WHITTIER >> A Whittier man fleeing from police in a stolen van crashed violently into a tree before being arrested Sunday morning, police said.
Ruben Torres, 23, is accused of auto theft and resisting police, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said.
An officer spotted Torres driving a van that had been reported stolen Saturday in Whittier in an alley to the rear of Penn Street, near Milton Avenue, the lieutenant said.
The van sped away before the officer could turn on his lights and sirens to pull it over, Dean said. As the van sped around the corner, the driver lost control and the van careened into a tree in front of an apartment building, uprooting the tree and causing major damage to the van.
Police quickly apprehended the driver, who was taken to a hospital for examination before being booked into jail.
The same neighborhood was the scene of a shooting late Friday, though Dean said there was no indication the incidents were related.
BALDWIN PARK >> Coroner’s officials Sunday released the identity of a 54-year-old man found dead in front of a Baldwin Park grocery store Thursday night.
Raul Ygnacio Acuna, was found dead about 10 p.m. Thursday in front of Food 4 Less, along Baldwin Park Boulevard, just south of Francisquito Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
An autopsy was yet to be completed Sunday, however investigators found no initial signs of foul play, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Johnny Patino said.
GLENDORA >> A man was allegedly drunk when he intentionally and repeatedly rammed another car in a Wendy’s restaurant drive through late Friday, ultimately crashing into the business and a second car as well, officials said.
Officers arrested Richard Martin Cosby, 46, of Los Angeles on suspicion of attempted murder in connection with the bizarre 11:25 a.m. rampage at the fast-food restaurant at 1325 S. Lone Hill Ave., according to Glendora police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Cosby was in line at the drive through when, for unknown reasons, he rammed the car in front of him in line several times, Glendora police Lt. Matt Egan said
The victim drove through the line to get away, Egan said.
Cosby backed up his car, crashing into the building and knocking down the intercom used for customers to place orders, Egan said. He then continued driving through the restaurant’s parking lot, where he struck another occupied car before slamming into a tree.
All three vehicles were damaged to the point they were no longer driveable, Egan said. The Wendy’s was yellow-tagged due to possible structural damage.
Police booked Cosby for five counts of attempted murder — one count for each of five occupants inside the two victim cars, Egan said. No significant injuries were repoorted. A motive for the bizarre and violent behavior was not clear.
Cosby was being held in lieu of $5 million bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Wednesday in West Covina Superior Court, records show.
NORWALK >> Deputies are seeking an exceptionally tall man who robbed a Norwalk Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The crime took place about 12:30 p.m. at the eatery, 10905 Imperial Highway, just west of Studebaker Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jack Jordan said.
A robber entered the restaurant and gestured as if he had a handgun, though none was seen, the sergeant said.
After obtaining an unknown amount of cash from the restaurant’s cash register, the robber was last seen running west along Imperial Highway, then sough along Hoxie Avenue toward the nearby Metro station.
Deputies described the suspect as a black man in his mid-30s, about 6 feet 5 inches tall, wearing a black baseball cap, black pants and a black T-shirt.
LA CRESCENTA >> The death of an elderly man found dead with serious head injuries in his La Crescenta home Friday is being investigated as a homicide, sheriff’s officials said.
A Friday afternoon call from a concerned resident who hadn’t seen his neighbor for several days prompted deputies to check on man in the 3000 block of Frances Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. Deputies found a man in his 70s dead inside the home, and summoned homicide detectives to investigate what sheriff’s officials initially described as a “suspicious death.”
“The victim is a male White in his 70’s who died of apparent blunt force trauma,” Deputy Trina Schrader of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“The identity of the victim, and the cause of death will be determined by the coroner,” she said. “There is no suspect information.”
No further details were released. It was unclear whether an intruder had forced entry into the home, or whether anything had been stolen.
Los Angeles County Department of Coroner officials withheld the victim’s name Saturday pending notification of his family, coroner Investigator Mario Sainz said.
It was not clear how long the man had been dead before his body was discovered.
Anyone with information can reach the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
WHITTIER >> A man was shot five times, but is expected to survive, following a drive-by shooting in a Whittier alley late Friday, police said.
The victim, a 40-year-old Whittier man, was walking about 8:20 p.m. in an alley along the 12800 block of Penn Street, just east of Milton Avenue, when an assailant in a passing car fired seven shots, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said.
Five of the bullets struck the man, wounding him in the torso, arm and leg, the lieutenant said. He was taken to an area hospital where he was expected to survive his injuries.
