Abandoned briefcase causes scare at El Monte Station


EL MONTE >> An abandoned briefcase prompted authorities to briefly shut down the El Monte Station late Tuesday, but was ultimately found to contain nothing dangerous, officials said.
The unattended briefcase was reported about 11 p.m. between bus bays 2 and 3 at the station, 3501 Santa Anita Ave., Lt. Jess Carrasco of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau said.
Deputies shut down the station and had an explosive-sniffing dog examine the briefcase, the lieutenant said.
After the dog detected nothing suspicious, deputies opened the briefcase and found nothing out of the ordinary, he said. Deputies sounded the all-clear just before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Bus service continued outside the station during the incident, with passengers boarding their buses just outside the station, Metro Los Angeles officials said via Twitter.

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El Monte police plan ‘Snow Cone With a Cop’ meetings

EL MONTE >> Police in El Monte are inviting the community to join them for snow cones at three different community meetings at local parks over the next month.
The “Snow Cone With a Cop” events are planned for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday at Zamora Park, 3820 Penn Mar Ave.; July 28th at Mountain View Park, 12127 Elliot Ave.; and Aug. 11 at Mariposa Park, 4140 Gibson Road, city officials said in a written statement.
“The El Monte Police Department invited residents to enjoy a free snow cone and ask questions, voice their concerns and get to know Police Chief David Reynoso and other police officers,” according to the statement.
The first 200 guests will be treated to snow cones.
Police also plan to take the opportunity to introduce residents to their local police officers, under the department’s new “Service Area Policing Model,” the statement said.
For more information, email Sgt. Alex Martinez at alexmartinez@elmontepd.org.

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UPDATED: Man killed in El Monte car-to-car shooting


EL MONTE >> A man died Thursday night after he was shot in a residential neighborhood in El Monte, authorities said.
The victim died at a hospital shortly after the shooting at Cogswell Road and Klingerman Street, according to Deputy Lisa Jansen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
The identity of the man, described as 23 years old, was not released Sunday.
“Detectives learned that at approximately 7:08 p.m., the victim, who was a passenger in a truck, was involved in an argument with the suspect (or suspects) in another vehicle,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. “The argument escalated and a suspect shot the victim in the upper torso, then fled the scene.”
The driver of the truck was not wounded.
Officials described the attackers as at least two men inside a dark-colored SUV, possible a Dodge. No further details were available.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which is assisting El Monte police in the investigation, at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Police: Fugitive arrested after attack on El Monte officer, motorcycle chase

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EL MONTE >> An armed federal fugitive sought by the U.S. Marshals Service attacked a police officer in El Monte before leading officers on a motorcycle chase and ultimately being arrested on suspicion of a laundry list of crimes Saturday, authorities said.
George Olotoa, 50, of South El Monte is accused of assault on a police officer, evading police, possession of a stolen handgun, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of drugs while armed and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to El Monte police Sgt. Roger Cobian.
Olotoa was riding a 2000 Suzuki Sport Bike in the 2600 block of Millet Avenue when an officer tried to stop him for a traffic violation, Cobian said.
As the officer approached Olotoa, he tried to ride away, police said. The muscular 6-foot-tall, 230-pound suspect turned violent.
“The officer tried to stop the suspect but the suspect attacked the officer by striking him in the head,” Cobian said in a written statement. “The officer attempted to defend himself and overcome the violent attack while the assailant was still wearing a motorcycle helmet. The officer deployed his Taser, which malfunctioned, and the suspect fled on his motorcycle and a vehicle pursuit began.”
The officer chased Olotoa onto the 60 Freeway at Santa Anita Avenue, where he lost control of his motorcycle and fell, officials said. The motorcycle struck another car, resulting in no injuries to the driver.
“The suspect attempted to re-mount his motorcycle, and he disregarded commands to remove his hand from his front pants pocket,” Cobian said. “When the first of the assisting officers arrived on scene, he saw a volatile situation rapidly evolving and assisted in apprehending the suspect.”
Cell phone video footage of the incident posted on YouTube Saturday afternoon, but removed by Saturday evening, depicted suspect’s apprehension.
The arriving officer struck Olotoa’s motorcycle with his patrol car as he arrived on scene, pushing it out of his grasp, the video shows.
Officers then continued wrestling Olotoa into custody as additional officers arrived at the scene.
As assisting officers got Olotoa into handcuffs with the use of a Taser, the original officer collapsed backwards onto the street in exhaustion.
“A folding knife was found in the same pocket the suspect had his hand in and a loaded, stolen hand gun was found in the suspect’s backpack,” Cobian said.
Both the officer and suspected were treated for injuries described as minor.
Police determined Olotoa was on federal probation and was being sought by the U.S. Marshals Service, officials added.
He was being held in lieu of $225,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Wednesday in El Monte Superior Court.

