Man suspected of throwing wrench at deputy in Valinda

VALINDA — Deputies arrested a “very intoxicated” man Sunday after he threw a wrench at a deputy, authorities said.
The name of the man, a 31-year-old Industry man, was not available late Sunday as he was still being examined at the hospital, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Hiroshi Yokoyama said. He was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer.
The incident occurred about 6:40 p.m. at the home of the man’s girlfriend in the 15800 block of Maplegrove Street in the unincorporated county area of Valinda, he said.
Neighbors reported “a person that was very intoxicated, causing a disturbance,” the lieutenant said. He was allegedly arguing with neighbors and standing in the middle of the street, trying to hit cars.
Arriving deputies found the man refused to obey their commands, Yokoyama said, and the drunken resident hurled a wrench at a deputy, but missed.
The man than retreated into his girlfriend’s house and started smashing things in a rage, he said.
After receiving information that there were possibly children inside the home, deputies followed the man inside, Yokoyama said.
When he continued to refuse deputies’ orders and appeared to act aggressively, deputies shocked him with  Taser and arrested him without further incident.
No other people were found inside the home.

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Covina man dies in San Bernardino head-on collision

SAN BERNARDINO — A Covina man died and three other people were injured Saturday in a head-on car crash in San Bernardino blamed on street racing, authorities said.
Christian Hansen Gunn, 57, died at the scene of the crash, which occurred about 11:40 p.m. on State Route 18, just north of Old Waterman Canyon Road, San Bernardino County coroner’s officials said in a written statement.
Gunn was a passenger in a 2002 Nissan Sentra that had been traveling north on State Route 18, San Bernardino police officials said in a written statement.
A 2005 Dodge Neon heading north was traveling in the southbound lane at 11:40 a.m. when it struck the Nissan, police said.
Police say the driver of the Dodge was street racing and caused the collision, but released no further details.
The Nissan’s driver and two people in the Dodge were taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
The driver of a Honda Pilot tried to avoid the wreckage but also struck the Nissan, though no one inside the Honda was hurt, police said.

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Family attacked in East Valinda shooting

EAST VALINDA — A group of attackers shot a car occupied by a mother, father and infant in a seemingly unprovoked attack Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
The family members were driving when several bullets struck their car, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Hiroshi Yokoyama said.
“Nobody was hit, thankfully,” he added.
The shooting was reported at 2:36 p.m. near Sandalwood Avenue and Boulay Street in the unincorporated county area of East Valinda, the lieutenant said.
The attackers were described as three Latino men in their early 20s in a black, four-door car, possibly a Honda or Toyota, Yokoyama said.
They opened fire on the family’s car with a handgun from inside their own vehicle, he said. The attackers were last seen driving south on Sandalwood.
A motive in the shooting was unclear, officials said. The East Valinda family that was attacked did not appear to have gang ties, and there were no reports of any prior confrontation before the shooting.
No further details were available.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Industry Station at (626) 330-3322.

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Officer, suspect remain hospitalized following El Monte shootout; suspect’s name still withheld

EL MONTE — A police officer and suspect who were wounded in a shootout in El Monte Friday remained hospitalized Sunday, authorities said.
A second police officer and a civilian who were wounded in the gun battle have been released from the hospital, Detective Kevin Acebedo of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
The investigation into the 4 p.m. Friday shooting at Valley Boulevard and Durfee Avenue was ongoing, Acebedo said, however it initially appeared that the civilian who was wounded in the shootout was shot by the suspect’s bullet.
“That’s still under investigation, but that’s what we believe at this point,” he said. “I would believe that it was the suspect’s (gunfire).”
The detective declined to release the name of the suspect, a 43-year-old man believed to be a transient who frequented the West Covina area, saying he and fellow investigators still needed to “tie up some loose ends” in the investigation.
The man was being held without bail in the jail ward at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center on suspicion of five counts of attempted murder.
The shooting occurred just after a minor traffic collision, Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau said.
The suspect allegedly crashed his Chevrolet sedan into a van occupied by two men and fled the scene, Acebedo said, adding that the crash appeared to be a random traffic collision.
As two El Monte police motorcycle officers were talking to the apparent hit-and-run victims, he said, the suspect drove by and opened fire on the officers and civilians from his car.
One officer was struck in his forearm, and the other suffered a grazing wound to his thigh, Saldana said. The injured officers returned fire, striking the suspect in his hand and shoulder.
One of the civilians, a man who Acebedo said appeared to be in his 20s, was shot in the ankle during the gunfight.
The suspect continued driving until he intentionally crashed into a responding El Monte police car at Durfee and Elliot Avenue, the detective said.
He then abandoned his badly damaged vehicle and tried to carjack another car, officials said, but the large man behind the wheel put up a fight.
The police officer got out of his damaged police car and shocked the suspect with a Taser as he fought with the attempted carjacking victim, Acebedo said. The suspect was arrested without further incident.
The arresting police officer was hospitalized for minor injuries suffered in the crash and released later the same day, authorities said.
Acebedo also declined to comment Sunday on why detectives believe the suspect may have opened fire on the officers and civilians.
“We need to do a little bit of further investigation on that,” he said.
Acebedo also declined Sunday to release the names of the officers involved in the shooting. Police said Friday they were both veteran officers.
The five attempted murder charges the suspect was booked on stem from allegedly shooting at the two officers and two civilians, and ramming the other officer’s car, Acebedo said.
The Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is investigating the shooting, and El Monte police officials deferred all further comment to the sheriff’s department.

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DUI arrests up over Memorial Day weekend

LOS ANGELES COUNTY — Law enforcement officials reported an 11 percent increase in the number of driving under the influence arrests in Los Angeles County this year during the first two days of their Memorial Day weekend enforcement campaign.
Authorities participating in a multi-agency DUI task force called “Avoid the 100″ arrested 231 people on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Los Angeles County between 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday night, task force officials said in a written statement. The statistics were preliminary, as some agencies were yet to report their arrests.
During the same time period last year, officials reported 208 arrests.
The extra enforcement campaign will continue through Monday night.
Officials encourage anyone who sees a drunken driver on the road to call 9-1-1 to report it.
Funding for this operation is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Man suspected of hit-and-run after crash pins pedestrian

MONTEREY PARK — Police jailed a man Saturday who allegedly fled the scene of a crash that left two pedestrians seriously injured, authorities said.
Isaac Carrillo, 22, of Los Angeles was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, Monterey Park police Lt. Steve Coday said.
The crash was reported about 1:40 p.m. at the Pho Lu Thuong Kiet Restaurant, 301 E. Garvey Ave., police said in a written statement.
“The suspect vehicle had left the roadway and collided into a parked vehicle at (the restaurant),” according to the statement.
“The parked vehicle was pushed against the wall of the restaurant, pinning a pedestrian between the car and the wall,” police added. The pedestrian remained wedged between the car and building until firefighters freed him.
The pinned pedestrian, a man in his 50s who remained conscious throughout the incident, was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for apparent internal injuries, Coday said. He was expected to survive.
An 85-year-old woman who was standing near the parked car also suffered a serious leg injury, Coday said. A diner inside the restaurant also complained of pain to his leg.
Carrillo allegedly ran from the scene but was captured by police nearby without further incident, police said. He was hospitalized for shortness of breath.
Police added that officials were summoned to check on the stability of the restaurant.

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Blaze scorches brush at Schabarum Park

HACIENDA HEIGHTS — A fire scorched about 2 and a half acres of brush within Schabarum Regional Park Saturday, authorities said.
The blaze was reported about 4:15 p.m. at the park, 17250 East Colima Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman said.
Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 45 minutes, he added.
No structures were threatened by the fire, Pittman said, and no firefighters or civilians were injured.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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Details emerge in El Monte police gun battle with suspect

EL MONTE — Details continued to emerge Saturday regarding a gun battle between El Monte police and a suspect that left two officers, the suspect and a civilian wounded, authorities said.
The shooting occurred about 4 p.m. at Durfee Avenue and Valley Boulevard, police and sheriff’s officials said.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials, who are helping El Monte police with the investigation, withheld the suspects’ name Saturday citing an ongoing investigation. He was booked on suspicion of attempted murder and was being held without bail.
“Two El Monte police officers were investigating a hit-and-run traffic collision when the suspect returned to the location, shot at the officers, and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Guillermina Saldana said in a written statement.
Both officers returned fire, wounding the suspect, officials said.
One officer was shot in his right forearm and the other suffered a grazing wound to his right thigh, Saldana said.
The victim of the original hit-and-run crash was shot in his right ankle, she added. Officials did not say Saturday whether the civilian was wounded by a bullet fired by the suspect or police.
“The (wounded) suspect then drove Southbound on Durfee Avenue where he collided with a responding police unit,” Saldana said.
The suspect got out of his vehicle and tried to carjack another driver near the intersection of Durfee and Elliot avenues, but the would-be carjacking victim fought back, according to police and sheriff’s officials. No further information about the alleged attempted carjacking victim was released.
Police shocked the suspect with a Taser and arrested him, Saldana said. A 9mm semi-automatic handgun was found at the scene.
The injured police officers, civilian and suspect were all hospitalized in stable condition, El Monte police officials said.

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Man suspected of robbing teens in Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK — Police arrested a man late Friday on suspicion of robbing a group of teenagers in Baldwin Park, authorities said.
The suspect’s name was not available late Friday as he was still being booked, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Richard Villines said. A second suspect was still being sought.
The incident occurred about 8 p.m. in the 2800 block of Athol Street, the sergeant said.
Three boys, ages 14-15, were walking in the area when a car approached.
A passenger, described as a Latino man in his early 20s with the letter “M” tattooed on his neck or head, got out of the car and brandished a knife, Villines said.
After stealing cell phones, iPods and cash from the teens, he said, the robber got back into the car with a waiting driver and the two drove away.
Minutes later, police found a car matching the description at Francisquito Avenue and Baldwin Park Boulevard, Villines said. The driver, who appeared to be in his early 20s, surrendered when police pulled him over.
The teens’ property was recovered, he added, but the second suspect was not in the car.

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Crime reporter heads to Pasadena comic convention

41267-Shelly Martinez-thumb-300x453-41266.jpgI spent the first part of my day off the crime beat to pay a visit to the Pasadena Rock’n Comic Con, where comic book lovers of all walks of life met to share their love of fantasy fiction.
It was my first time at such an event, and it was something to behold.
From homemade greeting cards to a publication called “Girls and Corpses” — yes, it’s exactly what you think — there was an ecclectic mix of comic books and other memorabilia.
One unique comic book published by artist/author Batton Lash is titled, “Supernatural Law,” and follows a group of attorney’s who represent creatures such as vampires and Frankenstein’s monster.
People such as world-famous artist Glenn Vippu, former pro wrestler Shelly Martinez (pictured left) and Oblongs cartoon creator Angus Oblong were on hand to meet with fans.
Fans were disapointed, however, when comic book Legend Stan Lee cancelled his Friday appearance. He is expected to attend the convention Saturday.
More enthustiastic visitors arrived in costume.
It seems the convention got off to a slow start. Both visitors and vendors commented that attendance seemed low Friday afternoon.

*Shelly Martinez talking with fans at the Pasadena Rock’n Comic Con on Friday, May 28, 2010. PHOTO by Walt Mancini, Staff Photographer.

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