A man who may have kidnapped a woman in Monrovia was arrested in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday morning following a standoff with LAPD SWAT team officers who surrounded his parked Toyota Prius for several hours before flushing him out with tear gas.
But the location and status of the kidnap victim was not immediately determined.
The car was located by Los Angeles Police Department officers around 3 a.m. near Hill and Second Streets. Video from the scene showed officers with guns drawn taking positions behind the car and the SWAT vehicle next to the Prius.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department tweeted around daybreak that authorities were on scene of “kidnapping vehicle from Monrovia, barricaded suspect – officers on scene continuing efforts of negotiations, hopeful of peaceful resolution.”
The alleged victim was identified as 31-year-old Amanda Kathleen Custer and the suspect as 27-year-old Robert Anthony Camou, according to the sheriff’s department.
Camou surrendered to authorities about 7:30 a.m., and he will be turned over to Monrovia police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, said LAPD Lt. Chris Ramirez. Custer’s whereabouts were unknown, Ramirez said.
“We used a small amount of tear gas to get him to surrender safely,” Ramirez said.
Officers had responded to a report of domestic violence about 8:15 a.m. Monday in the 600 block of Vaquero Road, the LASD said.
“Upon their arrival they located evidence that there was an apparent assault that had occurred,” according to a sheriff’s department statement. “Investigators believe the victim was kidnapped and taken against her will in a 2017 gray Toyota Prius, California license plate 8AOR167.”
The call to police was made by Camou’s parents and officers found blood at the home, sheriff’s Lt. Scott Hoglund told reporters.
“These two have had a dating relationship for at least two years,” Hoglund said. “There have been numerous domestic violence incidents between them.”
Custer does not live at the house, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
Hoglund said Custer offered no resistance as she was placed in the rear hatch area of the Prius.
Camou is described as white, 6 feet tall, 150 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Custer is also 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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