CHP plans checkpoint near Covina this weekend

COVINA >> California Highway Patrol officers are planning a sobriety checkpoint this weekend near Covina, authorities said.
The checkpoint will be begin at 7 p.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location in the unincorporated county area adjacent to Covina, CHP officials said in a written statement.
The checkpoint is being funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Police: Woman stabs boyfriend with knife, fork in Covina

COVINA — A Covina woman stabbed her boyfriend numerous times with both a kitchen knife and fork during an argument at a Covina mobile home park late Friday, authorities said.
Mist Napolitano, 52, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the alleged attack, which took place about 8:50 p.m. at a mobile home park in the 1300 block of North Citrus Avenue, Covina police Sgt. Jim McDonough said.
Napolitano and her longtime boyfriend, 45, became involved in an argument when she stabbed him numerous times with a kitchen knife, the sergeant said. The man was stabbed in both his arms, his chin and his upper torso.
The man was also stabbed several times in the back with a fork, McDonough said. The wounded man managed to call for help and was hospitalized in stable condition.
Napolitano fled the scene but was captured a short time later, with blood still on her clothing, outside the Aurora Charter Oak Hospital, police said.
Napolitano, who is on parole, was being held without bail, officials added.
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Teen robbed of skateboard, cell phone in Covina

COVINA >> Two armed robbed a teen of his skateboard and cell phone late Friday, police said.
The boy was approached about 9:20 p.m. in the 200 block of East Rowland Street by two robbers, one brandishing a handgun and the other with a knife, Covina police Sgt. Rob Bobkiewicz said.
They demanded the teen’s cell phone and skateboard, and he turned the items over before the suspects ran off, the sergeant said. The victim was not hurt.
The robbers were described as a Latino man with a red bandanna over his face, armed with a handgun, and a black man wearing a black hooded sweat shirt and a red bandanna over his face, armed with a knife.
Police searched the area but were unable to find the robbers, Bobkiewicz said.

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Police: Covina stabbing suspect jailed after returning to scene of crime

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COVINA — Police arrested a stabbing suspect Sunday after he returned to the scene of the crime in search of the knife used in the attack, police said.
Manual Alexander Valdez, 24, of Azusa was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the 3:30 a.m. stabbing in the 1100 block of East Wingate Avenue, Covina police Sgt. Jim McDonough said.
Valdez was acquainted with the victim, a 25-year-old man, and they arrived together to visit a home in the neighborhood, the sergeant said.
“(Valdez) thinks the victim is hitting on his girlfriend and an argument ensues,” the sergeant said.
The men continued arguing as they walked down the street, where Valdez allegedly stabbed the victim in the arm, police said. The wounded man suffered a severed artery and was hospitalized in serious condition.
The attacker had fled the area when officers arrived, but a witness reported seeing a man looking through some nearby bushes with a flashlight just prior to their arrival, McDonough said. The man fled as police approached, and investigators suspected it was the suspect trying to recover the weapon used in the stabbing.
Unbeknownst to Valdez, McDonough said, police found a set of brass knuckled with a blade attached that was believed to have been used in the attack at the scene.
As the investigation continued, police identified Valdez as the suspect and began keeping watch over his Azusa home, McDonough said.
But police received a call from the same neighborhood where the stabbing occurred about 11 a.m. reporting that a man was again searching through the bushes, the sergeant said.
Police rushed to the area and pulled Valdez over as he was driving out of the neighborhood, McDonough said. He was arrested in connection with the stabbing, and also had a small amount of what police believed to be heroin with him.
Valdez had blood splattered on his pants and shoes when arrested, the sergeant added.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Valdez was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending his arraignment, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Teen with airsoft rifle draws massive police response near Covina

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COVINA >> Deputies swarmed a neighborhood in unincorporated county area near Covina after concerned residents reported seeing a young man on a roof with what ultimately turned out to be a replica assault rifle that fires plastic BBs, authorities said.
The incident kicked off just before 5 p.m. at a two-story home at San Bernardino Road and Woodgrove Avenue, directly across from the Tri-Community Adult Education Center.
“We received a report of a person on a roof with a scoped rifle ,” Sgt. Joe Bolanos of the sheriff’s San Dimas Station said. At least one additional witness also subsequently called officials to report seeing the apparent gunman.
Deputies surrounded the home and ordered the occupants out, Bolanos said. A family comprised of two parents and four sons complied and cooperated with deputies.
0328_NWS_SGT-L-AIRSOFT2It was determined that the possible gunman worried witnesses reported seeing was actually a teenage boy who lives at the home, Bolanos said. He had been carrying an “extremely realistic-looking” airsoft rifle with the appearance of an assault weapon on a second-floor deck attached to the house. Witnesses did not report seeing him firing the gun, which shoots plastic BBs.
After checking the home to make sure there was no real gunman, deputies advised the family to be more careful in displaying the airsoft guns in the future. No arrests were made.
Bolanos recommended that airsoft aficionados “only use and display those airsoft (guns) in the designated areas where they compete and play. Never, ever in the city, and especially near a school.”
The nearby adult school was placed on lockdown and traffic on San Bernardino Road was shut down for about an hour as officials sorted out the situation.

