Officials identify Glendora man killed in shooting at Covina mobile home park


COVINA >> Authorities have identified a Glendora man found fatally shot outside a mobile home in an unincorporated county area near Covina Friday.
Richard Alan Wurtz, 37, died at the scene of the shooting, which was reported shortly after 11 a.m. at the Royal Palms Mobile Homes Park, 21210 E. Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
Two men were detained for questioning at the scene as deputies responded to reports of gunfire, however neither had been arrested Saturday morning, officials at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said Saturday in a written statement.
“Deputies detained two adults from the location in order to investigate their connection, if any, to the shooting,” according to the sheriff’s department statement. “No arrests have been made at this time and the motive for the shooting remains under investigation.”
The names of the two men detained by deputies were not released.
Deputies investigating reports of gunshots encountered a man lying wounded outside a mobile home, and a second man leaving, sheriff’s Sgt. Nicole Davis said.
The wounded man was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other man was detained for questioning, officials said. A second man found nearby was also detained by investigators in the wake of the fatal shooting.
Neighbors said one of the men taken into custody by deputies at the shooting scene was a 32-year-old resident of the mobile home. They did not know the identity of the second person detained by deputies.
A family member of Wurtz reached by telephone Saturday did not wish to comment.
The ongoing investigating was being handled by detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.

PHOTO by Watchara Phomicinda

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1 killed, 2 detained in Covina mobile home park shooting

COVINA >> A man was killed and two men were detained Friday following a shooting at a mobile home park.
Sheriff’s detectives haven’t released the name of the dead man or the two people in custody.
The shooting took place shortly after 11 a.m. at Royal Palms, 21210 E. Arrow Highway, which is in the unincorporated county area near Covina.
Deputies responded to a call of shots fired at the mobile home park, said Sgt. Nicole Davis of the sheriff’s San Dimas station. She said six to eight shots were heard.
“As the units were on the way, someone was running from the location and there was a deceased person outside the mobile home,” Davis said.
Deputies took a resident of the mobile home park as well as a second man into custody, according to sheriff’s officials and other residents.
Paramedics pronounced the shooting victim dead at the scene. Davis believes the dead man didn’t live at the mobile home park.
Sheriff’s homicide detectives were at the mobile home park by Friday afternoon. No further details about the shooting were released.
Full story by Ruby Gonzales…

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120 pounds of marijuana found in pickup truck in Covina; suspect jailed


COVINA >> A minor hit-and-run traffic collision led Covina police to discover 120 pounds of marijuana inside a pickup truck being driven by a Mexican national Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Saul Ernesto Chavez, 32, who told police he is from Tijuana, Mexico, was ultimately arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sales, transportation of marijuana, hit-and-run and driving without a license, according to Covina police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
He was involved in a minor crash with another motorist about 1:15 p.m. at Barranca Avenue and Rowland Street, Covina police Sgt. Rob Bobkiewicz said. No one was injured in the crash, but one of the drivers — later identified as Chavez — ran from the crash scene.
Police set up a search perimeter and soon found Chavez hiding in a nearby backyard, Bobkiewicz said. After arresting Chavez on suspicion of hit-and-run, police searched the small pickup truck he had been driving.
0516_SGT-L-POTCRASH1In the covered bed of the pickup truck, police found six 20-pound bundles of marijuana, officials said. The pot had an estimated street value of $240,000.
Chavez did not cooperate with investigators, Bobkiewicz said.
According to booking records, he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Covina Police Department.

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UPDATED: 88-year-old Covina woman killed, son injured, in hit-and-run crash