The victim has ties to a Los Angeles Street gang and the shooting is believed to be gang-related, Dean said.
A suspect description was not available, he added. The victim did not cooperate with investigators, and other witnesses provided conflicting descriptions of the involved car.
Authorities have released the identity of a Brentwood man suspected of shooting a 24-year-old Pasadena man outside his home early Friday before fatally shooting himself later in the day near his own home in Brentwood.
Brandon Rafiepour, 24, was found dead inside his car from what was believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound about 4 p.m. in the West Los Angeles area, Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
The suspected suicide took place in the 300 block of North Kenter Avenue, where public records indicate Rafiepour lived.
He was being sought in connection with the shooting death of Joseph McMahon, which took place shortly after 2 a.m. Friday outside McMahon’s home in the 3600 block of Yorkshire Road, in an unincorporated county area east of Pasadena, she said.
McMahon, was pronounced dead at the scene after sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of gunfire, officials said.
He was described as a former associate producer on the television reality series “The Deadliest Catch,”
A woman who identified herself as McMahon’s sister said she heard seven or eight gunshots just after McMahon left the house, but did not know what had taken place.
No details regarding the circumstances or motive in McMahon’s fatal shooting have been released.
Rafiepour has no history of violent crime listed in Los Angeles County Superior Court records. He was convicted of driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit last year, and of driving while in possession of marijuana in 2009.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
LA CRESCENTA >> Homicide detectives are investigating the death of an elderly man Friday in a La Crescenta home.
Few details were initially available regarding the investigation, which began about 1:30 p.m. in the 3000 block of Frances Avenue.
Detectives responded the scene, “to investigate the circumstances surrounding the suspicious death of a man,” Deputy Sara Rodriguez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
Deputies first responded to the home after a local resident asked them to “check the welfare” of a neighbor, who had not been seen for several days, Lt. Mohrhoff of the sheriff’s Crescenta Valley Station said.
After discovering the body of a man inside the home, deputies summoned their counterparts in the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau to take over the investigation, Mohrhoff said.
The man, who was in his 70s, appeared to have suffered “blunt force trauma,” according to deputy Trina Schrader.
“The identity of the victim and the cause of death will be determined by the coroner,” Schrader said.
No further information was released. Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
SAN DIMAS >> Mosquitoes collected from a San Dimas park last week tested positive for West Nile Virus, authorities said Friday.
A sample of mosquitoes collected July 15 at Briggs Point Park, at Covina Boulevard and Badillo Street has tested positive for the disease, San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District officials said in a written statement.
Vector control officials have already beefed up surveillance and control efforts as mosquito season descends on Southern California.
“Since there is no treatment or vaccine for infections with WNV, the best precaution is to avoid mosquito bites,” according to the statement.
The find represents the first discovery of WNV-infected mosquitoes in the district this season, San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District spokesman Jason Farned said.
With the mosquito population apparently bolstered by the warm winter, “We’re about a month early,” Farned said. Last year, infected mosquitos were first detected in the area in August.
Residents are encouraged to use repellents, wear long sleeves and pants if outdoors between dusk and dawn, ensure windows and doors are properly screened to keep mosquitoes out and eliminate sources of standing water, in which mosquitoes breed.
“One mosquito bite can change a life,” San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control Scientific Program Director Wakoli Wekesa said. “We urge residents take these simple protective measures throughout the summer.”
Since first appearing in California in 2003 through 2014, 4.805 human infections have been reported in California, resulting in 176 deaths, officials said.
Residents are encouraged to help identify mosquito “hot spots” by promptly reporting dead birds to the WNV hotline at 877-968-2473, or online at www.westnile.ca.gov.
ALTADENA >> A 19-year-old autistic man who went missing over the weekend was found safe in Utah Friday morning, officials said.
Jonathan Taylor Clarke took his identification and some money from his mother’s purse during the early-morning hours July 18 and left on foot, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
He requires medication, and without it, officials said his mental capacity is that of a 7-year-old child.
Clarke’s mother received an e-mail from him stating that he loved her and was sorry, sheriff’s officials said.
“Jonathan was located by North Park Police Department in North Park, Utah. He was found this morning and was reported to be hungry, but not injured at all,” according to the sheriff’s department statement. “Jonathan’s mother will be driving out to pick Jonathan. Thank you all who took the time to post flyers.”