El Monte school teacher accused of showing pornographic images to kids in classroom

EL MONTE >> Police arrested a teacher at Columbia School in El Monte Friday on suspicion of showing pornographic images to children in a classroom, authorities said.
Jeff Minh Ha, 42, was booked for exhibiting harmful matter in the presence of a minor, a felony, according to El Monte police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
In a written statement, El Monte police Sgt. Jason Chao said Ha displayed the inappropriate images to “a small group of minors inside a classroom.” The victims were described as about 12 years old.
Police arrested Ha at the school “without incident” about 1:50 p.m., Chao said.
El Monte City School District officials were fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation, Chao said.
No further details were released Friday.
According to the school’s website, Ha teaches the 6th grade at the campus, which instructs kindergarten through 8th grade.
Ha was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.
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Police: Burglar rams victim’s car after being caught in midst of El Monte break-in

EL MONTE >> An alleged burglar rammed the car of a resident who arrived home to interrupt a break-in at his home last week, police said Sunday.
Adan Ramirez Vega, 19, of El Monte is accused of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon following the incident, which began about 11 a.m. Tuesday at a home in the 4000 block of Shirley Avenue, El Monte police Sgt. Jason Chao said in a written statement.
“The victim returned home and discovered the suspect, Adan Vega, walking out of the residence,” Chao said. The resident retreated back to his car upon seeing the intruder.
Unbeknown to the resident, Vega gad already loaded up items and more than $6,000 in cash from the house into a car parked at the home, which belongs to the victim’s daughter, Chao said. Vega had also taken the keys to the car from inside the home, which he used to flee.
A driveway gate, as well as the victim’s car, blocked the burglars escape route, police said.
“Vega rammed he gate at the apron of the driveway and the victim’s car,” Chao said. The fleeing suspect rammed the victim’s car three times to make his getaway.
The fleeing, stolen car struck the resident as it fled, inflicting a minor injury, police said.
Police spotted Vega in the stolen car a short time later, Chao said. He crashed the car and continued fleeing on foot before being captured. All of the stolen property was recovered.

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Student at Arroyo High School in El Monte accused of threatening teachers on Twitter

EL MONTE >> Police arrested a 16-year-old Arroyo High School junior Friday after he allegedly posted a threat against two of his teachers online via Twitter, officials said.
School officials first learned of the threat posted on social media about 9:40 a.m. Friday, El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna said in a written statement.
“A 16-year-old student of the school had posted a specific threat via his ‘Twitter’ account to harm two faculty members,” Luna said. Both victims were the student’s teachers.
Though it was not discovered until Friday, “The threat was posted (Thursday) while the student was in class,” Luna said.
Upon learning of the threat, school officials notified the school resource officer, who investigated the threat and ultimately arrested the student on suspicion of making criminal threats, the sergeant said. No harm came to either of the two teachers named in the threat.
No further details were released.

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2nd UPDATE: Man fatally shot in El Monte


EL MONTE >> An El Monte man died Wednesday in a shooting at an Elliot Avenue apartment, officials said.
Juan Carlos Salazar, 22, died in the shooting, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
The fatal shooting took place about 6:45 p.m. in the 11000 block of Elliot Avenue, just east of Tyler Avenue, El Monte police Lt. Ben Lowry said.
After receiving a call reporting gunshots, “Officers responded to the location and found a male in his 20s who was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds,” Deputy Kelvin Moody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. The victim died at the scene.
The shooting took place inside an apartment, sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said.
Though a local resident, Salazar was not believed to have lived in the apartment where he was shot, Lt. Dave Dolson of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. It was unclear why was there.
“The incident appears to be gang related,” Moody said.
No suspect information was available, and further details were released Thursday.
Police went door-to-door talking to residents of the street, which is densely packed with apartments.
Other officers kept watch over the rear side of the shooting scene facing Schmidt Avenue. Police with flashlights examined a wall to the rear of the Elliot Avenue apartments.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are assisting El Monte police in the investigation, Lowry said.
Anyone with information can reach the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man shot in the back in El Monte

