ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of the 57-year-old San Diego doctor killed over the weekend when his single-engine airplane he was piloting crashed into a mountainside amid poor weather in the forest north of Altadena.
Thomas Bruff died in the crash, believed to have taken place about 9 a.m. Sunday, when his Cessna 182 disappeared from radar, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s and sheriff’s officials.
Bruff was reportedly a medical doctor with offices in San Diego and El Centro, who had traveled to Nepal and Ecuador to help with earthquake relief, according to NBC7 San Diego.
An autopsy determined Bruff died from “multiple blunt traumatic injuries,” and the death was determined to be accidental, according to coroner’s records. Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease was listed as a significant factor in the death.
Sheriff’s search and rescue teams spent more than seven hours searching for the wreckage after the airplane, registered to a San Diego-based company, disappeared by radar while en route to Santa Monica Airport from Montgomery Field in San Diego, according to sheriff’s and Federal Aviation Administration officials.
Rough weather and low visibility slowed the initial hours of the search efforts, as conditions did not allow for the use of search helicopters, according to sheriff’s Lt. Randy Tuinstra.
Once the crash site was located near Brown Mountain Sunday afternoon, paramedics pronounced Bruff dead at the scene. A lengthy process then began to recover his remains.
The FAA is carrying out an investigation into the cause of the crash.
PHOTO of June 15, 2016, airplane crash site near Mr. Brown in the Angeles National Forest north of Altadena courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
ALTADENA >> A mountain biker bitten by a rattlesnake in the forest north of Altadena was recovering well Saturday, his sister said.
Avid cyclist Brad Adams, 25, of Los Angeles was out for his usual Friday morning ride shortly before noon, heading up Brown Mountain Trail in the Angeles National Forest just north of Altadena, when he encountered the rattlesnake, according to his sister, Candace Adams.
“He briefly stopped at a crest to wait for his friend when a rattlesnake bit him above his right ankle without warning,” she said in an email. “He did not feel the bite until the snake had finished its assault.”
Brad realized he had been bitten, but had not cell phone reception, his sister said.
“(He) immediately hopped on his bicycle and began the 5-mile descent to the trailhead,” she said. Brad sped down the mountain as fast as he could.
“Within the 15 minutes, he said he could feel the effects of the venom course through his foot and the rest of his body,” Candace said. “It was moments after that Brad reached the base that the other cyclists had caught up. One of the cyclists managed to call 911.”
Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire department officials treated the injured bicyclist and rushed him to a hospital by helicopter, sheriff’s Lt. Douglas Mohrhoff said.
His recovery was progressing well Saturday in an intensive-care unit, Candace said. He responded well to antivenom, and no surgery was expected to be needed.
Though he was warned that he will experience swelling for about a week and should avoid strenuous activity, she said, “He should be going home (Sunday).”
PHOTOS/VIDEO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
ALTADENA >> Rescuers flew a 25-year-old mountain biker out of the Angeles National Forest north of Altadena for medical treatment after he was bitten by a rattlesnake Friday, authorities said.
The man stumbled upon the venomous reptile about 11:40 a.m. along Brown Mountain Trail, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Douglas Mohrhoff said.
Sheriff’s deputies, including those in department’s “Air-5” helicopter, and Los Angeles County firefighters headed up the trail and found the snake bite victim, the lieutenant said.
“He was transported by Air-5 to (Huntington Hospital in Pasadena) for further medical treatment,” Mohrhoff said.
“He was conscious at the time,” Mohrhoff said. An update on the man’s condition was not available.
With spring upon us, officials urged those recreating in the forest, conducting yard work or otherwise spending time outdoors to me mindful of rattlesnakes.
A 3-year-old girl suffered a rattlesnake bite in Chino Hills on Tuesday, according to San Bernardino Fire Department officials.
She was hiking on a trail near Soquel Canyon Road and Pipeline Avenue when she was bit in the leg, officials said. She was flown to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where she listed in stable condition.
And some experts suspect California’s long-running drought may be encouraging the snakes to slither out of their usual, more secluded habitats in search of food and water.
“As springtime calls people and snakes alike to the outdoors, encounters with snakes become inevitable,” according to a California Department of Fish and Wildlife fact sheet. “California has a variety of snakes, most of which are benign. The exception is California’s only native venomous snake — the rattlesnake.”
Though not common, it’s wise to have a plan in place in the event of a rattlesnake bite, officials said.
“Carry a portable phone, hike with a companion who can assist in an emergency, and make sure that family or friends know where you are going and when you will be checking in,” according to the CDFW statement.
If bitten, a person should stay calm; wash the bite area gently with soap and water; remove watches, rings or other items which may constrict swelling; immobilize the affected area; and seek medical care immediately.
