IRWINDALE >> The death of a man found dead in the San Gabriel riverbed in Irwindale last weekend has been ruled a suicide, coroner’s officials said.
The body of the man, whose identity has not been released, was discovered about 11 a.m. Sunday beneath a bridge in the riverbed along Rivergrade Road, near the 605 Freeway, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
Foul play was not initially suspected, however the man’s cause of death was not apparent, officials said. Sheriff’s homicide detectives joined Irwindale police and coroner’s officials in the investigation.
An autopsy revealed that the man died as a result of jumping from the bridge, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Chief of Operations Brian Elias said. He died from “blunt force injuries,” and the death as ruled a suicide.
Coroner’s officials withheld the man’s name pending notification of family.
IRWINDALE >> Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a man whose body was discovered in the San Gabriel riverbed in in Irwindale Sunday, authorities said.
The death was first reported shortly after 11 a.m. along Rivergrade Road, near the 605 Freeway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Kimberly Alexander said in a written statement.
Investigators from the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are helping Irwindale police with the investigation.
Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Bernard Peters said Irwindale police first found the body in the riverbed and summoned firefighters to the scene.
“The victim was pronounced dead at the scene,” Alexander said.
The man’s identity was not released pending positive identification and notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said. He was initially estimated to be in his 50s.
The cause of death was unclear, and was to be determined through an autopsy, Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez said.
“There’s no obvious signs of foul play.”
Irwindale police officials did not return calls seeking comment.
Anyone with information can reach 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.
IRWINDALE >> Police in Irwindale established a new “safe zone” Thursday to provide those engaging in online commerce, as well as child custody exchanges, a secure and monitored place to conduct their business in front of the police station.
The “E-Commerce and Child Exchange Safe Zone” allows residents to meet with buyers or purchasers to complete online transaction, as well as take care of sometimes-contentious child custody exchanges between separated parents at the station, 5050 N. Irwindale Ave., Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said.
“Transactions that start online but must be completed in person have become more common in recent years and most times the parties are strangers,” police said in a written statement. “E-commerce sales were estimated at $341.7 billion in 2015, up 14.6 percent from the year before.”
“The E-Commerce Safe Zone will consist of two designated parking stalls in front of the Irwindale Police Station,” according to the statement. “The parking stalls will be designated by signage and a painted green curb, where parties can finalize their e-commerce transactions with less concern of being robbed, scammed, seriously injured, and or killed.”
If the other party involved in an online transaction is unwilling to meet at the police station, Zendejas said that may be a “red flag” that the transaction may be less than legitimate.
The special parking spaces, which are under 24-hour video surveillance monitored live by police dispatchers, will also serve as a secure, neutral place for separated parents to relinquish custody of their children for visitations.
The cost of the program amounted to $35, Zendejas said.
PHOTO courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department.
IRWINDALE >> As they have done each year for more than a decade, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on Friday spent 24 hours standing in silent, stoic tribute to fellow deputy David March at the site where he was murdered 14 years ago.
March, a 33-year-old deputy assigned to the sheriff’s Temple City Station, was shot to death in the line of duty on April 29, 2002, along Live Oak Avenue, just east of Peck Road. A permanent memorial to March stands at the roadside.
Deputies stood motionless in pairs in half-hour increments before ceremoniously switching positions with two other deputies. The process continued from midnight Friday morning to midnight Saturday morning.
Sheriff’s Temple Station Capt. Coronne Jacob and her husband, sheriff’s Sgt. Andy Jacob, took the first shift, Sgt. Jim Dexter said.
Visitors ranging from family members of the slain deputy to high-ranking officials from the sheriff’s department and other law enforcement agencies stopped by to pay their respects.
March’s killer, previously convicted felon and four-time deportee Jorge Arroyo Garcia, also known as Armando Garcia, fled to Mexico within 24 hours of the fatal shooting and remained a fugitive until he was arrested in 2006. Garcia was returned to the U.S. to face trial, and pleaded guilty in 2007 to murder, with the special allegations of intentionally killing a peace officer in the line of duty and using a gun in the crime. He is now serving life without parole in state prison.
When Garcia was returned to the U.S. to face justice, deputies cuffed him with March’s handcuffs.
IRWINDALE >> Six motorcyclists and two people riding in a sedan suffered injuries Saturday afternoon in a chain-reaction crash caused by a hit-and-run pickup truck that investigators say may have been an intentional attack.
The wreck occurred just after 7 p.m. on the westbound 210 Freeway, just west of Irwindale Avenue, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
Prior to the crash, six motorcycles were traveling in the fast lane at about 65 mph, and a BMW sedan was driving in the carpool lane, also at about 65 mph, officials said.