EL MONTE >> An unknown gunman shot an El Monte man in the back Friday afternoon in a seemingly unprovoked attack along Maxson Road, authorities said.
Lt. Ben Lowry said El Monte police received a call about a shooting in the 3700 block of Maxson Road at 3:24 p.m.
Police found no victims at the scene, however a person showed up at a local emergency room with a gunshot wound a short time later, the lieutenant said. The wounded man had been taken to a hospital by private vehicle.
The man suffered a gunshot wound to his back and was being treated for injuries not considered to life-threatening, Lowry said.
The 21-year-old victim reported he was walking down the street when a Latino man of this build carrying a black handgun approached him from behind, police said.
Five or six shots were fired, but only one struck the man, Lowry said.
The motive in the shooting was not clear.
Officials briefly placed nearby Baker Elementary School and Jerry Voorhis Elementary School on lockdown following the gunfire, Lowry said.

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Crash shears fire hydrant, damages power pole in El Monte

EL MONTE >> An unlicensed SUV driver sheared off a fire hydrant and damaged a power pole in El Monte after falling asleep at the wheel, police said.
The crash took place about 12:50 a.m. in the 12100 block of Lower Azusa Road, El Monte police Lt. Richard Kano said.
“It appears that (the driver) fell asleep,” the lieutenant said. “He ran into an electrical pole and a fire hydrant.”
Police found the driver on foot near the crashed 1998 Ford Explorer, Kano said.
He was cited for driving without a valid license and released, he added.
Police shut down both directions of Lower Azusa Road for several hours as repairs were made.

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Car smashes into CHP cruiser in hit-and-run crash on the 10 Freeway in El Monte

EL MONTE >> The driver of a Mitsubishi Eclipse fled the scene of a crash that sent another car careening into a stopped California Highway Patrol car on the 10 Freeway in El Monte early Saturday, authorities said.
Two CHP officers were outside of their patrol car, which was parked along the right shoulder of the eastbound 10 Freeway just east of Peck Road, when the series of crashes occurred about 2 a.m., California Highway Patrol officials said.
“The CHP officers observed a rear-end traffic collision between two vehicles, just west of their location,” CHP officials said in a written statement.
“One of the vehicles traveled to the right, struck the sound wall, and traveled toward the patrol vehicle where it struck the patrol vehicle at the right rear and overturned onto its roof,” the statement said.
The second car involved in the crash, described as a dark-colored Mitsubishi Eclipse, sped away from the scene, CHP Officer Tony Polizzi said.
Two people inside the overturned vehicle, a Scion xB, suffered minor injuries and were taken to a local hospital for treatment, officials said. The CHP officers were not hurt.
Officers from the East Los Angeles office of the CHP are handling the investigation.

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San Bernardino Police Department assistant chief selected to head El Monte Police Department


