Pasadena man accused of DUI, hit-and-run in death of Arcadia woman denies charges


ARCADIA >> A Pasadena man accused of fatally striking an elderly woman with his pickup truck in Arcadia while drunk, then fleeing the scene, pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges filed in connection with the collision, authorities said.
Prosecutors filed charges of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run against Alex Cerna, 51, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
He was at the wheel of a Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck when it struck a 77-year-old Arcadia woman at Baldwin and Arcadia avenues, according to Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther.
The succumbed to her injuries at a hospital. Her identity was not released Friday pending notification of her family, coroner’s officials said.
The driver fled the scene, but witnesses provided police with a description of the hit-and-run truck, including its license plate number, Crowther said.
Police found and arrested Cerna at his home in Pasadena a short time later, Crowther said. They determined he was under the influence of alcohol.
Cerna was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail pending his next court appearance, scheduled on Jan. 12.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call the Arcadia Police Department at 626-574-5151. Anonymous tipsters can call L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Elderly Arcadia woman killed by alleged DUI, hit-and-run driver; Pasadena man accused of manslaughter


ARCADIA >> Police arrested a driver they say fatally struck a 77-year-old pedestrian Wednesday night then fled the scene.
The hit-and-run collision took place about 9:45 p.m. on Baldwin Avenue at Arcadia Avenue, Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther said.
An Arcadia woman was crossing Baldwin Avenue when she was hit by a northbound Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck, according to the sergeant. The truck continued driving.
Multiple witnesses called 911 to report the crash and provide information, including the license plate number, of the involved truck, he said.
Pasadena police officers found and arrested the suspected driver a short time later at his home in Pasadena, Crowther said.
The woman was hospitalized in critical condition, he said.
Ed Winter, spokesman for the coroner’s office, said the woman died at Huntington Hospital at 2:03 a.m. on Thursday. He said the woman has not been positively identified.
Alex Danilo Cerna, 51, of Pasadena was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run, and felony driving under the influence.
Cerna is being held at the Arcadia police jail on $100,000 bail, according to county booking records. He was scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing Friday in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call the Arcadia Police Department at 626-574-5151. Anonymous tipsters can call L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Wednesday night’s incident was the third fatal automotive collision in Arcadia in just over a week.
Two young men and a young woman died, and another young man was seriously injured, in a solo-car car crash early Tuesday at Live Oak Avenue and Las Tunas Drive, according to police and coroner’s officials. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
A 42-year-old man died on the afternoon of Dec. 7 after he was struck by a vehicle while crossing Live Oak Avenue near 6th Avenue.
The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police, authorities said. The cause off that crash also remains under investigation.

  • By Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales
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Man fatally struck by car along Live Oak Avenue in Arcadia


ARCADIA >> A man died after being struck by a vehicle along Live Oak Avenue in Arcadia on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The deadly collision took place about 5:30 p.m. on Live Oak Avenue near 6th Avenue, Arcadia police Lt. Colleen Flores said.
The man, estimated to be 40 years old, was walking in the eastbound traffic lanes when he was struck, Flores said in a written statement.
“The preliminary investigation revealed the man was walking in the roadway, well outside of the designated crosswalk, when he was struck,” she said. Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene.
The driver of the vehicle, who suffered no injuries, remained at the scene, police said.
Officers from the Arcadia Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team are handling the investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Arcadia police at 626-574-5151.

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Two men robbed while leaving same house party in Arcadia

ARCADIA >> Two men were robbed in separate incidents as both were leaving the same house party in Arcadia late Saturday, police said.
The first robbery unfolded about 10:10 p.m. in the 1600 block of Old Oak Lane, Arcadia police Lt. Tom Cullen said.
An 18-year-old man was leaving the party when he bumped into another man, Cullen said. The man punched the victim, knocking him to the floor, before he and five accomplices grabbed his wallet from his pants.
The victim suffered apparently minor injuries, he said.
One of the robbers was described as a Latino man between 18 and 20, of medium build, with short hair, wearing a black zip-up hooded sweatshirt, the lieutenant said. He was accompanied by five other young men.
About 20 minutes later, a 20-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint just around the corner in the 1600 block of Rodeo Road as he was leaving the same house party, officials said.
A robber approached the man, brandished a semi-automatic handgun and demanded property, Cullen said. He fled with the victim’s cell phone and car keys. No injuries were reported.
Police described the armed robber as a black man in his mid-20s, of thin build, with short curly hair and no facial hair, wearing blue jeans and a dark-colored jacket.
Anyone with information on either crime can reach Arcadia police at 626-574-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Gunman robs Arcadia convenience store


ARCADIA >> A man armed with a handgun robbed an Arcadia convenience store early Friday morning, police said.
The crime unfolded about 1:25 a.m. at 7-Eleven, 1003 South Baldwin Ave., at Fairview Avenue, Arcadia police Sgt. James Trabbie said.
A Latino man in his 20s wearing a black baseball cap and a black hooded sweatshirt entered the store and brandished a semi-automatic handgun, the sergeant said.
The robber demanded cash from the register, and the clerk complied, handing over an undisclosed amount of cash, he said.
No injuries were reported. The robber was last seen running from the store on foot.
Anyone with information can reach Arcadia police at 626-574-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Meet Zoli: Arcadia police welcome new K-9 officer

