DUARTE >> An East Los Angeles man accused of kidnapping, assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend in Duarte earlier this week denied criminal charges on Friday, authorities said.
Alberto Casillas, 37, of East Los Angeles is accused of kidnapping, domestic violence and making criminal threats, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignment hearing on Friday afternoon in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“The felony complaint also alleges that the defendant was previously convicted of making criminal threats in 2010,” Ardalani said in a written statement.
The defendant showed up at the home of his ex-girlfriend in the area of Millbrae and Central avenues in Duarte about 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, prosecutors and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“While in front of the woman’s residence, the defendant allegedly forced the ex-girlfriend into his vehicle and threatened to hurt her if she got out,” Ardalani said.
“Casillas then reportedly drove the pair to his East Los Angeles home, the prosecutor added. A witness to the alleged abduction contacted law enforcement about the attack,” she said.
Deputies found both Casillas and his alleged victim at the suspect’s home on Ferguson Drive in East Los Angeles, on the border between Commerce and East Los Angeles, sheriff’s Lt. John McClure said.
“When officers arrived at the defendant’s home, they allegedly found the victim in the driveway with injuries to her body,” Ardalani said. Casillas was arrested without a struggle.
Casillas is scheduled to return to court May 17 for a preliminary hearing, court officials said.
He was initially held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, county booking records show. But the court granted a request from the prosecution that bail be increased to $250,000, Ardalani said.
If convicted of all charges, Casillas faces up to 24 years in state prison.
DUARTE >> An East L.A. man is accused of kidnapping and domestic violence after witnesses reported seeing him force his girlfriend into a car in Duarte on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
Deputies first responded to the area of Millbrae and Central avenues about 1:45 p.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John McClure said. Witnesses reported seeing a man forcing a woman into a car before driving off.
Deputies soon identified the possible suspect and headed to his home on Ferguson Drive in East Los Angeles, on the border between Commerce and East Los Angeles, McClure said.
The man and the woman complied with deputies’ orders to come out of the home about 5 p.m., he said.
The woman told deputies she had not been the victim of a crime, McClure said. But based on witness accounts, deputies arrested the man on suspicion of kidnapping and domestic violence.
The suspect’s identity was not available pending the booking process.
LA HABRA >> A La Habra man is accused of kidnapping after leading police on a pursuit through Orange County with his girlfriend riding as an involuntary passenger on Saturday, police said.
Christopher Jonathan Westreicher, 22, was booked on suspicion of kidnapping following the pursuit, which began about 5:45 p.m. in La Habra and came to an end in Irvine, according to La Habra police officials and Orange County booking records. He was also being held on a pre-existing “no-bail” warrant.
A witness called police to report seeing a possible domestic disturbance between a man and woman inside a car in the area of Imperial Highway and Walnut Street, La Habra police Sgt. Rob Diehl said. Officers caught up with the small, gray Toyota in the area of Imperial Highway and Village drive.
The driver, later identified as Westreicher, refused to pull over, initiating a chase that sped through La Habra, Brea, Fullerton, Buena Park Anaheim and Irvine, Diehl said.
As the car drove slowly approaching the 91 Freeway at Brookhurst Street in Anaheim, the woman exited the car as it was still moving, according to the lieutenant. The woman managed to stay on her feet as she exited the moving car and ran toward officers for help. She suffered no significant injuries.
The chase continued until Westreicher stopped and surrendered to police on the 5 Freeway, near Culver Drive in Irvine, Diehl said.
Westreicher was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court’s Central Jail branch, records show.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> A gunman robbed and kidnapped pizza delivery driver late Tuesday, deputies said.
The crime unfolded just after 7:15 p.m. after the delivery man dropped off an order in the 1500 block of Fieldgate Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Infante said.
A man approached the driver while brandishing a black, semi-automatic handgun, the lieutenant said.
He demanded the delivery man’s money, obtaining about $75, he said. He then ordered the delivery driver to give him a ride.
The gunman fled on foot after being driven to the area of Gale and Farmstead avenues in neighboring Industry, Infante said.
He was described as a Latino man between 22 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 5 inches tall, 140 to 150 pounds, with a shaved head.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
DUARTE >> Detectives are seeking a man who tried to kidnap a woman as she was jogging in Duarte over the weekend, authorities said.