EL MONTE >> Officials Friday announced the selection of a new chief to take the reigns of the El Monte Police Department later this month.
Following an “extensive” search, the city announced in a written statement that San Bernardino Police Department Assistant Police Chief Eric McBride will take over in El Monte Feb. 25.
He replaces former El Monte Police Chief Steve Schuster, who returned in December, and Interim Police Chief Roger Johnson, a retired Monrovia Police Chief who has been heading the department during the search for a permanent replacement.
The selection is the first time in city history that El Monte sought chief candidates from outside the department, officials said. Previous chiefs have been selected from within the department’s ranks.
The 24-year law enforcement veteran said he was excited and honored to be chosen to head the EMPD
“Law enforcement is pretty much the same, but every community is unique in it’s own way,” McBride said. “I’m really looking forward to getting to know the community and the department.”
After growing up in Ventura County and graduating high school, McBride joined the U.S. Marines and served more than six years, he said. Nine months of that service was spent overseas during the Persian Gulf War. After his military service, McBride joined the San Bernardino Police Department as a patrol officer in 1991, officials said.
McBride served as a SWAT team member and climbed the department’s ranks. He was promoted to captain in 2014, and named assistant chief the same year.
McBride was chosen from a field of 25 applications collected by Alliance Resource Consulting, which the city hired to conduct a nationwide search for a new police chief, city officials said. Six candidates were interviewed by panels of area police chiefs and city managers before El monte City Manager Raul Godinez II made the final selection, with input from the El Monte police officer’s and police mid-managers’ unions, officials added.
“Our interview committee not only was impressed by his qualifications and prior experience, but also by his community focus, thoughtful insights, reputation for integrity and leadership style. It was this combination of traits that made him our top choice for the job,” Godinez said.
El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero said he approved of the choice.
“El Monte is undergoing significant growth and development, and we need a police chief to be able to match our vision for the city,” the mayor said. “This was a competitive process with input from many trusted professionals.”
McBride earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis on public administration from California Baptist university, as well as a master’s degree in criminal justice from Troy University and a certificate in Emergency Management from Auburn University, officials said.
He’s been married to his wife, Annette, for 26 years, he said. The couple has a 24-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter.
He described himself as a “lifelong Dodger fan.”
McBride said he championed a “community policing” approach to law enforcement.
“Community policing is always important,” he said. “It’s important to always have that relationship with the community and make sure those ties are strong, and remain that way.”

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El Monte police officer uses CPR to help save man’s life… again

For the second time in two years, an El Monte police officer is credited with resuscitating a pulseless man with CPR earlier this week, officials said.
The incident unfolded about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday as a woman was driving her 37-year-old husband to a hospital as he was suffering chest pains, El Monte police Sgt. Roger Cobian said. The wife pulled over and called 9-1-1 for help after her husband lost consciousness.
Officer Hector Hernandez arrived first at the scene at Peck Road and Ranchito Street, Cobian said.
“Officer Hernandez saw the subject was unconscious and immediately checked his pulse but did not feel one. Officer Hernandez climbed inside the vehicle and began CPR,” Cobian said.
“Officer Hernandez administered CPR, including rescue breathing, until emergency medical personnel arrived.”
The man was taken to an area hospital, where he was listed in stable condition in an intensive care unit, police said.
“The nurse advised (that) the man’s family was extremely grateful for Officer Hernandez’s actions,” Cobian added.
The same officer used CPR to rescue another man on Dec. 27, 2012.
While at his local gym, Hernandez saw a man collapse from a heart attack, officials said. Hernandez performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
“The man recovered and is alive today as a result of Officer Hernandez actions,” Cobian said.

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30 jailed during San Gabriel Valley AB 109 compliance sweep

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY >> A task force charged with monitoring convicts released from jail under AB 109 guidelines arrested 30 people during a compliance check throughout the western San Gabriel Valley early Wednesday, officials said.
The task force visited the listed homes of 88 people who are free on Post-Release Community Supervision, under the 2011 state prison alignment plan, Arcadia police Lt. Colleen Flores said in a written statement. The probationers were contacted at 61 of the homes, while the remaining 27 were either not home or not longer living at their listed addresses.
Compliance checks took place in Arcadia, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Monrovia, El Monte and Monterey Park, Sgt. Brett Bourgeous said.
“The zero-tolerance focus of the enforcement campaign was aimed at apprehending AB 109 absconders with outstanding warrants, and conducting compliance checks in accordance with a person’s probation conditions,” Flores said. “Many of the probationers contacted during the course of the operation were known to have previous court violations to include weapons charges, assault charges and property crimes.”
The 30 probationers arrested Wednesday were accused of crimes ranging from violating probation to drug charges, officials said. Officers jailed at least one of the probationers on suspicion of gun possession and seized a firearm.
The West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Task Force is comprised of officers from the Arcadia, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Monrovia, El Monte and Monterey Park police departments, as well as the Los Angeles County Probation Department. Officials from the Long Beach, Burbank, Glendale and San Fernando police department also took part in Wednesday’s campaign, along with Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and officials from the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services.

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