Transient accused of lighting arson fires along Glendora hillside

GLENDORA >> A man was behind bars Wednesday in connection with three small hillside fires that burned less than an acre and near a church, according to police.
David Firestine, 33, was ultimately jailed on suspicion of arson, Glendora police Sgt. Chris Stabio said.
Lt. Matt Williams said a motorcycle officer spotted smoke at 9:13 a.m. Police also received several 9-1-1 calls reporting the fires.
One fire was on a hillside in the 7000 block of North Ben Lomond Avenue, Williams said. The second spot fire was north of the Church of the Open Door at 701 W. Sierra Madre Avenue. The third fire was close to other two.
An estimated 75 firefighters extinguished the fires at about 9:45 a.m.
Police searched the area well into the afternoon, ultimately finding and arresting Firestine in connection with the crime, police said. A motive was not available late Wednesday.
Police said the suspect had thrown rocks at a delivery truck, as well as thrown a cigarette and made obscene gestures to firefighters responding to the fires.
According to county booking records, Firestine was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Friday in West Covina Superior Court.
Anyone with information is asked to call Glendora Police at 626-914-8250.

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Glendora home severely damaged in fire

Los Angeles County firefighters fought a stubborn house fire exacerbated by packrat conditions at this Glendora, Calif. residence in the 700 block of N. Grand Ave. at 1 a.m. Sunday, May 10, 2015.   (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

Los Angeles County firefighters fought a stubborn house fire exacerbated by packrat conditions at this Glendora, Calif. residence in the 700 block of N. Grand Ave. at 1 a.m. Sunday, May 10, 2015. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)

GLENDORA >> A large fire blamed on an electrical malfunction gutted a Glendora home early Sunday, officials said.
A neighbor called 9-1-1 about 1 a.m. to report the home in the 700 block of North Grand Avenue was on fire, Glendora police Lt. Matt Williams said. The residents were away visiting family.
Dozens of firefighters responded to the burning two-story home, which was densely packed with items, fueling the flames, officials said.
Firefighters doused smoldering remnants for more than three hours before declaring the fire extinguished, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Bernard Peters said. No injuries were reported.
Officials estimated fire caused $600,000 worth of damage to the structure alone, which city officials red-tagged, Williams said. The value of the contents of the home damaged or destroyed in the fire was not clear.
The fire was believed to have been sparked by an electrical malfunction on the second floor, Williams said.

PHOTO/VIDEO by Leo Jarzomb

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Glendora man jailed after drugs, assault weapons found in his home

GLENDORA >> Police found and arrested a man Friday who they had been seeking for two weeks after a search of his home turned up assault weapons, handguns and drugs, officials said.
Clayton Ruben Addleman, 24, surrendered shortly after 5 p.m. when police found him at a home in the 900 block of East Woodland Lane, surrounded it, and ordered him out, Glendora police Lt. Matt Egan said.
Police had been seeking him since April 15, when they showed up at his home in the 800 block of North Starcrest Drive to arrest him on an warrant related to a possession of illegal fireworks case, the lieutenant said.
Addleman fled the house when officers arrived, along with several others, Egan said. Addleman was not found, but police recovered 1,000 Xanax pills, a scale, two assault rifles, four handguns and ammunition from the suspect’s home.
Officers arrested him without a struggle Friday after tracking him to the Woodland Lane home, Egan said.
In addition to being arrested on the initial warrant, Clayton was booked on suspicion of possession of drugs for sale, being a convicted felon in possession of guns and possession of illegal assault weapons.

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West Covina man accused of exposing self inside Glendora department store

GLENDORA >> Police arrested a man they say exposed himself inside a Khol’s store Thursday, authorities said.
A store employee called police about 2 p.m. and reported seeing a man exposing and touching himself inside of the department store, 1225 S. Lone Hill Ave., Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
“Essentially, he was walking around the store following female customers,” the lieutenant said. He allegedly carried on the inappropriate conduct while following at least two women inside the store, none of whom was aware he was following them,” Lamborghini said.
Police found Michael McClain, 27, of West Covina inside the store and arrested him for indecent exposure and committing lewd acts in public, both misdemeanors, Lamborghini said. He was expected be released with a citation later in the day.

