NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD and the Queens District Attorney’s office praised three New York detectives Thursday, after they apprehended a man who had allegedly attacked a tourist in Los Angeles.
NYPD Detectives Albert Ramos and Daniel Mulligan were on official police business in Los Angeles Wednesday working out details for the extradition of several defendants charged in a $32 million gambling ring back in Queens, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
They jumped into action when they spotted a knife-wielding man attack a Russian tourist around 1:10 p.m. Pacific Time Wednesday, at the Hollywood & Highland Center, at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Hollywood, according to CBS Los Angeles.
“The detectives are real-life super heroes,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said in a news release. “Even though they were outside of their jurisdiction, the detectives did not hesitate to act. They quickly stepped in, apprehended the suspect and saved the tourist from further harm. I commend them for going above and beyond the call of duty.”
“The manner in which officers go in harm’s way to assist innocent people is always commendable. It is particularly gratifying to know Detectives Ramos and Mulligan were compelled to act though they were 3,000 miles from New York City,” added police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who also ran the LAPD from 2002 until 2009. “In doing so, they embodied the highest ideals of the NYPD. Their swift and decisive action almost certainly saved a life. As I’ve often had the privilege of saying, ‘It’s what we do.’”
The Russian tourist was shopping with his family – his wife and two young girls – when he got into a quarrel with an apparently homeless man, a witness said.
“Coming up after him with a knife and holding it, like, over his head,” said witness Mia Shemesh. “After that, he was trying to stab him, I think he like stabbed him (in the forehead) or something with the tip of the knife.”
Police said the suspect then stabbed the tourist multiple times in the neck and face, the witness said. But that was as far as he got, CBS Los Angeles reported.
Ramos and Mulligan were walking down the street at the time, and immediately identified themselves as police officers, prosecutors said. They apprehended the knife-wielding man and held him while calling 911, prosecutors said.
“They told him to lay down on the ground, drop the knife, and that’s it. They got him – one stood on his hands – and it took the police maybe like five more minutes to get here,” Shemesh told CBS Los Angeles.
Upon arriving at the scene, the LAPD arrested the man – Donald Monroe Offerman, 51 – who is homeless and has a record of numerous arrests, prosecutors said. He also has a history of mental illness, prosecutors said.
Offerman was charged with one count of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, prosecutors said. He was being held on $500,000 bail, CBS Los Angeles reported.
The tourist who was attacked – Michael Makrich, 32 – was visiting Los Angeles from Russia, prosecutors said. He was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, prosecutors said.