L.A. County firefighter suspected in sexual assault near an elementary school


A Los Angeles County firefighter was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of grabbing a woman and sexually assaulting her near an elementary school in El Monte, police said.

Richard Thomas Loken, 38, was taken into custody about 12:40 p.m. after his truck was spotted outside Portrero Elementary School hours after the attack, said Sgt. Richard Luna of the El Monte Police Department.

At about 8:15 a.m., the woman was walking near the school in the 2600 block of Portrero Avenue when the suspect appeared behind her, grabbed her and then sexually assaulted her, Luna said.


As the woman ran to contact a witness and school officials, the suspect got into a Ford truck and drove away, Luna said.

Three hours later, police received a report about a suspicious person in a black Ford truck at the school.

As officers spoke to Loken, they noticed a loaded handgun on the passenger seat. A pair of handcuffs and a Taser were found, Luna said.

Loken was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence, possessing a firearm near school grounds and sexual battery, police said.

Before joining the Fire Department, Loken was an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.

A Moreno Valley resident, Loken worked for the LAPD for 10 years, police said.

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