Authorities search for missing boy after father found unconscious at South Pasadena park

SOUTH PASADENA >> Police and sheriff’s officials continued searching Sunday for a 5-year-old boy who was reported missing after his father, who was responsible for the child, was found unconscious in a South Pasadena Park and arrested him.
Search and rescue teams, helicopters, search dogs, neighboring police agencies and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Missing Persons Detail have joined in the search for Aramazd Andressian Jr., which centered around Arroyo Park in South Pasadena, sheriff’s and South Pasadena police officials said.
The boy was last seen by his mother on April 15, when she turned him over to the custody his father, Aramazd Andressian Sr., during a child custody exchange at the Baldwin Park Police Department, according to Deputy Lisa Jansen of the sheriff’s Information Bureau. The parent’s are in the process of divorcing, officials added.
The boy’s mother last heard from him Tuesday, when she spoke with him via a “Skype” video call, South Pasadena police officials said.
Police in South Pasadena reportedly found the father passed out next to his parked car at the park about 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Officials took him to a hospital for examination before he was arrested. It was unclear why the man had lost consciousness.
The boy’s mother reported him missing later Saturday after Andressian Sr. failed to show up for his scheduled custody exchange, authorities said. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
“Aramazd Andressian Jr.’s family is very concerned and asking for the public’s assistance,” Jansen said.
Aramazd Andressian Sr. had been driving a gray, 2004 BMW four-door car with a California license plate of 5FIL646. Prior to his arrest, the vehicle was last reported seen in Orange County early Friday.
The father was said to be cooperative, but investigators expressed concern that he did not appear to be a crime victim but did not know the whereabouts of his son.
Aramazd Jr. is described as 41 inches, 55 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a turquoise plaid shirt and plaid shorts and has a small mole on the bottom of his right shoulder.
Anyone with information is urged to contact South Pasadena police at 626-403-07270 or the sheriff’s Missing Persons Detail at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
— City News Service contributed to this report.

PHOTOS courtesy of the South Pasadena Police Department/Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Two men wounded in La Puente shooting


LA PUENTE >> Two men are expected to survive following a late-night shooting in La Puente on Saturday, officials said.
The attack took place about 11:05 p.m. in the 300 block of Ardilla Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. David Contreras said.
Deputies responded to a report of an “assault with a deadly weapon” and encountered two men suffering from gunshot wounds, he said.
One of the victims is a man in his 20, and the other is in his 40s, according to the sergeant.
Both were hospitalized with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
Little information was available regarding the circumstances of the shooting, which Contreras said was carried out by two attackers who fled the scene in a compact car.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: One teen killed, another wounded in Monrovia shooting


