BALDWIN PARK >> Police found no initial signs of foul play after a man was found dead in front of a Baldwin Park grocery store late Thursday, officials said.
Someone called police about 10 p.m. to report what was thought to be a man passed out drunk in front of Food 4 Less on Baldwin Park Boulevard, jut south of Francisquito Avenue, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Johnny Patino said.
Officers arrived to discover a man already dead, the sergeant said. Police said the body appeared to have gone undiscovered for some amount of time, as rigor mortis had already set in.
The man was believed to be transient known to the area, Patino said.
There were no overt signs of trauma or foul play, he said. Coroner’s investigators were summoned to the scene.
POMONA >> A Baldwin Park man received a sentenced of 25 years to life in prison Tuesday after a Pomona Superior Court jury convicted of murder and child abuse for the death of his 20-month-old son, authorities said.
The jury deliberated for about an hour before finding David Paz Vasquez, 34, guilty of second-degree murder and child abuse causing death for the June 12, 2013, death of his son, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said. Judge Bruce Marrs immediately sentenced Vasquez to 25 years to life in state prison.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators identified the young toddler as Joshua Anderson Vasquez.
His father brought him to Citrus Valley Medical Center – Queen of the Valley Campus about 10:50 a.m. before he was pronounced dead at 11:08 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroners officials said. Doctors determined the boy died from blunt force trauma to his torso and head, and detectives responded the man’s home in the 3700 block of Downing Avenue to investigate, Detective Eddie Brown of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said at the time.
The toddler’s mother was at work when the fatal injuries occurred, officials said.
“Vasquez told investigators that placed the child on a bed and told him not to move,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. “The toddler fell onto the floor and Vasquez became so upset that he struck his son on the head and abdomen and then took him to the hospital.”
“It appears Vasquez slammed the victim’s head against the floor and that he used a shoe to strike the child in the abdomen,” Risling said. The victim’s injuries included a broken skull, broken ribs and internal bleeding to the abdomen, officials said.
An autopsy determined the boy died of “blunt force trauma inflicted by caregiver,” and the case was ruled a homicide, Los Angeles County Department Coroner Assistance Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
Detectives arrested David Vasquez on suspicion of murder late the same day.
About 15 months prior to the child’s death, when he was five months old, he suffered a broken leg when Vasquez yanked him away from his mother, the district attorney’s statement said. “After that incident, the toddler was placed in foster care for about a month and then went to his grandmother’s house for six months. “He was then returned to his parents.”
BALDWIN PARK >> Authorities charged a 73-year-old man with solicitation of murder Thursday for allegedly offering to pay coworker at a Baldwin Park manufacturing facility to kill another coworker over workplace dispute.
Police arrested Ronald Herman Perfetto of Los Angeles Tuesday at a business in the 4700 block of Littlejohn Street, Baldwin Park police Lt. Doug Parnell said.
“Two separate employees told officers that (Perfetto) had offered them between $500 and $7,000, and a ‘clean gun,’ if they would kill another employee,” Baldwin Park police said in a written statement. “Officers learned the suspect had also inquired on how to withdraw money from his 401(k) plan.”
The company fired the suspect on the spot before police took him into custody, Parnell said.
A search of Perfetto’s home in the 1000 block of North Avenue 63 in Los Angeles lead to the recovery of 11 handguns, rifles and shotguns, police said. Investigators were looking into the registration of the weapons.
Perfetto was a longtime employee of the business, while the target of his alleged scheme was a man in his 30s with just a few years experience, Parnell said.
“The newer employee went to the boss with a new procedure or technique to improve efficiency. The employer liked it and implemented it,” the lieutenant said. “(Perfetto) felt slighted.”
Perfetto first offered the two coworkers $500 to carry out the hit, ultimately raising his bid to $7,000, Parnell said.
Prosecutors Thursday filed a charge of solicitation of murder against Perfetto, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
He entered a not guilty plea and was ordered back to West Covina Superior Court for a preliminary hearing setting on July 30, she said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Perfetto is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
Honda teamed with gas stations in Covina and Baldwin Park Saturday to help San Gabriel Valley Honda owners kick off their Independence Day travels by pumping free gas.
The helpful folks in blue shirts brought their “Random Acts of Helpfulness” campaign to Valero, 3660 Puente Ave. in Baldwin Park, in the late morning, then headed to Jerry’s Automotive Services and Kwik Serv, 4560 N. Grand Ave., early Saturday afternoon.
Word of the free fuel quickly spread, and both stations saw lines of Honda’s waiting to take advantage of the events.
Damian Ruiz, 20, of Covina said he rushed to the Covina gas station after receiving a text message from a friend letting him know about the unannounced giveaway.
“I was on a quarter (tank),” so this will get me through the weekend,” he said. “I’m going to Laughlin right after this, so it was perfect.”
A stroke of luck brought Rolando Buelnas, 23, of Covina, to the Covina giveaway.
He said he tried to go to the Baldwin Park event but didn’t make it in time. He headed to a car wash next door to the Covina station when the Honda crew coincidentally arrived to continue pumping free gas.
“I was going to wash my car and I saw this long line of Hondas,” he said.
Joanna Perales, 30, of Baldwin Park arrived at the Baldwin Park Valero station just as the Honda crew was leaving. So she said she decided to follow them to see if they stopped nearby.
The tactic paid off when the Honda team pulled in to Jerry’s Auto in Covina and let the pumps loose.
“This is awesome,” Perales said as Honda representatives filled her tank. Though she’d heard of Honda’s helpfulness campaign before, “You don’t really think it was really true until you actually go through it.”
