Man sent to mental hospital after 8-hour standoff in Monterey Park

MONTEREY PARK — Police sent a man for psychological evaluation Sunday after he barricaded himself inside his home for eight hours, officials said.
The incident began about 12:30 p.m. when a woman arrived at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau in Monterey Park and reported her husband or boyfriend had threatened her life, Monterey Park police Lt. Carrie Mazelin said.
When Monterey Park police officers went to the house in the 1400 block of Arriba Drive, the 60-year-old man refused to come out, the lieutenant said. Police learned the man was a gun collector and had many weapons inside the house.
A sheriff’s crisis negotiator tried to convince the man to come out, but he refused, Mazelin said.
Ultimately, police threw a “flash-bang” grenade into the house about 8:30 p.m., she said, prompting the man to come out and surrender.
Mazelin said he was placed on a 72-hour hold for psychological evaluation.

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Child molestation suspect shot by El Monte police released from hospital

EL MONTE — A child molestation suspect who was shot and wounded by police after brandishing a fake handgun at officers was out of the hospital and behind bars Sunday, records show.
Luis Arce, 41, of El Monte was booked on suspicion of child molestation and rape charges, according to El Monte police and sheriff’s booking records. He was being held at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles in lieu of $300,000 bail.
El Monte police officers identified Arce as a suspect in a child molestation case and went to arrest him about 12:30 a.m. Saturday at his home in the 3000 block of Durfee Avenue, El Monte police Lt. Dan Burlingham said.
Officers briefly wrestled with Arce outside his apartment prior to the shooting, said Sgt. Richard Biddle of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau — which is assisting the El Monte Police Department in the investigation.
“They contacted him,” he said. “A confrontation ensued. It ended with the suspect pulling what was later found to be a replica handgun.”
An officer opened fire, and a single bullet struck Arce in the chest, El Monte police Lt. Robert Roach said.
The investigation remained ongoing, Biddle said, however it appeared the officer who fired was in fear for his safety at the time, he added.
When investigating officer-involved shootings, sheriff’s investigators do not come to a conclusion, but rather turn over the information they gather to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Biddle said.
The DA’s Office will review the case and determine whether officers acted within the law.
At the same time, Burlingham said, El Monte Police Internal Affairs investigators are also looking into the shooting to determine whether the officers acted within department policy.
Arce was initially hospitalized and has since been booked into jail, according to sheriff’s records.
El Monte police Lt. Robert Roach said the alleged molestation was “severe” and been ongoing for months, but declined to give further details about the investigation to protect the privacy of the juvenile victim.
Los Angeles County Superior Court records indicate Arce has not been charged with a crime in the county in more than 20 years.
He was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm and attempted robbery in December of 1988, records show, and receiving stolen property in September of the same year. In July of 1988, he was convicted of driving on a suspended license.
No information on his initial court appearance was available Sunday.

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Arcadia Unified School District bus crashes in Irwindale

IRWINDALE — A school bus containing nearly a dozen students went off the freeway and crashed into a chain-link fence Saturday after the driver apparently lost consciousness, authorities said.
None of the 11 Arcadia Unified School District students on board were hurt in the crash, and the driver, a man of about 50 years old, was hospitalized as a precaution due to a possible medical problem, California Highway Patrol Officer Jacob Moniz said.
The bus was northbound on the 605 Freeway shortly before 7 p.m. when the driver is believed to have suffered some sort of medical issue and lost consciousness, the officer said.
Jaslyn Elders, a 16-year-old Junior at Arcadia High School, said she was one of the 11 female choir members returning from a competition on the bus when it crashed.
“All of a sudden, (the bus) started rocking back and forth,” she said.
The bus then crashed through a chain-link fence and stopped against a pile of dirt just before tumbling down an embankment, Elders added.
The bus driver apparently left his foot on the gas, she said, as the tires continued to spin and smoke even after the bus had come to a rest.
The tires gave off so much smoke, “you couldn’t breath,” Elders said. “You couldn’t see inside the bus.”
The eleven girls got out of the bus through the emergency exit, she said, some of them suffering minor scrapes and cuts as they climbed through bushes.
Once out of the bus, Elders said she was shocked to see the front end of the vehicle teetering over the side of a large embankment.
“It’s pretty mind blowing that we were that close to going off of the edge,” she said.
She added she and the other girls were grateful to the CHP officers, particularly officers Enrique Rodriguez and Aldo Garcia of the CHP’s Baldwin Park office, who gathered the girls’ belonging from the smoke-filled bus and waited with them for two hours until another school bus arrived to pick them up.

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Fire destroys one home, damages others in Pasadena

38259-PASHOUSEFIRE 2-27-10-thumb-300x200-38258.jpgPASADENA — A fire destroyed a house and damaged another house and an apartment building late Saturday, authorities said.
The blaze was first reported about 7 p.m. at a vacant two-story house in the 300 block of South Oakland Avenue, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. The home was undergoing renovations.
The initial firefighters to arrive at the burning craftsman-style home found it well-involved with fire and called for backup, Derderian said.
The fire spread to another nearby two-story house and an apartment building, she said. It was unclear how badly they were damaged, though 15 adults and one child were displaced.
Firefighters rescued a girl from one of the adjacent buildings, as well as a dog that had singed hair but was expected to be okay, Derderian said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation Saturday night.

