UPDATED: Two arrested following Alhambra robbery, attempted carjacking


ALHAMBRA >> Two Pico Rivera men robbed and tried to carjack a man and woman at gunpoint when they caught them burglarizing her car in Alhambra before police found and arrested them nearby early Saturday, authorities said.
The crime took place about 12:30 a.m. in the 500 block of South Almansor Street, Alhambra police Sgt. Ruben Soriano said.
A woman and man saw two men rifling through the woman’s car, the sergeant said.
“Then the victims confronted the suspects, one suspect brandished a handgun and the other suspect brandished a knife,” police said in a written statement.
“They stole one victim’s purse and tried to take the victims’ car keys,” according to the statement.
The suspects then fled the scene on foot.
Police found the two suspects about 45 minutes later, two blocks away, after a resident called police to report two suspicious men in a backyard in the 400 block of South Cordova Avenue, police said.
Steven Perez, 21, and Anthony Bruno, 19, both of Pico Rivera, were booked on suspicion of robbery and attempted carjacking.
A search of the area during daylight hours turned up a replica handgun with its orange tip removed, which police said they believed was the gun seen by the victims.
According to county booking records, Perez and Bruno were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Wednesday in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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Diamond Bar man killed in violent solo-car crash


DIAMOND BAR >> A 21-year-old Diamond Bar man died late Friday in a violent solo-vehicle crash that ripped his car into several pieces, authorities said.
Jonathan Peter Strudwick was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which took place about 10:40 p.m. on Grand Avenue near Longview Drive, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
He was driving west at a high rate of speed when his car left the roadway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Yuell said.
The 2004 Honda struck a light pole and broke into at least three pieces. The front end of the car separated from the rear, and the vehicle’s engine ended up lying in the street.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation, though speed was clearly a factor, Yuell said. “It was a high speed crash.”
Strudwick was alone in the car.
Strudwick’s Facebook page indicated he attended Diamond Bar High School and Mt. San Antonio College. The page is largely dominated by photos of downhill skateboarding.
Anyone with information on the crash can reach the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station at 626-913-1715.

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Police uproot 1,000 pot plants from alleged Covina front business operating as ‘Chronic Inc.’

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COVINA >> Police uprooted about 1,000 marijuana plants from a Covina commercial building posing as an insurance agency on Friday afternoon, officials said.
Dashun Lin, 59, was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana as police served a search warrant about 3 p.m. at the businesses, labeled Catano Enterprises Inc., 1055 W. San Bernardino Road, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said. Lin had a listed address in Baldwin Park, though it appeared he’d been living in the alleged front business.
Officers found about 1,000 mostly-mature marijuana plants inside the business, along with several pounds of processed marijuana, the lieutenant said.
The complex, seven-room operation included about 100 light ballasts and sophisticated electrical work, he added.
Police sought a warrant after an officer went to the area Thursday on a service call and noticed a powerful odor of marijuana emanating from the purported auto insurance agency, according to Walczak.
Upon looking up the business’ permit, the officer found that it was licensed with the city to operate as an auto dealership under the name, “Chronic Inc.” Chronic is slang for high-quality marijuana.
A tiny, sparsely furnished office separated the front door from a security door within the business, behind which the marijuana was growing, Walczak said. It did not appear that any legitimate business was taking place there.
Authorities suspected the pot-growing operation was set up some time in 2016.
According to county booking records, Lin was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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PHOTOS courtesy of the Covina Police Department

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Man robbed at gunpoint along Arrow Highway in San Dimas


SAN DIMAS >> Two men robbed another man at gunpoint along Arrow Highway in San Dimas on Friday afternoon, officials said.
The crime took place about 4:05 p.m. as the victim, a 47-year-old man, was sitting in front of a business in the 300 block of West Arrow Highway, awaiting a ride, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
Two men approached the victim and asked him if he had any money, the lieutenant said. One of them then pulled a semi-automatic pistol and demanded the man’s money.
Fearing for his life, the victim turned over about $200, Reid said.
The robbers were last seen running north on Acacia Avenue.
Deputies described the robbers as two black men. One was 20 to 25 years old, 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall, 220 to 250 pounds, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. The second robber was 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, 170 to 200 pounds, also wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Montebello high school teacher accused of sex with teenage former student

