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Councilman Alarcon confronts intruder in home

March 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon confronted an intruder in his own home Thursday night. In an Eyewitness News exclusive, Alarcon related what happened.A frightening evening for the councilman and his family. They were all coming home Thursday evening about to open the door when they found a stranger inside the house. Luckily, no one was hurt, but this is all raising some questions about Alarcon's permanent residence, an issue being investigated by the L.A. District Attorney's Office.

Thursday night Los Angeles Police Department officers arrested the man L.A. City Councilman Richard Alarcon says broke into his house -- not once, but twice.

"When my wife and kids and I came home, when I tried to enter the house, he was holding the door on the other side and he said, 'No trespassing,'" said Alarcon. "I knew instantly who it was. It was the same guy who did it back in October."

Alarcon believes the man is mentally ill. Alarcon had just left his home Thursday afternoon for a few hours when the suspect allegedly broke in.

"So he had only been here maybe an hour," said Alarcon. "But in that short time he was able to put things in bags. Last time he was here, he destroyed all the pictures."

"First they yelled for him to come out, and then they banged on the door, yelled for him to get on the floor," said neighbor Patrick Tyler.

Tyler lives across the street. He said it's no coincidence the same man has been breaking into the Alarcon house.

"I've never seen a full family live there. Maybe an SUV checking up there once every two, three days," said Tyler.

Alarcon is currently being investigated by the L.A. District Attorney's Office for voter fraud, a felony. The councilman has been accused of not living in the Panorama City house, which is located in the district he represents. Some believe he resides at his wife's home in Sun Valley.

Asked if this was a case of not being at the residence in a while, Alarcon replied, "Well obviously we're here. My wife's car is parked in the driveway. It didn't stop him. We live here. This morning there was a speed-check here, and you know, for the last week I've been saying hello to the police officers who are out here citing people. We live here."

"The house is always quiet. We never see nobody in the house," said neighbor Jose Jimenez. "Until now."

Alarcon admits his family temporarily moved out of the house after the first break-in. But he says they live here all the time now.

"It's not safe for him to live here, but he can represent us, and that's not fair," said Tyler.

Another family told Eyewitness News the family has been living there permanently, but only after this voter-fraud investigation began.

Alarcon said the residence issue is just a simple misunderstanding.