Officials warn against DUI ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

As Super Bowl Sunday fast approaches, area law enforcement agencies are warning football fans not to get behind the wheel after drinking.
Officials throughout the county that comprise an anti-DUI task force known as “Avoid the 100” will be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers this weekend, Glendora Police Department Senior Community Service Officer and task force coordinator Wendy Brewer said in a written statement.
“Every regularly scheduled patrol officer working will be watching for the tell-tale signs of impaired driving before, during and after the game,” she said.
“For football fans, Super Bowl Sunday is one of the best days of the year,” Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said. “Have a great time, but please don’t allow the celebration to result in a drunk driving arrest. Act responsibly, designate a sober driver before the Super Bowl party begins and leave your car keys at home.”
In Arcadia, police announced extra patrols to hunt for intoxicated drivers Friday and Sunday.
Monrovia police will also be out in force Sunday carrying out “DUI saturation patrols,” Monrovia police said in a written statement.
“This is a zero tolerance crackdown, so drive sober or get pulled over,” Monrovia police Sgt. Daniel Verna said.
Funding for the task force is bring provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Three arrested in connection with Irwindale home burglary

IRWINDALE — Police arrested a man and two women Thursday in connection with a residential burglary, officials said.
Dustin Michael Shirey, 21, of West Covina, Nicole Victoria Richardson, 21, of Glendora and Sara Ouaddi, 18, of Walnut were arrested in connection with the break-in, according to Irwindale police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Shirey was booked on suspicion of burglary, while Richardson and Ouaddi were booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary, Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said. Richardson was also being held on a pre-existing warrant, and Ouaddi was additionally accused of being under the influence of drugs.
A tipster called police about 12:40 p.m. to report seeing someone climbing through the side window of a home in the 1600 block of Martinez Street, Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said.
Officers happened to be in the area and arrived in less than a minute, he said. They noticed a suspicious Saturn SUV parked in front of the home, and detained two women down the street as they walked away from the home.
As police were in the process of surrounding the home, Shirey emerged carrying a backpack found to contain items taken from the house, Gatto said.
Investigation determined that the two women and the car were involved in the break-in as well, the sergeant said.
According to county booking records, Shirey and Ouaddi were being held in lieu of $20,000 bail at the Glendora Police Department jail, while Richardson was being held in lieu of $45,000 bail. All three were scheduled for arraignment Monday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Pomona woman badly injured in San Dimas crash

SAN DIMAS — A Pomona woman suffered major injuries Thursday in a solo-car crash along the 10 Freeway in an unincorporated county area just south of San Dimas, authorities said.
The woman, 42, was rushed to a trauma center by helicopter following the 2:55 p.m. crash on the eastbound 10 Freeway, just east of Via Verde Street, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said in a written statement.
She was eastbound on the 10 Freeway in a 2000 Nissan Maxima when she exited at Via Verde Street, went through an intersection at the base of the offramp, then got onto the onramp back onto the eastbound 10 Freeway, Jimenez said.
For reasons that remained under investigation, the Nissan veered toward the left until it went off the side of the onramp, the officer said.
“The Nissan travelled out of control through the uphill embankment, became airborne and landed within the eastbound (10 Freeway) lanes,” Jimenez said.
The car overturned and skidded across traffic lanes, striking the concrete center divider wall coming to a rest on it’s wheels, blocking the two right-hand lanes of the eastbound 10 Freeway, according to Jimenez.
The woman at the wheel of the Maxima suffered major injuries to her head and face, officials said. Officials briefly shut down both directions of the 10 Freeway to allow a rescue helicopter to land.
The two right lanes of the eastbound freeway remained closed for about an hour after the crash.
Officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP are handling the investigation.

