UPDATED: Two women killed, toddler wounded in Covina shooting; parolee jailed

COVINA >> A parolee is suspected of killing two women and seriously wounding a toddler in a shooting at a Covina home early Sunday, authorities said.
The incident was first reported just after midnight, when Lucas Doi Fick, 36, of Covina knocked on a door of a home in the 700 block of Rancho Sinaloa Drive, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said. He had an injured 2-year-old boy with him.
“(He) said that ‘something bad’ had happened, and to call the police,” the lieutenant said.
“Responding officers went into residence and discovered two adult females decease from apparent gunshot wounds,” Walczak said. Their identities were not available.
Officials also discovered that the young boy had been shot in the back, he said.
“The child underwent emergency surgery,” Walczak said. His injuries were serious, but he was expected to survive.
Police recovered several guns from the scene, he said.
Fick, a parolee fitted with a GPS ankle monitor due to a lengthy prior criminal record, was taken into custody, police said.
He was initially booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms and violating his parole as the investigation continued, Walczak said. But investigators considered him a suspect in the double-slaying of the two women and the attempted murder of the boy.
No further details, including the relationships between the suspect and victims and the motive, were available Sunday afternoon.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Fick was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Wednesday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Los Angeles County Superior Court records show Fick’s extensive rap sheet includes convictions for attempted possession of ammunition by a felon in 2016; burglary and resisting or obstructing police in 2015; possession of a gun by felon, possession of ammunition by a felon and theft in 2014; theft in 2013; dissuading a witness in 2012; possession of drugs for sales in 2009; drug possession in 2008; possession of methamphetamine in 2007; assault with a deadly weapon in 2004; possession of an illegal knife on a college campus in 2002; and criminal threats in 2001.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Covina Police Department Detective Bureau at 626-384-5612. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.


PHOTO of Lucas Fick courtesy of the Covina Police Department

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Cleanup efforts continue in wake of SoCal soaking

Evacuation orders were lifted in Duarte Saturday morning as crews worked throughout the Southland to clean up mud and fallen trees, as well as repair massive sink holes, left in the wake of Friday’s downpour.
A thin layer of mud flowed onto streets in portions of the Fish fire burn area in Duarte during the storm, but K-rails and other measured held fast, and no significant damage was reported following six straight hours of heavy rain, according to city and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
“Exising K-rails and newly installed deflector walls on Melcanyon Road contained the mud and debris flow that occurred in the city shortly after 6 p.m. on Friday,” city officials said in a written statement. “No property damage or injuries have been reported and city crews were on site prior to 7 a.m. to commence clean-up work.”
Officials lifted mandatory evacuation orders Residents of about 200 homes in the Fish fire burn area Saturday morning. The majority of residents of the area, however, ignored the order and chose instead ride out the storm.
•Map: Fish fire burn area
The Fish fire burn area remained on “Yellow Alert” Saturday. Only residents were being allowed into the previously evacuated neighborhood, and rain-related parking restrictions remained in effect.
Parking was not available on Melcanyon Road, between Brookridge and Fish Canyon roads, due to the continuing clean-up efforts, officials said. Residents of that stretch of road were advised to legally park an adjoining side streets and walk to their homes.
Intermittent street closures were expected as the cleanup continued, officials said. Residents were urged to keep streets free from vehicles, trash bins or other objects, or the may be removed by authorities.
The Duarte Transit was not operating within the affected area.
Throughout Southern California, fallen trees, mud and sink holes continued affecting traffic Saturday.
•Video: Cleanup on Melcanyon Road in Duarte
A large sink hole opened up alongside San Bernardino Road at Hollenbeck Avenue in Covina Saturday morning, swallowing up a tree and forcing the closure of the intersection as workers made repairs, Covina police officials said.
The sink hole was blamed on a broken irrigation line, according to Covina police Capt. David Povero.
In Pasadena, a tree toppled over onto a clothing store in the 1100 block of Green Street Saturday morning, prompting authorities to red tag the structure, Pasadena Fire Department officials said.
A woman was rescued Friday night after her car, a followed later by a minivan, fell 10 feet down into a massive sink hole that opened up on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, south of Moorpark Street. The woman suffered no serious injuries, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott.
Four deaths in the Southland are attributed to the storm. A man died in Sherman Oaks Saturday morning after a tree knocked down electrical lines, which electrocuted him. A driver was found dead inside a submerged car in Victorville. And two people died in car crashes believed to be rain-related.
Los Angeles County parks that remained closed due to the storm included the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park, the Eaton Canyon Park and Nature Center, Walnut Creek Community Regional Park, San Angelo Park, Rimgrove Park and Avocado Heights Park, county Department of Parks and Recreation officials announced Saturday.