MONROVIA >> A Saturday night shooting in Monrovia left one teenager dead and another wounded, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 11:35 p.m. in the 100 block of West Cypress Street, just west of Myrtle Avenue, according to Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.
Monrovia police first responded to reports of gunshots when they found the victims, Alexander said in a written statement.
“Both victims had been shot at least one time in the torso,” she said.
Paramedics pronounced one of the young men dead at the scene, officials said.
He was identified as 18-year-old Oscar Andrew Garcia of Monrovia, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
The second gunshot victim, described as 17 years old, was hospitalized in critical condition.
The shooter was described only as a Latino man in his 20s. Sheriff’s officials released no further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting.
Neighbors said the shooting in or just outside the detached garage of a back house, and involved more than 10 gunshots.
A pair of paramedic’s gloved marked the scene of the shooting on Sunday afternoon.
One neighbor, who did not want her identity published for fear of retaliation, said the two victims did not live at the home, but were visiting friends when the gunfire erupted.
The shooter entered the property through a rear fence, which leads to an alley running just south of Cypress Street.
The gunman immediately opened fire before fleeing back through the alley, neighbors said.
Saturday night’s double shooting is the latest in a spate of at least seven shooting in the Monrovia-Duarte area since January that have left four victims dead and another four wounded. Three suspects have been jailed in connection with one of the non-fatal shootings. The rest of the cases remain unsolved.
•Two women escaped injury, though a home and parked car were struck by gunfire, in a drive-by shooting in the 500 block of Maydee Street in unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte on Friday night.
•A La Puente man was found shot to death inside a vacant home in the 2600 block of Calle Martos in Duarte on April 1.
•A man was wounded in a shooting in the 400 block of East Duarte Road in Monrovia on March 29.
•A 20-year-old man died in a shooting in the 400 block of Camino Real Street in the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia on March 18.
•A 39-year-old man was shot to death as he arrived home with his wife and children in the 2300 block of Bashor Street in Duarte on Feb. 18. A $10,000 reward has since been authorized in the case by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
•A man was wounded in a drive-by shooting in the 2000 block of Goodall Avenue in the unincorporated county area between Monrovia and Duarte on Jan. 15.
•Two men suffered gunshot wounds in a shooting at Cresrfield Drive and Bloomdale Street in Duarte on Jan. 7. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting.
News of Saturday neight’s shooting brought longtime victims’ advocate Jeanette Chavez to tears.
Chavez lost her 16-year-old daughter, Sammantha Salas, in a shooting in the 2500 block of Peck Road in the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia that took place amid a spate of gang-violence that plagued the area in late-2007. Salas was slain with automatic gunfire as the walked from her father’s home to a nearby store with two friends. One of Salas’ friends was also wounded in the shooting.
Two cousins from Monrovia have since been sentenced to life in prison for the slaying.
Chavez has spent the past decade working with victim’s advocacy organizations, as well as on her own, to try to prevent other families from suffering similar tragedies.
“This is really taking a toll on me, and taking a toll on my heart,” she said of the recent violence. “It’s like a black eye for my daughter.”
Chavez said she addressed law enforcement and county supervisors at a Monrovia, Arcadia Duarte Town Council meeting on Wednesday regarding the issue of violence in the Monrovia-Duarte area. Two more shooting have occurred in the area since the meeting.
Chavez said she asked at the meeting about improving communications between the several law enforcement agencies that patrol the area, as well as how many deputies are assigned to the unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia. But she said she did not receive satisfactory answers.
In response to the violence in the area in 2007 and 2008, Monrovia officials sought and obtained a gang injunction against two local street gangs in a 6-square-mile area encompassing portions of Monrovia and nearby unincorporated county areas.
But Duarte declined to join in the injunction, which Chavez said was the wrong decision.
“Shame on Duarte for not joining the gang injunction,” she said.
The sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is helping Monrovia police with the investigation into Saturday’s fatal shooting.
Anyone with information us urged to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to  at 800-222-8477.

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Women escape unharmed following drive-by shooting near Duarte


A home and a parked car were struck by bullets, but two women escaped injury, in a drive-by shooting on Friday night in an unincorporated county area between Duarte and Monrovia, officials said.
The gunfire was reported about 8:55 p.m. in the 500 block of Maydee Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Frank Ruiz said.
Two women were standing on a corner when a car drove by with three male occupants inside, the lieutenant said. Shots were fired from the passing vehicle in the direction of the women.
The women were not struck by the gunfire, Ruiz said. But a nearby house and car were pierced by bullets.
No further details were available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Home Depot, Behr provide paint job for Covina nonprofit teen center

COVINA >> Workers from three area Home Depot stores armed with descended on a nonprofit teen center in Covina on Saturday to spiff up the building with a free paint job.
Representatives from the Glendora, Covina and West Covina Home Depot locations, as well as a Behr Paint employee equipped with 25 gallons of paint, gifted the work to the 212 Training Center, 542 N. Second Ave., as part of Home Depot’s ongoing community projects, Glendora Home Depot Manager Mako Kapaska explained.
The center opened its doors in 2012 with the goal of providing kids with athletic, academic and life mentoring to keep them on the right path and away from gangs, drugs and violence. It’s operated by the Man-e Moreno Foundation, which was founded by the family members of 26-year-old graphic designer Manuel Moreno following his fatal shooting in Covina in November of 2007.
Kapaska said he first met the Moreno family, as well as Man-e Moreno Foundation President and Manuel Moreno’s brother Robert Moreno years ago, before the 212 Training Center opened, while the organization was operating out of a trailer converted into a mobile teen center. Back then, Home Depot helped build the teen center on wheels.
“Robert and his family are great people,” Kapaska said.
He said he was drawn to the organization because of its dedication to at-risk youth and its goal of turning tragedy into triumph that benefits the community.
Bobby Lozano of Behr Paint, who happens to live in Covina, said he was glad to be a part of the project.
“They told me what they do here and how they came about and, of course, I wanted to help right away,” he said. “It’s a good program to have. It’s positive for the community.”
Robert Moreno said the organization, which now serves 160 youths and is approaching its 10th anniversary, was grateful for the helping hands.
“We’re really blessed to have this rapport with not just the city council and our police, but with the community,” he said. “We look forward to what God has planned for us for the next 10 years.”

