Mountain biker rushed to hospital after snake bite in forest north of Altadena

ALTADENA >> Rescuers flew a 25-year-old mountain biker out of the Angeles National Forest north of Altadena for medical treatment after he was bitten by a rattlesnake Friday, authorities said.
The man stumbled upon the venomous reptile about 11:40 a.m. along Brown Mountain Trail, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Douglas Mohrhoff said.
Sheriff’s deputies, including those in department’s “Air-5” helicopter, and Los Angeles County firefighters headed up the trail and found the snake bite victim, the lieutenant said.
“He was transported by Air-5 to (Huntington Hospital in Pasadena) for further medical treatment,” Mohrhoff said.
“He was conscious at the time,” Mohrhoff said. An update on the man’s condition was not available.
With spring upon us, officials urged those recreating in the forest, conducting yard work or otherwise spending time outdoors to me mindful of rattlesnakes.
A 3-year-old girl suffered a rattlesnake bite in Chino Hills on Tuesday, according to San Bernardino Fire Department officials.
She was hiking on a trail near Soquel Canyon Road and Pipeline Avenue when she was bit in the leg, officials said. She was flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where she listed in stable condition.
And some experts suspect California’s long-running drought may be encouraging the snakes to slither out of their usual, more secluded habitats in search of food and water.
“As springtime calls people and snakes alike to the outdoors, encounters with snakes become inevitable,” according to a California Department of Fish and Wildlife fact sheet. “California has a variety of snakes, most of which are benign. The exception is California’s only native venomous snake — the rattlesnake.”
Though not common, it’s wise to have a plan in place in the event of a rattlesnake bite, officials said.
“Carry a portable phone, hike with a companion who can assist in an emergency, and make sure that family or friends know where you are going and when you will be checking in,” according to the CDFW statement.
If bitten, a person should stay calm; wash the bite area gently with soap and water; remove watches, rings or other items which may constrict swelling; immobilize the affected area; and seek medical care immediately.


PHOTOS, VIDEO via Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Tipster helps deputies nab Puente Hills Mall robbery suspect


INDUSTRY >> A tip from the public helped deputies arrest a suspect who pulled a gun on a female security guard while stealing a pair of work boots from a Sears store at the Puente Hills Mall in Industry in February, officials said.
Investigators jailed Gerardo Garcia, 28, late Tuesday on suspicion of robbery in connection with the Feb. 23 incident at the mall, 1600 S. Azusa Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. His city of residence was not available, however officials described him as a San Gabriel Valley resident.
Garcia left the store without paying for a pair of work boots about 1:30 p.m. A woman working as a loss prevention officer confronted him in the parking lot.
“As the victim attempted to detain the suspect for shoplifting, the suspect produced a firearm from his pants pocket, pointed it at the victim, and cocked the hammer,” according the statement. The suspect fled in a black car.
Deputies on Tuesday released surveillance camera photos of the suspect in hopes of generating tips from the public.
The plan worked.
0422_NWS_SGT-L-SEARSFOLO1Within hours of the release of the surveillance camera images, “an anonymous caller provided information leading to the identification, and later arrest of Suspect Gerardo Garcia,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
Deputies found and arrested Garcia in connection with the crime about 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to Los Angeles County booking records. Investigators also recovered the stolen boots, and the revolver believed to have been used in the crime.
Garcia was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Auto theft suspect arrested after short chase in Whittier


WHITTIER >> Police jailed an alleged car thief after a brief car chase, which ended in a crash, in Whittier Thursday afternoon.
An officer was on patrol about 2:10 p.m. in the area of Gunn Avenue and Whittier Boulevard when he spotted a car matching the description of one reported to be involved in a burglary attempt several hours before, Whittier police Lt. Jim Uhl said.
The officer tried to stop the Honda Accord, but the driver fled instead.
After a short chase, the suspect crashed into a parked car at Calmada Avenue and La Forge Street, the sergeant said. He continued fleeing on foot, but was soon apprehended nearby.
Police determined the Honda had been reported stolen in Whittier in March, Uhl said.
The driver was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries suffered while running from officers, Uhl said. His name was not immediately available.
He was expected to be booked on suspicion of auto theft and evading police, Uhl said. Police were continuing to investigate the suspect’s possible connection to the earlier burglary attempt.

PHOTO courtesy of the Whittier Police Department

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Mail carrier pepper-sprayed in Pasadena road rage attack

PASADENA >> A woman pepper-sprayed a postal carrier Wednesday in an attack prompted by road rage, police said.
The incident unfolded shortly after 10:40 a.m. as the postal carrier, a 55-year-old woman, was driving a mail truck in the area of Claremont Street and Mar Vista Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
“The postal carrier inadvertently cut off another vehicle,” Luna said.
The suspect, also a woman, became angry and followed the postal carrier to an apartment complex in the 1000 block of North Lake Avenue, between Claremont and Mountain streets, the lieutenant said.
Luna said the attacker then confronted the victim, yelled at her about the prior incident on the road and sprayed her in the face with pepper spray.
The attacker got into a late-model, light-colored pickup truck and fled south on Lake Avenue, he said. She was described as a Latina woman in her 50s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 160 pounds, of medium complexion, with dark hair. She wore a dark-colored shirt.
Paramedics provided first aid to the postal worker, who suffered irritation due to the pepper spray but was otherwise unhurt, Luna said. She declined to be taken to a hospital.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Fire scorches Temple City garage; firefighter injured

Los Angeles County firefighters extinguish a garage fire on the 5200-block of Halifax Road in Temple City on Wednesday April 20, 2016. There were no injuries reported. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Pasadena Star-News)

