AZUSA — The Azusa Police Department has received a $34,000 to fund sobriety checkpoints, officials announced Tuesday.
The grant was provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Azusa police Lt. Paul Dennis said in a written statement.
“The special DUI checkpoint grant is to assist in efforts to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol and other drug-related collisions in the community,” Dennis said. “The grant activities will specifically target impaired driving offenders as well as educate the public on the dangers of impaired driving.”
In addition to hunting for drunken drivers at the checkpoints, specially trained officers will be on-hand whenever possible to evaluate drivers suspected of being under the influence of drugs.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — Deputies went to investigate along Highway 39 near the Morris Reservoir north of Azusa Sunday after a passer-by reported spotting what appeared to be a bag of bones, authorities said.
Officials at the sheriff’s San Dimas Station received a phone call just before 4 p.m. from a caller who said they’d stumbled upon some sort of bag of bones, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Rebecca Rodriguez said. The caller thought the find strange, though he did not know what type of bones they were, or whether they were animal or human.
Deputies headed up toward the reservoir to investigate, but had not located the bag an hour later, Rodriguez said. The caller was only able to provide a general location where he spotted the bag.
The investigation continued late Sunday.
AZUSA – A sheriff’s bomb squad was called Friday after a briefcase was discovered near St. Francis of Rome Catholic school and drew authorities’ suspicions, but was ultimately found to be harmless.
The incident began at 1:49 p.m. in the 700 block of Pasadena Avenue when a school employee saw the briefcase on the east sidewalk, just west of the school, Azusa police Lt. Paul Dennis said. Police considered the newer-looking briefcase suspicious, as there was no known reason for it to be there.
The briefcase was near a sign in front of the school, though not on campus, he said.
A bomb squad from the Los Angeles Count Sheriff’s Department was summoned to the scene to take a closer look, Dennis said.
Children at the school were let out at the usual release time of 2 p.m. on the west side of the campus, opposite Pasadena Avenue, the lieutenant said. Residents along Pasadena Avenue were advised to stay indoors.
Bomb squad members used a robot to inspect and open the briefcase, Dennis said. It was found to contain only a small teddy bear.
AZUSA — A report of a man with a gun inside of a clothing store late Saturday resulted in three arrests, as well as the recovery of two guns, a stolen car and methamphetamine, police said.
Gabriel Triviso, 34, Dennis Ayon, 33, and Valerie Garcia, 33, were arrested shortly after 9:45 p.m. outside the Ross store at 820 E. Alosta Avenue, Azusa police Cpl. Robert Landeros said in a written statement. Triviso and Ayon were both described by police as documented gang members.
The incident began when police responded to a report that a man inside the store was armed with a handgun, police said.
Police surrounded the store and attempted to detain the group of three suspects as they exited the store, but Triviso allegedly ran, pulling a loaded semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and throwing it on the floor.
Officers recovered the gun and soon captured Triviso at a nearby parking garage, Landeros said.
As he and the other two suspects were being detained by police, officers discovered methamphetamine and a second loaded handgun inside the vehicle they had been driving, which had been reported stolen, Sgt. Randy Schmidt said. The sergeant declined to say exactly how much of the drug was recovered, but described it as consistent with “street sales.”
Triviso, Ayon and Garcia were each booked on suspicion of auto theft, possession of a controlled substance for sales and possession of a controlled substance with a firearm.
Triviso was additionally accused of illegal possession of a concealed firearm, while Ayon and Garcia were additionally booked on suspicion of possession of fake identification.
Azusa police were assisted in the arrests by a multi-agency anti-gang task force that was coincidentally performing gang suppression operations in Azusa at the time, Landeros said.
All three suspects were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending their initial court appearances, officials said.
*UPDATE – The missing person was found safe in Covina Friday afternoon, per Azusa police.
AZUSA — Police asked the public to keep an eye out Friday for a 27-year-old man with the mental capacity of a 10-year-old child who went missing from his home.
Anthony Zavala Jr. was last seen about 9 a.m. Friday at his home in the 300 block of South Jackson Avenue, Azusa police Sgt. Andy Sutcliffe said in a written statement.
“According to family, he does not have a history of leaving home or wandering off,” Sutcliffe said.
Zavala is Latino, 5 feet tall, 95 pounds, with brown “crew cut” hair and brown eyes. He walks with a “pigeon-toed” gate and was last seen wearing a light-colored T-shirt and green camouflage pants.
Anyone who spots the missing man was asked to contact Azusa police at 626-812-3200.
PHOTO of Anthony Zavala Jr. courtesy of the Azusa Police Department
AZUSA — A Danville man suffered stab wounds but was expected to survive after he was attacked by a group of men early Friday, police said.
The stabbing victim, a 20-year-old man, was found with two puncture wounds to his abdomen about 12:50 a.m. in the 600 block of East Eighth Street, Azusa police Sgt. Chris Grant said in a written statement. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
“The sequence of event that led to the altercation is currently under investigation, as well as the motive regarding this incident,” Grant said.
