Child molestation suspect shot by El Monte police released from hospital

EL MONTE — A child molestation suspect who was shot and wounded by police after brandishing a fake handgun at officers was out of the hospital and behind bars Sunday, records show.
Luis Arce, 41, of El Monte was booked on suspicion of child molestation and rape charges, according to El Monte police and sheriff’s booking records. He was being held at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles in lieu of $300,000 bail.
El Monte police officers identified Arce as a suspect in a child molestation case and went to arrest him about 12:30 a.m. Saturday at his home in the 3000 block of Durfee Avenue, El Monte police Lt. Dan Burlingham said.
Officers briefly wrestled with Arce outside his apartment prior to the shooting, said Sgt. Richard Biddle of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau — which is assisting the El Monte Police Department in the investigation.
“They contacted him,” he said. “A confrontation ensued. It ended with the suspect pulling what was later found to be a replica handgun.”
An officer opened fire, and a single bullet struck Arce in the chest, El Monte police Lt. Robert Roach said.
The investigation remained ongoing, Biddle said, however it appeared the officer who fired was in fear for his safety at the time, he added.
When investigating officer-involved shootings, sheriff’s investigators do not come to a conclusion, but rather turn over the information they gather to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Biddle said.
The DA’s Office will review the case and determine whether officers acted within the law.
At the same time, Burlingham said, El Monte Police Internal Affairs investigators are also looking into the shooting to determine whether the officers acted within department policy.
Arce was initially hospitalized and has since been booked into jail, according to sheriff’s records.
El Monte police Lt. Robert Roach said the alleged molestation was “severe” and been ongoing for months, but declined to give further details about the investigation to protect the privacy of the juvenile victim.
Los Angeles County Superior Court records indicate Arce has not been charged with a crime in the county in more than 20 years.
He was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm and attempted robbery in December of 1988, records show, and receiving stolen property in September of the same year. In July of 1988, he was convicted of driving on a suspended license.
No information on his initial court appearance was available Sunday.

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