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Covina RadioShack robbed

COVINA — A heavyset gunman robbed a RadioShack store and its employees late Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The heist took place about 6:20 p.m. at the store, 1065 West Badillo Street, Covina police Lt. Dave Foster said.
The gunman demanded money from the cash register, and also demanded employees’ property such as wallets and cell phones, the lieutenant said.
The robber then ordered the employees to a back room before running off, Foster said.
He was described as a Latino man in his late-30s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 300 pounds, Foster said. He wore a blue shirt, jeans and a black baseball cap.

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Covina man accused of restaurant robbery

COVINA — Police arrested an alleged restaurant robber Wednesday at the end of a two-hour standoff, officials said.
Daniel Robert Zamora, 43, of Covina is accused of robbery following the 3:30 p.m. heist at the Fonda Don Chon Mexican Restaurant, 618 E. Shoppers Lane, Covina police Detective Sgt. Jim McDonough said in a written statement.
He entered the restaurant, claimed to have a handgun and demanded money from the register, police said. He fled east from the store after obtaining cash, but was followed by an employee of the restaurant.
“Covina police officers and detectives quickly learned that the suspect was seen in an apartment complex in the 500 block of South Stewart Avenue,” McDonough said. Officials soon tracked Zamora to an apartment, but he initially refused to come out.
“After a two-hour standoff, police officers were able to persuade the suspect to exit the apartment, at which time he was taken into custody without further incident,” the sergeant said.
According to county booking records, Zamora was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Covina Police Department’s jail pending a scheduled arraignment Friday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Police: Man terrorizes Covina family during meth-fueled hallucination

COVINA — A man believed to be hallucinating under the influence of methamphetamine terrorized a Covina family and attempted to stab a man with a metal stake Saturday, police said.
Jeffrey Benjamin Jimenez, a 37-year-old transient, was ultimately booked on suspicion of attempted murder and burglary in connection with the bizarre incident, which unfolded shortly before 10 a.m. at a home in the 1300 block of North Glenfinnan Avenue, according to Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Jimenez, who later admitted to police to using methamphetamine earlier in the day, was walking in the neighborhood when he apparently began hallucinating, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
“He believed that he heard the voice of a family member coming from inside a home,” the lieutenant said.
The home in question was occupied by a man, woman and their two sons, Walczak said.
“He walked into their home and asked to search their home,” he said. “He began looking around. Then he left for a short period of time.”
The startled family locked their doors when Jimenez left.
“He came back,” Walczak said. “He kicked in the front door. He had armed himself with a metal garage sale sign stake. He began chasing the father around the inside of the residence, attempting to stab him with the stake.”
Jimenez ultimately smashed several windows at the home before leaving, police said. No injuries were reported.
Responding officers detained Jimenez nearby and ultimately arrested him.
According to county booking records, Jimenez was being held in lieu of $1.05 million bail pending his scheduled arraignment Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Man accused of bizarre break-in, arson in Covina Hills

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COVINA HILLS >> A man refused to get out of a burning car and had to be pulled from the vehicle by firefighters following a bizarre burglary and arson that unfolded Thursday afternoon in an unincorporated county area near Covina, authorities said.
A 32-year-old man was arrested and treated for minor injuries following the alleged unusual crimes, which took place just before 3 p.m. in the 3200 block of Rancho La Carlota Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Vega said. The suspects identity was not immediately available.
Firefighters responded to a fire alarm at the home an encountered a black car in the driveway, with flames emanating from the hood and the suspect sitting inside, talking on a cell phone, Vega said.
“He was sitting in there, with an engine fire, with the windows up,” the lieutenant said. The doors were also locked.
Firefighters urged the man to get out of the car as they extinguished the flames, but he refused, Vega said. When the man rolled down a window, apparently due to the thickening smoke, firefighters grabbed him and pulled him from the burning vehicle.
The man, who appeared to be under the influence of an unknown drug, suffered a minor cut and burn.
Officials also discovered the man had broken into the Rancho La Carlota Road home through a window and ransacked the house, causing significant damage, Vega said. It was not immediately clear whether anything had been stolen.
He was also accused of lighting several potted plants around the home on fire.
Vega said the man was a stranger to the residents of the house, who were not home during the incident.
Due to the unusual circumstances of the incident, such as the burning gas can and jumper cables found running into a backyard swimming pool, officials initially feared the home may have been booby trapped, according to sheriff’s radio traffic. But no booby traps were ultimately found.
A motive in the bizarre series of alleged crimes was unclear.

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Young man struck by car, critically injured while chasing after pet dog in Covina

COVINA — Rescuers rushed a 19-year-old man to a trauma center in critical condition Friday after he was struck by a car while chasing after a pet dog, authorities said.
The collision took place about 6:30 p.m. along Workman Avenue at Fircraft Avenue, Covina police Lt. Ric Walczak said.
The young man chased the escaped family pet into the roadway when he was struck by a sedan being driven by a woman, according to police and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
The man, who suffered head injuries and a broken leg, was unconscious when paramedics flew him by helicopter to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, fire Capt. Gonzo Salgado said.
The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police, Walczak said. Nothing criminal was initially suspected.

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