ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – Following an extensive search, rescuers Sunday found a hypothermic hiker who spent more than 24 hours stranded in the Angeles National Forest north of Azusa, including a night in sub-freezing temperatures, authorities said.
Manny Kim, 28, of Arcadia became separated from two friends shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday during what was supposed to be a day hike in the Bear Creek Trail area of the forest, about a mile west of San Gabriel Canyon Road and just north of the West Fork National Recreation trail, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
After about 26 hours alone in the forest, rescuers found Kim about four miles west of where he was first reported missing, near mile marker 5 of the West Fork trail, Deputy Matt Bodell said.
“He’s hypothermic and we’re going to transport (him) to a local hospital,” Bodell said.
The hiker was conscious and speaking with rescuers, the deputy said. “Everything looks good, we’re just trying to get him to the hospital ASAP.”
Further details regarding Kim’s ordeal in the forest were not available.
Wearing only a light jacket and not carrying and water or light source, Kim was unprepared for the frigid overnight temperatures, which dropped into the 20s during the coldest night of what the National Weather Service described as the coldest Southern California January in six years, officials said.
While hiking with two others, “They became separated and they have not seen him since,” Lt. Andy Berg of the sheriff’s San Dimas Station said as the search was ongoing.
Officials hunted for the missing hiker both on the ground with the aid of a search dog and from the air via helicopters.
Between 30 and 40 personnel including sheriff’s deputies, San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team members, Montrose Search and Rescue Team members and U.S. Forest Service officials took part in the search in the rugged terrain Sunday afternoon.
“We’re lining up people again tomorrow, if we need them,” Capt. Don Slawson said prior to Kim’s rescue.
AZUSA — A woman who allegedly robbed a local Rite Aid of jewelry while carrying pepper spray was arrested after a short chase Friday.
Azusa police also recovered the stolen three necklaces and one pair of earrings.
The robbery occurred 11:30 a.m. at the Rite Aid, 153 E. Gladstone St.
Azusa Police Cpl. Rick Hayden said a woman entered the store, concealed the necklaces and earrings then tried to leave.
“A loss prevention employee approached the female and saw that she had pepper spray in her hand, so he stepped away and she fled the store,” Hayden said in a statement.
Officers saw the woman getting into a car and tried to pull over the vehicle.
He said the driver led officers on a slow speed chase for about two minutes. The woman abandoned the car, ran but was caught.
Isabelle Brilata, 34, of Azusa was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery, evading police and resisting arrest. She was being held at Azusa jail in lieu of $126,000 bail.
She has a Tuesday arraignment at West Covina Superior Court.
- Ruby Gonzales
AZUSA — A man was injured when shooting broke out at a barbershop Thursday night.
Police said the suspect later turned himself in at the Azusa Police station and also handed over a .45-caliber handgun.
“The suspect’s family worked with authorities to negotiate a peaceful surrender,” Sgt. John Madaloni said.
He said the motive appears to be “a dispute of a personal nature.”
At 6:19 p.m., police headed to 310 North Citrus Ave. after getting multiple calls of a shooting at a business.
Madaloni said officers found a man with a gunshot wound to the arm. The man was taken to a hospital where he was in stable condition, the sergeant said.
“Officers and detectives were able to develop leads as to the suspect’s identity while still at the scene and ultimately made contact with the suspect via telephone,” Madaloni said.
With the assistance of the suspect’s family, he said Dustin Juan Trujillo, 25, of Covina, arrived at the station at 9:40 pm. and surrendered to detectives.
He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and was being held at Azusa jail in lieu of $1 million bail. Trujillo will be arraigned Monday at West Covina Superior Court.
Police are looking for witnesses to the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Rob Landeros at 626-812-3228 or Detective Rocky Wenrick at 626-812-3223.
- Ruby Gonzales
AZUSA — A driver was arrested Wednesday for allegedly masturbating and exposing himself to a woman who was walking her dog.
Azusa police said the man admitted to committing similar offenses in other areas. Police didn’t name the other locations and didn’t release a description of the suspect’s vehicle.
The alleged indecent exposure happened at 4:25 pm in the 800 block of East Silver Maple Drive.
Sgt. John Madaloni said a woman was walking her dog when a vehicle drove slowly by.
“The victim looked toward the driver and saw through the vehicle’s window that the driver’s pants were lowered and he was masturbating,” Madaloni said in a statement.
The man drove off. The woman called police.
