PASADENA — A man was robbed and carjacked late Tuesday, though his stolen truck was soon recovered about half a mile away, police said.
The incident was reported shortly after 9 p.m. at Washington Boulevard and Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena police Sgt. John Luna said.
A Van Nuys man in his 40s was putting up a sign on a bus stop when he was approached by to carjackers, initially described only as black men in their 30s, the sergeant said.
They demanded the victim’s cell phone and car keys before fleeing in the victim’s truck, Luna said. It was not clear early Wednesday whether a weapon was used in the carjacking and robbery.
Officers found the carjacked truck abandoned to the south, in the 800 block of North Raymond Avenue, police said. The carjackers remained at-large.
Accused pedophile Wade Bughman’s defense attorney today will tell a Pasadena Superior Court jury that his client didn’t molest students at a Duarte elementary school.
Prosectuors told a different story on Tuesday. Here’s what Brenda Gazzar reported.
Closing arguments began Tuesday for the trial of Wade Bughman of Monrovia, 43, who was charged with crimes of a sexual nature against five girls over a period of 15 years while he taught at Beardslee Elementary School in Duarte.
The nine counts against Bughman include oral copulation of a person under 14, the crime of continual sexual abuse, forcible rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object and lewd acts upon a child.
With enlarged photos of the five young girls smiling behind her, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta told jurors the girls endured physical, emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of a pedophile that robbed them of their innocence.
Many of the girls were shy or submissive and some sat in the back of the classroom, she said. They were allegedly molested at lunch, during recess or after school in the “Think Together Program.”
Some of the girls in his class called him “rapist” and had code words to warn others they needed help, Archuleta said. She described Bughman as a “practiced and skilled manipulator” in satisfying his own lusts and desires.
Pasadena Fire Department officials are steamed over a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department press release taking credit for a mountain rescue Monday night. They say the press release is riddled with falsehoods — and that the Sheriff’s Department was barely involved in the rescue of two injured women.
Leave it to sheriff’s Spokesman Steve Whitmore to put it all in perspective.
“Here is what’s important: The people got saved.”
Perhaps the most telling detail about the whole operation is on Tim Rutt’s altadenablog, which has a picture of the patients being loaded into a paramedic van — not a helicopter.
An Upland man was arrested in connection with the Monday morning slaying of three in Ontario. This from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
Steven David James Carter, 34, was booked into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. Court records show he is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, although it is unclear if he has been charged in the case.
Officers said they plan to recommend to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office that Carter be charged with three counts of murder.
Police came to a home in the 1000 block of South Magnolia Avenue at 6:15
Police investigated the triple homicide Monday after receiving a report of an unconscious man lying in the driveway.
The man was dead of what investigators suspect was a gunshot wound. Police found two more bodies inside the home, but are unsure about their cause of death.
Officers identified one of the men in the house as Brandon Perez, 31, of Ontario. He resided in the home and appeared to be the target of the robbery, police said. The other man in the residence, one of Carter’s accomplices, was 25-year-old Albert Lamar Thomas of Ontario.
Police withheld the name of the third man because his relatives have not been notified.
LA Weekly points out that the arrest of Jose Luis Saenz was facilitated by a Mexican deportation of the mafia hit-man, not an extradition. The mag profiled Saenz in its 2010 cover piece titled: “East Los Angeles Hit Man Trained by Mexican Cartels“. He was wanted for a couple of street corner killings, the rape murder of his pregnant girlfriend and the slaying of a Whittier man in connection with a $600,000 drug debt.
This from LA Weekly:
For years, nobody has had a death wish strong enough to rat out Smiley for these killings, save for young Juan Pena. Dying several years ago of childhood leukemia, he fingered his blood brother Saenz for the executions on North Clarence Street.
But Smiley, with his intense black eyes and his quick, deviant mind, vanished from the local cops’ radar for 10 years — to Mexico for some of that time, the FBI says, where he morphed from East L.A. tagger and Cuatro Flats gang member to a connected, Mexican-cartel drug “soldier” — simply put, a high-level executioner, and then trafficker, operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border.
