Published : Friday, January 5, 2018 | 6:43 AM
After numerous delays, Pasadenan Lance Anthony Semkus pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance Thursday to charges of attempted murder, mayhem, attempted robbery and two counts of animal cruelty stemming from a series of October 23 incidents.
Those incidents unfolded whenSemkus allegedly attempted to drag a 19-year-old Pasadena woman and her dog into his vehicle in front of a pet store in the 3300 block of Sierra Madre Villa Avenue in Pasadena. Passersby saw what was happening and came to her aid. The suspect fled in a black SUV.
About an hour and a half later, the Semkus allegedly approached a 26-year-old Winnetka woman and slashed her throat with a knife outside of a strip mall in the 600 block of South Arroyo Parkway.
The woman screamed and fought off her attacker but suffered severe injuries to her hand and neck.
Semkus aalegedly fled in an SUV which a Pasadena police helicopter later spotted in the area of Fair Oaks Avenue near California Blvd. Officers conducted a traffic stop and arrested him.
Semkus, said to be a U.S. Marine Vietnam veteran who once served in the Burbank Police Department, is being held in lieu of $10 million bail. He faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 32 years to life in state prison if convicted.
Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said Semkus was ordered to return to the Pasadena branch of L.A. County Superior Court on February. 14 for a preliminary hearing setting.