Man accused of stabbing girlfriend in neck in Norwalk

NORWALK — A Norwalk man is accused of stabbing his girlfriend in the neck during an argument Sunday, officials said.
Marco Antonio Ruiz, 27, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Chris Johnson and county booking records.
A woman in her early 20s showed up at a hospital about noon with a laceration to her neck, as well as a cut to her hand, the lieutenant said. The wounds were not believed to be life-threatening.
Investigation revealed the woman had been slashed by her 27-year-old boyfriend, a 27-year-old boyfriend at a home in the 12100 block of Beaty Avenue, he said.
The man, whose name was not immediately available, was booked on suspicion of domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon, Johnson said.
According to booking records, Ruiz was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Wednesday in Bellflower Superior Court.
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Two suspected of armed robbery at West Covina preschool, attempted robbery at bank

WEST COVINA — A man and woman from Lancaster were behind bars Sunday on suspicion of robbing a West Covina preschool at gunpoint and attempting to rob a West Covina bank within a span of about half an hour earlier this month, police said.
Officers arrested the man and woman near their home in Lancaster after identifying them as suspects in the Aug. 17 crimes, West Covina police Lt. Pat Benschop said.
The pair showed up at a U.S. Bank branch, in the 2630 E. Workman Ave., about 4:30 p.m., the lieutenant said.
“The male and female entered and presented a demand note to a teller demanding money,” he said. But before the teller could comply, the robbers left empty-handed.
But they arrived at a preschool across town about 30 minutes later, armed with a handgun, according to police.
“The suspects entered the Belaire Little People School (office), 816 E. Service Avenue, and demanded money at gunpoint,” Benschop said.
An employee was ordered to retrieve money and handed the robbers about $860, he said.
No children were believed to have witnessed the robbery, Benschop said, though there were 16 students in an “adjoining room,” 
The names of the suspects were not released Sunday as police continued their investigation and tried to link the suspects to additional crimes, Benschop said.
They were booked on suspicion of attempted robbery, robbery and kidnapping for the purpose of robbery.
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Officials identify man suspected of crime spree in La Verne, Glendora after shooting self in leg

LA VERNE — Officials Sunday released the name of a 46-year-old Montclair man arrested Friday after a crime spree and police chase that kicked off after he accidentally shot himself in the leg with a stolen gun, authorities said.
Donell Robert Bell was being held in lieu of $225,000 bail at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records. He was booked on suspicion of crimes including carjacking, burglary and evading police.
The series of alleged crimes began about 7:30 p.m. when a car crashed in the 1900 block of 5th Street in La Verne, police said.
Bell, and possible others, fled from the crashed car on foot, officials said. It was then that Bell accidentally shot himself in the leg with a handgun he was carrying.
Bell then tried, but failed, to carjack a driver who saw the crash and stopped to help, police said. He then attempted a home break-in and another failed carjacking before successfully breaking into a home and stealing the resident’s car.
Police lost sight of the fleeing car as it sped west on Arrow Highway into Glendora, but found it abandoned following a crash at Arrow Highway and Barranca Avenue, according to Glendora police Lt. Jaime Caldwell.
Officers soon learned Bell had attempted to carjack a nearby minivan, which was broken down, before failing to rob a man outside a liquor store and attempting to carjack another vehicle, officials said. Officers found him on foot in the area.
Bell was taken to a hospital for treatment before being booked into jail.
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UPDATED: Motorcycle crash prompts closure of Angeles Crest Highway in Angeles National Forest

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — Authorities shut down both lanes of Angeles Crest Highway north of La Canada Flintridge Sunday after a motorcycle crash.
The crash was reported about 10:30 a.m. at mile marker 37.6 of Angeles Crest Highway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Angela Shepherd said.
The California Highway Patrol issued a Sig Alert for both directions of the road, which was lifted about an hour later.
Initially reported as a motorcycle over the side, the crash involved the motorcycle and one other vehicle, CHP officials said. The motorcyclist was flown to a hospital by helicopter as a precaution, though the injuries were not believed to be severe.
Further details on the crash were not available Sunday afternoon.
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UPDATED: Bear euthanized after being struck by car on 210 Freeway in La Canada Flintridge

The California Highway Patrol closed a portion of the 210 Freeway in La Canada Flintridge for about 15 minutes Sunday afternoon while authorities captured, and ultimately euthanized, an injured bear alongside the route.
Someone called the Sheriff’s Department’s early Sunday morning to report that a bear had been hit by a car in the area near Foothill Boulevard and Crown Avenue, but the bear was gone by the time deputies arrived, said Sgt. Cynthia Gonzales, watch commander at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff Station.
At 1:09 p.m. the station got another call from a witness who saw a bear, who appeared to be hurt, sitting underneath a tree behind the Starbucks near Foothill Boulevard and Gould Avenue.
The California Department of Fish and Game and Sheriff’s Department responded. The bear was in the bushes next to the Foothill Freeway, so the CHP closed the freeway for about 15 minutes around 3 p.m. while Fish and Game officials tranquilized the bear, Gonzales said.
The bear, who was about 150-200 pounds, was hit by the tranquilizer, ran up a tree, fell asleep and dropped out of the tree, Gonzales said. 
Officials examined the animal and determined it was necessary to euthanize it, according to the CHP.
The bear was smaller than the roughly 400-pound bear nicknamed “Meatball” who was spotted around town digging in peoples’ garbage cans and was twice taken back to the forest by state wildlife officials.
– Staff report
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Zero DUI arrests at Whittier checkpoint

