GLENDORA — Firefighters had all but extinguished a brush fire in the forest north of Glendora late Saturday after a car went off the road and ignited heavy brush, authorities said.
The 15-acre fire was first reported about 11:45 a.m. off of Glendora Mountain Road, about two miles north of Big Dalton Canyon Road, California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.
It ignited after a sedan with a young man driving went 250 to 300 over the side of Glendora Mountain Road, CHP Sgt. Steve Licon said.
The driver climbed out of the car and was hospitalized with minor injuries, Licon said, but officials were unable to reach the car before it was consumed by the flames.
“There’s nothing left of it,” the sergeant said.
No structures were threatened Saturday afternoon as about 115 firefighters battled the blaze, Fire Inspector Don Kunitomi said.
Authorities evacuated hikers and bicyclists from the area, according to CHP logs.
The fire had grown to about 15 acres and was 80 percent contained Saturday night, Kunitomi said. The bulk of the fire had “laid down,” but continued smoldering as firefighters stood watch.
Officials will remove the scorched car from the forest at a later date, Licon said. The cause of the crash was under investigation.
Glendora Mountain Road was expected to be closed between Big Dalton Canyon Road and Glendora Ridge Road for through Sunday due to the fire, according to the CHP.
Any witnesses to the crash are asked to call the Baldwin Park Office of the CHP.
ARCADIA — About 20 vehicle owners awoke Saturday morning to find their car windows had been smashed in an unincorporated county area near Arcadia, police said.
The vandalism took place in the 5300 block of Tyler Avenue, the 5300 block of Garypark Avenue, the 11000 block of Freer Street and the 2800 block of Halsey Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Dexter said.
No one witnessed the windows getting broken, he said, however based on the damage, “It was probably a BB gun or pellet gun.”
PASADENA — Two young men were wounded Saturday when a fist fight turned into a shooting, police said.
The shooting was reported about 12:30 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 1800 block of Lundy Ave., Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting remained unclear Saturday, however the shooting was believed to have been preceded by a fist fight, the lieutenant said.
A 19-year-old man was shot in the hand and torso and an 18 year old man was shot in the shoulder in the incident, he said. Both were expected to survive.
One of the wounded men was taken to the hospital by ambulance, Hettema added, while the other was dropped off at the hospital by a private vehicle.
A description of the shooter and a motive in the attack were not available Saturday, he said.
“They’re working on leads,” he added.
From the Associated Press:
PHOENIX — Helicopters and police dogs are searching for three convicted murderers who escaped from a northwest Arizona prison, kidnapped two semi-truck drivers at gunpoint and used the big rig to flee.
A Department of Corrections spokesman says the men escaped Friday evening by cutting a hole through a perimeter fence at the Arizona State Prison in Golden Valley.
Police say the truck drivers were kidnapped Saturday morning but they were later released unharmed.
The three escapees are 42-year-old Tracy Province, 36-year-old Daniel Renwick, and 45-year-old John McCluskey. They were last seen wearing orange prison jumpsuits.
Flagstaff police Sgt. James Jackson says a 44-year-old woman identified as Casslyn Mae Welch met the men and helped in their escape.
AZUSA — Azusa police jailed a Foothill Transit contractor Friday on suspicion of falsely imprisoning and sexually assaulting a woman in a company vehicle, authorities said.
Dwight Penkey, 55, of Harbor city was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at the Azusa Police Department’s jail, according to sheriff’s booking records.
The alleged crime occurred July 17 as a woman was waiting for a bus at Foothill Boulevard and Alameda Avenue, Azusa police Sgt. Bruce Badoni said in a written statement.
Penkey, an employee of M.V. Transit who was contracted to drive for Foothill Transit, allegedly arrived in a Foothill Transit sedan.
“The victim entered Penkey’s vehicle, and a short time later, Penkey began touching the victim in an inappropriate manner,” Badoni said.
The woman was able to get out of the car at Huntington Drive and Los Lomas Street in Duarte, he added,
After recently identifying Penkey as the driver of the sedan, Badoni said, police arrested him early Friday morning.
Penkey was due for arraignment Monday in West Covina Superior Court, according to sheriff’s records.
“Investigators are concerned that there may be additional victims,” Badoni said.
Anyone with information about this incident or any similar incidents is asked to call Azusa police.
From the Associated Press:
SANTA FE, N.M. — The showdown between Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid has fascinated the American public for nearly 130 years with its classic, Old West storyline of the frontier lawman hunting down the notorious gunslinger.
As it turns out, the feud isn’t completely over.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is considering granting a posthumous pardon to Billy the Kid, angering descendants of Garrett who call it an insult to recognize such a violent outlaw.
Three of the late lawman’s grandchildren sent a letter to Richardson this week that asked him not to pardon the outlaw, saying such an act would represent an “inexcusable defamation” of Garrett.
“If Billy the Kid was living amongst us now, would you issue a pardon for someone who made his living as a thief and, more egregiously, who killed four law enforcement officers and numerous others?” the Garrett family wrote.
The issue has resurfaced because Richardson asked a New Mexico columnist earlier this year to check with historians to measure their support for issuing a pardon. The governor plans to meet with Garrett family members next week to discuss the issue.
Garrett shot Billy the Kid down on July 14, 1881. Garrett tracked him after the outlaw escaped from the Lincoln County jail in a famous gunbattle that left two deputies dead.
The Kid’s status as an Old West folk hero grew as countless books, films and songs were written about the gunslinger and his exploits. According to legend, he killed 21 people, one for each year of his life, but the New Mexico Tourism Department puts the total closer to nine.
