Bomb Scare At Jewish Temple
Posted by Ivetta Babadjanian on Dec 20, 2012 - 1:40:40 PM
LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles police arrested a man on Wednesday, December 19 who is believed to be responsible for making hoax bomb threats against a Jewish Temple in Koreatown and on an LAPD patrol car parked nearby.
Wilshire Boulevard Temple. Photo courtesy of the temple's website.
The suspect was identified as 46-year-old Wan Ryung Song, a.k.a. Patrick Song, a naturalized citizen who is a native of South Korea. Police believe that Song also vandalized the Wilshire Boulevard Temple on December 6 with graffiti of a Swastika and anti-Semitic comments. Song has been charged with four counts of making a bomb threat, one count of vandalism at a house of worship and one count of a hate crime.
The bomb threats were made on Tuesday, December 18 over six hours from a payphone near the temple, according to the police. The first phone call was made at 2 a.m. and targeted the temple which prompted authorities to search the area before determining there were no explosive devices.
Two calls right after one another were made to the police before 8 a.m. indicating there was a device in or around a patrol car parked on Harvard Street between the temple and Our Lady of Angeles Church. Officials stated the squad car was unoccupied and was parked in the area in order to reduce crime in the area.
The LAPD had its bomb squad arrive at the scene and spent several hours examining the patrol car with two robots. The robots even broke a back window and blew the lock off the car's trunk to look inside. A specialized lift truck, known as a bat cat, lifted the patrol car in the air so one of the robots could examine the bottom.
Several streets along Wilshire Boulevard near South Hobart Boulevard and 6th Street were closed for a number of hours as the bomb squad continued with their investigation.
“Officers responded and met with security officers from the temple who provided information of a suspicious individual, who ”˜appeared to be hiding and secreting himself behind the police vehicle’ that had been parked in the area of Harvard Ave north of Wilshire Boulevard,” said a police statement.
LAPD investigators came to the conclusion that Song made the calls from a nearby payphone at the Hyun Dae Health Spa in the 3600 block of Wilshire Boulevard and confirmed that he was a registered member of the spa.
His arraignment was scheduled for Thursday, December 20. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Detective Ester Kunz, Major Crimes Division, Criminal Conspiracy Unit at (213) 486-7220.
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