LOS ANGELES >> A doctor from Walnut faces up to seven behind bars after a jury convicted him Thursday of prescribing painkillers and other drugs without a medical reason at his Wilmington clinic, authorities said.
The Los Angeles Superior Court Jury found jury John Dimowo, 56, guilty of seven felony counts of unlawful prescription of a controlled substance in an operation described by prosecutor as a “pill mill,” Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
“Undercover agents with the Medical Board of California went to Dimowo’s pain management clinic in Wilmington between March 2012 and March 2013 and received prescriptions for Adderall, hydrocodone and alprazolam without receiving any appropriate exams,” according to the statement. “The agents paid between $250 to $400 per visit.”
After posting bail following his initial arrest in October of 2013, officials re-arrested Dimowo in April after they said he continued writing prescriptions in violation of the terms of his bail. He again posted bail a week later, records show.
Following the jury’s decision, Dimowo was being held without bail pending his sentencing, scheduled for May 29.
AZUSA >> A burglar or burglars broke into an Irish pub in Azusa overnight, causing significant damage to the bar before making off with cash registers and a safe, police said Thursday.
The break-in took place between 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. Thursday, Azusa police Sgt. Andy Sutcliffe said.
The thief or thieves tried unsuccessfully to pry open an ATM machine, but managed to steal two cash registers and a safe, the sergeant said. About $2,000 was stolen in all.
But the bar also sustained an estimated $2,000 worth of damage as the crook or crooks bashed their way through a wall to get to access a safe and otherwise “trashed” the establishment, Sutcliffe said.
No suspect description was available.
In a Facebook post, Callahan’s representatives said the “mom and pop” business was struggling to cope with the loss, but remained open for business.
“They got it all except for the pictures on the wall!” according to the social media post.
To help the bar get back on its feet, “We’re asking everyone to come by and show some love and grab that beer and bite to eat so we can get things rolling again,” the post stated. “We may bend, but we don’t break. Callahan’s is open for business!”
AZUSA >> Police arrested six people for trespassing and outstanding warrants Thursday as police teamed with county officials to carry out a sweep operation of the San Gabriel Riverbed, authorities said.
The arrests came two weeks after officials visited the same area of the riverbed on April 30, advised transients camping there they were trespassing and offered resources available to the homeless, Azusa police Lt. Tim Harrington said in a written statement. Partners included the Los Angeles County Homeless Services Authority, the San Gabriel Valley Consortium on Homelessness, the U.S. Veterans Administration and Volunteers of America.
When police returned Thursday, they encountered six homeless people who had been previously warned to leave the riverbed, Harrington said. All six were arrested on suspicion of trespassing, and three of them had outstanding warrants, he said. Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control officials took custody of four dogs.
“All persons contacted during this operation were again provided information on resources for the homeless that are available to assist them in relocating out of the riverbed,” Harrington said.
Officials have conducted similar sweeps in the past.
The goal of the operation is reduce illegal camping and trespassing in the federally owned riverbed, making it safer and cleaner for those legally hiking in the area, as well as to protect the ecology and groundwater supply, the lieutenant said.
“Furthermore, there has been an increase in the number of brushfires in the area during the last several months and reducing the illegal camping will help to reduce the wildfire danger associated with the makeshift fire pits that are found in the illegal camps,” Harrington said.
PHOTO: Azusa police, joined by other officials and volunteers, meet with transients camping in the San Gabriel Riverbed in Azusa on Thursday, April 30, 2015. (Courtesy of the Azusa Police Department)
PASADENA >> A man died after his car collided with a delivery truck on the rain-slickened 210 Freeway in Pasadena on Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The crash occurred about 2:45 p.m. on the westbound 210 Freeway at Lincoln Avenue, California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball said.
Initial reports indicated a gray sedan hydroplaned and went out of control before crashing into the truck, Kimball said.
The front end of the car became pinned beneath the truck, trapping the driver, Kimball said. The man, estimated to be about 30, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials issued a Sig Alert affecting the right-hand lane of the westbound 210 Freeway through 7 p.m. officials said. Officers from the CHP’s Altadena office are handling the investigation.
GLENDORA >> A man was behind bars Wednesday in connection with three small hillside fires that burned less than an acre and near a church, according to police.
David Firestine, 33, was ultimately jailed on suspicion of arson, Glendora police Sgt. Chris Stabio said.
Lt. Matt Williams said a motorcycle officer spotted smoke at 9:13 a.m. Police also received several 9-1-1 calls reporting the fires.
One fire was on a hillside in the 7000 block of North Ben Lomond Avenue, Williams said. The second spot fire was north of the Church of the Open Door at 701 W. Sierra Madre Avenue. The third fire was close to other two.
An estimated 75 firefighters extinguished the fires at about 9:45 a.m.
Police searched the area well into the afternoon, ultimately finding and arresting Firestine in connection with the crime, police said. A motive was not available late Wednesday.
Police said the suspect had thrown rocks at a delivery truck, as well as thrown a cigarette and made obscene gestures to firefighters responding to the fires.
