Police investigating Echo Park sexual assault

A woman was sexually assaulted in Echo Park this morning by a man who had offered to help the victim find her friends.  Officers responded to the 1800 block of Sunset Boulevard after the woman’s friends called police at about 1 a.m., said Lt. Wes. Buhrmester with the Rampart Division. Passersby reported seeing an ambulance and police squad cars parked in the middle of the street. Here are more details from Buhrmester:

The investigation revealed a female was on foot looking for friends, when approached by a suspect offering to help find them.  The suspect escorted her to a nearby secluded location where he sexually assaulted her.  He then fled the area, and the woman was able to find her friends, and told them what just happened.  They phoned the police.

The investigation is ongoing and “details of the assault and particulars of the location and suspect are not being disclosed at this time,” Buhrmester said.


  1. We need to do a guardian angels program. I am willing to get out ther e to make sure that this kind of thing does not happen.

  2. Come-on LAPD, get with it and do your job, you need to be patrolling all areas at all hours of the day, but especially after dark. Too many women are being picked-up, kidnapped and killed. The City and communities of Los Angeles needs you!!

  3. Martha,
    The city doesn’t have the money, and this seems to be a society that doesn’t want to pay more taxes, to provide the police capability that you desire.
    I know that North East division has a tiny amount of patrol cars (I believe it’s 8 per shift) to protect 250,000 people.
    So, no matter how great a job our local police perform, and they are trying their best, we are going to suffer similar problems.

    • Right @ Noel…. Im sure the only reason we dont have more police is because we the ppl dont want to pay more taxes. Our taxes are already through the roof. Hows about putting some of the blame on the girl….? She is the one that went with some random guy. Now im not saying that what he did was okay, but little personal responsibility goes a long way. With that being said i wish her well regardless. Nobody deserves that.

      • And not “blame” like it was the victims fault the perp made his decisions… Please dont misunderstand. I would never say that. Im only saying Man or woman, younger or older, we do live in a society where we need to be careful to not put ourselfves in these types of situations. Thats all…

        • How else do you define “blame” when you wrote “Hows about putting some of the blame on the girl….? She is the one that went with some random guy. ”

          If you’re in EP/Silver Lake/Solano Canyon, then I’m your neighbor. I run in the morning at 5am every day. If something were to happen to me would that be my fault as well? We all need to watch out for each other not blame victims.

          • That wouldn’t be getting escorted now would it. I see your point and agree with you entirely, but you’ve presented a different scenario. In addition, I agree with watching out for one another entirely. Hope you understand.

  4. Ms. Cantu,

    Trust me, had we had a unit in position, they’d have been more than happy to have caught the suspect, or even better, interceded so the assault would not have occurred. Prevention is a huge component of policing. At that time this morning, if anyone ever wonders, Rampart Division had four single-officer units (sergeants) and 12 two-officer patrol cars working. That is a typical deployment.

    The investigation is still ongoing, with four detectives in the field following up on clues.

    (213) 484-3400

    • Just like it was Sunset or Hollywood Blvd before all the Reagan Era Uptown Bourgeoisie Street Sweepers moved in…

      • Alois,

        Your blogspot is very interesting!

        (213) 484-3400

        • Sorry for any Worldly Worries Officer Buhrmester. Thought I should say that Publicly (Made some Paranoid Fuss over some Personal PC Issues). Still believe having L.A.P.D. around is a lot like having Referees at Staples Center ( Or Bouncers at Bars ?). The Guys you Love to Hate. Even though I. Believe God Invented Laws to watch Themselves; I. also Believe Man may have Invented Police, to Remind himself of God.

          Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm,
          and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure.
          For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,
          though a person may be weighed down by misery.

  5. @cantu- if people wouldn’t be calling because there neighbors dogs are barking or complaining of their upstairs neighbors making to much noise when they walk, maybe just maybe this could of been prevented.

