UPDATED: 11-year-old Azusa girl who disappeared after school found safe

AZUSA >> An 11-year-old Azusa girl who never returned home from school on Friday has been found safe, police said Saturday.
Crystal Martinez attended Foothill Middle School and was released at the normal time about 3 p.m., Azusa police Sgt. Andy Sutcliffe said in a written statement.
“She was last seen with a school friend in the area of Fifth Street and Rockvale Avenue around 3 p.m. that same day,” he said.
Her father called police to report her missing about 1 a.m. on Saturday.
“He said his daughter occasionally stays out late, but has never stayed out this late, and she has no history of running away from home,” Sutcliffe said.
The girl returned home shortly before noon on Saturday, Sutcliffe said.
“Detectives are currently interviewing her, and it appears no crime had been committed,” he said

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AB109 violator arrested in Azusa following pursuit

AZUSA >> Police jailed a domestic violence suspect already wanted for violating the terms of his AB109 felony probation after he led them on a chase in a pickup truck on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
David Daniel Delgado, 28, of Azusa was ultimately booked on suspicion of domestic violence, evading arrest and resisting arrest, as well as in connection with the pre-existing arrest warrant, according to Azusa police Sgt. Xavier Torres.
Police had been seeking him since Oct. 20, when officers investigated the alleged beating of a woman by her boyfriend, resulting in cuts, bruising and swelling to her face, Torres said. But the suspect was not immediately found.
“Officers learned that Delgado was on Post-Release Community Supervision from a prior criminal offense, and that a no-bail warrant has been issued for his arrest for violating the terms of his early release, Azusa police said in a written statement.
Officers from the San Gabriel Valley East AB109 Task Force began hunting for Delgado, Torres said. They spotted him about 4:50 p.m. on Tuesday driving a work truck in the area of Cerritos Avenue and Newburgh Street in an unincorporated county area just outside of Azusa.
Delgado led officers on an 20-minute chase that came to an end when police used a Pursuit Intervention Technique, or PIT, maneuver to stop the fleeing truck, police said.
“Delgado’s reckless driving clearly exhibited a willful disregard for the safety of others,” according to the police statement.
The suspect continued fleeing on foot after police disabled his truck but was soon chased down and captured, officials said.
According to county booking records, Delgado was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Thursday in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Under AB109, also known as California’s Public Safety Realignment of 2011, allows convicts convicted of “non-violent, non-serious, non-sexual” felonies to serve their sentenced in county jails, rather than state prisons, and be supervised by county parole officers upon their release, rather that state parole agents.
Details regarding Delgado’s previous conviction were not available Wednesday due to technical issues affecting Los Angeles County Superior Court records.

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Report of hostage situation in Azusa proves unfounded


AZUSA >> A SWAT team responded to an Azusa neighborhood after a report of a man possibly being held hostage in his apartment late Tuesday, but ultimately encountered only a heavily intoxicated man who was taken for psychiatric evaluation, officials said.
The incident began about 9 p.m. in the 700 block of South Lark Ellen Avenue, Azusa police officials said.
A woman notified police that she had received text messaged from her boyfriend “that indicated he was possibly being held hostage by unknown persons,” Cpl. Tom Avila said.
Based on the information provided, police summoned a SWAT team to the scene, he said.
Once the home was surrounded, SWAT officers ordered anyone inside the apartment to come out, Avila said. The lone resident emerged from the home, unharmed, but apparently highly intoxicated.
No one else was inside the apartment, and there was no evidence a crime had occurred, according to the corporal.
Officials took the man for psychiatric evaluation and announced the situation was over shortly after 11 p.m.

