Baldwin Park man sentenced for Orange County kidnappings, rapes

Jose Luis Capacete, 40, Baldwin Park

A former security guard from Baldwin Park received a sentence of 75 years-to-life in prison Friday for tying up and raping three prostitutes in 2011 with the use of a stun gun, authorities said.
Jose Luis Capacete, 50, received the sentence following his June 6 conviction on five felony counts and one misdemeanor, according to Orange County Superior Court Records and Orange County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Farrah Emami said.
A jury convicted him of two counts of sodomy by means of force, rape, oral copulation by force or injury, sexual penetration by a foreign object and battery. The jury also found true special, sentence-enhancing allegations of binding his victims, kidnapping and attacking multiple victims.
All three of Capacete’s victims were prostitutes he picked up in Santa Ana, officials said. All three were immigrants and in their 20s.
Orange County Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke said he was satisfied with the prison term.
“The 75-to-life was actually what I had recommended as an appropriate sentence in the case,” he said.
With about 25 years behind bars for each of his three victims, “It ensures that he’ll never get out.”
The crimes took place between June 1 and December 24, 2011, Emami said.
Capacete employed similar tactics in each of the three crimes, Burke said.
“All three testified he brandished a (stun gun),” the prosecutor said. “All three testified that he tied them up with a rope.”
A handgun was brandished in at least one of the crimes, officials said.
Though Capacete worked as an armored car driver for Brink’s in Orange County at the time of the crimes, Burke said the company did not provide him with the stun gun.
Authorities began investigating Capacete following a kidnapping and rape that occurred on Christmas Eve of 2011.
The victim reported the crime to police, who quickly identified Capacete as a suspect due to a vital clue he’d left behind.
Capacete tossed some money at the woman after completing the assault, but accidentally left a receipt from a gasoline purchase with the bills, Burke said.
The gas had been purchased with a credit card, which allowed detectives to zero in on Capacete, Burke added.
Shortly after the arrest, detectives suspected their were additional victims based on the “brutality and sophistication displayed during the Christmas Eve attack, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said at the time. That suspicion would prove correct
While searching his home in Baldwin Park, investigators discovered six cell phones which Capacete admitted belonged to prostitutes, he said.
Two additional victims were subsequently identified.

BOOKING PHOTO of Jose Luis Capacete: Courtesy

Man killed in Baldwin Park shotgun attack

BALDWIN PARK — A man died following a drive-by shotgun attack late Thursday in the second fatal shooting reported in the same neighborhood in a week, authorities said.
The name of the victim was not released Friday pending positive identification and confirmation that his family had been notified, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner officials said. The man’s age or city of residence were not available.
Police responded to the shooting just before 8:40 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 4700 block of Merced Avenue, near Olive Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The victim was shot in the front of the location after the suspects pulled up in a vehicle and fired a shotgun at him,” Sgt. Diane Hecht of the Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau said.
“The victim, who was hit by the gunfire in the upper torso, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead,” Hecht said.
Initial reports from the scene indicated police were searching for a red pickup truck with a camper shell immediately following the shooting, however officials did not confirm Friday whether that vehicle was involved in the shooting. Officials also did not confirm early reports that the victim had been shot in the head.
The motive in the slaying was unclear, Hecht said. It was unknown whether the shooting was gang-related.
Detectives from the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is assisting Baldwin Park police with the investigation, but could not be reached for comment Friday.
Thursday night’s slaying was the second fatal shooting in the city in seven days and occurred about two blocks away from last week’s homicide scene at Los Angeles Street and Merced Avenue.
Last Friday, 20-year-old Maurio Sotelo was discovered shot in front of a bus stop, according to sheriff’s and coroner’s officials. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
No suspect description was available, and sheriff’s officials released no further details.
Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477, or text “TIPLA” plus the tip to 274637, or use the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

- Ruby Gonzales and Brian Day

Man killed in Baldwin Park shooting identified

BALDWIN PARK — Authorities Saturday released the name of a 20-year-old man found shot to death in front of a bus stop.
Maurio Sotelo died at the scene of the shooting, which was reported about 12:15 a.m. Friday at Los Angeles Street and Merced Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner officials said. His city of residence was not listed.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials released no information regarding the circumstances of the shooting or any suspect description.
Sotelo was pronounced dead at the scene after being found suffering from gunshot wounds.
No further information was released.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are assisting Baldwin Park police in the investigation, and anyone with information was asked to contact the bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips can also be submitted anonymously by contacting L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Man fatally shot in front of Baldwin Park bus stop

BALDWIN PARK — A man was shot and killed early Friday in front of a bus stop, authorities said.
The name of the victim was not released Friday pending notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. He was initially described as a white man in his 20s.
Deputies said the shooting happened at 12:16 a.m. on Los Angeles Street and Merced Avenue and that the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. However, they didn’t have details yet on what led to the shooting or who found the man.
He was found suffering form gunshot wounds in front of a bus stop, Winter said.
Sheriff’s homicide detectives, who are assisting Baldwin Park police in the investigation, couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, or texting “TIPLA” plus the tip to 274637 or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org

- Staff report

Baldwin Park man shot while standing in front yard with wife

BALDWIN PARK — Two male attackers shot and wounded a Baldwin Park man as he stood in front of his home with his wife late Saturday, police said.
The shooting took place shortly before 11:50 p.m. in the 4800 block of Jerry Avenue, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Darryl Kosaka said.
“We received a call of shots fired in the area,” he said. “Officers arrive. They find a 47-year-old male with multiple gunshot wounds to the (legs) in front yard.”
He was hospitalized with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, the sergeant said.
The man’s wife suffered a minor injury when she was struck by a bullet fragment, Kosaka said.
The couple was standing in front of their home when they were approached by a vehicle described only as a dark-colored, “smaller” compact car, he said. Two attackers inside were described only as male.
They asked the victim where he was from — a common gang challenge — before opening fire, the sergeant said.