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WHITTIER >> Police jailed a teacher from Vail High School in Montebello on Friday on suspicion of carrying on a sexual relationship with a then-17-year-old student of the school, officials said.
Brian Lee Ward, 46, of Whittier was booked on suspicion statutory rape following his 2:30 p.m. arrest at his home on Comstock Avenue, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
“Ward had developed a sexual relationship with the student over the course of several months in 2016,” according to the statement. “Though she was not his student, she did attend Vail High School at the time, where Ward is a teacher.”
Montebello Unified School District officials notified Montebello police upon learning of the allegation in December, police said. Montebello police turned the investigation over to their counterparts in Whittier after learning the alleged crimes took place at Ward’s home in their jurisdiction.
“Whittier Detectives were able to develop enough information to file for an arrest warrant out of Norwalk court,” the police statement said.
He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, officials said.
Ward’s employment status with the MUSD was unclear late Friday.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Whittier police at 562-567-9255. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

BOOKING PHOTO of Brian Lee Ward courtesy of the Whittier Police Department.

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Temple City man charged with murder, other crimes in alleged crime spree culminating in samurai sword slaying

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TEMPLE CITY >> Prosecutors filed murder and other charges against a Temple City man accused of killing a woman with a Samurai sword and stabbing two other people amid a violent crime spree on Wednesday.
John Ralph Perales, 44, is accused of murder, three counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the series of alleged attacks, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. He’s also accused of the special allegation of personal use of weapons during the crimes.
He showed up at the home of 44-year-old neighbor Diane Christine Alarcon in the 6000 block of Temple City Boulevard about noon, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Corina said. A 42-year-old San Gabriel man, described as a friend of Alarcon’s, was also visiting.
“While spending some time there with Alarcon and another male guest, an argument ensued and Perales allegedly struck both Alarcon and the male with a wrench,” according to Ardalani.
Perales then grabbed an ornamental samurai-style sword hanging on the wall at the victim’s home and stabbed both Alarcon and her visitor with it, Corina said. Alarcon died at the scene. The wounded man was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Alarcon’s 10-year-old son was home at the time of the attack, but was unhurt, Corina said.
Perales surrendered to deputies as deputies were searching the neighborhood for him, officials said.
Hours earlier, detectives and prosecutors allege Perales stabbed his ex-girlfriend and her adult son at their home in the 3400 block of Whistler Avenue in El Monte.
He arrived there about 2 a.m., El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna said.
“After spending some time there, Perales allegedly crawled on top of his ex-girlfriend as she was sleeping, woke her up and then stabbed her,” Ardalani said. The woman’s 22-year-old son tried to intervene and was also stabbed and injured. An update on the conditions of the mother and son was not available Friday.
Detectives were also investigating Perales in connection with a Rosemead carjacking that occurred in between the two stabbing incidents, however charges had not been filed for that alleged crime.
Perales has a lengthy criminal record including convictions for false imprisonment by violence in 2014; carrying a concealed dirk or dagger in 2011; being a prisoner in possession of a weapon and auto theft in 2001; attempted burglary in 1996; burglary in 1992; and acting as an accessory to a crime after the fact in 1991.
He entered no plea in court on Friday. His arraignment hearing was postponed to Feb. 2 in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Ardalani said. In the meantime, bail has been set at $6.21 million.
If convicted as charged, Perales could face a sentence of life in prison.

PHOTO by Walt Mancini

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Woman hurt in fall while hiking near Eaton Canyon Falls


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Rescuers rushed a woman to a trauma center with “significant injuries” after she fell about 30 feet while hiking near the Eaton Canyon Falls in the Angeles National Forest north of Pasadena, authorities said.
The incident was first reported about 3:30 p.m. at the first of the two waterfalls at the canyon, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
The woman, who was estimated to be in her 30s, suffered “significant injuries,” though the injures were not initially believed to be life-threatening.
The water near the falls was knee deep and flowing quickly as a result of the recent storms, Derderian said.
The area where the mishap occurred is off-limits for recreation, she added.
Derderian encouraged forest-goers to stay out of restricted areas and use extra caution due to the recent rainfall.

