Story Summary

Northridge Kidnapping and Assault

missing-girl-ambulance-pikzelProsecutors have filed charges against two men suspected in the kidnapping and assault of a 10-year-old girl from Northridge.

The girl, barefoot and appearing battered and bruised, was dropped off about 12 hours later in a Woodland Hills parking lot.

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toby-summers-courtSAN FERNANDO (KTLA) — The man accused of kidnapping a 10-year-old girl from her Northridge home and sexually assaulting her pleaded not guilty Thursday to 37 felony charges.

Tobias Dustin Summers, 32, faces kidnapping and first-degree burglary charges as well as nearly three dozen counts of sexual assault.

Summers was captured on April 24 at a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Las Misiones, a small community about 200 miles south of the U.S. border in Mexico.

A felony complaint alleges that Summers broke into the girl’s home and used a knife to abduct her, then committed numerous sexual acts on the child and took nude photos of her.

The girl was discovered missing about 3:40 a.m. on March 27 by her mother, who heard a noise and went to check on her daughter.

Dozens of law enforcement officials quickly joined the search, which ended about 12 hours later when the girl was found wandering in a parking lot several miles away.

She was barefoot, dazed and appeared to be wearing different clothes than those she wore when taken from her home.

Days later, Los Angeles police publicly identified Summers as their primary suspect.

A federal complaint alleges that he crossed the border into Tecate, Mexico, “within several hours” of that announcement.

summers-picLAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that a phone tip helped narrow their search. The FBI relayed the information to Mexican authorities, who made the arrest.

Baja police said Summers was surprised and frightened by the sight of officers and was taken into custody without incident.

Authorities confirmed Summers’ identity through a Superman logo tattoo on his chest.

Summers had checked into the rehab facility under a fake name.

The girl’s family declined requests for interviews through the LAPD, but her mother told KTLA that she was “relieved that he’s been captured and glad that he won’t be doing this to anyone else.”

Summers is being held on $19 million bail.

If convicted, he faces multiple life terms in prison.

His next court appearance is set for May 22.

Also charged in connection with the case is Daniel Martinez, who pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and burglary counts earlier this month.

Martinez, 29, was arrested two miles from the girl’s home and was described by Los Angeles police as a secondary suspect in the crime.

If convicted, he faces up to 12 years in prison.

Police do not believe Martinez initiated the kidnapping or participated in the assault, but was believed to be the driver in what authorities said began as a burglary.

Both men have extensive criminal histories, though neither is a registered sex offender.

It is unclear how long either man has spent behind bars.

KTLA/Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES – The man suspected of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Northridge girl made his first court appearance in Los Angeles Thursday.

32-year-old Tobias Dustin Summers was arrested in Mexico on Wednesday.

Summers did not enter a plea. His next hearing is scheduled for May 2.

Also Thursday, the family of the 10-year-old victim issued a written statement.

“Our family thanks the LAPD, SDPD, FBI and the Mexican authorities for their work in finding and apprehending Tobias Summers. Throughout this ordeal, they’ve been working around the clock hunting this man — not only for justice for our daughter, but to make sure he’s unable to hurt anyone again.

Since the onset of this ordeal, the LAPD and the FBI have been spectacular with us and our daughter. We can’t begin to describe how their compassion and professionalism got us through that first day. There were so many officers and agents and so few names we thought to record that to name any in particular would be an injustice to the rest.

We would also like to thank the police officers who first found our daughter, the paramedics who responded and staff at West Hills Hospital. You all helped my daughter feel safe and secure when she needed it the most.

Lastly, as a family we would also like to thank everyone — family, friends, members of our church and strangers who have offered prayers, good wishes and thoughts. We’re humbled by the outpouring of affection and concern for our daughter.  It’s not only helped us get through the last few weeks, but our daughter as well.

In closing, we request that you respect our desire for privacy and understand that it’s for our daughter.

Summers, a felon and reputed gang member, was captured Wednesday morning at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in Las Misiones, a small community about 200 miles south of the U.S. border in Mexico, authorities said.

He was taken to a Los Angeles jail later that day, and was being held in lieu of $19-million bail.

