ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — A woman suffered serious injuries early Saturday in a solo-car rollover crash on a mountain road north of Glendora, officials said.
A 20-year-old Los Angeles woman who was riding as a passenger in the 1990 Honda CRX suffered a broken wrist and facial injuries in the crash, which was reported about 12:20 a.m. on Glendora Mountain Road, just south of East Fork Road, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Alex Antillon said. The driver was not believed to have been significantly injured.
The collision occurred as the Honda was traveling northbound on the winding mountain road at about 35 mph, the sergeant said.
Due to “unsafe speed for existing road and traffic conditions,” the driver, a 24-year-old Los Angeles man, was unable to negotiate a curve in the road, Antillon said. He hit the brakes and lost control, causing the car to flip over. It ultimately came to a rest on it’s wheels.
The injured woman was taken to a hospital by a friend, Antillon said.
intoxicated driving was not suspected to be a factor in the crash, he added, and no citations or arrests were made at the scene.
A former Glendora man was released from prison after 27 years when his 1985 murder conviction was overturned last year has filed a claim against the county, as well as a detective and the estate of another detective who investigated the case.
Frank O’Connell, 55, was convicted of slaying of 27-year-old Jay French in South Pasadena on Jan. 5, 1984. He has maintained that he was innocent of the crime.
But after more than 27 years in prison, and assistance from the nonprofit organization Centurion Ministry, which is dedicated to freeing wrongly convicted prisoners, O’Connell’s conviction was thrown out March 29 of last year by Pasadena Superior Court Judge Suzette Clover, who cited major problems she found with O’Connell’s trial.
“Police officer investigating his case withheld critical information,” said O’Connell’s attorney, Barrett Litt. “(They) gave misleading information in reports which led to a conviction.”
By law, police and prosecutors must turn over all evidence, including exculpatory evidence, to the defense, Litt explained. “That’s a very well-established rule.”
“It came out that they withheld notes that they had written contemporaneously with interviews,” Litt said.
In overturning O’Connell’s conviction, Clover also pointed out that a key witness in the original 1985 murder trial have since recanted his testimony and claimed a detective pressured him to identify O’Connell as the killer.
Prosecutors did not seek to re-try the case, saying they were unable to gather sufficient evidence.
Litt said a claim against Los Angeles County was filed Monday, Litt said. Also named as defendants in the case are one of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide detectives who handled the investigation, along with the estate of his partner, who is now deceased.
The claim seeks unspecified damages, the attorney said. In past cases, juries have awarded $1 million for each year a person was wrongfully imprisoned.
Since his release from prison last year, O’Connell has moved to Colorado where he works at a cabinet shop, Litt said.
POMONA — Two 19-year-old San Dimas men have been convicted for beating and seriously injuring a Glendora man late last year, officials said.
A Pomona Superior Court jury Thursday convicted Gabriel Andrew Ojeda and Mark Antoine Hachem of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
Ojeda was additionally convicted of a count of misdemeanor assault, and Hachem was convicted of a count of intimidating a witness, Robison said. The jury acquitted Ojeda of a witness intimidation charge.
Glendora police suspected the attack was carried out because the victim, a 22-year-old man, was a potential witness in an unrelated assault case, officials said in the days following the arrest.
Ojeda immediately received a sentence of four years and six months in state prison, officials said. Hachem was ordered to return to court for sentencing Feb. 21.
The beating took place Dec. 26 at Gladstone Street and Willow Avenue in Glendora.
The assailants continued punching and kicking the victim even after he was knocked to the ground, resulting in serious inju
GLENDORA — Police arrested three men at a Pomona scrap yard Saturday after they were found with a trailer and other items stolen from a Glendora business earlier in the day, authorities said.
Luis Salazar, 30, and Daniel Saldana, 26, were booked on suspicion of auto theft, burglary and possession of stolen property following Saturday morning’s break-in at a business in an industrial neighborhood in the 1100 block of South Nicole Court, according to Glendora police and Los Angeles County booking records.
Alexander Torres, 22, was also arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, though he was not accused of taking part in the initial burglary, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
The investigation began about 8 a.m. when police received a report of a break-in at the Nicole Court business, the lieutenant said.
“The suspects stole a trailer registered to the company, they loaded it up with pallets, propane tanks, scrap metal and other items before they hitched a truck to it and drove away,” he said.
At the suggestion of the investigating officer, a business employee began checking area scrap yards to see if he could find any of the stolen scrap, Lamborghini said.
“He located the stolen trailer and the suspects at a scrap yard in Pomona,” the lieutenant said.
Glendora police responded and arrested the three men.
Some of the scrap metal was recovered, while other items remained missing, Lamborghini said.
According to county booking records, Salazar was being held in lieu of $45,000 bail, while Saldana was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail. Both were scheduled for arraignment Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
GLENDORA — Police arrested four people Thursday for using fraudulent gift cars to make hundreds of dollars worth of purchases at Walmart, as well as possessing two loaded handguns, authorities said.
Arrested were Fernando Gonzales, 34, of Riverside; wanted parolee Desiree Gurba, 36, of La Puente; David Alvarez, 33, of Azusa; and Howard Reyes, 28, of Los Angeles, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
All were booked on suspicion of burglary and other charges, the lieutenant said. Fraud-related charges were also likely to be added later.
Two loaded handguns were recovered from inside the suspects’ car, Lamborghini said. Gonzales was accused of possessing one of them, while police were still determining who was responsible for the other.
