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A friend remembered

September 08, 2001

Ryan Carter

BURBANK -- Only days before he was cut down by a bullet while on duty,

L.A. County sheriff's Dep. Hagop "Jake" Kuredjian was enjoying the simple

pleasure of riding his motorcycle with a good friend, sheriff's Sgt. Bob

Norlemann.

It was for a good cause. The two were raising money for fellow slain

officers.

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Norlemann remembered Kuredjian's enthusiasm on that August morning.

"When I walked over to him, he looked at me, we shook hands and he had

that big old Jake grin on his face and he said, 'That was awesome,' "

Norlemann said.

But not long after that day, Kuredjian, 40, was fatally wounded on

Aug. 31 in a barrage of gunfire while helping federal agents as they

served a warrant on James Allen Beck, said sheriff's Dep. Margarita

Velazquez.

Beck, 35, the alleged gunman, had been wanted by authorities for

allegedly impersonating a federal agent and is believed to have died in

the ensuing fire that consumed his Santa Clarita home, Velazquez said.

For Burbank resident Norlemann, who once worked with Kuredjian in

Santa Clarita, memories surfaced of a friendship that centered around a

love of Harley-Davidson motorcycles and long highway rides.

Only five days before the fatal shooting, Kuredjian joined fellow

officers and colleagues in a ride from the parking lot of a Mexican food

restaurant in Studio City to Santa Clarita in a pre-ride for Norlemann's

annual Downed Officers Ride, an 80-mile motorcycle trek that raises money

for survivors of officers and firefighters killed or injured.

Norlemann met Kuredjian about seven years ago at the Santa Clarita

Sheriff's Station.

After they discovered a mutual interest in motorcycles, the two became

members of a group that helped start a local chapter of Iron Warriors, a

motorcycle club for firefighters and law enforcement officers.

"Throughout his career, he always loved motorcycles and loved being a

cop," Norlemann said. "Most of the time we hung out, it had something to

do with motorcycles."

Norlemann now looks toward next year's annual ride. Kuredjian will be

honored, though Norlemann is still pondering how.

"I've got several ideas," he said. "It's kind of soon. I need to talk

to his fiancee. We'll do something."

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