UPDATE: Azusa man dies after being struck by pickup truck along Arrow Highway

AZUSA >> A 50-year-old Azusa man died after he was struck by a pickup truck while pushing a shopping cart across Arrow Highway late Friday, authorities said.
Ricardo Arteaga died shortly after being struck about 8:45 p.m. at Arrow Highway and Homerest Avenue, in an unincorporated area on the border between Azusa and Covina, California Highway Patrol Officer C. Banuelos said in a written statement.
Arteaga was struck by an westbound 2005 Dodge Ram pickup truck being driven by a 21-year-old Covina man while crossing the street on a residential stretch of Arrow Highway running parallel to the main road, officials said.
“Due to Arteaga failing to yield the right of way to the vehicle in the roadway,” the front of (the) Dodge collided into (him),” Banuelos said.
Arteaga was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries, CHP Officer Tony Polizzi said.
Following the initial impact, the shopping cart Arteaga was pushing was propelled into a 1995 Ford F-150 pickup truck stopped in eastbound traffic lanes, Banuelos said. But it did not appear the second vehicle struck Arteaga, as was initially indicated in CHP logs.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Officer Banuelos at the CHP’s Baldwin Park office at 626-338-1164.

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UPDATED: Irwindale fire station evacuated after found mortar shell brought in

IRWINDALE >> Officials evacuated a Los Angeles County fire station after a couple cleaning out a deceased veteran’s home in Covina discovered what appeared to be an 81mm mortar shell and brought it to the Irwindale firehouse Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The incident began just after 2 p.m. at Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 38, 15546 Arrow Highway, Irwindale police Capt. Ty Henshaw said.
A couple was cleaning out the home of a relative and military veteran who had died in Covina when they came across a collection of military items, which included the ordinance, described as a somewhat football-shaped M43A1 mortar shell, the captain said.
Firefighters stored the device in a brick office and summoned a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad to investigate, Henshaw said.
The bomb squad responded and determined the device was inert and contained no explosives, police said. The all-clear was sounded shortly before 4 p.m.
The fire station was evacuated, but no other nearby buildings in the commercial neighborhood were evacuated, Henshaw said.
In general, residents who discover possible explosives are advised to leave them where found and call 9-1-1, rather than transport them to a fire or police station, Henshaw said.

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Teenage burglary suspected arrested in Covina, property recovered


  1. COVINA >> An alert neighbor helped police arrest an alleged teenage burglar and recovered suspected stolen property Thursday in a residential neighborhood in Covina, officials said.
    The suspect, a 16-year-old San Bernardino boy, is accused of burglary and resisting or obstructing police, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
    A resident of the 1300 block of East Navilla Place called police about 11:20 a.m. to report seeing a suspicious person knock on a neighbor’s door, then walk to the rear of the home and out of sight after receiving no answer, Peterson said.
    Responding officers found the suspect, in the backyard of the home, the sergeant said. He hopped a fence and attempted to flee, but was quickly apprehended. Officer searched the area for any additional suspects but found none.
    Officers found evidence of a break-in at the Navilla Place home, Peterson said. They also found suspected stolen property in the suspect’s car, including jewelry appearing to be family heirlooms.
    The young suspect initially provided a false name to police, Peterson said. Once he was identified by fingerprints, police determined he was already wanted on an unspecified warrant out of San Bernardino County.PHOTO of recovered property courtesy of the Covina Police Department.
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Man sought in stabbing of woman near Covina arrested in Los Angeles


COVINA >> A man accused of stabbing a 23-year-old Glendora woman in an unprovoked attack last week was behind bars Sunday, authorities said.
Peter William Cooley, described as a 24-year-old transient, was arrested by LAPD Saturday afternoon, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records.
LAPD officers jailed him in connection with an attempted kidnapping case before realizing he was wanted for the Aug. 2 stabbing at Tri-Community Adult School, 20350 E Cienega Ave. in an unincorporated county area near Covina, sheriff’s Sgt. Nicole Davis said. Further details regarding the alleged kidnapping attempt in Los Angeles were not available.
He’s accused of stabbing the victim, a high school acquaintance, as she skateboarded with friends at the school about 12:45 P.M., according to Lt. Andy Berg.
Without uttering a word, Cooley approached the woman on a bicycle, then stabbed her four to five times in the torso and arm, Berg said. He then abandoned his bicycle and ran away.
The woman was hospitalized in fair condition following the stabbing, officials said.
According to county booking records, Cooley was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

PHOTO of stabbing suspect Peter Cooley, 24, courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Man sentenced for bizarre burglary, attack at Covina family’s home

COVINA >> A judge sentenced a 38-year-old transient to 17 years in prison Wednesday for a breaking into a Covina family’s home and trying to stab a resident with a metal stake while hallucinating on methamphetamine last year, officials said.
Jeffrey Benjamin Jimenez pleaded “no contest” to charges of burglary with a person present and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the bizarre crimes, which took place March 15 in the 1300 block of North Glenfinnan Avenue, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. He was immediately sentenced.
Police said they believed Jimenez was under the influence of methamphetamine and hallucinating when he walked into the family’s home and said he wanted to search it because he’d heard the voice of one of his family members calling out from inside.
The home was occupied by a man, a woman and their two sons, Covina police Lt. Rick Walczak said at the time.
“Jimenez reportedly tried to stab the homeowner with the metal rod, but the victim was able to distance himself with a table,” Ardalani said. “At some point, the defendant exited the home and then smashed the home’s windows before he ultimately left the scene.”
Police arrested Jimenez nearby.

