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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Police to collect toys for needy, serve lunch Saturday in El Monte

EL MONTE >> Police will be serving lunch to donors who bring toys to the El Monte Police Department’s Code 3 Toy Drive Saturday, officials said.
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the rear parking lot of the El Monte Police Department, 11333 Valley Blvd., organizers said in a written statement.
“Code 3” refers to the police radio code indicating an officer is responding to an emergency, using sirens and emergency lights.
Guests are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys, to be distributed to local needy children through the department’s annual Christmas Basket and Toy Giveaway.
Officers will serve lunch to donors.
For more information, contact Sgt. Martinez, Detective Castillo or Detective Larriva at 626-580-2186.

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Air Fair and Open House returns to El Monte Sunday

Officials will redesignate the El Monte Airport as the San Gabriel Valley Airport Sunday during the air field’s annual Air Fair and Open House.
The free event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the San Gabriel Airport, formerly the El Monte Airport, 4233 Santa Anita Avenue.
Classic aircraft will be on display, and pilots are welcomed to fly their aircraft to the show, airport officials said in a written statement.
Classic cars, radio-controlled airplanes, rides, entertainment, gourmet food trucks are all planned for the event.
A special ceremony will be held at noon to officially rename the airport.
While the San Gabriel Valley was once home to 10 small airports, only the airfield in El Monte remains.
Officials decided to designate the air field as the San Gabriel Valley Airport to reenforce it’s status as an airport servicing not only El Monte, but the entire region, pilot and San Gabriel Valley Airport Commission member Gabe Lopez said.
Guests 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult, and no more than three children may be escorted by a single adult.
The City of South El Monte will provide shuttle service to the airport from the El Monte Metrolink Station parking lot, 10925 Railroad Street.
For more information, contact the San Gabriel Valley Airport at 626-448-6129.

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Man accused of kidnapping, raping Monterey Park woman; victim escaped by jumping from moving car on freeway in El Monte

1106_SGT-L-MPARREST

MONTEREY PARK >> A task force arrested a man Tuesday in East Los Angeles whom Monterey Park police had been seeking for kidnapping, raping and assaulting his ex-girlfriend last week, authorities said.
The terrified victim may have saved her own life by jumping from a moving car on the 60 Freeway in El Monte on Oct. 28, the day after she was kidnapped at gunpoint by ex-boyfriend Benny Torres, 29, Monterey Park police Lt. Bill Cuevas said. Torres’ last listed address was in Montebello, though he was believed to have most recently been transient.
The woman, a Monterey Park resident in her 20s, was treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries she suffered at the hands of her captor, as well as in her escape, Cuevas said.
“She bravely, by her actions, basically saved her own life.”
Prosecutors Wednesday filed 11 felony charges against Torres, according to a felony complaint filed in Alhambra Superior Court.
The charges include kidnapping, two counts of rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by a foreign object, two counts of making criminal threats, assault with a deadly weapons, assault with a firearm, burglary and false imprisonment.
The victim had recently broken up with Torres amid allegations that he had assaulted her in an incident of domestic violence in Montebello, Cuevas said.
Torres arranged to meet his ex-girlfriend on the afternoon of Oct. 27 in Los Angeles, Cuevas said.
But when she arrived, Torres pulled a handgun, got into her car and ordered her to start driving, officials said.
The attacker eventually took the wheel of the woman’s car himself and drove her to a motel in El Monte, where he held her captive overnight, the lieutenant said.
“The victim was both sexually and physically abused,” Cuevas said.
Torres ordered the woman back into her car the following morning and began driving her somewhere, police said. The woman did not know where Torres was taking her.
“The victim was in fear for her life,” Cuevas said.
As the car travelled down the 60 Freeway, near the 605 Freeway in El Monte, the woman saw an opportunity to escape.
“At one point, while they were driving, she was able to jump out of the vehicle,” Cuevas said.
It was unclear how fast the car was driving when she leapt.
A good Samaritan found the woman wandering in the area and took her to a hospital, officials said. The hospital notified authorities once they determined the woman had been the victim of an attack.
The woman suffered injuries both at the hands of Torres, as well as when she jumped from the moving car, Cuevas said. She had since been treated and released from an area hospital.
Detectives began hunting for Torres with help from the West San Gabriel Anti Crime Task Force, which is made up of officers from the Monterey Park, Pasadena, South Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, El Monte police departments, as well as officials from the Los Angeles County Department of Probation, task force coordinator and Arcadia police Lt. Colleen Flores said.
Task force members found and arrested Torres about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday at a relative’s home in the 4000 block of E. 2nd Street in East Los Angeles, according to officials and booking records. Officers arrested him without a struggle.
Torres entered no plea at an appearance Wednesday in Alhambra Superior Court, court officials said. His arraignment hearing was postponed to Nov. 24.
If convicted as charged, Torres could face life in state prison, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Torres remained behind bars Wednesday at the Monterey Park Police Department’s jail in lieu of $2.35 million bail, officials said.

