MONTEREY PARK >> Two police officers escaped injury when their car was struck by two shotgun blasts in an ambush late Thursday in Monterey Park, officials said.
An unknown attacker opened fire just before 10 p.m. as the officers were stopped in a commercial parking lot at the northeast corner of Garvey and New avenues, Monterey Park police Lt. Scott Wiese said.
The officers were watching over the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store across the street when their car was struck from behind by gunfire, the lieutenant said.
“All of a sudden, they heard two shots,” Wiese said. “They said it was really loud, like a shotgun blast. They felt the impact on the back of the patrol car.”
The officers sped out of the parking lot to escape the gunfire, he said. They didn’t see the shooter.
Monterey Park police, joined by officers from neighboring cities, swarmed the area in search of the attacker, Wiese said. The shooter remained at-large early Friday morning.
The shots were fired from north of the parking lot where the shooting took place, Wiese said. The area is occupied by a gated commercial lot, a vacant lot and the rear area of an apartment building.
Police summoned crime lab officials to the scene to examine the forensic and ballistic evidence.
Anyone with information can reach the Monterey Park Police Department at 626-573-1311. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
EL MONTE >> Police in El Monte are planning to screen drivers for sobriety during a checkpoint late Saturday, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place from 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location within the city, El monte police officials said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years, DUI collision have claimed one life and resuylted in over 60 injury crashes harming 83 of our friends and neighbors,: Sgt. Jimmy Pitts 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.
ALTADENA >> A man died Thursday after being shot during an argument outside an Altadena hamburger stand Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
The shooting took place just before 4:30 p.m. at Fair Oaks Avenue and Calaveras Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. A witness flagged down a deputy within a minute of the shooting.
“The victim was sitting in front of Fair Oaks Burger when a suspect approached him,” sheriff’s Lt. Robert Lewis said. “An argument ensued. A weapon was produced. Three or four shots were fired at the individual.”
Paramedics rushed the wounded man to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for treatment, Lewis said.
The victim succumbed to his wounds a short time later, sheriff’s officials said.
The shooter got into a dark gray, four-door sedan along with a second suspect, Lewis said. The car sped away heading east on Calaveras Street, Lewis said. The two suspects were described only as male.
Deputies set up a search perimeter in a three block radius surrounding the shooting scene and continued hunting for the suspects Thursday night, he said.
PASADENA >> The ex-boyfriend of a Pasadena high school science teacher is accused of hacking into the teacher’s e-mail account and distributing nude photos of the educator to hundreds of students and adults, police said Thursday.
David Antonio Galvan, 38, was booked into Los Angeles County jail Wednesday, according to Pasadena police officials and county booking records. U.S. Marshal’s officials arrested him just over a week ago in Oregon.
He’s charged with a felony count of false impersonation, a felony county of identity theft, a misdemeanor count of electronic impersonation and two misdemeanor counts of distributing obscene matter, police said.
The investigation began on July 10 when an email containing nude pictures of John Muir High School science teacher Richard Rosa sent to more than 200 students, school staff and community members, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement. Several recipients of the emails contacted police, Cmdr. John Perez said at the time.
“A criminal investigation was launched and detectives learned that Rosa was not responsible for the emails and he was out of the country at the time the emails were generated,” Pasadena police Lt. Terysa Rojas said.
“Further investigation revealed the e-mails were sent by Rosa’s estranged partner, David A. Galvan, who had unlawfully accessed Mr. Rosa’s Pasadena Unified School District e-mail account. Suspect Galvan was reportedly angry over the relationship ending when he distributed the obscene pictures.”
Police presented their case to prosecutors on July 24, officials said. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office issued a $110,000 warrant for Galvan’s arrest.
Galvan fled the state after learning he was being sought by police, Rojas said.
U.S. Marshals helped police find and arrest Galvan Oct. 21 in Hillsboro, Oregon, she said.
Galvan waived extradition proceedings and officials took him back to Los Angeles County to face charges Wednesday.
Galvan posted bail and was released from custody Thursday afternoon, booking records show. He was scheduled to appear in Pasadena Superior Court Nov. 21.
EL MONTE >> A fire damaged a garage attached to an apartment building Thursday, but resulted in no injuries, officials said.
