Officials seek missing Pasadena man


PASADENA >> Police asked the public’s help Thursday in finding a man who suffers from schizophrenia and depression and has been missing since Monday.
Dion Andre Afeworki, 30, was last seen about 11 a.m. Monday at the Allen Gold Line Station, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Afeworki suffers from schizophrenia and depression and requires medication, Lt. Marie Sell said.
Police described Afeworki as black, 5 feet 6 inches tall, with black hair in a Mohawk hairstyle, tattoos on both forearms and pierced ears.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Pasadena police at 626-744-4241.

PHOTO of Dion Afeworki courtesy of the Pasadena Police Department.

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UPDATED: Charges filed in crash that killed elderly crossing guard in Monterey Park

MONTEREY PARK >> Prosecutors have filed criminal charges against a 19-year-old driver who fatally struck a 76-year-old crossing guard earlier this year, authorities said Thursday.
Jin Yang of Monterey Park is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and driving without a license in connection with the Jan. 27 collision at Garfield Avenue and Elmgate Street that claimed the life of Abel Castellanos of Monterey Park, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said. He was scheduled to appear in Alhambra Superior Court to enter a plea July 22.
Yang was driving a Ford Mustang south on Garfield Avenue at about 50 mph when he lost control of the car, California Highway Patrol Officer Doris Peniche said. The posted speed limit is 40 mph.
Yang slammed on his brakes and veered to the right to avoid a Toyota Celica making a left turn from northbound Garfield Avenue onto westbound Elmgate Street, Peniche said. The Mustang went out of control and careened into the southwest corner of the intersection, where Castellanos was sitting in his folding chair in between escorting schoolchildren across the street.
The impact instantly killed Castellanos, officials said.
Yang’s mother, who was riding as a passenger, was treated for injuries described as moderate following the crash.
The misdemeanor charge manslaughter charge against Yang alleges that the death resulted from an unlawful or dangerous act, “but without gross negligence.”
The charge carries a maximum potential sentence of one year in county jail.
Yang could not be reached for comment Friday. It was not clear whether he was being represented by an attorney.
One of Castellanos’ sons, Ronnie Castellanos, said Friday that he had not heard of the charges and had no further comment.
Castellanos lived in Monterey Park with his family for more than five decades. After retiring from the linen business, he had worked as a crossing guard in Monterey Park for 10 years.

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El Monte gang member sentenced for 2012 slaying


POMONA >> An El Monte gang member has begun serving a sentence of 80 years to life in prison for the fatal shooting of a fellow gang member in El Monte in 2012.
A Pomona Superior Court jury convicted Frank Escalante, 27, in April of the June 14, 2012, slaying of 34-year-old German Palacios of El Monte in the 11500 block of Medina Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Convicted along with Escalante was 27-year-old Noah Akuna of Pomona, who was sentenced earlier this month 50 years in life in state prison. The jury found both guilty of murder with special gun allegations, conspiracy to commit murder and being convicted felons in possession of a firearm. Escalante also admitted a previous conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.
Both men fired on Palacios, Deputy District Attorney Robert Serna said.
Pomona Superior Court Judge Thomas C. Falls sentenced Escalante Tuesday to 83 years to life in state prison, Ardalani said.
Homicide detectives said Escalante and Akuna, along with two other attackers, shot EP-150419939Hicks 16 times because they believed he was involved in the April 12, 2008, slaying of Jack Edward Hicks, 35, of El Monte in a tent trailer parked behind a friend’s house in the 5200 block of Cogswell Road. Officials also suspected Palacios was targeted for disrespecting a higher-ranking gang member.
Detective Ray Lugo of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau confirmed that investigators had looked into Palacios in connection with Hicks’ slaying, but charges were never filed.
Two other men charged in connection with Palacios’ killing — Richard Sanchez of Covina and Michael Dominguez of El Monte — have pleaded “no contest” to charges of voluntary manslaughter.
Sanchez helped plan the killing, and Dominguez provided Akuna with a handgun used in the shooting, Serna said.
Sanchez has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, while Dominguez is scheduled to be sentenced July 8.

