Whittier man mauled by pit bull during failed robbery; father and son arrested

WHITTIER — A Whittier man and his teenage son were behind bars Sunday on suspicion of badly beating another man during a robbery attempt and sicking their pit bull on him, officials said.
The victim had the tips of both ears bitten off by the dog in the attack, in addition to other injuries, Whittier police Lt. Carlos Solorza said.
Richard Aragon Sr., 51, and his 16-year-old son were booked on suspicion of attempted robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with Saturday’s 9:15 p.m. incident in the 8900 block of Painter Avenue, the lieutenant said.
The teenage suspect approached the victim, a 43-year-old Whittier man, and demanded his wallet, Solorza said. When the man refused, he was attacked.
Aragon then joined in the fray, releasing his pit bull on the victim, police said in a written statement.
“When we got their, he was bleeding profusely,” he said. “He had been punched and kicked in the head by the men and … the tips of both ears were bitten off my the dog.”
The victim also suffered a gash to his head requiring stitches and had visible boot marks on his head, police added.
The injured man was taken to an Orange County trauma center for treatment, where he was listed in stable condition.
Officers found Aragon and his son, along with their pit bull, inside a nearby apartment complex and arrested them in connection with the violent robbery attempt, Solorza said.
“Bloody boots were also found in one of the assailant’s apartments,” according to the statement.
The third man possibly involved in the attack was not found, authorities said. Animal control officials quarantined the dog pending the investigation.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Aragon was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail at the Whittier Police Department’s Jail. Information on his initial court date was not available, however criminal suspects held in custody are generally brought before a judge within two working days of arrest.
The 16-year-old suspect was taken to Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey.
As officers were investigating the incident, another teenage boy was being detained and questioned by police when he “became upset and swung at one of the officers,” according to the police statement.
After a struggle that ended with the juvenile being shocked with a Taser, he was arrested on suspicion of assault on a police officer, officials said. He was not tied to the initial failed robbery and attack.
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Bank robbery reported in La Habra

From reporter Bethania Palma-Markus:

LA HABRA – Two men robbed a bank at gun point at 11:10 a.m. on Friday.
The men walked into Quaker City Bank at 401 W. Whittier Blvd. with a black handgun and took money from each teller, said La Habra police Lt. Jeff Swaim. 
“It certainly seems like they had a plan and thought about it for a while,” Swaim said. “Our detectives will have to look into it further to see if they’ve hit in any other surrounding jurisdiction.”
The men are described as black, wearing white shorts with stripes, gray hooded sweatshirts, face maks and gloves, Swaim said. They were last seen going westbound on East Whittier Boulevard in a white Toyota Camry.
Swaim didn’t know how much money the men took.
No one was injured.
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Small plane makes rough landing at El Monte Airport

EL MONTE — A pilot walked away from a rough landing unharmed Thursday after a small airplane apparently lost engine power.
The incident was reported shortly after 6:30 p.m. at the airport, 4233 Santa Anita Ave.
“A single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza reportedly lost engine power and either crashed or made a forced landing at El Monte Airport,” Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The aircraft came to rest on its fuselage, with it’s landing gears either collapsed or not fully deployed.
The propeller of the airplane was bent, and according to initial reports from the scene, small amounts of fuel leaked onto the runway.
“The pilot was flying from Chino to Camarillo and diverted to El Monte after experiencing engine problems,” Gregor said. “He lost power and landed hard at 6:45 p.m.”
Based on the airplane’s tail number, it was registered to Bernard M. Diamond M.D. Inc. of Hidden Hills and was manufactured in 1976.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will are investigating, Gregor said.
“The NTSB investigator usually posts a basic preliminary report on the agency’s website, www.ntsb.gov, within a week or two of an accident,” he said. “However, it typically takes NTSB months to come up with a probable cause for accidents.”
El Monte City Manager Rene Bobadilla said he was grateful that the apparently distressed aircraft was able to make it to the airport.
“Thank God he was able to get to the airport and didn’t land on a school or a neighborhood. That would have been catastrophic,” he said.
PHOTO by Eric Reed, Staff Photographer
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Whittier police seek shooting suspect

