Rewards and urban terrorism

There was a story this morning on KABC about a group of parents banding together against “Urban Terrorism” in hopes of creating a reward fund and solving the murders of their children.

It got me thinking about the Sammantha Salas murder investigation in Monrovia and whether or not a possible reward offering will bring her killers to justice.
Its something to think about — thus the poll. Any thoughts?

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The Monrovia reward and named composites **

It’s nice to see that the Sheriff’s homicide bureau and Mike Antonovich’s office finally agree that a reward should be offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Sammantha Salas’ killers.

Salas was killed Jan. 26 and by my math that makes five months of investigation without a resolution. Homicide detectives felt that incremental releases of information and ultimately the reward would keep publicity in the case from waning. Based on the story’s position Friday in our most viewed stories list, it appears that they were right about sustaining publicity in the case.

The supes will still have to vote on the reward. It’s should be on **Wednesday’s agenda,** but hasn’t been added yet, i’ll keep monitoring that.

6:05 p.m. Friday **Antonovich’s flack, Tony Bell, tells me that the Supes meet Wednesday instead of Tuesday next week in deference to Tuesday’s primary election.**

As for the two being sought, the electronic files containing two composite drawings of men* sought in connection with the Salas case and another shooting are named …

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Bell’s suspected bad cop

Whatever happened to the unnamed victim in this story, it sure sounds ugly. Thank God the feds are keeping on eye on suspicious cops in southeast LA County. No one else seems to care.

Here’s the top of Ruby Gonzales’ story:


LOS ANGELES – A former Bell police officer and Pico Rivera resident was arrested Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman after a 2007 traffic stop.

A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted Feliciano Sanchez, 33, on one count of depriving the woman of her civil rights under color of law and one count of carrying a firearm during a crime of violence.

FBI agents took Sanchez into custody Thursday and he appeared in the afternoon in federal court. He is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center without bail and will be arraigned Monday on the charges, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Tammy C. Spertus.

Sanchez’s attorney, Ira Salzman, could not be reached for comment.

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Man shot during argument

BALDWIN PARK — A local man remains hospitalized in serious but stable condition after he was shot during an argument Wednesday, authorities said.

The 31-year-old victim was shot multiple times in the upper torso by an unidentified attacker just after 11 p.m. in the 13200 block of Earl Avenue, near Ramona Boulevard, said Baldwin Park police Lt. David Reynoso.

“It appears the victim was at the house of an acquaintance when he became involved in a verbal dispute,” Reynoso said. The victim’s name was not released.

The two men went outside to the home’s driveway when the shooter pulled a handgun and fired multiple times, Reynoso said.

The gunman, who was only described as a Latino man of about 35 years old, is being sought on suspicion of attempted murder, he said.

The wounded man was rushed to a local hospital where he underwent surgery, Reynoso said. Due to his medical condition, the victim has not yet been able to give police a complete account of the incident.

Police believe the victim and suspect know each other, Reynoso said.

Other than the argument, Reynoso said a motive was not known.

It was not clear of the shooting was gang related, and police declined to say whether the victim is believed to have gang ties.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Baldwin Park Police Department at (626) 960-1955.

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Introducing Brian Day

Please welcome Brian Day to Crime Scene. He’s the newspapers’ night cop reporter and as plugged in as anyone I know when it comes to crime in the SGV.

Brian, who is two decades and two years younger than me, will be posting stuff that I can’t get to and other stuff he thinks is relevant.

He likes Monday Night Raw, plays the guitar, smokes Marlboro reds, wears boxers, eats at Pizza Hut and In-N–Out  almost exclusively, and attends Cal State Fullerton where he’s studying Journalism.


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Reward likely in Salas case

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will vote to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects in the Jan. 26 shooting death of Sammantha Salas, Supervisor Mike Antonovich’s spokesman Tony Bell told me this morning.

The reward will be voted on this coming Tuesday, Bell said.

Bell had been discussing the case with Lt. Dan Rosenberg of Sheriff’s homicide,. it was Rosenbverg who made the decision to offer the reward. The hope is that nearly five months after Salas was shot to death in front of an apartment in an unincorporated portion of Monrovia, that someone will come forward with information in the case, Rosenberg said.

Here’s the Star-news Web page, with details of the ongoing violence in Monrovia.

And here’s the text from a press release put out by Judy Hammond the county’s PIO:

LOS ANGELES COUNTY – Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the death of Samantha Salas, a 16-year old youth.
On Saturday, January 26, 2008, Ms. Salas was fatally shot while walking with a friend, on the 2500 block of Peck Road near Longden Avenue in the unincorporated area of Monrovia, after being approached by two male suspects on foot. 
The two suspects are described as African-American in their 20’s, wearing dark colored bandanas or hooded sweatshirts, and members of the Du Rock Crips gang.

The Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Homicide Bureau is seeking information to assist in their investigation.  Supervisor Antonovich encourages witnesses of this crime or anyone with information to contact the Lt. Dan Rosenberg at the Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5580.


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City News is ringing the Bell

These blurbs come from the City News Service wire. They are written in an easy-to-read format for radio. I’ve supplied links to related content:

  1. A former Bell police officer is due in a federal courtroom in downtown L- A this afternoon on charges of forcing a woman to have sex with him following a traffic stop just over a year ago. 33-year-old Feliciano Sanchez of Pico Rivera is accused of stopping the woman in Bell last May, then driving her to a remote location and forcing her to perform a sex act.
  2. Meanwhile … a Bell High School teacher is being accused of having sex with a 17-year-old female student. 37-year-old Alex Diaz was arrested May 21st on suspicion of having sex with a minor. Diaz and the teen were allegedly caught in the back seat of a car in a Carson parking lot. He’s out of custody on 20-thousand-dollars bail.
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Witness writes

A anonymous neighbor apparently overheard the aftermath of a stabbing that occurred in Rosemead Memorial weekend. He sent a letter to reporter Dan Abendschein, who passed the letter on to me:


I don’t know if these tips will help.  I heard people
indistinctly talking and yelling for about 10 mins.
After that a woman was outside the backyard crying for
quite a while.  A man was also at the back yard
telling the crying woman “he is dead.”  About 5 mins
later the emergency crew came and I saw about several
police officers entering the back door, and I can hear
the man telling the officers “he is not breathing.”

Earlier that day about 11:30pm to about mid-night, I
got home and saw a hispanic man about 5ft 8-9in,
180-185 lbs walking north on Buron Ave.  He was
wearing a t-shirt and jeans, sort of grey or white.  I
didn’t get a clear look at his face.  He was staring
at me while walking by.  I thought he was suspicious;
however, he wasn’t in a hurry or anything.  Also, it
was dark.  I hope this will help.

Anonymous neighbor

Officials haven’t reported a break in the case — or the other weekend homicide, that of Frank Montes in Covina.

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AP picks up 9-1-1 arrest story

I’ve heard so many different versions of this story today that my head is spinning. City News Service got bad information early from Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau and it spread like a virus through local news outlets.

As an example, KFI had to contend with a deputy at the SHB that was completely unfamiliar with the case. There’s a whole story to be told about the decimation of SHB, but I’ll save that for another day

In KFI’s case the result was that Eric Leonard’s story alluded to five men being named suspects in the case. In fact it’s two men, one teen boy and two teen girls.

KNBC did a nice job with the wanted part of the story but left out the particulars about the other arrests. (They also used a lot of SGV Tribune copy to round out their tale — thanks KNBC)

Here’s AP’s first story as it moved:

Date: 05/28/2008 11:45 PM

BC-CA–911 Killing/160
Eds: APNewsNow.
4 teens arrested, 5th sought for murder during 911 call

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Four teenagers have been arrested and a fifth is being sought in the slaying of a Covina Hills woman who was killed while reporting a burglary to a 911 operator.

Los Angeles district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison said Wednesday that four teens had been arrested and appeared in court earlier this month.

Robinson says they were charged with murder, and as adults. She wasn’t able to immediately give more specifics.

A charge sheet from the district attorney’s office identifies the teens as 19-year-old Christopher Santana, 17-year-old Christopher Stratis, 16-year-old Christine Alegre and 17-year-old Megali Fernandez.

A fifth suspect, 19-year-old Victor Maurtua, an alleged member of the El Monte Flores gang, remains at large.

Hsiao Hsu (shao shoo) was shot by intruders in her sprawling home in March while she speaking with an emergency dispatcher.



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Coyote du jour


After my encounter in Los Feliz Monday night, I’ve seen other accounts of Coyotes making their way into urban environments over the past several days. Including this one on LA Now.

Photographer Watchara Phomicinda had an encounter of his own today. Right on the Irwindale, Baldwin Park West Covina border. Here’s his caption:

A coyote walks on an empty lot along Azusa Canyon Road near Olive
Street in Irwindale on Wednesday, May 28, 2008. (SGVN/Staff photo by
Watchara Phomicinda/SVCity)

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