Officials probe allegation of special educationt eacher assaulting student in Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK — Officials are investigating allegations of a county special education teacher assaulting a students last week at Sierra Vista High School, authorities said.
The incident was reported shortly before 1 p.m. Friday at the campus, 3600 N. Frazier Street, Baldwin Park School Police Capt. Jill Poe said.
“The allegation thus far is that an assault took place, teacher against student,” the captain said.
The class involved was a Los Angeles County-run special education class, officials said, and the student involved was a teenage boy estimated to be about 15 years old.
The investigation remained in it’s early stages Wednesday, as investigators had not yet spoken with the teacher, Poe said. It was too early to say whether an arrest was likely, she added, and investigators hoped to speak with him sometime this week.
Both the student and teacher had left the campus Friday when police arrived to investigate, authorities said.
The teacher had left due to an injury suffered in the incident, Poe said, while the student, who also suffered minor injuries, was picked up by a parent.
Poe said police were cautiously investigating and gathering evidence.
“Obviously, I want to do what’s best in the interest of all parties involved,” Poe said.
More information will be released as it becomes available, she said.

Deputies seek man on suspicion of robbing mother at knifepoint in Pico Rivera

PICO RIVERA — Deputies are seeking a 20-year-old man accused of assaulting his mother and robbing her at knifepoint earlier this week.
Manuel Ortiz, 20, is a transient known to frequent the Pico Rivera area, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
He was spotted early Wednesday, prompting a brief manhunt in the 5400 block of Lindsey Avenue, though he was ultimately not captured and the search called off, the lieutenant said.
Ortiz was arguing with his mother at her home about 9:30 a.m. Monday, in the same neighborhood where he was spotted Wednesday, when he went into the home and began taking valuables, Smith said.
“When she confronted him, he pulled a knife on her (and) pushed her to the floor,” he said. She was no injured.
After receiving information that he may be in the area, deputies spotted Ortiz about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday sleeping on the roof of a home in the 5400 block of Lindsey Avenue, but he ran when he spotted deputies.
Officials searched the area but did not find Ortiz, and the search was called off about 8:30 a.m.
Ortiz is described a Latino man, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 175 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, Smith said.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421.

Sobriety/driver’s license checkpoint planned near Covina

COVINA — California Highway Patrol officers are planning a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint Saturday, authorities said.
The checkpoint will be held from 8 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at an undisclosed place within the unincorporated community of Covina, CHP officials said in a written statement.
If traffic volume permits, all cars will be checked, officials said. If traffic volume becomes too heavy to check all vehicles, cars will be screened on a pre-arranged standard, such as every third car or every fifth car.

82-year-old woman killed in backyard fire in La Habra identified

LA HABRA — A woman who died after being found on fire in the backyard of he La Habra home has been identified, authorities said.
Edith Thrapp, 82, died Monday at the University of California, Irvine, Medical Center just before 4:30 a.m. Monday, according to Orange County coroner’s officials.
Firefighters responded to reports of a fire about 5 p.m. Sunday in the 500 block of North Kinley Street, Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Don Kunitomi said.
“When they arrived, they found her on fire,” Kunitomi said. She suffered severe burns and was hospitalized.
The cause of the fire remained unclear Wednesday, police and fire officials said. The home itself was not damaged by the fire.
Nothing criminal was initially suspected, La Habra police said.

Man gets 15 years for Rose Bowl stabbing

From the Associated Press:

PASADENA — A California man has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison
for stabbing two people during a brawl outside the Rose Bowl before last year’s USC-UCLA football game.
Prosecutors say 23-year-old Anthony Richard Cisneros pleaded no contest to two counts of attempted murder. He was reportedly sentenced Monday in a Pasadena courtroom.
Cisneros is one of three family members arrested and charged in connection with the Dec. 4 fight triggered when an errant football hit a parked Mercedes-Benz. During the melee, one man was stabbed in the cheek and another was stabbed in the back.
Brother Arthur Cisneros pleaded no contest earlier to assault and he was sentenced to a year in jail. Sister Akira Cisneros pleaded no contest to battery and was placed on probation.

Report of man trapped in cactus prompts search operation at Bonelli Park

SAN DIMAS — Rescuers launched an intensive search late Tuesday for a man reported to have become stuck in a prickly predicament in Bonelli Park, only to learn three hours later that the man had freed himself and sought his own medical attention, authorities said.
Officials at the sheriff’s San Dimas Station received a call about 10 p.m. from a person reporting that a friend had called him and said he was stuck in a cactus near Cataract Falls in Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said.
Sheriff’s officials immediately sent the San Dimas Search & Rescue Team, along with deputies and a helicopter, to search the area for the man, Parker said.
Rescuers were able to reach the man via his cell phone, the captain said. He reported he was trapped in the cactus and he could see one of the rides at the Raging Waters water park from where he was.
As the search continued, he said, officials were no longer able to reach either the stranded man nor the original caller via telephone.
By tracking the ownership information of the cell phone, officials found the victim’s girlfriend, who informed them he had freed himself from the cactus and gone to see a doctor, Parker said. The man did not inform officials that the massive rescue effort was no longer needed.
No further details were available.