Summers was charged earlier this month with three dozen counts, including sexual assault, kidnapping and first-degree burglary in connection with the March 27 incident.

A felony complaint alleges that he broke into the girl’s home and used a knife to abduct her, then committed numerous sexual acts on the child and took nude photos of her.

The girl was discovered missing about 3:40 a.m. by her mother, who heard a noise and went to check on her daughter.

Dozens of law enforcement officials quickly joined the search, which ended about 12 hours later when the girl was found wandering in a parking lot several miles away.

She was barefoot, dazed and appeared to be wearing different clothes than those she wore when taken from her home.

Days later, Los Angeles police publicly identified Summers as their primary suspect. A federal complaint alleges that he crossed the border into Tecate, Mexico, “within several hours” of that announcement.

Officials did not provide details about his movements in Mexico, but LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said a phone tip received late Tuesday night narrowed the focus of the search.

The FBI relayed that information to Mexican authorities, who made the arrest.

Baja police said Summers was surprised and frightened by the sight of officers and taken into custody without incident.

Authorities confirmed Summers’ identity through a Superman logo tattoo on his chest.

“I’m very happy that we caught this trash,” said Alfredo Arenas, commander of the Baja California state police fugitive squad.

“I always make a point to capture people that have sex with children. Because if given the opportunity, they will rape a Mexican child.”

Arenas said Summers checked into the rehab facility under a fake name and, judging by its remote location, said: “Obviously, this guy wasn’t interested in getting rehabbed, just trying to hide out.”

Mexican authorities had distributed a “wanted” poster and police were alerted in cities including Tijuana, Tecate, Ensenada and Rosarito Beach. The FBI also issued the $25,000 reward, Beck said.

Beck said he was “extremely pleased” at the arrest, but cautioned that “there’s a long way left to go in this case.”

“We can never make whole the lives of that family and the young girl after this horrific event,” Beck said later at the news conference.

“But we can and we will and we do make plain to anybody in this city that thinks they can commit that kind of crime and remain free after doing so — we can make sure that they know that is not true.”

“We will hunt you,” he said. “We will find you. You cannot hide.”

The girl’s family declined requests for interviews through the LAPD, but her mother told KTLA that she was “relieved that he’s been captured and glad that he won’t be doing this to anyone else.”

Also charged in connection with the case is Daniel Martinez, who pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and burglary counts earlier this month.

Martinez, 29, was arrested two miles from the girl’s home and was described by Los Angeles police as a secondary suspect in the crime. If convicted, he faces up to 12 years in prison.

Police do not believe Martinez initiated the kidnapping or participated in the assault, but was believed to be the driver in what authorities said began as a burglary.

Both men have extensive criminal histories, though neither is a registered sex offender. It is unclear how long either man has spent behind bars.

KTLA/Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — Recently obtained video shows the man suspected in the kidnapping and assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl crossing into Mexico, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said at a press conference Friday.

northridge-suspectIn the video, Tobias Dustin Summers, 32, can be seen crossing a footbridge into Tecate, Mexico, a few days ago.

It was unclear if he ever crossed back, the chief said.

The LAPD is working with the FBI and Mexican officials to apprehend Summers.

Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against Summers and another man suspected in the kidnapping.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office charged Summers with kidnapping a minor under 14, first-degree burglary with a person present and nearly three dozen counts of sexual assault.

Prosecutors say that Summers broke into the home and used a knife to abduct the girl.

They allege that Summers repeatedly assaulted the victim over a 12-hour period.

If convicted, Summers is facing multiple life terms in prison.

29-year-old Daniel Martinez, of West Hills, was also charged with felony counts of kidnapping a minor under the age of 14 and first-degree burglary.

Martinez was arrested about two miles from the girl’s home.

On night of the March 27 kidnapping, Martinez was allegedly waiting in a car when Summers emerged from the girl’s home with the 10-year-old victim.

Martinez allegedly drove a short way before leaving the car.

The victim was found nearly 12 hours later at the corner of Canoga Avenue and Oxnard Street, barefoot and with visible injuries.

Authorities said she was in shock, and was suffering from facial bruising and lacerations.

The girl told police she was taken to several locations, including a vacant house and a storage facility, all within blocks of each other.

