Police offer $95,000 reward to help catch deputy’s killers

Daily News Wire Service

CYPRESS PARK- Law enforcement officials offered a $95,000 reward Wednesday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of assailants who shot to death a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy in early August.

The Los Angeles City Council offered a $75,00 reward, and the Board of Supervisors added $20,000, hoping to persuade witnesses with information about the death of Juan Abel Escalante to come forward.

Escalante was on his way to work at the Men’s Central Jail when he was killed in the early morning hours of Aug. 2.

He was killed outside his boyhood home in the 3400 block of Thorpe Street in the Cypress Park area.

“We need to make a statement as a community, here in Cypress Park, that this horrendous crime cannot go on any further,” said Councilman Ed Reyes.

Initially, the focus of the investigation was whether the slaying was related to Escalante’s job at the Men’s Central Jail, where he guarded highly dangerous inmates, including members of the Mexican Mafia.

Now, authorities have begun to consider whether Escalante was slain by local gang members who didn’t even know he was a lawman.

Detectives have been looking more closely into gang activity in the neighborhood, and are especially interested in the long-running feud between the Avenues Gang and rival Cypress Park gang.

Police said information can be offered anonymously.

Anyone with information was asked to call detectives Thomas Matthew or Steven Eguchi at (213) 485-2531.

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