PASADENA >> Officials on Wednesday postponed the arraignment hearing for a man accused of stabbing and beating his grandmother at the family home in Altadena last week as the court examines whether the 22-year-old suspect is mentally competent to stand trial, officials said.
Alexander Touloudjian is accused of repeatedly stabbing his 77-year-old grandmother and striking her in the head with an ax handle late Friday at the home they share in the 1700 block of North Allen Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. The woman suffered major injuries but was expected to survive. A motive in the attack was not known.
Touloudjian appeared in Pasadena Superior Court Wednesday to answer to a charge of attempted murder, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said. He is also accused of the special allegations that his victim suffered great bodily injury, and that he personally used a deadly weapon in the crime.
But the suspect entered no plea, court officials said. Instead, the defense declared there was a doubt as to Touloudjian’s mental competency to stand trial.
A mental competency hearing was scheduled for March 25 at the Mental Health Courthouse, officials said.
Initially held in lieu of $30,000 bail, Touloudjian’s bail was increased Wednesday to $1.07 million, according to court officials and county booking records.
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.
ALTADENA >> A deputy shot at, but did not strike, a man accused of stealing form parked cars in a residential Altadena neighborhood early Thursday, authorities said.
Marcus Lamar McGlothurn, 18, of Pasadena was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor theft from unlocked vehicles following the encounter, which took place about 12:20 a.m. on El Molino Avenue, near Sacramento Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Lewis said. Neither he nor any deputies were injured during the incident.
Deputies received a call reporting a man peering through windows of parked vehicles and possibly burglarizing them, sheriff’s officials said.
“They located a suspect who fit the description given in the call,” Lewis said. “During the contact the deputies had with the individual, an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
The deputy fired a single shot. Lewis then surrendered.
Investigators found no weapon at the scene, he said. But deputies did recover several pieced of property allegedly stolen from parked cars in the area.
Officials released no information regarding what prompted the deputy to open fire.
The investigation was being spearheaded by sheriff’s gang detectives.
According to county booking records, McGlothurn was cited and ordered to appear in Pasadena Superior Court on April 10.
PASADENA >> An 18-year-old Altadena man is accused of being drunk and street racing when he crashed a car in Pasadena late Thursday, killing a 17-year-old passenger and injuring three others, police said.
Police arrested Gerardo Garcia on suspicion of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter following the 12:20 a.m. crash on Washington Boulevard at Lincoln Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
The name of the teenage passenger who died following the crash was not available Sunday. Police described him as a 17-year-old Riverside resident. Garcia and three other teenage passengers of the car suffered minor to moderate injuries.
“According to independent witnesses, two vehicles had been street racing while traveling on Washington when the collision occurred,” Luna said.
Garcia was at the wheel of a 2004 Nissan sedan, Lt. Art Chute said.
“It appears they were street racing, and during the race, they collided,” Chute said.
The Nissan then went out of control, police said.
“(The car) lost control and struck the freeway overpass embankment, causing the vehicle to overturn at least once,” Luna said.
The badly injured Riverside teen was taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena where he succumbed to his injuries at 7:39 a.m., Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Dana Bee said.
The teen who ultimately died from his injuries was outside the car when rescuers arrived, however it was unclear whether he had been thrown from the car in the crash, or pulled from the wreckage afterward, officials said.
Two teenage girls riding in the Nissan suffered injuries described as moderate, while fourth passenger — a teenage boy — suffered minor injuries, Chute said.
After being treated for his injuries, Garcia was booked at the Pasadena Police Department Jail, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records. He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
The crash remains under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team.
ALTADENA >> A fire caused major damage to an Altadena garage and home Friday afternoon, authorities said.
No one was hurt in the fire, which was first reported about 2:30 p.m. in the 2600 block of Lincoln Avenue, Sgt. T. Crosswhite of the sheriff’s Altadena Station said.
The fire started in the garage and spread to the house, officials said.
“It was severe damage,” Crosswhite said. A dollar-value estimate of the damage was not available.
Neighbor Cheryl Branum said she spotted the fire and called 9-1-1.
“I came home for lunch time and smelled smoke in my backyard. It didn’t smell like a chimney smoke or cigarette smoke, and within seconds, a big, huge, black ball of smoke and high flames were shooting over my yard,” Branum said.
“I frantically ran outside and I yelled at the neighbors. And the next think I know, I started hearing popping, exploding, and I called 9-1-1.