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Honda pumps free gas in Baldwin Park, Covina


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.
0705_NWS_SGT-L-FREEGAS1“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.”

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Man jailed after leading West Covina police on short pursuit

WEST COVINA >> Police used bean bag rounds to subdue an uncooperative man following a short police chase early Sunday, officials said.
Fidel Pantoja, 26, of Covina, was booked on suspicion of felony evading of police and resisting arrest following the incident, which kicked off about 12:38 a.m., West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
Officers tried to pull over a car being driven by Pantoja in West Covina but he refused to yield, initiating a chase, Patton said. The pursuit came to an end minutes later when Pantoja stopped his car outside the Brunswick Covina bowling alley in the 1000 block of West San Bernardino Road.
Pantoja exited his car but ignored officer’s orders to surrender, the lieutenant said. Officers shot Pantoja with a bean bag round before taking him into custody.
A knife was found on the ground, within Pantoja’s reach, he said.
Pantoja, who has previous criminal cases pending, was being held in lieu of $155,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Man accused of stealing money from friend’s wallet in front of police during Covina traffic stop


COVINA >> Police stopped a driver for a traffic violation but ended up arresting his passenger after an officer spotted the suspect stealing money from his friend’s wallet during the traffic stop early Saturday, officials said.
Victor Hugo Rojas-Salgado, 22, of Rowland Heights was arrested on suspicion of petty theft following the unusual incident, which unfolded about 1:45 a.m. in the 200 block of West College Street, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
Two officers stopped a car, suspecting the driver may have been intoxicated, the sergeant said. The driver was ultimately found to be sober, but was issued a ticket for a traffic violation.
But while one officer spoke with the driver outside the car, Rojas-Salgado helped himself to $20 from his friend’s wallet and placed it in his pocket, Peterson said. Rojas-Salgado apparently didn’t realize the second officer was watching.
The officer asked the driver if his passenger should be taking money, and arrested Rojas-Salgado after the driver told them his friend did not have permission.
Rojas-Salgado was released with a misdemeanor citation, Peterson said.

PHOTO – Courtesy of the Covina Police Department

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Three Glendora burglary suspects jailed following chase, neighborhood search in Covina

Police arrested three Glendora burglary suspects Thursday following a pursuit that ended in Covina and a neighborhood search that lasted more than eight hours, authorities said.
Charter Oak High School and the school district office went on lockdown in response to the incident, which began about 10 a.m., Glendora police Lt. Matt Egan said.
Police received a report of a suspicious person entering the backyard at a house in the 600 block of East Kirkwall Road, Egan said.
When officers arrived, they spotted a 16-year-old boy exiting the home and took him into custody after a brief foot chase, the lieutenant said. Two additional suspects fled in a car, leading officers on a pursuit to the 4900 block of Mangrove Avenue in Covina, Lt. Scott Strong said. Both Suspects ran from the car in opposite directions, police said.
One of the fleeing men, later identified as 19-year-old Jabaree Williams of Los Angeles, was quickly apprehended, Strong said.
The third and final suspect, 34-year-old Jerad Chaney of Los Angeles, eluded police until officers, including a SWAT team and a police dog, found him hiding in a residential garage shortly after 6 p.m., Strong said.
Police recovered from the suspects items stolen in the Kirkwall Road break-in, as well as property taken during another Glendora burglary earlier in the day, Strong said.
Nearby Charter Oak High School at 1430 East Covina Blvd. and the Charter Oak Unified School District offices at 20240 East Cienega Ave. were placed on lock down as police hunted for the alleged burglars.

– Brian Day and Stephanie Baer

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Woman burned, man sought after suspected hash oil lab mishap near Covina

COVINA >> A woman suffered burns and a man was being sought after an apparent mishap stemming from a hash oil lab in an unincorporated county area near Covina Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The incident was firs reported about 1:45 p.m. as a possible assault after the woman showed up at a hospital with second-and third-degree burns on one of her arms, Sgt. F. Maldonado of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s San Dimas Station said. The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
Deputies determined the woman had suffered burns in some sort of mishap at a small-scale lab used to concentrate marijuana into hash oil, or “honey oil,” on Calora Street near Grand Avenue, the sergeant said.
The injured woman’s boyfriend, who was also believed to have been present at the hash oil lab, had left the home and remained unaccounted for Wednesday afternoon, Maldonado said.
Firefighters responded to the home but found no fire or smoldering, he added.
The incident took place one day after Glendora police arrested a man and dismantled another alleged hash oil lab in the 1200 block of East Elgenia Avenue in West Covina, officials said.

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