  6. This strip of Sunset has more bars then most college towns- we’ve had murders, assaults, sexual assaults, hit and runs.
    But rarely do you see police at night- even on the weekends, and foot patrol on Sunset- forget it. The police have been negligent in policing this area, but there are a couple new drinking spots opening up…

    • I don’t think that they have been negligent at all! How dare you? They are doing their job with the resources available. Los Angeles is a big place. frankly, I like the suggestion above that we do a guardian angels program. Get some community policing going on. But I doubt I would see you there,,,you would rather just complain about what others aren’t doing for you.

  7. The girl shouldn’t have been on Sunset at 1 am on her own, people need to wake up and use some common sense.

    1am is the worst time to be out on the streets, you know they’re full of perverts, gang members and the deranged, this is the east side.

    • I agree with you, people need to make right decisions, that never should have happened.

    • Scolding her for losing track of her friends is perfectly shitty. Way to go, gentrify, you win.

      • Nobody should be blamed for separating from and losing track of the other members of their party. So there is nothing wrong or unusual about that.

        The problem lies in the second component of the victim’s story.
        Wouldn’t any reasonable person just return to the club and attempt to make contact with and wait for the friends there?
        A stranger offers to help, so the victim follows the stranger.
        Now why would the stranger have any better sense of where to locate your friends than yourself????
        Either this victim has extremely low cognitive function for her age, or her cognitive function was highly impaired or her story is not a complete and accurate account of what happened.

    • This is only the eastside to “newbies ” form the west side . If it is so deranged and full of perverts and gang members , what the hell are you doing here ? go live where it is already gentrified.. like back to Brentwood where you cannot afford to live .Doofus !

      • Gang Members, Moral Libertines, Roman Catholic Fear of Hell,
        and ” Newbies” are really no Strangers to our Old White Lady of The Hill. But now that you mention It; I Hope Eric Garcetii drags all that Central West Head Shoppe Trash Art, along with Him, on his Merry Way to Cracker Box Palace !
        I Got Another One For You !
        Pizza Buona, Village Pizza, Aside;
        But God, Dont wee miss Capra`s Delicatessen !

    • blaming the victim… classy.

    • Nice job blaming the victim there.

    • I agree that it probably was not the wisest decision to be walking at 1am. But how do we know the circumstances as to how she got into that situation? We as bystanders can only speculate.

      How do you have the nerve to blame the victim of a crime? I truly hope nothing like this happens to someone you care for, but with your comments it seems unlikely you care for much.

  8. It really seems like if public safety is at issue, rather than complain about the already stretched to the limit police department, the bars and clubs could do more to keep the patrons – who they profit from – safe. I think the Echo, etc were using Select Patrol – not sure if they still are, or if others do as well, but since they are the moneymakers here, they should share the responsibility.

  9. For an enormously serious subject, esp. considering the recent Breanna Guzman tragedy, the comments on this post are both enormously asinine and totally disheartening.

  10. Instead of victim blaming and crazy talk how about we ask Lt. Buhrmester what the LAPD needs, and what we need to do, in order to make EP as safe as it should be. Surely you guys can move your anti-hipster tirades to a topic that doesn’t involve an assault.

    Lt. Buhrmester, what does LAPD need and what should we be doing as individuals and a community? Are street lights adequate? Are street patrols and foot patrols up or down over the past few years? Are store owners and bars providing adequate light/oversight and safe havens for people in trouble?

    • B and others,

      Thank you for pointing out that the victim is not to blame. The blame is with a suspect who has no impulse control, and acts upon those impulses. As for what one can do, the easy answer for me would be, “Go to City Council, request more money for the police.” However, money is tight, and we will deal with what we have. A good start is the readers of this and other blogs. It shows an involvement. Take it one step further.

