Capital murder, felonies charged in L.A. bus hijacking

The Associated Press
Tuesday June 05, 2001

LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors filed a potential death penalty murder case Friday against a man who allegedly shot a man and tried to get away by hijacking a bus that sped through downtown until a violent collision that killed a minivan driver. 

Carlos Ray Garcia, 40, of Reseda was charged with capital murder, attempted murder, carjacking, six counts of kidnapping for carjacking, robbery, attempted carjacking and evasion of an officer resulting in death. 

Acting Head Deputy District Attorney Patrick M. Dixon also alleged a special circumstance of murder during a carjacking, kidnapping and robbery.  

The complaint also alleged that Garcia used a handgun to commit the crimes. 

Garcia was held ld without bail because it is a potential capital case, but the district attorney’s office said the decision on whether to seek the death penalty would not be made until after the preliminary hearing. 

The counts filed against Garcia did not include a hate crime. 

Police said the shooting that led to the bus chase apparently was motivated by hate because Garcia allegedly told victim Anthony Lewis, 35, that he did not like black men associating with Hispanic women.  

Lewis remained in critical condition Friday. 

Lewis was shot Wednesday afternoon in the Rampart area near the offices of the city police union.  

Police quickly gave chase as Garcia allegedly jumped aboard the Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus and forced the driver to speed off at gunpoint. 

The bus, carrying four women passengers and a 4-year-old girl, raced through downtown for five minutes before broadsiding the minivan, killing Guadalupe Arrevalos, 34, of Norwalk, and crashing into a parcel delivery truck and a row of cars in a parking lot. 

Authorities said Garcia jumped out of the wrecked bus and tried to carjack an automobile before he was swarmed by police and arrested. 

Police found the handgun. 

Prosecutors said Arrevalos, a Central Library worker and mother of three, was the victim in the counts alleging murder and evading an officer.  

Lewis was the victim in the attempted-murder count. 

Bus driver Ema Gutierrez, 48, and the five bus passengers were named as victims in the counts alleging kidnapping for carjacking. 

The carjacking and robbery counts also involved the commandeering of the bus.  

The attempted-carjacking charge involved the car Garcia allegedly tried to take after the crash.