PHOTOS by Trevor Stamp

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Police: Man grabs sword and attacks employees at Arcadia karate studio, subdued by the martial artists


ARCADIA >> Police jailed an Altadena man who punched one person, then grabbed a sword from a karate studio and attacked three employees before being subdued by the martial artists and some good Samaritans, authorities said.
There was no apparent motive for the bizarre and unprovoked rampage, which unfolded just before 8 p.m. in the area of Huntington Drive and 1st Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Vaughn Whalen said.
“The suspect entered a business in the 100 block of East Huntington Drive and punched an employee,” according to the lieutenant. “The suspect then entered a karate dojo in the same block and armed himself with a sheathed samurai sword from a display.”
He struck three employees of the karate studio with the sword while it was still sheathed, Whalen said said.
“He removed the sheath and swung the sword at the employees,” Whalen said. “The suspect then fled into a rear alley where the three employees and a couple of citizens held him down until officers arrived and took custody of him.”
Richard Sanchez, 24, of Altadena was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
No significant injuries were reported in the incident.

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SWAT arrests suspect following Valinda standoff


VALINDA >> A sheriff’s SWAT team and crisis negotiators responded to a Valinda neighborhood after a man who was believed to be armed with a gun holed-up inside home late Friday, officials said.
The incident began shortly about 5 p.m. with a report of a domestic incident involving criminal threats and a gun at a house in the 800 block of Lacon Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Shot were believed to have been fired inside the home, though no injuries were reported, Sgt. Rico Sandoval said.
Several other occupants of the home came out when deputies arrived, but the suspect refused, he said.
Deputies summoned a SWAT team and crisis negotiators to take over the standoff.
A personal drone being flown in the area interfered with the sheriff’s department helicopter during the incident, according to Capt. Tim Murakami. The drone pilot would have gotten off with a warning, but was arrested after deputies discovered he had an outstanding arrest warrant, the captain said.
The suspect surrendered after midnight, officials said. No further details were available.

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Irwindale pays $2.75 million settlement to girl molested by ex-police officer

