September 1, 1985
El Paso Times -
El Paso native Ricardo Ramirez, charged with murder in connection with California’s “Night Stalker” slayings, will be held without bond until a court hearing, probably Thursday, authorities in Los Angeles said Saturday.
Ramirez, 25, was captured and beaten by a mob of angry people Saturday morning in Los Angeles after he allegedly tried to pull Angie De La Torre, 29, from her car to steal the vehicle.
It began when shoppers at a liquor store reported they saw Ramirez pick up a newspaper, look at his photo on the cover and run, police said.
As residents and police gave chase, Ramirez at one point approached the woman and tried to pull her out of the car, authorities said. Her husband, Manuel, 35, saw what was happening and attacked Ramirez with a fence post. A crowd gathered, and as Ramirez tried to run again, they gave chase. An hour after it started, the mob caught up with Ramirez and began beating him.
Police launched an air and ground search as calls continued, saying the man was seen crossing the city line into unincorporated county territory, where he finally was arrested.
“It seemed like alert citizens were reporting the suspect every step of the way,” Police Cmdr. William Booth said.
At one point, Ramirez ran through back yards, where at least one man struck him with barbecue utensils, Booth said.
As Ramirez ran, neighbors emerged from their homes and joined in the fight, police said.
As the crowd beat Ramirez, witnesses said, he shouted, in Spanish: “It’s me! It’s me! It’s me! I’m lucky the cops caught me.”
Deputy Sam Jones of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Ramirez was not hurt badly, although he did suffer head wounds and was treated by a fire department paramedic at the scene.
Law enforcement officials Friday had identified Ramirez as the prime suspect in the string of 16 “Night Stalker” slayings and in 21 other nighttime attacks since February that had spread fear from Southern California to San Francisco, 600 miles to the north.
Sheriff’s deputies took Ramirez for questioning to the Hollenbeck Police Station, where a surging crowd of about 500 jeering people gathered outside, shouting “Kill him! Kill him!