WHITTIER — Police screened more than 1,200 vehicles at a Whittier Boulevard police checkpoint late Friday into early Saturday, resulting in no arrests, authorities said.
The checkpoint was held on westbound Whittier Boulevard at Mills Avenue, Whittier police Lt. Randy Inman said.
From the 1,216 cars that were screened at the intersection, three drivers were given sobriety tests but none arrested for driving under the influence, Inman said.
Officers wrote 18 tickets and impounded two vehicles during the checkpoint, he said.
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Asian Boyz gang leader sentenced to 218 years

LOS ANGELES – Asian Boyz gang member Pierre “Boo Boo” Mercado was sentenced Friday to 218 years to life in prison for four murders including the Aug. 1, 1995 fatal shooting of three young men on the 10 Freeway near Temple City Boulevard.

Prosecutors said Cheng Peng, 18, Paul Vu, 16, and Ben Liao, 16, were killed because they were mistaken for members of a rival gang.

A jury convicted the 38-year-old Mercado earlier this month of four first-degree murders, five attempted murders and two kidnappings. Jurors also found true gun and gang allegations.

The crimes occurred in 1995 and 1996 in the San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley and near Los Angeles International Airport.

Deputy District Attorney Eugene Hanrahan, who was one of the prosecutors in the case, said the Asian Boyz launched a killing spree to instill fear in rival gang members.

Pierre Mercado and his brother, Marvin, hid in the Philippines after the murders. They were extradited to the U.S. in 2007.

Marvin Mercado was convicted in 2011 of eight gang murders and is serving multiple life prison terms, according to District Attorney officials.

Seven other Asian Boyz gang members were tried and convicted in 1999.

– Ruby Gonzales
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Man and woman survive 150-foot plummet into Irwindale rock quarry

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IRWINDALE — A man and woman were lucky to be alive after their car plummeted about 150 feet into an abandoned rock quarry early Saturday, officials said.
The crash was reported about 1:45 a.m. in an old rock quarry just west of the intersection of Cypress Street and Azusa Canyon Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Gerald Gonzalez said.
A man and woman appeared to have been traveling west on Cypress Street when their Infiniti sedan continued straight through a T-intersection, plummeting about 150 feet into the quarry below, the captain said.
“It’s pretty amazing that they survived,” he said.
The engine compartment of the sedan took the brunt of the damage, leaving the passenger compartment of the car relatively intact, Gonzalez said.
The man and woman, whose ages were not available Saturday, were hospitalized with serious injuries, he said, but both were expected to survive.
In order to reach the steep drop-off into the quarry, the car had to first break through a metal guard rail and then get over a 4-foot-tall dirt berm.
An El Monte police helicopter first spotted the wreckage, then landed near the smashed car with a paramedic, who began treating the injured man and woman.
Additional rescuers then climbed down into the quarry and used a helicopter to lift the injured man and woman back up to street level, Gonzalez said. They were then rushed to Los Angeles County-USC for treatment.
Firefighters managed to remove the patients through the windows of the car and did not need to cut apart the vehicle to access them, the captain added.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by the Irwindale Police Department.
Because the man and woman had been jostled around in the car in the crash, it was not immediately clear which had been driving, officials said.
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Attempted robbery reported in Rosemead

ROSEMEAD — An armed robber fled empty-handed after a man refused to give up his property early Friday, authorities said.
The crime was reported about 4:30 a.m. in the 1000 block of South San Gabriel Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tim Murakami said.
A man in his early 20s was approached by the robber, initially described only as a Latino man brandishing a handgun, who demanded his cell phone and wallet.
“The victim refused, and the suspect ran,” the lieutenant said.
No further details were available.
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UPDATED: Officials identify 71-year-old Whittier man killed in mysterious slaying

WHITTIER — Coroner’s officials Saturday released the name of a 71-year-old Whittier man found fatally shot inside his SUV as homicide detectives continued gathering clues in the mysterious slaying.
Joe Telles was pronounced dead at 12:17 p.m. Friday at the scene of the shooting in the 13900 block of Placid Drive in an unincorporated county area near Whittier, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz said.
He was discovered sitting in his SUV, which parked along the side of the road, with a wound to his head, according to sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
An autopsy performed Saturday concluded Telles died from gunshot wounds to the head, officials said. The death was ruled a homicide.
A motive in the slaying was unknown, and no suspect description was available. The slaying was first reported when a neighbor noticed Telles unconscious in his vehicle at 12:07 p.m., Lt. Holly Francisco of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
Nothing was believed to have been stolen from Telles, she added.
“It doesn’t appear to be a robbery at this time,” the investigator said.
“We’re just trying to contact anyone who might have seen (Telles) in that area or in that vehicle, just to try to figure out what happened.”
Telles did not live on Placid Drive, officials said, however he does live in “close proximity” to the shooting scene in an unincorporated county area near Whittier.
Detectives were looking into why Telles was parked on the street.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
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