PHOTOS: [Above] -Convicted killer Frank Escalante, 27, of El Monte  [Below] – Homicide victim German Palacios. (Courtesy)

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Suspect wounded in Azusa officer-involved shooting

AZUSA >> Police shot and wounded a suspect late Wednesday in a residential Azusa neighborhood, officials said.
The shooting took place about 11:40 p.m. in the 5400 block of N. Conwell Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Kyle Sanford said. Paramedics took one patient to a hospital in unknown condition.
No officers were hurt, officials said.
Police deferred further inquiries the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which is spearheading the investigation, as is common practice in officer-involved shooting in the county. No further details were released.
The shooting was the second this week involving Azusa police officers.
An officer fatally shot a 24-year-old burglary suspect Sunday during a confrontation in the 400 block of East Lee Drive, officials said.

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Police: Baldwin Park boy dies in accidental hanging

BALDWIN PARK >> A 5-year-old boy died Wednesday after being caught up and strangled in a front-yard hammock at his home, officials said.
The “horrible accident” took place about 12:40 p.m. at a home in the 4900 block of Maine Avenue, Baldwin Park police Lt. Chris Kuberry said.
The boy was out in the front yard as his mother cooked him lunch, the lieutenant said.
When the mother came outside, she found the boy entangled in the hammock and not breathing, officials said.
The mother performed CPR until two Baldwin Park police detectives who arrived at the scene and took over until paramedics arrived, Kuberry said.
Officials rushed the boy to a hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries, he said.
Nothing criminal was initially suspected in the death, which was being investigated as an accident, Kuberry said.

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Head-on crash between motorcycle, fire truck on Glendora Ridge Road caught on helmet cam

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A helmet camera video showing a motorcyclist colliding head-on with a fire truck on a mountain road north of Glendora two months ago has gone viral since being uploaded online nearly three weeks ago.
The video of the April 1 crash on Glendora Ridge Road has been viewed nearly 175,00 times on YouTube as of Wednesday afternoon.
In the video’s description, the rider, Jesse Lopez, said he had no memory of the crash.

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Woman burned, man sought after suspected hash oil lab mishap near Covina

COVINA >> A woman suffered burns and a man was being sought after an apparent mishap stemming from a hash oil lab in an unincorporated county area near Covina Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The incident was firs reported about 1:45 p.m. as a possible assault after the woman showed up at a hospital with second-and third-degree burns on one of her arms, Sgt. F. Maldonado of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s San Dimas Station said. The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
Deputies determined the woman had suffered burns in some sort of mishap at a small-scale lab used to concentrate marijuana into hash oil, or “honey oil,” on Calora Street near Grand Avenue, the sergeant said.
The injured woman’s boyfriend, who was also believed to have been present at the hash oil lab, had left the home and remained unaccounted for Wednesday afternoon, Maldonado said.
Firefighters responded to the home but found no fire or smoldering, he added.
The incident took place one day after Glendora police arrested a man and dismantled another alleged hash oil lab in the 1200 block of East Elgenia Avenue in West Covina, officials said.

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La Puente man killed in Baldwin Park motorcycle crash identified

BALDWIN PARK >> Authorities have released the identity of a 23-year-old La Puente man killed in a motorcycle crash on the 10 Freeway in Baldwin Park last week.
David Calvillo died at the scene of Thursday’s 7:50 a.m. crash on the westbound 10 Freeway near Puente Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said.
Calvillo was westbound on the freeway on a 2015 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when he lost control and ended up being thrown onto the roadway, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
The left, rear portion of a Greyhound charter bus heading westbound on the 10 Freeway at 20 to 25 mph ran over Calvillo, causing fatal injuries, the officer said.
The bus driver and four-dozen passengers on-board reported no injuries, officials said.

