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Police Chief Notes Speed In Arresting Murder Suspect

Pasadena police say they have identified and arrested 100% of murder suspects for all homicides committed here in 2007, 2008 and 2009

Published on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 | 7:00 pm

The speed of the arrest of Dwayne Rice, accused of murdering David Crosby Jr. in May, is typical for the Pasadena Police Department, the Chief of Police said in a press meeting.

Rice, 29, was arraigned Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court on a murder charge, court records show. Crosby, 32, was shot and killed May 29 as he attended an after-funeral party at Atlantis Restaurant on Sierra Madre Boulevard.

PPD Chief Bernard Melekian said Monday during an informal meeting with members of the press that the department’s detectives have scored a 100 percent success rate recently in locking up accused murderers. In 2007, there were 12 homicides in Pasadena and in each case the suspect was apprehended by PPD detectives, Melekian said. All but one murder that year was gang-related, Melekian said.

“[Rice’s arrest] is in keeping with their [PPD detectives’] record of accomplishments,” Melekian said.

He noted that the Rice case is just the latest successful arrest of someone suspected of murder or another serious felony. Within the PPD is a Fugitive Apprehension Unit that was created during 2007’s Operation Safe City objective, a project that was designed to address unexpected spikes in violent crime in Pasadena. That unit had made more than 200 arrests in serious felony cases, which usually constitute violent crimes or those felonies that have alleged ties to major drug rings or gang activities.

“[The Fugitive Apprehension Unit’s] focus is on serious felony warrants that are in the system from Pasadena,” Melekian said. “And the message that we want to send is that if you have a warrant, a felony warrant for Pasadena, it isn’t just going to sit in the computer and wait…we are going to do everything in our power to come out and find you.”

Rice has an extensive criminal history and also a pending attempted murder case, according to court records. He has previously been acquitted on multiple attempted murder charges in Los Angeles County, court records show. PPD officials have declined to comment about Rice’s criminal past.

Rice is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing June 25 at the Pasadena courthouse of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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