BALDWIN PARK >> Homicide detectives have announced the arrest of a Baldwin Park man in connection with the fatal stabbing of another man during a fight early Friday.
Steven Barron, 54, was initially detained for questioning and treated for injuries following the deadly fight, which unfolded about 12:10 a.m. inside a residential garage in the 4000 block of Harlan Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. By day’s end, detectives had booked him on suspicion of murder, Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
Gilbert Ochoa Jr., 43, died in the stabbing, according to sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
He was visiting a homeowner prior to the stabbing, Saldana said. The two men were talking when Barron, a tenant of the homeowner’s building, showed up.
“(Barron) entered the garage and started an argument with the victim that led to a fight,” Saldana said in a written statement. “The victim struck the suspect with a metal pipe but the suspect then gained control of the pipe, striking the victim and stabbing him with a knife.”
Ochoa died at the scene, officials said. He had been stabbed in the chest. A large kitchen knife believed to have been used in the stabbing was recovered at the scene.
Barron was treated for a broken arm as detectives continued their investigation, Lt. Joe Mendoza of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
The homeowner suffered no injuries in the incident, officials added.
According to county booking records, Barron was being held in lieu of $200,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Pomona branch.
BALDWIN PARK >> A Baldwin Park police officer escaped injury after a bullet shattered the rear windshield of his patrol car along Baldwin Park Boulevard late Wednesday, authorities said.
The attack took place about 8:45 p.m. in a parking lot just west of a Burger King restaurant at Baldwin Park and Ramona boulevards.
A lone officer had just finished a traffic stop and was pulling through the parking lot when a single bullet shattered the rear window of his patrol car, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Joseph Meister said. The officer was not hurt.
Police believed the shot was fired from south of the parking lot, but it was unclear where the gunfire came from, Meister said.
Officers cordoned off the area and searched for nearly four hours, but no suspects were found, he said.
No description was available, and the motive in the shooting was unclear.
Anyone with information can reach the Baldwin Park Police Department at 626-960-1955. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
BALDWIN PARK >> A man died following a drive-by shooting in a residential neighborhood in Baldwin Park late Saturday, authorities said.
The fatal shooting took place about 7:05 p.m. in the 14100 block of Clark Street, just west of Baldwin Park Boulevard, according to Deputy Lisa Jansen of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau. The sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is assisting Baldwin Park police in the investigation.
Killed was Jason George Teter, 21, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano. His’s city of residence was unavailable.
Teter victim and another man were walking east along Clark Street when a large white SUV pulled up from behind, Deputy Kimberly Alexander said in a written statement.
“One occupant of the SUV produced a handgun and opened fire, striking the victim in the torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene,” she said. The other man was uninjured.
“The suspects’ vehicle was last seen eastbound Clark Street and out of view. There is no suspect description,” Alexander said.
No further details were available.
Anyone with information is urged 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.
BALDWIN PARK >> Two men chased down a big rig to Irwindale after it was stolen in Baldwin Park Wednesday, but the thief escaped with the help of a knife-wielding accomplice who spirited him away in a getaway car, officials said.
The chain of events began about 11:50 a.m. with the report of a big rig being stolen in the 15200 block of Arrow Highway, just west of Azusa Canyon Road, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Joshua Hendricks said.
A co-owner of the truck and a man in his friend, both men in their 20s, saw the truck drive off, he said. They called police and followed behind the stolen big rig in another car.
The truck became stuck in traffic on Irwindale Avenue at the 210 Freeway in Irwindale, officials said. The driver of the just-stolen big rig reversed the truck and rammed his pursuers. No injuries were reported, and the damage to the car was described as minor.
The victims exited their car and tried to grab the truck thief, but an accomplice showed up and brandished a knife before both suspects fled in a gray BMW sedan, Hendricks said.
Detailed descriptions of the suspects were not available.