COVINA >> Officials are looking for a driver and his two passengers who left the scene of a crash that left an 88-year-old Covina woman fatally injured in front of her own home Wednesday night.
The two-vehicle collision was reported about 8:35 p.m. at Vincent Avenue and Cypress Street which is in the unincorporated county area near Covina.
California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said a 2006 Nissan Altima was traveling south on Vincent Avenue, approaching the intersection at Cypress Street.
It’s not known yet how fast the Nissan was going.
“The Honda began to make a left turn onto westbound Cypress Street, in front of the Nissan, when the front end of the Nissan collided with the passenger side of the Honda,” Jimenez said.
The Nissan continued heading south until it struck a large tree, he said. The Nissan’s driver and two passengers, described only as three Latino men, ran from the scene.
The 2005 Honda Accord was spun around and came to a rest within the eastbound lanes of Cypress Street.
0516_NWS_SGT-L-HITANDRUN2The Honda’s passenger, 88-year-old Livia Jansen of Covina, was pulled from the car in full cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived on scene. Officials performed CPR as she was put on a stretcher placed into an ambulance.
She was taken to Citrus Valley Medical Center — Inter-Community Campus where she was died from her injuries.
The driver of the Honda and Jansen’s son, 59-year-old Frank Jansen of Covina, was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Los Angeles County Fire officials said the injured were not believed to be life-threatening.
Investigators interviewed the registered owner of the Nissan as they searched the area for the suspects who ran from the wreck, CHP Officer Monica Posada said Wednesday night.
A helicopter used a spotlight to search the neighborhood from above.
Initial reports from the scene indicated officials were seeking a Latino man wearing black pants and no shirt with tattoos on his back and a clean-shaven Latino man of about 130 pounds,
Authorities cordoned off the area, which they treated as a crime scene. But the suspects eluded capture.
The cause of the collision was under investigation by the Baldwin Park office of the CHP.
Livia Jansen lived in a home at the corner of Vincent Avenue and Cypress Street, according to public records. A small memorial of flowers and candles marked the crash scene Thursday, along with a handwritten sign reading, “In loving memory of Livia J. May 14, 2014.”
No one answered the door at the Jansen home Thursday. A sign out front read, “Grandma’s house. Grandkids spoiled here.”
Richard Torres who lives in the neighborhood said he did not see the collision, but he heard it.
“We heard a car zooming by, then we heard the crash,” he said. He said he did not know which vehicle it was he heard speeding past his house.
Torres and other neighbors said the intersection has seen more than its fair share of crashes. Torres said the area seems to be popular with street racers, and he knew of five collisions at the intersection in recent weeks.
“This is a raceway,” he said. “Something has to be done. It’s getting ridiculous.”
Wednesday night’s crash was the first reported fatality at the intersection, CHP Officer Theodore Jolin said.
It was the sixth crash to take place at Vincent Avenue and Cypress Street so far this year, Jolin said. Most recently, a fire hydrant at the northwest corner of the intersection was sheared off May 1 in a two-car collision that injured two people.
Of the five previous crashes at the intersection this year, four were blamed on red light violations, Jolin said. One was caused by a left turn violation.
CHP officials handled five crashes at the intersection throughout 2013, Jolin said. Three crashes were reported there in 2012, preceded by seven in 2011, one in 2010 and 8 in 2009.
“It fluctuates,” Jolin said.
The CHP – Baldwin Park Area office is asking the public’s help in identifying the driver and two passengers in the Nissan. Anyone who has information is asked to call 626-338-1164.

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Man says he was awakened by stabbing while in bed in unincorporated Covina

COVINA — A 21-year-old man who said he was stabbed while in bed was recovering Friday as detectives continued sorting out exactly what took place inside the home in an unincorporated county area near Covina.
The stabbing was reported just after 2 a.m. Thursday at a home in the 5000 block of Sunflower Avenue, where the wounded man told authorities he had moved in the previous day, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Vega said.
Deputies were first notified of the incident by the victim’s girlfriend after he called her to tell her he had been stabbed, the lieutenant said.
When deputies arrived, they found the victim suffering from a stab wound to his abdomen, Vega said. The man’s new roommates — two men and a woman — were detained, and three young girls who were at the home were taken into protective custody by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
The victim told investigators he had gone to bed the previous night following an argument with his roommates, and he was awakened when someone stabbed him, Vega said. But the victim said it was dark inside the room and he couldn’t see who it was who attacked him. His injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
The roommates also did not provide deputies with a clear account of what had taken place, Vega added. “Someone’s not telling everything they know,” he said.
Deputies initially arrested the roommates in connection with the stabbing, but ultimately released them pending further investigation, Vega said.
He added that officials hoped forensic evidence would help them determine who exactly was responsible for the stabbing.

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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


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


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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