Malibu detectives honored for thwarting kidnapper

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris on July 25, 2013, convened law enforcement leaders from Los Angeles and Orange counties for a regional meeting to discuss priorities and share information. As part of the meeting at LAPD HQ, Attorney General Harris presented commendation and valor awards to peace officers and citizens nominated for their efforts to protect public safety in 2012.

Lt. David Thompson and Det. Jill Greenwood of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s station were awarded the California Attorney General’s Award for Valor on Wednesday after arresting a kidnapping suspect last summer, according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

Thompson and Greenwood successfully carried out a plan to arrest Rudy Zendejas, who kidnapped his estranged wife at gunpoint from her job in Malibu last July. Zendejas had accused his wife of cheating on him and threatened to kill her, her boyfriend and himself.

In a Los Angeles restaurant, a day after the kidnapping, Thompson and Greenwood identified Zendejas. After following Zendejas he “appeared to identify the detectives as peace officers, and reached for a concealed weapon in his waistband,” according to the LASD. The detectives distracted Zendejas and apprehended him as he reached for weapon. The detectives were able to arrest Zendejas before he fired any shots.

The 27-year-old had 63 rounds of ammunition on him and a suicide letter addressed to his parents.  

Both Thompson and Greenwood were awarded the Valor award on July 25 for their heroic act and their efforts to avert tragic loss of lives.