COVINA >> Police arrested a 21-year-old Covina man Tuesday who accidentally shot a teenage friend in the arm earlier this month, officials said.
Marcos Santiago Contreras, 21, is accused of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the shooting, which took place about 7 a.m. Feb. 14 in the 500 block of Rimsdale Avenue, according to Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Officers responded to a reports of a shooting when they found a 16-year-old boy walking in the area with a gunshot wound to his left arm, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
The teen did not cooperate with investigators and told police he was wounded in a drive-by shooting, Peterson said. But police concluded the boy’s story was false.
Detectives eventually determined the teen had been shot accidentally while riding in a car nearby, he said.
Contreras was driving with the teen as a passenger, the sergeant said. Contreras was showing off a handgun to the teen when the gun went off. The wounded boy exited the car, and Contreras drove off.
After determining what had taken place, Peterson said officers arrested Contreras shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday at his home in the 19000 block of East Arrow Highway.
During a search of the suspect’s home, police found a gun believed to have been involved in the shooting, Peterson said. Police also recovered a fired bullet from the door of Contreras’ car.
According to county booking records, Contreras was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Thursday in West Covina Superior Court.
PHOTO of Marcos Santiago courtesy of the Covina Police Department.
ALTADENA >> A 22-year-old man beat and repeatedly stabbed his 77-year-old grandmother at an Altadena home late Friday, leaving her severely wounded at a hospital, officials said.
Deputies arrested Alexander Touloudjian at the scene without a struggle and booked him on suspicion of attempted murder, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
Juliet Touloudjian was rushed into emergency surgery at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, Lt. Cruz Solis said.
The attack took place about 7:45 p.m. at a home in the 1700 block of N. Allen Avenue, just south of New York Drive, the lieutenant said. The woman was beaten in the head with an ax handle and stabbed multiple times in the torso.
Deputies recovered the ax handle, he said, but the knife used in the attack had not been found.
Though seriously injured, the woman was able to escape the attack and seek help.
“She managed to go to a neighbor’s house,” Solis said. “She was covered in blood. The neighbor called 9-1-1.”
Responding deputies took the grandson into custody at the scene, Solis said. It appeared he made no attempt to flee.
The grandmother lives at the home where the stabbing took place, he said. It was not clear if her grandson lived with her.
Investigators had not determined a motive in the attack.
A man at the Touloudjian home Saturday declined to comment.
Neighbors said they had never known Alexander Touloudjian to be violent and they were stunned to learn of the alleged attack on his grandmother.
The young man, who had lived at the home with his grandmother and sister for more than a decade, took care of his grandmother, said a neighbor who did asked that her name be withheld. She described him as a “very, very nice man,” who studied nutrition at Pasadena City College and worked two jobs washing dishes at local restaurants.
“Everybody liked him. He helped everybody,” the neighbor said. “I’m trying to understand. I can’t.”
She added that the grandson and grandmother seemingly had a close relationship, though Juliet Touloudjian tended to be “very strict” with her grandchildren.
But Alexander Touloudjian did display some odd behavior, the neighbor said. She would sometimes hear him shout out to Jesus in the middle of the night, and had told her more than once that he believed someone was climbing on the roof.
Over the past three weeks or so, however, the neighbor said she noticed a change in Alexander Touloudjian, “Like he was not in this world.”
He would sit and stare for long periods of time, and acted as if he didn’t recognize her, the neighbor said. But when asked if he needed help, he always responded that he was okay.
The neighbor said she hoped Alex Touloudjian would receive treatment, rather than a prison sentence.
“I couldn’t help him. That’s why I’m very said,” she said.
Though she only knew Alexander Touloudjian from brief greetings in passing, “He’s always very nice,” neighbor Marina Kilzi said.
“I still can’t believe it,” neighbor Marina Kilzi said. “I don’t know what happened.”
Alexander Touloudjian was arrested three days prior to the alleged attack on his grandmother on suspicion of being drunk in public, Arcadia police Sgt. John Bonomo said.
