PICO RIVERA — A man accused of intentionally running down and killing another man with his car last month pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a murder charge, authorities said.
Alfredo Campos Jr., 38, of Rancho Cucamonga is charged with murder in the Oct. 30 killing of Richard Quintana Becerra, 38, of Pico Rivera.
Campos pleaded not guilty to a murder charged and was ordered to return to Whittier Superior Court Jan. 15 for a hearing, court official said.
Becerra died at the scene of the 1:20 a.m. incident at Passons Boulevard and Telegraph Road, officials said.
According to sheriff’s investigators, the men became involved in a fight before Campos got into his car and intentionally struck Becerra.
Campos fled from the scene, officials said, but was stopped and arrested by deputies a short distance away in an unincorporated county area near Whittier.
According to county booking records, Campos was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.
PALMDALE — A suspect bit of a large portion of a deputies ear and tried to grab the deputy’s gun during an arrest early Monday, authorities said.
Miguel Barcenas De La Cruz, 41, was booked on suspicion of mayhem and attempted murder of a peace officer, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
The incident began just before 3:45 a.m. Monday as a deputy was on patrol in the 200 block of East Palmdale Boulevard, Detective Mike Baker said in a written statement. The deputy encountered De La Cruz who was walking in in the middle of the street in the 38-degree weather.
As the deputy tried to escort De La Cruz to his patrol car, the suspect suddenly attacked the deputy and a fight ensued, officials said.
“During the minutes-long fight, suspect De La Cruz bit off part of the deputy’s left ear,” Baker said.
The fight continued, and De La Cruz allegedly grabbed the deputy’s gun and tried to take it, Baker said.
“Although in pain from the loss of a significant portion of his ear, the deputy was able to retain his gun as he tried to overcome the suspect and arrest him,” he said.
Other deputies arrived as the struggle continued and helped take De La Cruz into custody, authorities said.
The deputy was treated and released from a hospital.
“Unfortunately, the doctors decided the risk of infection was too great to try and re-attach (the severed portion of ear,)” Baker said.
The missing portion of ear was described by officials as about 1-inch by 1 and a half inches.
De La Cruz, who Baker said was already on probation for a previous kidnapping conviction, was being held without bail at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles after being treated for injuries suffered in the fight with deputies.
PASADENA — Police and coroner’s officials are investigating after the body of a man was found beneath the Colorado Street Bridge early Tuesday in what authorities said initially appeared to be a suicide.
The dead man was described as a Latino man in his mid-30s, Pasadena police Lt. Rick Aversano said.
“At 7:55 (a.m.), a jogger found what appeared to be a dead body in the wash,” he said. The jogger immediately called 9-1-1.
The body was found beneath the bridge, near South Arroyo Boulevard, police added.
No one had witnesses reporting see the man jump, officials said.
“As it looks right now, it appears to be suicide. There doesn’t appear to be foul play,” Aversano said.
The investigation was ongoing.
WALNUT — A hearing for a woman accused of fatally stabbing her estranged husband at his Walnut home was delayed Tuesday, authorities said.
Socorro Mora, 43, was scheduled to be arraigned for the murder of George Mora in Pomona Superior Court, however the hearing was continued until Dec. 15, court officials said.
Socorro Mora is accused of stabbing her estranged husband to death Oct. 19 at the home he
shared with the couple’s four children in the 21600 block of Brookside Court. She also suffered stab wounds in the incident, however authorities have not disclosed how she is believed to have received them.
The couple had celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary in August before separating, family members said.
George Mora had obtained a restraining order against his wife about three weeks prior to the killing, authorities said. Mora is also accused of showing up at George Mora’s home and stabbing the family dog to death about a week for the slaying.
Family members described Mora as a dedicated father whose life revolved around taking care of his children.
According to county booking records, Socorro Mora, who was initially being held in a hospital jail ward following the incident for treatment of her own stab wounds, was being held in lieu of $5 million bail at the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood.
*PHOTO of alleged murder victim George Mora courtesy of the Mora family.
MONTEREY PARK — Police alerted the public Tuesday about a man who broke into two apartments at senior citizens’ facilities last week.
The break-ins were reported Thursday afternoon at senior citizens’ homes in the 200 block of North Chandler Avenue, and about a quarter-mile away in the 900 block of West Garvey Avenue, Monterey Park police Lt. Carrie Mazeline said.
The first incident was believed to have occurred between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Chandler Avenue residence, police said.
“The senior walked into his apartment and did not lock the door behind him,” Monterey Park police said in a written statement.