The woman managed to fight off her attacker and escape following the assault, which took place about 7:30 a.m. on Sunday along a running trail near Royal Oaks Drive and Oak Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
A woman in her mid-50s, was jogging on the trail, as she often does, when the would-be kidnapper approached and suddenly grabbed her, Lt. Tom McNeil said.
She managed to fight off the man as he began to drag her away, he said. The victim suffered minor injuries but declined to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
The suspect was last seen driving off in a tan, four-door sedan, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. He was described as about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 160 pounds, wearing all-black clothing. No weapons were seen during the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective N. Brenes of the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-292-3309, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PASADENA >> Police arrested a man wanted in connection with a San Bernardino County armed kidnapping following a short pursuit in Pasadena on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Pasadena police received information that a suspect in the San Bernardino County kidnapping investigation may be in their city, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Officers spotted the suspect driving a burgundy SUV the area south of the Rose Bowl, police said. The driver refused to pull over, initiating a short pursuit.
“The suspect drove to a residence in the area of Manzanita Avenue and Orange Grove Blvd. where a brief police containment was established,” the statement said.
Police surrounded the home and ordered the suspect to surrender via a loudspeaker, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said. He complied and was taken into custody without a struggle.
The suspect is a 50-year-old man who’d been sought in San Bernardino County since November of 2015 in connection with an armed kidnapping case, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
No further details regarding the kidnapping case were available.
Police withheld the suspect’s name was not available Thursday afternoon as they continued their investigation.
EL MONTE >> Police are seeking an unidentified child predator who they say has been lurking near El Monte elementary schools, offering rides and sexually propositioning young girls, officials said.
Police distributed sketches of the man and his car Friday in hopes of generating clues form the public.
Two incidents were reported Wednesday morning and Wednesday afternoon near Parkview Elementary School and Gidley Elementary School, respectively, El monte police Lt. Christopher Cano said in a written statement.
The predator was last seen about 3 p.m. Wednesday, about a mile south of Gidley Elementary School, at Valley Boulevard and Arden Drive, police said.
“The female student was walking home from school when the suspect drove his vehicle alongside her and sexually propositioned her,” Cano said. “The suspect continued to follow the victim as she continued walking. (The) suspect then stopped, exited his vehicle and approached the victim.
The frightened girl ran away, and the man returned to his car and drove off.
Another girl reported a previous suspicious encounter with the same man about 7 a.m. as she was walking in 12000 block of Elliot Avenue, directly in front of Parkview Elementary, Cano said.
“The suspect offered juvenile a ride, which she refused,” he said. “The suspect drove away but returned a few minutes later and again offered the same juvenile a ride. The child became fearful and ran on foot to Parkview Elementary School where in she notified school staff.”
Police described the man they’re seeking as Latino, 25 to 29 years old, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and of medium build. He had black hair, dark eyes and a light complexion.
He drove a tan, four-door Honda or Toyota sedan, described as “dirty” and unkempt, with tinted windows. The car had numerous stickers on the rear windshield.
“(The) suspect may be living out of (the) vehicle,” Cano said.
Officers are working with local schools and providing them with extra patrols, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact El Monte police at 580-2114. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Sketches courtesy of the El Monte Police Department
Anthony Seth McDaniel, 38, of Compton. (Courtesy, California Department of Justice)
PASADENA >> Prosecutors filed charges against a convicted sex offender from Compton Friday for the alleged kidnapping of two young Pasadena woman managed to break free from their captor in harrowing escapes, officials said.
Anthony Seth McDaniel was charged with two counts of kidnapping with intent to commit oral copulation, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
He entered no plea, Santiago said. His arraignment hearing was postponed until May 20 in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
McDaniel is accused of abducting two 18-year-old women about 10 p.m. on April 30 from a bus at Fair Oaks Avenue and Montana Street in Pasadena, Pasadena police officials said. He offered the victims a ride and persuaded them to get into his car.
But the women realized something was amiss when McDaniel drove in the opposite direction of where he had said he would take them, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
One of the women jumped from McDaniel’s pickup truck as it entered the 210 Freeway at Mountain Street, suffering a broken angle.
