West Covina man convicted of shooting Hacienda Heights man in the throat; getaway thwarted by broken bicycle chain

HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> A jury Wednesday convicted a West Covina man of shooting a rival gang member in the throat last year, officials said. The shooter’s getaway was foiled when his bicycle chain snapped.
A Pomona Superior Court jury deliberated for less than two days before finding Andrew Philip Kingsbury, 21, guilty of the May 14, 2014, shooting of a then-44-year-old Hacienda Heights man in the 1000 block of Olympus Avenue,” Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. The jury convicted him of attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
“The defendant traveled to Hacienda Heights, spotted a gang member, walked up and shot him in the throat,” Ardalani said.
The victim was hospitalized in stable condition, sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials said.
Kingsbury tried to flee on a bicycle, but was soon apprehended after the chain on his bike broke, Thurlo said.
Kingsbury faces up to 34 years to life in state prison when he returns to court for sentencing June 5, Ardalani said.

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Man suspected in arson spree in Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights, Walnut

ARSONS

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY >> A man is accused of lighting a series of seven fires inside the restrooms of open businesses in an unusually brazen arson spree in recent weeks in Rowland Heights, Hacienda Heights and Walnut, authorities said.
Deputies arrested David Lin, 42, Tuesday, Sgt. John Hanson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail said.
He had been sought in connection with a string of fires that began in December, the sergeant said. Three of the alleged fires occurred Tuesday alone.
Though the fires remained confined to the restrooms they were lit in, the suspect’s reckless and bold behavior was deeply concerning, arsonist profiler Detective Ed Nordskog of the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail said.
“For somebody to go into an open business during business hours and light a fire, it’s really rare, even for serial arsonists,” Nordskog said.
“What he does is so high-risk” the detective added. “He’s a rare breed. That makes him dangerous.”
No injuries were reported in the fires, Hanson said.
Detectives first became aware of an arsonist operating in the area when they were called to investigate a fire lit Jan. 29 in the bathroom of L & L Hawaiian Barbecue, 515 S. Gran Avenue in Walnut, Hanson said. Someone set fire to paper items such as toilet paper and toilet seat covers, inside the bathroom.
The following day, another similar fire erupted in a bathroom at Office Depot, 17450 Colima Road in Rowland Heights, Hanson said. The flames caused at least $2,000 in damage before fire sprinklers and firefighters extinguished it.
Detectives learned that another similar fire had taken place in December at the Rolling Wok restaurant, 18382 Colima Road in Rowland Heights, as well as at the Guppy House restaurant, 17188 Colima Road in Hacienda Heights, on Jan. 27, the sergeant said.
A break in the case Tuesday, as the suspect accelerated his arson spree, Hanson said. Three similar bathroom fires were reported Tuesday at McDonalds, 19775 Colima Road in Rowland Heights; Del Taco, 21060 Golden Springs Drive in Rowland Heights; and finally at Ten Ren’s Tea Time, 515 S. Grand Ave. in Rowland Heights.
But as the fires were igniting Tuesday, detectives were managed to identify a suspect through surveillance images, witness statement and booking photos from previous arrests. A bulletin was sent out to patrol deputies, who spotted Lin driving Tuesday afternoon.
Lin led deputies on a brief chase before pulling over and surrendering in the parking lot of a Rowland Heights supermarket, Hanson said. During the pursuit, he allegedly through methamphetamine from the car.
He was booked on suspicion of one count of arson for the tea house fire, felony evading of police and drug possession, Hanson said. Addition charges for the other six arson fires were expected to come later.
Lin, described as a former West Covina resident who has been living out of his car in recent months, was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Thursday in Pomona Superior Court, records show. But Lin’s bail is likely to increase as additional charges are added later.

BOOKING PHOTO of San Gabriel Valley arson spree suspect Davin Lin, 42.(Courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

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Man fatally shot in Hacienda Heights

HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a man found fatally shot in a Hacienda Heights backyard Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
A neighbor called deputies about 1:45 p.m. to report seeing someone lying in the large backyard of a home in the 14400 block of Clark Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Thurlo said.
The man appeared to have been shot, officials said. Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene.
No further description of the dead man was available late Sunday, nor were any further details regarding the shooting.
Anyone with information 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.

