Arcadia man accused of DUI, hit-and-run following Pasadena crash


PASADENA >> An Arcadia man in a pickup truck blew through a red light while drunk, injuring a man and girl in a crash, then fled the scene late Thursday, authorities said.
Steve DiMartino, 46, was booked on suspicion of felony drunken driving and felony hit-and-run following the 11:05 p.m. crash at Green Street and Lake Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
DiMartino was at the wheel of a pickup truck that ran a red light on eastbound Green Street at Lake Avenue and collided with a Honda sedan, according to the lieutenant.
The driver of the Honda, a man in his 30s, and his passenger, a young girl, both suffered non-life-threatening injuries, he said. The man appeared to have suffered head injuries, and the girl’s injuries were included a bruised lung and lacerations to her face.
The pickup truck fled the scene of the crash, police said.
An off-duty police officer spotted the damaged car soon after, driving in the area of Washington Boulevard and Holliston Avenue, Mercado said. He thought the freshly damaged truck looked suspicious and reported the sighting to on-duty police.
“On-duty officers responded to the scene, stopped the car and found that he was intoxicated,” Mercado said.
According to county booking records, DiMartino was released from jail Friday afternoon pending his initial court appearance after posting $100,000 bail.

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Glendora man killed by alleged DUI, hit-and-run driver identified


GLENDORA >> Coroner’s officials have identified a 58-year-old Glendora man who was fatally struck by an alleged DUI, hit-and-run driver while working under the hood of a car last week.
Brian Pasley succumbed to his injuries at a hospital shortly after the 10:10 a.m. crash on April 13 along Grand Avenue, just north of Arrow Highway, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
He was working on auto repairs along the side of the road when a Scion xB driven by 29-year-old Mark Stephen Gagliardi of Claremont slammed into the rear of the car Pasley was working on, Glendora police Cpl. Bill Lee said at the time.
Gagliardi fled the scene, but was found and arrested nearby after his damaged car broke down less than half a mile away, Lee said.
Investigators determined Gagliardi was driving while intoxicated and arrested him on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI and hit-and-run, according to the corporal.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Gagliardi was released from jail pending his initial court appearance after posting $136,000 bail.

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Glendora man fatally struck by alleged DUI, hit-and-run driver while working on car


GLENDORA >> A Claremont man is accused of manslaughter, DUI and hit-and-run after he crashed his car into a parked car early Thursday, killing a man who was working under the hood, authorities said.
Mark Stephen Gagliardi, 29, was jailed in connection with the 10:10 a.m. crash along Grand Avenue, just north of Arrow Highway, according to Glendora police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The victim, a 59-year-old Glendora man whose name was not available, was working on his car, which was parked along the east curbline of Grand Avenue, prior to the crash, Glendora police Cpl. Bill Lee said.
Gagliardi was northbound on Grand Avenue when his Scion xB veered toward the side of the road and rear-ended the victim’s parked vehicle, according to the corporal. The impact pushed the victim’s vehicle forward, crushing him between his own vehicle and another vehicle parked in front of it.
Paramedics treated the badly injured man at the scene and took him to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later, Lee said.
The driver, later identified as Gagliardi, tried to drive away, Lee said. But his car, which was damaged in the collision, broke down less than half a mile away. Officers arrested him without a struggle.
Gagliardi was ultimately booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, DUI and felony hit-and-run, Lee said.
According to county booking records, Gagliardi was being held in lieu of $136,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Woman killed, another jailed following Pico Rivera hit-and-run


PICO RIVERA >> Deputies jailed a Pico Rivera woman on Friday morning after she fatally struck a bicyclist on Rosemead Boulevard, then fled the scene, hours earlier, authorities said.
Berta Ramirez, 21, was booked on suspicion of hit-and-run involving a death about 10:20 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Noe Garcia said.
The bicyclist, a woman whose identity has not been released, was riding her bike on Rosemead Boulevard south of Rex Road at about 2 a.m. when she was hit, Sgt. Wilson Wong said in a written statement.
The victim, whom the coroner’s office believes was in her 30s, was taken to a local hospital where she died of her injuries, according to Ed Winter, assistant chief of Operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
The involved car was described as a dark gray, a 2003-2007 Honda Accord with damage to its front end.
As the investigation continued, deputies patrolling in South Whittier pulled over a “blueish-gray” 2005 Honda Accord for traffic violations shortly after 10 a.m. at Pioneer Boulevard and Saragosa Street, sheriff’s officials said. Ramirez was at the wheel.
“During the investigation, the deputies noticed extensive damage to the front end of the vehicle. It was determined the vehicle matched the description of the vehicle involved in the fatal hit-and-run traffic collision which occurred early in the morning,” Wong said. “Based on further investigation, suspect Ramirez was booked at the Pico Rivera Sheriff Station.”
Deputies obtained a blood sample from Ramirez, which will be analyzed as part of the investigation.
Ramirez was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending her initial court appearance, records show.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station’s Detective Jose Marquez at 562-949-2421.
Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

— Brian Day and Sandra Molina

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Alleged hit-and-run driver who crashed in to La Puente home arrested

LA PUENTE >> An 18-year-old man accused of crashing his father’s Mercedes-Benz through a La Puente bedroom in which to children were sleeping early Wednesday, then running away, turned himself in to deputies late in the day, authorities said Thursday.
The crash took place about 1:45 a.m. at Temple and Duff avenues, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Michael Lang said.
A 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300 was eastbound on Temple Avenue when it veered to the side of the road, crashed through a fence and plowed through the side of a house, Lang said.
Two children sleeping inside the room penetrated by the car were unhurt, Lang said.
The driver got out of the car and ran away, officials said. He left his tennis shoes behind in the car as he fled.
The 18-year-old suspect showed up at the sheriff’s Industry Station Wednesday afternoon with his father and turned himself in, Sgt. Gina Eguia said. The car turned out to belong to his father.
Deputies issued the driver a misdemeanor citation for hit-and-run, she said. His name was not available Thursday afternoon.