Police described the attackers a five to six Latino men in their mid- to late-20s. One was further described as about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 200 pounds, with a shaved head and a mustache.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Azusa police detectives at 626-812-3200.
AZUSA — City officials are planning a test of Azusa’s early warning siren Monday.
The test of the siren, located near San Gabriel Canyon Road at the mouth of the canyon at the north end of town, will take place between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Azusa police Sgt. Sam Fleming said in a written statement.
The siren will sound intermittently in five-minute intervals, he said. “No action is necessary by residents during these tests.”
The purpose of the test is to ensure the siren is working,m and that it is properly connected to the Azusa Police Department’s 9-1-1 center.
Police are teaming up for the exercise with a group of local volunteers known as the Azusa Amateur Radio Communications Emergency Services, Fleming said. The group exists to provide emergency communications in the event of a disaster.
“The siren is intended to evacuate residents in close proximity to the mouth of the Canyon in the event of a forest fire of flood,” Fleming said. “It is not expected that all residents would hear the siren if indoors, which is why the siren is complementary to emergency response personnel announcements, as well as door-to-door notification as part of the city’s emergency response procedures.
For more information, the Azusa Police Department can be reached at 626-812-3200.
UPDATE: The suspect surrendered to police about 7:45 p.m., per Azusa police Lt. Tim Harrington. He was taken to a hospital to be examined and was expected to face charges of felony vandalism and resisting arrest.
AZUSA — A SWAT team responded to an Azusa motel Saturday after a man with a history of violence against police began tearing apart his motel room, then barricaded himself inside for more than eight hours when police arrived, officials said.
Police were summoned to the Arrow Inn, 469 E. Arrow Highway, about 10:15 a.m. when motel staff reported a 50-year-old guest was breaking items inside room 110, Azusa police Lt. Tim Harrington said.
When officers arrived, the man shouted at the officers and locked himself inside the room, the lieutenant said. He declined to disclose exactly what the suspect said, but described it as “threatening in nature.”
It was unclear whether the man had any weapons with him.
His identity was known to police, though it was not released as the stand-off continued Saturday afternoon. The man has a previous conviction for battery on a police officer.
Shortly after the stand-off began, “Water started coming from under the door, so he did something to the plumbing,” Harrington said.
A SWAT team responded to the scene to deal with the holed-up suspect. The team took tactical positions around the room, periodically advancing up toward the door, then backing off.
A person who said knows the man well but did not wish to be identified said he suffers from bipolar disorder and had left his home in Covina Tuesday and never returned. He was believed to have been binging on alcohol and drugs.
More than a dozen people evacuated from the motel watched and waited from a sidewalk across the street for the situation to draw to a close.
Several of them said they were surprised that the man, who they described as calm, was involved in such an incident.
“I know him. I didn’t think he would do something like that,” said motel guest Becky Herrera.
Another guest at the motel, Christopher Martine, said at the outset of the incident he heard banging noises coming from the room two doors down, along with the sound of keys handling.
When Martin went outside, he said another guest told him he might want to get back inside because the police had arrived. He then noticed that a lamp from the nearby motel room had been thrown through a window.
Martin said hotel staff then told him he should stay in his room. About five minutes later, police came to his door to tell him to hurriedly evacuate. He did even have time to put on a shirt.
Police then began trying to coax the man out of the room, Martin said, telling him, “You’re not in trouble, we just want to talk to you. We need to know if you’re injured.”
The standoff continued past 6 p.m.
AZUSA — Two men robbed a couple who was sitting in their car at Zacatecas Park at gunpoint early Saturday, police said.
The crime took place about 1:35 a.m. just outside the park, 974 W. First Street, Azusa police Sgt. Chris Grant said in a written statement.
A 21-year-old Azusa woman and a 20-year-old Los Angeles man were sitting in their parked car when a dark blue, 4-door Kia sedan parked alongside them, police said. Two men exited the Kia and approached the victims, one of them holding a black handgun.
The robbers demanded property, and the victims turned over a cell phone and a wallet, Grant said. The robbers then got back into the Kia and sped away. The car was last spotted heading south on Vernon Avenue from Paramount Street.
Police described the gunman as a Latino man in his early 20s with a dark complexion. The second robber was a Latino man in his early- to mid-20s with a light complexion.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Azusa police at 626-812-3200.
AZUSA — A man who was seen running through the streets naked ended up at a hospital Thursday night.
Someone called Glendora police at 6:35 p.m. and reported a naked man running on Barranca Avenue and Armstead Street.
Azusa police found the man at 9:42 p.m. He was still in the buff and sitting on a sidewalk at Citrus Avenue and Baseline Road.
“It was determined he was in need of a psychological evaluation,” Azusa Police Sgt. John Madaloni.
The man was taken to a hospital, he added.
- Ruby Gonzales