Car theft suspected arrested in Whittier

WHITTIER — Deputies arrested a man on suspicion of auto theft and outstanding narcotics warrants after fleeing from a traffic stop near Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital Thursday, authorities said.
Dionicio Lopez, 25, was arrested following the incident, which began as a routine traffic stop about 10:30 a.m. on Washington Boulevard, just west of Lambert Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
A deputy from the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station, who was on his way back to Pico Rivera after attending court in Whittier, pulled over a Honda Accord for a traffic violation, Smith said.
Lopez pulled over, but then exited the car and ran, Smith said. Officials determined the car had been recently reported stolen out of Pico Rivera.
Whittier police assisted the deputy in capturing Lopez in the parking lot of the hospital, Smith said.
According to county booking records, he was being held in lieu of $45,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in Whittier Superior Court.
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Man wounded in Baldwin Park shooting

BALDWIN PARK — A man suffered a gunshot wound to the leg in a gang-related shooting Thursday afternoon, police said.
A 22-year-old known gang member from Baldwin Park was walking in the area of Los Angeles Street and Bogart Avenue with another young man about 2 p.m. when they were approached by a white Dodge Stratus, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Mark Harvey said.
There was an exchange of words between the pedestrians and at least one person inside the car, the sergeant said. Though it was unclear what was said, “Gang signs were seen,” he added.
Someone inside the car opened fire at least twice, striking the victim in the thigh, police said. The wounded man was taken to a hospital, and the injury was not considered to be life-threatening.
A description of the person or people in the car was not available, Harvey said. Officers received conflicting witness reports regarding how many occupants were inside.
The investigation was ongoing.
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Pasadena man killed in shooting identified

PASADENA — Police Thursday released the name of a 23-year-old Pasadena man who was shot and killed in a residential neighborhood.
Joseph Jones died at a hospital shortly after Wednesday’s 12:10 a.m. shooting on Stanton Street, just west of Mentone Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Phlunte Riddle said.
Detectives continued gathering clues and interviewing witnesses, and the circumstances of the shooting were not clear Thursday, officials said.
The shooter was initially described as a black man in his late-teens or early-20s.
The motive was also unclear, police said.
Cmdr. Chris Russ said there were no initial indications that Jones was involved with gangs.
Anyone with information was asked to call the Pasadena Police Department at 626-744-4241.
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UPDATE: Wiring stolen from Glendora park again

GLENDORA – For the third time this year, the lights at the Louie Pompei Memorial Sports Park have been targeted in a copper theft, police said.
Wiring from both parking and sports field lights were discovered stolen from the park, 1100 S. Valley Center Avenue early Thursday, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said. The theft was believed to have occurred overnight.
The theft was first reported about 7:45 a.m., he said.
Taken was the wiring from three light standards in the parking lot, as well as nine from the athletic field, he said.
Due to the amount of work involved in stealing the wiring, “We believe it was more than one suspect,” Lamborghini said.
Thursday was the third time this year lights at Louis Pompei Memorial Sports Park have become the targets of metal thieves.
Wiring to lights at the same park were previously stolen on Jan. 17 and 30, officials said.
Christopher Girard, a then-27-year-old transient, was arrested the day after the second January theft, officials said.
He was charged with stealing the copper wiring as well as felony vandalism, but pleaded guilty Feb. 3 to only the vandalism charge, Glendora police Lt. Brian Summers said.
Girard received a suspended prison sentence of three years and placed on felony probation for three years, Summers added.
A second man initially arrested in connection with the January copper thefts was ultimately released without charges.
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West Covina officer honored for courage during airplane crash rescue

