UPDATED: Hydroponics store employee beaten with baseball bat, stabbed in Bassett

BASSETT — Two men beat a hydroponics store employee with a baseball bat and stabbed him repeatedly during an attack along Valley Boulevard Friday afternoon.
The incident, which deputies were investigating as an attempted murder, was first reported about 5:15 p.m. at a hydroponic supply store along Valley Boulevard, just west of Seventh Avenue, in the unincorporated county area of Bassett, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Paramedics were first summoned to the scene by reports of an injured man bleeding from the head, Sgt. Mark Stonich of the sheriff’s Industry Station said. The rescuers contacted police after realizing the man was the victim of an assault.
“These two (attackers) used a baseball bat, hands and feet and possibly a knife,” Stonich said. “He had several puncture wounds in his back.”
The employee first received a phone call just before 5 p.m. from a man asking whether the store was open, and whether is carried a particular type of light bulb, Stonich said. The employee responded that the store did carry the bulb in question.
About 15 minutes later, the employee noticed two men standing in front of the store, pacing and carrying a bag, the sergeant said.
They entered the store, pulled a baseball bat from the bag and ordered the employee to exit the store, Stonich said. They then attacked the man.
Paramedics took the injured employee to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with stable vital signs, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Larry Duran said. He was expected to survive.
The motive in the attack was not clear, Stonich said. There were no indications anything had been stolen.
The badly injured man managed to give deputies a description of his attackers before being rushed to the a hospital for treatment, the sergeant said. “He recognized one of their voices as person who had called on the phone.”
One of the assailants was a white man of about 6 feet tall, wearing a blue shirt and gray pants, Stonich said. The other was an Asian man of about 5 feet 6 inches tall and wearing all black clothing.
Not eyewitnesses to the attack had been found Friday afternoon, however witnesses did confirm seeing men matching the descriptions given by the victim and carrying a baseball bat in the area around the time of the incident.
The motive in the crime was not immediately clear, Stonich said. “We don’t know if a robbery occurred at this time.”
The investigation was ongoing. Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322.

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UPDATED: Long Beach man accused of carjackings in Hacienda Heights and Industry, attack on woman

A man carjacked two drivers and attacked one of them with a bottle before being arrested late Friday, authorities said.
Markkis Porsche Sonier, 24, of Long Beach was booked on suspicion of carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon following his arrest, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
The series of crimes began about 8:50 p.m. in the parking lot of Denny’s restaurant, on 7th Avenue near the 60 Freeway, Sgt. Michael Mileski said.
“The suspect told the victim he had a gun and demanded his vehicle,” Mileski said. The victim complied, and the carjacker sped off in the man’s Dodge Neon.
Minutes later, Sonier abandoned the Dodge nearby at Turnbull Canyon Road and Gale Avenue in Industry, Mileski said. He then turned it attention to a woman with a Lexus sedan in a parking lot.
“He assaulted her with a bottle,” Mileski said.
The woman was struck in the head, Sgt. Greg Taylor said in an written statement. She was treated by paramedics for minor injuries.
The suspect then fled in the woman’s car, which was spotted by deputies just around the corner, officials said.
“As Industry station deputies were responding to area of the first carjacking, the suspect nearly collided into a patrol car,” Taylor said. “Realizing that the vehicle that nearly collided into them could possibly be related to the carjacking which had just happened, deputies conducted a traffic stop and detained the driver without incident.”
Sonier was already on probation for assault, Taylor added.
According to booking records, Sonier was being held in lieu of $185,000 bail pending his initial appearance Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

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Off-duty Industry sheriff’s deputies disarm knife-wielding man in front of Pomona courthouse