Here’s video of the Whittier slaying — warning it is graphic:
INDUSTRY — A 20-year-old man died Sunday in a rollover crash on the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway, authorities said.
The crash was reported about 7:15 p.m. on the southbound side of the freeway, just south of Peck Road, California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball said.
The man was driving a Saturn sedan in the right lane when it went over the right shoulder and overturned, Kimball said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers from the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs office are investigating the cause of the crash.
SOUTH PASADENA — A family was fortunate to escape injury after a drunken driver plowed a car into their living room early Sunday, police said.
Veronica Villanueve, 24, of Oregon was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor drunken driving and released with a citation, South Pasadena police Sgt. Mike Neff said.
She was believed to be a student from Oregon who was visiting family in Rosemead for the holidays, and it appeared she borrowed the involved car from her mother, he said.
The car was northbound on Raymond Avenue just after 2:20 a.m.at high speed when it reached a “T” intersection with Alhambra Road, the sergeant said.
The car skidded through the intersection and, “ended up in the living room,” Neff said.
“There were about nine people staying in the house,” he said. “Fortunately, no one was in the living room at the time.”
Investigating officers determined Villanueva was under the influence of alcohol and arrested her, Neff said.
According to county booking records, she was due for an arraignment Dec. 24 in Alhambra Superior Court.
PHOTOS courtesy of the South Pasadena Police Department
NORTHRIDGE — A small plane made a rough emergency landing on the campus of Cal State University Northridge Sunday, coming to a rest upside down but resulting in only minor, authorities said.
A man and woman inside the plane avoided major injury in the incident, which was reported just after 3 p.m. at the university, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Brian Humphrey. No injuries on the ground were reported.
It initially appeared the pilot of the six-seat, single-engine airplane attempted to make an emergency landing on the athletic field at CSUN but overshot it, Humphrey said. The plane crashed through a chain link fence and ended up overturned just southwest of the intersection of Plummer Street and Zelzah Avenue, at the eastern edge of the campus.
No buildings or students at the campus were endangered by the incident, he added.
The plane, a Cessna 206, “departed from Novato, Calif. for John Wayne Airport,” Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
“The aircraft lost engine power near Van Nuys Airport,” he said. “The pilot tried to reach VNY but ended up making a forced landing on a Cal State Northridge soccer field around 3:10 p.m.”
“The two people on board sustained minor injuries,” Gregor added.
According to an FAA registry, the airplane is registered to a Newport Beach based business called Clipper 29 Uniform LLC.
In addition to the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board was expected to look into the crash, officials said.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles Fire Department
Coroner’s officials have confirmed the identity of a body found in a car in the San Gabriel Dam earlier this month as a 34-year-old Azusa man reported missing more than a year ago.
The body of Fausto Vydrio Jr., 34, was found inside his car Nov. 11 after the 1993 Nissan Maxima was exposed by the annually receding waters of the San Gabriel Dam, according to California Highway Patrol officials.
He was believed to be suffering from depression when he went missing on Aug. 18, 2011, officials said. He used a wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury and had recently purchased his car and had it modified with hand controls before disappearing, Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators said.
Though officials suspected the body was that of Vydrio the day it was discovered, a positive identification at the coroner’s office was delayed due to the condition of the body.
An autopsy had been conducted on the the body, however his cause of death remained under investigating pending further investigation.
LOS ANGELES — Christian radio show host and ex-Major League Baseball pitcher Frank Pastore remained hospitalized in critical condition over the weekend following a motorcycle crash Monday, hospital officials said.
Pastore, 55, was suffered major head injuries Nov. 19 in a motorcycle crash on the 210 Freeway near Buena Vista Street in Duarte, according to California Highway Patrol officials.
He has remained in critical condition in an intensive care unit ever since, according to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center spokeswoman Rosa Saca.
“There hasn’t been any change in his condition,” she said Sunday.
The 55-year-old Upland resident and host of “The Frank Pastore Show” on KKLA 99.5 FM fell into a coma following the crash, family members said.