Video courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department

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Coroner: Mountain biker found in forest above Altadena died from natural causes

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A mountain biker from Torrance found dead in the Angeles National Forest north of Altadena last year died of natural causes, and not as a result of a biking accident, an autopsy found.
Evan Bruce Sisson, 49, of Torrance, died from ischemic heart disease and atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s records. Investigators also noted a medical history of hypertension and ruled the death natural.
His body was found Jan. 31 along the Brown Mountain Truck Trail amid a search for the cyclist, who was reported missing after failing to return from a ride the previous day, officials said.
Though deputies notes some injuries on the body consistent with a fall from his bike, a cause of death was not immediately apparent. Following the initial autopsy, Sisson’s cause of death was delayed pending further forensic testing.

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Man sentenced for fatal stabbing of San Gabriel man in South Whittier

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SOUTH WHITTIER >> A Pico Rivera man received a seven-year prison sentence for fatally stabbing hid ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend during a fight in South Whittier in 2015.
George Delgado, 54, pleaded “no contest” to a charge of voluntary manslaughter on Sept. 14 in for the Sept. 26, 2015, stabbing death of 42-year-old Tyler Duran of San Gabriel, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
The plea was the result of a negotiated plea arrangement, she said. Delgado was initially charged with murder, which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years to life in prison. He pleaded not guilty to the murder charge in October of 2015.
Friday’s sentence was handed down in the Norwalk branch of Los Angeles Court by Judge Joseph R. Porris.
Duran was at his girlfriend’s home in the 13500 block of Trumball Street, in the unincorporated county area of South Whittier, prior to the stabbing, prosectors said in a written statement.
Delgado, the woman’s ex-boyfriend, showed up and confronted the couple, officials said. Duran left, but returned a short time later.
“When Duran came back to the home, he was allegedly faced by Delgado again and the two men got into a fight,” according to the statement. “During the physical struggle, Delgado reportedly stabbed Duran.”
Duran soon succumbed to his wounds at a hospital, officials said.
Delgado fled and was sought as a fugitive for 11 days before he was ultimately captured in Pico Rivera.

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PHOTOS: [ABOVE]George Delgado, 54, of Pico Rivera, left, pleaded “no contest” to a manslaughter charge on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, for the fatal stabbing of Tyron Duran, 42, of San Gabriel, right, during a fight in South Whittier on Sept. 26, 2015. (Photos courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the DMV) [BELOW]  Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials investigate in the 13500 block of Trumball Street in South Whittier where Tyron Duran, 42, of San Gabriel, left, was fatally stabbed during a fight on Sept. 26, 2015. (Photo by Brian Day)

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Pasadena man fights off would-be armed robbers with lamp


PASADENA >> A Pasadena man used a lamp to fight off two would-be armed robbers, who then crashed their getaway car while fleeing the scene and ran on Thursday afternoon, police said.
The incident unfolded about 3 p.m., Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
A man in his 20s was standing in a driveway in the 1000 block of North Michigan Avenue when two suspects approached in a car and stopped in the street, he said.
Both suspects got out of the car. One of them brandished a knife “in a threatening manner” and demanded the victim empty his pockets.
The victim picked up a lamp that happened to be nearby and used it to defend himself, Luna said.
The robbers punched him in the face during the fight that ensued before fleeing empty handed.
Luna said the robbers got back into their car and sped off, but collided into another car being driven by a woman at Michigan Avenue and Mountain Street, Luna said. They abandoned their car and continued fleeing on foot. They were not found, though police seized the car as evidence.
The victim of the robbery attempt suffered cuts to his face but declined medical treatment, Luna said. The woman driving the car struck by the suspects was no hurt.
Detailed suspect descriptions were not available.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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