La Puente motorcyclist killed in crash identified

INDUSTRY — Coroner’s officials over the weekend released the name of a 48-year-old La Puente man who died Thursday in a motorcycle crash.
Mauricio Martinez-Coto died at the scene of the crash, which took place just before 9 a.m. on Fullerton Road at Arenth Avenue, according to Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Joe Bale. He was initially described by sheriff’s officials as a 38-year-old man.
Initial investigation indicated Martinez-Coto was southbound on Fullerton Road when a vehicle turned in front of him while making a left from northbound Fullerton Road onto Arenth Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Arthur Scott said. The rider was thrown from his motorcycle by the impact.
The driver of the vehicle that collided with the motorcycle remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, Scott added. No arrested were made in what was being investigated as an accident.

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Nearly 1,800 arrested in L.A. County so far during holiday DUI crackdown

LOS ANGELES COUNTY — A county-wide holiday season crackdown on intoxicated drivers has netted nearly 1,773 arrests as of Saturday, authorities said.
The arrests have been made through checkpoints and saturation patrols carried out by a task force of county law enforcement agencies known collectively as “Avoid the 100,” task force coordinators said Sunday in a written statement.
The crackdown began at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 14.
The number of DUI arrests is lower than last year, when 2,205 arrests were reported over the same 16-day period, officials said.
Avoid the 100 plans to continue its efforts, primarily through extra patrols, through midnight on Jan. 1.

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Peace rally planned in Pasadena on Sunday

PASADENA — In response to recent increased gang violence in Pasadena, community and religious leaders plan to host a rally promoting peace Sunday.
The rally is to take place at 3 p.m. in front of All Saints Episcopal Church, 132 N. Euclid Ave., organizers said in a written statement.
Speakers expected to be in attendance include: Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, Capt. John Benedict of the Sheriff’s Altadena Station, the Rev. Ed Bacon of All Saints and community leader Porfirio Frausto.
The rally is meant to provide a showing of peace, unity and strength, officials said.
Topics discussed will include restoring peace and hope, respect between law enforcement and community members and helping those who want to get out of gangs.
Gang violence is blamed for the Christmas Day slaying of 49-year-old Los Angeles County Sheriff’s law enforcement technician and founder of Pasadena’s nonprofit Brotherhood Community Youth Sport League Victor McClinton, officials said.
He was fatally struck by a bullet in the 1900 block of Newport Avenue, police said. It was believed that McClinton was an innocent bystander hit by a stray bullet from a shooting that left a 24-year-old man police described as a gang associate wounded.
Later in the day, a woman and an 11-year-old boy died after their car was struck by a fleeing SUV being pursued by an FBI agent and a Pasadena police officer.
Police and prosecutors allege the driver of the vehicle and his girlfriend, who have been charged with murder in connection with the fatal Christmas Day crash, are gang associates who threw a loaded handgun from their SUV before crashing. Family members have denied gang involvement on the part of the suspects.

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Teens find $800 on La Habra street, turn it in to police

LA HABRA — In what officials described as a highly unusual service call, a young man called police Friday to report finding an envelope containing about $800 on a La Habra street.
Gerardo Marquez, 18, of La Habra said he and some friends were walking to a store in the 300 block of North Harbor Avenue when one of his friends found an envelope on the ground.
Inside, they found about $800 in cash, La Habra police Lt. Jason Forgash said.
Marquez admitted the thought of keeping the money crossed his mind.
“But we thought deeper into it,” he said. “We thought, what if belongs to a family that’s really in need?”
So Marquez called La Habra police about 10:30 p.m. to report funding the cash, Forgash said.
“We were all pleasantly shocked because it’s not something you see very often,” the lieutenant said. “It’s a nice time of the year for the rightful owner to be getting this amount of money back,” he added.
That rightful owner remained unidentified Saturday, police said.
Anyone with information about who the owner of the money might be was asked to contact the watch commander’s office at the La Habra Police Department at 562-905-9777.

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Man badly injured in crash on 210 Freeway in Pasadena

PASADENA — Rescuers rushed a man to a trauma center in critical condition Saturday after his Ford Mustang was involved in a crash with a big rig, authorities said.
The crash was reported about 12:05 p.m. on the westbound Foothill (210) Freeway at Allen Avenue, California Highway Patrol Officer Christian Cracraft said.
Firefighters had to cut the man’s Ford Mustang apart to free him from the wreckage, which had become entangled with the big rig, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
He was taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena with major injuries, she added. A description of the injured man was not available.
The crash blocked the Allen Avenue offramp of the westbounf 210 Freeway, prompting officials to issue a Sig Alert that remained in effect for more than an hour, officials said.
No arrests were initially made at the scene, Cracraft said.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by the CHP’s Altadena Office.