Prosecutors asked that his bail be set at $150,000. If convicted, Martinez is facing up to 12 years in state prison.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the LAPD hotline at 213-486-6890.

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. (KTLA) — Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against two men suspected in the kidnapping and assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office charged 30-year-old Tobias Dustin Summers, who is still on the run, with kidnapping a minor under 14, first-degree burglary with a person present and nearly three dozen counts of sexual assault.

Prosecutors say that Summers broke into the home and used a knife to abduct the girl.

They allege that Summers repeatedly assaulted the victim over a 12-hour period.

If convicted, Summers is facing multiple life terms in prison.

Rick Chambers reports.
tobias-martinez

Tobias Summers (L) and Daniel Martinez (R)

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. (KTLA) — Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against two men suspected in the kidnapping and assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office charged 30-year-old Tobias Dustin Summers, who is still on the run, with kidnapping a minor under 14, first-degree burglary with a person present and nearly three dozen counts of sexual assault.

Prosecutors say that Summers broke into the home and used a knife to abduct the girl.

They allege that Summers repeatedly assaulted the victim over a 12-hour period.

If convicted, Summers is facing multiple life terms in prison.

29-year-old Daniel Martinez, of West Hills, was also charged Wednesday with felony counts of kidnapping a minor under the age of 14 and first-degree burglary.

Martinez was arrested Sunday about two miles from the girl’s home.

On the night of the kidnapping, Martinez was allegedly waiting in a car when Summers emerged from the girl’s home with the 10-year-old victim.

Martinez allegedly drove a short way before leaving the car.

The victim was found nearly 12 hours later at the corner of Canoga Avenue and Oxnard Street, barefoot and with visible injuries.

Prosecutors are asking that his bail be set at $150,000. If convicted, Martinez is facing up to 12 years in state prison.

Meanwhile, in the search for Summers, Detectives say it’s possible he could be in the San Diego area. He may also have changed his appearance by shaving his head.

San Diego police have distributed a flier warning that Summers should be considered armed and dangerous, and asking anyone who sees him to call 911 immediately.

On Saturday, investigators seized a red Pontiac registered to Summers.

Summers is a parolee with a lengthy rap sheet, including charges of kidnapping, robbery, explosives possession and petty theft. He is not a registered sex offender.

LAPD officials said he was released from custody in July 2012 under a prison realignment program to reduce overcrowding.

The program transfers some inmates from state prison to county jail to ease overcrowding.

It also means that, when they’re released, they are no longer under a stricter state parole system, but rather, a county probation system.

Police say the girl was abducted from her home sometime between 1 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. last Wednesday.

The girl told police she was taken to several locations, including a vacant house and a storage facility, all within blocks of each other.

The 10-year-old was found just before 3:00 p.m. Wednesday near Oxnard Street and Canoga Avenue.

It’s believed she was dropped off at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodland Hills, about six miles from her home.

She was seen wandering in a nearby parking lot and recognized by a bystander, who pointed her out to police on patrol.

Police and fire personnel were called, and they transported the girl by ambulance to West Hills Hospital to be checked out.

Authorities said she was in shock, and was suffering from facial bruising and lacerations.

She was barefoot and was not dressed in the same clothing she was last seen wearing at home.

Detectives have said they are not sure why the girl was targeted.

KTLA is no longer identifying the girl by name or in images that had been released by authorities.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the LAPD hotline at 213-486-6890.

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. (KTLA) — Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against two men suspected in the kidnapping and assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office charged 30-year-old Tobias Dustin Summers, who is still on the run, with kidnapping a minor under 14, first-degree burglary with a person present and nearly three dozen counts of sexual assault.

Prosecutors say that Summers broke into the home and used a knife to abduct the girl.   They allege that Summers repeatedly assaulted the victim over a 12-hour period.

If convicted, Summers is facing multiple life terms in prison.

Chris Wolfe reports.

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. (KTLA) — One of the two suspects in the kidnapping and assault of a 10-year-old Northridge girl is expected in court on Wednesday.

daniel-martinez29-year-old Daniel Martinez, of North Hills, was arrested on Sunday and is being held on $1 million bail.

Between 2004 and 2012, Martinez was convicted burglary, petty theft, grand theft, resisting a police officer and unlawfully entering a property.

