Thursday, December 20, 2012
Los Angeles police have arrested a man they believe made phony bomb threats against a Jewish temple in Koreatown on Tuesday, as well as an LAPD patrol car parked nearby, police said.
The suspect was identified as Wan Ryung Song, a.k.a Patrick Song, a 46-year-old naturalized citizen who is a native of South Korea. Police say they believe Song also vandalized the Wilshire Boulevard Temple with graffiti of a Swastika and anti-Semitic comments on Dec. 6.
Song has been charged with four counts of making a bomb threat, one count of vandalism at a house of worship, one count of a hate crime.
The hoax calls were made over six hours Tuesday morning from what LAPD investigators believe was the same pay phone near Wilshire Boulevard Temple.
The first phone call was received by police about 2 a.m. and targeted the temple, which was immediately searched before authorities determined there was no explosive device.
Then, shortly before 8 a.m., two calls in close succession came in saying there was some kind of device in or around a patrol car parked on Harvard Street between the temple and Our Lady of Angeles Church.
LAPD officials said the squad car was unoccupied and had been parked in the area to deter crime.
But the LAPD dispatched its bomb squad, which spent several hours examining the patrol car. Two robots searched in and around the vehicle, at one point breaking out a back window and blowing the lock off the trunk to look inside.
A specialized lift truck called a "bat cat" also hoisted the cruiser into the air so one of the robots could examine its underside.
Several streets along Wilshire Boulevard near South Hobart Boulevard and 6th Street were closed for hours as the bomb squad investigated.
Security officials told police that they had seen a suspicious man hiding behind a parked patrol car, according to authorities. LAPD investigators determined that Song made calls from a nearby pay phone at the Hyun Dae Health Spa, in the 3600 block of Wilshire Boulevard, and confirmed that he was a registered member of the spa.
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