Los Angeles County firefighters extinguish a garage fire on the 5200-block of Halifax Road in Temple City on Wednesday April 20, 2016. There were no injuries reported. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Pasadena Star-News)

TEMPLE CITY >> Firefighters made quick work of a fire in a residential garage that may have been sparked by the spontaneous combustion of varnish-soaked rags, authorities said.
The fire was reported just before 12:15 p.m. in a detached residential garage in the 5200 block of Halifax Road, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Nick Yslas said.
Firefighters arrived within minutes, and declared the flames “knocked down” about 10 minutes after that, he said.
No one was home at the time, he said.
One firefighter was hospitalized with heat exhaustion, the captain said. The injury was considered minor.
The officials cause of the fire remained under investigation, Yslas said.
But firefighters suspected that varnish-soaked rags, left behind after the residence varnished furniture in the garage, he said.
Rags soaked with oil or other chemicals can spontaneously ignite via chemical reaction in a phenomenon known as “pyrolysis,” the captain explained.
Officials estimated the fire caused $65,000 worth of damage to the garage and its contents, Yslas said.

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Alhambra woman arrested for fatally striking, dragging elderly man with minivan in Monterey Park

MONTEREY PARK >> Police on Wednesday arrested an Alhambra woman who fatally struck an elderly man with her minivan in Monterey Park in January, then dragged him half-a-mile to her home, officials said.
Police jailed Cecilia Morales DeToledo, 33, without incident about 8:50 a.m. on an arrest warrant issued by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, according to Monterey Park city officials and Los Angeles County booking records. She faces charges of felony hit-and-run, as well as misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and misdemeanor driving without a license.
She was at the wheel of Kia Sedona that struck 82-year-old Kwailing Hong of Alhambra about 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 on Hathaway Avenue, just south of Hellman Avenue, Monterey Park police Lt. Tina Montoya said at the time. The collision has remained under investigation ever since.
Morales DeToledo, who had children with her in the minivan, continued driving following the initial impact, police said. She stopped and called 911 upon reaching her home in the 2400 block of Wetherhead Drive, about half a mile away.
Police found the collision scene by following a trail of blood that ended at her home, authorities said.
Police initially said it appeared the driver was unaware she had struck anyone until she arrived home.
According to booking records, DeToledo was released from jail Wednesday afternoon after posting $50,000 bail, pending her initial appearance in Alhambra Superior Court.

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Man suspected of striking another man with chain during San Dimas robbery

SAN DIMAS >> Deputies arrested a homeless man after he whacked another man with a chain and robbed him of his backpack, officials said.
Jason Nicks, 37, was booked on suspicion robbery in connection with the incident, which unfolded about 1:15 p.m. along Arrow Highway, just east of Valley Center Avenue, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records.
Nicks struck the victim, another homeless man with whom he was acquainted, with a chain and stole the victim’s backpack, sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said. The victim was treated for injuries believed to be minor.
Deputies searched the area and soon found Nicks nearby. He was detained without a struggle and ultimately arrested in connection with the robbery, the lieutenant said.
Nicks was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Friday in Pomona Superior Court, records show.

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Police seek identity of elderly, disoriented man found in Arcadia


ARCADIA >> Police asked the public’s help in determining the identity of an elderly, disoriented man found disoriented on a bus in Arcadia last week.
The man exited a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus in Arcadia just before 4 p.m. on Friday, Arcadia police Sgt. Jason Davis said.
“The male subject pictured stated his name is Jose Rivera (and) he is 81 years old; however, a records check of that name and approximate (date of birth) could not identify him,” police said in a written statement.
“He stated he lives in Lincoln Heights or Pomona, although he could not provide an address,” the statement continued. “He was confused at the time LASD Deputies located him.”
The man had possibly been riding the bus for hours, making several full circuits along the route, Davis said. It was unclear when and where he first boarded the bus.
He appeared in good physical health, Davis said.
A check of recent missing person report yielded no results in helping identify the man, he added.
The man is 5 feet 7 inches tall and 115 pounds. He has white hair, worn shaved, and brown eyes. He has a distinct scar on his right shin, a small scar on his left thumb and a mole on the right side of his head. He primarily speaks Spanish.

PHOTO courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department

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UPDATED: Man killed, woman wounded in gunfight outside Bassett restaurant


BASSETT >> Sheriff’s homicide detectives are investigating a gun battle outside a Bassett restaurant that left a man dead and a woman wounded Tuesday, authorities said.
Dominick Gonzales, 38, of Palmdale died at the scene of the shooting, Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner Coroner said.
Lt. Joe Mendoza of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said Gonzalez also had a home address listed in Pacoima.
The shooting took place just after 9 p.m. in the 13100 block of Valley Boulevard, in the unincorporated county area, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies responding to a report of a shooting encountered a man wounded in the upper torso, and a woman who had been shot in her lower body, Deputy Trina Schrader of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“The male adult was pronounced dead at the scene,” Schrader said. “The female adult was transported to a local hospital to be treated for her injuries.”
An update on the wounded woman’s condition was not available.
The victims were eating near a taco truck parked in front of the El Jalisco Cafe when the gunfire erupted, officials said.
“During the investigation, detectives learned there was a gunfight between at least two individuals at the location,” Schrader said.
The wounded woman appeared to have been an innocent bystander who got caught up in the crossfire, Lt. Joe Mendoza of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
It was not clear Wednesday whether Gonzales the shooting was also a bystander, or an intended target of the gunfire.
The motive in the shooting remained under investigation, and no suspect descriptions were available.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTO by Keith Durflinger

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