Five men and a teen-age boy were being held on suspicion of kidnaping and robbery Sunday after they allegedly dragged a 21-year-old woman into their car from a Sherman Oaks restaurant parking lot, took her into the foothills and raped her.
The incident began about 10:30 p.m. Saturday when four of the suspects robbed several people, including the rape victim, in the parking lot of Stanley’s Restaurant and Bar at 13817 Ventura Blvd., police said Sunday.
The suspects, one of whom was thought to be armed, fled with the woman, a small amount of cash and other items, said Sgt. John Staugaard. They scattered on foot about a mile from the restaurant when their car ran out of gas, he said.
Several witnesses followed the suspects to the end of Dickens Street south of Ventura Boulevard, where the car stalled, and were able to direct police to the scene, Staugaard said.
22 Units Involved
Two of the suspects were taken into custody near the vehicle, but four of the men ran into the foothills with the woman, Staugaard said. Twenty-two police units, including a helicopter and police dogs, participated in the half-hour search that led to the arrest of the other suspects and the woman’s release, police said.
A police dog found Orando Anisetto, 23, hiding behind a bush with the kidnap victim, police said.
Anisetto was bitten by the dog when he attacked its handler, and was being held at County-USC Medical Center jail ward after being treated for cuts and bruises on his arms and face.
Police said the female victim, who lives in West Los Angeles, was treated at Valley Medical Center in Van Nuys.
The other suspects were arrested after they were seen walking out of the area, police said.
Police identified the other adult suspects as Fermin Gomez, 20; Alfredo Gonzales, 19; Guadalupe Batancur, 44, and Carlos Martinez, 18, all of whom were being held at Van Nuys jail. The juvenile, whose name was withheld, was taken to county juvenile hall.
Police said that although they believe a rape was committed, the suspects were held on suspicion of kidnaping for purposes of robbery with intent to commit bodily harm, which is a more serious charge than rape.
No weapons were found on the suspects. All are undocumented aliens, police said.
Municipal Judge Michael S. Luros on Sunday raised bail for the adult suspects from $30,000 to $300,000 because police said they feared the men had lied about their identities and would flee the country if allowed to go free.
Staugaard said all of the stolen money and items were recovered.