In April 2012, he was convicted of threats of death or great bodily injury, records show.

Meantime, the primary suspect in the case, identified by police as 30-year-old Tobias Dustin Summers, is still on the run. Suspect in Northridge Kidnapping Due in Court

Detectives say it’s possible that Summers could be in the San Diego area. He may also have changed his appearance by shaving his head.

San Diego police have distributed a flier warning that Summers should be considered armed and dangerous, and asking anyone who sees him to call 911 immediately.

On Saturday, investigators seized a red Pontiac registered to Summers.

Summers is a parolee with a lengthy rap sheet, including charges of kidnapping, robbery, explosives possession and petty theft. He is not a registered sex offender.

northridge-suspectLAPD officials said he was released from custody in July 2012 under a prison realignment program to reduce overcrowding.

The program transfers some inmates from state prison to county jail to ease overcrowding.

It also means that, when they’re released, they are no longer under a stricter state parole system, but rather, a county probation system.

Police say the girl was abducted from her home sometime between 1 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. last Wednesday.

The girl told police she was taken to several locations, including a vacant house and a storage facility, all within blocks of each other.

The 10-year-old was found just before 3:00 p.m. Wednesday near Oxnard Street and Canoga Avenue.

It’s believed she was dropped off at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodland Hills, about six miles from her home.

She was seen wandering in a nearby parking lot and recognized by a bystander, who pointed her out to police on patrol.

Police and fire personnel were called, and they transported the girl by ambulance to West Hills Hospital to be checked out.

Authorities said she was in shock, and was suffering from facial bruising and lacerations.

She was barefoot and was not dressed in the same clothing she was last seen wearing at home.

Detectives have said they are not sure why the girl was targeted.

KTLA is no longer identifying the girl by name or in images that had been released by authorities.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the LAPD hotline at 213-486-6890.

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. — The suspect in the kidnapping and sexual assault of a young Northridge girl last week is a transient with an extensive criminal history, police said.

Tobias Dustin Summers is the primary focus of the police investigation, LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said at a news conference Saturday afternoon at police headquarters downtown.

Police said Summers frequented North Hollywood and other areas of the San Fernando Valley.

It isn’t known why the 10-year-old victim was targeted.

“We have no information that the family knew this individual or that this individual knew any members of the family,” Albanese said.

Summers has a criminal history back to 2002 that includes charges of kidnapping, robbery, explosives possession and petty theft, Albanese said.

Summers is not a registered sex offender, but authorities said he was arrested on suspicion of battery in 2009 in a case that involved child annoyance.

He was released from custody in July 2012 because of a new law that transfers authority over some felons from state prisons to county jails and, on their release, from state parole to county probation departments.

The law, also known as public safety realignment, was intended to reduce overcrowding in state prisons.

The girl told investigators that two men were involved in the incident and that she was taken to multiple locations in different vehicles, according to law enforcement sources.

But police said Summers was the primary focus of their investigation.

“We’re trying to go through this slowly and methodically because we don’t want to overwhelm her. She’s a 10-year-old girl,” LAPD Capt. William P. Hayes said after Saturday’s news conference.

On Wednesday, the girl’s mother told authorities she last saw her daughter in her room at about 1 a.m.

At about 3:40 a.m., police said, the mother heard a noise. When she went to check on her daughter, the girl was gone.

Police conducted a house-by-house search of the neighborhood, and the FBI joined the investigation.

Shortly before 3 p.m., a man spotted the girl in a parking lot about six miles from her home and pointed her in the direction of nearby police.

She was found with cuts and bruises, some to her face, near a Starbucks.

In news helicopter footage, she appeared to be barefoot and wearing clothing different from what she had on when she was last seen.

LAPD officials said they believe the girl was dropped off at a Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodland Hills. She then walked toward the Starbucks.

The girl was initially identified by The Times, citing authorities, after she went missing. However, it is the policy of The Times not to identify victims in cases of alleged sexual crimes.

Los Angeles Times

Police are asking for the public’s help tracking down an ex-con suspected of kidnapping and assaulting a young girl in Northridge. Jim Nash has more from the suspect’s last known address in Woodland Hills.