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Community rallies behind Hacienda Heights family devastated by fatal car crash

1225_NWS_SGT-L-ROSALES1

HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> For the second time in recent years, a Hacienda Heights family has been devastated by a fatal tragedy. And for the second time, the community is rallying around the family to offer compassion and support.
Bertha Rosales, 42, died in a car crash while driving two of her four sons home from school in their hometown of Hacienda Heights, according to California Highway Patrol officials and friends.
1225_NWS_SGT-L-ROSALES2Her sons Isaac, 13, and Ramon Jr., 10, suffered serious injuries in the crash, officials said. Isaac remained unconscious at a hospital with severe head injuries Wednesday, family friend Ernie Maldonado said. Ramon Jr. was making good progress in his recovery after undergoing surgery for injuries to his shoulder and elbow.
“This past Sunday was actually Bertha’s birthday,” Maldonado said.
The same family was affected by another deadly tragedy in August of 2011, when Rosales’ sister, 49-year-old Virginia Gonzales, and Gonzales’ 3-year-old son, Johnny Crowger, died in a house fire at their home in the 1700 block of Piermont Drive in Hacienda Heights.
Gonzales died while trying to rescue her son from the burning home, officials said.
In last week’s car crash, Rosales was driving a BMW sedan north on Durazno Drive, heading from a stop sign at a T-intersection, about 2:35 p.m. when the BMW collided with a Chevrolet Camaro heading west on Halliburton Road, CHP Sgt. Charles Quijada said.
The 17-year-old driver of the Camaro suffered apparently minor injuries, officials said.
No arrests or citations were initially made as the crash remained under investigation by the Santa Fe Springs office of the CHP.
“He changed a whole family,” Maldonado said of the other driver. “I feel for the other person as well.”
And just like the Hacienda Heights community came to the aid of the family following the fatal fire in 2011, local residents and organizations are once again stepping in to do what they can to ease the family’s suffering, Maldonado said.
Maldonado described Rosales as a “strong woman”
A fundraising website has been set up by the boys’ soccer club, Pasadena-based F.C. Golden State, at https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/rb17/rosales-family. The website had raised more than $18,500 of a $50,000 goal to help with burial and medical expenses as of Wednesday.
“The soccer club they belong to, they’re a real close-knit club,” Maldonado said.
Other community members have also come forward to support the grieving family.
Mesa Robles Elementary School, where Isaac Rosales and Ramon Rosales Jr. both attend and their mother has previously worked as a recess monitor, has also collected funds for the family, Maldonado said.
The school has also organized a fund to help the family at Chase bank. Donations can be made via check or cashiers check, made out to Isaac Rosales or Ramon Rosales, to account No. 3024994690.
And even though the school began it’s winter break Dec. 20, “The school helped with counseling,” Maldonado said. Maldonado’s son is Isaac Rosales’ best friend.
Correspondence for the family can be sent to Mesa Robles School, 16060 Mesa Robles Drive, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745.

PHOTOS:

TOP: Bertha Rosales, 42, of Hacienda Heights, pictured on a banner on this roadside memorial at Halliburton Road and Durazno Drive, died in a car crash on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Her two sons Isaac Rosales, 13, and Ramon Rosales Jr., 10, were injured in the crash. (Courtesy)

BELOW: Bertha Rosales, 42, (right) of Hacienda Heights died in a car crash on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, at Halliburton Road and Durazno Drive i Hacienda Heights . Her two sons Isaac, 13, (left) and Ramon Jr., 10, (not pictured) were injured in the crash. Isaac remained hospitalized in critical condition with major head injuries Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014. (Courtesy)

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Man robs Hacienda Heights bank branch

HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> A man fled with an undisclosed amount of cash after robbing a Hacienda Heights bank Saturday, officials said.
The robber showed up about 1:45 p.m. at Chase bank, 17160 Colima Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Boese said.
He handed a female teller a note demanding money, the sergeant said. No weapon was seen.
The robber obtained some cash and fled, Boese said. No getaway car was seen in connection with the crime.
Deputies described the robber as a black man between 25 and 40, about 6 feet 2 inches tall and 160 pounds. He wore white sunglasses, a navy blue jumpsuit with writing on it and a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt.

