Windows of patrol cars get busted

GLENDALE — Police patrol cars took a beating this month, with violent arrestees smashing windows and causing up to $6,000 in damages, officials said.

In four separate arrests, offenders who were allegedly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, kicked out the back windows of the Glendale police patrol cars, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

He estimated the cost to replace the windows and repair other damages was $500 to $1,500 each.

"It is unfortunate officers have to deal with those situations," Lorenz said.

The first incident occurred Dec. 7 at Jiffy Lube on Glendale Avenue and Doran Street, where a woman had reported a drunk man was passed out on the sidewalk, according to police reports.

Police found two empty and broken bottles of wine inside Arturo Garcia's backpack, so they arrested and placed him in the back of the patrol car. But once inside, he laid on his back and kicked the rear window until it shattered. He was booked into the department's jail, where he was placed in a holding cell for detox.

On Dec. 10, officers arrived at Montrose and La Crescenta avenues after receiving reports of a man threatening to kill another man.

They arrested Robert Valentine after he allegedly failed to obey their commands and placed him in the back of the patrol car, according to police reports. While he was sitting in the back, he also reportedly kicked out the window from its frame.

He later admitted to being drunk, according to police reports.

In a separate incident, police arrested Margarito Saldana, who allegedly exposed his genitals on Dec. 22 to passing cars at Chevy Chase Drive and Glendale Avenue.

He also kicked out the rear passenger window of the patrol car while waiting to be transported to jail, according to police reports.

On Dec. 28, police responded to the Lomita Avenue home of a man who was violent and aggressive toward his mother, according to police reports.

The man, who police did not identify, grew even angrier when he saw police at his home and charged at an officer. Once he was placed in the patrol car, he allegedly kicked out the rear passenger window.

He was later taken to Glendale Adventist Medical Center for a mental evaluation.

Police officials are looking into whether they should add tougher restraints in the rear seats of the patrol cars, Lorenz said.

Police officials will look at the tactics that the officers used to restrain the offenders, he added.

All of the men who allegedly caused the window damage will also face vandalism charges, Lorenz said, as the department seeks restitution.

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