He spent a little more than five hours sobering up in jail before he was ultimately released without charges, according to police and booking records.
Alexander Touloudjian’s has no prior violent convictions, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records. He was convicted of driving with a blood-alcohol level above .08 percent in July of 2012, and of trespassing in March of 2012.
Alexander Touloudjian was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court, records show.
MONTEBELLO >> A man escaped injury Sunday when a masked gunman opened fire on him in a seemingly random shooting in a Montebello alley, authorities said.
The incident took place about 3:30 p.m. in an alley behind the 100 block of North Poplar Avenue, Montebello police Lt. Mike Flores said.
A man was standing in the alley when he noticed a male attacker with a handgun crouching near a car, wearing all black clothing and a bandana over his face, the lieutenant said.
Flores said the gunman fired two shots, both of which missed the victim. The bullets struck two nearby apartments, but injured no one.
The attacker fled on foot and was not found, Flores said. The victim told investigators he had no idea who the gunman was.
Anyone with information can reach Montebello police at 323-887-1313.
WEST COVINA >> A good Samaritan suffered a stab wound Thursday when he intervened as eight teens were beating up another young man in West Covina, police said.
The stabbing took place about 2:30 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 1700 block of East Nanette Avenue, West Covina police Cpl. Brandon Karmann said.
A 29-year-old West Covina man told police he saw eight teenagers beating up another teen, the corporal said. When he tried to break up the one-sided fight, one of the eight attackers stabbed him in the torso.
The group of suspects had fled the scene when police arrived, Karmann said. Officers searched the area, but did not find them.
The wounded man was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with an apparently moderate injuries, Karmann said. The injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.
The 17-year-old West Covina boy who was being attacked by the group declined to be taken to a hospital, he added.
PASADENA >> Police released composite sketches Wednesday of two men sought for shooting and wounding a store clerk during a November robbery.
The employee, a man in his 50s, suffered a gunshot wound to his shoulder during the 7 p.m. crime at Pepe’s Video & Wireless, 313 E. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Ed Calatayud said at the time.
Two robbers barged into the store and demanded money, police said.
“An employee armed himself with a handgun and attempted to detain one suspect,” Sgt. Mike Bugh said in a written statement. “The second suspect shot the employee and both suspects ran from the business.”
The robbers fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, Calatayud said. The worker was treated for a non-life-threatening wound.
Police described one of the robbers as a black man in his 20s, of dark complexion, about 5 8 inches tall, 300 pounds, with short curly hair. The second robber was a black man in his 20s, of dark complexion, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, skinny, clean-shaven, with short curly hair.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Pasadena police Detective A. Torres at 626-744-7055 during business hours, or police dispatch after hours at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
SKETCHES courtesy of the Pasadena Police Department.
WEST WHITTIER >> Bullets struck a home during a drive-by shooting late Friday, but no one was injured, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 8:10 p.m. in the 11000 block of Wakeman Street in the unincorporated county area of West Whittier, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Vasquez said.
Two attackers passed by in a vehicle and opened fire on the home with a handgun, he said.
No further details were available.
PASADENA >> A woman suffered injuries and a second woman was sought as a suspect after an argument escalated into a stabbing Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The stabbing took place just after 1:50 p.m. at Los Robles Avenue and Villa Street, Pasadena police Lt. Kelly Evans said.
Police received reports of an altercation or dispute, followed by an updated report that a woman had been stabbed, the lieutenant said.
Officers learned the victim, a 44-year-old transient woman, had become involved in an argument with the suspect, a 35-year-old transient woman, over a man, Lt. Jason Clawson said.
The suspect pulled a knife, he said. The victim was slashed in the torso and suffered a puncture wound to her arm. She was treated for injuries not considered to be life-threatening.
Clawson said the suspect fled the area in a gray car.
Detectives believed they knew the identity of the suspect, but withheld it Wednesday as they continued seeking her, Clawson said.