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Woman confronts burglar inside Arcadia home; four suspects jailed

ARCADIA — Police jailed four people suspicion of burglary Wednesday after a woman confronted three of them inside her home, authorities said.
Mario Dasean Weicks, 19, of Irvine; Quatrelle Jaquin Carroll, 19, of Long Beach; Milton Keith Sanders, 20, of Long Beach; and Jasmine Monique Douroux, 21, of Lakewood were arrested shortly after the 1:40 p.m. break-in at a home in the 00 block of West Palm Drive, according to Arcadia police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The three male suspects knocked on the door of a house, but a woman inside did not answer, Arcadia police Lt. Tom Le Veque said in a written statement.
“One of the men made his way to the back sliding door and made entry to the home through the unlocked door,” the sergeant said. “The resident saw the man inside the home and yelled at him. The suspect fled, along with his cohorts, to an awaiting vehicle being driven by a female.”
The resident reported the intrusion to police, who spotted a car matching the description in the area and pulled it over, Le Veque said.
Police found items in the car that were determined to have been stolen earlier in the day during a break-in in Los Angeles, he said. Electronics, jewelry, cash and other items were those seized as evidence.
The investigation was ongoing, and police were working to link the group of alleged burglars to additional crimes.
According to county booking records, Sanders, who had a previous case pending, was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, while Weicks was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Carroll and Douroux were both released from custody Thursday after posting $50,000 bail, records show. All four suspects were due to be arraigned Friday in Pasadena Superior Court.

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Man dies following Walnut solo-car crash

WALNUT — A man died Thursday following an apparently minor solo-car crash along Grand Avenue that may have been preceded by a medical problem, authorities said.
The incident was reported about noon along Grand Avenue and Mountaineer Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
The man’s car had gone over a curb on the southbound side of the roadway and struck either a pole or a tree, however the collision did not appear consistent with a major-injury crash, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Robert Seals said.
Paramedics took the man to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later, according to fire and sheriff’s officials.
It initially appeared the man may have suffered a medical condition, Seals said. “He didn’t have any trauma from the impact.”
Deputies from the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station were handling the investigation.

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Woman robbed, run over by SUV in Azusa

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AZUSA — Police are seeking two women who robbed another woman of her purse Wednesday, then ran her over with an SUV as the victim chased after them, officials said.
The 21-year-old victim, an Alta Loma resident, was fortunate to suffer no major injuries during the crime, which took place about 6:45 p.m. to the rear of a Chipotle Mexican Grill in the 800 block of East Alosta Avenue, Azusa police Sgt. Randy Schmidt said.
The young woman was sitting with a friend when a dark-colored Toyota 4Runner approached, the sergeant said. A passenger exited the SUV and grabbed a purse that was at the victim’s feet.
The robber returned to the SUV with the stolen purse, Schmidt said. The victim gave chase, and the car began driving away, running over the victim’s leg.
Paramedics took the woman to a hospital for treatment of injuries not believed to be serious, he said.
A detailed description of the two robbers was not available late Wednesday, however investigators continued checking nearby surveillance cameras for clues.
Anyone with information can reach the Azusa Police Department at 626-812-3200.

PHOTO: The women pictured in this surveillance photo are described by police as possible witnesses or persons of interest in the robbery.

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UPDATED: Arcadia boy critically injured in collision with SUV while riding scooter

ARCADIA — Rescuers rushed a 12-year-old Arcadia boy to a hospital in critical condition after he was struck by an SUV while riding a push scooter in a residential neighborhood Wednesday, officials said.
The collision took place just after 6 p.m. on Second Avenue at El Dorado Street, according to Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro.
The boy was riding his scooter northbound in the southbound bicycle lane prior to the collision, police said. A Toyota RAV4 was being driven south on Second Avenue by a 65-year-old El Monte woman.
“The juvenile veered into the southbound lane of traffic and was stuck by the vehicle,” Castro said.
Paramedics took him to the pediatric intensive care unit at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition with head injuries, Castro said. He had not been wearing a helmet.
The driver was not injured, and no crime was initially suspected, officials said. The cause of the crash was being investigated by the Arcadia Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5150.

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Monrovia senior citizen loses $9,500 to scammers; suspect in custody