“Suddenly, a black pick-up truck traveled from the No. 4 lane, across the westbound lanes, and into the No. 1 lane, where it struck one motorcycle. This impact caused a chain reaction with the other five motorcycles, with at least two of them striking the BMW,” according to the CHP statement.
“Preliminary information indicates the pickup truck may have intentionally struck the motorcycles,” the statement continued.
The pickup truck fled the scene, and no further description was available, authorities said.
Two of the motorcyclist were hospitalized in critical condition, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Ed Pickett said. Four more were treated for injuries, but declined to be taken to hospitals.
Two occupants of the BMW were also taken to a hospital for treatment, officials said.
Officials issued a Sig Alert for the carpool and two left lanes of the westbound 210 Freeway for about two-and-a-half hours as they investigated the scene and cleared the wreckage.
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, is asked to contact Officer Campos of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office at 626-338-1164.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department.
IRWINDALE >> Paramedics rushed a woman and two children to a hospital after their SUV wen over off the side of the rain-slickened 605 Freeway in Irwindale, officials said.
The crash took place about 2:15 p.m. on the southbound 605 Freeway at Arrow Highway, according to California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
The SUV tumbled down an embankment, rolled over several times and ended up in a culvert, fire Capt. Rudy Gilson said.
Firefighters had to cut the woman free from the wreckage, he added. The crash knocked down a power pole, but the wires did not pose a significant risk of electric shock at the scene.
Two boys of elementary school age were flown to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center by helicopter with injuries described as moderate, Gilson said. The woman was taken to the hospital by ambulance with injuries also described as moderate.
CHP officials shut down the Arrow Highway offramp of the southbound 605 Freeway as they investigated the scene and cleared the wreckage.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by the Baldwin Park area office of the CHP.
PHOTO courtesy of the LA County Fire Department
IRWINDALE >> Authorities Thursday released the identity of a motorcyclist from Rosemead killed in a collision with an alleged drunken driver earlier this month.
Maximiliano Michel, 29, died following the crash, which took place about 9:15 p.m. on Feb. 5 at Longden and Myrtle avenues, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner officials said. His identification was delayed as coroner’s investigators worked to notify family members.
An autopsy determined Michel died from “traumatic injuries,” and the death was ruled an accident, according to the coroner’s office.
Michel was riding a 2009 Yamaha motorcycle north on Myrtle Avenue as a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu was turning left from southbound Myrtle Avenue onto eastbound Longden Avenue, according to Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas. the vehicles collided in the intersection.
Officers rushed Michel to a hospital, where he died a short time later, officials said.
The driver of the Chevrolet, 23-year-old Pamela Ramirez of Baldwin Park, was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI after officers determined she was under the influence of alcohol, police said.
County booking records show Ramirez was released from jail pending her initial court appearance two days after the crash after posting $100,000 bail.
IRWINDALE >> A routine traffic stop Saturday led police to arrest two San Bernardino brother — both convicted felons — riding in a stolen car along with an unregistered handgun and identity theft materials, officials said.
Donnie Jesse Reyes, 27, and Ricardo Augustine Reyes, 37, were each booked on suspicion of taking a car without the owner’s consent, possession of fraudulent credit cards, possession of a concealed firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto
An officer on patrol about 4:20 p.m. at Vincent Avenue and Arrow Highway noticed a black, 2005 Infiniti QX SUV with dealer plates make a traffic violation and pulled it over, police said. Donnie Reyes was at the wheel.
“During the officer’s investigation, he learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen to the California Highway Patrol (Santa Fe Springs office) in July, 2015,” Gatto said.
After arresting the two men for auto theft, a search of the car turned up an unregistered, .380-caliber handgun, along with fraudulent or altered credit cards and other people’s identifying documents, officials said.
“It was also learned that both of the suspects were convicted felons prohibited from possessing firearms,” Gatto added.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Donnie Reyes was being held in lieu of $145,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Wednesday in West Covina Superior Court. Ricardo Reyes, described by police as a documented gang member, was being held in lieu of $45,000 pending his arraignment, scheduled for the same date and courthouse.
IRWINDALE >> A motorcyclist died and the driver of a car is suspect of drunken driving following a collision between the two vehicles in Irwindale late Friday, officials said.
The fatal crash took place about 9:15 p.m. at Longden and Myrtle avenues, Irwindale police officials said in a written statement.
The motorcyclist, whose identity was not available Saturday pending notification of family, died at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center shortly after the crash, police and coroner’s officials said. He was initially described as a 29-year-old man.
