Black Lives Matter demonstrators denounce arrest of Pasadena organizer

PASADENA >> Southland Black Lives Matter activists expressed outrage Thursday over what they described as the “targeted arrest” of a Pasadena organizer on “false” felony charges stemming from a confrontation with officers at La Pintoresca Park last weekend.
Jasmine Richards, 28, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of taking a person from lawful police custody by means of a riot — legally defined as lynching, inciting a riot, resisting or obstructing police and child endangerment.
The Los Angeles Chapter of Black Lives Matter denounced the arrest via the organization’s Facebook page and Twitter account.
“Jasmine has been arrested on false felony lynching and inciting a riot charges by the Pasadena PD,” the group posted. “This is their second targeted arrest against Jasmine.”
This was Richards’ second arrest by Pasadena police since late-march, when she was arrested on a series of misdemeanor charges stemming from a March 24 Black Lives Matter rally. That case is pending.
The group called on the community to support Richards through the legal process. Black Lives Matter representatives could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Pasadena Police Lt. Tracey Ibarra denied the allegation that police had targeted Richards.
“Our arrests are not targeted. They’re based on criminal acts committed by Jasmine Richards, and we intend to pursue charges with the district attorney’s office,” she said.

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Whittier man convicted of ongoing child sex abuse

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WHITTIER >> A Whittier man faces 24 years in state prison after pleading “no contest” Wednesday to charges related to this ongoing molestation of a 5-year-old family member, authorities said.
Jonathan Javier Ruvalcaba, 29, pleaded no contest to charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child and committing forcible lewd acts on a child during an appearance in Norwalk Superior Court, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
He is scheduled to return to court Oct. 5 for sentencing, when he’s expected to be sentenced to 24 years in state prison, Ardalani said in a written statement.
Ruvalcaba began molesting the young girl in 2010 and continued the abuse for three years, officials said. Investigators learned of the abuse in October of 2013, and arrested Ruvalcaba in May of 2013 following seven months of investigation, Ardalani said.
In addition to his prison term, Ruvalcaba will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

PHOTO of Jonathan Ruvalcaba courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Deputies dismantle hash oil lab in Hacienda Heights


HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Deputies dismantled a “honey oil” lab in a Hacienda Heights home and detained a possible suspect Wednesday, officials said.
The bust took place about 4 p.m. at a house in the 16800 block of Twin Hill Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Tubbs said.
Deputies found an operation in which concentrated cannabis oil, also known as “honey oil,” was being extracted from marijuana, the lieutenant said.
One person was being detained as the investigation continued Wednesday night.
A Los Angeles County Fire Department hazardous materials crew stood by as a precaution due to butane and other chemicals used in the illicit process, Tubbs said.

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Pasadena Black Lives Matter organizer arrested

PASADENA >> Police arrested Pasadena Black Lives Matter organizer Jasmine Richards Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from a dispute at a Pasadena restaurant over the weekend, authorities said.
Richards, 28, was arrested at 5:35 p.m., according to Los Angeles County booking records.
She was booked on suspicion of taking a person from lawful police custody by means of a riot, inciting a riot, resisting or obstructing police and child endangerment, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
The arrest stemmed from an incident that unfolded Saturday afternoon at restaurant in the 1300 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue, the lieutenant said.
A 20-year-old Pasadena woman, Benita Escoe, had eaten at the restaurant and was unable to pay her bill, Luna said.
Escoe became involved in a fight with at least one employee and another woman, he said. It was unclear whether the second alleged victim was also a restaurant employee.
Police responded to reports of a fight and found Escoe at a nearby park, Luna said. She was arrested on suspicion of battery.
Details regarding Richards’ alleged involvement in the incident were not available late Wednesday.
Richards was previously arrested in late March on suspicion of making criminal threats, assault, trespassing, failure to comply with police orders, disturbing the peace, using a amplified sound without a permit and petty theft.
That case, which stems from alleged crimes committed during a March 24 demonstration, remains pending, according to Los Angeles Superior Court records. Richards was free on bond pending the adjudication of that case.
Following the March arrest, Black Lives Matter representatives authored a statement saying the arrest was politically motivated.
According to county booking records, Richards was being held in lieu of $125,000 bail pending her initial court appearance.

