GLENDORA >> A man fleeing from police in a stolen car rammed a pursuing officer’s vehicle in Glendora late Saturday, prompting an officer-involved shooting, before the suspect was tracked down and arrested, authorities said.
Andrew Joseph Baltierra, 20, who was not wounded by the gunfire but was hospitalized for treatment of K-9 bites sustained during his arrest, was expected to be booked on suspicion of crimes including attempted murder of a police officer, evading police, auto theft, DUI, drug possession, Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said. Baltierra’s city of residence was not clear.
The series of events began about 7:30 p.m., when an automated license plate reader notified Glendora officers that a 2003 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck driving in the area of Grand Avenue and Arrow Highway had been reported stolen, the chief said.
Officers initiated a chase when the driver of the truck — later identified as Baltierra — refused to pull over, officials said.
Two patrol cars chased the truck for less than a mile before the fleeing driver made a “sudden and unexpected U-turn” at Bonita Avenue and Dale Road, police said.
The lead patrol car was following the truck through the U-turn when it collided nearly head-on with the second patrol car, which contained Glendora police K-9 “Bo” and his handler Staab said.
Despite the “substantial” impact, which totalled the police cruiser and caused the air bags in both vehicle to deploy, the pickup truck was still running, the chief said. The officer who was struck by the fleeing pickup truck saw the suspect again gun the engine in his direction.
“The suspect was about to ram the police car again,” Staab said. The officer fired two round from her service pistol, striking the pickup truck but not Baltierra.
The officer whose car was rammed by the suspect was treated for apparently minor injuries, Lamborghini said.
K-9 Bo appeared uninjured in the crash, Staab added.
Baltierra fled into the surrounding residential neighborhood, Lt. Rob Lamborghini said. Officers set up a search perimeter with help from neighboring law enforcement agencies.
The suspect left behind a shoe as he ran, which a Pomona Police Department bloodhound was able to use to obtain his scene and track him to a motor home in the backyard of a home about a block away about three hours later, Staab said.
Baltierra refused commands to surrender, prompting officers to send in another police dog to help apprehend him. The suspect punched and kicked the dog before the animal got the better of him and helped officers take him into custody. The police dog suffered no significant injuries.
Officials took Baltierra to a hospital for treatment of dog bites prior to booking him into jail.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court records, Baltierra was already on probation for a previous criminal conviction prior to Saturday’s incident.
He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years of formal probation after being convicted of auto theft in September of 2015, records show.
He was also convicted of possessing stolen property in May, resulting in a 90-day jail sentence, and of possession of drug paraphernalia in August of 2015, earning him a 49-day jail sentence.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Two men with a handgun carjacked two other men along Glendora Mountain Road in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora early Saturday morning, authorities said.
Two men in their 20s were standing near their gray, 2013 Hyundai Genesis about 3:30 a.m. along a turnout of Glendora Mountain Road at Glendora Ridge Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
The two carjackers approached in a dark-colored, newer-model Honda Civic, Reid said.
“The suspects approached (the victims) and complimented them on their car,” the lieutenant said.
One of the then brandished a handgun and drove away in the victims’ car, he said.
Deputies described the carjackers as two Latino men between 25 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Both wore dark clothing, and one of the carjackers had a mustache.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2709. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
GLENDORA >> Police arrested a 19-year-old apparent creepy clown enthusiast and former student of Sierra High School in Glendora on Wednesday on suspicion of making threats against his alma mater, as well as toward the city of El Monte, authorities said.
William Salazar is accused of making criminal threats via killer clown-dedicated Instagram and Facebook accounts, Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said.
Students at Sierra High School began receiving posts from the account Tuesday night which threatened violence, Staab said. Students notified parents and school administrators, who contacted police Wednesday morning.
“Sierra skool gonna get hit (tomorrow) say your blessing #(expletive)skooliwasaclassclown,” read on of the posts.
“Bout to kill (expletive) in el monte whoever outside better know how to throw dem hands or shoot #ittimetoshowweanitclowingaround,” read another grammar- and spelling-shirking post.
The Instagram account had been taken down Wednesday afternoon, however the Facebook page remained online. The Facebook page, which was started on Monday, features pictures and videos of menacing-looking, sometimes ax-wielding clowns.
