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Standoff slows down city

Ben Godar

Those who live near the apartment building where a man fired shots at

police Thursday say it’s not the first time the complex has been the

site of trouble.

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Residents of the Griffith Park Apartments and Dude Ranch at 400

Paula Ave. and others who live near the 78-unit complex were

evacuated after the man began shooting at police and toward the

Golden State (5) Freeway from his apartment about 11:10 a.m.

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Neighbors and residents said numerous other problems have occurred

at the apartment building. One woman said she heard three gunshots

coming from the complex while walking her dog late last year, and a

man said police told him a methamphetamine lab was found in the

building several years ago.

Thursday’s incident was not even the first time police were

involved in a standoff at the complex. In January 2000, a man who

allegedly threatened his girlfriend with a gun refused to come out of

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his apartment for more than three hours. No shots were fired, and the

man eventually gave himself up peacefully.

Joanne Hedge, president of the Glendale Rancho Homeowners Assn.,

lives near the apartment complex and said the few problems that arise

in the neighborhood tend to be centered on the apartment building.

“It’s high time the Glendale Police Department really bear down on

the owners of the building at 400 Paula,” Hedge said. “There needs to

be better screening of tenants.”

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Jason Wisch, who was inside his home about a block away when the

shooting started, also said the complex seems to attract trouble.

“It’s definitely not the same class of people as are living in the

houses,” Wisch said.

While Wisch and Hedge contend most of the residents of the complex

are good people, Hedge hopes the incident will drive the building’s

owners to crack down on tenants.

“We just don’t want to see this repeated ever, ever again,” Hedge

said. “This is absurd.”

Shortly after the start of Thursday’s standoff, CHP officers

closed the 5 Freeway in both directions between Colorado Street and

Alameda Avenue. The freeway remained closed until about 4:15 p.m.,

resulting in heavy traffic on the Ventura (134) Freeway and surface

streets throughout Burbank and Glendale, including San Fernando Road

and Glenoaks Boulevard.

In response to the incident, the Glendale Unified School District

initiated its emergency release plan for students at Franklin

Elementary School at 1610 Lake St. The school dismissed at 1 p.m. but

students were not allowed to leave unless their parents picked them

up, district officials said.


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