By Aaron Blevins, 1/03/2013
A panhandler allegedly threatened to kill a restaurant manager in the 600 block of South Alameda St. at approximately 1 p.m. on Dec. 15, when the manager received a complaint from a customer that the panhandler was inside the restaurant bothering patrons.
A detectives’ investigation revealed that the manager approached the panhandler and asked him to leave. The panhandler, later identified as Kenneth Underwood, complained and then left the restaurant lobby. The manager then followed Underwood outside to ensure that he was leaving the property, and saw Underwood walk to the rear of the drive-through area and resume panhandling to some patrons ordering food at the drive-through.
The manager again approached Underwood and told him that he could not panhandle at the drive-through either. Underwood allegedly became angry and pushed the victim several times. According to police, he then grabbed the victim and immediately pressed a knife against the manager’s torso and threatened to kill him. Underwood allegedly used racial slurs during the assault. The victim told investigators that he has received racial slurs and threats from the suspect in the past involving his sexual orientation.
On Dec. 17, detectives assigned to LAPD Crimes Against Persons Unit (CAPS) conducted a follow-up when they received information that Underwood had returned to the restaurant. The detectives arrived at the location and detained him near the location.
LAPD Central Area officers assisted the detectives and conducted a field show-up, where the suspect was positively identified as Underwood. He was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, and enhancements for a hate crime will be sought.
Anyone with information about this incident may contact LAPD Central Area detectives at (213)972-1203. During off-hours, calls may be directed to (877)527-3247. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800)222-8477.