Holiday DUI crackdown nets 1,520 arrests so far; checkpoints to continue throughout L.A. County

A multi-agency task force taking part in a holiday season crackdown on intoxicated driving has arrested 1,520 people for DUI during the first 13 days of the ongoing campaign, authorities said.
The number of arrests between 12:01 a.m. Dec. 13 and 11:59 p.m. Wednesday rose about 7 percent from the same time period in 2012, when 1,425 DUI arrests were reported by the Avoid the 100 Task Force, task force coordinator and Glendora police Senior Community Service Officer Wendy Brewer said in a written statement.
Police agencies, sheriff’s stations and California Highway Patrol offices will continue their county-wide crackdown through Jan. 1, Brewer explained.
Checkpoints were planned Friday by El Monte police, La Habra police, the sheriff’s Industry Station, tentatively the Pasadena police and others, Brewer said.
Checkpoints were planned Saturday night by Arcadia, San Gabriel, Whittier El Monte an Long Beach police, as well as the sheriff’s San Dimas Station and others.
The CHP will engage in a “maximum enforcement period” beginning at 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and running through New Year’s Day. the end of the crackdown at midnight, Brewer said.
During the maximum enforcement period, “The CHP will deploying all available officers,” Brewer said. “Additionally, all regularly scheduled traffic and patrol officers will focus efforts at stopping and arresting DUI drivers during their normal shifts.”
As always, anyone who sees an impaired driver on the road is encouraged to call 9-1-1.

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Fundraiser planned in Duarte to help family of slain young father

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DUARTE — A restaurant where an 18-year-old father had just finished his shift before being fatally gunned down Sunday is planning a fundraiser next month to benefit his family.
Twenty percent of all proceeds from sales Jan. 4 at Sonic Drive-In, 1070 E. Huntington Drive, will be given to the family of Malcom Mency, who was shot to death just after midnight as he was walking home less than a mile away after working the night shift at the eatery, according to family members and Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators.
No description of Mency’s killer or killers was known, nor was an official motive. Many in the neighborhood said they suspected Mency got caught in the middle of gang violence.
He is survived by an infant son.
In addition to next month’s fundraiser at Sonic, an online fund has been established to aid the family with the cost of Mency’s services.

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More than 70 arrested at La Puente checkpoint

LA PUENTE — Deputies arrested one person for intoxicated driving and 72 other for other suspected crimes during a checkpoint late Saturday and early Sunday, officials said.
The checkpoint was held from 7 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Sunday on Hacienda Boulevard, just north of Nelson Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Of the 2,220 vehicle that passed through the checkpoint, 2,035 of the drivers were screened by deputies.
One driver was arrested for driving under the influence of methamphetamine during the checkpoint, according to the statement.
Additionally, one person was accused of drug possession; two people were arrested for knowingly allowing an unlicensed driver to drive; one person was arrested for a parole violation; three people were jailed on outstanding traffic warrants; 14 people were suspected of driving on a suspended or revoked license; and 56 people were accused of driving without a license, officials said.
Deputies released 45 vehicles to licensed drivers at the checkpoint, officials added. Eighteen cars were impounded for one day, and seven cars were impounded for 30 days.
Funding for the checkpoint was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Man wounded in Duarte shooting

DUARTE — A man was wounded, but expected to survive, following a shooting Sunday afternoon in Duarte, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 3 p.m. at Mt. Olive Drive and Bloomdale Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Michael Martinez said.
The victim, a Latino man estimated to be in his early-30s, suffered a gunshot wound to the side of his torso but had stable vital signs and was conscious as he was being treated by paramedics, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Dave Morse said. He was taken to a trauma center for treatment.
Martinez said he could not immediately confirm initial reports from the scene that the shooter was black man wearing Denver Broncos baseball cap who fled the area in an older-model Cadillac sedan.
The shooting was being investigated by deputies from the sheriff’s Temple Station.
The shooting was the second reported in the area Sunday.
A young man identified by family members as 18-year-old Malcolm Mency was fatally shot at the corner of Broderick and Felberg avenues in a neighboring unincorporated county area shortly after midnight as he was walking home from work at a nearby fast-food restaurant. No suspect description was available.
It was not clear Sunday afternoon if authorities suspected a link between the two shootings.