According to county booking records, Firestine was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Friday in West Covina Superior Court.
Anyone with information is asked to call Glendora Police at 626-914-8250.
EL MONTE >> Police arrested an El Monte middle school teacher on suspicion of inappropriate behavior with female students last week, officials confirmed Wednesday.
Police arrested Marcos Miguel Bowers, 45, of Covina Friday on suspicion of committing lewd acts with four underage victims, according to El Monte police officials and Los Angeles County booking records. He posted $100,000 bail and was released from custody three hours later.
The arrest came at the end of a month-long investigation that began April 2, El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna said in a written statement. Police were notified that Bowers had been involved in “inappropriate physical contact” with a juvenile, Luna said. Bowers was placed on leave at the outset of the investigation.
“The investigation continued, which resulted in the identification of three additional victims,” Luna said. Police described the alleged victims all as juveniles under the age of 17. But the specific ages and genders of the students were not released Wednesday, nor was information regarding whether the alleged victims were students.
Bowers taught math and science teacher at Kranz Intermediate School, according to the school’s website.
Mountain VIew School District officials could not be reached for comment late Wednesday, nor could Bowers.
Bowers was scheduled to appear for arraignment July 9 in Pomona Superior Court, officials said.
SIERRA MADRE >> A Sierra Madre man confronted a trio of burglars in front of his home early Wednesday, chasing them off before police arrested the suspects, officials said.
A man heard noises about 4 a.m. coming from the front of his Grove Lane home, Sierra Madre police officials said in a written statement. He looked out his window to see someone breaking into his car.
“The resident went outside and confronted the suspect, who was now inside his vehicle, and a brief struggle ensued,” according to the statement. “The suspect had a large silver object in his hand which the resident felt was a gun. Fearing for his safety the resident backed away from the suspect allowing the suspect flee southbound to a dark-colored SUV.
Another suspect ran out from another nearby home and jumped into the SUV, which sped away, police.
Police quickly found and stopped a vehicle matching the reported description and arrested three suspects after finding them in possession of suspected stolen property and drugs, according to the police statement. Police were still looking for the rightful owners of some of the property.
“We discourage residents from confronting suspects for their safety but are glad the victim is okay,” Sierra Madre Police Larry Giannone said.
Jesus Rojas, 20, Geovany Martinez, 19, and Aaron Vazquez, 33, all of El Monte, were booked on suspicion of attempted robbery and possession of stolen property, police said. They were being held in lieu of $50,000 each pending their initial court appearances.
PHOTOS [top to bottom]: Jesus Rojas, 20, Geovany Martinez, 19, and Aaron Vazquez, 33, all of El Monte. (Courtesy of the Sierra Madre Police Department)
COVINA >> Two rookie Covina police officers safely apprehended 15-year-old girl who pointed a gun at them Sunday in what a police lieutenant described as an exceptional display of restraint and quick thinking.
Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said the two officers responded about 10 a.m. to a report of a domestic disturbance in which the girl was irate with her parents at the family’s home in the 300 block of South First Avenue.
The officers went into the family’s apartment to talk to the teen, who was in her bedroom, Doonan said.
“The officers were in the doorway. After a very brief conversation, she pulled a handgun from her waistband area,” Doonan said. “She actually pointed it at the officers.”
The officers drew their own weapons and retreated into the hallway, where they began ordering the girl to drop the pistol and surrender, the Doonan said. She ultimately raised her hands and dropped the gun.
The Beretta pistol brandished by the girl was real, but was found to have been modified to be unable to fire, Doonan said. Officials took the girl for psychiatric evaluation.
The lieutenant commended the officers on the cool-headed and restrained manner in which they dealt with the situation, which could easily have resulted in an officer-involved shooting, despite their lack of experience.
One of the two officers completed training three weeks ago, he said. The other was a reserve officer with less than a year on duty.
DIAMOND BAR >> A major sewage leak flooded a Diamond Bar street with malodorous muck for nearly four hours Sunday, officials said.
The leak began about 11:20 a.m., when sewage began spurting from beneath a manhole cover in the 1100 block of Clear Creed Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Buckner said.
Before long, a stream of the foul-smelling sludge was spread over several hundred feet, he said. The reason for the backup was not clear.
Public works officials got managed to shut off the flow of sewage about 3 p.m., but remained on-scene into the late afternoon.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A Woodland Hills man died over the weekend after his motorcycle tumbled off a mountain road and down an embankment deep in the Angeles National Forest north of the San Gabriel Valley, authorities said.
William Lyles Adkins, 23, died in the solo-motorcycle crash, which took place about 12:20 p.m. Saturday near mile marker 56 of Angeles Crest Highway, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corrall said.
He was riding a 2003 Suzuki dual sport motorcycle east on Angeles Crest Highway prior to the fatal crash, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
“For reasons unknown, (Adkins) veered from the roadway and down a 100-foot embankment,” according to the statement. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the CHP’s Altadena area office at 626-296-8100.