Man stabbed in El Monte dies from injuries

EL MONTE —  man who was attacked and stabbed during the weekend died of his injuries Tuesday night.
El Monte Police Sgt. Eric Sanchez said the man died at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.
He was attacked by two suspects and stabbed while walking along Dodson Street. The motive for the assault isn’t known yet.
The victim turned up around 4:30 a.m. Sunday at Greater El Monte Community Hospital. He was transferred to the Los Angeles hospital.
No description of the suspects were available.
Because the victim died, El Monte police called in the Sheriff’s Homicide detectives to assist.

- Ruby Gonzales

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Montebello store clerk stabbed in attempted robbery

MONTEBELLO — A 40-year-old clerk was in critical condition after he was stabbed several times during an an attempted robbery at a liquor store Tuesday night.
Montebello police said the suspect or suspect got nothing in the attempted heist at Garfield Liquor, 2433 W. Whittier Blvd.
At 9:46 p.m., Lt. Michael Bergman said officers were on the way to a robbery alarm at the store when someone called police to report the clerk was bleeding profusely.
A customer came into the store after the attempted robbery and found the wounded clerk.
Bergman said the victim’s injuries included a stab wound to the back of the head. The man was in critical condition at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center.
The clerk was able to tell police that the robber came into the store and demanded money.
He was described only as a man in his 40s and may have left in a tan SUV-type vehicle.
Police say there may be more than one suspect.

- Ruby Gonzales

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Body of woman found in trunk of car at Azusa tow yard

AZUSA — A tow truck driver found a woman’s body in the trunk of a red Honda Accord that was abandoned on Fish Canyon Road Tuesday.
The grisly discovery was made hours later at the tow yard.
Deputy Pete Gomez said a resident noticed the Accord parked on his property in the 3700 block of Fish Canyon Road at 6:30 a.m.
The caller had seen the car in the area Monday, and called to have it towed early Tuesday after surmising it had been abandoned, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
The car ended up at Cities Towing Inc. in the 1000 block of West Gladstone Street. Gomez said the driver discovered the body in the trunk at 5:18 p.m.
The tow company called Azusa police.
Azusa police referred media calls to the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau which is investigating the suspicious death.
The 60-year-old woman had been identified through fingerprints Wednesday, however her name was withheld pending notification of family members, Winter said.
A cause of death was not clear, and and autopsy was expected to be completed Thursday at the earliest, he added.
A man who answered the phone at Cities Towing late Tuesday night said the police were still there with the manager. He said he wasn’t at work when the body was found.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

- Ruby Gonzales

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One arrested, one sought in Monterey Park ginseng theft

MONTEREY PARK — Police jailed one man and sought another Wednesday on suspicion of stealing and trying to steal large amounts of the herb ginseng from Garvey Avenue shops, police said.
Man Van Troung, 56, of Van Nuys was arrested on suspicion of being the geaway driver in the two crimes, reported Oct. 21 and Oct. 23, Monterey Park police officials said in a written statement. A second suspect remained at-large.
The first of the crimes took place at the FuKien Healthy Food Store in the 100 block of East Garvey Avenue, polioce said. Toung’s alleged partner entered the store and left without about $1,000 worth of stolen ginseng.
Two days later, the same man entered 101 Ve Inc., also in the 100 block of East Garvey Avenue, officials said. A witness chased him away as he tried to again steal ginseng.
“Troung is believed to be the driver of the alleged vehicle in both crimes,” according to the police statement. The Honda Accord used in the thefts was impounded from Troung at the time of his arrest.
The outstanding suspect is described as an Asian man between 35 and 40 years old, with dark hair in a crew cut style.
Detectives were reaching out to see if any other area businesses had experienced similar thefts lately. Anyone with information was asked to contact Monterey Mark Detective Gil Alvarez at 626-307-1226.

