Thursday, May 17, 2012

Patty Hearst Robs Mel's Sporting Goods 1974


On May 16, 1974, "Teko" and "Yolanda" (William and Emily Harris) entered Mel's Sporting Goods Store in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, California to shop for supplies. While Yolanda made the purchases, Teko on a whim decided to shoplift socks. When a security guard confronted him, Teko brandished a revolver. The guard knocked the gun out of his hand and placed a handcuff on William's left wrist. Hearst, on armed lookout from the group's van across the street, began shooting up the store's overhead sign. Everyone in the store took cover and they drove off with Hearst.


Present day location of Mel's Sporting Goods at 11425 Crenshaw Blvd. in Inglewood.


2 comments:

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  2. I remember that day like yesterday ! I was working in our family grocery store in Anaheim on that day, and my in-laws were just a few miles from Mel's in Lennox, by the Los Angeles International Airport. When Patty Hearst fled the scene here I understand that she left in a car with the Harris couple and then that night she stayed in a motel in Anaheim.....That same night of the incident at Mel's, Donald de Freeze and the rest of the group fled their safe house because the police found their address in a parking ticket from a van left at Mel's......They had no choice but to find an alternate place to stay so they drove to South Central Los Angeles, and in the wee hours of the morning of May 17, 1974 they picked a house because it was the only house with a light on....That day after dawn, an anonymous tip was called in to the Los Angeles Police Dept. and one of the greatest gun battles in the history of the U.S. took place....Donald de Freeze and several others died in the firefight....I remember watching it that night on KTLA News at Ten with anchorman Hal Fishman......That episode with the Symbionese Liberation Army is a fascinating part of history for me...( I was 21 that year. ) CM González, Miami, FL

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