MONROVIA — A senior lost $9,500 in a scam and another was behind bars in connection with the alleged caper Wednesday, officials said.
Buddy Young Johnson, 67, of Norwalk was booked on suspicion of grand theft by trickery and theft with prior theft convictions in connection with the incident, which unfolded Wednesday afternoon in Arcadia and Monrovia, according to Monrovia police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
But the victim’s money, as well as a second suspect, remained unaccounted for Wednesday night, the sergeant said. No description of the outstanding con artist was available.
The incident began about 2 p.m. when the victim, Monrovia man in his late-60s, encountered a man at a 99 Cents Only Store in Arcadia, officials said.
The man told the victim he had $250,000 and wanted to travel to Africa, but was unable to send the money there himself, saying it would be confiscated. The scammer offered the victim compensation to help, but demanded the victim withdraw a significant amount of cash to prove his financial responsibility.
Johnson then approached the first suspect and victim, pretending not to know the other scammer and claiming he wanted to get in on the deal as well.
After Johnson claimed to have withdrawn $35,000 and showed it to the unidentified scammer, the initial con artist told the victim it was his turn, according to police.
The victim agreed to withdraw $9,500, which the scammers persuaded him to wrap in a rag so they could pray over it, investigators said. But at some point, the scammers switched the man’s money for another rag stuffed with newspaper.
As the victim was heading to the bank, he notified a family member of what was going on, Verna said. The family member met the victim and scammers at the bank, and managed to grab onto Johnson and hold him until police arrived.
The second suspect managed to flee with the victim’s money, Verna said. A description was not available.
Monrovia police notified other nearby law enforcement agencies of the arrest in hopes of tracking down additional victims of the alleged con artists.
According to county booking records, Johnson was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending his initial appearance Friday in Pasadena Superior Court.

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Suspect in Colby Fire released to residential treatment facility

A federal judge Wednesday granted a request by one of three men accused of igniting the Colby Fire in the foothills above Glendora and Azusa was earlier this month to be housed in a residential treatment facility pending trial, officials said.
Transient Jonathan Jarrell, 23, was released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles to a residential treatment facility on a $10,000 bond, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said. He is under electronic monitoring.
His attorney had previously made a request that Jarrell be housed in such a situation, which deals with defendants with mental health or substance abuse issues. A magistrate judge previously ordered Jarrell held indefinitely, along with his two co-defendants, but said he could seek another hearing to be removed if facility space could be found.
Clifford Henry Jr., 22, of Glendora, and 21-year-old transient Steven Aguirre remained in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles.
All three have been charged with unlawfully setting timber afire, with more possible charges pending, and were scheduled to appear for preliminary hearings Feb. 5.
The trio was allegedly camping overnight near the Colby Trail north of Glendora when an early-morning campfire grew out of control, ultimately scorching 1,952 acres, according to Glendora police and U.S. Forest Service officials. Six people suffered minor injuries, five homes were destroyed, 10 outbuildings were destroyed, and eight structures were damaged during the fire, which remained 98 percent contained Wednesday. Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate.
If convicted as charged, Jarrell, Henry and Aguirre, each face up to five years in federal prison.

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Ex-ice skating coach convicted of child molestation

A Pomona jury convicted a former ice-skating coach Tuesday of molesting a teenage boy and a young girl while living in Hacienda Heights and Downey.
Donald James Vincent, 30, who lived in Torrance when arrested in January of 2013, was ordered to return to Pomona Superior Court Feb. 21 for sentencing, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
“He faces multiple life sentences in state prison,” according to the statement.
The jury deliberated for less than one day before finding Vincent guilty of one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child, two counts of lewd acts upon a child, two counts of forcible lewd acts on a child, and five charges relating to sex acts with a child under 10, according to the D.A.’s office.
The charged crimes took place between 2007 and 2011 , while Vincent was living in Hacienda Heights and Downey, D.A.’s officials said.
The charges were related to students he coached at Paramount Iceland in in Paramount, though he also worked at at least six other ice skating rinks throughout Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties in the 7 years leading up to his arrest, according to District Attorney’s and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
They included the East/West Ice Palace in Artesia; Glacial Gardens in Lakewood; Norwalk Ice, which has since closed; Skating Edge Ice Arena in Harbor City; Anaheim Ice in Anaheim; and Ice Town Riverside in Riverside.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Special Victim Bureau initially jailed Vincent in connection with the molestation of a male student while he was between 12 and 15 years old, Lt. Carlos Marquez said. The molestation came to light two years later when the victim told a friend at a youth camp of the molestation and was persuaded to tell authorities.
At the time of his arrest, officials encouraged any additional victims of Vincent to come forward. And one did, additional charged were later filed in connection with violent acts of molestation against a girl younger than 10 years old.
Vincent remained in custody in lieu of $6 million bail pending trial, officials said. Once convicted, he was ordered held without bail pending sentencing.

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