ALHAMBRA >> A bomb squad responded to Alhambra Saturday after a woman cleaning out her parents’ home discovered 26 grenades and an anti-tank rocket launcher, which were ultimately found to be inert, officials said.
The incident kicked off about noon at a house in the 200 block of South El Molino Street, Alhambra police Sgt. Richard Aguayo said.
Upon discovering 26 rifle grenades and an anti-tank rocket launcher, “She wisely called the police rather than touch them,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Alhambra firefighters and a sheriff’s bomb squad responded to the scene and evacuated nearby homes as a precaution.
But the incident soon concluded when investigators determined the grenades and rocket launcher were inert practice devices and not dangerous, officials said.
Sheriff’s officials took the devices to be properly disposed of.
ALHAMBRA >> Police arrested a teenage boy on suspicion of robbing a teenage girl of her purse late Wednesday, authorities said.
The crime took place about 9:20 p.m. at Electric Avenue and Shorb Street, Alhambra police Sgt. Tai Seki said.
The 17-year-old suspect told the girl he had a knife, though none was seen, as he demanded her purse, the sergeant said. The girl handed over her purse and the robber ran off. She suffered no injuries.
Police found and arrested the suspect several blocks away, Seki said. Some items from the purse were recovered, including the victim’s wallet, but the purse itself was not found.
Police took the teen boy to Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles, Seki said.
ALHAMBRA >> Officials responding to a report of a man passed out in a car in front of a convenience store early Wednesday ended up discovering a large amount of drugs, cash and a handgun in his car, officials said.
Police ultimately jailed Eric Lin, 22, of Los Angeles, on suspicion of possession of drugs for sales after taking him to a hospital for medical examination, Alhambra police Lt. Gabriel Ponce said.
Paramedics first found Lin just before 8 a.m., unconscious behind the wheel of a running Volvo parked in front of 7-Eleven, 601 S. Fremont Ave., the lieutenant said.
While removing him from the car to treat him for an apparent medical emergency, paramedics summoned police after finding a bag of powdered Ecstasy, also known as Molly, in the car, Ponce said. Police also found $1,700 in $100 bills in the car, as well as a handgun locked in the car’s trunk.
After being checked out at a hospital, Lin was booked into the Alhambra Police Department jail shortly after 3 p.m., according to Los Angeles County booking records. He was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Monday in Alhambra Superior Court.
ALHAMBRA >> Surgeons rushed a man into surgery after he was found suffering from more than a dozen stab wounds at an Alhambra hotel late Wednesday, police said.
Officials received a report of a stabbing just before midnight at the Alhambra Inn and Suites, 2451 W. Main Street, Alhambra police said in a written statement.
Officers found the badly injured man on the fourth floor of the hotel, police said. He was described as being in his early-30s.
An update on the victim’s condition was not available early Thursday, nor were further details regarding the circumstances of the stabbing.
ALHAMBRA >> Police are planning a sobriety and driver license checkpoint tonight in Alhambra, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. tonight through 3 a.m. Saturday at Garfield Avenue and Beacon Street, Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years, 44 DUI-related collisions in Alhambra have claimed one life and injured an additional 56 of our friends and neighbors,” Lt. Jennifer Wiese said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Video by Walt Mancini
PASADENA >> Five “Courageous Citizens” who put themselves in danger to stop three different violent attacks in Montebello, Alhambra, and Burbank received awards Wednesday form the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
A man who intervened in the beating of an elderly man by an assailant half his age; two women who stopped a registered sex offender and lifelong felon from kidnapping a young woman; and two men who helped stop and capture a man who as he stabbed his ex-wife were the five “ordinary citizens” who District Attorney Jackie Lacey said showed uncommon courage in the face of violent crimes against strangers.
“We hope these stories will inspire others to do the right thing when the time calls,” Lacey told the Pasadena Rotary Club audience.
Telesforo Arellano Diaz, 58, of Montebello, received the Courageous Citizens Award for defending a 78-year-old man who was being severely beaten by an unprovoked attacker half his age, Deputy District Attorney Tony Cho said.
