New chief selected to head Irwindale Police Department

IRWINDALE >> Irwindale city officials have selected a new top cop to head the Irwindale Police Department.
Capt. Ty Henshaw will begin his tenure as Irwindale Police Chief on Tuesday. He replaces outgoing Chief Anthony Miranda, who is leaving the department serve as Chief of Police in Vernon.
Henshaw has been a captain at the Irwindale Police Department since 2014, officials said. He began his law enforcement career with the Bell Police Department, where he rose through the ranks to ultimately become interim police chief, according to Sgt. Rudy Gatto.
“I would like to thank the Irwindale City Council, City Manager, staff and community for placing their trust in me,” Henshaw said. “I am both honored and excited as this opportunity and will continue to put our community first, ensuring we are proving the best possible service as chief.”
The new chief said law enforcement has become a family business.
“My two older brothers were police officers,” he said. Henshaw said he became hooked on the profession after going on ride-alongs with them and soon joined the Police Explorer program in Orange County as a teenager.
He said he’s enjoyed his career in law enforcement.
“I love it because it’s different every day. You never know what you’re going to walk into,” Henshaw said. “Serving the community has been really great, very rewarding.”
From detective work to administration, Henshaw has worked nearly every law enforcement assignment, city officials said.
“I’ve done just about everything except riding a motorcycle,” he said.
Henshaw, 45, lives in Chino Hills with his family.
The incoming chief earned a Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration fro California State University, Long Beach, as well as Master of Public Administration from California State University, Northridge.
He is a state boar member for the California Peace Officers’ Association and formerly serves as the Region Chair for the CPOA’s Los Angeles Chapter, Gatto said.
Henshaw also serves as a professor at Cerritos College in Norwalk, where he teaches in the Administration of Justice Department, Gatto said.
In taking the help of the Irwindale PD, Henshaw said he was reminded of an old adage that says the best way to predict ones future is to create it.
“I’m really excited to be in a position now where we can create,” he said.

PHOTO: Irwindale police Capt. Ty Henshaw will take charge of the Irwindale Police Department as Chief of Police on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (Courtesy, Irwindale Police Department)

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Have you seen these burglars? Burglary crew caught on camera breaking into Irwindale seafood restaurant


IRWINDALE >> Police are seeking a crew of robbers caught on video smashing their way into an Irwindale seafood restaurant early Thursday before making off with two safes and a cash register, officials said.
The break-in involved “as many as six suspects” and took place about 2:50 a.m. at Mariscos Uruapan, 16034 Arrow Highway, Irwindale police officials said in a written statement.
“The suspects made entry to the location by smashing the front glass,” according to the statement. “Once inside the restaurant, the suspects stole two safes containing an unknown amount of cash. The suspects then fled the location in two separate vehicles.
The burglary was over in a matter of minutes, Sgt. Rudy Gatto said. “They were in and out really fast.”
He said the burglars first forced their way into a separate nearby storefront also owned by the restaurant and used for overflow storage. They then turned their attention to the main restaurant, which contained the safes and cash register.
Surveillance video released by police in hopes of generating tips from the public shows the suspect head directly for the restaurant’s office and kick in the door. They then forced two seemingly bolted-down safes free from the floor and carried them away. The burglars also stopped to grab the cash drawer portion of the business’s cash register.
All of the burglars wore dark clothing, including masks and gloves. One wore a red hooded sweat shirt with the words “The Label 400” written on the back.
The two cars used in the crime were described as newer-model, dark-colored sedans.
Authorities had yet to determined how much money was obtained in the crime.
Anyone with information, or who recognizes the burglars, is urged ton contact Irwindale police Cpl. Armando Lopez at 626-430-2290, or via email at alopez@irwindaleca.gov. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

VIDEO, PHOTOS courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department

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Attempted carjacking suspect fatally struck by car on 605 Freeway identified