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UPDATED: Fire guts Glendora house, kills dog

GLENDORA >> A fire caused major damage to a family’s Glendora home Saturday and killed the family’s dog, authorities said.
The fire ignited about 11:30 a.m. at a single-story house in the 1700 block of South Bender Avenue, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
A young woman who was home at the time did not realize the house was on fire until her brother arrived home and discovered the smoke and flames, the lieutenant said. Both got out of the home unharmed.
Flames gutted the majority of the home, sparing only the attached garage, Lamborghini said.
A small dog died in the fire, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. David Lopez said.
Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 30 minutes, he said.
A firefighter suffered a minor shoulder injury during the incident, Lopez said.
It was believed to have been sparked by an electrical malfunction in a patio room at the rear of the home, Lopez said.
The fire caused an estimated $250,000 worth of damage to the home, and another $9,000 in damage to items inside of it, the captain said.
Police provided the displaced family with motel vouchers and summoned the Red Cross to assist them, Lamborghini added.

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Glendora EMTs get anti-overdose nasal spray

GLENDORA >> Police emergency medical technicians in Glendora have become the first in the county to carry a nasal spray that can help save the lives of people overdosing on heroin or other opiate drugs, officials said.
Six Glendora police EMTs are now authorized to carry and use Narcan, a nasal spray used to help reverse respiratory arrest cause by overdoses of drugs such as heroin, Vicodin and OcyContin, according to Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini, who helped develop the program for the Glendora Police Department.
“Unfortunately our officers are responding to heroin overdose calls now more than ever before, including the 1970’s,” Lamborghini said in a written statement. Prescription opiate abuse is also a major issue.
A law allowing first responders to carry Narcan became effective April 1, officials said.
Previously, EMTs and other first responders could only use ventilation and oxygen to treat overdoses in the field, Lamborghini said. Only paramedics carried “the life-saving drug.”
In 1997, Glendora police became the first agency in Southern California to issue portable defibrillators to all of its officers, officials said.

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UPDATED: Skateboarder killed in Glendora Mountain Road collision identified

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Coroner’s officials on Saturday released the identity of a 20-year-old man who died after colliding with a dump truck while speeding downhill on a skateboard on Glendora Mountain Road in the forest north of Azusa.
Eric Pedersen of Clayton died in Friday’s 10 a.m. collision on Glendora Mountain Road, just south East Fork Road, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
He was riding a longboard-style skateboard downhill at more than 20 mph when he crossed into opposing traffic lanes and into the path of a southbound dump truck traveling at 15 to 20 mph, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said. He was run over by the truck and died from his injuries at the scene.
Pedersen was riding with two other skateboarders who were not injured, officials said. A third friend was following the group in a van.
The driver of the dump truck remained at the scene and cooperated with CHP officials, Jimenez said.
Pedersen had a University of California, Irvine identification card with him, coroner’s officials said.
He served as an administrator of the Facebook page for the UCI Longboarders, a group of skateboard enthusiasts.
Members hosted a candlelight vigil for Petersen Friday at UCI, and planned another Sunday night.
Pedersen’s own Facebook page includes several images of him rolling downhill on a longboard.
Officers from the CHP’s Baldwin Park office are handling the investigation.

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UPDATED: Downhill skateboarder killed in collision with dump truck on Glendora Mountain Road


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A 20-year-old downhill skateboarder died Friday morning after colliding with a dump truck on Glendora Mountain Road in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora, authorities said.
The collision took place about 10 a.m. on Glendora Mountain Road, just south of East Fork Road, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
The skateboarder’s name was not released Friday pending positive identification and notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said. CHP officials described him as a 20-year-old Clayton man.
He was riding a longboard-style skateboard downhill at 20 to 30 mph along with friends, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said. The group was traveling north.
The skateboarder has one fellow rider in front of him, and one behind him, Jimenez said. Another friend followed behind the group in a van.
“As (the skateboarder) approached a sweeping right curve in the roadway, (he) was failed to remain in his lane, crossed the center line into opposing traffic,” CHP officials said in a written statement. “He subsequently struck the undercarriage of the dump truck.”
The 2000 Freightliner three-axle dump truck ran over the skateboarder, Jimenez said.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at 10:39 a.m., Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Randall Wright said.
The skateboarder was wearing safety gear including a helmet and knee pads, Jimenez said.
A 45-year-old Compton man who was driving the dump truck remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, CHP Officer Patrick Kimball said.
Both directions of Glendora Mountain Road remained closed well into the afternoon as CHP officials investigated the scene, Kimball said.
The investigation will include an inspection of the dump truck, Jimenez said.
While skateboarding is prohibited on forest roads, and dangerous, Jimenez said CHP officers encounter downhill skateboarders in the mountains from time to time while on patrol.
“It happens more during the summer,” he said.
Countless videos uploaded to YouTube depict skateboarders racing downhill on Glendora Mountain Road at high speeds. One such video, which poster sdimas73 related was shot in August of 2013, captures a near collision between a car and a downhill skateboarder.

