(January 2, 2002) -- LBPD has taken a suspect into custody in a bizarre string of assaults, in which he allegedly grabbed women from behind and cut a large portion of their hair off with a large knife or scissors.
LBPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Steve Filippini told LBReport.com police received an anonymous tip on new year's day, giving a location in the 1000 block of Pine Ave.
Police responded and took the suspect, Michael Lynn Howard, 47, of Norwalk into custody at about 4:30 p.m. He was booked on various charges of armed robbery [LBReport.com note: One's hair is technically one's property].
A day earlier, Howard had an encounter with L.A. County Sheriffs in ELA. On December 31, a County Sheriff's deputy spotted Howard allegedly holding a woman in a chokehold at a pay phone; Howard allegedly tried to run over the deputy using a car parked in a nearby alley and the deputy fired shots at him. He got away, but the anonymous tip to LBPD led to his arrest the next day.
On December 28, LBPD released a suspect sketch and sought the public's help in identifying the suspect.
Police said he approached females seated near or walking along major streets, grabs them from behind by their hair and cutting a large portion of their hair off. There were four reported assaults in LB, including at PCH and Chestnut (Dec. 18), 7th and Redondo (Dec. 18), 7th and Obispo (Dec. 19) and Anaheim and Cedar (Dec. 22).