WHITTIER — Police and sheriff’s officials searched for a gunman who fired upon another man early Thursday, officials said.
Police responded to reports of shots being fired just after 6:30 a.m. at an apartment in the 13700 block of Franklin Street, Whittier police Sgt. Brent Anderson said.
The apartment was empty when officers arrived, but officials determined that a man and woman had become involved in dispute at the home before a group of people arrived, the sergeant said.
One of the people in the group pulled a gun and shot at the man who was involved in the dispute with the women, though police did not believe anyone was struck by the gunfire.
Investigation led police to a home in the 121000 block of Howard Street a short time later, where they suspected the shooter might be hiding.
After more than eight hours, officials obtained a search warrant and Los Angeles County sheriff’s SWAT deputies went into the home, but the suspect was not found.
The investigation was ongoing.
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Police to hold checkpoint in Santa Fe Springs

SANTA FE SPRINGS — The Whittier Police Departments plans to hold a checkpoint Friday in Santa Fe Springs, authorities said.
The checkpoint is scheduled to take place from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday in the area of Florence and Ringwood avenues, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
In addition to looking for intoxicated drivers, police said, officers will also ensure that drivers have valid licences.
Funding for Friday’s checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Police added that anyone who sees a drunken driver on the road should report it by calling 9-1-1.
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Former Temple City mayor Cathe Wilson sentenced to four years in prison in corruption case

Taken from courtroom by paramedics:

Excerpt from San Gabriel Valley Tribune story – 

Wilson Wilson, 78, wailed and moaned repeatedly and then appeared to gag and convulse in her chair as Judge Alex Ricciardulli read the sentence out loud.

“No,” Wilson groaned.

Sheriff’s deputies immediately cleared the courtroom to attend to Wilson, who called paramedics after she reported difficulty breathing. Wilson was taken by ambulance to a local hospital to be treated, according to the deputies.

Statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office:


– Former Temple City Mayor Cathe Wilson was sentenced today to four years in state prison following her conviction last month of bribery and perjury charges involving a development in the San Gabriel Valley city.

Deputy District Attorney Sean Hassett of the Public Integrity Division said the Los Angeles Superior Court Superior Court Judge Alex Ricciardulli sentenced the 78-year-old mayor and ordered her to pay $10,000 in restitution.

Wilson was convicted May 2 of three counts of asking for or receiving a bribe and three counts of perjury. The perjury charges involved one count of lying to the Los Angeles County Grand Jury in 2008 and two counts of submitting false material in Fair Political Practices reports.

Wilson, her campaign manager and another former Temple Mayor, Judy Wong, were indicted in June 2009 on charges that cash bribes were demanded and received in 2007 from developer Randy Wang for his Temple City Piazza project. Another council member, David Capra, was charged separately.

Wong, 54, pleaded no contest and was sentenced last year to 16 months in state prison. Scott Carwile, 52, Wilson’s campaign manager, pleaded guilty to a perjury count and was sentenced May 24 to three years probation and one day in county jail. Capra pleaded no contest in 2009 to a misdemeanor charge of failure to report a campaign contribution and agreed to resign from the council.

Prosecutors said earlier that officials from Temple City cooperated with the Public Integrity Division in its investigation.

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Gang member wounded in Baldwin Park shooting

BALDWIN PARK — A local gang member was expected to survive after being wounded in a gang-related shooting, authorities said.
The attack took place shortly before 10:30 p.m. Monday at Francisquito and Cosbey avenues, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Doug Parnell said in a written statement.
The victim, a 25-year-old admitted Baldwin Park gang member, was riding his bicycle when he noticed a man walking on the sidewalk, followed closely by a dark, four-door sedan, the sergeant said.
“The pedestrian began firing at the victim,” he said. “The victim was struck by gunfire, fled to a neighboring yard and hid until police arrived.”
The shooter and the vehicle fled in an unknown direction.
Police said the wounded man was hospitalized in stable condition with gunshot wounds to his abdomen and lower body.
Anyone with information is asked to call Baldwin Park police Detective Valdivia at 626-960-1955, ext. 428.
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South El Monte man, CHP hopeful, sentenced for production of child pornography