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18-year-old man fatally shot near his home in West Whittier

WEST WHITTIER >> An 18-year-old man died after he was shot near his home in an unincorporated county area near Whittier Tuesday night, authorities said.
Steve Cerda died in the shooting, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said.
Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a shooting in the 6100 block of Norwalk Boulevard, according to a department statement.
Deputies found Cerda lying on the lawn in front of an apartment complex with multiple gunshot wounds. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
“According to witnesses, the victim was hanging out in front of the apartment complex with some friends when the suspect, a male Hispanic, walked up to the victim and his friends and started shooting at them,” Deputy Mike Barraza of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. “The victim was struck by the gunfire and collapsed at the location.”
No one else was struck by the gunfire, Barraza said.
Witnesses told deputies that the victim was hanging out in the front of the complex with some friends when a suspect walked up to the group and started shooting at them, the statement said. The victim was struck by gunfire and collapsed. No one else was injured.
• Photos: Man shot in front of Norwalk Boulevard apartment building in West Whittier
The suspect fled the location on foot and was last seen running south on Norwalk.
Randy Avalos, 15, who lives at the complex, said the victim, who he called Steve, was talking about how he was planning on going to the Irwindale Speedway to watch cars race when a lone gunman wearing a black hooded sweatshirt approached the group and started starting shooting at the group.
The group scattered as the gunfire broke out, Avalos said.
After Avalos fell wounded, “He went up to him and shot him in the head,” Avalos said, adding that they didn’t recognize the suspect. “It’s crazy. He didn’t deserve it.”
Cerda lives on the same street where he was shot, officials said.
According to his Facebook profile, Cerda studied at Rio Hondo College and had previously attended Pioneer High School, Frontier High School and Whittier High School.
Investigators asked anyone with information 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.
— Stephanie Baer, Keith Durflinger, Brian Day

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Man fatally wounded in Azusa officer-involved shooting


The 24-year-old man died at a hospital following the shooting, which took place just before 1 p.m. in the 400 block of E. Lee Drive, said Lt. Holly Francisco of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which is leading the investigation. His name was not released.
“A family members called 9-1-1 stating one of their family members was acting insane and had injured himself,” Francisco said. “The call was updated that the suspect was breaking into a house nearby.”
“When officers got on scene, they found the suspect, who had broken into a house, and as they cleared the house, an officer-involved shooting did occur,’ Francisco said. No officers were hurt.
No gun was from the scene, Francisco said. Several items, such as tools, were found near the spot where the shooting occurred, but it was not clear whether they may have played a role in the incident.
0622_NWS_SGT-L-AZSHOOT2Further details regarding the shooting were not available Sunday, as investigators were yet to interview the involved officer, Francisco said.
Nearby resident Jesse Zarate, 76, said he saw a police officer shoot a bloody man who had broken into a neighbor’s home.
The officer confronted the man behind the home and ordered him to stop, Zarate said. The man responded “shoot me, shoot me” and continued running toward neighboring homes.
The officer fired three times, seemingly striking the man in the back, Zarate said. The man fell to the ground wounded.
“I don’t blame the police,” Zarate said. “What if he could have gotten out and hurt somebody else.”
0622_NWS_SGT-L-AZSHOOT3When police first encountered the suspect, “He was bloody. All the house was bloody,” Zarate said.
It was not clear if the blood was due to the injuries the suspect inflicted on himself at the outset of the incident, or due to the several windows in the home that had been smashed, Francisco said. The lieutenant declined to discuss exactly where on his body the suspect had been shot, but said he had not been shot in the back.
Distraught family members of the fatally wounded suspect gathered at the scene and consoled each other. They declined to comment.
The home that was broken into was empty at the time, officials and neighbors said. The residents returned to the neighborhood as the investigation continued. They also declined to comment.

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