Moving truck strikes donut shop in Santa Fe Springs

SANTA FE SPRINGS — A rented moving truck crashed into a donut shop Sunday, however no injuries were reported, officials said.
The crash took place just before 3:30 p.m. at Winchell’s 11330 Washington Blvd., Whittier police Lt. Carlos Solorza said.
A rented U-haul truck crashed into the building, injuring no one but prompting concerns about structural damage to the store, fire officials said.
While the truck did not penetrate into the store, it damaged an overhang outside it, authorities said. Fire officials were still determining late Sunday whether the building would have to be red-tagged pending repairs.
 person who was with the truck told police that his friend had been driving but fled from the scene on foot, Solorza said.
The crash remained under investigation.
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AP: Senators seek to give police tools to identify drugged drivers

ALBANY, N.Y. — The federal government should help police departments nationwide obtain the tools and training needed to attack a rising scourge of driving under the influence, two U.S. senators said Sunday.
Sens. Charles Schumer of New York and Mark Pryor of Arkansas proposed that federal funding in a pending transportation funding bill be used for research and to train police. They said police have no equipment and few have training in identifying drugged drivers, who don’t show the same outward signs of intoxication as drunken drivers do, such as slurred speech.
“Cops need a Breathalyzer-like technology that works to identify drug-impaired drivers on-the-spot — before they cause irreparable harm,” Schumer said. “With the explosive growth of prescription drug abuse it’s vital that local law enforcement have the tools and training they need to identify those driving under the influence of narcotics to get them off the road.”
Schumer says drugged driving arrests rose 35 percent in New York since 2001, but he says that’s a fraction of the cases.
The Democrats cited a 2009 federal report in which 10.5 million Americans acknowledged that they had driven under the influence of drugs. Schumer said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in a 2007 roadside survey, more than 16 percent of weekend and night-time drivers tested positive for illegal prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs.
Eleven percent of them were found to have taken illegal drugs.
The administration also found that a third of 12,055 drivers tested who died in car crashes in 2009 had used drugs.
Yet police have no approved equipment to help identify drugged drivers, though saliva tests are being researched.
Pryor wants to create federal grants so police can participate in programs that require up to 200 hours of instruction to detect drugged driving as well as to better detect drunken driving.
Schumer said the effort is prompted in part by two fatal December crashes in the New York City area in which two boys — one 5 years old and the other, 4 — died. Prescription drug abuse is being investigated in both cases.
– From the Associated Press
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Teen stabbed in arm in Monrovia

MONROVIA — A teenager arrived at a hospital with a stab wound to his arm early Sunday, however the circumstances of the stabbing remained under investigation, police said.
Detectives were looking into the possibility the assault may have been related to a vandalism that was reported minutes before the stabbing in the same area — California Avenue near Evergreen Avenue, Monrovia police Sgt. Glen Coleman said.
The 16-year-old stabbing victim appeared evasive during police questioning, Coleman said, and ultimately told investigators that he and his friends had been approached on the street by two men in their 20s.
After exchanging words, the victim reported, one of the two men pulled a knife and stabbed the teen in the upper arm, Coleman said.
Only minutes before police received words of the stabbing, however, authorities received another call from California Avenue, just south of Evergreen Avenue, Coleman said.
A resident reported that someone had thrown a cement water meter cover through the front window of their house, the sergeant said. The vandalism victim told investigators he chased a group of vandals for a short distance on California Avenue, but did not report being involved in a fight.
“We don’t know if (the stabbing) is related to this vandalism or not, but we have a pretty good hunch,” Coleman said.
The investigation was ongoing.
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Police: Condition of Monrovia girl struck by car improving

MONROVIA — A 12-year-old girl struck and badly injured by a hit-and-run driver last week has been upgraded from critical to stable, police said Sunday.
The girl was crossing Huntington Avenue at Canyon Boulevard with some other children just before 4 p.m. Friday when she was struck by a 1995 Infinite J30, Monrovia police officials said. The car continued driving, and the girl was hospitalized in critical condition.
“She is responding well to the doctors,” Monrovia police Sgt. Glen Coleman said Sunday.
Emma Tapia-Gonzalez, 23, of Monrovia was tracked down by police in the hours after the crash and arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run, Lt. Nels Ortlund said. She does not have a driver’s license.
Tapia-Gonzalez was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending arraignment Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court.
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Auto theft suspects arrested in Pasadena

PASADENA — Authorities jailed two men Saturday on suspicion of auto theft after they were pulled over in an allegedly stolen car.
Clarence Jackson, 30, of Altadena and Termel Mercer, 30, of Palmdale were booked on suspicion of grand theft auto, Pasadena police Lt. Diego Torres said.
Officers spotted the 2011 Nissan Altima driving about 4:30 p.m. at Fair Oaks Avenue and Washington Boulevard and realized it had been reported stolen, the lieutenant said.
They then pulled the Altima over and arrested the two men inside — later identified as Jackson and Mercer — without a struggle, Torres said.
According to county booking records, Jackson was being held in lieu of $45,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, while Mercer was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.
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AP: Officer fatally shot by fellow cops in Santa Maria

A police officer under investigation for sexual misconduct with a minor was shot and killed by fellow officers Saturday as they tried to arrest him on California’s central coast, authorities said.

The officer was on duty at a DUI checkpoint shortly after 1 a.m. when he was shot, Santa Maria police Chief Danny Macagni said in a statement.

The officer, a four-year department veteran, had just learned of the internal investigation of an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, and it became necessary to arrest him immediately, Macagni said.

