ALHAMBRA – A man walked on the eastbound San Bernardino (10) freeway, jumped a wall and was fatally struck by a commuter train Friday night, authorities said.
Aaron Russell Warren, 35, died at the scene of the collision, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said. His city of residence was not clear Saturday.
Alhambra Police Lt. Gabriel Ponce said the California Highway Patrol was notified before 7:15 p.m. that someone was walking on the eastbound lanes of the 10 Freeway near Fremont Avenue.
As CHP officers were responding, Ponce said the officers received information that the person jumped a wall into the center area where the railroad tracks are.
“They get there and noticed the train was stopped,” Ponce said.
He said the officers walked the tracks and found the pedestrian. Alhambra firefighters pronounced the man dead at the scene.
The man was hit by a westbound Metrolink train 333, headed from San Bernardino to Union Station in Los Angeles, according to Metrolink officials. Officials created a “bus bridge” to transport passengers between El Monte and Los Angeles as train service was disrupted through the area due to the investigation.
An autopsy was pending to determine Warren’s officials cause of death, Molano said.
Officials responded to a similar report of a man acting strangely on Foothill (210) Freeway in Pasadena about three hours prior to the fatal collision in Alhambra, however he was not found, according to Pasadena police and California Highway Patrol officials.
Officers were summoned to the 210 Freeway near Lake Avenue shortly after 4 p.m. by reports of a man jumping between the train platform that runs along the center of the freeway to the roadway, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
It was unclear if the man from the 210 Freeway incident was the same man later struck on the tracks along the 10 Freeway.
ALHAMBRA — A woman was hospitalized in an intensive care unit after being struck by a car while crossing Huntington Drive early Saturday, police said.
The woman, estimated to be in her 40s or 50s, was crossing Huntington at Alhambra Road within a marked crosswalk about 8:50 a.m. when she was struck, Alhambra police Sgt. E. Elizalde said.
The cause of the major-injury collision remained under investigation, however the driver — a man estimated to be in his 40s — remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, the sergeant said.
He was driving a passenger car northbound on Huntington when his car struck the woman, Elizalde said.
Police shut down the intersection for more than six hours, but reopened about 3:15 p.m., he added.
ALHAMBRA — A La Puente man suffered minor injuries and caused a small power outage after crashing a car into a street light, power pole and electrical transformer, authorities said.
The crash was first reported about 5:16 a.m. on Atlantic Boulevard, just south of Commonwealth Avenue, Alhambra police Sgt. Esther Rodriguez said.
Officers responded to a solo-vehicle crash when they discovered the extensive damage, she said.
The driver, a 23-year-old man, suffered apparently minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for observation.
The damage to the electrical equipment created a small outage in the area, according to police and Southern California Edison.
Twenty-six customer remained without power early Saturday afternoon, but were expected to have their power restored by 3 p.m., according to SCE.
Police closed down Atlantic Boulevard between Commonwealth Avenue and Mission Road as repairs were made.
ALHAMBRA — Police are seeking two men who carried out a robbery Wednesday at a Valley Boulevard Bank.
The suspects, initially described only as two black men wearing bandannas over their faces, entered the Preferred Bank, 325 E. Valley Blvd., just before 11:20 a.m., according to Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson.
“They jumped the counter and demanded money from the bank tellers,” he said.
No weapons displayed during the robbery, and no injuries were reported.
They were last seen fleeing on foot.
The amount of cash stolen in the robbery was not clear.
SOUTH PASADENA — An Alhambra man allegedly led police on an intoxicated, slow-speed chase through South Pasadena and Pasadena late Friday and early Saturday before finally surrendering, authorities said.
Tim Neal Morgan, 35, was released from jail with a citation early Saturday after being booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and misdemeanor evading police, South Pasadena police Sgt. Tony Abdalla said.
The pursuit began about 11:45 p.m. when an officer patrolling in the 300 block of Garfield Avenue, which has had recent issues with burglaries and auto thefts, spotted Morgan sitting in a parked 1999 Ford Explorer and thought him suspicious, the sergeant said.
As the officer approached Morgan, he began driving away in the SUV with his headlights off, Abdalla said.
The officer tried to pull the Explorer over, but Morgan continued driving, he said.
“It was a slow-speed pursuit in the area of 20 to 30 mph, with the suspect stopping at red lights and stop signs,” Abdalla said.
After leading officers on a 50-minute chase on South Pasadena and Pasadena surface streets, Morgan pulled over and surrendered to police just inside the Alhambra city limit on Huntington Drive near Garfield Avenue, police said.