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Elderly man badly burned in La Mirada house fire; wife douses flames with kitchen pan

LA MIRADA — A man was hospitalized with severe burns after he caught fire while igniting a fire in a fireplace, authorities said.
The 82-year-old man’s wife used a kitchen pan to douse the flames with water before firefighters rushed him to a burn center with third-degree burns over about 50 percent of his body, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Greg Lombardo said.
The woman was taken to a hospital, estimated to be in her late-70s, appeared unharmed but was taken to a hospital as a precaution, officials said.
Officials first responded to the fire about 12:35 p.m. in the 13000 block of Gandara Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Jason Skeen said.
The man had been trying to light a fire in the fireplace when items nearby caught fire, as well as the man’s clothing, Lombardo said.
His wife, who was in the backyard at the time, came into the home. “He was on fire when she found him,” Skeen said.
The woman grabbed a kitchen pan and used to douse the fire, which was all-but-extinguished when firefighters arrived, Lombardo said.
Firefighters rushed the badly injured man to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center for treatment.
The fire was determined to be accidental in nature, Lombardo said.

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Police: Men busted trying to steal hundreds of feet of wiring from Pasadena cell tower

PASADENA — Police arrested two men late Saturday after they were caught trying to steal hundreds of feet of copper wiring from a Pasadena cell phone tower, authorities said.
John Michael White, 51, of Fontana and Donald Robert Fish, 44, of Hesperia were booked on suspicion of grand theft of copper wire following the incident, which was first reported about 8:50 p.m. in the 300 block of West Washington Boulevard, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Officers responded to a report that someone was stealing wire from a cell tower located on the property of a cement company, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
They encountered Fish and detained him near the cell tower, the lieutenant said. “The second suspect fled into the brush along the 210 Freeway.”
Pasadena police, with help from a police helicopter and California Highway Patrol officers, searched the area and found the second suspect, later identified as White, hiding in some bushes, Clawson said.
The wiring, which the men had allegedly been trying to load into a truck when caught, was recovered, he said.
After cutting locks with bolt cutters, “They were pulling out hundreds of feet of cable out of the boxes,” Clawson said. “It appears that three different companies had copper wires pulled from the vault at that location,” he added.
Clawson said the failed theft caused more than $50,000 worth of damage to the cell tower.

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Young father fatally shot while walking home from work near Duarte

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Detectives are seeking the killer or killers of an 18-year-old new father who was shot to death while walking home from work early Sunday in an unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte.
Coroner’s officials haven’t officially identify the shooting victim, however devastated family members and friends identified him as Malcolm Mency.
He lived just around the corner from Broderick and Felberg avenues, where he was fatally shot just after midnight, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and family members said. He was taken to an area hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.
No suspect description was available in the slaying, deputies from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement.
“Deputies from the Temple Sheriff’s Station responded to the location regarding a report of a person down. When deputies arrived, they found the victim on the ground, suffering from a gunshot wound.”
Family members said Mency had been shot five times, including once in the head. An autopsy had not yet been carried out.
Handling detectives could not be reached for comment Sunday.
1223_NWS_PSN-L-SHOOTING3The young father was looking forward to his first Christmas with his 3-week-old son, Malcolm Mency II, said his girlfriend and the baby’s mother, LeBreonna Moore. He had scheduled the next week off to spend time with his family.
He was walking home from his job at a nearby Sonic restaurant when he was shot, Moore said. She spoke with him on the phone just minutes before the shooting.
“He said he got off early,” Moore said. He added that he was walking home, and was almost there.
“Five or 10 minutes later, I heard gunshots,” she said. She soon learned it was Mency who had been shot.
Friends and family members gathered at the scene of the shooting Sunday to console one another and leave candles and flowers on the spot where Mency was shot.
Loved ones said Mency was not involved with gangs and had no enemies.
1223_NWS_PSN-L-SHOOTING2“He stayed out of trouble,” Moore said. “All he talked about was our baby.”
Sister Dalisa Kline said her brother grew up in the area and graduated Mt. Olive High School at age 16.
He then studied medical assisting at Everett College and was interning at a medical office in Industry, family members said.
“This is not right. My brother did not deserve this,” Kline said through tears.
Sheriff’s investigators released no officials motive in the killing, however the unincorporated county area where the shooting took place, known to some as “No Man’s Land,” has long been a battlefield for rival gangs that inhabit nearby neighborhoods.
Officials obtained an injunction in 2010 against two local street gang a portion of Monrovia and No Man’s Land following violence between feuding gangs that resulted in 65 shooting and eight homicides in 2007 and early-2008. Duarte officials did not join in the injunction.
A longtime neighborhood resident who asked that his name be withheld for fear of retaliation said he slept through the shooting and learned of it when he awoke Sunday morning.
“He was a good kid. He wasn’t a gang banger,” the neighbor said. “He was quiet. He stayed to himself. I just saw him and his girlfriend hanging.”
And although he said he was outraged by the teen’s slaying, he said he had feared violence was on the horizon since a massive piece of graffiti appeared on a wall along a wash only dozens of yards from the shooting scene.
The graffiti displayed the name of a local gang, along with the names of other local gangs crossed out in a sign of intentional disrespect.
“I knew this was going to start something,” he said of the spray-painted wall. “I saw that and I just shook my head.”
He said he believed Mency got caught in the middle of the gang dispute.
“They were just looking for someone to shot. Malcolm was just the first person they saw,” the neighbor said. “It’s crazy, these youngsters killing each other. And for what? And the innocent ones get killed.”