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UPDATE: Deputies arrest attempted murder suspect after neighborhood search in El Monte


EL MONTE >> Authorities cordoned off an El Monte neighborhood as they searched for a suspect in a prior attempted murder case who ran from deputies Thursday, sheriff’s officials said.
The incident began shorty after 2 p.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Carbajal said.
A deputy spotted an SUV being driven by the wanted suspect in the area of Valley Boulevard and Rowland Avenue and tried to pull it over, the sergeant said. A female passenger was riding in the SUV.
The driver stopped the vehicle and ran into the surrounding neighborhood, Carbajal said. Deputies immediately detained the passenger.
Deputies called for gang deputies and sheriff’s K-9s to assist in the neighborhood search.
Valley Boulevard was shut down between Baldwin Avenue and Temple City Boulevard as the search continued Thursday afternoon, according to El Monte police.
The male suspect was found and arrested within the search perimeter about 6:30 p.m., Carbajal said. His identity was no available pending booking.
Further details regarding the original crime for which the suspect was being sought were not available.

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Three hurt after car plows into laundromat in El Monte


EL MONTE >> A car crashed through the front of an El monte laundromat Thursday afternoon, sending the driver and two other people to the hospital, authorities said.
The crash took place about 1:30 p.m. at a laundromat near Valley Boulevard and Garvey Avenue, according to El Monte police and Los Angeles County fire officials. The car smashed through the business’ plate glass windows and front doors.
A total of three patients were taken to area hospitals, fire Inspector Joey Marron said.
The driver of the car, who was unconscious when police and paramedics arrived, was hospitalized in critical condition, officials said.
A woman who was inside the laundromat complained of pain and was also taken to a hospital for examination, police Lt. Pete Rasic said.
Firefighters also treated a third patients for non-life-threatening injuries, officials said, however further details were not immediately available on how that person was injured.
Police were looking into the possibility that the driver, a man estimated to be in his 30s, may have lost consciousness due to an unknown issue prior to the impact, triggering the crash, Rasic said.
The investigation was ongoing.

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Riverside County woman accused of abducting sons in El Monte arrested in Temecula, children recovered

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EL MONTE >> Police Wednesday found and arrested a Riverside County woman accused of abducting her two sons during a monitored visitation in El Monte last month and recovered the children unharmed in Temecula, police said.
Emily Lynn Moon, 32, of Lake Elsinore, is accused of abducting her sons, ages 6 and 10, on May 21 during a supervised visit with the children at a McDonald’s restaurant at 11612 Valley Blvd. in El Monte, El Monte police officials said.
The boys’s father had just dropped them off at the restaurant, Sgt. Richard Luna said at the time. The court-ordered monitor left the mother and children alone for a short time and returned to find them gone and reported the abduction to police.
After more than three weeks missing, a tip helped police tracked down the missing mother and sons Wednesday, according to El Monte police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
“Detectives developed the lead and worked with community members to subsequently locate the children,” Lt. Christopher Cano said in a written statement.
“The Children were located in Temecula with their mother, suspect Emily Moon,” Cano said. “Both children appeared to be unharmed but very hungry.”
Police arrested moon and took the children into protective custody before placing them with other family members later in the evening, Cano said.
According to booking records, Moon was being held in lieu of $380,000 bail pending her initial court appearance.
Anyone with information regarding the wherabouts of Emily Moon between May 21 and June 13 is asked to contact El Monte police at 626-580-2114. Tips may also be submitted via email to tips@empd.org.

