Deputies arrest gang members after short car chase

VALINDA — Deputies jailed two gang members on suspicion of multiple charges Sunday after a short pursuit in a stolen car, authorities said.
Hector Gordian, 22, and Teofilo Ibarra, 18, both La Puente residents and members of the East Valinda Street Gang known as the “Townsmen,” were being held at the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Industry Station, Lt. Victor Sotelo said.
A deputies spotted a car about 2:05 a.m. on Azusa Avenue at Temple Avenue and realized it had been reported stolen, the lieutenant said.
“They attempted to effect a traffic stop and the vehicle attempted to evade them,” he said.
The car drove a short distance and stopped near the intersection of Temple Avenue and Amar road, where the driver, Gordian, and Ibarra jumped out and ran, Sotelo said.
Deputies captured Ibarra “almost instantaneously,” he said, but Gordian managed to flee into a nearby apartment complex.
Sotelo said a group of deputies spotted Gordian in the complex, chased him down and became involved in a fight with him.
They managed to subdue Gordian, officials said, but one deputy suffered a sprained knee and another sprained fingers in the process.
Deputies also discovered methamphetamine and items believed to have been stolen in a previous West Covina auto theft in the suspects’ possession, Sotelo said.
They were booked on suspicion of possession of a stolen car, possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine, he said. Gordian was also booked on suspicion of battery on peace officers.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Ibarra was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail and Gordian was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail. They were due for arraignment Wednesday in West Covina Superior Court.

Man with shotgun tries to rob Whittier restaurant

WHITTIER — A would-be robber armed with a shotgun fled empty-handed after trying to rob a Subway sandwich shop early Sunday, police said.
The gunman entered the restaurant on Whittier Boulevard, just east of Colima Road, about 6:50 a.m. and demanded money for the employees, Whittier police Lt. Carlos Solorza said.
“The employees were just in the process of opening up and they had no money,” the lieutenant said. “He got frustrated and he left.”
Police described the failed robber as a black man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 155 pounds. He was wearing a black baseball cap, a black hooded sweat shirt and a beige raincoat.

Woman who initially avoided charges in Whittier stabbing arrested on suspicion of murder

WHITTIER — A 27-year-old woman accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death in late 2009, who prosecutors initially declined to file charges against, has been arrested on suspicion of murder, authorities said Sunday.
Investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau arrested Michelle Pacheco about 11 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of murder, according to sheriff’s officials and booking records. She is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office decided in late 2010 not to file charges against her for the Nov. 27, 2009, fatal stabbing of 29-year-old Sean Casillas, however the case remained under review.
Homicide detectives initially said it appeared that Casillas was stabbed during a fight with Pacheco at an apartment in the 14300 block of Mulberry Drive in an unincorporated county area near Whittier.
Casillas assaulted Pacheco with some sort of household object before the two wrestled over a steak knife and Casillas was ultimately stabbed in the chest, investigators have said.
The district attorney’s officials and the handling detectives could not be reached for comment Sunday for comment on the arrest.
Information on Pacheco’s initial court date was not available, however criminal defendants being held in custody are generally brought before a judge for arraignment with two working court days of arrest. Courts are closed Monday for the President’s Day holiday.

Craigslist purchase leads to armed robbery in Temple City

TEMPLE CITY — A man expecting to buy an iPhone through the popular Craigslist.com classified ads website Saturday was instead robbed at gunpoint, authorities said.
The crime took place about 3:30 p.m. behind a Carl’s Jr. restaurant at Las Tunas Drive and Golden West Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Walker said.
The victim and suspect met via Craigslist, and the victim arranged to purchase an iPhone from the robber for $500, the sergeant said.
When the men met to do the transaction behind the restaurant, the robber pulled a semi-automatic handgun on him and stole his money, Walker said.
The gunman was described as an Asian man of about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 160 pounds. He had black hair, brown eyes and wore a red jacket.
He was last seen fleeing through Civic Center Park, toward City Hall, Walker added.
When doing business via websites such as Craigslist, Walker said, the public is advised to learn as much information about the identity of the person they plan to meet as possible, and ensure the meeting takes place in a public area.

Second set of human remains found at Lennox drug house

From City News Service:

LENNOX — Female remains found Saturday at an alleged drug house in Lennox may be those of the wife of a man whose body was found buried there earlier this week.
The woman’s body was found around 3:45 p.m. at the home on 112th Street near Inglewood Avenue, Sgt. Edmundo Hummel of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau reportedly said.
Coroner’s officials would only say the remains were female.
The body of the owner of the home, James Daniel Stein, 53, was unearthed Tuesday in the backyard of the residence.
His wife, Gabriela, went missing about a month after Stein’s mother reported him missing Dec. 17.
Marcos Lomeli, 26, became a suspect in the couple’s death after his former girlfriend told authorities at least one body was buried at the reputed drug house.
He was arrested Wednesday at a motel in the 4300 block of Rosemead Boulevard.