“Before you know it, the whole back part of their house was completely engulfed in flames.”
Sheriff’s deputies who arrived on-scene before firefighters grabbed hoses and started trying to put water on the burning home, she said. “My stupid nozzle wouldn’t turn on”.”
A family living in the home managed to get out safely before firefighters arrived, Crosswhite said. They were expected to be displaced from their home for at least one night.
After extinguishing the flames, firefighters teamed with the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail to investigate the cause of the fire, Crosswhite said. The investigation was ongoing late Friday.
Officials also worked to clean the scene and check for any possible hazardous chemicals, as officials recieved intiial reports that there were containers of some type of chemicals stored in the garage, officials said. Further details were not available.
Branum said she was glad no one was injured in the fire.
VIDEO by Walt Mancini
ALTADENA >> Rescuers rushed a mountain biker to a hospital in critical condition after he took a bad fall and struck his head on a mountain road in Altadena, fire officials said.
The crash was reported about 12:15 p.m. the Brown Mountain Truck Trail, atop Rising Hill Road at Altadena’s northern boundary, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett said.
The victim, initially described only as male, took a fall as he was riding with a group of bicyclists, Pickett said. He suffered major head trauma.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter happened to be nearby, Pickett said. The airship arrived at the scene within four minutes and took the badly injured cyclist to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for treatment, Pickett said.
No further details were available.
ALTADENA >> A man died Thursday after being shot during an argument outside an Altadena hamburger stand Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
The shooting took place just before 4:30 p.m. at Fair Oaks Avenue and Calaveras Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. A witness flagged down a deputy within a minute of the shooting.
“The victim was sitting in front of Fair Oaks Burger when a suspect approached him,” sheriff’s Lt. Robert Lewis said. “An argument ensued. A weapon was produced. Three or four shots were fired at the individual.”
Paramedics rushed the wounded man to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for treatment, Lewis said.
The victim succumbed to his wounds a short time later, sheriff’s officials said.
The shooter got into a dark gray, four-door sedan along with a second suspect, Lewis said. The car sped away heading east on Calaveras Street, Lewis said. The two suspects were described only as male.
Deputies set up a search perimeter in a three block radius surrounding the shooting scene and continued hunting for the suspects Thursday night, he 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.
ALTADENA >> A man suffered serious stab wounds Thursday while breaking up a fight between two women believed to have started over cookies, authorities said.
The unusual alleged crime took place about 8:15 p.m. at Raymond Avenue and Woodbury Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire officials said.
A 22-year-old Altadena man suffered a serious stab wound to his abdomen when he tried to break up a fight between two women that started over cookies, sheriff’s Sgt. Wayne Waterman said. The man was in stable condition at a hospital Friday.
A 19-year-old woman suffered moderate injuries including slashes to her face during the incident, and was also taken to a hospital for treatment.
Shandra Easterling, 43, of Pasadena, was also treated for injuries suffered in the scuffle prior to being booked into jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Waterman said.
Easterling and the younger woman became involved in an argument after one of them asked for cookies that the other had, but was refused. It was unclear Friday which woman had the desserts.
The argument escalated into a fight, officials said.
“The females were fighting,” Waterman said. “The male tried to intervene and stop the fight. He broke the two apart.”
Easterling pulled, “some type of edged weapon,” and stabbed the man in the abdomen, Waterman said. The 19-year-old woman also suffered injuries including cuts to her face.
The weapon had not been recovered Friday.
Deputies responding to reports of a stabbing detained Easterling at the scene and arrested her once she was identified as the alleged attacker, officials said. She was initially medically examined booked at the sheriff’s Crescenta Valley Station, but later taken to a hospital for further treatment of injuries possibly suffered during the fight.
The suspect and two witnesses were believed to be acquaintances, Waterman said.
According to county booking records, Easterling was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending her initial court appearance.
PASADENA >> A 23-year-old Altadena man suffered major injuries in a solo-car crash early Sunday, police said.
The crash took place about 12:13 a.m. on Marengo Avenue at Elizabeth Street, according to Pasadena police Lt. John Luna.
The man had been driving a small sedan south on Marengo Avenue at a “high rate of speed” when the car left the road and struck a tree and a telephone pole, the lieutenant said.
Luna said the driver ended up “partially ejected” from his car.
Paramedics took the man to a hospital where he was in serious condition, Luna said.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation.