Man sought in sexual assault, attempted kidnapping of teenage girl in Arcadia

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ARCADIA — Police Friday released a sketch of a man suspected of sexually assaulting and trying to kidnap a 15-year-old girl earlier this week.
The crime occurred about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Santa Anita Avenue and Genoa Street, Arcadia police Sgt. Tom Le Veque said in a written statement.
The girl was walking home when the attacker approached in a 4-door, silver Audi, possible with a spoiler on rear, with black leather and no tint, police said.
The man convinced the girl to get in the car with him to help him with directions, Le Veque said.
After driving with the girl through west Arcadia, the man drove back to the area where he first picked the girl up, officials said.
“After stopping the car, the male suspect began rubbing the girl’s neck and shoulders while asking her if she had a boyfriend.,” Le Veque said. “The suspect then grabbed the girl’s breasts. The victim tried to get out of the car, but the door was locked.”
The girl convinced the man to drive back toward Santa Anita Avenue, and he again stopped the car and made similar advances, he said.
“The victim was able to exit the car, but was grabbed on the arm by the suspect,” Le Veque said. “She pulled away and ran off.
Police described the attacker as a Latino man in his 30s, with short black hair, a goatee and a Spanish accent. He wore a white T-shirt and dark shorts.
Anyone with information is asked to call Arcadia police detectives at 626-574-5160. Tips can also be submitted anonymously be calling L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers qt 800-222-8477.
SKETCH of suspect courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department
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Indoor pot grow found in Bassett, four arrested

BASSETT — Deputies uncovered an indoor marijuana grow of more than 1,000 plants in an industrial area Thursday and arrested four people in connection with the operation, authorities said.
Colby Kelly, 39, Alfred Serrato, 39, Brandon Roberto, 27, and a fourth man whose name was not available pending booking were arrested during the investigation that followed the discovery of the pot garden, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Kelly Huffman said.
Deputies served a warrant in the 200 block of South 8th Avenue about 10:30 a.m. and found the marijuana plants growing in three separate, small industrial buildings, the sergeant said.
The investigation was ongoing, and no further details were released late Thursday.
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Man charged with La Crescenta slaying of cousin

From City News Serice
PASADENA — A Tujunga man was charged Thursday with murdering his 33- year-old female cousin, whose body was left near the La Crescenta Avenue offramp of the westbound 210 Freeway.
Aram Sarukhanyan, 27, is accused of shooting Adrine Arzumanyan and then pointing a handgun at a civilian who tried to stop him after he allegedly dumped the victim’s body alongside the freeway April 29.
Sarukhanyan was located a short time later on the southbound 2 Freeway with a self-inflicted gunshot wound that resulted in his hospitalization, authorities said.
He will be arraigned after he is released from the hospital, according to Deputy District Attorney Lee Mitchell.
Sarukhanyan is charged with one felony count each of murder and brandishing a firearm at a person in motor vehicle, along with the allegation that he personally used a handgun in the commission of Arzumanyan’s shooting.
If convicted, he faces a maximum of more than 50 years to life in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office. 
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Charges filed in Whittier library hostage-taking case

WHITTIER — Authorities charged a Whittier man with a host of felony charges Thursday for allegedly holding a woman hostage at scissor point at the Whittier Public Library as he demanded marijuana, a car and a Mexican army escort.
Ignacio Gabriel Munoz, 30, pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping for ransom, false imprisonment, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of making criminal threats and commercial burglary with a special allegation that he used a deadly weapon, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
At the request of prosecution, Munoz’s bail was increased from $100,000 to $1 million.
A woman was with her students at the library, 7344 Washington Avenue, shortly after noon Tuesday when Munoz suddenly grabbed her, pulled her from her chair, put scissors up to her throat and began screaming that he had a hostage, police said.
“When police arrived, he allegedly demanded a pound of kush (high-quality marijuana), a car and the Mexican Army to pick him up,” according to the district attorney’s statement.
He was ultimately subdued with a less lethal projectile and arrested, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said. The woman was frightened but unharmed.
The alleged victim was a stranger to Munoz, police added. It was not clear what type of teacher the woman was, or what age group of students she was at the library with.
“(Munoz) also allegedly threatened two other people during the situation,” the statement said.
If convicted as charged, Munoz faces the possibility of life in prison.
Munoz was due back in Whittier Superior Court May 24 for a preliminary hearing, court officials said. At the preliminary hearing, a judge will review a summary of the evidence in the case and determine whether it’s sufficient to order the defendant to stand trial.
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Arcadia police seize 8,000 ecstasy pills during traffic stop

