Lifeguards assist in kidnapped child’s recovery in Hermosa

Los Angeles County Lifeguard Captain Gevorg Akopyan recalls preventing a kidnapping on the beach in Santa Monica during last month’s Lifeguard Medal of Valor Dinner at the King Harbor Yacht Club. Another lifeguard, who has not been identified, helped recover a kidnapped child Tuesday morning in Hermosa Beach. Photo by Kevin Cody.

by Kevin Cody

A four-year-old boy abducted from his grandfather’s Hawthorne home Tuesday evening was located by a Los Angeles County Lifeguard about 9 a.m. Wednesday morning on the beach, at Second Street in Hermosa Beach.

Lifeguard Battalion Chief AJ Lester said lifeguards had received a bulletin from Hawthorne Police asking local public safety agencies to assist in finding the child, and the adult male abductor. Lester declined to identify the lifeguard, who had been patrolling the beach in a lifeguard truck.

Hermosa Beach Police located the suspect’s car in the public beach parking lot at Hermosa Avenue and Herondo Street. The lifeguard subsequently spotted the suspect attempting to enter the Second Street beach bathrooms, which were locked. The lifeguard and his captain then followed the child and the suspect up Second Street to Hermosa Avenue, where Hermosa and Hawthorne police arrested the suspect on suspicion of kidnapping.

After the two lifeguards determined the child was uninjured, Hawthorne police returned the child to his mother. Hawthorne Police said the suspect was a friend of the family’s and not the boy’s father.

Tuesday morning’s recovery of the abducted child was the second time in a year that Los Angeles County Lifeguards have helped resolve a kidnapping case.

Last Summer Lifeguard Captain Gevorg Akopyan was working on the beach in Santa Monica when he stopped a man attempting to grab a two-year-old from the mother’s arms. Akopyan was awarded the Lifeguard Medal of Valor during last month’s Lifeguard Medal of Valor Dinner for preventing the kidnapping. ER


comments so far. Comments posted to may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.