ALTADENA >> An 85-year-old Altadena man escaped serious injury or worse Saturday after accidentally driving his car into a backyard swimming pool, authorities said.
The man was pulling into his garage just before noon in the 2700 block of Scripps Place when the crash occurred, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Jeff Sims said.
The driver told rescuers his footwear was to blame, as his flip-flops had become tangled with the pedals, causing him to lose control of the car, the captain said.
The car went through a rear garage door and into a backyard swimming pool, ending up fully submerged Sims said.
“The gentleman that was in the vehicle was able to get himself out of there,” he said.
Paramedics examined him and found no significant injuries, and the driver declined to be taken to a hospital, Sims said.
Sims said the driver was fortunate to have avoided more serious injury, and that he was able to safely get out of the submerged car.
“It could have been worse,” he said.
LAKEWOOD >> A sheriff’s deputy was suffered major injuries Friday when he was badly beaten in an unexpected attack at the Lakewood Center shopping mall, authorities said.
Frankie Estrada, 21, was ultimately arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer following the incident, which unfolded about 8 p.m. at the mall, 500 Lakewood Center Mall, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Reveles said.
Deputies went to the mall to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance between a man and woman, officials said. One deputy located the woman, while the second deputy sought out the man.
“While escorting the man out of the location towards the other deputy, the man unexpectedly turned on the deputy and hit him several times, knocking the deputy to the ground, and continued his assault with a shod foot,” Reveles said in a written statement.
“A bystander in the mall witnessing the assault intervened by pushing the suspect away from the deputy. Assisting deputies arrived, and took the suspect into custody without further incident,” Reveles said.
The deputy was hospitalized in critical-but-stable condition, Reveles said.
Estrada was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, according to county booking records. He was scheduled to appear in Bellflower Superior Court Tuesday for an arraignment hearing.
ARCADIA >> A family of three escaped from a home-invasion robbery late Friday by jumping from the roof of their Arcadia home, officials said.
A man and wife estimated to be in their 50s and their son, estimated to be in his 20s, were inside a home in the 600 block of West Lemon Avenue when three robbers broke into the home through an unlocked rear window shortly before 11 p.m., according to Arcadia police Lt. Mike Castro.
The victims saw two of the robbers, but only heard the third, he said. One of the robbers brandished a dark-colored handgun.
“The suspects took the victims to an upstairs bedroom where they were forced to lie face down on the floor,” Castro said. “One of the suspects held the victims at gunpoint while the other two ransacked the house.”
But the gunman became distracted while talking to his accomplices, and the family saw their opportunity to escape, Castro said.
“When the suspect was not watching, the victims got up, raced to the window, pushed out the screen and jumped onto the roof. The victims then jumped from the roof to the front yard where they were screaming for help.”
Neighbors called 9-1-1 after hearing the screams, Castro said. Police searched the area but did not find the robbers, who were believed to have fled out of the back of the home, Castro said.
Two of the victims were hurt jumping from the roof, Castro said. The husband suffered an injury to his leg and possibly a broken bone, while his wife suffered apparently minor injuries, the lieutenant said.
The son suffered injuries described as bumps and bruises.
The two robbers who were seen by the victims were described only as two black men, one wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and the other wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.
Because the home was ransacked and the homeowners were hospitalized, it was not clear what the robbers stole during the break-in, Castro said.
No one appeared to be home at the house Saturday afternoon.
There was no apparent reason the robbers targeted the family, Castro said.
A sign on the front lawn indicated the home is protected by a burglar alarm.
A married couple that lives nearby, who asked that their names not be published for fear of retaliation, said they were watching TV when the robbery occurred and heard nothing out of the ordinary until they noticed police outside.
“We locked the doors and set the alarm,” the wife said.
The couple said they only knew the residents of the home from brief greetings in the neighborhood.
“It’s terrible,” the wife said. After two decades of relative tranquility in the area, the woman said it seemed crime has been creeping closer and closer over the past two to three years.
“We’re thinking about installing metal bars on our windows,” the husband said.
Jose Antonio Parra, a 35-year-old father of three, died after he was shot during a Dec. 12. 2011, home-invasion robbery about two miles away, in the in the 11000 block of Kristi Court. A robber or robbers confronted Parra and his family when they arrived home and robbed them of their rent money, investigators said. The robber then forced Parra’s girlfriend and three children into a bedroom before fatally shooting Parra.
