ARCADIA >> A group of attackers beat up and robbed a skateboarder early Saturday in an Arcadia alley, police said.
The four robbers confronted a 19-year-old Monrovia man about 2 a.m. as he was riding a skateboard in an alley along the 100 block of East Huntington Drive, Arcadia police Lt. Tom Cullen said.
They punched the victim and stole a gold ring from him before fleeing, the lieutenant said.
The victim suffered injuries to his face and was taken to a hospital for treatment, he said. The injuries were not believed to be serious.
Police described on of the robbers as a Latino man between 30 and 35 years old, about 6 feet 3 inches tall, 230 pounds and wearing dark clothing. A detailed description of his three male accomplices was not available.
MONROVIA >> Rescuers found a 15-year-old autistic boy more than six hours after he became separated from his group while hiking in the forest north of Monrovia Saturday, authorities said.
The Placentia teen was hiking with a church group comprised of special needs teens shortly before noon north of Monrovia Canyon Park when he became lost, Monrovia police Lt. Nells Ortlund said.
He went ahead of the group and became separated from his fellow hikers near the trail head of the Twin Springs Trail, north of the Trask Scout Camp, police said.
His group first searched for him themselves before they made their way out of the wilderness and were able to call for help about 3:20 p.m., the lieutenant said.
The boy had some food and water with him, but he is not familiar with the area and was not dressed for cold weather, officials said. The concern continued to grow as nightfall approached.
But officials found the boy shortly after 6:30 p.m. about two miles away from where he had been separated from the group, Lt. Nick Manfredi said. He was unharmed.
Monrovia police were joined in their search by the Monrovia Fire Department, the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team, and helicopters from the Pasadena Police Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department, Ortlund said.
ALTADENA >> Detectives investigated a burning SUV found on a dirt road in Altadena early Saturday that had been rented by an Agoura Hills man reported missing earlier in the day, authorities said.
Officials found the Ford Explorer on fire about 8 a.m. on a dirt road near the end of Fair Oaks Avenue, at the northern edge of Altadena, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Alan Chu said.
“La County fire extinguished the fire. Our arson investigators responded. The cause of the fire is undetermined,” Sgt. Brian Mann said.
Officials soon learned the SUV had been rented a man who had been reported missing to the sheriff’s Malibu-Lost Hills Station by a family member, Lt. John Lecrivaim said. The man was reported missing earlier Saturday morning, prior to the discovery of the burning SUV.
The SUV had been rented by 34-year-old Stephen Perryman, Lt. Tracy Stewart said.
Investigators searched the charred SUV and the nearby area for clues Saturday afternoon.
About 20 officials, including a Altadena Search and Rescue Team members aided by a helicopter, conducted an “exhaustive” search but found no signs of the missing person, Mann said.
Like all missing persons investigations, the case was turned over to the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, Missing Persons Unit.
A family member confirmed reporting Perryman missing Saturday morning, and said that the family was “absolutely frantic” with worry.
Perryman’s father, Timothy Perryman, went missing under similar circumstances just over 10 years ago.
Timothy Perryman, then-53, disappeared in late March of 2004, according to a statement issued by the North American Missing Persons Network.
The family did not wish to comment on Timothy Perryman’s disappearance Saturday.
The elder Perryman was believed to have gone hiking in the Santa Monica mountains, according to reports published in The Acorn at the time.
No signs of Timothy Perryman have turned up since.
“He was last seen by neighbors walking south on Daylight Drive, away from the Garden Oaks (Court),” according to NAMPN statement. “Before he walked away, he apparently took his driver’s license with him but removed other items from his wallet. He left on his desk six dollar bills, some coins, credit cards, his Social Security card and family photos.”
Timothy Perryman’s disappearance is also under investigation by the Sheriff’s Missing Persons Unit.
Anyone with information can reach the Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500.
GLENDORA >> A man attacked another man with a pizza cutter Friday night during an argument at a Glendora grocery store, officials said.
The unusual assault took place about just after 10 p.m. at Vons, 432 E. Arrow Highway, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
“A 23-year-old male was in Vons when, for unknown reasons, he was confronted by a two females and a male,” the lieutenant said. The suspects were initially described as being in their late-teens or early-20s.