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Anti-DUI task force nets 926 arrests in L.A. County so far, crackdown continues

A Los Angeles County anti-DUI task force racked up 926 arrests for intoxicated driving during the first eight days of its holiday crackdown, officials said.
The number of drivers arrested between 12:01 a.m. Dec. 13 and 11:59 p.m. Friday by the multi-agency “Avoid the 100” task force grew 9 percent over the same time period last year, when 846 DUI arrests had been made, Avoid the 100 coordinator and Glendora police Senior Community Service Officer Wendy Brewer said in a written statement.
The task force, which gets its name from the roughly 100 law enforcement agencies and stations participating, will continue its additional anti-DUI enforcement campaign through Jan. 1.

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Burglars enter Pasadena home through doggie door

PASADENA — Police are seeking four young men who burglarized a Pasadena home by breaking in through a doggie door Friday afternoon.
The crime took place about 1 p.m. at a home in the 900 block of North Madison Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Four burglars entered the home through a doggie door and helped themselves to electronics and other valuables, he said.
But a nearby security camera captured images of the burglars, the lieutenant said.
All four were Latino and between 16 and 20 years old, he said.
One wore a black short sleeve shirt and silver and black plaid shorts. The second wore a gray hat with a black rim and a hooded sweat shirt. The third wore a black beanie and a black T-shirt. No further description of the fourth burglar was available.
Clawson recommended the installation of security cameras, saying they are valuable tools for investigation which increase security not only for the home where they are installed, but for the surrounding neighborhood.

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Three men accused of robbing woman in Pasadena

PASADENA — Three Pasadena men pushed a woman to the ground and robbed her of her cell phone late Friday, police said.
Kevin Cornejo, 19, Carrington Anderson, 19 and Cristian Guillen, 20, were arrested on suspicion of robbery shortly after the 11:45 p.m. robbery at Oakland Avenue and Buckeye Street, according to Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson and Los Angeles County booking records.
A 19-year-old Pasadena woman was standing with a 24-year-old Temple City man when they were approached by three men, Clawson said.
Two of the robbers stood between the man and woman while the third pushed the woman to the grab and took her cell phone from her hand, the lieutenant said. The three thieves then fled north along Oakland Avenue. The woman was not hurt.
Police soon spotted three people matching the description of the robbers in the area of Los Robles Avenue and Adena Street, Clawson said.
They were identified by the victims as the robbers, he said, and police found the stolen cell phone in some bushes near where the suspects were found.
According to booking records, Cornejo and Anderson were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances. Guillen, who had a previous criminal case pending at the time of his arrest, was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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