Richard Paul Garcia, then-39, attacked the victim as he collected recyclables from a Montebello dumpster near Washington Boulevard and Greenwood Avenue, Cho said. Garcia punched, kicked and struck the victim with a broomstick.
Diaz rushed to help, Cho said. Garcia attacked Diaz, biting him on the hand during the scuffle. But Diaz, with the help of two other good Samaritans, held Garcia until police arrived.
The victim suffered a broken hand, but no permanent injuries, Cho said. Without Diaz, “It could have been much worse.”
Diaz said he never thought twice about getting involved. “An old person like that, it could have been by father. It’s not right,” he said through a Spanish interpreter.
Jennifer Clark, 43, of Redondo Beach and Connie Tejada, 58, of Downey stopped by a Fremont Avenue Starbucks in Alhambra for coffee on Sept. 12, 2013, when they noticed a man yelling at a woman in her 20s as she sat in a car.
The man — later identified as Frank Hernandez, now-66, of Rosemead — had met the victim at his church and lured her to the coffee shop by telling her he had a gift for her, Deputy District Attorney David Ayvazian said. He cut off his GPS tracking device before meeting the woman.
Hernandez brandished what appeared to be a revolver, forced his way into the woman’s car, threatened to kill her and pistol-whipped her, Ayvazian said.
As the terrified victim made eye contact with Clark, “She mouthed, ‘help me,’” Clark said. Clark then told the man, “She doesn’t want you here. You need to go away now.”
As the attacker fled, Tejada used her cell phone to take video footage of Hernandez and his license plate, which she promptly handed over to police, helping them promptly arrest Hernandez, officials said.
“We believe that she was going to be kidnapped, possibly worse, and these two women got involved and stopped that from happening,” Ayvazian said. If not for Clark and Tejada, “who knows what harm this innocent woman would have had to suffer? And another violent predator would be continuing to roam our streets.”
Francisco Godinez, 40, of South Gate and Zinobi Gerbs, 44, of Burbank were honored for intervening when they saw Trino Godinez, 47, attacking his ex-wife with a knife following a planned custody exchange at a Burbank gas station.
The woman ran from her car at a red light after the suspect hopped into the car, brandished a handgun and threatened the woman, Deputy District Attorney Melanie Buccat said. The attacker chased after her, stabbing her three times.
Frank Godinez leapt from his work truck to help and struck the knife-wielding attacker in the head with a wrench before he, Gerbs and an off-duty sheriff’s deputy subdued the man.
ALHAMBRA >> A seemingly mentally disturbed man smashed tens of thousands of dollars worth of windows at the front of Alhambra Superior Court Saturday afternoon, police said.
Twenty-seven 3-foot-wide by 12-foot-tall window panes were destroyed in the vandalism, Alhambra police Lt. Jennifer Wiese said. The man told police he was upset over a pending court case, and also that he was hearing voices.
Police received an anonymous call about 3:20 p.m. from a witness reporting a man was smashing windows at the courthouse, 150 W. Commonwealth Avenue, Wiese said.
As officers exited the police station, which sits across the street from the courthouse, “We could hear windows breaking,” the lieutenant said.
The man complied with officers’ orders to lie down and surrender, the lieutenant said. Officials took the man for psychiatric evaluation and treatment of cuts to his arms suffered while smashing the windows with a trash can and a rock.
Police planned to seek a felony vandalism charge against the man. It was unclear whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident.
PHOTO – courtesy
ALHAMBRA >> A police dog sniffed out methamphetamine, money and a scale, leading to the arrest of an alleged drug dealer following a routine traffic stop on Valley Boulevard early Wednesday.
An officer stopped a car for a traffic violation about 2:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of West Valley Boulevard, Alhambra police Sgt. Tai Seki said.
Alhambra police narcotics detection dog Abbey, a chocolate Labrador retriever, was summoned to the scene, police said. Police searched the car after Abbey alerted to the presence of drugs.