IRWINDALE >> Irwindale paid a $2.75 million settlement on Thursday to a young woman who was molested as a teenager by an Irwindale police officer for more than a year while she served as a police Explorer Scout.
The civil suit stems from the conviction of former Irwindale police officer Daniel R. Camerano, who pleaded “no contest” in late-2014 to a series of sex crimes for his molestation of the then-14-year-old girl, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, between May of 2009 and December of 2010.
Camerano, who was also accused of sending sexually suggestive texts messages to another 17-year-old female Explorer Scout in 2012, was sentenced to two years and eight months in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
The girl subsequently filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department. The settlement was reached shortly before trial was scheduled to begin,” according to the plaintiff’s Pasadena-based attorney, Anthony DeMarco. A settlement agreement was reached last month.
“The abuse of my client occurred because of a culture of acceptance of sexual abuse and harassment of girls and women that was allowed to persist in the Irwindale Police Department,” DeMarco said in a written statement. “She, like others, was forced to endure sexual abuse and harassment in silence or risk losing her dream of a career in law enforcement.”
The attorney further alleged that police officials failed to act after learning of the sexual abuse, which took place during “ride-alongs” with the officer, who served as an advisor to the Irwindale Police Department’s Explorer program.
“In the victim’s civil action against the City of Irwindale, evidence was uncovered that Police department officials were aware of complaints that Camerano was sexually abusing the underage female Explorer, but did not stop his access to and, thus, continued abuse of the girl.”
“She was being sexually molested in the station over and over,” DeMarco said. “The police station… It’s not big. They have cameras down every hallway. Folks knew what was going on. There was a culture of acceptance of this kind of behavior toward women, young women and girls that came into the department.”
Irwindale City Manager John Davidson and Irwindale Police Chief Anthony Miranda could not be reached for comment Friday. The city is closed for business on Fridays.
Prosecutors initially charged Camerano with six felony counts, which would have resulted in a maximum sentence of five years in prison if he had been convicted as charged.
But he took a plea deal, and pleaded “no contest” to counts of using a minor for sex acts, oral copulation of a person under 16 and contact with a minor for sexual offense.
During the coarse of the investigation into Camerano, “There were other girls, as well, that divulged abuse,” he said.
“One other civil lawsuit involving a victim of Camerano is currently pending and has a trial date in early 2018.”
Criminal cases have not been filed in connection with the other incidents of girls reporting abuse by Camerano.
“I’m not sure what the barometer was for why the (district attorney’s office) decided to prosecute on some and not on others,” DeMarco said.
The abuse suffered by Jane Doe continues to have lasting effects on the young woman, DeMarco said.
“It has, and will, have effects on almost all aspects of her life going forward,” he said. “But she’s a resilient person who I am sure will accomplish great things in life.”
The Irwindale Police Department ended it’s Explorer Program following Camerano’s arrest.
DeMarco said the abuse of his client was not an isolated incident, but rather a symptom of a police department out of control.
“As of September of 2014 there were 14 internal investigation complaints regarding the police department with less than 30 officers,” according to the attorney.
Former Irwindale police sergeant David Fraijo received a nine-year prison sentence in 2015 after pleading “no contest” to charges stemming from the sexual assault of a woman during a traffic stop on Oct. 20, 2012, near Azusa Canyon Road and Arrow Highway.
Fraijo had pulled over a woman as she was delivering newspapers, prosecutors said. When she said she did not have a driver license, he directed her to a parking lot where he attacked her.
He ultimately pleaded “no contest” to charges of oral copulation under color of authority and sexual battery by restraint.
Three additional charges of kidnapping to commit another crime, forcible oral copulation and assault under color of authority were dismissed under the negotiated plea arrangement.
If convicted of the crimes he was initially charged with , Fraijo could have faced a life sentence in prison.
DeMarco also pointed out two other civil lawsuits brought against department lieutenants for alleged sexual harassment of female personnel, including cadets and Explorer Scouts.
And in an off-duty incident, a former Irwindale police sergeant was sentenced to a year in jail in 2013 for stealing his father’s life savings of $250,000 in 2012.
The Explorer Scouts, run by the national organization Learning for Life and affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, is a program in which young people are able to learn about law enforcement by observing police and working alongside them.
To help combat and prevent abuse of Explorer Scouts by authority figures, DeMarco said he would like to see existing voluntary policies laid out by Learning for Life intended to prevent such abuse be made mandatory.
Any time young people are allowed to be one-on-one with adults, without supervision, “You’re asking for problems,” he said.
“More needs to be done,” DeMarco said. “Looking to have careers in law enforcement is an admirable thing, and it should be fostered. But it shouldn’t come at a heightened risk of sexual abuse.”

PHOTO: Irwindale Police Officer Daniel Camerano at the scene where he and another officer saved a father, son and dog from and arson-set fire September 29, 2010 in Irwindale, Calif. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham/SVCITY)

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Man stabbed in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A stabbing victim showed up at a Pasadena emergency room Thursday night, but refused to provide details about what happened to him, police said.
A 20-year-old Pasadena man arrived at Huntington Hospital about 9:25 p.m. with stab wounds to his rib cage and back, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“The victim told officers he was walking in the area of Oakland Avenue and Villa Street when he was stabbed by an unknown suspect with an unknown object,” according to Goodman. “The victim refused to provide further information and was not cooperative with investigative efforts.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Pasadena police at 626-74474241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man struck in face with rock, robbed in Rosemead


ROSEMEAD >> Two men and a woman attacked a man with a rock and robbed him along Valley Boulevard late Thursday, officials said.
The crime unfolded about 9 p.m. at Valley Boulevard and Bartlett Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Brian Vance said.
The trio of suspects approached the victim and asked for money, according to the deputy. “When he didn’t provide it, one of the males threw a rock at his face.”
Vance said the suspects rifled through the man’s pockets when he fell to the ground. They helped themselves to about $200 before fleeing.
Witnesses at nearby Jim’s burgers called 911.
“(The victim) had a laceration,” Vance said. “He was bleeding, but he refused medical attention.”
He also declined to provide deputies with a description of the suspects, Vance said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple City Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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