BEVERLY HILLS—Officers from the Beverly Hills Police Department arrested a suspect for violating the Gun-Free School Zone Act after receiving a call of a suspicious person in the region of Moreno and Robbins Drives on Wednesday, February 28. The BHPD indicated that they received the call at 5:04 p.m. from a caller about a suspicious person driving a Green Toyota Camry, who was following behind her vehicle.
Officers located the vehicle occupying the suspicious person, conducted a traffic stop and made contact with the occupant. During a lawful search of the subject’s vehicle, officers found a loaded firearm inside the vehicle’s glovebox, a misdemeanor in the state of California. The firearm was otherwise legal to possess.
During the investigation, officers concluded that before receiving the call for service, the individual was seen on the Beverly Hills High School campus. The subject drove onto school campus via a publicly accessible gate, parked his vehicle on the school grounds and was seen walking on campus. When the individual who reported the suspicious person to authorities entered her vehicle and drove off the campus, the subject entered his car and followed behind her.
Based on the fact that the subject’s vehicle was seen on school grounds and a firearm was recovered from the vehicle, the driver, Michael Alphonso Barona, 25, of Los Angeles, was arrested for violating the Gun-Free School Zone Act, §626.9(b) – a felony, and Carrying a Loaded Firearm in a Vehicle While in a Public Place, §25850(a) – a misdemeanor. Barona is being held on $20,000, bail and due to appear at the Airport Courthouse on March 2, 2018, for arraignment.
The Beverly Hills Police Department is commending the individual who reported the call for being observant and taking swift action for authorities to investigate the suspicious person and is reminding the community members to report something if they see something.
Anyone with questions about the incident can contact Lieutenant Elisabeth Albanese of the BHPD at (310) 285-2142 and for school inquiries may contact Laura Skirde, Director of Communications for the Beverly Hills Unified School District at (310) 551-5100, ext. 2321.