UPDATE: Young Whittier men killed in shooting

SOUTH WHITTIER — Two young Whittier men, including one who was an Explorer Scout at the sheriff’s Norwalk Station, died in a shooting early Sunday, officials said.
Cesar Rodriguez, a 19-year-old Explorer Scout from Whittier, and Larry Villegas, 24, of Whittier, were pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting, Los Angeles County Coroner’s Investigator Jerry McKibben said,
The shooting was reported about 3:10 a.m. in the 11800 block of Painter Avenue, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Detectives have learned that both victims were standing in front of the residence when a gray ‘Scion’ vehicle drove in front of them,” Deputy Bill Brauberger said. “The driver of the vehicle pointed a handgun at the victims and fired multiple times.”
The Scion, which contained three or four Latino male occupants, was last seen driving north on Painter Avenue, investigators said. A motive in the shooting was not released.
The Explorer program allows young men and women interested in law enforcement a chance to learn from and volunteer alongside law enforcement professionals.
Detectives asked the public’s help, and asked anyone with information to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

Shooting reported in Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK — A man was shot and wounded Saturday afternoon in a residential neighborhood, police said.
A 25-year-old man was walking at Los Angeles and Center streets about 2 p.m. when a car approached, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Darryl Kosaka said.
A gunman inside the car, whose description was not available, asked the victim where he was from — a common gang challenge — before opening fire, police said.
The victim was struck in the upper back and was hospitalized with what was believed to be a minor gunshot wound, Kosaka said.
A description of the car used in the shooting was not available, the sergeant added. The victim was not cooperating with investigators.

Alhambra police arrest burglary suspects dressed as cable company employees

ALHAMBRA — Police arrested two men Friday on suspicion of breaking into a house dressed as employees of a cable television company, officials said.
Perre Michael Chang, 30, of Laguna Nigel and Daniel Wardming Quon, 26, of Pasadena were booked on suspicion of burglary and being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, Alhambra police Lt. Jennifer Wiese said.
A resident of the 2000 block of Stoneman Avenue called police just before 4 p.m. to report a possible break-in at a neighboring home, the lieutenant said.
“Officers arrived and immediately apprehended two subjects fleeing from the scene,” she said.
Both suspects, later identified as Chang and Quon, were wearing Time Warner uniform shirts, Wiese added.
Police searched the neighborhood but found no additional suspects.

Infant killed in fiery crash on 110 Freeway

An 11-month-old girl died in a fiery car crash Friday on the 110 Freeway, as bystanders tried unsuccessfully to save the infant from burning car, authorities and witnesses said.
Leiana Ramirez of Los Angeles died in the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz said.
The CHP received reports of a car crash involving a person trapped inside a burning vehicle about 5:25 p.m. on the freeway just north of York Boulevard, on the border between South Pasadena and Highland Park, CHP officials said in a written statement.
A 2002 Nissan containing the infant and being driven by a 30-year-old Los Angeles woman — reportedly the infant’s mother — had stopped in the No. 3 lane of the southbound freeway due to a possibly flat tire, officials said.
A 1999 GMC SUV occupied by two 22-year-old Los Angeles men then struck the rear of the stopped Nissan, according to the CHP statement.
“This caused (the Nissan) to catch on fire and eventually become fully engulfed,” the statement said. “(Ramirez) became trapped in her car seat as a result of the collision.”
“Attempts were made by the involved parties and witnesses to remove the child from the vehicle, but they were overcome by the fire and unsuccessful in their attempts,” the statement said.
The badly burned baby was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. The woman driving the Nissan was hospitalized with second-degree burns to both her arms, the driver of the GMC suffered third-degree burns to both his arms, and the passenger in the GMC complained of pain to his left shoulder.
Alcohol or drugs played no role in the crash, investigators said.
Jair Aguirre, 26, lives next to the freeway and rushed out to help following the crash.
He said he tried to fight the flames with a garden hose as three other men from the neighborhood ran to the car with buckets and a fire extinguisher.
Aguirre said they tried to reach the girl by breaking open a window with a baseball bat. The men reached into the back seat repeatedly but were driven back and burned by the growing fire.
“You just felt helpless looking at that car in flames,” he said.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.