PHOTOS: [ABOVE] A large sink hole swallowed a tree and forced a street closure on San Bernardino Road at Hollenbeck Avenue in Covina on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (Courtesy, Covina Police Department) [BELOW] A tree toppled over onto a clothing store in the 1100 block of Green Street in Pasadena early Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, prompting authorities to red tag the building. (Courtesy, Pasadena Fire Department)

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Woman gets 16 year prison sentence for stabbing mother to death at Covina senior living facility

COVINA >> A Los Angeles woman was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in prison after admitting to fatally stabbing her 61-year-old mother at a senior living facility in Covina two years ago.
Sarah Ardalani, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said 44-year-old Athina Sumi Rivera pleaded guilty on Thursday to the second-degree murder of Margaret Yamaguchi.
Ardalani said Rivera also admitted a special allegation that she personally used a deadly weapon, a knife, during the crime.
The fatal stabbing occurred Sept. 7, 2015 at Atria Covina in the 800 block of West San Bernardino Road.
Rivera, who lived in Los Angeles, was staying at her mother’s home for the night, according to Deputy District Attorney Lauren Guber, who prosecuted the case.
Rivera woke up in the middle of the night, retrieved a kitchen knife that she had previously taken from within her mother’s home and hidden and stabbed the victim several times, Guber said.
Yamaguchi was believed to be asleep, “or at least in bed,” when the attack began, she said.
The mother managed to activate a body-worn safety alar she was wearing during the stabbing, drawing facility staff to the room, Guber said.
The staff found Yamaguchi bleeding from multiple stab wounds, and her daughter still in the room. Paramedics pronounced Yamaguchi dead at the scene.
Guber said Rivera, who has a history of mental illness, made no attempt to flee and freely admitted that she had stabbed her mother. The small kitchen knife used in the slaying was found at the scene.
The killer mentioned to specific motive for the killing, but rather a general anger at her mother.
“She indicated when she was interviewed by police after she was arrested that she felt that her mother caused her a lot of pain in her life, and she wanted to cause (her mother) as much pain to her as she had caused,” the prosecutor said.
An autopsy determined Yamaguchi died from “multiple sharp force injuries,” according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner records.
Despite a history of mental illness, Guber said there was no doubt she was aware of her actions and the ramifications.
“She was definitely lucid,” Guber said.
Rivera could have faced more than 25 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder, as initially charged.
In considering the totality of the circumstances of the case, however, prosecutors decided to accept a second-degree murder plea proffered by the defense.
The Covina Police Department investigated the slaying.

— Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales

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Covina police K-9 attacked by stray pit bull

"Covina Police Officer Ryan Ryan Rasmussen with his new K-9 partner, Yarno, at Covina City Hall on Thursday July 23, 2015. It has been more than 10 years without a police K-9 servicing Covina. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)"

*FILE PHOTO* Covina Police Officer Ryan Ryan Rasmussen with his new K-9 partner, Jarno, at Covina City Hall on Thursday July 23, 2015. It has been more than 10 years without a police K-9 servicing Covina. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

