West Covina man arrested following Baldwin Park bank robbery

BALDWIN PARK >> A robbed a Baldwin Park bank branch Saturday before quickly being captured by police, officials said
Todd Edward Campbell, 48, of West Covina was arrested within minutes of the 11:14 a.m. bank robbery at a U.S. Bank branch inside a Walmart store, 3250 Big Dalton Avenue, Baldwin Park police Lt. Doug Parnell said.
Campbell approached a female teller at the bank and displayed a note demanding money, the lieutenant said. The teller handed over about $2,000 and the suspect fled, running north from the bank, Parnell said. A bank employee triggered a silent alarm during the robbery.
An officer rushing to the scene of the crime spotted Campbell, who matched the description of the robber, at Merced and Puente avenues, Parnell said.
Though he had discarded is shirt in an attempt to change his appearance, Campbell was found carrying a bag containing the stolen money, and the note used in the robbery was found in his pocket, Parnell said.
The suspect, who has a lengthy criminal history out of state,admitted to the robbery, Parnell said. Campbell told police he committed the robbery because he needed money for drugs.
The FBI was assisting Baldwin Park police in the investigation.
According to Los Angeles County Booking records, Campbell was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Suspect sought in weekend shooting in Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK >> Police are seeking whoever shot and wounded a man late Sunday in Baldwin Park, officials said.
Few details were available regarding the shooting, which took place about 11:15 p.m. in the 13700 block of Ramona Parkway, near Merced Avenue, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Josh Hendricks said.
The victim, a local man, was shot in the torso and both thighs, the sergeant said. He was taken to a trauma center where he was listed in stable condition.
The wounded man, a Baldwin Park residents, told police he did not know his attacker and could not provide a description, Hendricks said.

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Two men shot in head in Baldwin Park Friday night

BALDWIN PARK >> Two men suffered gunshot wounds to the head Friday night in Baldwin Park in what police are investigating as two separate incidents.
The first shooting was reported about 11:30 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 4300 block of Harlan Avenue, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Mike Hemenway said.
Passers-by reported finding the victim, a man in his 20s, lying on the ground and bleeding, the sergeant said.
Officials soon determined he had been shot in the head, Hemenway said.
Paramedics took the man to a hospital where his condition was unknown, though he was expected to survive, Hemenway said.
No information regarding the circumstances of the shooting or a suspect was available.
Police were summoned to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, 1011 Baldwin Park Ave., about midnight after a second gunshot victim was found in the hospital’s parking lot, Hemenway said. Officials believed the victim had been dropped off there.
Hemenway said the victim who turned up at the hospital was also a man in his 20s and had also been shot in the head, as well as the leg. He was listed in critical condition.
But authorities had not determined where the shooting took place Saturday, Hemenway said.
While detectives were looking into the possibility the shootings were related, “There’s nothing connecting them at this time,” he said.

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Foul play not suspected in death of woman at Baldwin Park gas station

BALDWIN PARK — The death of a woman found unresponsive in her car at a Baldwin Park gas station Wednesday was believed to be natural, authorities said.
Officials responded about noon to a Chevron Station at 14477 Merced Avenue, at Puente Avenue, Baldwin Park police Lt. Melissa Stehly said. A woman estimated to be about 50 was found unresponsive in a Chrysler Sebring.
Paramedics pronounced the woman dead at the scene, Stehly said.
No foul play was initially suspected, and the death appeared to be the result of a medical problem such as a heart attack, she said.
Los Angeles County Department of Coroner investigators planned an autopsy.