ALHAMBRA — A suitcase found on the side of the road Wednesday led authorities to block off Garfield Avenue and shut down the Garfield Avenue offramp to the 10 Freeway for a little over an hour.
Alhambra Police Sgt. Edward Rodriguez said the sheriff’s bomb squad X-rayed the suitcase and found it was empty.
Police got a call shortly after 5 p.m. about a suspicious package on Garfield Avenue.
Rodriguez said Alhambra firefighters were driving by, saw the suitcase and reported it to police.
Police notified the sheriff’s bomb squad.
- Ruby Gonzales
Detectives are looking for additional victims of an Alhambra man who allegedly scammed people using newspaper and Internet ads.
Kevin Hu was arrested Oct. 16 on suspicion of grand theft. Police said the charges were related to a Chinese newspaper fraud scheme.
“Mr. Hu uses a ruse to obtain a victim’s bank account information while discussing an employment opportunity,” Sgt. Jerry Johnson said in a statement.
Hu makes it appear to the victim that he deposited money into his or her account, according to Johnson.
He said the deposits are later found to be fraudulent.
The victim is later told to withdraw from the account and give the money to the suspect.
Hu was known to meet potential victims via newspaper and Internet ads and at coffee houses throughout the San Gabriel Valley, Johnson said.
Anyone who believes they have been a victim of the scam or who has any information on the case is asked to call Detective John Lee at the Alhambra Police Department 626-570-5158.
- Ruby Gonzales
ALHAMBRA — Three men were injured, one of them seriously, while escaping a large, “suspicious” house fire early Sunday, officials said.
The fire was first reported just before 12:30 a.m. at a single-story house in the 1100 block of South Almansor Street, two blocks north of Valley Boulevard, Alhambra Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Ray Mosack said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation, however it initially appeared, “suspicious,” Mosack said.
“Due to the size of the fire and the (rapidly spreading) nature of the fire, it certainly got our suspicions up,” he said.
Firefighters arrived to find, “heavy smoke, with flames through several of the windows,” he said. The fire was most intense in the living area and two bedrooms of the home.
Three of the five middle-age men who live at the home were injured as they fled the rapidly spreading fire, Mosack said.
Two of the residents were nearly trapped in the burning home by security bars on their bedroom windows, as flames blocked their doorways, the chief said.
One of them suffered “moderate” injuries including a badly broken arm when he fell from a window while climbing over the security bars, he said. Another man suffered minor injuries in the same fashion, and a third resident was also treated for minor injuries suffered while escaping the fire.
Mosack said placing security bars on bedroom windows is unsafe and illegal because they can block potential avenues of escape during an emergency such as a fire.
“It keeps the bad guys out, but it keeps the residents in also,” he said.
The relationship between the five men living in the five-bedroom home was not immediately clear, Mosack said. “We’re not quite sure yet of the arrangement.”
Officials estimated the fire caused about $375,000 worth of damage to the home and its contents.
The Red Cross assisted in finding temporary lodgings for the displaces residents.
ALHAMBRA — An Alhambra man suffered major injuries Saturday when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle, officials said.
The 44-year-old man was hospitalized in critical condition following the collision, which took place about 12:45 p.m. at Palm Avenue and Main Street, Alhambra police Lt. Jennifer Wiese said.
According to the preliminary investigation, she said, the bicyclist was riding northbound in southbound traffic lanes of Palm Avenue when he was struck. Northbound and southbound traffic lanes are separated at the point where the crash occurred.
The car, a Mercedes-Benz sedan being driven by a 25-year-old Los Angeles man, made a left turn from northbound Raymond Avenue to main Street when he struck the bicyclist, police said.
Alcohol or drugs were not initially suspected to be involved, and the cause of the crash remained under investigation.
A judge ruled Thursday that there was enough evidence for the charges to stand against a Miramonte Elementary School teacher and Alhambra resident accused of molesting a student.
Martin Springer, 50, was held to answer to three counts of lewd acts on a child after his Thursday preliminary hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court.
Deputy District Attorney Darci Lanphere said Springer’s next court appearance is Oct. 11 for an arraignment.
Springer was arrested Feb. 3 after two girls came forward and alleged he touched them inappropriately in the classroom.
He was charged with committing lewd acts on one of the girls. Authorities said the alleged crimes happened April, May and June 2009 when the girl was about seven.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The allegations against Springer came out after the arrest of Mark Brendt, another Miramonte Elementary teacher.
Brendt is accused of sexually abusing more than 20 students.
- Ruby Gonzales