Attempted murder suspect to stand trial

A reputed gang member accused of trying to kill two Glendale men during a carjacking and subsequent freeway crash was ordered to stand trial Monday on attempted murder charges.

Manuel Jesus Rodriguez, 28, of Tujunga is charged with carjacking, assault with a firearm and two counts of attempted murder stemming from the Jan. 7 shooting in Glendale, according to Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Rodriguez, who is also known as "Travieso," is a listed member of the Glendale-based Toonerville gang, which is named in an injunction obtained by Glendale and Los Angeles in 2009, officials said.

He was arrested after police said he approached a 37-year-old Glendale man, who was seated in the driver's seat of a Toyota Camry in the 100 block of Sinclair Avenue.

He reportedly demanded the man give up his car and fired at least two shots at him.

Fearing he would be shot, he allowed Rodriguez to take his car.

Rodriguez began driving on the northbound Glendale (2) Freeway and reportedly crashed the stolen car.

A good Samaritan who was also driving on the freeway saw the crash and stopped to see if Rodriguez was hurt.

But Rodriguez was attempting to run away from the crash scene, so he fired three shots toward the 42-year-old Glendale man, striking his vehicle, police said.

Neither man was wounded during the shootings.

Rodriguez continued running and, at some point, accidentally shot his foot, police said.

He reportedly hopped a fence and was eventually detained by police in the 3700 block of Park Place.

Rodriguez has a criminal history, which includes convictions for burglary, possessing methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records.

He was also served in November 2009 with a court order that prohibits him from engaging in gang-related activities and from associating with other gang members within the so-called Los Angeles River-Glendale safety zone.

Rodriguez is expected to be arraigned again on April 21 on the attempted murder charges.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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