“The suspect followed the victim into his home and said something to the victim in English. The victim did not speak any English but assumed the suspect wanted to check the electricity because he was pointing at the lights,” according to the statement.
The victim thought the suspect looked “professional,” so he allowed the man to remain inside his home, Mazeline said. He later discovered his wallet and other items missing and called police the next day.
The same burglar is believed to be responsible for a second break-in immediately after, Mazeline said.
Sometime between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., a woman ran into the same man as she was leaving her home, police said.
“She had a (brief) conversation with him,” Mazeline said. The woman left without giving the man permission to enter his home.
When she returned, she found her apartment broken into and item such as jewelry and other small valuable missing, Mazeline said.
In both cases, the victims primarily spoke Chinese, police said.
The same man was captured on surveillance video at the scenes of both burglaries, police said.
He was described as a white man in his mid- to late-40s, about 5-feet 8-inches tall and 175 to 190 pounds. He had black hair with some graying, and he wore a blue a white checkered shirt and blue jeans.
Anyone with information, or anyone who sees a suspicious person loitering in a senior citizens’ apartment complex, is asked to call Monterey Park police at 626-573-1311.
SURVEILLANCE photo courtesy of the Monterey Park Police Department.
Coroner’s officials Tuesday confirmed the identity of a 65-year-old Pasadena attorney killed Friday when his single-engine airplane crashed at the Pomona Fairplex.
Norman Francis Boxley was pronounced dead at the scene of Friday’s 2:15 p.m. crash on the horse-racing track of the Fairplex, just southeast of his intended destination of Brackett Airfield.
It has been known since the afternoon of the crash that the Mooney M20M airplane was registered to Boxley’s Pasadena law firm, and family members have said they knew the victim to be him.
Coroner’s investigators announced Tuesday that they had confirmed the victim to be him through fingerprints.
The cause of the crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.
A memorial service for Boxley is planned 2 p.m. Saturday at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1527 Fremont Ave. in South Pasadena.
PASADENA — A robber snatched a purse from an 80-year-old Pasadena woman as she sat at a bus stop early Saturday, police said.
The woman was waiting for a bus at Fair Oaks Avenue and Villa Street when the robber approached and pulled her purse from her arm, Pasadena police Lt. Diego Torres said.
The robber, described as a black man, about 5-feet 8-inches tall, of thin build, wearing a light blue jacket and blue jeans, when fled into a nearby white sedan, Torres said.
The woman was not hurt.
POMONA — A woman was arrested after she struck a 9-year-old female pedestrian Friday afternoon, authorities said.
Pomona police responded at 3:08 p.m. to an injury traffic collision in the area of Garey Avenue and Phillips Boulevard, according to a police statement.
Arriving officers learned that the suspect, Tanya Bernal, 24 of Pomona, had initially struck a vehicle in the area and driven away.
As she drove south on Garey, she struck another vehicle, jumped a curb and hit a 9-year-old girl walking on the sidewalk, police said. The girl was dragged briefly under Bernal’s 1997 Honda Accord until the suspect hit a parked car.
The child was airlifted to a hospital as a precaution with injuries that appear to be minor.
Police arrested Bernal on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and driving without a license. She was booked into Pomona Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
– From staff reports
MONTEBELLO — Authorities are investigating the death of a man whose body was found on a Montebello sidewalk early Saturday.
The man’s name was not released pending notification of his family, Montebello police Lt. Luis Lopez said. He was initially described as a Los Angeles man in his 40s.
At the outset of the investigation, “There doesn’t appear to be any foul play,” the lieutenant said.
“We responded to a call of a man down at Lincoln and Howard (avenues),” Lopez said. “He was found lying on the south sidewalk.”
The initial report was made by a local resident out for a morning walk, he said.
Paramedics pronounced the man man dead at the scene, police said.
The body showed signs of significant trauma on the head that appeared consistent with a fall to the ground, Lopez said.
“Preliminarily, robbery can be ruled out,” he said. “He had all of his belongings. It looks as though he may have just fallen.”
Coroner’s investigators will perform an autopsy to determine whether the man died as the result of the fall, or something else.
SOUTH EL MONTE — Foul play is not initially suspected in the death of a 41-year-old South El Monte woman, which homicide detectives were sent to investigate Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The woman was found unresponsive by family members about 3:50 p.m. at a home in the 3400 block of Merced Avenue, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
An officials cause of death had not been determined Saturday, coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz said, however the initial investigation indicated a natural death or accidental death such as a drug overdose.