COVINA >> Covina Police Department K-9 Jarno is recovering after being attacked by a stray pit bull while walking with his handler along Barranca Avenue on Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, who joined the department in July of 2015 after more than 10 years without a police dog, suffered puncture wounds to his abdomen but was expected to be okay, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
The attack took place about 4:30 a.m. in the 500 block of South Barranca Avenue, as the K-9 and his handler were heading to a fundraiser to benefit the department’s K-9 unit, the lieutenant said.
“The K-9 officer, (Ryan) Rasmussen, was walking with his partner, Jarno, when a stray pit bull attacked our K-9, Walczak said.
Rasmussen used a Taser to fend off the attacking pit bull, which ran off and was not found, he said.
Jarno was taken to a veterinarian for treatment of puncture wounds and abrasions, police said. The injuries did not appear major, and Jarno was expected to spend about a week off duty to recover.
Authorities were still seeking the involved pit bull, described as a 70-pound, dark-gray American pit bull wearing a dark-colored collar.
Anyone with information can reach Covina police at 626-384-5595.

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PHOTO courtesy of the Covina Police Department

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Do you recognize this Covina Rolex burglar?


COVINA >> Police are seeking a man caught on surveillance video breaking into a downtown Covina jewelry store last month and stealing three Rolex watches valued at more than $10,000.
The crime took place about 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 26 at Willy’s Jewelry, 142 N. Citrus Ave., Covina police Detective Ivan Ostarcevic said.
The burglar first disabled an overhead light behind the store before leaving to retrieve a sweatshirt, flashlight and pry bar, the detective said. He then forced open the back door, the detective said.
“He went straight for the three most expensive watches,” Ostarcevic. “It appears he’s been there before.”
Nothing was stolen other than the Rolex watches — valued at a total of $10,600, he said.
Police described the thief as a white man in his 50s, about 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, clean-shaven, with short gray hair and eyeglasses.
Anyone who recognizes the burglar is asked to contact Covina police at 626-384-5595. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

VIDEO/PHOTOS courtesy of the Covina Police Department

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Azusa gang member, woman arrested in Covina with stockpile of drugs

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COVINA >> Police jailed an Azusa gang member late Friday after he ran from a traffic stop with large amounts of methamphetamine, cocaine and concentrated cannabis, as well as other people identifying documents, officials said.
Steven Anthony Quintana, 42, of Azusa, who was already on felony probation for previous robbery conviction under the terms of AB 109, was ultimately booked on suspicion of possession of drugs for sales, possession of identity theft-related materials and resisting arrest, according to Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Quintana’s passenger, 37-year-old Darlene Denise Martinez, whose hometown was unclear, was booked on suspicion of possession of drugs for sales and possession of identity-theft related materials.
An officer first tried to pull Quintana over for a traffic violation about 6:30 p.m., Covina police Sgt. Antonio Zavala said.
After a delay, Quintana pulled over in the 5300 block of Cedarglen Drive, where he ran from the car, the sergeant said.
A police helicopter which was already overhead directed officers on the ground to Quintana, who was found in the area and arrested without a struggle, Zavala said.
Quintana ditched his jacket while running from police, he said. Inside the jacket, police found 46 grams of methamphetamine, seven grams of cocaine and 32 grams of concentrated cannabis. Inside the car, police also found identifying documents in the names of other people.
Quintana and Martinez were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, records show.

BOOKING PHOTOS of Steven Quintana and Darlene Martinez courtesy of the Covina Police Department.

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Man wounded in stabbing near Covina


COVINA >> A man refused to cooperate with deputies after he was found stabbed in a residential neighborhood near Covina early Saturday, officials said.
The incident was first reported about 1:45 a.m. as a stabbing victim spotted wounded in the street in the 4600 block of West Bellbrook Street, in an unincorporated county area just outside of Covina, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bertha Payes said.
Deputies found a man in his late-30s suffering from at least one stab wound to his back, she said. But he would not tell investigators what happened or who stabbed him.
The victim was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, Payes said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Police uproot 1,000 pot plants from alleged Covina front business operating as ‘Chronic Inc.’

