Top Cop - November 2014 The Buena Park Police Department recognizes our officers monthly who go above and beyond the call of duty in their service to the community.
TOP COP - NOVEMBER 2014
DETECTIVE CORPORAL SERGIO LEPE
Due to his outstanding work ethic and investigative skills, the Buena Park Supervisory team selected Detective Corporal Sergio Lepe as the Police Department’s Top Cop for November 2014.
On November 9, 2014, family members made a report of a missing female. They told of how the female has been in a very abusive relationship with her boyfriend, a local gang member who constantly beats her, and she may be a victim. The missing person’s daughter further reported that she tried to call her mother, and her mother’s boyfriend answered the phone and said he was going to kill her mother and the daughter could her mother screaming in the background.
First thing in the morning, Detective Lepe was assigned this case, taking it over from patrol who had been working the case all night to find the female. Patrol advised Detective Lepe they requested the phone company “ping” the victim’s phone, but were unsuccessful because the phone had been turned off.
Detective Lepe then contacted the reporting parties to reconfirm their statements and get further details to assist in the search for the missing person/victim.
Following this, Detective Lepe contacted the boyfriend’s family, at which time he learned that the victim had been strangled with a phone cord wrapped around her neck in front of the boyfriend’s mother and that he had threatened to kill her. His mother informed Detective Lepe this happened just two weeks earlier and that he was arrested by another agency at that time. While speaking with the suspect’s mother, Detective Lepe also learned that she and the victim’s family both had a restraining order against him. During an in-house search of the suspect and victim, Detective lepe found that the victim had been the victim in multiple domestic violence cases before, but would never testify against the suspect.
Detective Lepe then contacted the last city to arrest the suspect and was made aware that he had a prepaid phone during the time of his arrest and was able to get the phone number and write an order to have this phone “pinged.” Soon thereafter, Detective Lepe had a location of the phone at a local hotel. Detective Lepe responded to the hotel and found both the victim and suspect. As before, the victim refused to speak to the police. Instead of simply taking a locate report on the found missing person, Detective Lepe decided to take this case further and help this victim, who he recognized as being a battered woman. The suspect was arrested and transported to the city jail by a patrol officer. Detective Lepe then drove the victim back to the station to speak with her.
After hours of interviewing her, he was able to get her to admit she was held against her will and that she was, and has been, beaten by the suspect. The details were limited, but it was enough to hold him. Two days later, Detective Lepe re-interviewed the victim, obtaining additional details to assist in the investigation. Ultimately, Detective Lepe was able to have the District Attorney’s Office file multiple felony charges against the suspect, not only on this case, but on past suspended cases.
The compassion, work ethic and investigative skills demonstrated by Detective Lepe commendable. Congratulations Detective Lepe!