PHOTO by Pedro F. Garcia

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Car plows car into children’s bedroom in La Puente, driver runs away

LA PUENTE >> Two children escaped injury when a car plowed through their bedroom in La Puente early Wednesday morning, authorities said. The driver ran away and remained at-large Wednesday afternoon.
The crash took place about 1:45 a.m. at the corner of Temple and Duff avenues, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Michael Lang said.
A 2015-Mercedes-Benz C300 was eastbound on Temple Avenue when the driver lost control, the deputy said. The car struck the curb or wheelchair ramp, then smashed through a fence and into the side of the home.
The vehicle ended up embedded about halfway into the bedroom, in which two children were sleeping, Lang said. Neither child was injured.
The driver abandoned the wrecked Mercedes and fled the scene on foot, Lang said. He was initially described as a man between 20 and 25 years old.
The crash was caught on video by a nearby surveillance camera, Lang said. Investigators were working to obtain a copy of the recording.
Deputies continued seeking the driver, as well as the registered owner, of the car Wednesday afternoon.
Lang urged the driver to turn himself in.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322.


Staff photos by Pedro F. Garcia

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Montebello man arrested after bicyclist killed in hit-and-run


Authorities arrested an 18-year-old Montebello man who they say fatally struck a bicyclist with an SUV before fleeing the scene, crashing into several parked cars and ultimately being detained by neighborhood residents until police arrived.
John F. Saldivar, 18, is accused of hit-and-run in connection with the fatal collision, which took place about 7:30 p.m. on Concourse Avenue, just south of Allston Street, on the border between East Los Angeles and Montebello, according to Officer E. Anguiano of the CHP’s East Los Angeles-area office.
The bicyclist, described as a 35-year-old Los Angeles man, died at the scene, officials said. His identity was not available Sunday.
Saldivar was driving a 2002 Ford Expedition south on Concourse Avenue prior to the collision, Anguiano said. The bicyclist was also southbound, traveling ahead of the SUV.
“For unknown reasons, (Saldivar) failed to notice the bicyclist ahead and collided with the bicyclist,” Anguiano said in a written statement. The cyclist was thrown from his bicycle.
The driver allegedly fled before crashing into several parked cars a few blocks away.
“(Saldivar) was detained by local residents until CHP arrived on scene,” Anguiano said.
Intoxicated driving was not believed to a factor in the crash, he added.
Any witnesses are encouraged to contact the CHP’s East Los Angeles-area office at 323-980-4600.

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Pasadena man fights off would-be armed robbers with lamp


PASADENA >> A Pasadena man used a lamp to fight off two would-be armed robbers, who then crashed their getaway car while fleeing the scene and ran on Thursday afternoon, police said.
The incident unfolded about 3 p.m., Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
A man in his 20s was standing in a driveway in the 1000 block of North Michigan Avenue when two suspects approached in a car and stopped in the street, he said.
Both suspects got out of the car. One of them brandished a knife “in a threatening manner” and demanded the victim empty his pockets.
The victim picked up a lamp that happened to be nearby and used it to defend himself, Luna said.
The robbers punched him in the face during the fight that ensued before fleeing empty handed.
Luna said the robbers got back into their car and sped off, but collided into another car being driven by a woman at Michigan Avenue and Mountain Street, Luna said. They abandoned their car and continued fleeing on foot. They were not found, though police seized the car as evidence.
The victim of the robbery attempt suffered cuts to his face but declined medical treatment, Luna said. The woman driving the car struck by the suspects was no hurt.
Detailed suspect descriptions were not available.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Arcadia woman killed by alleged DUI, hit-and-run driver identified


ARCADIA >> Authorities have released the identity of a 77-year-old Arcadia woman who was killed by an alleged drunken, hit-and-run driver while crossing Baldwin Avenue last week.
Fang Qiaorui died at a hospital following the collision, which took place about 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 14 on Baldwin Avenue near Arcadia Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. An autopsy was pending.
She was struck by a Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck, which fled the scene after striking her, Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther said.
But witnesses provided police with a description of the truck, including its license plate number. Investigators quickly found and arrested Alex Danilo Cerna, 51, at his home in Pasadena, the sergeant said.
Cerna pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run on Friday in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, records show.
According to court and booking records, Cerna was released from custody Monday after posting $100,000 bail. He’s schedule to return to court Jan. 12 for a preliminary hearing setting.

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Pasadena man accused of DUI, hit-and-run in death of Arcadia woman denies charges


ARCADIA >> A Pasadena man accused of fatally striking an elderly woman with his pickup truck in Arcadia while drunk, then fleeing the scene, pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges filed in connection with the collision, authorities said.
Prosecutors filed charges of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run against Alex Cerna, 51, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
He was at the wheel of a Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck when it struck a 77-year-old Arcadia woman at Baldwin and Arcadia avenues, according to Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther.
The succumbed to her injuries at a hospital. Her identity was not released Friday pending notification of her family, coroner’s officials said.
The driver fled the scene, but witnesses provided police with a description of the hit-and-run truck, including its license plate number, Crowther said.
Police found and arrested Cerna at his home in Pasadena a short time later, Crowther said. They determined he was under the influence of alcohol.
Cerna was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail pending his next court appearance, scheduled on Jan. 12.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call the Arcadia Police Department at 626-574-5151. Anonymous tipsters can call L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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