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Women who survived flurry of LAPD bullets have yet to get truck

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck pledged to provide a truck to Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, who were delivering newspapers when officers mistook their truck for Dorner's.

March 11, 2013|By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
  • Police officers in pursuit of fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner fired on this blue Toyota Tacoma, injuring Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, who were delivering newspapers in Torrance. The LAPD pledged to provide a new truck to the women, but they still haven't received it.
Police officers in pursuit of fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner fired… (Bob Chamberlin, Los Angeles…)

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck hasn't come through on a promise to provide a new truck for two women injured by officers in pursuit of fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner, an attorney for the women said Monday.

Beck pledged to provide the truck to Margie Carranza, 47, and her mother, Emma Hernandez, 71, who were delivering newspapers in Torrance last month when LAPD officers riddled their blue Toyota Tacoma with bullets. Dorner was believed to be driving a gray Nissan Titan.

Hernandez was shot twice in the back, and Carranza was injured by broken glass.

Beck called the shooting "a tragic misinterpretation" by officers working under "incredible tension" hours after Dorner allegedly shot police officers. He promised to provide a truck from a donor regardless of potential litigation by the women.

But Glen Jonas, the women's attorney, said they are still without a truck.

"After they shot my clients ... this broken promise of a truck donation and the nonsense that followed is a slap in the face," he said.

Jonas said the women were first offered a used truck, then a non-four-wheel-drive Ford to replace their four-wheel-drive Toyota. The women also had to agree not to sell it for a year. His clients agreed to that truck, he said.

But then the dealership and LAPD officials said the truck would be considered a prize for tax purposes, Jonas said. "Essentially, they'd have to pay taxes like they won it on a game show."

Jonas said the situation is all the more difficult because the women haven't been able to work since being injured.

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the department, working with a car dealership, was able to secure a new truck for the women and even covered the taxes and fees. But, he said, the dealership has advised that the vehicle must be legally declared for tax purposes. "We are trying to work it out," Smith said.

The seven officers involved in the incident are assigned to desk duty during an internal investigation into the shooting, which also left holes in several homes on the cul-de-sac.

The officers were protecting the home of a high-ranking LAPD official named in a threatening manifesto authorities said was written by Dorner, and they believed that official could have been a potential target. Dorner at the time had already killed the daughter of an LAPD captain and her fiance — a USC police officer — and a Riverside police officer, officials said.

richard.winton@latimes.com

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