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Two men stabbed during street brawl in Azusa


AZUSA >> Two men suffered stab wounds and two others were arrested following in a fight involving at least a half-dozen combatants in a commercial parking lot, authorities said.
An officer on patrol happened upon the brawl, involving six to seven men appearing to be in their 20s, about 1:40 a.m. in a parking lot along Azusa Avenue, just north of 1st Street, Azusa police Sgt. Andy Sutcliffe said. Two of the men were on the ground.
“When the officer identified himself, the men ran from the scene, with exception to the two men on the ground who had both been stabbed,” Sutcliffe. “The officer captured one of the men who ran as the others continued to flee.”
At least one of the fleeing combatants ran into a nearby home in the 100 block of North Alameda Avenue and refused commands by police to come out, officials said.
A SWAT team was summoned to the scene and surrounded the home.
“After SWAT arrived, two men and a female voluntarily exited the home and were detained,” Sutcliffe said.
One of the men was arrested in connection with the stabbing, he said. The other man and the woman were released after police determined they were not involved in the melee.
Police continued seeking two to three additional suspects Sunday afternoon.
Both victims suffered wounds to their arms and upper bodies, Sutcliffe said. They were hospitalized with injuries not considered to be life-threatening.
“Because this is an active and on-going investigation, none of the names of those involved is being released,” Sutcliffe said.
The motive behind the fight and stabbing was unclear.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Azusa police at 626-812-3200. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Skeletal human remains discovered in Azusa


AZUSA >> Detectives and coroner’s officials are investigating the discovery of apparently fossilized human skeletal remains found along San Gabriel Canyon Road at the northern edge of Azusa Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
A passer-by first reported finding bones about 12:20 p.m. in the 15200 block of San Gabriel Canyon Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s officials, as well as sheriff’s Homicide Bureau detectives, were summoned to the scene to investigate.
“The remains, which appear to be fossilized human bones, were discovered by local patrons,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“At this time, it is unknown how long the remains have been in the area,” according to the statement.
No further details were available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Body found in forest identified as missing West Covina dancer; murder suspect jailed

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AZUSA >> The body of a 27-year-old dancer reported missing in West Covina earlier this week was discovered along a forest road north of Azusa Saturday morning, authorities confirmed Sunday.
Rahkeem “Rocky” Reyes of West Covina disappeared Sept. 5.
Reyes’ car was found with its engine running and his wallet and laptop computer inside in the 1500 block of McWood Street in West Covina, causing family members to fear something had happened to him.
Their worst fears were confirmed Sunday, when police conformed the body was that of Reyes.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, along with the San Dimas Search and Rescue team, found the body about 10:15 a.m. Saturday along mile marker 2.5 of San Gabriel Canyon Road, in the Angeles National Forest north of Azusa.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives soon realized the body was related to the West Covina missing person case, and the investigation was turned over to the West Covina Police Department.
“West Covina Police have been involved in an intense investigation that started with the disappearance of Rahkeem Reyes six days ago,” West Covina police Lt. David Lee said. “Their investigation led them to the area in Azusa Canyon where his body was found.”
Meanwhile, investigators have arrested a man on suspicion of murder in connection with Reyes’ death.
0912_nws_sgt-l-reyes1West Covina police arrested Phillip Von Wade, 20, of West Covina during the early-morning hours Thursday, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
Reyes, a professional dancer, was last known to be with Wade before he disappeared, Hampton said.
Information regarding the motive in the killing was not available Sunday. The relationship between the victim and suspect remained under investigation, Lee said.
Reyes, a professional dancer, was last known to be with Wade before he disappeared, Reyes’ girlfriend, Christina Oliver, said in an email.
Reyes had hired Wade to make a costume for him several months ago for between $700 and $900, but it was never completed, Oliver said.
Reyes went to Wade’s house in West Covina on the afternoon of Sept. 5 in order to be fitted for a portion of the costume, she said. She began looking for him when he never came home.
Oliver said her boyfriend had no enemies.
“There was no reason For anyone to be mad at Rocky,” Oliver said. “He is not gang related, he doesn’t do drugs, he doesn’t drink nor does he owe anyone money.”
Coroner’s investigators have yet to determine Reyes’ cause of death.
Wade was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Monday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Pomona branch.
Anyone with information was asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTOS: [ABOVE] – Rahkeem “Rocky” Reyes, 27, of West Covina. (Courtesy) [BELOW] – Phillip Von Wade, 20, of West Covina. (Courtesy)