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Baldwin Park attorney, activist arrested during park concert

BALDWIN PARK >> Police arrested an attorney who has sued the city seeking the release of several public documents, according to booking records obtained Friday.
Paul Cook, 32, of Baldwin Park was booked at the Baldwin Park Police Department’s jail on suspicion of disturbing an assembly during Thursday’s summer concert at Morgan Park, according to Cook and Los Angeles County booking records. He was released from custody with a misdemeanor citation within three hours of his booking at the Baldwin Park Police Department.
Baldwin Park police officials could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.
Cook said he believed the arrest was retaliation for his activism.
“It’s all political,” he said.
Cook said he was handing out leaflets critical of the city’s Recreation and Community Services Department to the crowd when the agency director, Manuel Carrillo Jr. took the stage to speak.
“I only said ‘boo’ twice. I said you steal money from the community,” Cook said. “At that point, five police officers came. They said you can’t be speaking.
Two complaints filed by Cook last year and this year seek the release of city documents and accuse Carrillo of misappropriating funds of a charity Carrillo heads.
City Attorney Robert Tafoya said some of documents sought in Cook’s complaints do not exist.
“I think it’s a frivolous lawsuit. It’s a lawsuit that never should have been filed,” Tafoya said of the most recent lawsuit.
The most recent complaint, filed in March, also names Baldwin Park Police Chief and then-acting CEO Mike Taylor, the Baldwin Park Community Center Corporation and Baldwin Park Finance Director Craig Graves as defendants.
Cook’s previous complaint, filed in October, named the city and it’s former CEO, Vijay Singhal, as defendants.
Cook said two officers grabbed him and escorted him from the park, and told him to leave.
Cook said he maintained he had a First Amendment right to speak at the park, and refused to leave. He was then arrested.
Cook said after being strip searched down to his underwear by a female officer, police rewrote his citation three times before ultimately citing him for disturbing an assembly.

— Staff Writer Melissa Masatani contributed to this report.

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Ex-Baldwin Park police officer pleads ‘no contest’ to filing false police report during drug arrest

A former Baldwin Park police officer pleaded “no contest” Thursday to an accusation of filing a false police report in connection with a 20013 drug arrest.
Matthew DeHoog, 29, entered the plea in Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
Judge Rand S. Rubin immediately sentenced the former police officer to three years of formal probation and 300 hours of community service, Robison said.
The plea came just as a jury trial in DeHoog’s case was scheduled to begin, she said.
If convicted by a jury, DeHoog could have faced up to three years in state prison.
The false police report was related to a July 31, 2013, arrest the officer made for the alleged crime of possessing methamphetamine, authorities said.
Police and prosecutors released few details were released about the accusation against DeHoog prior to his trial, and the handling prosecutor could not be reached for comment late Thursday.
DeHoog’s employment with the Baldwin Park Police Department ended in January of 2014, about a month before he was formally charged.
Baldwin Park Police Chief Mike Taylor declined to say whether DeHoog resigned or was terminated, citing privacy laws.
The chief could not be reached for comment late Thursday.
DeHoog remained free on his own recognizance leading up to his trial date,

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Baldwin Park murder suspect accidental released by sheriff’s officials last year re-captured in Mexico

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A suspect in a fatal 2010 shooting in Baldwin Park who has been sought since he was accidentally released from sheriff’s custody last year due to a clerical error as he was awaiting trial was re-captured Wednesday in Mexico, authorities said.
Johnny Mata, 33, was awaiting trial for the fatal shooting of 34-year-old David Anthony Deanda on Christmas Eve of 2010 in the 13200 block of Francisquito Avenue, authorities said at the time. The slaying was believed to be gang related.
Sheriff’s officials launched a manhunt and asked the public’s help to recapture Mata in the weeks following Mata’s erroneous release. And they developed leads indicating he had fled to Mexico, likely near the San Ysidro border crossing, Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Burau said in a written statement.
“On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, suspect Mata was located, detained and escorted by Mexican authorities to the United States-Mexico border, San Ysidro port of entry, where LASD personnel took custody of him,” Navarro-Suarez said. “Suspect Mata was re-booked into the Los Angeles County Jail system and is being held in lieu of $2,065,000 bail.”
El Monte police initially arrested Mata in connection with the 2010 Baldwin Park slaying on May 25, 2012, after he ran from a stolen car, according to El Monte police Lt. David Vautrin.
But Mata was accidentally released from the inmate processing unit at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles on April 4, 2013, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. The mistake stemmed from a clerical error, then-sheriff’s department spokesman Steve Whitmore said. A clerk failed to order Mata held pending his murder trial after a charge of attempted murder was dismissed.
Wednesday arrest came after a coalition Los Angeles County law enforcement agencies, U.S. Marshals Service officials, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department officials determined Mata’s whereabouts in Mexico, according to Navarro-Suarez said.
According to county booking records, Mata was scheduled to appear Thursday in Pomona Superior Court.