62438-Officer Mike Weathermon WCPD-thumb-300x449-62437.jpg
WEST COVINA — A West Covina police officer received the Burn Institute’s 2012 Inland Empire Spirit of Courage Award last weekend for pulling an injured pilot and passenger from the burning wreckage of an airplane crash in Corona.
Officer Mike Weathermon was given the honor at a Sept. 21 ceremony in Riverside, officials said.
“I’m very proud of him,” West Covina Police Chief Frank Wills said. “He brought a tremendous credit and distinction to the West Covina Police Department.
He was the observer in an El Monte police helicopter being piloted by Fontana police captain and El Monte reserve helicopter pilot Dave Faulkner on July 20, West Covina and El Monte police officials said at the time. The crew members heard a distress call reporting mechanical problems from an airplane piloted by KFI traffic reporter Mike Nolan, who also had a teenage passenger on board.
The officers saw the plane lose power, plummet from the sky and strike power lines before crashing about 6:30 p.m. in a field about a mile and a half east of the Corona Municipal Airport,according to Federal Aviation Administration officials. Faulkner set the helicopter down about 100 yards from the scene of the fiery crash.
“Officer Weathermon quickly responded to the burning wreckage and safely pulled the pilot and passenger from the plane and escorted them to safety,” West Covina police said in a written statement.
Shortly after the officer pulled the pilot and passenger from the plane, it burst into flames, according to KFI.
The crash also touched off a brush fire, and Weathermon pulled the injured occupants of the airplane to safety, Wills said.
Both Nolan and his passenger suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries in the crash.
The Spirit of Courage Award is presented annually to individuals who have risked their lives to save others from death or injury by fire.
Founded in 1972, the Burn Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing burn injuries and deaths in San Diego, Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The FAA’s final report on the July 20 airplane crash has not been completed. The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation.
PHOTO of WCPD Officer Mike Weathermon courtesy of the West Covina Police Department.
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Man jailed, another sought in connection with failed carjacking near Temple City

Deputies arrested one man and sought another in connection with a bungled carjacking along Rosemead Boulevard late Wednesday in an unincorporated county area just north of Temple City , authorities said.
Angel Zuniga, a 25-year-old known San Gabriel Valley gang member and Hesperia resident, was booked on suspicion of attempted carjacking following the failed crime, reported shortly before 11 p.m. in the 6400 block of Rosemead Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ignacio Samoano said.
A second would-be carjacker, described as a white man in his early-20s, wearing a blue and white jersey and blue jeans, remained at large early Thursday, the lieutenant said.
The victim, a man in his early 20s, was sitting in his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck when he was approached by two men, Samoano said.
They demanded the victim’s car keys while one of them — later identified as Zuniga — displayed a handgun that was tucked into his waistband, he said.
Samoano said the startled victim got out of his truck and walked away, leaving his keys behind inside the car and telling the men to take what they wanted.
The would-be carjackers got into the truck, but were unable to find the keys, which were inside the passenger compartment but not in the ignition, according to the lieutenant. The frustrated suspects then fled empty-handed.
Deputies responding to a report of a suspicious person about two hours later and three blocks away detained Zuniga and recognized his description from the attempted carjacking, Samoano said. He was subsequently identified by the victim as the gunman in the failed crime.
The second suspect, as well as the handgun involved in the alleged crime, had not been found Thursday.
According to county booking records, Zuniga was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in Alhambra Superior Court.
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Covina police jail four on suspicion of a variety of crimes

COVINA — Police jailed four people on suspicion of crimes including auto theft, burglary, commercial burglary, possession of stolen property and possession of marijuana for sales following an investigation that began when a police officer spotted two suspicious vehicles, authorities said.
Alejandro Campos, 27, of Baldwin Park, was arrested on suspicion of auto theft, as well as an outstanding warrant stemming from a public intoxication case, Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said. 
Frank Monreal, 36, of Sherman Oaks, was booked on suspicion of auto theft, receiving stolen property, residential burglary and credit card fraud, police said.
Juventino Marquez, 28, of Baldwin Park, was suspected of possession of marijuana for sales and auto theft, and also had two outstanding traffic warrants, Doonan said.
David Nguyen, 34, of West Covina, was jailed on suspicion of auto theft, the lieutenant added.
A Covina police officer was on patrol just after 4 a.m. when he spotted two vehicles stopped in the middle of the street with their headlights blacked out.
The officer circled back to check, but the cars quickly parked in the driveway and on the street in front of a nearby house, and the occupants went inside, the lieutenant said.
A check of the vehicles parked near the home indicated both had been stolen, police said.
A 2010 Honda Accord was taken during a Sept. 7 “hot prowl” – a burglary when the resident is home – in the 100 block of West Redwood Court, Doonan said. A pickup truck parked in front of the home had been reported stolen out of West Covina in August.
Officers knocked on the door and made phone calls to the home for about an hour with no response, he said. Six adults and three young children finally emerged from the home once a loudspeaker announcement was made.
After investigating, officers arrested the four suspects, Doonan said. Police also found several ounces of marijuana, “already packaged for sale,” in Marquez’s possession.
According to police and county booking records, Monreal was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, while Marquez was being held in lieu of $49,930 bail. Campos and Nguyen were being held without bail due to holds placed on them by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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Man accused of stabbing brother and brother’s pregnant girlfriend appears in court

