LAPD cruiser
Example of an LAPD cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.

A man suspected of assaulting and kidnapping his girlfriend in Monrovia was arrested in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday after barricading himself inside a Toyota Prius for nearly four hours, but the woman remained missing.

Robert Anthony Camou, 27, was arrested around 7:30 a.m. after police flushed him out of the Prius using tear gas. The car was spotted by Los Angeles police around 3 a.m. near Hill and Second streets, and Camou was seen lying in the back seat, occasionally pretending to be asleep, police said.

The suspect, however, refused to come out of the vehicle, prompting a standoff that included a pair of SWAT tanks pinning the car in place. Surrounding streets were blocked off, complicating the morning commute in the downtown area.

Once Camou was arrested, investigators said there was no sign of the alleged kidnapping victim — 31-year-old Amanda Kathleen Custer.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said Camou and Custer had been dating for about two years and they had a tumultuous relationship marred by domestic violence allegations.

Sheriff’s officials began searching for Camou and Custer Monday. According to the sheriff’s department, law enforcement responded to a domestic violence report at about 8:15 a.m. Monday in the 600 block of Vaquero Road.

Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Hoglund told reporters Monday that blood was found inside the residence at the scene. A witness also told investigators that Camou was seen placing Custer — who appeared possibly unconscious — in the trunk area of a 2017 gray Toyota Prius, the same vehicle found Tuesday morning in downtown Los Angeles.

Custer does not live at the house in Monrovia where blood was found, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.

“These two have had a dating relationship for at least two years,” Hoglund said. “There have been numerous domestic violence incidents between them.”

Custer filed court papers in February seeking a restraining order against Camou, claiming he showed up uninvited at her home and broke a double-pane window with a hatchet, according to court documents cited by ABC7.

Custer is white, 5 feet 8, 140 pounds with brown hair and green eyes.

Anyone with information regarding the possible kidnapping was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS or lacrimestoppers.org.

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