A Los Angeles County firefighter was charged Friday with sexually battering a woman and possessing a firearm near an elementary school in El Monte.

Richard Thomas Loken. Photo via El Monte Police Department
Richard Thomas Loken, 38, of Moreno Valley, pleaded not guilty to a felony count of possession of a firearm in a school zone and one misdemeanor count each of sexual battery, false imprisonment and having a concealed firearm in a vehicle.

Prosecutors said the woman was walking Wednesday in El Monte when she was approached by Loken, who allegedly grabbed her breast. She called 911 as Loken stood in front of her, blocking her way, then left the area, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

He was arrested about four hours later, after police were called about a man who had been seen sitting in his vehicle for an extended period of time near Potrero Elementary School, according to authorities.

El Monte police officers found Loken’s truck and made contact with the firefighter. While speaking to Loken, officers saw a handgun on the truck seat next to him, according to El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna.

Officers determined the gun was loaded, he said, and also found a Taser and handcuffs in the truck. Loken was then taken to the El Monte police station, where he was positively identified by the battery victim, Luna said.

Loken, who has remained jailed since his arrest, is due back in an El Monte courtroom Oct. 9. If convicted as charged, he could face up to eight years in county jail, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

— City News Service

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