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Covina man accused of robbing 11-year-old boy of scooter on Christmas

COVINA — Sheriff’s deputies arrested an 18-year-old Covina man Friday on suspicion of robbing an 11-year-old boy of a scooter he had just received as a Christmas present, authorities said.
Francisco Rodriguez was booked on suspicion of strong-arm robbery following his arrest Friday afternoon at his home in the 1300 block of Citrus Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Kirk Smith said.
The boy had just received the scooter as a Christmas gift from his mother and was riding it shortly before 2 p.m. in the 18600 block of East Arrow Highway, in an unincorporated area near Covina, the sergeant said.
“The suspect pushed him off the scooter, took the scooter and ran off with it,” Smith said. The boy was not injured.
When deputies responded to interview the boy, they learned the suspect had an “unusual haircut,” Smith said. “He had dark black hair with a white streak down the middle like a skunk.”
A deputy following up on the case began asking around the area about the skunk-striped suspect, officials said.
“One place led him to another place, which led to another,” Smith said. Officials ultimately found the suspect sleeping on the porch of his home on Citrus Avenue.
The boy’s scooter was recovered from another location after Rodriguez told deputies where to find it, Smith said. Deputies returned it to the 11-year-old boy on Friday.
According to county booking records, Rodriguez was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance Wednesday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Resident confronts intruder in South Pasadena home

SOUTH PASADENA — A man wearing a black hat, black clothing and with a black bandanna covering his face entered a home Friday night but fled after a resident confronted him, police said.
The burglary attempt in the 1000 block of Highland Street was reported at 7:45 p.m.
South Pasadena Cpl. Matthew Ronnie said the man walked in using an unlocked back door. The resident was home at the time.
Ronnie said the resident confronted the suspect who took off running. He was last seen running southbound.
The resident called police.
Officers searched the surrounding area using a helicopter and police dogs but couldn’t find the would-be burglar.
The suspect was described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, maybe white.

- Ruby Gonzales

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Law enforcement plans checkpoints ahead of New Year’s holiday

WHITTIER — With New Year’s Eve quickly approaching, police plan to hold a sobriety and drivers license checkpoint Friday, officials said.
The checkpoint is to be held from 7:30 p.m Friday to 3 a.m. the following morning at an undisclosed location within Whittier, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
In addition to looking for drivers who have had too much to drink, specially trained officers will be on-hand when available to evaluate drivers suspected of being under the influence of drugs, police said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

PASADENA — Pasadena police are planning a sobriety checkpoint Friday, authorities said.
The checkpoint will take place from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Police will stopping motorists and checking them for signs of alcohol or drug impairment, according to the statement.
Intoxicated drivers are blamed for three fatalities and 58 injury crashes in Pasadena over the past three years, according to Police Chief Phillip Sanchez.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

SAN DIMAS – Sheriff’s deputies are planning to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses Friday, officials said.
The checkpoint is to be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday in the 600 block of West Bonita Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
In addition to drunken drivers, specially trained officers will be present when available to evaluate drivers suspected of being under the influence of drugs, authorities said.
Funding for Friday’s checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Deputies plan checkpoint in San Dimas

SAN DIMAS — Sheriff’s deputies are planning to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses Friday, officials said.
The checkpoint is to be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday in the 600 block of West Bonita Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
In addition to drunken drivers, specially trained officers will be present when available to evaluate drivers suspected of being under the influence of drugs, authorities said.
Funding for Friday’s checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Motorcyclist killed in Industry crash

INDUSTRY — A La Puente man died early Thursday in a motorcycle crash on Fullerton Road, authorities said.
The crash took place just before 9 a.m. at Fullerton Road and Arenth Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Russell Boucher said.
Lt. Arthur Scott said the rider was initially described as a 38-year-old La Puente man.
He was southbound Fullerton Road prior to the crash, the lieutenant said.
A vehicle being drive by a man made a left turn from northbound Fullerton Road onto Arenth Avenue in front of the motorcyclist, who was unable to avoid a collision, Scott said.
The motorcyclist was thrown from his motorcycle, officials said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Though the crash was initially believed to have been caused by the vehicle that was making the left turn, nothing criminal was initially suspected and the crash appeared to be an accident, Scott said.
The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, he added.

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