PHOTOS, VIDEO via Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
PASADENA >> The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $20,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of those responsible for the murder of an Altadena man last December.
Robert Arthur Calderon, 27, was gunned down about 10:45 p.m. on Dec. 18 in the 600 block of North Mentor Avenue, according to Pasadena police and Los Angeles County coroner officials. The case remains unsolved.
Raised in the Altadena and Pasadena areas, Calderon attended St. Elizabeth Parish School in Altadena, then St. Francis High School in La Cañada Flintridge and Pasadena High School before ultimately obtaining his diploma from Pasadena City College, his mother, Sarah Mendoza-Jaime, said.
His family has worked tirelessly to seek justice ever since Calderon’s slaying, posting flyers near the crime scene and at Calderon’s hang-outs.
“On behalf of Robert Arthur Calderon’s family we want to thank Mike Antonovich and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for making the funds available to assist in my sons murder,” said Mendoza-Jaime, a longtime program coordinato at the Foothill Workforce Development Board in Pasadena.
“Our hopes are that by offering a reward the public will come forth and assist in finding those responsible for his heinous murder,”sje said.
Mendoza-Jaime said she had been trying to get an award established through Pasadena officials for months with no success. When the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offered an award this week, she said she asked the city about contributing as well, to no avail.
“Through this process of grieving I have found that the Pasadena Police Department’s advocacy for parents is lacking for victims of homicides and more services should be provided to assist grieving parents and their families,” she said. “Fortunately, through my own effort I have learned about information such as Crime Stoppers, Victims of a Crime, Justice For Homicide Victims, Justice or Murdered Children, LA County Board of Directors Reward Request, and Clear Channel.”
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police Detective Tim, Bundy at (626) 744-3861 or the Pasadena Police Department at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTO of Robert Calderon, courtesy.
ALTADENA >> A 49-year-old Torrance man reported missing while mountain biking in the Angeles National Forest north of Altadena was found dead from an apparent fall Saturday following a 13-hour search, authorities said.
The man’s name was not released Sunday pending notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner officials said.
Search and rescue teams searching for the missing man found about 10:30 a.m. Saturday along the Brown Mountain Truck Trail, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Kim Shelton said.
The body was discovered a short distance from the man’s bicycle, and showed signs of trauma consistent with taking a fall from his bike, she said. No crime was initially suspected.
Sheriff’s officials received notification from Torrance police about 9 p.m. Friday that the cell phone of a missing Torrance man had been traces to a popular hiking trailhead north of Altadena, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The missing man’s SUV was found in the parking lot of the Millard Canyon Campground, Shelton said.
Officials from the Altadena, Montrose, Sierra Madre, San Dimas, Santa Clarita and Malibu search-and-rescue teams joined in the search, along with Sheriff’s Department helicopters, according to the statement. Additional resources from the California Air National Guard were requested, however the search concluded before they joined the search.
Investigators determined the missing man had started out for a mountain bike ride Friday morning.
Although the missing person was an experienced mountain biker, he was reported to have limited supplies with him, a storm was predicted to come in and there is over 30 miles of trail to search,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
Searchers handed out fliers with pictures of the missing man and his bicycle, Shelton said.
A hiker told authorities about 10 a.m. that he had seen the bicycle pictured on the flier in a remote area about three miles up the trail, officials said.
Officials quickly located the bike.
“After further searching, a body of a male was discovered,” according to the statement. “Sheriff’s Air Rescue 5 lowered a paramedic and the person was pronounced deceased at approximately 10:30 a.m.”
The investigation is ongoing.
ALTADENA >> A car smashed through the front of an Altadena bank branch Wednesday morning, creating a mess of shattered glass and twisted metal but resulting in no injuries, authorities said.
A 69-year-old woman accidentally stepped on the accelerator about 7:40 a.m. as she parked her Honda Accord in front of a Bank of America branch at 2345 N. Lake Ave., California Highway Patrol Officer Michael Hughes said.
The car lurched forward, crashing through metal hand rails and jumping up a curb before crashing through the glass doors and windows in front of the bank’s ATM foyer, Hughes said.
The bank was not yet open for business, however a woman was reported to have been using an ATM inside the foyer when the crash occurred, Hughes said. She had left the scene when CHP officers arrived.
The bank was expected to remain closed for the rest of the day, Hughes said. But the building was spared any structural damage.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
ALTADENA >> Deputies rushed into a smoke-filled house Thursday and rescued an 8-year-old dog trapped inside, officials said.
Los Angeles County firefighters and deputies responded to reports of a fire shortly after 2 p.m. at a home in the 600 block of East Sacramento Street. Deputies arrived first.