The pardon dispute is the latest in a long-running fight over whether Garrett shot the real Kid or someone else and then lied about it. Some history buffs claim Billy the Kid didn’t die in the shootout with Garrett and landed in Texas, where he went by “Brushy Bill” Roberts and died of a heart attack at age 90 in 1950.
Richardson joined the tussle in 2003 by supporting a plan by then-Lincoln County Sheriff Tom Sullivan to reinvestigate the century-old case.
The governor said he was willing to consider a pardon for the Kid — something the outlaw hoped for but never received from New Mexico territorial Gov. Lew Wallace.
“Governor Richardson has always said that he would consider making good on Governor Wallace’s promise to Billy the Kid for a pardon,” Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia said Thursday. “He is aware of the Garrett family’s concerns and will be meeting with them next week.”
Susan Floyd Garrett of Santa Fe is one of the grandchildren who signed the letter to Richardson. She said the family decided to speak out because a pardon represents a “defamation of character” to their grandfather. She described the Kid as a “gangster.”
“Everybody wants to mythologize Billy the Kid,” she said.
Garrett and her brother, Jarvis Patrick Garrett, met Thursday with descendants of another key figure in the Kid’s story — John Henry Tunstall, a rancher whose murder in 1878 triggered a bloody feud known as the Lincoln County War. Billy the Kid, also known as William Bonney, worked as a ranch hand for Tunstall.
Hilary Tunstall-Behrens of London, a great-nephew of Tunstall, said he’s not backing a modern-day pardon for the Kid.
“I wouldn’t join the cause,” said Tunstall-Behrens, 83. “There is so much strong feelings.”
Gale Cooper, an amateur historian who lives near Albuquerque, said a pardon by Richardson would be the “culmination of the hoax that contended Pat Garrett was a nefarious killer and Billy was not buried in his grave.”
Cooper has written a book, “MegaHoax,” to debunk claims that Garrett killed someone other than the Kid.
After serving as Lincoln County sheriff, Garrett’s career soured. He ran unsuccessfully for higher political office, served as a customs collector, but ran into financial problems as a rancher.
UPDATE: This incident is no longer believed to be a hit-and-run crash. Sheriff’s officials report that after the crash, the driver of the involved truck drove to his business nearby, then called authorities to report hitting the horse.
SOUTH EL MONTE — A horse died in the roadway late Thursday after a hit-and-run crash in South El Monte, authorities said.
The incident was reported about 8:30 p.m. on Peck Road, just south of the 60 Freeway, California Highway Patrol officials said.
Authorities found a saddled horse lying dead in the roadway, CHP Officer Jessi Sanchez said. They searched the area for a rider, but had not located one late Thursday.
Based on the impact suffered by the horse and debris left at the scene, he said, investigators suspected an Isuzu box truck or big rig struck the animal and continued driving.
The area where the horse’s body was found is lined with both commercial and private equestrian properties, sheriff’s officials said.
Police arrested a Pasadena parole agent on suspicion of stealing nearly $3,000 from a Monrovia parolee’s bank account, authorities said Thursday.
Robert Earl Wilson, 52, of Chino Hills was booked Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of grand theft, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
The alleged victim, Elaine Balles, 59, of Monrovia, was on parole at the time of the theft, Ibarra said
“He removed funds from a bank account without authorization of the victim,” the lieutenant said. The alleged thefts took place between February and May.
Balles was not being supervised by Wilson, Ibarra said.
Police said Balles had come to trust Wilson through their interactions at the Pasadena parole office, 333. E. Walnut Street. She provided him with her bank account information so that he could access her account if she became incarcerated, Ibarra said.
Balles was arrested in March by Monrovia police officers on a parole violation following a 2004 burglary conviction, according to court documents. A judge sentenced her to 180 days in jail and she was released on May 18, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“She had trust that he would be a responsible individual,” the lieutenant added. “Unfortunately, he then utilized that info to get funds for himself.”
Police arrested Wilson about 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Pasadena parole office.
Balles could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Maria Franco, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections, said Wilson had been with the the agency for more than 20 years.
“There’s no comment because it’s an ongoing investigation,” Franco said. “That would impede an investigation.”
Once Pasadena police complete their criminal investigation, the state will conduct its own administrative probe, Franco said.
“Anything involving a peace officer we take very seriously,” she said.
Wilson was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, Franco said.
The parole agent was released Wednesday after posting $20,000 bail, according to sheriff’s booking records.
Police said he was due in Pasadena Superior Court for arraignment on Aug. 27.
Balles has an extensive criminal record that dates back to the mid-1980s. She has been convicted of drug possession, petty theft, forgery, child endangerment, burglary and elder abuse.
There were no indications Thursday that anyone else had been victimized by Wilson, Ibarra said.
“We do not have any additional victims, nor any prior allegations of similar conduct,” she said.
PASADENA — Police responded to a report of a shooting Thursday but found no victims, authorities said.
Officers responded to a report of “shots fired” about 2:15 p.m. in the 900 block of North Hudson Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Rodney Wallace said.
Bullet casings were found at the scene, he said, though police did not find anyone or anything that had been struck by gunfire.
No description of the shooter was known, he added.
PASADENA — Police arrested a parole agent from the Pasadena parole office Wednesday on suspicion of grand theft, authorities said.
R.E. Wilson, 52, was released later in the day after posting $20,000 bail, according to sheriff’s booking records.
Citing an ongoing police investigation, as well as a possible internal investigation by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, police declined to release details of what Wilson is suspected of stealing.
“He was arrested for grand theft,” Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said. “I can’t comment more. The investigation is ongoing.”
According to state law, “grand theft” involved stealing money, labor or property valued at greater than $400.
After contacting the the Pasadena parole office where Wilson worked, police arrested the agent about 1 p.m., Ibarra said.
Information on Wilson’s initial court appearance was not available Wednesday.