PHOTO of murder suspect Johnny Mata, 33, courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Preliminary hearing held for ex-Baldwin Park police officer accused of filing false report

LOS ANGELES — A judge Wednesday ruled there is enough evidence to move forward with a trial in the case of a former Baldwin Park police officer charged with filing a false police report in connection with a 2013 drug arrest.
Matthew DeHoog was ordered back to court April 16 for an arraignment hearing following Wednesday’s preliminary hearing, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
He pleaded not guilty in February to a charge of filing a false police report, officials said. The charge stems from an arrest he made July 31, 2013. But further details regarding the allegations against the officer were not available.
Baldwin Park Police Chief Michael Taylor said DeHoog’s employment with the Baldwin Park Police Department ended in January. However the chief said privacy law prevented him from saying wither DeHoog resigned or was terminated.
DeHoog remains free on his own recognizance pending trial. If convicted as charged, he faces up to three years in state prison.

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Officials: Police officer shoots charging dog in Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK — A police officer shot a dog, wounding it the foot, after it charged toward a fellow officer late Tuesday, officials said.
The incident unfolded about 11 p.m. as two officers were responding to an unrelated report of a disturbance in the 13200 block of Francisquito Avenue, just west of Frazier Street, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Darryl Kosaka said.
“A dog came after one of the officers,” he said. “A second officer, to prevent the dog from biting the one officer, fired two shots. One hit (the dog) in the foot.”
No officers were hurt.
Police found the dog’s owners and turned the animal over to them for any veterinary treatment, Kosaka said.
Police described the animal as a “large dog,” however the breed was not available Wednesday afternoon.

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UPDATED: Ex-Baldwin Park police officer accused of filing false report

LOS ANGELES >> Prosecutors Thursday filed a felony charge against a former Baldwin Park police officer accused of filing a false police report related to a drug arrest last year.
Matthew DeHoog, 29, pleaded not guilty to a count of filing a false report in Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement. Judge Renee Korn ordered him released on his own recognizance pending his next court appearance.
“DeHoog wrote a false police report about a July 31, 2013, incident where a man was arrested for investigation of possession of methamphetamine,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
The criminal complaint filed against DeHoog alleges that, while working as a police officer, he filed a report regarding the commission and investigation of a crime, “and knowingly and intentionally included a statement and statements regarding a material matter which the defendant knew to be false.”
But further details regarding the alleged false police report, including the identity of the man who was arrested, were not available.
“We’re not releasing any more facts of the case,” district attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling said. “They’ll be released during the (preliminary hearing).”
The case was investigated by DeHoog’s former colleagues at the Baldwin Park Police Department. But police also declined to discuss the circumstances of the case.
“He’s a former police officer with our department and he’s no longer employed by us,” Baldwin Park Police Chief Michael Taylor said.
DeHoog’s employment with the department ended in early January, Taylor said.
The chief said he had no further comment regarding the allegations against the former officer, or the case filed Thursday by the district attorney’s office.
“It’s unfortunate when anything like this happens in the law enforcement community,” Taylor said.
DeHoog was ordered to return to court March 4 for a preliminary hearing setting, Risling said.
DeHoog could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Under state law, DeHoog faces up to three years in prison if convicted as charged.
The July, 2013, incident was not DeHoog’s first time being involved in a controversial arrest.
He, along with two other Baldwin Park police officers, arrested then-city councilman Anthony Bejarano on suspicion of being drunk in public.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office ultimately declined to file any charge against Bejarano, and the former councilman filed a personnel complaint against his arresting officers. He denied he was drunk or uncooperative, as was stated in the officers’ report.
An internal department review into the situation was conducted and completed, though the results were never made public, as then-police chief Lili Hadsell said the issue was a confidential personnel matter.

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