LOS ANGELES — A South El Monte man whose ongoing videotaped sexual abuse of a 5-year-old girl came to light when he applied to be a California Highway Patrol officer received a 30-year prison sentence Wednesday, authorities said.
Christian Clint Hernandez, 31, received the sentence from U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II after pleading guilty to a 2009 federal charge of production of child pornography, U.S. Attorney’s spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement.
In addition to the sentence — the maximum length allowed by law — Hernandez was also ordered to pay more than $71,000 for counseling for his young victim until she turns 18, officials said. Once released from prison, Hernandez will be on supervised release for the rest of his life.
Hernandez also faces child molestation charges filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, and is accused of molesting a 7-year-old boy in addition to the 5-year-old girl.
Hernandez was in a relationship with a relative of the girl, according to court documents. It is believed he molested the girl for more than a year.
In the federal case, prosecutors argued that Hernandez’s behavior warranted the maximum sentence, according to court documents.
They said Hernandez “possessed an extensive collection of child pornography depicting minors being raped by adult men” and “has no shame regarding his conduct, instead, he bragged about his conduct on a job application to the CHP.”
Hernandez filled out an application to become a CHP officer on Jan. 6, 2009. Although he denied ever molesting a child on the CHP application, he did incriminate himself, according to court documents.
“Despite lying about the true nature of his conduct, defendant did admit to having looked at ‘photos of someone under the age of 18 on the Internet about a month ago,'” according to court filings. “In that same application, defendant admitted to having touched a dog’s penis, frequenting nudist beaches, and watching a neighbor in a covert manner.”
Once officials saw Hernandez’s written admission regarding viewing child pornography, authorities launched an investigation, with the help of the FBI, and searched the South El Monte home where Hernandez had been living, Mrozek said.
“Investigators found a collection of child pornography on Hernandez’s computer, including photos depicting Hernandez molesting a girl in the bedroom of the house,” he added.
“As he was being arrested, he asked the officer who was arresting him if he should re-apply to be a CHP officer,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lana Morton-Owens said.
Morton-Owens said it was still hard for her to understand Hernandez’s behavior.
“It’s very difficult to get inside most of these people’s heads,” she said. “He didn’t really understand that what he’d done was wrong.”
Now that his federal case is completed, Hernandez faces state charges of seven counts of child molestation with regard to the two alleged victims, according to a felony complaint filed against him in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Hernandez was expected to be transferred into state custody to face those charges.
If convicted as charged in that court, he could be sentenced to additional prison time, either concurrently or consecutively, Morton-Owens said.
Hernandez was also designated a “sexually violent predator,” she added, creating the possibility for him to be institutionalized once completing his prison term.
“Somebody that’s that sexually attracted to children does deserve to be put away for the bulk of his sexually active life,” Morton-Owens said.
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Whitey Bulger arrested in Los Angeles

This from the FBI:

FBI Agents have arrested Top Ten Fugitive, James J. “Whitey” Bulger, and his companion, Catherine Greig, in California.

Recent publicity produced a tip which led agents to Santa Monica where they located both Bulger and Greig at a residence early this evening.

The two were arrested without incident. Both are currently scheduled for an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California (downtown Los Angeles) on Thursday. 

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Deputies search for man accused of lighting fire in family home

WEST VALINDA — Deputies searched a neighborhood late Wednesday for a young man who set a small fire in his family’s home during a dispute, then fled the scene, authorities said.
Deputies received reports just before 6 p.m. that a 21-year-old man had become involved in a dispute with his family at a home in the 13600 block of Las Vecinas Drive, in the unincorporated county area of West Valinda, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Wilson said.
The young man set a small fire at the home, which firefighters quickly extinguished, he said.
Deputies continued searching the surrounding neighborhood for the suspect late Wednesday.
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