A corporal responding to the call saw a vehicle leaving the area which matched the description of the suspect vehicle. The officer pulled over the driver who was later identified by the victim, Madaloni said.
Angel Enrique Martinez-Campos, 20, of Fontana was arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure. He was booked at Azusa jail and released early Thursday morning after posting bond for a $35,000 bail.
He allegedly admitted to additional acts of indecent exposure and/or lewd conduct in other locations, according to police.
Madaloni said Azusa police will be contacting the other law enforcement agencies that cover those areas. He didn’t say if one of those areas was South Pasadena.
But a similar incident happened to a woman walking her dog in South Pasadena on Monday afternoon.
South Pasadena police said a man in a red Kia followed the woman, pulled up alongside her and exposed his genitals. He then drove off.
- Ruby Gonzales
GLENDORA — Two Inland Valley men crashed a stolen pickup truck early Sunday following a high-speed chase and theft spree in Glendora, police said.
Michael Anthony Valadez, 23, of Ontario and Jonathan Daniels Demay, 22, of Upland, were booked on suspicion of a series of crimes including auto theft, theft, evading police and auto burglary, according to Glendora police and Los Angeles County booking records.
The incident began just after midnight when someone called police from the 900 block of South Fuchsia Avenue to report the theft of gasoline cans, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
The witness described the suspects’ white pickup truck, which was later determined to have been reported stolen in Ontario.
A Glendora police officers spotted the truck in the area of Grand Avenue and Baseline Road, and a pursuit began when the driver of the truck refused to pull over, the lieutenant said.
After leading police on a chase on surface streets in excess of 80 mph while blowing through red lights, the truck headed onto the westbound freeway with officers in pursuit, Lamborghini said.
The truck exited the freeway at Vernon Avenue in Azusa at high speed.
“It ended up driving over the center divider on Vernon and crashed into a soundwall on the opposite side of the street,” Lamborghini said. But the men got out of the badly damaged truck and ran.
Glendora and Azusa police set up a search perimeter, with help from a K-9 provided by El Monte police, Lamborghini said.
One of the suspects was found hiding inside a parked car, police said, while the other was found walking on the grounds of a nearby business.
Police discovered that in addition to the gasoline can theft, the men were allegedly responsible for two other thefts in Glendora that occurred just before the pursuit.
Lamborghini said Valadez and Demay were linked to an auto burglary in the 2300 block of Club Vista Drive and the theft of golf clubs in the 400 block of West Larkspur Lane.
Valadez, who was on Postrelease Community Supervision and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, was being held without bail, booking records show. Demay was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Both suspects were scheduled to appear for arraignment Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
AZUSA — Officers checking out a security alarm at a pawnshop early Wednesday found the business had been burglarized then arrested a suspect as he tried to flee.
Azusa Police Sgt. John Madaloni said officers also recovered $7,972 worth of cameras, iPods, GPS devices, watches, jewelry and musical equipment taken from Azusa Mega Pawn at 1028 W. Gladstone St.
He estimated damages to the front door and smashed display cases at $3,100.
Police went to the business at 3:38 a.m. due to the alarm being activated.
Madaloni said the first officer at the scene saw the the business’ front glass door had been smashed and the security bars pried open.
Evidence suggested that once inside, he said the burglar used a blunt instrument to smash the glass display cases and gather up the merchandise.
As police secured the area around the pawnshop, the sergeant said a man suddenly sprinted out the front door carrying a bag.
The man was detained and the bag turned out to be full of stolen property, according to Madaloni. He added that several stolen items were also found in the man’s pockets.
Luis Rafael Puga,20, who lives in the unincorporated county area near Azusa, was arrested on suspicion of commercial burglary
He was being held at Azusa jail in lieu of $20,000 bail. Puga will be arraigned Friday at West Covina Superior Court.
- Ruby Gonzales
AZUSA — Coroner’s officials Sunday released the name of an Azusa man who was killed in a collision with an alleged drunken driver on Saturday.
Jose Reyes, 57, died at the scene of the the 12:11 a.m. crash at Gladstone Street and Jackson Avenue, in an unincorporated county area near Azusa, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Kerry McKibben said.
Juan C. Salinas-Reyes, 38, of Azusa, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving, vehicular manslaughter and driving on a suspended license following the collision, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Stephen Sullinger.
Reyes was northbound on Jackson Avenue crossing Gladstone Street when his 2006 Toyota was broadsided by a 2001 GMC being driven by Salinas-Reyes eastbound on Gladstone Street at about 80 mph.