BALDWIN PARK >> A 5-year-old boy died Wednesday after being caught up and strangled in a front-yard hammock at his home, officials said.
The “horrible accident” took place about 12:40 p.m. at a home in the 4900 block of Maine Avenue, Baldwin Park police Lt. Chris Kuberry said.
The boy was out in the front yard as his mother cooked him lunch, the lieutenant said.
When the mother came outside, she found the boy entangled in the hammock and not breathing, officials said.
The mother performed CPR until two Baldwin Park police detectives who arrived at the scene and took over until paramedics arrived, Kuberry said.
Officials rushed the boy to a hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries, he said.
Nothing criminal was initially suspected in the death, which was being investigated as an accident, Kuberry said.
BALDWIN PARK >> Authorities have released the identity of a 23-year-old La Puente man killed in a motorcycle crash on the 10 Freeway in Baldwin Park last week.
David Calvillo died at the scene of Thursday’s 7:50 a.m. crash on the westbound 10 Freeway near Puente Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said.
Calvillo was westbound on the freeway on a 2015 Harley-Davidson motorcycle when he lost control and ended up being thrown onto the roadway, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
The left, rear portion of a Greyhound charter bus heading westbound on the 10 Freeway at 20 to 25 mph ran over Calvillo, causing fatal injuries, the officer said.
The bus driver and four-dozen passengers on-board reported no injuries, officials said.
BALDWIN PARK >> A man died Thursday when he was run over by a Greyhound bus following a motorcycle crash on the 10 Freeway in Baldwin Park, officials said.
The motorcyclist’s identity was not released pending notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. He was estimated to be in his 20s.
He was westbound on the 10 Freeway near Puente Avenue about 7:50 a.m. when he lost control of his 2015 Harley-Davidson motorcycle and was thrown onto the roadway, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
At the same time, a Greyhound charter bus was traveling west in the No. 2 lane at 20 to 25 mph, he said.
“The left, rear of the bus unfortunately ran over the male rider, causing fatal injuries,” Jimenez said. Paramedics pronounced the rider dead at the scene.
Neither the driver of the bus nor any of his 48 passenger reported any injuries, Jimenez said.
Following the initial collision between the rider and the bus, either the cyclist or his motorcycle struck the rear of a Toyota Sequoia SUV. No one inside the SUV was hurt.
Officials shut down the three right-hand lanes of the westbound 10 Freeway for about two hours following the crash.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation. Anyone witnesses were asked to contact Officer Marcel Bacon of the CHP’s Baldwin Park Office at 626-338-1164.
IRWINDALE >> A Baldwin Park man was behind bars Sunday after being caught in the act of stealing copper wire from an industrial mining operation, police said.
Miguel Angel Gallegos, 31, was booked on suspicion of grand theft and providing false information to police following his arrest shortly before 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the 13100 block of Ramona Boulevard, Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said in a written statement.
A witness called 9-1-1 from a neighboring business to report seeing someone removing bales of copper wire from Vulcan Material Company via a surveillance camera, the sergeant said.
“Officers located a subject matching the description hiding in some bushes nearby the location,” Gatto said. “The subject was in possession of approximately 200 feet of large gauge copper electrical wire.”
Officers determined Gallegos had cut a hole in a fence surrounding the mining operation to take the wire, he said. The wire was valued at about $1,500.
Gallegos was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail at the Baldwin Park Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance.
INDUSTRY >> Coroner’s officials Sunday released the named of a Baldwin Park man and an Ontario woman who died when they car they were passengers in left the roadway and struck a tree along the 60 Freeway early Saturday.
Rafael Flores Reinoso, 49, of Baldwin Park and Michelle Alvarez, 23, of Ontario, died at the scene of the 2:40 a.m. crash along the eastbound 60 Freeway, just west of the 605 Freeway, in an unincorporated county area near Industry, Los Angeles County coroner’s Lt. Fred Corrall said.
They were passengers in a 2006 Scion tC being driven by a 24-year-old Ontario man that veered from traffic lanes and struck a tree along a gore point, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The driver and another passenger, described as a 45-year-old Ontario woman, were hospitalized with major injuries, according to the CHP. The cause of the crash remained under investigation.
BALDWIN PARK >> Authorities Thursday released the identity of a Baldwin Park man shot by police after allegedly pulling a gun on an officer who was chasing him through an alley.
James Anthony Teter, 23, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer following his shooting and arrest just before noon Wednesday in an alley between Stewart Cutler and Stewart avenues, just south of Los Angeles Street, according to Los Angeles County booking records and Lt. Holly Francisco of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
The shooting occurred as he was fleeing from a Baldwin Park police officer who recognized him as an AB 109 probationer wanted for violating the terms of his release, Francisco said. Teter allegedly pulled a handgun on the pursing officer, and the officer opened fire, striking Teter once in the arm.
Francisco said Teter initially continued running, but quickly surrendered to the officer after being wounded. No officers were hurt.
Booking records show Teter had already been treated for his injuries and booked into jail Thursday.
He was released from jail under AB 109 post-release community supervision April 8 after serving a little more than three months of a 225-day sentence following convictions for resisting or obstructing police and violating his probation earlier this year, records show.
According to Los Angeles Superior Court records, Teter’s previous convictions date back to 2010 and include domestic battery, drug possession, refusing a lawful police order, being a convicted felon in possession of a gun and auto theft.
Teter was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Friday in West Covina Superior Court.