Second Suspect Surrenders in Slaying of 13-Year-Old Boy
The second gang member wanted in the slaying of a 13-year-old El Sereno boy surrendered to a television news crew Thursday after voicing fears that police planned to beat him.
“I don’t want to be another Rodney King,” said Joaquin Alvarado, 19, peeling off his shirt to show a TV camera that he was unbruised as he awaited arrest by Los Angeles police.
Police had searched for Alvarado since Monday, when a stray bullet fired by two gunman fatally wounded seventh-grader Mario Martinez as he walked home from El Sereno Jr. High School. Another suspect, Rene Jimenez, 18, was arrested on Wednesday.
The death of Mario, who had dreamed of growing up to be a policeman, outraged the community and prompted police on Wednesday to urge Alvarado to surrender “to prevent you from being hurt.” Said Detective Robert Suter in a message to Alvarado: ". . .I tell you this: We will get you.”
After hearing that on a news broadcast, Alvarado sent a friend to the Hollywood studios of KTLA-TV Channel 5 with a handwritten surrender note.
“I want to turn my self in but I want a camera so they could see me how I look and the cops wont kick my ass. That is the only thing that scares me . . . I’m inesent!” asserted the signed message.
Before being taken into custody at 5 a.m., Alvarado again told a KTLA reporter that he was innocent. “What happened to the little boy shouldn’t have happened. . . . I’m sorry with what happened with the kid,” he said.
Afterward, police denied that Alvarado faced any harm from them. “What I meant was that we were going to catch him. It was just a matter of time,” Suter said.
A family spokesman said services for Mario will include a Rosary today at 7:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Funeral Home, 415 E. Orange Grove Blvd. A service at 9 a.m. Saturday at All Saints Catholic Church in El Sereno will be followed by burial at Rose Hills Cemetery in Whittier.