*PHOTO courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department

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El Monte police shoot child molestation suspect

EL MONTE — El Monte police shot and wounded a child molestation suspect Saturday after he pulled a replica handgun on officers, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 12:30 a.m. in the 3000 block of Durfee Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Gordon said in a written statement.
The wounded suspect was described as a 41-year-old El Monte resident, however El Monte police Lt. Robert Roach asked that his name not be published to protect the privacy of the young alleged sex crime victim.
The name of the officer involved was not released.
Officers identified the the man as a suspect in a child molestation investigation and tried to arrest him at a home in the 3000 block of Durfee Avenue when the shooting occurred, El Monte police Lt. Dan Burlingham said in a written statement.
“During the apprehension, (the suspect) brandished a handgun, which was later determined to be a replica, and was shot one time in the chest by officers,” Burlingham said.
The wounded suspect was hospitalized in stable condition Saturday and was expected to be booked on suspicion of two counts of child molestation and rape, Roach said.
Officials declined to discuss the molestation investigation in detail, however Roach said the alleged molestation was ongoing for months.
“This is a severe case as far as the crime is concerned,” he said.
As is common practice when dealing with officer-involved shootings carried out by Los Angeles County police agencies, Roach said, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is assisting the El Monte Police Department in the investigation.
Burlingham said a simultaneous El Monte Police Department Internal Affairs investigation is also underway.

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Man fatally shot in East Valinda

EAST VALINDA — An apparently gang-related shooting at an East Valinda party early Saturday left a man dead, authorities said.
The dead man was initially described only as a Latino man in his 20s pending notification of family members, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s Lt. Brian Elias said. He died at an area hospital shortly after the shooting.
The shooting took place about 12:15 a.m. in the 17700 block of Boulay Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Gordon said in a written statement.
The victim was attending a party on the small cul-de-sac when he was shot, Deputy Aura Sierra said in a written statement.
“Sheriff’s homicide detectives believe the shooting is gang-related,” she added.
Sheriff’s officials released no further information.
No evidence of the fatal shooting remained at the scene Saturday afternoon.
Saturday’s slaying was the third homicide reported in unincorporated county areas patrolled by the sheriff’s Industry Station this year, and the second one believed to be gang-related.
Angel Caldera, 34, of Valinda died after being shot and run over by a truck on Jan. 26 in the 14800 block of Fairgrove Avenue in Valinda. Authorities said they suspect the attack was gang-related.
Michael Espana, 22, of La Puente was fatally stabbed during an argument at a party in the 13600 block of Hutchcroft Street in West Valinda on New Year’s Day.
Christopher Hernandez, 25, of Bassett turned himself in to Monterey Park police three days later in connection with the stabbing.

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Pico Rivera wireless store robbed

PICO RIVERA — A man escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash after robbing a cell phone store Friday, authorities said.
The crime was reported just after 6 p.m. at Paragon Wireless, 9605 Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
The robber was described as a Latino man in his 30s, wearing a black striped shirt, blue jeans and a blue hat, the lieutenant said.
He took cash from a register by force before fleeing on foot, Smith said. It was unclear if he was armed.

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Man beaten, robbed in Whittier

WHITTIER — A robber beat a 52-year-old man with a tire iron and robbed him of his backpack late Thursday, officials said.
The crime was reported about 10:45 p.m. in the 7200 block of Comstock Avenue, Whittier police said in a written statement.
The victim told police he was walking when the robber approached him and demanded he hand over property, police said.
“The victim told the suspect he had nothing of value to give him, at which time the suspect pulled out what appeared to be a tire iron,” according to the police statement.
The robber struck the man several times in the head and body, police said. He was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
Once the victim fell to the ground, the robber grabbed his backpack and fled.
Police described the robber as Latino man in his 20, of medium build, wearing a grey T-shirt.

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Arcadia men sentenced in unrelated cases

ARCADIA — Two Arcadia men received lengthy prison terms Thursday when they were sentenced for unrelated crimes, police said.
Robert Snyder, 28, was sentenced to life in prison for attempted murder and other felony charges for shooting an innocent bystander in February of 2006, Arcadia police said in written statement.
Snyder got into an argument while in his car near Santa Anita and Live Oak avenues, officials said, and while his young daughter was in the car, he fired two shots at the person he was arguing with.
“Snyder missed his intended target but instead struck an innocent bystander,” according to the statement.
In an unrelated case, 53-year-old Guillermo Villasenor was sentenced Thursday to 23 years to life in prison after being convicted of multiple child molestation counts involving a minor under 10 years old, police said.
Both cases were investigated by the Arcadia Police Department, officials added, and both convicts were sentenced in the same San Fernando Superior Court courtroom.

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Detectives: Reserve LAPD officer shot son in self-defense

From staff reports:

The Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Friday identified the 17-year-old boy who was shot to death by his father in an unincorporated county area near Monrovia.
Brian Macias died Thursday night after his father fired on him during an argument inside a home in the 100 block of East Andre Street, Coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter said.
The shooting occurred around 6 p.m., sheriff’s Deputy Aura Sierra said.
The boy’s father is a reserve LAPD officer. He was not arrested, and authorities have not identified him.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide detectives are investigating the homicide.
They have said it appears to be self defense.
A group of young men who identified themselves as Macias’ friends said Friday the teen was a senior at Monrovia High School.
They said said Macias aspired to go to college and become a police officer. They doubted that an argument between the teen and his father needed to end in death.
“He was always respectful to his father because his father was a cop and he wanted to be a cop,” said Paul Gilbert, 17. “He was just a nice kid, he didn’t mean any harm to anybody.”

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