“The male picked up a pizza cutter from inside the store and repeatedly slashed the victim in the face and arms,” Lamborghini said. The suspects then fled.
The wounds appeared superficial and were not considered life-threatening, the lieutenant said.
Further details were not available as police continued seeking the suspects Saturday, he said. Detectives were reviewing surveillance footage and following other leads to identify the stabber and the two women who accompanied him.
PASADENA >> The death of a Glendale woman at a Pasadena motel Friday is being investigated as a possible drug overdose, police said.
Cleaning staff called police about 12:35 p.m. after funding a 43-year-old woman unresponsive in her motel room in the 3300 block of East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Pasadena Fire Department paramedics pronounced the woman dead at the scene, Luna said.
Prescription pills were found in the room, and the death was being investigated as an apparent accidental drug overdose, the lieutenant said.
“Preliminary investigation does not reveal any evidence of foul play,” he said.
The police investigation is ongoing, and the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner will perform an autopsy.
ROSEMEAD >> An elderly Northridge man died and three other people were hurt in a three-vehicle chain reaction crash on the 10 Freeway in Rosemead early Saturday, authorities said.
Jasim Alkuraishi, 76, died following the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
Three other people suffered injuries not considered major in the series of crashes, which occurred about 1:05 a.m. on the westbound 10 Freeway, just west of Rosemead Boulevard, Officer G. Aanestad of the California Highway Patrol’s East Los Angeles office said.
A 2013 Honda Element SUV became stalled in the fast lane, the officer said.
Alkuraishi was driving a 2010 Nissan Altima that struck the stalled SUV from behind, Aanestad said.
A 2012 Nissan Altima subsequently collided with Alkuraishi’s car, he said.
“As a result of the collision, (Alkuraishi) succumbed to his injuries on scene,” Aanestad said.
A 25-year-old Pico Rivera man who was driving the Honda Element, as well as 15-year-old Pico Rivera boy who was riding as a passenger, were taken to Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park for apparently minor injuries, officials said. A 23-year-old Northridge woman who was at the wheel of the 2012 Nissan Altima was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with injuries also described by CHP officials as minor.
Officials described the road conditions at the time of the overnight crash as clear, calm and dry.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation.
COVINA >> Covina police officers arrested a man early Friday after he was found in possession of a check issued to a Covina police officer who died in an on-duty motorcycle crash last week, officials said.
Officers were on patrol shortly before 1:30 a.m. in the area of Citrus Avenue and Puente Street when they encountered William Michael Pruitt, 36, of Huntington Beach, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
He was walking near the intersection where Covina police Officer Jordan Corder, 28, was killed Sept. 30 when his motorcycle collided with an SUV.
Pruitt consented to a search, during which officers found he was carrying a check written to someone else, Peterson said.
It was a reimbursement check issued last month by the city of Covina to Officer Corder, the sergeant said.
It was unclear exactly how he came to possess the check, which was in the amount of a little more than $200.
Pruitt initially told police the check belonged to a friend of his who lives in Hollywood, according to Peterson.
After being detained and questioned further, “He admitted he didn’t know the person,” Peterson said.
Pruitt then told officers he found the check along Azusa Avenue.
“We really don’t know at this point where it came from,” Peterson said.
Officers arrested Pruitt on suspicion of possession of a completed check with intent to defraud, Peterson said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Pruitt was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail at the Covina Police Department jail pending arraignment, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
SAN GABRIEL >> A large fire in San Gabriel destroyed a vacant home and a commercial building and sent one person to a hospital with smoke inhalation Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Firefighters first responded about 1:40 p.m. to a report of a fire in the 500 block of West Norwood Place, San Gabriel Fire Department Division Chief Bryan Frieders said.
“When the first arriving companies got there, the house was fully involved with flames and smoke,” the chief said. The house was vacant.
The fire had also spread into an attached 2,500-square-foot commercial building, which was also believed to be vacant, Frieders said.
Firefighters declared a “second alarm,” bringing about 55 personnel to the scene.
