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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Charges dismissed against man and woman accused in fatal stabbing of Upland man in South El Monte

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SOUTH EL MONTE >> A judge dismissed charges this week against a man and woman previously accused of murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of an Upland man in South El Monte last year.
Randall Chinchilla, 35, and Andrea Montoya, 37, both of El Monte, were arrested and charged in June in the fatal March 28, 2015, stabbing of 49-year-old Dennis Baltierra.
But during a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court 0513_NWS_SGT-L-DISMISSED2Judge Mike Camacho of the Pomona courthouse dismissed the case against the man and woman, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
At a preliminary hearing, a judge listens to a summary of the case to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to order a defendant to stand trial.
Chinchilla and Montoya were both released from custody Tuesday after spending 11 months behind bars with bail set at $2 million each, county booking records show.
Authorities alleged Chinchilla and Montoya stabbed Baltierra to death when they got into an argument while all three were hanging out at the home of a mutual friend about 11:30 p.m. on March 28 in the 11200 block of Broadmead Street in South El Monte.
Baltierra exited the home and collapsed in the yard with a stab wound to his neck, sheriff’s officials said. He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital a short time later.
Detectives identified Chinchilla and Montoya as suspects and arrested them on June 12.
Anyone with information on the fatal stabbing is asked to contact 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.

PHOTOS: [TOP] Photo from stabbing scene in the 11200 block of Broadmead Street in South El Monte the day after the homicide on March 29, 2016. (By Brian Day) [BELOW] Dennis Baltierra, 49, of Upland. (Courtesy)

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179 cited during El Monte police distracted driving crackdown

EL MONTE >> El Monte police cited 179 driver in April during their crackdown on distracted driving, officials said.
The vast majority of tickets written during the month-long enforcement campaign were for using a cell phone while driving, El Monte police Sergeant Jimmie Pitts said.
Police patrolled in cars, on motorcycles and on foot to seek out distracted drivers, he said.
In addition to using a phone, other common exampled of distracted driving include reading or applying cosmetics, officials said.
“It is recommended that if a call, text or other task is critical, then a driver should pull over to the side of the road and complete the task,” he said.
The number of tickets was up compared with a similar crackdown last year, in which officers issued about 140 citations.
Funding for the bulk of April’s distracted driving crackdown was provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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Suspect crashes following chase from El Monte to Baldwin Park

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EL MONTE >> A domestic violence suspect “erratically” driving a stolen car led El Monte police on a chase before crashing in Baldwin Park late Saturday, officials said.
Cesar Antonio Bobadilla, 23, of El Monte was ultimately booked on suspicion of domestic violence, auto theft, evading police, hit-and-run and resisting arrest following the chase, which began about 7:55 p.m., El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna said in a written statement.
El Monte police had been seeking him in connection with an alleged April 16 battery on his girlfriend when officers spotted him driving a Black Acura Integra at Parkway Drive and Elliot Avenue, Luna said.
“The officer attempted a traffic stop of Bobadilla where upon Bobadilla accelerated his vehicle at a high rate of speed and fled. A vehicle pursuit ensued throughout the City of El Monte and then into the City of Baldwin Park,” Luna said.
“Bobadilla drove erratically, lost control of his vehicle and collided into a tree at the intersection of Los Angeles St. and Bresee Ave. (in) Baldwin Park,” the sergeant said.
The suspect ran from the crash, but was soon found hiding in a residential backyard in the 13900 block of Belgate Street, police said. The Acura he had been driving was found to have been reported stolen.
Officials took Bobadilla to a hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash before booking him into jail.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, he was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

BOOKING PHOTO of Cesar Antonio Bobadilla, 23, of El Monte. (Courtesy, El Monte Police Department)

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Firefighters douse flames at former El Monte gunpowder manufacturing facility


EL MONTE >> A fire broke out Saturday at vacant business that formerly housed a gunpowder manufacturing facility, authorities said.
The fire was first reported at 4:49 p.m. along Arden Drive, near the railroad tracks just north of Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Simms said.
Firefighters could see smoke rising from the 30-foot by 60-foot building as they were still a mile away, she said.
No significant explosions were reported, however firefighters approached the fire cautiously upon learning of its previous use, officials said.
But officials soon confirmed the building was vacant and empty, Simms said. Firefighters declared the blaze extinguished about 5:15 p.m. No injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

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Police: Burglary leads to discovery of 1,500 marijuana plants in El Monte warehouse

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EL MONTE >> An alleged burglary at an El Monte warehouse Friday afternoon led police to discover more than 1,500 marijuana plants and nearly 250 pounds of processed pot inside, officials said.
Police received a report about 2:25 p.m. that two burglars had broken into a warehouse at 2646 Strozier Avenue through a glass door, according to El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna.
Officer soon found and detained 43-year-old Gale Berry of El Monte at the scene, he said. Officers searched the warehouse but did not find the second reported intruder.
EMPOT3“Further investigation determined that the burglarized property had been converted into an illegal marijuana cultivation operation,” Luna said in a written statement.
Detectives obtained a search warrant and ultimately seized more than 1,500 marijuana plants, “in various stages of growth,” along with 247 pounds of harvested pot, Luna said.
Berry was booked on suspicion of burglary, possession of burglary tools and possession of a controlled substance.
“It was determined that 2646 Strozier had been sub-let, and the responsible party is still to be determined,” Luna said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Berry was being held in lieu of $105,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
Anyone with information is asked to contact El Monte police at 626-580-2114, or via email at tips@empd.org.

SCENE PHTOO/BOOKING PHOTO of Gale Berry, 43, of El Monte courtesy of the El Monte Police Department

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