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Home struck by gunfire in Hacienda Heights; no injuries reported

HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Bullets tore through a Hacienda Heights family’s home early Wednesday, though no injuries were reported in the shooting, authorities said.
Deputies received a report of gunshots about 12:40 a.m. in the 1700 block of Charlemont Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Boese said.
They found that a nearby home had been struck by gunfire, and several spend bullet casings were collected from the ground, the sergeant said.
A family, including children, was inside the home, however no one was struck by the gunfire, he said.
No suspect description was known, and no further details were available.

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Gunman robs Hacienda Heights cell phone store

HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> A masked man with a handgun robbed a cell phone store Saturday afternoon, officials said.
The heist was reported just before 6 p.m. at Bell Star Wireless, in the 16400 block of Colima Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Boese said.
The robber entered the store and demanded money at gunpoint, Boese said. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, and was last seen running north on Punta Del Este Drive.
A man and woman working at the store were not injured, he added.
Deputies described the robber as a white or Latino man in his 20s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 130 pounds. He wore all-dark clothing and a mask.
The robbery was being investigated by detectives from the sheriff’s Industry Station.

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Man wounded in Hacienda Heights car-to-car shooting

HACIENDA HEIGHTS — A man was wounded but expected to survive following a car-to-car shooting in Hacienda Heights Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The victim, a 21-year-old man, was stopped at a red light on Lujon Street at Hacienda Boulevard in a 2004 Audi when the attacker pulled up in an older-model, white pickup truck, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Thurlo said.
“(The shooter) pulled up next to him on he right side and fired into the victim’s vehicle, striking him once in the upper right shoulder,” Thurlo said. A rifle was believed to have been used in the shooting.
Thurlo said the wounded man drove north a short distance to Hacienda Boulevard and Gale Avenue, where deputies encountered him.
Officials initially described the shooter only as male. He was last seen driving south on Hacienda Boulevard from the shooting scene. The motive in the shooting was not clear.

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UPDATED: Man shot in the neck in Hacienda Heights; suspect arrested

HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> A man suffered a gunshot wound to his neck and a suspect was in custody following a gang-related shooting in a residential neighborhood Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 3:40 p.m. in the 1000 block of Olympus Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Art Marrujo said.
The victim, a 44-year-old Hacienda Heights resident and member of a local street gang, suffered a through-and-through wound to his neck but was hospitalized in stable condition after undergoing surgery, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Thurlo said.
The suspect, a local gang member man in his early 20s, was arrested nearby after the chain broke on the bicycle he was using as a getaway vehicle, Thurlo said. His name was not available Sunday afternoon pending the booking process.
All three were on Olympus Avenue when the suspect and victim became involved in an argument over gang affiliations, Thurlo said. The suspect pulled a handgun and shot the victim before fleeing on a bicycle.
A friend of the victim flagged down a sheriff’s deputy and pointed out where the gunman had gone but refused to cooperate further, the sergeant said.
Deputies found the suspect around the corner in the 15700 block of Wallbrook Drive, Thurlo said. He was taken into custody without a struggle.
Deputies found a handgun discarded in the area of the same caliber used in the shooting, officials said.
Deputies summoned their counterparts in the gang unit to take over the investigation.

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Hacienda Heights man convicted of child molestation

POMONA — A Hacienda Heights man faces up to 60 years in state prison next month when he returns to court for sentencing after being convicted Wednesday of molesting four underage female relatives over an eight-year period, authorities said.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury in Pomona deliberated for about two hours before finding Juan Hernandez, 51, guilty of one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child and four counts of committing a lewd act on a child, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
He is scheduled to return to court for sentencing June 26, when he could received a maximum sentence of six decades behind bars, officials said.
“The prosecutor said Hernandez sexually molested four underage family members at various times between March 1999 and July 2007,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
“Authorities were notified about the sexual abuse and the defendant was arrested Sept. 26, 2013 and held on $4 million bail,” the statement added.
The investigation was carried out by detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau.
In addition to being held without bail pending sentencing, Hernandez was also had a hold placed on him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, according to county booking records.

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