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News Release

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Media Relations

A Crime that Shocked Veteran Cops


Los Angeles: On Wednesday, July 30, 2003 at about 4:20 a.m., Hollenbeck Area patrol officers received a radio call of a burglary in progress in the 4400 block of Richelieu Terrace. Officers arrived on the scene within 3 minutes, and were directed by a witness to the rear of the location. There, officers saw a female lying on the ground being brutally sexually assaulted by a large, unarmed, naked Hispanic male. The officers immediately ordered the suspect to stop his assault and move away from the victim. The suspect did not acknowledge the officer’s commands and continued the heinous attack. One officer then kicked the suspect in the back in order to separate him from the victim. Still, the attacker continued his assault. A Department approved taser device was applied as the suspect, oblivious to the officers intervening, violently continued his attack upon the unconscious woman. Firing a pair of electrical taser barbs into the back of the suspect and discharging several jolts of current, the officers got the attacker away from the critically injured female as the less than lethal taser’s stun effects seemed to temporarily dissuade the naked attacker from his victim.

Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics arrived and began immediately to apply emergency medical care to the victim as the officers simultaneously diverted and wrestled the man to the ground in an effort to handcuff him. The suspect maniacally continued to focus his attention on the victim and when he attempted to attack the woman again, the officers once more applied the taser device, which finally resulted in the man’s submission.

Subsequently, both the unidentified victim and the suspect were transported to local hospitals. The victim is listed in guarded condition with severe head trauma. The male attacker was admitted to the hospital for minor scrapes and evaluation for being under the influence of narcotics. A California Registered Arsonist with a lengthy criminal record, the suspect was taken into custody without any further deadly results. An identifying photo of the attacker will be available for media use in order to encourage any further victims of this dangerous and violent predator to come forward. The suspect has been identified as 33 year-old Richard Lee Zuno, 6’ 3", 230 lbs.

Robbery-Homicide Division Rape Special Section will be handling this investigation.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jack Richter, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.