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Checkpoint planned Friday in Pico Rivera

PICO RIVERA >> Deputies are planning to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint Friday, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Jose Marquez said in a written statement.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Checkpoint planned in Industry Thursday

INDUSTRY >> Sheriff’s deputies are planning a sobriety and driver license checkpoint Thursday night in Industry.
The checkpoint will take place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at an undisclosed location within the city, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Michael Lang said in a written statement.
Over the past three years in the dozens of cities which contract with the sheriff’s department for law enforcement services, DUI-related crashes have killed 33 people and left another 898 injures, according to Sgt. Daniel Dail.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Man sought after suspicious encounters with girls in Montebello

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MONTEBELLO >> Police are seeking a man who harassed two girls in two separate incidents in Montebello Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The first suspicious encounter took place about 1 p.m. at a bus stop at Whittier and Montebello boulevards, Montebello police officials said in a written statement. A man in his 50s approached a teenage girl.
“The unknown suspect kissed a 16-year-old girl on the cheek and further annoyed her as she waited for the bus,” the statement said. The frightened teen got onto a bus to get away from the man.
A second incident was reported about 3:30 p.m. at a liquor store just over a mile away at Whittier Boulevard and 3rd Street, police said.
“The same suspect spoke with a 12-year-old victim and offered her money,” according to the statement. “The victim became scared and ran from the location to her home and reported the incident to her mother.”
Investigators released a surveillance camera image of the suspect retrieved from the liquor store in hopes of generating leads from the public.
He’s described as a Latino man in his 50s, wearing a red soccer jersey, beige pants and a black backpack or shoulder bag. He also had dark hair and wore black framed glasses.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Montebello police Detective Valle at 323-887-1200, ext. 255, or email fvalle@cityofmontebello.com.

PHOTO courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.

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UPDATED: Elderly Arcadia woman found safe after going missing during morning walk

ARCADIA >> A 78-year-old Arcadia woman who vanished while out for a morning walk early Wednesday turned up safe in the afternoon, officials said.
Guo Xing was last seen about 8 a.m. in the area of Duarte Road and Holly Avenue, Arcadia police said in a written statement.
“At that time Ms. Guo was going for a walk in the area,” the statement said. “Since that time she has not been seen and family has been unable to contact her.”
Family and officials were especially worried because the missing person requires daily medication.
But the search was cancelled shortly after 5 p.m. after Xing was found unharmed and returned to her family, police said. Further details were not available.

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Man with knife, pepper spray robs San Dimas gas station


SAN DIMAS >> A man armed with both a knife and pepper spray robbed a San Dimas gas station Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
The hold-up took place about 3:40 p.m. at a Shell Station, 630 W. Bonita Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Vicki Gregory said.
The robber entered the store and approached the cler, “with a knife in one hand and pepper spray in the other,” the sergeant said. The robber demanded the money from the register, and the cashier handed over between $150 and $200 before running off. He was last seen heading east on Bonita Avenue.
No injuries were reported.
Officials described the robber as a Latino man between 23 and 25 years old, of medium build, with a shaved head. He wore a light-colored, possible gray, T-shirt and black pants.

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Pregnant woman robbed of purse outside West Covina Target store


WEST COVINA >> Two men in a burgundy car snatched a purse from a pregnant woman in front of a West Covina Target store Saturday, police said.
The woman, who was nine months pregnant, was walking about 11 a.m. in the parking lot of the store, 2370 S. Azusa Ave., when the robbers approached, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
A burgundy car drove past, and a passenger leaned out the window and grabbed the victim’s purse before the car sped off, the lieutenant said. A detailed suspect description was not available.
The woman appeared unhurt, however paramedics examined her at the scene as a precaution, Patton said.

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