WEST COVINA — A Rowland Heights man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to stabbing his brother and his pregnant girlfriend during an argument earlier this month, officials said.
David Campos, who turn 22 Thursday, denied two counts of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the Sept. 13 double stabbing at a home in the 18000 block of Los Palacios Drive in Rowland Heights, court officials said.
He was scheduled to return to West Covina Superior Court Oct. 10 for a preliminary hearing.
Campos is accused of using a kitchen knife to stab his 23-year-old brother in the face, head and torso, according to sheriff’s investigators.
He also stabbed his brother’s 18-year-old girlfriend, who was six months pregnant, when she tried to intervene, officials said.
The wounded couple was flown to a hospital with serious injuries but expected to survive. The young woman’s fetus was not believed injured in the attack.
According to county booking records, Campos was being held in lieu of $120,000 bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.
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Sheriff’s, Caltrans vehicles involved in crash on 60 Freeway

SOUTH EL MONTE — The California Highway Patrol issued a Sig Alert on the eastbound 60 Freeway near Peck Road Wednesday after a crash involving a Caltrans truck and an unmarked sheriff’s car, authorities said.
CHP Officer Francisco Villalobos said there were no reports of injuries in connection with the crash, which was reported about 10:15 a.m.
The circumstances of the crash and the extent of the damage to the vehicles were not immediately available.
Officials declared a Sig Alert for the right-hand lane of the eastbound 60 Freeway, as well well as the Peck Road onramp to the eastbound 60 Freeway, as they cleared the damaged Caltrans truck from the roadway, Villalobos said.
The crash was being investigated by the East Los Angeles office of the CHP.
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Investigation continues in early-morning slaying of Pasadena man

PASADENA — A Pasadena man died at a hospital early Wednesday following a shooting just after midnight in a residential neighborhood in northwest Pasadena, authorities said.
The victim was initially described as a 23-year-old Pasadena man, Pasadena police Cmdr. Chris Russ said.
His name was not released pending confirmation that his family had been notified, coroner’s officials said.
The shooting took place about 12:10 p.m. in the front yard of a home on Stanton Street, just west of Mentone Avenue, police said in a written statement.
“There was some kind of a conflict that occurred before the incident,” Russ said. Further details of what the dispute was about were not available.
Officers responded to reports of multiple gunshots when they spotted a car speeding away from the area, police said.
Police made contact with the people inside the car around the corner from the shooting scene, on southbound Mentone Avenue near Howard Street, and determined they were in the process of rushing the wounded man to a hospital, Russ said.
The man had been wounded in the “upper torso,” Russ said, though the number of times the victim was struck was not available.
Paramedics were summoned to treat the man and continue taking him to the hospital.
It was not clear whether the occupants of the car flagged down officers, or if the officers stopped the car.
The shooter was initially described only as a black man in his late-teens or early 20s, according to the police statement.
“We know a handgun was used, but we don’t know other information regarding the weapon,” Russ said.
Russ said the dead man was believed to live locally, but not on the street where the shooting took place.
“There’s no indication that it’s gang-related,” the commander said. There were also no indications the victim was in a gang.
In addition to canvassing the neighborhoods for witnesses, officers also brought a bloodhound to the shooting scene in an attempt to track the shooter, Russ said. The search was unsuccessful.
Further details were not available as detectives continued investigating the scene and interviewing witnesses.
Investigators hoped to develop better information regarding the shooting after re-interviewing witnesses, who appeared very upset and emotional when initially questioned regarding the slaying, Russ said.
Investigators initially cordoned off two separate crime scenes: the neighborhood where the shooting took place and the neighborhood where the victim was found.
The crime scene on Mentone Avenue, where the wounded man was discovered inside the vehicle, was re-opened first, Russ said, as officers continued working near the scene of the shooting.
No vehicle was seen in connection with the shooting, and police continued searching for the attacker Wednesday morning, Lt. Jari Faulkner said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Pasadena police at 626-744-4241.
– Brian Day and Brian Charles, SGVN
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