Sergio Corona gets off (for now)*

The “shirtless and sweaty” Baldwin Park School Board member who was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism and driving under the influence won’t face charges — just yet, according to a story by Tania Chatila.

Interestingly enough someone familiar with the case predicted this outcome about two weeks ago. That person told me that the family who originally called Baldwin Park’s 911 won’t testify that Corona was on their doorstep or that Corona broke their window. That person also said that the DAs office would have very little interest in prosecuting the case period.

Interestingly enough, police found Corona’s School District issued cell phone on the doorstep of the vandalized home. I’ve been told that he admitted doing the vandalism but later recanted and said he didn’t know where he was or how he got to the police station after his arrest. It seems like that would be enmough to prosecute…

There are also rumors about Corona’s absence from several school board meetings and talk of other run-ins with local law enforcement.

Here’s a snippet:

BALDWIN PARK – The District Attorney’s office has declined to file criminal charges against school board member Sergio Corona, officials said.

Police say they intend to follow-up of the results of a toxicology report before resubmitting the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney, Baldwin Park police Lt. Jospeh Cowan said.

The case stems from a May 22 arrest in which Corona was Tased by police after allegedly breaking the windows of a home. According to a police report, Corona admitted to having smoked methamphetamine and marijuana earlier in the night.

*The Leftovers blog details their conversation with Lt. Cowan of the Baldwin park PD, who doesn’t want us to get a mug shot of Corona — despite the fact we get mugs all the time… 

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Court upholds right to keep and bear arms

The decision:



1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.Pp. 2-53.

(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, butdoes not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operativeclause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that itconnotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2-22

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Thursday column

Every home has that closet.

You know, the one where you put stuff that really doesn’t fit anywhere else.

In my parent’s house, that closet had a box full of old newspapers and magazines. The headlines were bold and historical:





We have a place for old stuff at the newspaper, too. It’s not really a closet, just a large room full of file cabinets that we call “the morgue.”

The other day, I decided to paw through old crime files. One of the oldest told of a West Covina bank robbery from November 1955, about eight months after the San Gabriel Valley Tribune became a daily newspaper.

A huge screaming headline stretched across the front page:


Machinegun-Carrying Pair

Flee With Over $5,000

Beyond that there wasn’t much else notable.

The decaying folders in our morgue contain stories about vandalism, assaults, molestations, theft and murder.

A four-paragraph La Puente brief from November 1960, headlined “Valley Man Tells Fear for Family,” had this second paragraph:

“Victor E. Chandler, 45-year-old Negro, and his wife Joyce, 31, white, told deputies also that a three-foot high cross was burned in the driveway of their residence.”

Over time, colorful stories about hobos, drifters and delinquents morphed into stories about hippies, drugs and mental patients.

By the time the 1970s rolled around, the headlines and stories got smaller and the language more restrained.

During the disco decade a “Nice Old Man” got killed in a Rosemead liquor store hold-up. In 1979, a Valinda Thanksgiving dinner went awry: “Youth Killed After Spilling Beer on Turkey.”

Reporters in the 1980s went for the “round-up” stories. “Detectives Blame Weather: Weekend Violence Keeps Police Busy” from 1981 is one example. My colleague, Jim McConnell, reminded me that in the 1990s we had an editor here who liked to distinguish between murder and misdemeanor murder. As a result, crime coverage was at best uneven.

Over the past couple of years, the files have petered out. We rely on computer storage of our archives so there’s really no need to keep those yellowed clips anymore.

Upon reflection, I think what amazes me most is the consistency of random violence. There’s also something dispassionate about reading history. I don’t get the same gut feeling of sadness that came from writing about Manling Williams, suspected of suffocating her two small children and slicing her husband to death with a samurai sword last August.

