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Cousin: Riverside cop murder was preventable

November 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The cousin of the man arrested for the murder of a Riverside police officer said Sunday night's shooting was preventable. New details released Wednesday showed the alleged cop killer had a long criminal history.Earl Ellis Green, a 44-year-old man from Rubidoux, was taken into custody in the parking lot of a Target store on the 3300 block of Arlington Avenue at about 8 p.m. Tuesday. About a dozen officers assisted in the arrest.

Green has had a long criminal past dating back 20 years. He spent time in prison eight times, for crimes like theft, robbery and domestic violence. In Riverside County, Green has 13 cases against him, and he was on parole at the time of his arrest Tuesday night. A fingerprint match was found in a stolen tractor-trailer.

Green was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for the murder of Officer Ryan Bonaminio, a four-year veteran of the Riverside Police Department and an Iraq War veteran.

Bonaminio had pulled over the suspect on suspicion of being involved in a hit-and-run collision Sunday night when the suspect took off on foot into Fairmount Park. Bonaminio chased after him on foot. Witnesses described the two getting into a physical altercation in the park. Bonaminio was shot. The suspect returned to the big rig and drove away minutes before backup officers arrived. Bonaminio later was pronounced dead at a hospital.

It is unknown if the suspect was armed at the time of the incident, or if he used Bonaminio's weapon to shoot him. Authorities said during a Wednesday press conference that detectives executed search warrants and were able to recover Bonaminio's gun in a search Wednesday morning. Riverside Police Detective Ron Sanfilippo said "there's a good possibility" Bonaminio was shot with his own gun.

If Green is convicted of killing Bonaminio, he could face being held without parole. He could also face the death penalty.

Earl Green's cousin, Eddie Green Jr., said he wasn't surprised to hear of his cousin's arrest. The suspect's family said his actions before Sunday's suspected shooting should have put him back behind bars.

"For his history, he had to be disturbed. Something is not right. He had to be disturbed," Eddie Green Jr. said, adding that he was disappointed with the system and believes Bonaminio's death could have been prevented.

Eddie Green Jr. said his cousin had a violent outburst just the day and tried to kill his uncle.

"He asked for some keys, and he just went on a rampage, tried to run him over, tried to stab him," he said.

Law enforcement was called but nothing was done.

"We called the police, police came out, and they told him that basically it was a civil-suit matter," Eddie Green Jr. said. "I am very disappointed with this situation."

Eddie Green Jr. said his heart goes out to the Bonaminio family.

"My condolences go out to the family members that lost a loved one, and also to the community that lost an officer that was serving his community and doing what he was doing," he said.

Although there has been an arrest in the case, anyone with information is still urged to call the Riverside Police Department at (951) 353-7915.

Funeral services for Bonaminio are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 16, at Grove Community Church in Riverside at 10 a.m. Bonaminio will be interred later at Riverside National Cemetery.

A memorial fund has been set up for Bonaminio:

Riverside Police Officers Association
In care of: Ryan Bonaminio
(951) 784-1035
1965 Chicago Ave, #B
Riverside, CA 92507


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