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From staff reports
ARCADIA – Police Wednesday announced they’ve arrested a Rosemead man after a traffic stop yielded 8,000 ecstasy pills.
The announcement came via a blog post.
Johnny V. Pham, 18, of Rosemead, and a juvenile passenger in his vehicle were arrested on suspicion of felony possession for sale and transportation of a controlled substance. Pham was released after a $100,000 bond was posted, officials said.
The unidentified juvenile was released to his parents, police said.
“The pills were packaged in 8 separate zip-lock bags, containing approximately 1,000 pills per bag. The total estimated street value of the pills is about $80,000,” according to a post on the Arcadia Police Department’s News and Information Blog.
Pham was pulled over Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. on Golden West Avenue near Huntington Drive for failing to stop at a stop sign, police said.
“During the traffic stop, officers saw what appeared to be a large zip-lock bag containing a large quantity of pills lying on the floorboard of the vehicle Pham was driving,” the blog post said. “Officers conducted a search of the vehicle and found an additional seven large bags in the trunk, also containing similar pills.”
Police believe the pills were ecstasy.
PHOTO of seized ecstasy courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department
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Motive remains a mystery in bizarre hostage situation at Whittier Public Library

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WHITTIER — The motive of a Whittier man who held a woman captive with a pair of scissors at the Whittier Public Library remained a mystery Wednesday, authorities said.
Ignacio Munoz, 30, was arrested in connection with the incident, which began about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday at the library, 7344 Washington Ave., Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
A woman estimated to be in her early 40s was with a group at the library when Munoz, suddenly and without warning, assaulted her, Lt. Steve Dean said.
“He just grabbed her,” he said. “He dragged her from the table.”
He put a pair of scissors up against the woman’s, “and started screaming that this was a hostage situation,” Dean said.
Police were summoned and a standoff ensued for several minutes as officers tried unsuccessfully to reason with Munoz.
During the standoff, he continued screaming but made no discernible demands, Dean said. “Nothing that made sense.”
Police ultimately ended the situation by shooting Munoz in the torso with a less lethal bean bag-type projectile called a “sock round,” Dean said. He immediately released the terrified woman and surrendered.
Munoz had no pre-existing relationship with the woman, Dean said. “He didn’t know her from Adam.”
After being examined at a hospital and spending the night at the Whittier Police Department’s jail, officials said the man appeared more composed.
“He was very lucid this morning,” Dean said.
Though Munoz appeared “remorseful” for the incident, the lieutenant added, he did not shed any light on his motive for the bizarre actions.
It was unclear Wednesday if drugs or alcohol played a role.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Munoz was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
He was expected to be arraigned Thursday in Whittier Superior Court.
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Man accused of DUI, hit-and-run after Covina crash

COVINA — A Covina man is accused of driving drunk Sunday when he collided with a family’s SUV, then fled the scene, authorities said.
David Lutz, 38, was arrested in connection with the 10:45 a.m. crash at Grand Avenue and Covina Hills Road in an unincorporated county area near Covina, California Highway Patrol Officer J. Swift said.
For reasons that remained under investigation, his Chrysler 300 collided with a Toyota SUV being driven by a man who had his wife as well as three children — ages 4 to 14 — as passengers, Swift said.
The SUV rolled over in the crash, throwing the man from the vehicle, he said. All five people who were in the SUV suffered moderate injuries.
Lutz drove off after the crash, Swift said, but his damaged car left a trail of automotive fluid that pointed officials in the direction he had gone.
Officials found Lutz’s car parked in front of a home about a mile away from the crash scene and arrested him, Swift said.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Lutz was being held in lieu of $150,000 bail and was due to appear Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
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Two seriously injured in rollover crash in Diamond Bar

