The Manhunt for a Cop Killer as Never Told Before
by Salvador Santana
Interview with Lt. Larry González
* Excellent Police Work.
* Advanced Technology.
* The Lack of Brains of a Criminal.
While this especial and real police story is being published on June 25, 2012, Riverside Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard will dictated sentence today to uphelp the jury's recomendation of death penalty for Earl Ellis Green, the killer of Riverside Police Officer Ryan Bonaminio, or sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Green lawyers request for a new trial was denied. Final: Judge sentence: Death. An automatic appeal will be filed with the California Supreme Court. This sentence closes a sad chapter in the history of Riverside.
Riverside Police Lieutenant Larry González is one of the nicest members of the Department, but it is easier to get an interview with President Barack Obama than with him.
Lt. González is the Special Operations Commander who directed the operations leading to the arrest of Earl Ellis Green, the killer of Police Officer Ryan Bonaminio.
The first time we tried to contact Lt. González, he never answered our call. The second time when we saw him at City Hall and repeated our request for an interview, he called us... about a month later!
Pero nunca es tarde si la dicha es buena. Never is late is there is joy. On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, we met at the City Hall cafeteria and completed ¾ of the interview, which is better than nothing. Good friends interrupted us several times.
The good part is that Lt. González revealed to us unpublished and intriguing details about how was possible to arrest Green, an operation even better than those seen in the past and present TV series as Columbo, Dragnet, The Fugitive, Kojak, The Streets of San Francisco, SWAT, and Flashpoint on ION Channel.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH LIEUTENANT LARRY GONZALEZ
The Truth Publication Online published an exhaustive reportage about the horrible crime and the proceedings of the trial, including exclusive photos. Now, coinciding with the judge sentence, we are bringing to our readers this fascinating story.
After Green stole a big-rig and was involved in a hit-and-run traffic accident, Officer Bonaminio, 27, spotted him and a pursue took place. Green bailed out from the truck he had stolen and run towards Fairmount Park. The young officer chased him, slipped on a muddy ground, then Green hit him in the head with a heavy metal pipe, took his pistol and killed him.
The assassin drove back the big-rig to the same place where he stole it, close to others belonging to the same company, and disappeared in the dark of the night.
Lt. González tells us, “We could identify the truck used by Green because it had a broken glass window, but we had to be very careful not to tamper evidences. As you know, the big-rig was towed away to the San Bernardino Police Lab, where a partial finger print of Green was taken from the tape he used to connect the ignition wires.
“Now we knew the suspect was Earl Ellis Green. Next step was to locate and arrest him. But it wasn't easy at the beginning. Green records showed three different addresses and five registered vehicles. It was his parole officer who provided us with Green's cellular phone number.”
HOW TECHNOLOGY HELPS POLICE TO CATCH CRIMINALS
Lt. González smiles slightly and continue to tell his story: “Green's cell had a “ping” inside, a GPS device. Using our technology, our objective was to locate the “ping”, in other words, Green's whereabouts. Every five minutes we hear a beep telling us the approximate location of our target. Under my Special Operations Command, there were 30 SWAT Officers, 5 SWAT Sergeants, including 10 snipers.
|Lieutenant Larry Gonzalez also|
teaches legal force at the Police
Academy. At some point, Bonaminio
was working under his command.
Larry's mother was born in Mexico.
“We detected a “ping” close to University and Chicago. Helicopters were looking for one of the five vehicles registered or being driven by him. Most of the police cars were undercover, desperately looking for the cop killer. But, somehow, we lost the “ping” for a while.”
It was a manhunt. The killing of Officer Bonaminio made it somehow personal for his comrades. There was a moment it was thought by the high command to bring units from another law enforcement. But it wasn't necessary. “Our officers behaved very professionaly, overcoming personal feelings,” Lt. González said.
Then, BINGO, BINGO!: Green cell phone “ping” was recovered, this time close to Arlington and Division Street. A little very old truck driven by Green was spotted. At this point, undercover police cars kept a very close eye on it, until it was parked at a Canyon Crest Target parking lot.
Police had to use all kinds of precautions because it was reasonably thought Green was armed and very dangerous. “We didn't want another officers to get killed,” informed Lt. González.
After Green parked the old truck, he opened the hood to check something, while his girlfriend went shopping. From the Commander Post, Lt. González asked, “Do you have the solution?” (like in the ION episodes) And the answer was, “We have the solution!”
In a matter of seconds, dozens of unmarked and marked police car converged at the point where Green was checking the engine of his truck. Ha had the greatest surprise of his whole life. Perhaps he was thinking he was going to get away with the murder of a police officer.
“Hands up, you are under arrest!” The Miranda rights were read to him and was taken away for booking. He didn't resist. He had no chance.
THE LACK OF BRAINS OF A CRIMINAL
At the time of his arrest, Green was wearing the same bloody cloth he was using when he killed Bonaminio. On one of his shirt pockets an emblem could be read, “Earl.” The officer's pistol was found in a closet of his girlfriend home. He never got rid of the metal bar which he used to hit the officer three times in the head. And what is worse, he kept using his GPS cell and driving a very old truck easy to spot.
Green's criminal shortcomings remember us the bank robber who left his real business card to the teller.
We asked Lt. González, “Did you talk to Green?”
“Yes -he responded-, for about ten minutes."
“What was his attitude?”
“Very docile. He was complaining that he was attacked by the officers who arrested him, but we could not find any marks of bruises. He didn't want to talk about anything else, say sorry, admit the crime, or else.”
At the trial, when the jury came up with the death penalty recommendation, Green was smiling like he was the recipient of a homage. Perhaps he was thinking that now he will have shelter, food, clean clothing, entertainment and company for free. It will take 25 to 30 years to be executed. If ever. He's now 47.
Next day, after our interview with Lt. González, we called and e-mailed him to get some few more details, to complete our job. We are expecting President Obama to call us first. Isn't irritating not to get response from a person you like and admire? But what are you going to do with the man who cleaned University Avenue from a great deal of drugs and prostitution, and now this?
But, despite this inconclusive interview, we take our hats off to Lt. González and all the rest of law enforcement sergeants and officers who made possible the apprehension of a cop killer 42 hours after the crime was committed.
They don't want to be called heroes. But we do.
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