“When we got there, smoke was showing, coming out of the doorways and the roof area,” sheriff’s Sgt. Kim Shelton said.
“Deputies were able to make entry,” she said. Officials did not know at the time whether any victims, human or otherwise, were trapped in the smoke-filled house.
The deputies found no people inside, but encountered “Roxy,” an 8-year-old dog, Shelton said. They removed Roxy, who was very eager to get out, from the home safely. The dog was uninjured.
A resident of the home arrived a short time later, Shelton said. He was grateful that Roxy was OK.
Authorities determined a blanket strewn across the floor grate of a heating unit had begun melting, charging the home with smoke, Shelton said.
Officials arrived before the smoldering blanket spread to the structure itself.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
PASADENA >> Prosecutors filed criminal charges Wednesday against an Altadena man who led authorities on a three-hour chase throughout Los Angeles County over the weekend following a dispute with a neighbor, officials said.
Karnik Kendirian, 48, is accused of evading police, making criminal threats and five counts of vandalism in connection with Sunday’s lengthy, high-speed pursuit and the alleged crimes that preceded it, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Officials said in a written statement. He was arrested at his home Monday morning, hours after Pasadena police called off the wild pursuit as it passed through their city.
An arraignment hearing scheduled for Wednesday was postponed to Thursday, court officials said.
The incident series of events began Saturday, when Kendirian scrawled graffiti on his neighbor’s property in Altadena, district attorney’s officials said. He then allegedly threatened his neighbor for reporting the incident to authorities.
“In addition, (Kendirian) is charged with smashing a car windshield, scratching another car door and two other acts of vandalism,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
California Highway Patrol officers found Kendirian driving about 5 p.m. Sunday and began pursuing him on the 210 Freeway in Altadena when he refused to pull over, officials said.
Traveling at speeds of up to 100 mph, the fleeing suspect led several police agencies on a chase along the 210, 134, 2, 605, 10 and 57 freeways, as well as surface streets.
Pasadena police took over the chase when it returned to their city for the second time after a lap around much of the county. Officers cancelled their pursuit, electing to follow-up with their investigation later instead.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested Kendirian about 8:35 a.m. Monday at his Altadena home, according to officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
If convicted as charged, Kendirian could face more than three years in state prison.
He was initially held in lieu of $50,000 bail, records show. Prosecutors planned to ask that bail be increased to $125,000.
A man described as a Pasadena resident and wanted on suspicion of making criminal threats led California Highway Patrol officers on a high-speed chase that began in Altadena and looped around Los Angeles County freeways and surface streets for nearly three hours Sunday, officials said.
Eventually, Pasadena police called off the pursuit and the black Honda slipped into the night.
The chase began about 5:07 p.m. on the 210 Freeway in Altadena, CHP Officer Michelle Bond said. The vehicle was wanted in connection with a criminal threats investigation, however further details were not available.
The fleeing motorist accelerated to speeds of more than 100 mph as the driver fled east beneath the lenses of television news camera, using multiple freeways, before making his way back toward the east via the 210 Freeway.
The fleeing car then headed south on the 605 Freeway before going east on the 10 Freeway through the San Gabriel Valley and transitioning onto the northbound 57 Freeway through Diamond Bar.
CHP officers followed closely behind as the sedan got back onto the 210 Freeway westbound.
The car briefly exited the 210 Freeway in Arcadia shortly after 7 p.m. The driver drove on the wrong side of the road along Foothill Boulevard for several blocks, narrowly avoiding head-on collisions.
Pasadena police, who took over the pursuit once it reached surface streets in their city, cancelled the chase shortly before 8 p.m., Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
No further details were not available.
Police declined to discuss what their tactics will be in proceeding with the investigation.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Rescuers pulled a family of four from the wreckage of a car that went over the side of Angeles Crest Highway in the Angeles National Forest Sunday, including a 12-year-old girl who was resuscitated after being found pulseless, authorities said.
The crash occurred about 2:30 p.m. near mile marker 53 of Angeles Crest Highway, just north of Santa Clara Divide Road, deep in the forest above Altadena, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
CHP officers, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, county firefighters, U.S. Forest Service officials and members of the Montrose Search and Rescue Team responded to the crash. Rescuers used a helicopter to take the four patients to a trauma center.
The 12-year-old girl, who appeared to have suffered the worst of the injuries, was resuscitated after initially being found without a pulse, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Hofemeister said. She was rushed into surgery Friday afternoon.
The conditions of the three other occupants of the vehicle, described as a man, a woman and another child, were not available.
Officers from the Altadena area office of the CHP are handling the investigation.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department