There’s none of the anger that comes with having to think about the senseless death of 12-year-old Albert Garcia, gunned down Saturday in a Montebello back yard by gang bangers who remained free Wednesday.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Death and taxes

Unlike the mythical panty story, this actually happened in the San Gabriel Valley.  Whittier Daily News reporter Ruby Gonzales has the scoop on a guy who died around April 15. Apparently the county tax collector was looking for him but the grim reaper got there first:

A man apparently died three months ago but his body was discovered Tuesday afternoon after a county worker came knocking.

Guy King, 65, was found on his couch next to a paper bag with a carton of milk and some yogurt that expired on April 18, said Whittier Police spokesman Jason Zuhlke.

He said King apparently kept to himself and his family lives out of state. A neighbor last saw King two months ago.

The grisly discovery was made Tuesday afternoon in the 10800 block of Kibbee Avenue by a county employee and a neighbor.

Zuhlke didn’t know what county department the worker was from and why he was at King’s home.

However, records show the bank had a lien on the house.


Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

The Panty Bandit


Turns out we may have been pursuing an urban myth.

Reporter Serene Branson, of KCBS/KCAL, told me that she was assigned to look into the case of the Pasadena “Panty Bandit” after a producer at the station read a blog entry here earlier today.

So Serene calls the Pasadena cops and they tell her the story is a rumor. A detective there said he polled all the detectives in the department and none are looking into reports of a “Panty Bandit” raiding dressers and closets in upper-class neighborhoods.

“An urban myth,” she said. “They said a similar story circulated around town about a month ago.”

Maybe it’s a good thing we only considered the story a brief. Here’s the “Gridiron Girls” blog, which has a page devoted to Serene and an interview. 


Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Underwear thief prowling Pasadena

I don’t know the full details of this story, but it’s among several proposed to run in the Star-News Thursday morning. Here’s what we will report:

A local burglar has been rummaging through some upper class Pasadena homes, but he is not after jewels or gold. This thief has been stealing women’s underwear and fleeing the scene, police and residents say.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

This won’t look good on a performance evaluation

From NBC 7 in San Diego:

ALPINE — City and county authorities are investigating the death of a San Diego police dog whose body was found in the back seat of a patrol car at his handler’s home.

According to the San Diego Police Department, the dog was a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois named Forrest. Forrest stayed with his handler at this house in Alpine, about 20 miles east of downtown San Diego.

Sources familiar with the investigation identified the dog’s handler as Paul Hubka, a 22-year veteran who’s a director of the San Diego Police Officers Association. Sources told NBC 7/39 Hubka returned from an overnight shift, went into his house, and came out a few hours later to discover Forrest’s body in the back seat of his patrol car.

Police, sheriff’s deputies and animal control officers converged on the neighborhood and began an investigation that’s still awaiting necropsy results.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

“He was an awesome, awesome little dude”


Here are some pictures of Albert Garcia, 12. He and his father were shot and killed Saturday while at a party in Montebello. Police have said little about the case, but indicated Tuesday there are seeking at least three men in conenction with the slaying that may have been the end result of an argument.

The pictures were sent by Albert’s mother Willena Garcia. A former employee of the Riverside County SHeriff’s department who worked for several years in Temecula. Albert and, his mom, and his 10-year-                                                                                old brother were residents


of Hemet.

Albert’s family believes they could encouter as much as 20 to 30K in burial expenses and have set up a fund at Wells Fargo.

Albert’s uncle Job Armenta remembered his nephew Tuesday. “He was an awesome, awesome little dude.”

In an addendum to an earlier letter, Albert’s mom wrote about her son’s favorite skater, and his infectious smile.

“Albert was a caring boy who wanted to make those around him happy.”


Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Big man loses badge

From the Associated Press:

Shaquille O’Neal will lose his special deputy’s badge in Maricopa County, Arizona. Because of language he used in a rap video that mocks former teammate Kobe Bryant.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the Phoenix Suns center’s use of a racially derogatory word and other foul language left him no choice. Arpaio made Shaq a special deputy in January and promoted him to colonel of his largely ceremonial posse earlier this month.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email