The destruction never reached epic proportions in Monrovia, but the city did see its fair share of trouble when riots broke out in Los Angeles on Apr. 29, 1992.
There was definitely violence. . Luckily, however, no one in town lost their life that day, and the media at the time said that Monrovia and the rest of the San Gabriel Valley escaped relatively unscathed.
"Maybe it was because cities such as El Monte and Monrovia are smaller and police are easier to mobilize ..," wrote Los Angeles Times reporter Edmund Newton in his May 7, 1992, story "Pockets of Violence, But No Rampage Crime." "Maybe it was because, as Pasadena officials contend, there's a greater reserve of goodwill among even their most deprived citizens."
There was a brief demonstration in town from some peaceful residents, but that fizzled quickly, according to the Times.
"Shortly after 9 p.m., some demonstrators gathered in downtown Monrovia, chanting and singing. There were only about 20 of them, and they left quickly," the Times reported. "I told my officers (that) if we need to have a demonstration, that's the kind I want," then-Police Chief Joseph Santoro said to the paper.
Councilman Tom Adams also recalls the city's riot experience as being relatively quiet. He wrote the following in an email:
"I do remember the time well, there was no fear in Monrovia that I was aware of but a lot of concern. The police had set up watches at the exits on Myrtle, Huntington and Mountain and ramped up patrols. I do remember some of the store owners staying all night in there store just in case. Rob Hammond had some extra security measures in place due to the large concentration of gold and jewelry as did the other jewelry stores I was told. All in all I don't remember any events happening in Monrovia of any note, just some tension as we all watched the news and saw what was happening in Los Angeles, it seemed a world away!"
Monrovia resident Hugo Torres shares his memories from East Los Angeles during the riots in this blog.