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Azusa teens accused of spray-painting graffiti on convenience store, homeless man in Covina


COVINA >> Police arrested three Azusa teens early Saturday on suspicion of spray-painting graffiti on the back wall of a convenience store, as well as on the homeless man who was sleeping there, officials said.
Bowilliam Rendon, 18, Irving Aguilar, 18, and a 17-year-old boy, all from Azusa, were booked on suspicion of felony vandalism following their arrests shortly after 12:30 a.m. outside 7-Eleven, 1275 W. San Bernardino Road, Covina police Sgt. Ryan Davis said.
An officer spotted the three young men next to a car parked behind the convenience store and approached them, the sergeant said. They were detained as they started to leave.
Police discovered an estimated $500 worth of vandalism damage in the form of black graffiti, Davis said.
A homeless man who was asleep nearby had also been scrawled with graffiti on his back and hands, the sergeant said. He remained asleep during the incident and was awakened by police after it occurred. He did not wish to press charges.
Police released the juvenile suspect to his parents with a written promise to appear in court, Davis said.
According to county booking records, Rendon and Aguilar were being held in lieu of $5,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Tuesday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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Homicide detectives investigate death in forest north of Azusa

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Homicide detectives are investigating a death reported in the Angeles National Forest north of Azusa Saturday morning, authorities said.
Few details were initially available regarding the death, which was first reported about 10:30 a.m. in the Azusa Canyon, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Sheriff’s officials described the location of the incident as mile-marker 2.5 of Azusa Avenue. However, Azusa avenue transitions into San Gabriel Canyon Road as it heads north into the mountains above the 210 Freeway.
Coroner’s officials joined detectives from the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau in the investigation, officials said.
No further details were released.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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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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Family still seeking answers 7 weeks after Azusa man disappears in the Angeles National Forest

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ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> The search continues for a father and husband from Azusa who mysteriously vanished in the Angeles National Forest in July.
Christopher Jay Poland, 40, disappeared July 14 after visiting family along East Fork Road in the Angeles National Forest, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
His car was found abandoned along the side of Glendora Ridge Road near mile marker 10 later the same day, Lt. Tamar Abraham of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau
Missing Person’s Detail. But Poland has not been seen or heard from since.
Family members have already searched the area near where Poland’s car was found, along with sheriff’s search and rescue team members, with no sign of the missing man, according to Poland’s mother, Donna Poland. The family is planning another small search party this weekend.
“It’s difficult, but we’re hanging in there,” she said. Christopher Poland has a wife and 14-year-old son.
ANFmapThe mother said she didn’t want to let the search lapse.
“I just want to keep it out there,” Donna Poland said.
One of the hardest parts of the situation is not knowing what happened to her son, she said.
“Dear God, please just bring him back. We will handle it if it’s bad news,” she said. “We’re going to find him.”
Christopher Poland’s car showed no signs of collision damage when it was found parked along the side of the road, Abraham said.
The car had apparently been hurriedly pulled to the side of the road, as it ended up facing the wrong direction in a turnout and parked partially on the roadway, the mother added.
And his car showed no signs of a mechanical problem, Donna Poland said. “It started right up.”
Poland had no diagnosed medical conditions, but had complained recently that he hadn’t been feeling well, his mother said.
Family had encouraged him to see a doctor due to recent bouts of forgetfulness, but he had yet to do so.
Donna Poland said she’d recently heard that there had been a report of a man seen acting strangely along Glendora Ridge Road on the same day her son went missing, but was awaiting further details from forest rangers.
Donna Poland said she’s been astonished by the outpouring of support the family has received so far.
“A lot of people, who we have no idea who they are, have been searching for him,” she said. “It’s been pretty darn wonderful.”
One man has been offering the use of his drone to aid in the search, and a friend has been searching the area on a dirt bike.
Christopher Poland grew up in Lake Arrowhead and is an experienced outdoorsman, his mother said. The family is holding out hope he will be found safe.
“We just don’t want to give up,” Donna Poland said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Abraham or Sgt. Nunez at the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Missing Person’s Detail at 323-890-5500.

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