Firefighters first responded to a report of smoke emanating from the 4000 block of La Madera Avenue about 12:30 p.m., Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Randall Wright said.
The first engine to arrive found smoke pouring from the garage, which was attacked to a single-story apartment building, Wright said. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in just over 20 minutes.
No civilians or firefighters were hurt, and no apartment residents were displaced, he said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation. A dollar-value estimate of the damage was not available.
AZUSA >> Officials searched a neighborhood and locked down a school Wednesday after a man with a gun showed up at a home in an unincorporated county area near Azusa with a gun, police said.
The incident began about 10:45 in the 17600 block of East Renwick Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Vega sid.
A man arrived at a home with a handgun tucked into his waist and began pounding on the door, demanding to see a particular woman, Vega said.
A different woman who was home refused to let the man inside, but a teenage boy complied out of fear, Lt. Andy Berg said.
The gunman barged through the home looking for the woman he was seeking and left after becoming satisfied that she was not there, Berg said.
Police searched the neighborhood for the armed man, but did not find him, Berg said.
Officials at nearby Murray Elementary School elected to lock down the campus for about 20 minutes as the search was ongoing, sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies described the suspect as a Latino man in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, 160 pounds, with a shaved head and wearing a black hooded sweat shirt.
The investigation was ongoing.
MONTEBELLO >> A man turned himself in Tuesday in connection with a hit-and run crash that left a 28-year-old motorcyclist from Whittier dead over the weekend, officials said.
George Antonio Lopez-Chavira died following the crash, which took place about 4:45 p.m. Friday on Washington Boulevard, just west of Bluff Road, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Ed Winter said.
He was riding a motorcycle east along Washington Boulevard when he was struck from behind by a four-door car that fled the scene, Montebello police officials said in a written statement. The impact forced Lopez-Chavira’s motorcycle into a pole, and he succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
Both vehicles were heading east at high speeds prior to the crash, police said.
The hit-and-run driver remained at-large until Tuesday, when Rafael Victor Morales, 35, of Whittier called the Montebello Police Department, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
“Investigators from the Montebello Traffic Unit received a phone call from a male who stated that he was the driver investigators were looking for relating to the fatal traffic collision,” Montebello police said in a written statement.
“The suspect told investigators that he called to turn himself in because he felt pressured based on recent social media posts on both Twitter and Facebook from the Montebello Police Department,” the statement said. “Investigators responded to Whittier (Boulevard) and Ocean View (Avenue) in the city of Whittier where the suspect was waiting to turn himself in.”
Records indicate police arrested Morales at 5 p.m.
Police arrested Morales on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run, officials said.
He was behind the wheel of a Nissan Altima when he was involved in the fatal hit and run, Lt. Kelly Gordon said.
The manslaughter charge stems from alleged reckless driving on the part of Morales prior to the crash, the lieutenant said.
Morales and Lopez-Chavira did not know one another prior to the crash, she added.
According to booking records, Morales was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. He was scheduled to appear scheduled for arraignment Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
GLENDORA >>Detectives continue searching for answers in the mysterious slaying of a Nevada man found shot to death alongside a Glendora street last week.
A newspaper carrier first discovered the body of Ernesto Medina, 22, of Henderson, Nevada about 3:30 a.m. along Sunflower Avenue near the 210 Freeway , Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner officials said.
Despite initial reports that the body was found inside a vehicle, Lt. Steve Jauch of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said Monday that Medina’s body was found lying on the ground, alongside several bullet casings.
“He appears to have been shot multiple times at that location,” Jauch said.
Medina’s body was discovered in the roadway near the curb, he said. “There was no vehicle there at the scene.”
Several neighborhood residents said they heard what they described as gunshots or popping tires about 11:30 p.m., however Jauch said investigators had not determined exactly what time the shooting took place.
Detectives also focused their investigation on what the Nevada man may have been doing in Glendora when he was shot, Jauch said. But the lieutenant declined to discuss what detectives have learned thus far. “That’s all part of the investigation,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
LOS ANGELES >> A doctor from Covina pleaded not guilty to last week in a 31-count federal drug trafficking case that could land him more than 300 years in prison, authorities said.