Investigators soon determined the identity of the alleged poster.
“We tracked him to a relative’s house in Kern County,’ Staab said.
Salazar was expected to be booked on suspicion of making criminal threats and held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
The suspect indicated to detectives that he authored the posts as a joke, but Staab said he found no humor in it.
“These types of threats are taken seriously by law enforcement, and if you make a threat against somebody, there’s a good chance you’re going to get arrested,” the chief said.
The online threats came as a low-grade form of creepy clown-inspired hysteria has washed across the nation in recent weeks, with sightings of sinister-looking clown who are sometimes reported to try to lure children.
California had remained largely untouched by the clown-related shenanigans until Wednesday, when social media posts announced the jarring jesters could be expected to pay visits to Los Angeles County, including Pasadena, Whittier, and other Southern California communities.
PHOTO – Pennywise the clown, from Stephen King’s movie, “It,” has been haunting your dreams, and mine, since 1990.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Deputies jailed two men and sought four others after they allegedly donned Halloween masks and used fake guns to terrorized a couple parked along Glendora Mountain Road north of Glendora late Friday in what was believed to a video-recorded hoax, officials said.
The bizarre incident was first reported about 11:20 p.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Elisabeth Sachs said.
A man and women in their 20s, were parked in their car on turnout when they were startled by people banging on their car windows, the lieutenant said.
The driver got out of his car to see what was going on, she said. He was confronted by six men, all wearing various Halloween masks.
The men brandished what appeared to be handguns, as well as brass knuckled, Sachs said. They made intimidating statement to the couple, such as, “There are six of us and two of you.” But they made no demands for property.
The male victim got back into his car and drove south into the city, with the suspects following behind in a truck. The man called 911 and reported suspects descriptions to police, along with the last place he’d seen them, which was in La Verne.
Deputies found the suspect’s parked car in La Verne, as well as two suspects who had walked away from it, Sachs said.
Inside the truck, deputies found at least two masks, brass knuckles and two realistic-looking airsoft pistols, which fire plastic BBs.
A GoPro camera was also found inside the truck.
Deputies suspected the men set out to scare people and film it in order to upload to the internet.
“We think it’s some kind of Youtube hoax,” she said.
The men, ages 19 and 20, were booked on suspicion of making criminal threats, a felony. The older suspect was also accused of possession of brass knuckles.
Officials withheld the suspects’ identities Saturday as they continued seeking their alleged accomplices.
The FBI is seeking a possibly sleep deprived serial bank robber dubbed the “Baggy Eyes Bandit” in connection with a spate of six bank heists in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside counties dating back to late-February, officials said.
The bandit, who earned his nickname due to witnesses describing him as having “baggy eyes,” is linked to five bank robberies and one failed bank robbery, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
“The suspect known as the Baggy Eyes Bandit enters the bank branch and passes a note to the victim tellers demanding cash while threatening a weapon,” Eimiller said in a written statement. “No weapon has been seen by witnesses, however, the suspect should be considered potentially armed and dangerous.”
Each of the robberies took place at Citibank branches.
Eimiller said the serial robber has been linked to a robbery Wednesday at a Norco branch; an Aug. 4 robbery at a Chino Hills branch; a July 14 heist at a Rancho Cucamonga branch; a March 4 failed robbery in Arcadia; a March 4 robbery in Placentia and a Feb 29 robbery in Glendora.
In each case, the bandit was last seen fleeing on foot. No getaway car has been reported in connection with the crimes.
He’s described as a white man in hiss mid-20s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, of thin build. He wears a dark baseball cap during the robberies, and some victims described him as having a Middle Eastern accent.
Anyone with information can reach the 24-hour tip line of the FBI’s Los Angeles office at 310-477-6565. Anyone who spots the bandit is urged to call 911.
PHOTOS courtesy of the FBI
GLENDORA >> A small brush fire ignited along the 210 Freeway in Glendora Sunday afternoon, threatening a single structure before firefighters got the upper hand, fire officials said.
The fire was first reported just before noon along the westbound 210 Freeway near Sunflower Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Robert Diaz said.
It grew to about an acre in size 30 minutes later, and threatened a single, unknown-type structure, officials said
But firefighters declared the brush fire extinguished just under an hour after it began, Diaz said.
