Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words



Attempted Murder Suspects Caught

Five accused of attempted murder at the Santa Monica Pier are now behind bars. Santa Monica Police say they arrested 24-year-old Araik Ovoian, 19-year-old Gevork Bagdasaryan, 18-year-old Alex Akob Akbari and a 16-year-old all four are from Burbank and 21-year-old Agavni Manukyan of Glendale. All five were booked for attempted homicide.

Police say the stabbing happened on Saturday January 18 at 1:20 in the morning. Witnesses say it happened on the fishing deck on the far west end of the Pier. An argument between the five suspects and the two victims escalated and the five started attacking the other two. Police say both victims were stabbed multiple times in the torso and arms during the altercation. Santa Monica Police Officers who were working on the Pier at the time were notified and saw the group of five matching the description of the attackers walking east on the Pier. The Officers detained the five suspects.

Both victims were transported to a local trauma center. Both are listed in stable condition and are expected to survive.

The four adults are all held under 1 million dollar bond each. The minor was booked into juvenile hall under no bond

Attempted Kidnappings

After two reports of attempted kidnappings in Santa Monica in the past weeks police need your help finding the persons responsible. Authorities say the first attempt happened on the 1600 block of Ocean Avenue around 8 at in the evening on January 15th and the second indecent occurred on 14th Street in the area of Olympic Boulevard at 10:30 in the morning.

In the first case police describe the suspect as a black man in his thirties. Lawmen say the suspect is about 6 foot 2 and weighs around 230 pounds. The victim who was walking on the sidewalk said a car passed her and pulled over to the curb in front of her when the suspect got out. Police say the suspect grabbed her in a bear hug and pulled her towards the car. They say he let go of the woman when a person appeared in a stairwell in an adjacent apartment building. The victim was able to walk away. Authorities say the car the suspect got out of was a late model, black, VW, 4-door, hatch back, with tinted windows.

In the second attempt lawmen are looking for a black man in his 20's about 5 foot 10. Here the victim reported she saw the suspect walking ahead of her, but after she passed him on the 1900 block of 14th Street she felt him grab her waist with one hand covering her mouth with the other. Authorities say when the victim managed to scream the suspect ran away. The victim then was also able to run away,

Police are not saying yet if those to crimes are connected. If you have any information regarding those incidences police is asking you to call the Santa Monica Police Communications Center at (310) 458-8491.

Alleged Arsonist Caught

A man who authorities believe set at least 10 arson fires in the city center of Santa Monica starting back on December 30th is now in jail. Authorities have arrested 54-year-old Balbinder Singh Sihota. The District Attorney's office filed four counts of arson felony charges. They say he light dumpsters and Christmas trees. The fires damaged apartment buildings, burned into a ground level garage and damaged at a car parked in a car dealership. Police say an undercover officer reported a man flicking a lighter for no apparent reason and acting suspiciously in the area where the fires had happened. They say a detective responded to the scene and identified the suspect as the arsonist, based on investigative work he had already completed


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