Officers ultimates recovered several grams of methamphetamine divided into individually baggies, a digital scale and about $300 in cash from the passenger compartment of the car, Seki said.
Driver Nicholas Paul Gomez, 29, of Los Angeles was arrested for possession of drugs for sales, according to police and county booking records. Passenger Danis Luna, 30, of Los Angeles was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department
LOS ANGELES >> Federal officials on Wednesday arrested the owner and two manager of a chain of four schools, including one in Alhambra, on charges of running a “pay-to-stay” scheme officials allege helped hundreds of foreign nationals remain in the U.S. as foreign students without attending classes.
A federal grand jury returned a 21-count indictment against the three defendants Tuesday, U.S. Department of Justice spokesoman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement. The involved schools are the Likie Fashion and Technology College in Alhambra, Prodee University/Neo American Language School in Los Angeles; Walter Jay M.D. Institute, and Educational Center in Los Angeles; and the American College of Forensic Studies in Los Angeles.
“Given the implications for national security and public safety, we will move aggressively to target individuals who compromise the integrity of our nation’s immigration system out of greed and self-interest,” HSI in in Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Claude Arnold said. “Simply put, those who exploit the benefits of the student visa program can expect to get a lesson in criminal justice.”
The schools were authorized by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations to sue Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status for academic and languages students, Mrozek said. The school-issued forms, known as form I-20, made students eligible to obtain F-1 student visas allowing them to remain in the United States.
The schools’ enrollees paid up to $1,800 “tuition” for six months of enrollment, Mrozek said. The schools collected as much as $6 million per year in purported tuition payments.
But HSI officials who made an unannounced visit to Prodee University’s main campus in 2011 investigators to Prodee University’s main campus found only three students attending a single English class, although records indicated more than 900 students were enrolled at the university’s two campuses, Mrozek said. Another inspection the same day as the American College of Forensic Studies turned up a single student sitting in one religion class, officials said. Federal records reflected that the school should have had more than 300 active students.
His investigators also found dozens of purported foreign students, primarily from South Korea and China, who originally entered the U.S. to attend other schools, but transferred to the Prodee Network, Mrozek said. “These students lived across the nation, indicating that they were not actually attending classes at Prodee or the other schools,” he said.
School network owner Hee Sun Shim, 51, of Beverly Hills, who is also known as Leonard Shim and Leo Shim, is charged in the indictment along with alleged co-conspirators Hyung Cham Moon, 39, of Los Angeles, also known as Steve Moon, and Eun Young Choi, 35, of Los Angeles, also known as Jamie Choi, according to the DOJ.
All three are charged with conspiring to commit immigration fraud, Mrozek said. Shim is also charged with 13 counts of use or possession of an immigration document procured by fraud, three counts of encouraging illegal residence and two counts of money laundering.
Moon and Choi are each accused of one count of use or possession of an immigration document procured by fraud.
HSI officials planned to immediately seek withdrawal of the schools’ Student and Exchange Visitor Program certification, Mrozek added.
Any students enrolled at the involved schools were advised to contact SEVP representatives at 703-603-3400 for further instructions, officials said. Information is also available online at the SEVP page of ICE’s website at www.ice.gov/sevis/whats-new.
PASADENA >> Police jailed an Alhambra man Saturday on suspicion of raping an intoxicated coworker in Pasadena last month, police said.
Rene I. Flores, 29, was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail Sunday at the Pasadena Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance, Los Angeles County booking records show.
Police arrested him Saturday morning at the workplace the suspect and alleged victim share in Rosemead, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
The alleged rape took place the night of Feb. 20 after Flores and the victim, a woman in her early-20s, had gone out for drinks with coworkers, he said.
“She started feeling sick while she was out drinking,” Mercado said.
Flores took the woman home, then sexually assaulted her while she was “highly intoxicated” and “not coherent,” the lieutenant said.
The woman promptly reported the crime to police, who have been investigating ever since, he said.