Coroner’s officials have identified a La Puente man who was fatally struck by a car on the 605 Freeway in Irwindale minutes after allegedly trying to carjack a driver in El Monte on Tuesday.
Louis Marcus Martinez, 27, died after he was struck by a car about 10:10 p.m. in the southbound lanes of the 605 Freeway, just north of Ramona Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Chief of Operations Brian Elias said. An autopsy was yet to be completed.
The bizarre series of events began about 9:45 p.m. when El Monte police received a report of an attempted carjacking in the 4000 block of Gilman Road, according to El Monte police Lt. Pete Rasic.
A woman was entering her car when a man, later identified as Martinez, tried to force his way into her vehicle and grab her keys, police said.
The woman managed to push the would-be carjacker away, lock her car doors and drive away, Rasic said. The suspect left behind personal items including a photo ID.
Police received a second report of the same man grabbing onto a van and hanging onto to briefly it as it drove away in the area of Gilman Road and Ramona Boulevard in El Monte, officials said.
The man was not found, but turned up minutes later, walking in traffic lanes of the 605 Freeway along the border between Baldwin Park and Irwindale.
A car traveling about 70 mph in the No. 2 lane struck Martinez, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez. He was soon linked to the prior attempted carjacking in El Monte.
It was unclear why Martinez ended up walking on the freeway.

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72-year-old bicyclist robbed at gunpoint near Irwindale


Two men robbed a 72-year-old man riding his bike home from a doctor’s appointment at gunpoint on Tuesday in an unincorporated county area between Covina and Irwindale, authorities said.
A 72-year-old man was riding home on a bicycle following a doctor’s appointment about 11:10 a.m. when two robber approached him in a silver Toyota compact car at Irwindale Avenue and Queenside Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Thomas Reid said.
The car pulled in front of the bicyclist, blocking his path, he said. The driver pointed a handgun at the senior citizen and demanded he turn over a backpack he was carrying.
A passenger emerged from the car and took the victim’s backpack, which contained credit cards and other personal items, according to the lieutenant. Both robbers then fled in their car.
The gunman was described as a Latino man in his 30s with black hair. No description of the second robber was available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s San Dimas Station at 909-450-2700. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Irwindale pays $2.75 million settlement to girl molested by ex-police officer

