kate Mather

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said he was "extremely thankful" to the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and Mexican authorities for their assistance in capturing the man suspected of kidnapping and assaulting a 10-year-old Northridge girl.

"Obviously we're extremely pleased," Beck said Wednesday, but cautioned "there's a long way left to go in this case."

Baja California state police arrested Tobias Dustin Summers, 32, Wednesday morning at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center at Las Misiones, a small community about 200 miles south of the border, according to Alfredo Arenas, commander of the Baja California state police fugitive squad.

Arenas said Summers gave up without incident and police confirmed his identity through the Superman logo tattoo on his chest. The FBI provided the tip on his whereabouts late Tuesday night, Arenas said.

Arenas said Summers was surprised and frightened by the sight of the police officers.

“I’m very happy that we caught this trash,” Arenas said. “I always make a point to capture people that have sex with children. Because if given the opportunity, they will rape a Mexican child.”

Arenas said Summers will be handed over to U.S. authorities Wednesday morning at the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego.

The FBI and LAPD confirmed the arrest. A news conference was scheduled for noon.

The FBI and LAPD have concentrated their search efforts for Summers south of the border for several weeks. Beck said that video footage showed Summers crossing into Tecate, Mexico, near the beginning of the month.

Summers was charged in his absence this month with 36 counts of sexual assault, as well as kidnapping and first-degree burglary, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. If convicted, he faces multiple life terms in prison.

A felony complaint alleges Summers broke into the girl's home in the middle of the night March 27 and used a knife to abduct her. He is charged with committing numerous sexual acts on the child and taking nude photos of the girl.

Sources said the incident may have begun as a burglary.

The girl was discovered missing at 3:40 a.m. by her mother, who heard a sound and went to investigate. The girl, barefoot and appearing battered and bruised, was dropped off about 12 hours later in a Woodland Hills parking lot.

Days later, authorities identified Summers, a career criminal, as a suspect in the case.

He was charged along with Daniel Martinez, who pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and burglary counts in connection with the incident. Martinez, 30, was arrested just two miles from the girl's home, and was described by Los Angeles police as a secondary suspect in the crime. If convicted, he faces up to 12 years in prison.

LAPD investigators and prosecutors said Martinez waited in a car outside the girl's home, and when Summers came out with her, drove a short distance before leaving. Martinez is not believed to have initiated the kidnapping or participated in the assault, authorities said.

Court records show both men have extensive criminal histories, though authorities said neither is a registered sex offender. Most of the crimes they have been convicted of occurred in the San Fernando Valley.

Summers has convictions for receiving stolen property, grand theft, petty theft, possession of an explosive, and presenting false identification to police, according to records. In 2009, he was convicted of battery. Originally, he was also charged with annoying a child, but that charge was dismissed.

From 2004 to 2012, Martinez was convicted of burglary, petty theft, grand theft, resisting a police officer, and unlawfully entering a property, according to records. In April 2012, he was convicted of making threats of death or great bodily injury.

It's unclear how long either man has spent behind bars. But it appears Summers received an eight-month prison sentence in the petty theft case, and Martinez was sentenced to 16 months in prison in the grand theft case.

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andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

richard.marosi@latimes.com

kate.mather@latimes.com

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