Officers were sent to arrest him but he resisted them when they arrived, first putting up a physical fight, then pulling and firing his gun but hitting no one, Macagni said.

Several officers came to help the police making the arrest, and one of them shot the suspected officer in the chest once, Macagni said.

“He chose to resist, to remove his weapon,” Macagni said at a news conference, according to the Santa Maria Times. “We’re saddened by the whole incident.”

The wounded officer was taken to Marian Medical Center in Santa Maria, where he was declared dead, the chief said.

Macagni said police had expressed condolences to the officer’s family.

The officer who filed the fatal shot, a department veteran of about eight years, has been placed on administrative leave, and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department was investigating the shooting, Macagni said. Both moves are customary in shootings involving police.

The name of the officer killed has not been released because some family members were still being notified, and the name of the officer who fired the shot was withheld while the incident was under investigation, police said.

- From the Associated Press

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Probe continues into discovery of body in burning car in Pomona

POMONA — The investigation continued Saturday into the discovery of a body inside a flaming car on the side of an onramp to the 10 Freeway.
The grisly find was made about 10 p.m. Thursday on the South Campus Drive onramp to the westbound 10 Freeway after passing motorist reported seeing the newer-model Chevrolet Impala on fire.
While the charred condition of the body still prevented identification, investigators believed it to be that of a man in his mid-30s, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz said.
Identification would likely have to be made through dental records or x-rays, he added.
Once firefighters extinguished the blaze, they found the body in the driver’s seat, Pomona police officials said. Arson investigators ruled the fire to be suspicious, and Pomona police homicide detectives launched and investigation.
An autopsy was planned to determine how the man died.
The car did not show signs of being involved in a major traffic accident.
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Illinois serial killer charged with California slayings

SANTA ANA — A former Marine convicted of killing three women in Illinois pleaded not guilty Friday to murdering five more women in California.
Andrew Urdiales entered the plea in Superior Court in Santa Ana, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney’s office.
Authorities allege Urdiales killed five women in Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties between 1986 and 1995. Many of his victims were prostitutes who were repeatedly stabbed or shot.
Urdiales was convicted in 2002 of two murders in Illinois and a third in 2004 and sentenced to death. Two of those sentences were commuted to life without the possibility of parole in 2002 by then-Gov. George Ryan. When Illinois banned the death penalty, Urdiales’ third sentence also was commuted to life without the possibility of parole.
Last year, Urdiales was extradited to Orange County, where prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Messages were left Friday for defense attorneys Lewis Clapp and Constance Istratescu.
Orange County prosecutors say Urdiales began a killing spree soon after moving to Southern California in 1984 as a 19-year-old Marine. He murdered four women while in the military and a fifth while vacationing in Palm Springs in 1995, four years after his discharge, prosecutors allege.
The cases went unsolved for more than a decade until Urdiales was arrested after his return to his native Illinois and confessed there to the California killings, prosecutors said.
Urdiales is being held without bail. His next court hearing is Feb. 10.
- From the Associated Press
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Arcadia road closures planned Monday for longtime firefighter’s funeral

ARCADIA — Authorities have announced several temporary road closures Monday to accommodate services for a longtime Arcadia Fire Department firefighter who died earlier this week after a battle with cancer.
Capt. Andy Troncale succumbed to cancer Jan. 23 at the age of 52. He retired in 2009 after 30 years of service to the department.
A funeral is to take place 10 a.m. Monday at the Holy Angels Catholic Church, 370 Campus Drive, with internment to follow immediately after at Rose Hills Memorial Park, 3888 Workman Mill Road in Whittier, according to city officials.
Due to a large anticipated attendance, which is expected to include firefighting apparatus, and the procession, the the following street closures have been announced.
*Campus Drive: Closed for traffic and parking from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from Holly Avenue to El Monte Avenue. Limited access will be provided to Campus Drive from Santa Anita and El Monte avenues until 8:30 a.m. Monday morning to accommodate Arcadia High School traffic. AHS students may park on Campus Drive, east of el Monte Avenue, if arriving before 8:30 a.m.
*Campus Drive: Closed to traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. between Holly and Santa Anita avenues. Arcadia High School can be reached via Duarte road during the closure.
*Santa Anita Avenue: Closed to traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. between Duarte Road and Fano street.
*Baldwin Avenue: Northbound traffic shut down from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. between Huntington Drive and the 210 Freeway.
*Huntington Drive: Eastbound traffic shut down from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. between Campus Drive and southbound Holly Avenue.
*Huntington Drive: Westbound left turn lanes at Holly Avenue closed from 8:00 am to 12:30 p.m.
*Huntington Drive: Eastbound left turn lanes at Baldwin Avenue, Gate 1 and La Cadena Avenue closed from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
*Holly Avenue: Northbound traffic shut down from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. between Fairview Avenue and Huntington Drive.
*Park Avenue: Closed to traffic from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Campus Drive.
Traffic is expected to be “extremely congested” during the listed time periods, Arcadia police Lt. Tom LeVeque said.
“Use alternate routes or avoid the area during this time, if at all possible,” he said, “If dropping off a student at AHS, we suggest arriving at least 15 minutes early on Monday. Consider dropping off your student outside the listed closures and allowing them to walk. The closures should not impact pick-up from AHS at the end of the school day.”
Access to the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall will also be limited during the funeral procession.
Suggested alternate routes around the area include Foothill Boulevard or Duarte Road for eastbound or westbound travel, and Rosemead Boulevard or Second Avenue for northbound or southbound commuters.
For more information, contact the Arcadia Fire Department at 626-574-5112, or 626-574-5102.
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