The motorcyclist was riding a 2009 Yamaha, while the allegedly drunken driver was at the wheel of a 2008 Chevy Malibu, Sgt. George Zendejas said.
“The motorcycle was north on Myrtle (Avenue) and the Malibu was making a left turn from southbound Myrtle (Avenue) to eastbound Longden (Avenue),” Zendejas said.
The two vehicles collided in the intersection.
Paramedics took the badly injured motorcyclist to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center where he died a short time later, officials said.
“During the investigation, it was determined that the driver of the passenger car involved in the collision was driving while under the influence,” according to the police statement.
Pamela Ramirez, 23, of Baldwin Park was treated for minor injuries before being booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated at the Glendora Police Department’s jail, officials said.
“The cause of the collision is still under investigation and will be determined at a later time,” according to the statement.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Ramirez was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact Irwindale police Sgt. Greg Gomez at 626-430-2245.
IRWINDALE >> The Irwindale police recognized officers and other personnel for acts ranging from charging toward an active shooter to resuscitating a lifeless baby during the department’s first-ever Employee Awards Banquet Wednesday.
Awards presented included the department’s Medal of Valor, awarded for “an act displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril”; the Life Saving Award, “when a life is saved or prolonged due to actions taken by an officer”; the Distinguished Service Award, “for performing exceptional service in a duty of great responsibility or of critical importance to law enforcement”; and the Meritorious Service Award, for “meritorious service similar to, but to a lesser degree than required for the Distinguished Service Medal,” Irwindale police officials said in a written statement.
“I just couldn’t be more proud of this department,” Chief Anthony Miranda said. “The men and women of this department are really doing, right now, the right thing for the right reason. That’s all any chief can ask for.”
Since the event was the department’s first awards ceremony, some of the recognitions were long overdue, official said.
Five sworn officers received the Medal of Valor, and a police dispatcher received a Distinguished Service Award for their efforts to stop a Dec. 16, 2011 mass shooting at an Irwindale Southern California Edison Office in which two people were killed and three others injured by a disgruntled coworker.
With the aid of Dispatcher Mariela Avila, Sgt. Greg Gomez, Cpl. Armando Lopez, Detective Jose Vargas, Sgt. Rudy Gatto, Officer Mario Camacho and Officer Jesse Bravo arrived within three minutes, police said.
“Without hesitation, these officers organized a six-person ‘active shooter’ entry team and entered the building,” according to the statement. Upon arrival, they immediately smelled burnt gunpowder and encountered panicked employees trying to flee.
“It is at this moment that each of these officers placed themselves in great danger and faced imminent peril as they closed in on the active shooter,” the statement said. “Dispatcher Mariela Avila was the voice and ears for these officers during this event and was the help the employees calling 9-1-1 needed to hear as she reassured them help was on the way.”
The gunman fatally shot himself as the officers closed in on him, officials said.
More than four years later, the involved officers were yet to be formally recognize for their heroism, Miranda said.
“For whatever reason, it didn’t happen. That didn’t sit right with me. It needed to be done. It really needed to be done,” the chief said.
Wednesday’s ceremony was held at a different SCE facility in Irwindale. SCE Vice President of Business Customer Division Lisa Cagnolatti was on-hand to express the utility’s gratitude to the first responders.
Sgt. John Fraijo and Officer Rudy Campos received Life Saving Awards for helping resuscitate and rescue a lifeless, choking toddler on Jan. 31, 2014. Sgt. Rene Sapien, Officer Joe Hardy and Dispatcher Sherry Peterson received Distinguished Service Awards for their roles in the same rescue.
Officer Rudy Campos received a second Life Saving Award for talking a suicidal man down from a 605 Freeway overpass on Aug. 20, 2014.
Officer Jesus Bravo received a Life Saving Award for performing CPR on a 60-year-old man for more than 10 minutes before paramedics arrived.
Sgt. George Zendejas, Sgt. Rudy Gatto and Officer Diego Cornejo received Meritorious Service Awards for their work to increase the department public outreach through social media and the Internet.
Also recognized were 2015 Officer of the Year Officer Rudy Campos; 2014 Officer of the Year Diego Cornejo; 2015 Civilian Employee of the Year Records Clerk Norma Ortiz and 2015 Civilian Employee of the Year Volunteer Dianna Hurst.
PHOTO courtesy of Glenn Purbaugh/Irwindale Police Department. — Chief Anthony Miranda, center, stands with award winners following the first-ever Irwindale Police Department Employee Awards Banquet on Wednesday, Jan, 27, 2016.