No injuries or property damage were reported.
The California Highway Patrol issued a Sig Alert for the Sunflower Avenue offramp of the westbound 210 Freeway Sunday afternoon as firefighters continued completing their work at the scene.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Sheriff’s officials asked the public’s help Thursday in finding a 40-year-old man who disappeared in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora last month and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Christopher Jay Poland, a Los Angeles County resident, was last seen about 2:30 a.m. on July 14 as he drove away from a relative’s home on East Fork Road, Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriffs’ Information Bureau
“Later that same day, Mr. Poland’s vehicle was located on Glendora Ridge Road near mile marker 10,” Navarro-Suarez said.
“His family is very concerned and is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Mr. Poland,” she said.
Poland is 6 feet 2 inches tall, 220 pounds, with short blond hair and blue eyes. He has a scar below his chin; a tattoo of a tree on his right, lower leg; a tattoo of a starfish on his left elbow; and two Viking tattoos on his upper back.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sergeant Nunez or Detective Abraham of the sheriff’s Missing Persons Detail at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
COVINA >> Police jailed three Anaheim teenagers Saturday amid an alleged massive theft spree in which they collected more than $3,000 worth of razors, baby formula and Rogaine from stores in Covina, Glendora and La Habra, authorities said.
Jailed were Mirabela Stoican, 18, of Anaheim, as well as a 17-year-old Anaheim girl and a 15-year-old Anaheim girl, Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said.
Security guards at Rite Aid, 139 N. Grand Ave., first called police about 3 p.m. to report three young women had just tried to steal a large amount of razors from the store, but dropped the goods and fled empty-handed, according to the lieutenant.
Security watched as the trio went across the street into a Vons supermarket and pointed them out to arriving police officers as they left, the lieutenant said. Police pulled over the suspects’ car and detained them. Stoican’s infant child was also in the car.
A large amount of baby formula believed to have been stolen from the Vons was recovered from the car, Doonan said.
“A further search of the car located six 30-gallon trash bags filled with stolen property,” he said. The items were primarily baby formula, razor blades and the hair regrowth product Rogaine.
“The property we recovered is valued at about 3,000,” Doonan said..
Investigators suspected the items had been stolen previously during the day during visits to at least one other store in Glendora, and two in La Habra, he said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Stoican was released from custody later in the day pending her initial court appearance after posting $20,000 bail.
The two underage suspects were taken to Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall in Downey, Doonan said.
GLENDORA >> A La Puente woman died and a West Covina man suffered injuries in a solo-car crash in Glendora Saturday night, officials said.
The fatal crash took place at 9:19 p.m. on Grand Avenue, near of Juanita Avenue, Glendora police Sgt. Shelly Gold said.
A northbound Toyota Corolla veered from the roadway and struck a tree just south of the intersection, Lt. Matt Williams said.
Paramedics pronounced the driver, described as a 30-year-old La Puente woman, dead at the scene, police said.
The passenger, a 30-year-old West Covina man, was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, the lieutenant said. An update on his condition was not available.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation by the Glendora Police Department’s Traffic Bureau.
Any witnesses to the crash can reach Glendora police at 626-914-8250.
POMONA >> A soldier from Glendora who was on a tour of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Army when charged with molesting of a girl and the raping a woman entered a not guilty plea Friday, authorities said.
Fadi Haddad, 39, denied three counts of lewd acts upon a child and two counts of forcible rape during an arraignment hearing in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
Haddad, who remains held in lieu of $5 million bail, was ordered to return to court July 28 for a preliminary hearing setting, she said.
“If convicted as charged, Haddad faces a maximum of 75 years to life in state prison,” Ardalani said.
The defendant, a reservist with the U.S. Army who works in military intelligence and translation, was deployed to Iraq when prosecutors filed charges against him on April 20, according to district attorney and Glendora police officials.
The army sent him back to Fort Hood, Texas, before he was ultimately returned to Los Angeles County to face the trial process in late-May, officials said.
Haddad is accused of molesting a then-13-year-old girl in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014, Ardalani said. He’s also accused of raping a woman in 2014, and again in 2015.
Haddad knew both victims prior to the alleged crimes, officials said.
Anyone with information can reach Glendora police at 626-914-9250. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.