BALDWIN PARK >> Police arrested a woman and her brother on suspicion of kidnapping and other crimes after the siblings snatched the woman’s toddler son from the home of the boy’s father in Baldwin Park Friday, officials said.
Elizabeth Arias, 25, and Anthony Arias, 22, both of Baldwin Park, were ultimately jailed on suspicion of kidnapping, burglary and domestic violence, Baldwin Park police Lt. Chris Kuberry said.
The incident began about 8:30 a.m. when the brother and sister went to the father’s home in the 14800 block of Central Avenue and forced their way inside, the lieutenant said.
“The suspects became involved in a physical altercation with the father,” Kuberry said. “(Elizabeth Arias) kicked open a bedroom door and took the baby.” The woman and her brother then left in a black SUV.
Detectives found and arrested Anthony Arias in El Monte about 12:20 p.m., Kuberry said. When asked where the toddler was, “He was not cooperative.”
Investigators spotted Elizabeth Arias driving in El Monte about 4:30 p.m. and pulled her over, he said. Police found the boy, unharmed, inside the vehicle and arrested his mother.
There was no legal custody arrangement between the boy’s parents, Kuberry said.
BALDWIN PARK >> The cause of death of a 54-year-old Duarte man found unconscious in front of a Baldwin Park grocery store remains under investigation, though the man suffered from several maladies and foul play was not initially suspected.
Paramedics pronounced Raul Ygnacio Acuna dead shortly after he was found lying unconscious in front of Food 4 Less, 3000 N. Baldwin Park Blvd., Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
An autopsy had been performed, but a cause of death was yet to be determined pending the results of additional tests, Winter said Thursday.
Though listed in coroner’s documents as transient, niece Rachel Chavez said her uncle was a lifelong Duarte resident.
Family members were awaiting word from the coroner regarding exactly what happened to Acuna, she said. They knew only that he had gone for a walk after leaving the nearby Kaiser Permanente hospital.
“He was diabetic,” the niece said. He had a lot of ailments.”
Acuna is survived by son Nicholas Acuna; mother Linda Olsen-Acuna; siblings Angela Acuna Hernandez, Eddie Acuna Jr., Cynthia Marin, Alex Acuna, David Olsen; and many nieces and nephews, Chavez said.
A former steel worker who had not been working lately due to his illness, Chavez described her uncle as a “funny, funny guy.”
“He was one of those guys who wanted to make everyone laugh,” she said. “He was so much fun to be around. His energy was so amazing.”
“His family loved him very much,” Chavez said. “We will greatly miss him.”
BALDWIN PARK >> Coroner’s officials Sunday released the identity of a 54-year-old man found dead in front of a Baldwin Park grocery store Thursday night.
Raul Ygnacio Acuna, was found dead about 10 p.m. Thursday in front of Food 4 Less, along Baldwin Park Boulevard, just south of Francisquito Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
An autopsy was yet to be completed Sunday, however investigators found no initial signs of foul play, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Johnny Patino said.
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.