After the first victims escaped, McDaniel allegedly pulled a gun, threatened the second victim not to escape as well and ordered her to perform sex acts on him, police said. But she yanked on the steering wheel of the truck, causing it to crash into another car on the 110 Freeway in Los Angeles, police said in a written statement. McDaniel then pushed her from the slowly-moving car, causing injuries to her shoulder and arm.
In addition to two counts of kidnapping with intent to commit a sex crime, prosecutors also allege the special circumstances that McDaniel caused great bodily injury during the crimes, and that he is already a convicted sex offender.
McDaniel was convicted in 2008 of assault with intent to commit a sex offense, according to California’s sex registrant database. He remained on parole and was fitted with a GPS ankle bracelet.
During Friday’s court appearance, McDaniel’s bail was set at $2.08 million, Santiago said.
If convicted as charged, McDaniel faces up to two life terms in prison.
PASADENA >> A parolee who kidnapping two young women in Pasadena before they escaped from him over the weekend was behind bars Thursday, police announced.
Parolee Anthony Seth McDaniel, 38, of Compton, who is fitted with a GPS tracker due to a 2008 conviction for assault, is now accused of kidnapping for the purpose of sexual assault in connection with Saturday’s abduction, which occurred about 10 p.m. at a bus stop at Fair Oaks Avenue and Montana Street, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The 18-year-old Pasadena women were waiting at a bus stop when the suspect approached in a pickup truck and offered them a ride, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
“After some coaxing by the driver, the women accepted his offer,” police said in a written statement. But soon, the women noticed the man was taking them in the opposite direction of where they wanted to go.
Realizing something was wrong, one of the women jumped from the truck as it entered the 210 Freeway from Mountain Street, Luna said. She suffered a broken ankle, but managed to escape her captor.
Following the escape of the first victim, McDaniel, “brandished a handgun, demanded sexual favors and threatened to kill the second (victim) as he drove with her,” according to the police statement.
As the truck was traveling along the southbound 110 Freeway near Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles, the remaining kidnapping victim pulled on the steering wheel of the suspect’s truck, causing the suspect to crash into another car on the freeway, officials said.
“The suspect then opened the front passenger door and pushed the victim out of the slow moving truck before speeding away,” the statement said. A good Samaritan stopped to help the woman, who suffered injuries to her shoulder and arm.
The kidnapper fled and was not found, police said.
“Pasadena Police detectives immediately began an intensive investigation and discovered the suspect was a parolee outfitted with a GPS monitoring device,” according to the statement.
The U.S. Marshal’s Pacific Southwest Fugitive Task Force arrested McDaniel Wednesday afternoon at his workplace in Carson, according to police and booking records.
McDaniel was already on parole for his 2008 conviction for assault to cause mayhem, police said. Mayhem is legally defined in California as, “(a) person who unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures, or renders it useless, or cuts or disables the tongue, or puts out an eye, or slits the nose, ear, or lip.”
Further details regarding McDaniel previous case were not available Thursday.
According to county booking records, McDaniel was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Friday in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
NORWALK >> Detectives are seeking possible additional victims of a 54-year-old sex offender caught trying to lure a 10-year-old girl into his car at a Norwalk park over the weekend, officials said.
Armando Hernandez of Norwalk had children’s pamphlets from a church, as well as an extra license plate, inside his car at the time of his arrest about 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Norwalk Park, 13000 Clarkdale Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Henry Jaquez said in a written statement.
He tried to abduct the girl shortly after 6:40 p.m., authorities said.
“(Hernandez) attempted to pull the victim, a 10-year-old girl, into a 2000 tan Toyota Corolla, licence plate 7PMD192,” Jaquez said.
The girl’s parents saw what was happening and yelled at the would-be kidnapper, who released the girl, Lt. Robin Limon said.
Responding deputies soon found the suspect, later identified as Hernandez.
Along with two hats and a red flannel shirt, deputies pamphlets for a children’s ministry at Emmanuel Reformed Church in Paramount, as well as a second license plate with a number of 4YRT979 in the trunk, according to a flyer issued by the sheriff’s department.
His car was further described as having a black hood and front fenders and dented rear quarter panels on both sides.
According to California’s online database of registered sex offenders, Hernandez has a previous conviction for annoying or molesting a minor.
He was being held without bail pending a scheduled appearance Friday in Norwalk Superior Court, Los Angeles County booking records show.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jaquez at 562-466-5434. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department