      Visit a neighborhood watch or neighborhood council meeting. Meet your neighbors, and look out for them, especially the elderly or those who may not otherwise be able to satisfactorily fend for themselves. As for street lighting, that did not appear to be an issue in this case, but I will look into that. Patrols are about the same as in the past. Because Sunset Blvd. is a busy street, patrols are common from both Rampart and Northeast Divisions, as Sunset is the border between the two. As for oversight and safety, that has not been an issue in the past, but I will check with the Senior Lead Officer for that location and obtain their assessment. The Vice Units regularly check ABC locations to ensure they are not serving obviously intoxicated persons, and their businesses are not attracting or encouraging crime.

      (213) 484-3400

  11. HERE HERE !!!!
    because the only people who call it the Eastside are people that moved here from the Westside ….get it ? ALL this aside , women are being victimized, and its b.s !

  12. We need escort service for women. Anyone who has to walk is not safe at late night. However I doubt someone will subsidize a taxi ride home program even though that is the cheapest way to do it. (volunteers for ride home have to be screened and vetted but can be done if there is a will).

    • For anyone seriously interested in the possibility of starting a well-organized, volunteer ride-providing program, “Right Rides” in NYC is a great example to look to.


      Also, Guardian Angels is a great idea! Night time is a beautiful time to be out for a walk, and better if you’re helping to look out for others.

  13. We need a neighborhood watch! The LAPD isnt doing anything!! There response time is too slow there not doing shit!!

  14. LAPD officers are doing their job. I’ve called them several times when we’ve had vandalism and they have always responded. Caught a few young “men” actually. The problem is that they cannot be everywhere all at once. Crime in areas of downtown is way down in areas where they have Guardian Angels. Roaming patrols will reduce crime and make your streets safer. Wes, what is your advice on this?

  15. come on people. this happens everywhere sadly .
    no one to blame but our society….again sadly.

  16. Echo Park Neighbor

    Does anyone know if the businesses on Sunset have ever considered creating a Business Improvement District (BID)? I see BID patrols downtown and they seem to work at keeping the peace. Also, it would be nice to have an organization coordinating the regular cleaning of our streets. There are only so many Saturday neighbor clean-ups that people will participate in…

    • I agree with you neighbor! The purple shirt team may not be “police” but neither are hired security… they are EYES which could thwart crime.

  17. Blooming in Echo Park

    Last February (2011) I was at an Echo Park Community Meeting where we discussed the process of the Echo Park BID getting together on the topic of paying for a foot patrol. Office Ford (Rampart) was present at the meeting and he said that it was in process but that the only eligible contributors were those who owned commercial property (not the businesses that occupy them) on Sunset Blvd. I think those eligible were also only those property owners on Sunset between Douglas and Alvarado. So I’m not surprised the funds were never collected or allocated as this area isn’t terribly large and a lot of the retail spaces aren’t occupied. I was at the meeting specifically to ask if independent businesses run out of Echo Park could contribute whether we owned property on the Blvd or not and his reply at that time was “no”. Not sure why though, I was offering to give money to assist the LAPD with their efforts specifically in our neighborhood. I’m in the music business and although I don’t own property on Sunset Blvd. where I do a lot of meetings and frequent at night, I would be happy to contribute to the overall safety of the community. I feel like other would as well…no?

  18. If you want more patrol of the streets, tell the mayor !!!

    The link to the Mayor’s 2012 Community Budget Survey is as follows:


  19. I think it is very interesting that with one comment on this thread there is no “reply” button….are the moderators picking who gets the last word?

  20. Initiate all of the police patrols, foot patrols, neighborhood patrols, block captains and watch groups your heart desires.
    If an adult voluntarily follows another person to a secluded spot – nobody has the authority to stop or prevent them.
    If a crime is then committed against the follower – it is still a crime, the victim is not at blame for being victimized.
    Yet nothing can stop them from voluntarily following the potential attacker to a place that is not observable by others.

  21. the lemon tree inc. had members on the look out . watching over the citizens and members of the e.p community..

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