An elderly neighbor was taken to a hospital in good condition after apparently becoming overwhelmed by smoke emanating from the fire, Frieders said.
Officials extinguished the flames in 37 minutes, he said. A portion of the roof of the burning commercial building collapsed during the fire, as well as a wall inside the house.
The house and commercial building were destroyed by the fire, Frieders said, and the value of the damage was estimated to be $600,000.
But firefighters managed to keep the fire from spreading to a second home situated only a few feet away from the first, as well as to a backyard aviary containing more than a dozen birds.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation, however investigators noted the structures have had reported issues with squatters in the past.
As firefighters worked to extinguish the Norwood Place fire, a second fire sparked at a nearby liquor store in the 1700 block of New Avenue, Frieders said.
The fire ignited inside the businesses electrical box, and ultimately caused about $30,000 to the store and its contents. It would have been much worse had firefighters not been so close when it started, Frieders said.
The cause of the liquor store fire also remained under investigation Thursday, though officials were looking into the possibility the electrical fire was caused by damage from the first fire, Frieders said. Both businesses are wired to the same electrical pole.
SAN DIMAS >> President Barack Obama’s Friday visit to San Dimas won’t cause major disruptions for San Gabriel Valley commuters, officials said.
After wining and dining with celebrities Thursday night at actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s home, Obama Friday will declare a portion of the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument. He is scheduled to speak at Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas at 1 p.m., according to White House officials.
While the park and its three entrances will be closed to the public until the event concludes about 2 p.m., “There will be no road closures,” Deputy Paul Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Parks Bureau said.
Parks Bureau deputies will also be assisting the Secret Service with security, Schrader said.
Air Force One landed just before 2 p.m. Thursday at LAX, and the president began his two-day Southland visit with a tour of Cross Campus in Santa Monica. He then headed to a fundraising event at Paltrow’s home.
Obama will leave LAX Friday afternoon.
The sheriff’s San Dimas Station was notified by White House officials that the visit may affect traffic in the area, but no deputies were requested to assist with the event, Lt. David Vega said.
La Verne Police Department officials, as well as officials at Bonelli Park, deferred all comment to White House representatives.
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, and White House officials announced Friday afternoon’s visit to Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas.
During the San Dimas stopover, scheduled for 1 p.m., “President Obama plans to declare 346,000 acres of national forest land in the San Gabriel Mountains the nation’s newest national monument,” according to a statement from Chu, who has championed national monument status for the forest land for more than a year.
A day after police arrested five students from a USC fraternity on suspicion of stealing plants and statues from an Alhambra neighborhood to use as party decor, a group of fellow students announced plans to replace the allegedly pilfered ornaments.
A neighbor reported seeing young men shearing off the tops of palm trees and helping themselves to five garden statues shortly after 1 a.m. in the 300 block of South Almansor Street, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said. The statues depicted ducks, a cat and Buddha, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.
Police soon stopped a pickup truck containing the items, as well as five members of USC’s Sigma Nu fraternity.
Officers arrested Dylan Walter, 19, Miles Horton, 18, Graham Vines, 18, Darshan Patel, 18, and Eyobed Mesfun, 19, on suspicion of theft and conspiracy to commit theft.
A group of seven USC fraternities banded together and released a statement Thursday to denouncing the alleged theft and promising to repair the affected neighborhood.
“Right now, we all look bad. But we are going to show the families of Alhambra that this is not what we are about,” Tau Kappa Epsilon President Joe Mallick said.
Members of the Tau Kappa Epsilon, Theta Xi, Phi Delta Theta, Beta Theta Pi, Alpha Gamma Omega, Pi Kappa and Sigma Alpha Mu planned to buy plants and decorations to replace the ones involved in Wednesday’s incident and deliver them to Almansor Street, the statement said.
Tau Kappa Epsilon Educator Andrew Sanford said actions speak louder than words.
When visiting the Alhambra neighborhood, “We are going to wear USC shirts. We want everyone to know that Trojans believe in service to others. And we want to show that when some of our own make a mistake, we are there to make it right.”
All five suspects were released from jail Wednesday pending their initial court appearances after posting $20,000 bail each, according to Los Angeles County booking records.