Baldwin Park man suspected of murder in death of toddler son

David Vasquez, 32, of Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK — A Baldwin Park man is accused of murder following the beating death of his 20-month-old son, authorities said Thursday.

David Vasquez, 32, was arrested late Wednesday in connection with the death of his son after detectives determined he had struck the toddler with objects, Detective Eddie Brown of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.

Joshua Anderson Vasquez died at Citrus Valley Medical Center – Queen of the Valley Campus shortly after his father brought him there, Brown said.

During an autopsy performed by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, “The doctor ruled it is a homicide, caused by blunt force trauma to torso and head,” the detective said.

“Visually, the child had injuries to his torso, including the side of the torso, and the head,” Brown said.

Investigators seized several object believed to have been used to strike the toddler, though Brown declined to identify them, citing the ongoing investigation.

Hospital officials notified Baldwin Park police when David Vasquez arrived at the emergency room with the injured toddler about 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, sheriff’s officials said.

The boy was pronounced dead at 11:08 a.m. at Citrus Valley Health Partners — Queen of the Valley Campus, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operation Ed Winter said.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were summoned to assist Baldwin Park police.

After more than eight hours of investigation, detectives placed the father in handcuffs at 8:44 p.m., according to Los Angeles County booking records.

The toddler’s mother was at work at the time of the incident, Brown said.

Records indicated he was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending arraignment, which was scheduled Friday in Pomona Superior Court.

PHOTO of David Vasquez courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Detectives investigate death of 1-year-old boy in Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK — Sheriff’s homicide detectives were called in to investigate after a 1-year-old boy died at a hospital after being reported unresponsive at a home Wednesday, authorities said.
Officials responded to a call about 10:50 a.m. reporting the child was unresponsive at a home in the 3700 block of Downing Avenue, Baldwin Park police Lt. David Reynoso said. Sheriff’s officials initially described the child as female.
They boy was rushed to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later, according to police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
Further information was not available as the investigation remained in its early stages, Reynoso said.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were handling the investigation.

Family files lawsuit in death of road worker on 10 Freeway in Baldwin Park

A former actor and motorcycle champion and his wife have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Caltrans, a contractor, the California Highway Patrol and the alleged drunken driver who drove through a freeway closure and fatally struck their son as he was performing construction work last year in Baldwin Park, an attorney for the family said Wednesday.

Connor McDermott Penhall, 21, died at the scene of the April 4, 2012, crash on the westbound 10 Freeway at Francisquito Avenue, according to officials and attorney Jeff Roberts of the Orange County-based Roberts Law firm, who is representing Penhall’s parents Bruce and Laurie Penhall.

Connor Penhall was working for Colorado-based Caltrans contractor Flatiron Construction Corp. when he was struck, officials said.

Tatsuhiko Sakamoto, 39, of Arcadia is awaiting trial on charges of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, drunken driving causing injury and driving with a blood-alcohol level above .08, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.

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Redlands man dies in Baldwin Park shooting

Raymond Vasquez, 22, of Redlands

BALDWIN PARK – A 22-year-old Redlands man died late Friday at the scene of drive-by shooting in Baldwin Park, officials said.
Raymond Leonard Vasquez was killed in the 10:20 p.m. shooting in the 3100 block of Maine Avenue, just north of Francisquito Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
Few details regarding the shooting were available Saturday morning.
“The victim was standing outside in the 3100 block of Maine Avenue, Baldwin Park, when he was shot multiple times in the upper torso,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. “Investigators have no suspect description and are asking for the public’s assistance.”
Vasquez died in a residential driveway, and the shots were believed to have come from a passing vehicle, officials said. No suspect or vehicle description was available, and the motive was not clear.
A nearby who resident who asked that her name be withheld for fear of retaliation said she was washing clothes when she heard a gunshot.
Raymond Vasquez memorialAfter a second or two of silence, the woman said she heard another series of gunshots in rapid succession.
“It was maybe like five or eight,” she said.
The woman saihe then saw gray car, resembling a Dodge Stratus, speeding away from the area.
Sheriff’s officials Saturday could not confirm the gray vehicle was involved.
“I got kind of scared. My kids were in the back,” the woman added.
A memorial of candles, flowers and balloons marked the site of the killing Saturday. One balloon bore the handwritten message, “In loving memory of Ray Ray.”
The memorial also included a photograph of Vasquez holding a young girl, though it was unclear if he was a father.
Family members of Vasquez could not be reached for comment Saturday.-
Baldwin Park police deferred comment to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are assisting Baldwin Park police in the investigation.
Anyone with information was asked to contact detectives at 323-890-5500.

Man robbed of wallet in Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK — A man lost his wallet to an armed robber late Friday in a residential neighborhood, authorities said.
The victim was walking in the area of Syracuse Avenue and Royston Street about 11:30 p.m. when he was approached by another man who brandished a handgun and demanded the victim’s wallet, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Darryl Kosaka said.
The victim complied and handed over his wallet, which contained about $25, the lieutenant said.
The robber was described as a Latino man between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 7 inches tall, wearing a black hooded sweat shirt, Kosaka said. He was last seen getting into a white car.