Most recently in the San Gabriel Valley, a West Covina woman and her elderly mother became the victims of a home-invasion robbery July 6 in the 3000 block of Larkwood Street, according to West Covina police officials. The daughter was struck in the head during the crime and suffered a minor injury. The two robbers fled with cash, jewelry, electronics and a safe.
Anyone with information on Friday’s robbery in Arcadia was asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5150. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PASADENA >> Three men were wounded in a shooting that took place following the conclusion of summer festivities at Robinson Park in Pasadena late Friday, authorities said.
The shooting took place just before 11:10 p.m. in a parking lot at the northwest corner of Robinson Park, at Fair Oaks Avenue and Hammond Street, Pasadena police Lt. Ed Calatayud said.
It occurred following the city’s final “Parks After Dark” event, which have been taking place regularly through the summer.
Police officers heard the sound of gunfire coming from the area and rushed to the scene, he said. Police received a 9-1-1 call about the same time reporting “shots fired.”
“There’s a group of somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 people running from the scene,” the lieutenant said. “Officers came across three victims.”
One of the men was shot in the torso, shoulder and leg, Calatayud said. After undergoing surgery at a hospital, he was listed in serious-but-stable condition.
Another victim was wounded in the buttocks, and the third was shot in the hand, police said. Neither wound was believed to be life-threatening.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting were available Saturday, nor was any information regarding a suspect description or motive, Lt. John Luna said.
Police did not receive reports of any fights preceding the shooting, he added.
Police continued working an “active crime scene” beyond 2 a.m. Saturday.
LOS ANGELES >> Firefighters made quick work of a small fire that broke out late Friday at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, authorities said.
The fire was first reported about 7 p.m. at the studio, 10201 W. Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main said.
“It was a small fire in a wooden storage locker in a sound studio,” Main said. “It was held in check by fire sprinklers.”
Firefighters declared the fire extinguished after 17 minutes, she said. No injuries were reported.
Firefighters remained at the scene clearing water from the building, Main said. Because the affected area has a concrete floor, the damage was believed to be “minimal.”
The cause was not available Friday evening.
LOS ANGELES >> A doctor from La Mirada has been convicted of federal drug trafficking charges for the improper and illegal distribution of powerful painkillers, officials announced Friday.
A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted Dr. Andrew Sun, 78, of 14 counts of distributing controlled substances and three counts of money laundering for concealing the proceeds of his crimes, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement. The conviction came after three days of trial.
Sun, who ran clinics in San Gabriel and East Los Angeles, faces up to 157 years in prison when he returns to court for sentencing Nov. 10, officials said.
His medical license was already probationary after he was targeted in a similar investigation in 2004. His license was suspended in late 2013.
Sun was ordered to appear at an Aug. 25 hearing in which the court will determine whether Sun must forfeit almost $350,000 in drug proceeds, officials said.
Sun turned himself in to authorities in April after being indicted by a indicted by a grand jury.
He was convicted of prescribing powerful drugs such as hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin, alprazolam, also known as Xanax, carisprodol, also known as Soma, and promethezine with codeine, which is used to make the street drug known as “purple drank” or “sizzurp.”
Through an undercover sting operation, investigators determined Sun “profited by prescribing addictive painkillers and other controlled substances to persons whom he believed were drug addicts, and thus that the defendant acted without lawful medical purpose,” according to court documents.
The doctor issues more than 24,000 for controlled substances, netting $1 million in cash between 2009 and 2012, according to the DOJ.
When undercover agents visited Sun seeking drugs, “Sun failed to conduct any physical examination and he sold prescriptions for $150 in cash — even when he believed he was writing the prescriptions for drug addicts,” Mrozek said.
The investigation was carried out by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the IRS, the California Department of Health Care Services and the Monterey Park Police Department.
SOUTH EL MONTE >> A young child was fatally injured early Thursday and 13 other people were hurt in a fiery, 11-vehicle crash on the eastbound 60 Freeway at Santa Anita Avenue, authorities said.
Maydelin Salas, 5, of South El Monte died at a hospital shortly after the wreck, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
She was riding as the left, rear passenger in a 2004 Nissan minivan that was struck from behind by a tanker truck hauling milk, setting off a chain-reaction.
