Los Angeles, CA (STL.News) The Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations West Bureau Special Assault Section is hailing the community’s assistance and announcing the arrest of a prolific sexual battery suspect connected to a series of attacks in the Palms and Venice areas.
Between May 14 and June 19, 2020, detectives with the Operations West Bureau have identified as many as 13 possible incidents, with potential additional occurrences in Culver City and Marina Del Rey. Thanks to video provided by concerned neighbors, investigators obtained a license plate of the suspect’s vehicle and identified one of the suspects involved in the series.
Officers assigned to LAPD Pacific Area located the vehicle, a silver Mercedes Benz C-class sedan, near where several of the sexual batteries occurred, shortly after midnight on June 22, 2020. They followed the vehicle and arrested the suspect, 21-year-old Darryll Mercadel (Booking Number 5958556) of Los Angeles, on suspicion of forced sexual penetration.
“This is a great example of the neighborhood coming together to help get this guy off the streets,” said Captain Steven Embrich, Pacific Area’s commanding officer. “Without these great neighbors looking out for each other, we wouldn’t have had that vital information that cracked the case. We really appreciate all the people who stepped up and helped us out.”
Detectives from LAPD’s Operations West Bureau Special Assault Section are still seeking the identity of a second suspect believed to be working with Mercadel. In this series, the suspects approach young females who are walking or jogging alone on streets during early evening hours. The suspects grab the women’s buttocks and breasts, then flee on foot, on skateboard, on a bicycle and, in several instances, in a silver Mercedes Benz sedan. Witnesses describe the second suspect as a Black male of medium height and heavier build in his early 20s. Though they have not been seen together, both appear to be connected to the silver Mercedes and are likely working in concert.
Anyone with additional information about this crime is asked to contact Operations West Bureau, Special Assault Section, at (213) 473-0447. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P-3 Tips” mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.