POMONA — Two off-duty Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies confronted, disarmed and detained a belligerent man who showed up at Pomona Superior Court with a butcher knife in his hand earlier this week, authorities said Friday.
The incident took place Monday morning outside courthouse, 400 Civic Center Plaza, sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Boese said.
Off-duty deputies J. Tien and V. Velazquez had just finished testifying in unrelated cases and exited the courthouse, “When they saw a male Hispanic adult walking toward the front entrance holding an 8-inch butcher’s knife in his hand,” the sergeant said.
The man, later identified as 29-year-old parolee and transient Jeralme Cuevas, became agitated when approached by the off-duty deputies and refused to respond to initial attempts to speak to him, officials said.
“After a couple of attempts to contact the man, the man yelled, ‘Are you guys going to take me back to prison? I need to go back to prison or I’ll kill somebody.”
The deputies held Cuevas at gunpoint as they persuaded him to drop the blade and lie down on the ground, Boese said. They detained him until Pomona police arrived, and he was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats and brandishing a weapon in a threatening manner, authorities said.
Boese said Cuevas later told deputies he had gone to the court house, “Just to kill a cop.”
According to county booking records, Cuevas was being held without bail pending a scheduled court appearance at the scene of the alleged crime, Pomona Superior Court.

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Naked senior citizen steals pickup truck in Industry

INDUSTRY — A naked woman stole a man’s pickup truck Sunday from the parking lot of an Industry restaurant, officials said.
The bizarre crime took place shortly after 10 a.m. outside a TGI Fridays restaurant in the 17400 block of Colima Road, near the Puente Hills Mall, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Buger said.
The woman, described as an acquaintance of the victim in her early-60s, fled in the man’s gray, extra cab, 2003 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, the deputy said.
The woman had urinated herself, and the man was helping her buy fresh clothes when she drove away in his truck, Buger said. The exact relationship between the man and woman was unclear.
Deputies continued seeking both the woman, whose identity was known to deputies, and the truck Sunday afternoon.

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Auto theft suspect jailed after chase through Industry, Bassett

INDUSTRY — Deputies arrested an alleged auto thief Friday following a brief car chase and foot pursuit, authorities said.
Joaquin Garcia, 38, was arrested following the incident, which began shortly after 5 p.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. James Beamon said. His city of residence was not available.
A deputy spotted him driving a 2000 Hyundai that had been reported stolen near Amar Road and Baldwin Park Boulevard, at the northwest edge of Industry, the lieutenant said.
Garcia refused to pull over for the deputy, initiating a pursuit that ended in the 400 block of Santa Mariana Avenue in the unincorporated county area of Bassett, where the suspect abandoned the car and continued fleeing on foot, Beamon said. He was quickly apprehended by deputies.
According to county booking records, Garcia was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in El Monte Superior Court.

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Montebello man fatally struck while crossing 60 Freeway in Industry following car breakdown

INDUSTRY — A Montebello man died late Friday after he was struck by two vehicles while trying to cross the 60 Freeway after the car he was riding in broke down, authorities said.
Roger Reyna, 30, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, California Highway Patrol Officer Francisco Villalobos said.
The collision was first reported about 8:40 p.m. in the westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway, just east of Crossroads Parkway in Industry, CHP Officer Patrick Kimball said.
Prior to being struck, Reyna was a passenger in a car being driven by his mother that had broken down on the eastbound side of the freeway, Villalobos said. He exited the vehicle to seek help, and attempted to cross the freeway.
“He crossed all lanes of the eastbound 60 and was crossing the westbound lanes when he was struck by a vehicle in the No. 6 lane,” Villalobos said. “He was subsequently struck by a second vehicle in the No. 6 lane.”
A 27-year-old La Puente man who was driving the 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche that first struck Reyna, as well as a 50-year-old Corona man who was driving the 19988 Acura TL that struck the man afterward remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, Villalobos said. No arrests or citations were made as the incident remained under investigation.
CHP logs indicated a caller reported seeing a man walking along the side of the road at 8:38 p.m. One minute later, it was reported that the man was seen near the center divider.
A CHP officer arrived on-scene at 8:40 p.m., but the man — later identified as Reyna — has already been fatally struck, logs show.
Officials issued a Sig Alert for the three right-hand lanes of the westbound 60 Freeway for more than an hour as they investigated the scene.

– Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales

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UPDATED: Walnut man dies in 60 Freeway motorcycle hit-and-run; two drivers arrested

A motorcyclist died and two people were arrested early Sunday following a hit-and-run crash on the 60 Freeway at the 605 Freeway, authorities said.
The fatal collision was first reported about 2:40 a.m. in the westbound lanes of the 60 Freeway, just east of the 605 Freeway in an unincorporated county area near Industry, California Highway Patrol Officer Ed Jacobs said.
The name of the motorcyclist was not released by coroner’s officials pending notification of his family. CHP officials described him as a 28-year-old Walnut man.
Arrested were Ai Ho, 57, of Rowland Heights on suspicion of hit-and-run, as well as Gilberto Flores, 25, of Los Angeles, on suspicion of hit-and-run and drunken driving, California Highway Patrol officer Jennifer Cassidy said.
The motorcyclist was riding a 2012 Yamaha motorcycle at a “high rate of speed” in the No. 3 lane prior to the collision, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
He rear-ended a 1995 Lexus SC300 being driven ahead of him by Ho at about 65 mph, officials said.
“As a result of this collision, (the motorcyclist) was ejected into the No. 3 lane while his vehicle continued travelling westbound,” the statement said.
A 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe being driven by Flores then came upon the scene and struck the motorcycle, according to the CHP.
Paramedics pronounced the motorcyclist dead at the scene, Jacobs said. The Lexus and Chevrolet that were involved in the crash had fled the scene.
Investigators, aided by a license plate that fell off one of the vehicles during the crash, located the cars in Rowland Heights and Los Angeles, and the suspected drivers were arrested, officials said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Ho was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending her initial court appearance, while Flores was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Officials issued a Sig Alert on the westbound 60 Freeway for more than two hours following the crash.

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Alleged drunken driver arrested after chase from Industry to West Covina

An alleged drunken and reckless driver led authorities on a freeway chase Wednesday that began in Industry and ended with his arrest West Covina, officials said.
A deputy assigned to the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station spotted an allegedly drunken driver about 11 a.m. on the northbound 605 Freeway, just north of Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Steve Sanchez said.
The driver of the car, described as a black Dodge Charger, failed to pull over, initiating a chase, officials said.
Deputies chased the fleeing car north on the 605 Freeway, then east on the 10 Freeway before calling in California Highway Patrol officers to take over the pursuit, Sanchez said.
Shortly after CHP officers joined the chase, the driver exited at Citrus Avenue in West Covina and surrendered, Sanchez said. He was expected to be booked on suspicion of drunken driving and evading police.
The driver’s name was not immediately available pending the booking process, Sanchez said.

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Big rig crash snarls commute through Industry Friday


INDUSTRY — A big rig smashed into the center divider of the 60 Freeway in Industry on Friday, spilling its cargo and prompting a Sig Alert that snarled traffic for more than four hours.
Though the crash wrought havoc on the commute through the San Gabriel Valley, it resulted in no major injuries, authorities said.
The crash took place just after 10:05 a.m. on the westbound 60 Freeway, just east of the 605 Freeway, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
A big rig being driven by a Mira Loma man estimated to be about 50 years old was headed westbound on the freeway hauling metal rails, according to Officer Lillie of the CHP’s Altadena Office, who declined to give his first name.
For reasons not yet determined Friday, the big rig crashed into the cement divider separating westbound traffic from eastbound traffic, Lillie said.
“As a result of that, the rails came free and collided with a metal pole and spread across westbound and eastbound lanes,” the officer said.
The truck ended up glancing off the divider, going across all the lanes of the westbound 60 Freeway and down a dirt embankment, coming to a rest off the roadway, officials said. The driver was taken to a hospital with apparently minor injuries.
Two sedans and a pickup truck struck metal rails falling from the truck, Lillie said. One of the sedan drivers was treated for injuries believed to be minor, while the other two drivers whose vehicles collided with the metal rails did not wish to be taken to a hospital.
In the two hours immediately following the crash, all but one lane in each direction of the 60 Freeway were shut down periodically as the roadway was cleared of debris, officials said.
Two lanes of the westbound 60 Freeway remained closed past 3 p.m.

– Staff report, staff photo

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Whittier man and boys killed in head-on collision following 6th grade graduation party identified


Coroner’s officials Saturday identified the man and two boys killed in a car crash in Industry while celebrating the boys’ sixth grade graduation.

Efren Velasquez, 22, Gilbert Enriquez Jr., 12 and Braulio Duque, 13, died in Thursday’s crash, which took place shortly before 9 p.m. on San Gabriel River Parkway, just south of Rose Hills Road, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Cheryl MacWillie said.

Velasquez lived in Compton, though friends and family said he was born and raised in Whittier.


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