Dr. Daniel Cham, 47, entered his plea Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles, U.S. Department of Justice officials said in a written statement. He posted a $140,000 bond and was ordered to serve home detention pending trial, scheduled for Dec. 16. He is prohibited from practicing medicine in the meantime.
Federal agents arrested Cham Wednesday at his Covina home, officials said. The doctor operated medical offices in La Puente and Artesia.
A federal grand jury returned a 31-count indictment against the doctor in October, however it remained sealed until Cham was arrested.
The indictment alleges Cham distributed powerful painkillers and other drugs to patients, including an undercover investigator, who had no legitimate medical need for them.
Anthony Williams, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Los Angeles Field Office, said federal authorities take a tough stance against doctors who cross into drug dealing.
“Along with our law enforcement partners, we continue to aggressively target medical professionals who act as drug traffickers cloaked in a white lab coat,” Williams said.
If convicted of all 31 counts — which included drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud and making false statements to federal authorities — Cham faces up to 339 years behind bars, according to the DOJ.
“Unscrupulous doctors who prescribe controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose are simply fueling a black market of narcotics,” Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura said. “These doctors are the same as street dealers who face lengthy sentences in federal prison.”
The primary drugs illegally distributed by Cham include oxycodone, also known as OxyContin; hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin or Norco; alprazolam, also known as Xanax; and carisprodol, also known as Soma, officials said.
Cham often saw patients in the middle of the night on weekends, but post-dated prescriptions to make it appear they had been written during the week, according to the DOJ statement.
“In the year that ended in March 2014, Chan issued more than 5,500 prescriptions for controlled substances,” the statement said. “…and he issued more than 42,000 such prescriptions since July 2010.”
An undercover investigator visited Cham’s La Puente office three times and obtained prescriptions for powerful drugs in exchange for $200 to $300 in cash or money orders, prosecutors allege.
Cham issued the prescriptions even though the undercover agent told him he had been, “drunk and high while receiving controlled substance prescriptions,” according to the DOJ statement.
“On another occasion, Cham prescribed oxycodone even though the undercover law enforcement officer presented, in lieu of photo identification, a written notice that his license had been suspended for driving under the influence,” the statement continued.
DIAMOND BAR >> A fiery crash blamed on a drunken driver sent five people to the hospital early Sunday, including a woman and a boy who suffered major injuries, authorities said.
The California Highway Patrol received reports of a crash between a 2003 Toyota Camry and a 2010 Kia Forte about 3:10 a.m. on the northbound 57 Freeway just north of Diamond Bar Boulevard, CHP Sgt. Elizabeth Van Valkenburgh said in a written statement.
The Kia was stopped along the right shoulder of the freeway prior the crash, she said. A 29-year-old woman was at the wheel, along with a 24-year-old woman, a boy of unknown age and a man of unknown age riding as passengers. All four occupants of the Kia were Apple Valley residents, however the relationship among them was unclear.
The boy and a man who were passengers in the Kia suffered major injuries and were flown to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, Van Valkenburgh said. Paramedics took the woman who was driving the Kia, as well as the second woman riding as a passenger, to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center with injuries described as minor to moderate.
Edgar Rodriguez, 26, of Covina, is suspected of being drunk as he drove his Toyota Camry up the 57 Freeway approaching the stopped Kia, Van Valkenburgh said.
“His vehicle drifted onto the right shoulder and rear-ended the Kia,” she said.
The impact sent the Kia spinning, and it ultimately came to a rest blocking the two right-hand lanes, officials said.
The Toyota continued forward along the sound wall along the right side of the freeway before coming to a rest.
“Shortly after (Rodriguez) escaped from his vehicle, is caught fire and became engulfed in flames,” Van Valkenburgh said. He was treated for “moderate” injuries including a broken wrist and was expected to be booked on suspicion of felony drunken driving.
Officials shut down all northbound lanes of the freeway until about 4:10 a.m., at which time the HOV lane was opened for traffic, according to the CHP. All traffic lanes were cleared shortly before 5 a.m.
Any witnesses to the crash were asked to contact Officer Dockweiler of the Baldwin Park office of the CHP at 626-338-1164.