COVINA >> A La Puente resident and self-described El Monte gang member stabbed two Black men late Saturday at a Covina shopping center in unprovoked attacks which police are investigating as hate crimes, authorities said.
Louis Vasquez, 19, is accused of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, along with special allegations that the crime was a hate crime and gang-related, Covina police officials said.
Vasquez had just been released from jail Saturday morning after serving a sentence for an auto theft conviction, according to officials and county records.
Both victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the stabbings, which took place just after 7:40 p.m. at a shopping center at the northeast corner of Azusa Avenue and Badillo Street, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
The first attack occurred outside a Smart & Final store, where an 18-year-old employee was collecting shopping carts, Peterson said. He noticed Vasquez standing behind him before being attacked without warning.
“Out of nowhere, (Vasquez) just stabbed him,” Peterson said.
The teen, who suffered a stab wound to his shoulder, ran from his attacker, the sergeant said. Vasquez shouted insults, including racial slurs, as the victim fled, he added.
Immediately following the first stabbing, Vasquez headed to a neighboring CVS Pharmacy and attacked a 27-year-old man who was approaching the entrance.
The second victim did not see his assailant approach when he was stabbed from behind.
“He felt a pain in his right shoulder. He looked and saw the suspect holding the knife. The suspect stabbed him again,” Peterson said.
The wounded man tried to run into the store, but an automatic door wouldn’t open quickly enough for him to escape his pursuer, the sergeant said. The victim then ran along the front of the store, where he fell.
“(Vasquez) started slashing at him,” Peterson said. The attacker slashed the victim in the leg before the victim managed to kick the knife out of Vasquez’s hand, then grab hold of it.
Once disarmed, Vasquez ran, police said. He fled into a residential neighborhood in the 800 block of West Edna Place, where residents reported seeing him jumping through backyards.
Officers found Vasquez hiding in a yard and arrested him without a struggle, Peterson said.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court and booking records, Vasquez was released from jail about 2:40 a.m. Saturday, 17 hours before the stabbings.
After being arrested by El Monte police in October, Vasquez was convicted of auto theft in November and served 112 days of a 242-day sentence, records show.
Vasquez’s has other previous criminal convictions including receiving stolen property in receiving stolen property in December, theft in September and trespassing in August, according to court records.
Vasquez remained in custody Sunday in lieu of $500,000 bail pending an arraignment hearing, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
PHOTO: Louis Vasquez, 19, of La Puente (Courtesy of the Covina Police Department)
DUARTE >> Deputies are investigating the stabbing of a man in a residential Duarte neighborhood late Friday.
The crime was reported about 8:15 p.m. in the 1400 block of Crestfield Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Oscar Lopez said.
Deputies responding to a report of an injured person found the victim, a man in his early-20s, out on the street suffering from a stab wound to his abdomen, the sergeant said. The injury was not believed to be life threatening.
No information regarding the circumstances of the attack or a possible suspect was available.
PASADENA >> Two men suffered serious injuries in a shooting at Washington Park in Pasadena Wednesday, officials said.
The shots rang out shortly after 6 p.m. at the park, in the 700 block of East Washington Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
Officers on patrol nearby heard gunshots coming from the area about the same time someone called police to a report some sort of disturbance involving a large group of people at the park, the lieutenant said.
The officers encountered many people leaving the park on foot and in cars when they arrived, Ibarra said.
The two wounded men were soon found in the park, she said. They were taken to an area hospital for treatment. An update on their conditions was not available. The victims were initially described as men in their late-20s or early-30s.
No information regarding the circumstances of the shooting or a description of the shooter or shooters was available as detectives continued their investigation late Wednesday, Ibarra said.
Traffic on Washington Boulevard was expected to remain shut down between El Molino and Hudson avenue well into the night Wednesday as officials gathered clues at the scene, she said.
Police believed the shooting was witnessed by many people, and asked anyone with information to contact Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.