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.
SAN DIMAS >> A man attacked a Glendora police dog after leading officers on a chase that ended in San Dimas Friday morning, authorities said.
Driver Armando Nunez, 28, of El Monte and passenger Vitoria Yvonne Narvaez, 29, of Pomona were ultimately arrested, Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said.
Nunez was hospitalized for treatment of dog bites. The K-9 that apprehended him suffered injuries to its ear.
Nunez was already being sought by police in West Covina in connection with another chase and crash last week, West Covina police Lt. Travis Tibbets said.
The incident began shortly before 11 a.m. when an officer spotted a car in La Verne and found it suspicious, the chief said.
The officer approached the car when it pulled into a parking lot at Foothill Boulevard and San Dimas Avenue in San Dimas, he said. The car fled “at high speeds.”
Glendora police pursued the fleeing car to a residential cul-de-sac in the 900 block of Sedona Court, officials said. Both the driver and passenger abandoned the car and continued fleeing on foot.
Officers immediately captured the passenger, later identified as Narvaez, Staab said. But the driver, Nunez, fled into the surrounding neighborhood.
Police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies set up a search perimeter.
“One of the homeowners alerted us to their backyard,” the chief said. The resident noticed the storage shed in the backyard had become inexplicably unlatched.
Police ordered anyone inside the shed to surrender. After receiving no response, officers sent in a Glendora Police Department K-9 named Bo.
“Second later, both of them burst out of the storage shed,” Staab said.
“The male suspect had the K-9 in a headlock,” he said. “With the other hand, he grabbed its left ear and twisted its head around.”
Police tried to subdue Nunez with a Taser, but he continued fighting with officers before they wrestled him into custody.
“The suspect wouldn’t stop fighting,” Staab said. “Two of my experienced detectives said they’ve never fought with somebody so prolonged.”
No officers were hurt, Staab said.
Bo’s normally upright ear remained limp from the attack, but he appeared otherwise OK, Staab said. The K-9 was to be examined by a veterinarian.
Nunez was treated for dog bites to his face, arm and leg prior to booking, Staab said. He was expected to face charges including evading police and assault on a police dog.
He was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
West Covina police had been seeking Nunez since Sunday, when he allegedly led police on another chase in a stolen car, which ended in a crash at Amar Road and Valinda Avenue, Tibbetts said.
After crashing the stolen car after a brief chase, Nunez ran from the car, leaving a seriously injured woman who had been riding as a passenger behind, Tibbetts said. Officers did not find him that day, but investigators identified Nunez as the suspected driver.
Narvaez, was booked on suspicion of resisting police, Staab said. She is on parole for a prior burglary conviction and was being held without bail, according to officials and booking records.
The ignition system of the car the suspects were riding in Friday had been tampered with, Staab said. Detectives were investigating whether or not it had been stolen.
GLENDORA >> A U.S. Army solder from Glendora man has been returned to L.A. County from an Iraq deployment to face charges of child molestation and forcible rape, authorities said Wednesday.
Prosecutors charged Fadi Haddad, 39, on April 20 with three counts of committing lewd acts on a child and two counts of forcible rape of an adult, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
He is an army reservist with the rank of specialist who works in military intelligence and translation, Glendora police Detective Chris Farino said.
After prosecutors filed charges against Haddad in April, the Army arranged for him to be returned to his deploying base in Fort Hood, Texas, in mid-May to await legal proceedings, officials said.
Haddad waives his right to fight extradition and was returned to Los Angeles County to be booked into jail early May 28, Farino said.
The alleged child molestations involved an underage girl who Haddad had access to, and occurred between October of 2009 and October of 2010, and also between October of 2013 and October of 2014, Ardalani said.
The investigation began after, “a child revealed that he’d been sexually abusing her,” she said.
The child victim was 13 years old when the abuse began, Farino said.
During the course of investigation the alleged crimes against the child, detectives also encountered a woman who alleged that Haddad had raped her twice, in August of 2014 and in July of 2015, Ardalani said.
Haddad was also previously acquainted with the alleged adult victim, Farino said.
Haddad is scheduled to appear for arraignment June 17 in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, records show.
In the meantime, he was being held in lieu of $5 million bail.
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.