The investigation was being handled by Irwindale police, Hendricks said. Irwindale police Sgt. Rene Sapien declined to discuss the case, referring inquiries back to Baldwin Park police.
BALDWIN PARK >> New and soon-to-be drivers, along with their parents, are invited to join in a popular, free, two-hour driver safety class being offered by the California Highway Patrol later this month.
The “Start Smart Class” will be held from 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 at the CHP’s Baldwin Park-area office, 14039 Francisquito Ave., according to CHP officer Rodrigo Jimenez said. The program is free, but tends to fill up quickly, so early reservations are encouraged.
“The primary objective of this program is to provide teens between the ages of 15 (and) 19 with an interactive safe driving awareness class to illustrate how poor choices behind the wheel can tragically impact many lives,” CHP officials said in a written statement.
Photos and pictures indicating the results of bad decision behind the wheel will be shown, and teens must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. A driver license is not required to participate.
“The class is powerful and receives excellent reviews,” according to the statement.
The class generally fills to capacity, Jimenez said.
To reserve a space, or for more information, Officer Jimenez can be reached at 626-338-1164, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BALDWIN PARK >> An El Monte man already condemned to spend life behind bars received a new sentence of 86 years to life in state prison on Tuesday for the fatal shooting of a rival gang member on Christmas Eve in 2010, prosecutors said.
Johnny Mata, 35, who has also been convicted of a second, non-fatal gang shooting in Baldwin Park in 2012, spent more than a year as a fugitive after he was accidentally released from jail in 2013 while awaiting trial, then recaptured in Mexico in Mexico.
A jury Convicted Johnny Mata, 35, guilty last month of two felony counts of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon in the fatal shooting of 31-year-old David Deanda Jr., Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said. Jurors also found true the special, sentence-enhancing allegation that the killing was gang-related.
Co-defendant Jesus Arroyo Lule, 35, pleaded “no contest” in 2014 to a felony count of voluntary manslaughter for Deanda’s slaying and is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 17 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Pomona Branch.
Lule drove Mata to rival gang territory in the 13200 block of Francisquito Avenue in Baldwin Park. Baldwin Park in the predawn hours of Dec. 24, district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
“Once there, Mata exited the car and walked up to a house where David Deanda Jr., 31 was standing in the driveway,” according to the statement. “Mata then fatally shot Deanda in the torso before fleeing the scene, the prosecutor added.
Mata exited the car and walked up to Deanda Jr. who was standing in the driveway of a residence, Barkhurst said. Mata then fatally shot Deanda in the torso before fleeing the scene.
A third defendant, then-27-year-old Christina Montenegro, was initially charged in connection with the 2012 shooting, but the charges were ultimately dropped.
Deanda, who worked as a welder, was survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and a stepdaughter, according to family.
Prior to being arrested
In April 2012, Mata shot at the home of another rival gang member in Baldwin Park, and was found guilty of attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon in a 2015 trial. He was sentenced to life, plus 25 years, in state prison for those crimes. But the jury deadlocked on the murder charge stemming from Deanda’s fatal shooting, leading to a second trial.
Following his initial arrest in May of 2012 in connection with the Baldwin Park slaying, Mata spent more than a year on the lam after he as accidentally released due to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department clerical error.
He was re-captured in April of 2014 in Mexico and returned to the U.S. to face justice.
Following Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, Mata is now serving a total sentence of life in prison, plus 111 years to life in prison.
PHOTO: Johnny Mata of El Monte, (Courtesy)
BALDWIN PARK >> Police are investigating the stabbing of a drunken man found wounded in front of a Baldwin Park business Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The stabbing was first reported shortly after 4 p.m. in the 13800 block of Los Angeles Street, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Joshua Hendricks said.
A relative of the victim, a 26-year-old Baldwin Park man, found him wounded in front of a business and called for help, the sergeant said.
The man’s injury, a stab wound to his abdomen, did not appear to be life-threatening, Hendricks said.