Services set for slain Whittier couple

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WHITTIER — Services are planned for a longtime Whittier couple slain by their son, who then turned the gun on himself, earlier this month.
A viewing is scheduled for Raul Escobedo, 67, and his wife of 35 years Debra Escobedo, 60, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday in the Memorial Chapel of Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary, 3888 Workman Mill Road.
The funeral service is to take place at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the SkyRose Chapel at Rose Hills.
The couple was killed by their son, 31-year-old Mario Escobedo, who then fatally shot himself, on Feb. 11 at their home in the 16000 block of Janine Drive, according to authorities.
“Debbie and Raul will be remembered for their love of life, learning and their immeasurable and unconditional love for their family,” family members said in an obituary.
The couple lived in Whittier for more than 30 years.
Raul Escobedo, a decorated U.S. Army Vietnam veteran, retired in 2009 after a 39-year career as an urban planner and landscape designer.
Debra Escobedo taught first grade at Lawrence T. Magee Elementary School in Pico Rivera, where she attended as a child, for nearly 50 years.
They are survived by Debra’s mother, Violet Moya, their children, Monica and Michelle Escobedo, their son-in-law, Phillip Alcazar, their six siblings and their three grandchildren, Brandon, Matthew and Evan. 
A memorial website has been established for the family at www.escobedofamily.org.
PHOTO of Raul and Debra Escobedo courtesy of the Escobedo family.

Two suspects arrested in Pasadena shooting

PASADENA — Police jailed a man and woman early Saturday on suspicion of shooting a man in the leg the previous day.
Luis Chavez, 28, and Rene Calderon, 36, were arrested at a Commerce hotel, and a handgun believed to have been used in the shooting was recovered, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
The shooting took place about 3 p.m. Friday in the 1000 block of North Los Robles Avenue.
A man and woman shot a 38-year-old man in the leg before fleeing the area in a light-colored vehicle, police said.
Detectives working through the night tracked the pair to a motel room in Commerce, though police declined to say Saturday how the suspects were identified.
Police also declined to discuss the motive in the shooting.
Chavez and Calderon were booked on suspicion of attempted murder.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Calderon was being held in lieu of $520,000 bail, while Chavez was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Liquor store clerk in Monrovia accused of selling pot

From City News Service:
MONROVIA — A 29-year-old store clerk arrested for allegedly selling marijuana to undercover investigators at a liquor store in Monrovia was freed on bail Saturday, officials said.
Johnny Souhiel Khalil of Burbank was arrested Thursday on suspicion of possession and sales of marijuana and attempting to purchase and receive stolen property, said John Carr of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
“Authorities arrested Khalil following an ongoing investigation,” Carr said. “Khalil sold, gave away or facilitated the sale of marijuana to undercover investigators on three separate occasions.”
Khalil also allegedly negotiated the sale and purchase of property he believed was stolen, Carr said.
After seeing possible illegal activity, ABC investigators went undercover at House of Spirits at 501 W. Duarte Road, Carr said.
“In addition to the criminal charges against the suspect involved, the department expects to file accusations against the licensee,” Carr said.
Khalil, who was held on $20,000 bail, was released just after midnight, according to sheriff’s booking records.

Gang-related shooting reported in Azusa

AZUSA — Two men escaped injury Friday when a group of gang members opened fire on them, police said.
The shooting occurred about 7:40 p.m. in the 600 block of North Cedarlglen Avenue, Azusa police Cpl. Rick Hayden said in a written statement.
Two Azusa men, ages 20 and 23, were standing in front of a carport when three men described as having the appearance of Latino gang members pulled up.
“The victims ran away as one of the suspects exited a vehicle and yelled “Azusa”,” the corporal said. The attackers were believed to be referiing to a local street gang known as “Azusa 13.”
The victims then heard a single gunshot, Hayden said.
“Fortunately, only an unoccupied parked vehicle was hit by the shot that was fired,” he said.
Following the shooting, police said, the suspects fled into a nearby vehicle and sped off. A description of the getaway car was not available Saturday afternoon.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Azusa Police Department Detective Bureau at 626-812-3200.

Teen passenger critically hurt in suspected DUI crash in Azusa

AZUSA — Police suspect a Baldwin Park man was drunk when crashed his car in Azusa late Friday, critically injuring his 16-year-old passenger.
Andrew Ariaga, 27, was hospitalized in stable condition Saturday and expected to face felony drunken driving charges, Azusa police Cpl. Dean Brewer said in a written statement.
His passenger, an Azusa boy, was hospitalized in critical condition, he added.
The crash took place about 11:40 p.m. San Gabriel Avenue at 10th Street.
Ariaga was driving a 1975 Volkswagon Beetle southbound on the rain-slickened avenue when he “apparently lost control,” Brewer said.
“The (Beetle) slid sideways into the back of a 2005 Volkswagon Touareg, which caused serious injury to the passenger,” he said. The Touareg was parked and unoccupied.
“Preliminary reports indicate that Mr. Ariaga was traveling too fast in the 35 mph zone and is suspected of driver under the influence of alcohol,” Brewer said.
The crash remained under investigation by the Azusa Police Department Traffic Division.