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UPDATED: Major collision shuts down Glendora intersection

GLENDORA — A crash blamed on a speeding driver who ran two red lights on Lone Hill Avenue sent four people to the hospital early Wednesday, including a young woman listed who was listed in “very critical” condition, authorities said.
The crash was reported about 7:20 a.m. on Lone Hill at Auto Centre Drive, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
The street is one of the Glendora’s busiest thoroughfares, and was congested with morning trafficat the time of the crash, officials said.
An 18-year-old Azusa man had a young woman as a passenger while, according to witnesses, he was headed northbound on Lone Hill from Gladstone Street at a “high rate of speed,” Glendora police Capt. Tim Staab said.
He blew through a red light at the Glendora Marketplace, then continued through a red light at Auto Centre Drive, the captain said.
The Honda Civic struck a tan sedan that was making a left turn from westbound Auto Centre Drive to southbound Lone Hill Hill Avenue, Staab said. The impact sent the Honda Civic tumbling over a center divider, and it came to rest on its roof in southbound traffic lanes.
The driver of a black sedan was unable to avoid the wreckage and also was struck, deploying his vehicle’s air bag but not causing major damage or injury.
Firefighters spent more than a half-hour cutting the young man and woman free from the wreckage of the Honda Civic, officials said.
The young woman was flown to a hospital by helicopter with severe head injuries and was in “very critical condition,” Staab said.
Her condition remained critical Wednesday afternoon, though according to doctors, <USDEFAULT>“She had made some slight improvements,” Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro said.
The young man driving the Honda Civic was also flown to a hospital, officials said. His condition was believed to be stable, though he was not cooperating with investigators.
A woman who was driving the tan sedan struck by the Honda Civic was flown to the hospital in unknown condition, and a man who was driving the black sedan was taken to a hospital for treatment by ambulance.
The patients who were flown to the hospital were taken to the Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, as Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center was unable to accept helicopter flights Wednesday morning due to fog.
Police were investigating why the driver of the Honda Civic was driving so fast and recklessly prior to the crash.
Upon release from the hospital, the 18-year-old Honda driver, whose name was not immediately available, faces the possibility of multiple criminal charges, Castro said.
The had been stolen from Covina, however the owner did not realize that until contacted by police following the crash, he said. The driver was also unlicensed.
The chief said said officials also ordered that blood be drawn from the teenage driver to determine whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

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Man critically wounded in El Monte stabbing

EL MONTE — A man was fighting for his life Sunday after being stabbed in a residential neighborhood, police said.
The victim, a man in his mid-20s, showed up at Greater El Monte Monte Community Hospital about 4:30 a.m., El Monte police Lt. David Vautrin said.
It was determined he had been walking along Dodson Street, between Tyler Avenue and Peck Road, when he was approached by two attackers and stabbed with an unknown object, Vautrin said.
A description of the two assailants was not available, and the motive in the stabbing was unclear, he said.
The wounded man’s condition worsened while being treated at the El Monte hospital, and he was transferred to a trauma center at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition, the lieutenant said.
Vautrin declined to say what part of the body the man had been wounded in, or how many times, citing the ongoing search for the attackers.

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Montebello man arrested following brief police chase

MONTEBELLO — Police arrested a Montebello man early Sunday on suspicion of violating a restraining order and breaking into a home before leading police on a chase which ended in a crash, authorities said.
Ernesto Vieyra, 56, was expected to be booked on suspicion of burglary and evading police, Montebello police Lt. Rick Rojas said.
Officers responded to a report of a man violating a restraining order and breaking into a home in the 1100 block of South Spruce Street just minutes before midnight, the lieutenant said.
The man had left when officers arrived, but a police helicopter spotted his vehicle speeding down Washington Boulevard.
Vieyra failed to pull over, initiating a short, low-speed chase that ended when the fleeing vehicle crashed into another car at Washington and Paramount boulevards in Pico Rivera, Rojas said. Vieyra was not believed injured in the crash, though the other driver suffered apparently minor injuries.
Vieyra was arrested, but taken to a hospital prior to booking after complaining of a medical problem, officials said.

