DUI suspected after chase, crash at 60, 710 freeway interchange

EAST LOS ANGELES >> An allegedly drunken driver crashed his car, ejecting one of three passengers, during a police pursuit that began minutes earlier in Monterey Park early Saturday.
Monterey Park police tried to pull over a car driving with no headlights about 1:35 a.m. as it headed south on Atlantic Boulevard near First Street, Montebello police Sgt. Art Rousseau said.
“The vehicle failed to yield and ramped onto the westbound 60 (Freeway),” he said.
The car crashed as the driver attempted to transition onto the 710 Freeway in East Los Angeles, Rousseau said.
One passenger was thrown from the wreck and was hospitalized in unknown condition, the sergeant said. Two other passengers were treated for apparently minor injuries.
The driver, whose name was not available Saturday afternoon, also suffered injuries believed to be minor in the crash, Rousseau said. He was expected to be booked on suspicion of driving under the influence.

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Police checkpoint planned Friday in Whittier

WHITTIER >> Police are planning a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint late Friday.
The checkpoint will be held from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within Whittier, Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said.
Over the past three years, DUI-related crashed in Whittier have resulted in three deaths and 188 injuries, Sgt. David Elizarraras said.
Funding for this weekend’s checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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DUI checkpoint planned tonight in El Monte

EL MONTE >> Police are planing a checkpoint tonight in El Monte, officials said.
Officers will check drivers for sobriety and valid licensed during the checkpoint, to be held from 7:30 p.m. tonight through 3 a.m. Sunday in the area of Santa Anita Avenue and Lower Azusa Road, El Monte police officials said in a written statement.
DUI-related crashes have claimed one life and resulted in 83 injures in El Monte over the past three years, El Monte police Sgt. Jimmy Pitts said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety,

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Police to hold checkpoint in Pasadena Friday

PASADENA >> Pasadena police plan to screen drivers Friday night during a sobriety and license checkpoint, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said in a written statement.
Over the past three years alone in Pasadena, DUI crashed have resulted in five deaths and injuries to 121 people, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Police plan checkpoint in Arcadia


ARCADIA >> Police are planning to check drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint late Saturday.
The checkpoint is scheduled to take place from 7 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday at Baldwin Avenue and Harvard Drive, Arcadia police Sgt. Kollin Cieadlo said in a written statement.
The checkpoint is being funded by a campaign from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Seven arrested at Glendora checkpoint

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GLENDORA >> Police made seven arrests during a checkpoint in Glendora late Friday, including two drivers suspected of having blood-alcohol levels more than twice the legal limit, police said.
The sobriety and driver license checkpoint took place from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday along Grand Avenue, just north of Gladstone Street, Glendora police officials said in a written statement.
In addition to the two DUI arrests, police arrested four people for driving without licenses and one woman for an outstanding arrest warrant, as well as possession of brass knuckles, Lt. Matt Egan said.
A total of 1,700 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, police said. Police wrote 20 tickets and impounded 14 cars.
Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

PHOTO courtesy of the Glendora Police Department

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Altadena man sentenced for Pasadena DUI crash that killed Riverside teen

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PASADENA >> A 19-year-old Altadena man has begun serving a sentence of more than four years in prison after pleading “no contest” last week to charges stemming from a Pasadena car crash blamed on drunken driving that killed one of his passengers and injured three others, authorities said.
Gerardo Garcia was immediately sentenced to four years and four months in state prison after pleading “no contest” Friday in Pasadena Superior Court to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving and driving with a blood-alcohol level greater than .08 percent, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said.
The 12:15 a.m. crash at Washington Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue claimed the life of 17-year-old Gabriel Cabral of Riverside, and injured two teenage girls also riding as passengers, according to Pasadena police and district attorney’s officials.
In addition to being drunk, police received reports from witnesses that Garcia was involved in a street race when his 2004 Nissan sedan went out of control and struck a freeway overpass, officials said. But criminal charges related to street racing were not filed.

PHOTO of fatal crash victim Gabriel Cabral, 17, of Riverside. (Courtesy)

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Police plan checkpoint in Montebello

MONTEBELLO >> Police are planning a sobriety and driver license checkpoint Friday in Montebello, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. the following morning at an undisclosed location within the city, Montebello police officials said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed 8 lives and resulted in 791 injury crashes harming 1,057 of our friends and neighbors,” according to Sgt. Larry Jackson.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Alhambra police to hold checkpoint tonight

ALHAMBRA >> Police are planning a sobriety and driver license checkpoint tonight in Alhambra, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. tonight through 3 a.m. Saturday at Garfield Avenue and Beacon Street, Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years, 44 DUI-related collisions in Alhambra have claimed one life and injured an additional 56 of our friends and neighbors,” Lt. Jennifer Wiese said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Montebello police officer accused of DUI following Diamond Bar crash

DIAMOND BAR >> Deputies arrested a Montebello police officer early Wednesday on suspicion of drunken driving following a crash in Diamond Bar, according to officials and county booking records.
Christopher Andrew Cervantes, 43, was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI about 3:30 a.m. and released on $5,000 bail within the hour, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
Lt. John Saleeby of the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar station confirmed the arrest, but declined to provide information regarding the circumstances of the arrest, saying the investigation was “ongoing.” He deferred further inquiries to the Montebello Police Department.
In addition to the sheriff’s department investigation, Montebello police have launched their own internal investigation into the incident, Montebello police Lt. Kelly Gordon said.
“At 12:40 this morning, one of our employees was involved in a traffic collision in Diamond Bar,” Gordon said. “The employee was arrested.”
Gordon declined to confirm the name of the involved officer.
She said she did not know whether the involved police employee was on-duty or off-duty, or whether the crash involved a police vehicle or a personal car.
Further details were not available. Montebello Police Chief Kevin McClure could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.
Wednesday’s arrest was not Cervantes first scrape with the law from the other side of the badge.
He was arrested by San Diego police in July of 2011 when he was allegedly drunk, resisted arrest and falsely identified himself to arresting officers as an agent from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Fellow officers who filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Montebello Police Department in 2012 accused the department of failing to properly discipline the officer.
Former Mongol Al “The Suit” Cavazos and his brother, former club president Ruben “Doc” Cavazos, have accused Cervantes and his partner in the ATF of lying about the circumstances of a 2007 shooting in order to obtain a search warrant which ultimately led to federal convictions for 78 Mongols and a state conviction for the shooter. Both Montebello police and ATF officials have denied the allegation.
The Mongols have voted the Cavazos brothers “out bad” of the organization.
Al Cavazos said he was not surprised Cervantes, who he described as “crooked,” had gotten into legal trouble.
“I have put in numerous complaints with the Montebello Police Department department about his corruption,” Al Cavazos said of Cervantes. “He falsified documents that put me in jail.” Al Cavazos served nine months behind bars in connection with the case, and has since successfully sued the government for the return of a seized motorcycle.
“(Cervantes) falsified evidence, which I could prove,” he said. “He went as far as to falsify two attempted murder, and drug charges.”
Al Cavazos said he has also filed complaints with the sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station, which patrols the jurisdiction where the 2007 Nicola’s bar shooting took place. But nothing has come of the complaints, which Cavazos said police and sheriff’s administrators were not taking seriously.

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