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Nursing assistant accused of stealing identities of elderly Glendora nursing home guests

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GLENDORA >> A West Covina man who has worked as a nursing assistant at healthcare facilities throughout the San Gabriel Valley is accused of stealing more than $40,000 from at least two elderly patients in Glendora by fraudulently using their financial information, police said.
Police arrested 29-year-old Maui Berganio at his home Thursday, Glendora police Detective Zach Houser said in a written statement.
He allegedly stole debit card and account information from two elderly guests of Kindred Transitional Care in Glendora to purchase items for himself online, including furniture, Nike tennis shoes and car parts, Glendora police spokeswoman Tricia Ayers said.
“He’s worked at several different care facilities,” Ayers said. Detectives continued seeking any additional victims. “There could be possible additional charges filed,” she said.
0228_NWS_SGT-L-ELDERTHEFT2In addition to Kindred Transitional Care, over the past 10 years, Berganio has also worked at Arbor Glen Care Center in Glendora, Doctors Hospital in West Covina, West Haven Healthcare Center in West Covina, Citrus Valley Health Partners – Queen of the Valley Camapus in West Covina and Sierra View Care Center in Baldwin Park, police said. And it’s possible he has worked at other Southern California facilities.
Berganio’s alleged identity theft first came to light Jan. 8 when a woman in her 80s staying at the care center noticed some suspicious behavior, officials said.
An elderly guest as Kindred Transitional Care in Glendora awoke to find certified nursing assistant Maui Berganio kneeling by her bedside,” Houser said. “It was later discovered that Berganio had obtained the elderly guest’s debit card information, which 0228_NWS_SGT-L-ELDERTHEFT3he used to attempt numerous fraudulent online transactions totaling over $8,000.”
Investigators ultimately arrested Berganio Thursday afternoon at his home in the 1300 block of East Fairgrove Avenue in West Covina, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
The suspect admitted also using the financial information of another woman in her 80s who was staying at Kindred Transitional Care over the past year, police said. The alleged victim died earlier this month.
In that case, Berganio is accused of running up more than $40,000 in online purchases, Ayers said.
Police booked Berganio on suspicion of elder abuse and identity theft, she added.
According county booking records, Berganio was being held in lieu of $50,000 bal. He is scheduled to appear Monday in West Covina Superior Court.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Houser at 626-914-8286.

PHOTOS of suspect Maui Berganio, 29, of West Covina, and photos of goods allegedly purchased with the stolen identities of elderly women, courtesy of the Glendora Police Department.

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UPDATED: Cat killed by coyote in Glendora; coyote to be euthanized


GLENDORA >> An apparently sick and distressed coyote is expected to be euthanized after it fatally attacked a pet cat in a Glendora neighborhood Wednesday, police said.
The coyote attacked the cat about 3:30 p.m. in the 400 block of W. Kirkwall Road, Glendora police officials said in a written statement. The cat died, and officials notified the owner.
A witness chased after the coyote as it ran into the garage of a home a few blocks away, police said.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials Inland Valley Humane Society officials responded to the scene found the coyote still inside the garage, officials said.
Fish and Wildlife officials hazed the animal out of the garage before Inland Valley Humane Society officials captured it down the street, according to Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Janice Mackey.
“Based on established policies, procedures and the facts of this particular incident, the animal was trapped and will be humanely euthanized as required by law,” the police statement said.

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