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Officials: man fights off drugged, knife-wielding attacker outside San Dimas Halloween party

SAN DIMAS — A man beat up and disarmed a drugged parolee who attacked him with a large kitchen knife and a pot outside of a children’s Halloween party early Saturday, authorities said.
Martin Garcia, 34, of San Dimas was ultimately arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, possession of methamphetamine, being under the influence of methamphetamine, possession of narcotics paraphernalia and violating parole, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Kirk Smith said.
The incident began shortly after midnight in the area of Rennell Avenue and Venton Street as a 37-year-old man was supervising children outside a Halloween party, the sergeant said.
A neighbor, later identified as Garcia, approached the victim acting strangely and was asked to leave, Smith said. After initially refusing to leave, Garcia ran off when the man began walking toward him.
“But (Garcia) comes back later with a large cooking pot and a knife,” the sergeant said. Garcia allegedly swung the large pot and serrated kitchen knife with a 9-inch blade at the victim.
The would-be stabbing victim avoided the blows and delivered some of his own, punching his attacker several times, Smith said.
Garcia fell to the ground and dropped the knife and pot before getting back up and fleeing, he added. The victim was unhurt.
Responding deputies spotted Garcia in the area an arrested him once he was identified by the victim as the attacker.
According to county booking records and sheriff’s officials, Garcia — already on parole for drug and burglary convictions — was being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court.

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UPDATE: Man shot to death in Covina

COVINA — A man died at the scene of a shooting in a residential neighborhood in Covina early Sunday.
An official coroner’s identification was not initially available, however, family members gathered at the scene of the shooting Sunday morning identified him as 23-year-old Thomas Fernandez of Covina.
Police received calls about 3:35 a.m. reporting gunshots in the 300 block of North Vecino Drive, Covina police officials said in a written statement. Simultaneously, a nearby officer also heard a gunshot coming from the area and headed toward it.
Officers found the victim suffering from a gunshot wound in a carport east of the 200 block of Vecino Drive, police said. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
“Preliminary information indicated the victim was on the sidewalk and exchanged words with an unknown suspect who fired a shot which struck the victim,” according to the statement. “The victim then ran a short distance where he collapsed and died.”
No suspect description or motive was available.
Fernandez left behind a 22-month-old son, said his girlfriend and the mother of the boy, Jessica Martinez.
“He was the best dad,” she said through tears. “He was always there for my son.”
“He was a great person. He had the biggest heart ever,” she added. “He would always forgive people so easily.”
He loved rap music and dreamed of becoming a rapper, she added.
At a memorial of candles that appeared on the spot where Fernandez died in the carport area behind an apartment building, friends, family members and neighbors paid their respects.
Some lit candles and prayed before the memorial, while other poured beer onto the ground as a tribute.
Though he had associated with a gang in the past and had friends still involved with it, he was not a gang member, Martinez said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Covina police Detective Anthony Zavala at 626-384-5622. Tips also may be submitted anonymously by contacting L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTO: Friends and family members pay respects at a memorial on the site where Thomas Fernandez died following an early-morning shooting on Vecino Drive in Covina on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. (Brian Day)

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Memorial fund, car wash planned to raise funds for burial of Covina infant

COVINA — Friends of a young couple whose infant son died last week while in the care of his grandmother are spearheading efforts to help the devastated parents raise money for services.
Eight-month-old Julian Sosa of Covina died at a hospital Wednesday after being found unconscious and floating in a bathtub Monday, according to Covina police. The baby was in the care of his grandmother, 48-year-old Irma Godinez, who has since been arrested on suspicion of child endangerment causing death.
Julian’s 18-year-old parents, Diane Alvarado and Derek Sosa, are now struggling to pay for a funeral and burial for him, family friend Ava Hawkins-Henry said.
To help them with that challenge, friends have set up a memorial fund and are planning to hold a benefit car wash next weekend.
Those interested in donating can make checks out to the “Julian Sosa Memorial Foundation,” and mailed to 668 E. Lee Place, Azusa, CA 91702. Foundation information and receipts for tax purposes are available on request, according to Hawkins-Henry.
Funds can be transferred to the fund via a secured Wells Fargo bank account with account number 1512910751 and routing number 122000247.
Friends will also gather from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 4 in the parking lot of the Meineke Car Care Center, 546 E. Route 66 in Glendora, to hold a car wash to benefit the family, Hawkins-Henry said.
Julian is survived by a 2-year-old sister, who was taken into the custody of the county Department of Children’s Services the day Julian was hospitalized.
Godinez, who was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, was scheduled to appear in West Covina Superior Court Monday for arraignment.

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