In addition to the fraudulent gift card they used to purchase more than $600 worth of merchandise from the store, 1950 Auto Centre Drive, “They were in possession of about two-dozen gift cards,” Lamborghini said. Police were looking into whether those cards were fraudulent as well.
The arrests occurred shortly after 7 a.m. when a Glendora police officers was flagged down by a Walmart employee in the parking lot and told that there was a forgery in progress, the lieutenant said.
The four suspects then exited the store and headed to their car, he said. Assisting officers arrived and the four were taken into custody without a struggle.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Gonzalez and Reyes were being held in lieu of $20,000 bail, while Alvarez was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail and Gurba was being held without bail.
All four were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
GLENDORA — Two Inland Valley men crashed a stolen pickup truck early Sunday following a high-speed chase and theft spree in Glendora, police said.
Michael Anthony Valadez, 23, of Ontario and Jonathan Daniels Demay, 22, of Upland, were booked on suspicion of a series of crimes including auto theft, theft, evading police and auto burglary, according to Glendora police and Los Angeles County booking records.
The incident began just after midnight when someone called police from the 900 block of South Fuchsia Avenue to report the theft of gasoline cans, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
The witness described the suspects’ white pickup truck, which was later determined to have been reported stolen in Ontario.
A Glendora police officers spotted the truck in the area of Grand Avenue and Baseline Road, and a pursuit began when the driver of the truck refused to pull over, the lieutenant said.
After leading police on a chase on surface streets in excess of 80 mph while blowing through red lights, the truck headed onto the westbound freeway with officers in pursuit, Lamborghini said.
The truck exited the freeway at Vernon Avenue in Azusa at high speed.
“It ended up driving over the center divider on Vernon and crashed into a soundwall on the opposite side of the street,” Lamborghini said. But the men got out of the badly damaged truck and ran.
Glendora and Azusa police set up a search perimeter, with help from a K-9 provided by El Monte police, Lamborghini said.
One of the suspects was found hiding inside a parked car, police said, while the other was found walking on the grounds of a nearby business.
Police discovered that in addition to the gasoline can theft, the men were allegedly responsible for two other thefts in Glendora that occurred just before the pursuit.
Lamborghini said Valadez and Demay were linked to an auto burglary in the 2300 block of Club Vista Drive and the theft of golf clubs in the 400 block of West Larkspur Lane.
Valadez, who was on Postrelease Community Supervision and had an outstanding warrant for his arrest, was being held without bail, booking records show. Demay was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Both suspects were scheduled to appear for arraignment Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
GLENDORA — A man driving a cement mixer truck was injured Friday when the vehicle toppled on its side on the eastbound 210 Freeway.
The incident led to several lanes being closed for five hours and 23 minutes.
The solo crash on the eastbound 210, east of Sunflower Avenue was reported to the California Highway Patrol at 12:43 p.m.
CHP Sgt. Grady Stevens said for unknown reasons, the driver lost control of the truck.
The vehicle struck a wall and fell on its side, he added.
Stevens said the driver was taken to a hospital with minor to moderate injuries.
Concrete, fuel, oil and water leaked out of the overturned cement mixer truck.
“We believe it was mostly water,” Steven said.
Two lanes were closed initially then three. For the final two hours of the SigAlert, the closure affected the No. 4 lane and the southbound 57 Freeway transition road.
- Ruby Gonzales
GLENDORA — Police arrested one suspect and sought three more after a man was beaten and robbed early Thursday along Colorado Avenue.
Ryan Kuklinski, 19, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and robbery in connection with the 3 a.m. incident in the 400 block of East Colorado Avenue, just east of Pasadena Avenue, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said. His city of residence was not available.
Though no weapons were believed to have been used in the assault, the four-against-one attack was being investigated as an assault with a deadly weapon due to the potential for “great bodily injury” displayed.
“We’re still looking for three other potential suspects, as the victim claimed there were four attackers,” the lieutenant said.
The victim, a man in his early-20s, was beaten by the four men and robbed of several items, Lamborghini said. He declined to say what exactly was stolen as the search continued for the additional suspects.
“We’re still working on it, so information is limited,” Lamborghini said.
The injured man was taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be major, Detective Zach Houser said.
Responding officers found Kuklinski several blocks away in the 600 block of Scott Place and arrested him without a struggle, Lamborghini said.
The other three suspects were described only as male and possibly Asian, Houser said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Kuklinski was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in West Covina Superior Court.
Update: Search cancelled. Woman has been found safe.
GLENDORA — Police sought the public’s help Wednesday in finding a missing 67-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.
Sylvia Anderson apparently wandered away from her home in the 400 block of East Woodcroft Avenue about 8:40 a.m. Wednesday, Glendora police officials said in a written statement.
She was described as black, about 5 feet tall and 145 pounds. She has gray and auburn hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Glendora Police Department at 626-914-8250.
GLENDORA — Rescuers flew an elderly Glendora woman to trauma center in unknown condition Thursday after she was struck by a car while crossing the street, officials said.
The 74-year-old woman was crossing west across Amelia Avenue in a crosswalk when she was struck by a southbound vehicle, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, he said, and no crime was initially suspected.
Officials said the woman suffered a head injury. Her condition was unavailable, however she was conscious and able to speak with rescuers at the scene.
It initially appeared a fogged up windshield and sun glare may have played a role in the collision, Lamborghini said.