PHOTO of Benny Torres, 29, courtesy of the Monterey Park Police Department.

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El Monte police plan checkpoint Saturday night

EL MONTE >> Police in El Monte are planning to screen drivers for sobriety during a checkpoint late Saturday, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place from 7:30 p.m. Saturday to 3:30 p.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location within the city, El monte police officials said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years, DUI collision have claimed one life and resuylted in over 60 injury crashes harming 83 of our friends and neighbors,: Sgt. Jimmy Pitts 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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Fire scorches garage attached to El Monte apartment building

EL MONTE >> A fire damaged a garage attached to an apartment building Thursday, but resulted in no injuries, officials said.
Firefighters first responded to a report of smoke emanating from the 4000 block of La Madera Avenue about 12:30 p.m., Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Randall Wright said.
The first engine to arrive found smoke pouring from the garage, which was attacked to a single-story apartment building, Wright said. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in just over 20 minutes.
No civilians or firefighters were hurt, and no apartment residents were displaced, he said.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation. A dollar-value estimate of the damage was not available.

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El Monte police chase ends in crash

EL MONTE — A man led El Monte police on a brief chase in a stolen car before crashing Sunday, seriously injuring one of his passenger and causing minor injuries to three other people, authorities said.
An officer spotted a car that had been reported stolen just after 2:10 p.m. driving in the area of Garvey Avenue and Mountain View Road, El Monte police Lt. Michael Goodwin said.
The driver led police on a chase for about two minutes before crashing into another car with two people inside at Maxson Road and Ramona Boulevard, the lieutenant said.
The driver continued to flee on foot but was soon captured hiding in a nearby condominium complex, Goodwin said.
Two passengers of the stolen car were hurt in the crash, he said. One was hospitalized with major injuries, while the other suffered apparently minor injuries.
Two people inside the car that was struck by the fleeing car suffered minor injuries, Goodwin said.
No further details were available as the investigation continued late Sunday afternoon.

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Pico Rivera man sentenced for wild pursuit in El Monte

EL MONTE >> A Pico Rivera man who led police on a chase through the streets of El Monte last month has been sentenced to three years in state prison, officials said Wednesday.
Parolee Gregory Patrick Flexen, 22, received the sentence Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court after pleading “no contest” to a felony charge of evading police with willful disregard for public safety, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
El Monte police arrested Flexen Sept. 8 after he led police on a pursuit during which he drove on the wrong side of the road, and at times, at excessive speeds, officials said.
He also garnered a crowd of onlookers as he drove around city streets at slow speed, flashing hand gestures that appeared to be gang signs.
The chase began at Ranchito Street and Cypress Avenue, EL Monte police Sgt. Eric Sanchez said at the time. Flexen continued driving after his tires were punctured by police spike strips, but ultimately pulled over and surrendered at Peck Road and Elliot Avenue.

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Riverside man fatally shot in El Monte identified

EL MONTE >> Coroner’s officials have released the name of a 21-year-old Riverside man who was fatally shot when two gunman opened fire on a parked car he was sitting in on an El Monte Street earlier this week.
Jose Manuel Valenzuela died at hospital shortly after Monday’s shooting, which also left another man critically wounded, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
The shooting took place shortly after midnight in a residential cul-de-sac in the 2600 block of Sastre Avenue, just north of Fern Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Lt. David Coleman of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said Valenzuela and the surviving victim, a 29-year-old El Monte man, were rear passengers in a parked car with two other occupants when the attackers approached in another car.
Two gunmen exited the approaching car and immediately began shooting into the rear of the victims’ car, Coleman said.
No description of the shooters was available, nor was a description of their car, which investigators said was last seen speeding south on Sastre Avenue.
The victims’ companions drove them to Greater Community Hospital in South El Monte, Coleman said.
Valenzuela succumbed to his injuries about 12:30 p.m., Winter said. The other wounded man was hospitalized in critical condition. An update on his condition was not available.
No further details were released.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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