Paramedics took the patient, who appeared extremely intoxicated, to a trauma center for treatment.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the stabbing were available.
The victim was either unwilling, or unable due to his level of inebriation, to tell police what happened, Hendricks said.
The investigation was ongoing.
BALDWIN PARK >> Bullets struck a parked car, but injured no one, during a drive-by shooting in a residential neighborhood in Baldwin Park Saturday afternoon.
The shots were fired about 4:30 p.m. in the 13200 block of Francisquito Avenue, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Shawn Blackburn said.
Officers found a car that had been struck by gunfire, but no gunshot victims either at the scene or at area hospitals, he said.
A silver vehicle was seen fleeing the area immediately after the shooting, he said. No further details were available.
BALDWIN PARK >> A California Highway Patrol pursuit instantly turned into a rescue operation Wednesday after a fleeing stolen SUV with three people inside crashed and burst into flames in Baldwin Park, authorities said.
All three occupants of the car suffered significant injuries but were expected to survive following the crash, which took place shortly after 2:20 p.m. at Garvey Avenue and Big Dalton Avenue, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
Officers were chasing a stolen Toyota RAV4 when it crashed and burst into flames, he said. The same officers then pulled the driver and two passengers from the burning wreckage.
Officers were chasing a stolen Toyota RAV4 when it crashed and burst into flames,” he said.
“What these guys did was heroic,” Jimenez said.
Driver Ruben Cabrera Jr., 35, of Montebello was booked on suspicion of auto theft, felony evading of police causing great bodily injury and possession of methamphetamine. He was also already being sought for alleged parole violations.
Cabrera suffered injuries including broken ribs in the crash, Jimenez said. He was treated for his injuries before being booking into jail.
A 27-year-old woman who was riding as a rear passenger suffered a mostly-severed arm, the officer said. Surgeons had reattached the arm Thursday, however the ultimate prognosis was unclear.
A 16-year-old girl who was two to three months pregnant and riding as a front passenger in the SUV suffered injuries including a broken wrist, Jimenez said.
Officers first spotted the Toyota RAV4 speeding in the fast lane of the westbound 10 Freeway near Puente Avenue, Jimenez said. The SUV suddenly exited the freeway at Fransicquito Avenue and blew through a stop sign at Garvey and Vineland avenues.
Officers tried to pull the SUV over, but the driver sped off, initiating a chase, he said.
But the driver lost control of the vehicle as it rounded a bend where Garvey Avenue becomes Big Dalton Avenue, striking several trees and shearing a fire hydrant, Jimenez said.
The SUV’s gas tank ruptured and the RAV4 burst into flames, he said.
The pursuing officers suddenly became rescuers as they freed the three trapped occupants from the burning car, Jimenez said.
The officers pulled the driver from the SUV, he said. “That’s when they heard screaming from inside the car. The fire started growing. They saw that there was a female passenger in the right rear.”
Officer managed to pull out the rear passenger and discovered the 16-year-old passenger also trapped in the front passenger seat.
As the fire continued to grow larger, the officers cut the seat belt of the third and final occupant and freed her from the flaming wreck, Jimenez said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Cabrera was being held without bail at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Friday in West Covina Superior Court.
BALDWIN PARK >> Coroner’s officials Friday released the identity of a 30-year-old Baldwin Park man who was fatally struck by a car while riding his bike near his home late Thursday.
James Hernandez died in the 9:23 p.m. collision at Baldwin Park Boulevard and La Rica Avenue, according to Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. He lived just around the corner from the crash scene on La Rica Avenue.
He was riding a bicycle across Baldwin Park Boulevard when he was struck by a northbound BMW sedan, Baldwin Park police Lt. Mark Adams said.
Paramedics pronounced Hernandez dead at the scene.
The driver of the BMW, a 19-year-old man, remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, Adams said.
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Baldwin Park Police Department’s Traffic Bureau.