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ARCADIA >> After 12 years without a police K-9 on duty, the Arcadia Police Department is welcoming a German Shepherd-Belgian Malinoi mix named Officer Zoli to the force.
Zoli is a Solvakia-born 18-month-old German shepherd-Belgian Malinois mix, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement.
Partnered with Officer Josh Foulks, Zoli is cross-trained to both apprehend suspects and sniff out drugs, officials said.
Foulks and Zoli are expected to complete their initial training this week, before beginning patrol training alongside fellow officers next week.
The “extensive” training course is being provided by Gold Coast K9 in Moorpark.
“It has been over 12 years since the Arcadia Police Department fielded a K9 unit and we are looking forward to this addition to our services,” according to the statement. “Funding for Zoli and his training was made possible through the Arcadia Police Foundation, founded in 2015.”

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Officials rescue young deer that got stuck in fence in Arcadia

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ARCADIA >> Rescuers freed a young deer from a predicament after the animal became stuck in a backyard fence in Arcadia over the weekend.
Officials received word about 11:30 a.m. on Friday that the juvenile doe — a deer, a female deer — had become stuck between the bars of a metal gate in the 1200 block of Oakhaven Avenue, Arcadia Fire Department officials said in a written statement.
“Upon arrival, fire personnel found a deer stuck within a wrought iron gate,” the statement said. “Fire crews assisted Pasadena (Humane Society & SPCA) with freeing the deer.”
The animal was nor worse for the wear, officials said.
According to the statement, “The deer was released back into the hillside with its herd.”

PHOTO courtesy of the Arcadia Fire Department

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Arcadia burglary suspects jailed after pursuit, crashes


ARCADIA >> Police jailed two suspects and sought a third on Saturday after they allegedly burglarized several cars at an Arcadia mall, led police on a chase and ultimately slammed into a pickup truck while running a red light.
Yiyon Tyree Farley, 19, of Vallejo and Jabril Marcelle Tom, 21, of San Francisco were booked on suspicion of burglary, evading police and hit-and-run in connection with the incident, which began about 3:40 p.m. at the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall, 400 S. Baldwin Avenue, Covina police Lt. Tom Cullen said in a written statement.
A witness flagged down an officer at the mall to point out a group of three people seen breaking into several cars, the lieutenant said.
The driver refused to pull over, initiating a chase. Police cancelled the pursuit due to safety concerns when it reached the area of Huntington Drive and First Avenue, Cullen said.
The fleeing car sideswiped another vehicle at Huntington Drive and Second Avenue, resulting in now injuries, and continued driving, he said.
“The suspects then drove south on Second Avenue, and they failed to stop for the red light at Duarte Road,” Cullen said. An eastbound pickup truck collided with the suspects’ car.
A woman inside the pickup suffered “moderate” injuries, he said. All three suspects abandoned their crashed getaway car and continued fleeing on foot.
Officers found and arrested Farley and Tom in the area, officials said. A third suspect who fled from the car remained at-large.
Both suspects were treated at a hospital for injuries suffered in the crash before being booked into jail.
According to county booking records, Farley and Tom were being held in lieu of $75,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Tuesday in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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San Gabriel Valley cops crack down on DUI over holiday weekend; Azusa police invite public along online

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY >> Police throughout the region will be cracking down on drunken and drugged drivers with checkpoints and extra enforcement this Labor Day weekend, with one inviting the public to tag along virtually online.
Whittier, Montebello, Arcadia and Azusa police are each planning checkpoints in their respective cities Friday night into early Saturday, according to the departments.
In Azusa, police will be broadcasting their anti-DUI efforts and answering questions from the public online via Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, Officer Mike Bires said.
Azusa’s “Tweet from the Beat” will take place from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, he said. Follow along at www.facebook.com/AzusaPD, www.twitter.com/azusapd or www.snapchat.com/add/azusapd.
“(Officers will) explain what happens during a traffic stop, share accident investigation information and highlight traffic safety concerns for the city of Azusa,” Azusa police said in a written statement. “In addition to this, the community will be able to ask questions live, while the officers are in the field.
The checkpoints are being funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Elderly man who went missing in Arcadia found safe

ARCADIA >> An elderly man from China who went missing in Arcadia while visiting family Thursday morning turned up safe Thursday night, police said.
Tong Huang, 78, was reported missing after he went for a walk in Arcadia and failed to return, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement. The senior, who speaks only Mandarin, was visiting family from China and had been in the U.S. for about a month.
But the search was called off after Huang was found safe and reunited with his family Thursday night, police said.
A good Samaritan spotted Huang at a Pasadena supermarket late Thursday and thought he appeared lost, Lt. Tom Cullen said.
The good Samaritan provided Huang with a ride home, he said. Once there, Huang’s family notified police that he had returned home safely.

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