“Due to the severity of her injuries, we were unable to save her,” Beverly Hospital Emergency Care Center Assistant Medical Director Dr. Raul Lopez said in a written statement.
PHOTO by Keith Durflinger
ROSEMEAD >> A woman suffered a broken arm and narrowly escaped more serious injury after a utility pole impaled her car following a freak accident on Valley Boulevard in Rosemead, authorities said.
The crash took place just after 6 p.m. on Valley Boulevard, near Merwin C. Gill Way, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. William Wicker said.
The metal utility pole smashed through the windshield of the car, exiting through the driver-side rear window and narrowly missing the driver, according to sheriff’s and fire officials.
The crash was triggered when a cable strung between two utility poles to display banners suddenly fell onto the roadway, Wicker said.
The fallen cable ended up entangled with an SUV that was eastbound on Valley Boulevard, the lieutenant said. The SUV then ripped the pole in half, tossing a long portion of it into westbound traffic lanes.
“A White Acura heading westbound struck the pole. It went through the windshield,” Wicker said.
The pole narrowly missed directly striking the driver, described only as a woman, officials said.
“It looked like it was pretty close,” Wicker said.
But after freeing the woman from the wreckage, firefighters took her to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, including a broken arm, the lieutenant said.
Two women who were inside the SUV that became entangled with the fallen cable were not injured, he said.
It was not clear Wednesday what caused the cable to fall, or who was responsible for it.
PHOTO courtesy of KCBS/KCAL
SAN GABRIEL >> Officials have released the name of a 51-year-old Rosemead man who died in a solo-car crash in San Gabriel a week ago.
Louis Richard Valdez died at a hospital shortly after his 2013 Hyundai struck a palm tree in the 8600 block of East Broadway about 8:40 p.m. Aug. 3, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said. He died from multiple traumatic injuries, and the death was ruled accidental.
For reasons that remained under investigation, Valdez’s car suddenly veered to the left side of the road and struck a large palm tree as he was westbound Broadway, CHP officials said.
LONG BEACH >> A Long Beach resident fatally shot an intruder who broke into a home early Sunday morning, in the second fatal shooting of an intruder by a Long Beach resident in three weeks, authorities said.
The break-in and fatal shooting took place shortly before 3 a.m. at a home on 3rd Street, just east of Temple Avenue, Long Beach police Sgt. Megan Zabel said.
Few details were released regarding the incident Sunday as homicide detectives continued investigating the incident.
The alleged intruder, who died at the scene of the shooting, was not identified pending notification of family, Zabel said. Police described him only as a man.
“Officers responded to the 2800 block of East 3rd Street in regards to a burglary in progress where the resident has shot the suspect in the home,” Zabel said.
“Officers arrived along with Long Beach Fire Department paramedics, who pronounced the suspect deceased at the scene,” she said.
There were two adults inside the home at the time of the shooting, Zabel said. Police declined to provide any further description of the shooter or the second person in the home.
Police also released no details regarding the encounter between the shooter and the intruder, including whether the intruder was armed.
The residents had not been arrested Sunday as the investigation continued, Zabel said.
“They were interviewed and released,” she said. “Once the investigation is complete, it will be presented to the district attorney’s office.”
Prosecutors will then determine whether any charges are to be filed, Zabel said.
The residents were not believed to have been injured in the incident.
The shooting comes less than three weeks after another alleged residential burglar was shot by another Long Beach resident July 23 in the 3900 block of Country Club Drive.
Andrea Miller, 28, died after she was shot by 80-year-old Tom Greer, according to Long Beach police and statements Greer made to KNBC.
Miller and her alleged accomplice, 26-year-old Gus Adams, beat Greer when he interrupted their burglary of his home, according to police and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials. Greer, who suffered a broken collar bone among other injuries in the incident, said in a television interview that he shot Miller as she was running away, but still considered the shooting self defense.
Miller shouted out that she was pregnant just before she was shot, but a coroner’s investigation found that was not the case.
Adams has been charged with murder, robbery, elder abuse and other crimes in connection with the incident. His mother, 49-year-old Ruby Adams, has also been charged with burglary, robbery and elder abuse for allegedly serving as a lookout during the crime.
Across Los Angeles County in Diamond Bar, a resident shot at an intruder inside his home in the 400 block of N. Del Sol Lane on Friday afternoon, though the burglar was believed to have escaped uninjured, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.