DIAMOND BAR — Two people suffered serious injuries Sunday in a rollover SUV crash on the 57 Freeway, officials said.
The crash was reported about 2:35 p.m. on the northbound 57 Freeway, just north of the eastbound 60 Freeway, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
The collision involved an SUV and a sedan, CHP and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said. The SUV completely overturned and ended up back on it’s wheels.
A man estimated to be in his mid-60s who was in the SUV was flown to the University of California Irvine Medical center with head trauma, fire officials said. Another man in the SUV, estimated to be about 50, was taken by ambulance to the same hospital with back injuries.
Both men were conscious and breathing and were expected to survive, fire officials said.
A woman who was driving the sedan, which went down an embankment, suffered minor injuries, authorities added.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by the Santa Fe Springs office of the CHP.
The three right lanes of the northbound 57 Freeway were shut down for about an hour and a half during the rescue and initial investigation.
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Officials: La Puente woman, 5-year-old twins killed in triple murder-suicide

A man fatally shot his girlfriend, a La Puente woman, and their 5-year-old twins inside an SUV late Saturday before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.
The bodies of Iris Oseguera, 33, her boyfriend Salvador Acevedo, 45, and the their twins, a boy and girl whose names were not released Sunday, were discovered about 9 p.m. Saturday inside an SUV parked in the 1100 block of South Hicks Avenue, East Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Lillian Peck said in a written statement.
Three teenage children who were also inside the SUV at the time of the shooting escaped unharmed, she said.
Acevedo, Oseguera, and all five children were in an SUV prior to the shooting, officials said.
“While in the vehicle, Acevedo and Oseguera became involved in a domestic dispute,” Peck said. “Acevedo produced a handgun and shot Oseguera and their twin children, striking each victim in the upper torso.”
Acevedo then dropped the three teenage children off at a relative’s home in East Los Angeles and drove away, sheriff’s officials said. The relatives immediately contacted the sheriff’s department.
A short time later, deputies discovered the SUV stopped on Hicks Avenue, with the three victims inside and Acevedo suffering from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, Peck said.
Oseguera and Acevedo were pronounced dead at the scene, and the 5-year-old twins were rushed to a hospital, where they were pronounced dead.
The investigation, which was being handled by the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, was ongoing.
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Two arrested after Montebello police pursuit

MONTEBELLO — Police officers, both human and canine, arrested a drunken man who led them on a brief car chase early Sunday, authorities said.
Juan Guardado, 24, of Pico Rivera was booked on suspicion of evading police and drunken driving, Montebello Police Lt. Rich Meadows said. He was also being investigated in connection with auto theft, possession of stolen property and narcotics charges.
Sandra Gonzalez, 19, of Montebello, a passenger in the car, was booked on suspicion of possession of narcotics, police added.
Officers received information about 2:20 a.m. regarding a stolen car that had just been dropped off in the 400 block of South Third Street, Meadows said.
Officials also developed information about a second car possibly related to the abandonment of the stolen car, and quickly spotted a car matching the description less than a mile away at Greenwood Avenue and Beach Street, “leaving at a high rate of speed,” the lieutenant said.
“Officers attempted to stop the vehicle but it failed to yield and a short pursuit ensued,” Meadows said.
When the car reached the area of Paramount and Washington Boulevards, officers tried unsuccessfully to use a PIT maneuver to bring the chase to an end.
“The driver started making multiple U-turns in the street,” Meadows said. Officers used their patrol units to box in the fleeing car, stopping the chase.
“The driver immediately exited the vehicle and stated he had a gun,” he said. “A police K-9 was deployed and apprehended (Guardado).”
Officials ultimately found Guardado did not have a gun.
Gonzalez and another man who was riding in the car were detained without further incident, Meadows said. Gonzalez was arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine, while the other passenger was released without charges.
Officials also found property they suspect may be stolen inside the car, Meadows added.
Guardado was treated for dog bites before being taken to jail, police said.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Guardado was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail, and Gonzalez was being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.
Both were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in East Los Angeles Superior Court.
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