PHOTO of Emily Moon courtesy of the El Monte Police Department.

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Police to hold checkpoint in El Monte this weekend


EL MONTE >> El Monte police are planning a checkpoint Saturday night, as well as extra patrols throughout Memorial Day weekend to hunt for impaired drivers, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday at Valley Boulevard and Baldwin Avenue, Sgt. Jimmie Pitts of the El Monte Police Department Traffic Safety Bureau
Extra officers will be on the lookout for DUI drivers throughout the weekend in El Monte, as well as in other area jurisdictions, including freeways, police said in a written statement.
Funding for this weekends campaign 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: Lake Elsinore woman abducts sons during monitored visitation in El Monte

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EL MONTE >> Police are seeking a Lake Elsinore woman and her two sons after the mother abducted the children during a supervised visitation in El Monte this weekend, authorities said.
Emily Lynn Moon, 32, fled with sons James Velasquez, 6, and Daniel Velasquez, 10, about noon Saturday during a court-ordered visit with the boys at a McDonald’s restaurant at 11612 Valley Blvd., according to El Monte Police Sgt. Richard Luna.
Their father dropped them off at the restaurant for the scheduled meeting, police said.
“The children, Daniel and James, are with suspect Moon, when the designated court monitor leaves momentarily,” Luna said in a written statement. “The monitor returns and finds that Moon and the children are no longer at the restaurant.
After checking the surrounding area and not finding any sign of Moon or the children, the court monitor reported the parental abduction to police, Luna said.
“There is no suspected threat to the children’s physical health or well-being. Suspect Moon’s current emotional state is unknown,” he said.
0523_NWS_SGT-L-ABDUCT2Moon may be headed to her home in the 32500 block of Mission Trail in Lake Elsinore, police said. She’s described as white, 5 feet tall, 98 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes.
Anyone who spots Moon or the Velasquez brothers, or anyone with information is asked to contact El Monte police at 626-580-2114.

PHOTOS of Emily Moon [above], James and Daniel Velasquez [below] courtesy of the El Monte Police Department.

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WANTED: Child predator approaches girls near El Monte elementary schools

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EL MONTE >> Police are seeking an unidentified child predator who they say has been lurking near El Monte elementary schools, offering rides and sexually propositioning young girls, officials said.
Police distributed sketches of the man and his car Friday in hopes of generating clues form the public.
Two incidents were reported Wednesday morning and Wednesday afternoon near Parkview Elementary School and Gidley Elementary School, respectively, El monte police Lt. Christopher Cano said in a written statement.
The predator was last seen about 3 p.m. Wednesday, about a mile south of Gidley Elementary School, at Valley Boulevard and Arden Drive, police said.
“The female student was walking home from school when the suspect drove his vehicle alongside her and sexually propositioned her,” Cano said. “The suspect continued to follow the victim as she continued walking. (The) suspect then stopped, exited his vehicle and approached the victim.
The frightened girl ran away, and the man returned to his car and drove off.
Another girl reported a previous suspicious encounter with the same man about 7 a.m. as she was walking in 12000 block of Elliot Avenue, directly in front of Parkview Elementary, Cano said.
“The suspect offered juvenile a ride, which she refused,” he said. “The suspect drove away but returned a few minutes later and again offered the same juvenile a ride. The child became fearful and ran on foot to Parkview Elementary School where in she notified school staff.”
Police described the man they’re seeking as Latino, 25 to 29 years old, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and of medium build. He had black hair, dark eyes and a light complexion.
0521_NWS_SGT-L-ANNOY2He drove a tan, four-door Honda or Toyota sedan, described as “dirty” and unkempt, with tinted windows. The car had numerous stickers on the rear windshield.
“(The) suspect may be living out of (the) vehicle,” Cano said.
Officers are working with local schools and providing them with extra patrols, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact El Monte police at 580-2114. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Sketches courtesy of the El Monte Police Department

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