The fatal crash is being investigated by the Baldwin Park Office of the CHP, and any witness are asked to contact the office at 626-338-1164.
AZUSA — An Azusa man died and another was suspected of crimes including drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter Saturday following an early-morning crash on Gladstone Street, officials said.
The dead man’s name was not released pending confirmation that his family had been notified, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said. California Highway Patrol officials described him as a 55-year-old Azusa man.
Juan C. Salinas-Reyes, 38, of Azusa was booked on suspicion of drunken driving causing death, vehicular manslaughter while while under the influence of alcohol with gross negligence and driving with a suspended license, California Highway Patrol Officer Stephen Sullinger said in a written statement.
The crash took place just after 12:10 a.m. on Gladstone Street at Jackson Avenue, in an unincorporated county area near Azusa.
Salinas Reyes was driving a 2001 GMC eastbound in the right-hand lane of Gladstone Street approaching Jackson Avenue at about 80 mph prior to the collision, Sullinger said.
The 55-year-old man was headed north on Jackson Avenue through the intersection when the speeding GMC slammed into the driver side of his 2006 Toyota, officials said. The GMC then continued out of control and crashed into a utility pole.
The driver of the Toyota was pronounced dead at the scene, while Salinas-Reyes suffered apparently minor injuries including lacerations to his face and leg, according to the CHP.
The intersection where the crash occurred is regulated by stop signs for northbound and southbound traffic on Jackson Avenue.
Anyone witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact the Baldwin Park office of the CHP at 626-338-1164.
AZUSA – Three grieving siblings found dead inside their burning home faced eviction and apparently entered into a suicide pact following the death of their parents, officials and experts said.
George Alva, 53, Christine Alva, 47, and Barbara Alva, 49, all died after shooting themselves in the head, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s officials said.
Records show the house at 525 N. Dalton Ave. in Azusa went into foreclosure in June. Family friend Nola Dewester said the family faced eviction and expected to move out the day they died, she said.
George Alva died from a gunshot wound to the head. The two sisters both died from shotgun wounds to the head, coroner’s Lt. Fred Corral said.
After more than a week of eluding authorities, an Azusa man suspected of leading police on two wild pursuits late last month and assaulting an officer was in custody Sunday.
But not before he kicked a hole in the roof of his home and climbed through it in a final attempt to escape, police said.
Gerardo Herrejon, 43, was arrested after a two-hour standoff late Saturday at his condo in the 600 block of East Lee Place in Azusa, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
Herrejon was booked on suspicion of felony evading, assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer and forgery after being taken into custody about 11:50 p.m., Walczak said.
He had been sought since Nov. 29 when he allegedly passed counterfeit money along with 23-year-old Chandra Olazaba of Azusa at the Covina Walmart and then led Covina police on a pursuit that ended when the pursing police car crashed, officials said.
Police identified Olazaba as a suspect in the forgery and pursuit, and showed up at a parole office in El Monte Nov.<TH>30, where she was scheduled to meet with her parole officer, officials said.
Olazaba was arrested at the parole office, but Herrejon allegedly rammed a police car in the parking lot before leading officers on a second pursuit, according to Covina police Lt. Dave Foster.
Herrejon again eluded officers by abandoning his car in El Monte, leaping from a tall wall and and continuing to flee on foot.
Authorities had been seeking Herrejon when Azusa police Officer Seth Chapman spotted him Saturday evening on Lee Place and saw him run into a two-story condominium, Walczak said.
Herrejon refused to come out, initiating a two-hour standoff before police forced their way into the home, Walczak said.
Once the officers got inside, Herrejon began running upstairs and was shot with a less-lethal foam projectile, officials said.
“That struck him in the back of one of his legs, however, he managed to climb up into his attic,” Walczak said.
“From his attic, we continued to order him out, the lieutenant added. “He then kicked a hole in the roof of the condo and got onto the roof.”
Officers had the home surrounded, and after another half-hour of negotiations through Covina police Sgt. Dan Regan, Herrejon was persuaded to surrender via a fire department ladder, according to Walczak.
According to county booking records, Herrejon was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail pending his initial court appearance Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
Olazaba, who officials said was on parole for a previous burglary conviction, was being held without bail on suspicion of burglary and forgery. She was due to appear in West Covina Superior Court Dec. 17.
PHOTOS of Gerardo Herrejon courtesy of the Covina Police Department