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COVINA >> Police uprooted about 1,000 marijuana plants from a Covina commercial building posing as an insurance agency on Friday afternoon, officials said.
Dashun Lin, 59, was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana as police served a search warrant about 3 p.m. at the businesses, labeled Catano Enterprises Inc., 1055 W. San Bernardino Road, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said. Lin had a listed address in Baldwin Park, though it appeared he’d been living in the alleged front business.
Officers found about 1,000 mostly-mature marijuana plants inside the business, along with several pounds of processed marijuana, the lieutenant said.
The complex, seven-room operation included about 100 light ballasts and sophisticated electrical work, he added.
Police sought a warrant after an officer went to the area Thursday on a service call and noticed a powerful odor of marijuana emanating from the purported auto insurance agency, according to Walczak.
Upon looking up the business’ permit, the officer found that it was licensed with the city to operate as an auto dealership under the name, “Chronic Inc.” Chronic is slang for high-quality marijuana.
A tiny, sparsely furnished office separated the front door from a security door within the business, behind which the marijuana was growing, Walczak said. It did not appear that any legitimate business was taking place there.
Authorities suspected the pot-growing operation was set up some time in 2016.
According to county booking records, Lin was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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PHOTOS courtesy of the Covina Police Department

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Glendora man accused of selling heroin near high school in Covina

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COVINA >> Police jailed a Glendora man Sunday on suspicion of selling heroin at an apartment building across the street from a high school in Covina, officials said.
Christopher Michael Strohl, 30, was booked on suspicion of possession of heroin for sales, as well as an existing traffic warrant, following his 9 a.m. arrest at an apartment complex in the 1000 block of West Cypress Street, across the street from Northview High School, according to Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Officers had received complaints of drug dealing in the area when they spotted Strohl, who appeared suspicious, standing in a carport, Covina police Sgt. Antonio Zavala said.
They soon realized the man, later identified as Strohl, had an outstanding traffic warrant, he said.
While searching the suspect, officers discovered 9.8 grams of heroin, as well as a small amount of methamphetamine, the sergeant said.
The heroin had an estimated street value of $1,000, he added.
Strohl was being held in lieu of $65,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

PHOTO courtesy of the Covina Police Department

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Wanted San Dimas man arrested after pursuit through Covina

COVINA >> Police on Sunday jailed a San Dimas man on suspicion on outstanding robbery and drug smuggling warrants, and were investigating his possible connection to an armed robbery in Glendora early Saturday, after he led Covina police on a high-speed chase before being captured by a SWAT team and a K-9, authorities said.
Bryan McMaster, 46, was ultimately booked on suspicion of felony evading of police, as well as warrants for robbery and smuggling drugs into the Glendora Police Department’s jail, Covina police Sgt. Antonio Zavala said.
Detectives were also looking into the possibility McMaster was responsible for a Saturday morning armed robbery at a CVS Pharmacy in Glendora, Covina and Glendora police officials said. A concrete link was yet to be established.
The chase began after an officer spotted the wanted man about 9:30 a.m. in a car in the parking lot of the Park Inn, 1211 E. Garvey Street, Zavala said.
McMaster refused to pull over, initiating a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 mph on surface streets, the sergeant said. After leading police on a chase for about three miles, McMaster abandoned his car and continued fleeing on foot after driving into a cul-de-sac on Bender Avenue, just north of Navilla Place, in an unincorporated county area just outside of Covina.
A SWAT team was summoned to search for the suspect, as he was presumed armed and dangerous, according to Zavala.
SWAT officers, aided by Covina police K-9 Jarno, found McMaster hiding in a shed behind a vacant home nearby about noon, he said.
McMaster was treated for minor dog bite injuries and booked into jail, Zavala said.
His wife, who was riding as a passenger during the pursuit, was also being detained for questioning Sunday afternoon, he added.

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