IRWINDALE >> Irwindale paid a $2.75 million settlement on Thursday to a young woman who was molested as a teenager by an Irwindale police officer for more than a year while she served as a police Explorer Scout.
The civil suit stems from the conviction of former Irwindale police officer Daniel R. Camerano, who pleaded “no contest” in late-2014 to a series of sex crimes for his molestation of the then-14-year-old girl, identified in court documents as Jane Doe, between May of 2009 and December of 2010.
Camerano, who was also accused of sending sexually suggestive texts messages to another 17-year-old female Explorer Scout in 2012, was sentenced to two years and eight months in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
The girl subsequently filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department. The settlement was reached shortly before trial was scheduled to begin,” according to the plaintiff’s Pasadena-based attorney, Anthony DeMarco. A settlement agreement was reached last month.
“The abuse of my client occurred because of a culture of acceptance of sexual abuse and harassment of girls and women that was allowed to persist in the Irwindale Police Department,” DeMarco said in a written statement. “She, like others, was forced to endure sexual abuse and harassment in silence or risk losing her dream of a career in law enforcement.”
The attorney further alleged that police officials failed to act after learning of the sexual abuse, which took place during “ride-alongs” with the officer, who served as an advisor to the Irwindale Police Department’s Explorer program.
“In the victim’s civil action against the City of Irwindale, evidence was uncovered that Police department officials were aware of complaints that Camerano was sexually abusing the underage female Explorer, but did not stop his access to and, thus, continued abuse of the girl.”
“She was being sexually molested in the station over and over,” DeMarco said. “The police station… It’s not big. They have cameras down every hallway. Folks knew what was going on. There was a culture of acceptance of this kind of behavior toward women, young women and girls that came into the department.”
Irwindale City Manager John Davidson and Irwindale Police Chief Anthony Miranda could not be reached for comment Friday. The city is closed for business on Fridays.
Prosecutors initially charged Camerano with six felony counts, which would have resulted in a maximum sentence of five years in prison if he had been convicted as charged.
But he took a plea deal, and pleaded “no contest” to counts of using a minor for sex acts, oral copulation of a person under 16 and contact with a minor for sexual offense.
During the coarse of the investigation into Camerano, “There were other girls, as well, that divulged abuse,” he said.
“One other civil lawsuit involving a victim of Camerano is currently pending and has a trial date in early 2018.”
Criminal cases have not been filed in connection with the other incidents of girls reporting abuse by Camerano.
“I’m not sure what the barometer was for why the (district attorney’s office) decided to prosecute on some and not on others,” DeMarco said.
The abuse suffered by Jane Doe continues to have lasting effects on the young woman, DeMarco said.
“It has, and will, have effects on almost all aspects of her life going forward,” he said. “But she’s a resilient person who I am sure will accomplish great things in life.”
The Irwindale Police Department ended it’s Explorer Program following Camerano’s arrest.
DeMarco said the abuse of his client was not an isolated incident, but rather a symptom of a police department out of control.
“As of September of 2014 there were 14 internal investigation complaints regarding the police department with less than 30 officers,” according to the attorney.
Former Irwindale police sergeant David Fraijo received a nine-year prison sentence in 2015 after pleading “no contest” to charges stemming from the sexual assault of a woman during a traffic stop on Oct. 20, 2012, near Azusa Canyon Road and Arrow Highway.
Fraijo had pulled over a woman as she was delivering newspapers, prosecutors said. When she said she did not have a driver license, he directed her to a parking lot where he attacked her.
He ultimately pleaded “no contest” to charges of oral copulation under color of authority and sexual battery by restraint.
Three additional charges of kidnapping to commit another crime, forcible oral copulation and assault under color of authority were dismissed under the negotiated plea arrangement.
If convicted of the crimes he was initially charged with , Fraijo could have faced a life sentence in prison.
DeMarco also pointed out two other civil lawsuits brought against department lieutenants for alleged sexual harassment of female personnel, including cadets and Explorer Scouts.
And in an off-duty incident, a former Irwindale police sergeant was sentenced to a year in jail in 2013 for stealing his father’s life savings of $250,000 in 2012.
The Explorer Scouts, run by the national organization Learning for Life and affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America, is a program in which young people are able to learn about law enforcement by observing police and working alongside them.
To help combat and prevent abuse of Explorer Scouts by authority figures, DeMarco said he would like to see existing voluntary policies laid out by Learning for Life intended to prevent such abuse be made mandatory.
Any time young people are allowed to be one-on-one with adults, without supervision, “You’re asking for problems,” he said.
“More needs to be done,” DeMarco said. “Looking to have careers in law enforcement is an admirable thing, and it should be fostered. But it shouldn’t come at a heightened risk of sexual abuse.”

PHOTO: Irwindale Police Officer Daniel Camerano at the scene where he and another officer saved a father, son and dog from and arson-set fire September 29, 2010 in Irwindale, Calif. (SGVN/Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham/SVCITY)

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Handicapped space violation in Irwindale leads to arrest of wanted ex-con, seizure of drugs and gun

IRWINDALE >> Police arrested an ex-con with drugs, a loaded handgun and an active arrest warrant after approaching him for illegally parking in a handicapped stall outside an Irwindale convenience store early Saturday, authorities said.
James Matthew Doke, 31, of Duarte was ultimately booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle, heroin possession and possession of methamphetamine for sales, according to Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto. He was also being held on a warrant for violating the terms of his “Post-Release Community Supervision” felony probation under AB 109 guidelines.
The alleged inconsiderate parking violation first drew the attention of an officer about 3:20 a.m. to an ARCO gas station and ampm minimart at 16000 E. Foothill Blvd.
“During the course of the officer’s investigation, the officer found that the subject had an active ‘no bail’ warrant for his arrest,” Gatto said in a written statement.
After detaining Doke in connection with the warrant, “It was subsequently found that the suspect was in possession of a loaded semi-automatic handgun, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana,” Gatto said. “It was also found that the subject was a convicted felon.”
Police took Doke into custody without a struggle.
In addition to small amounts of heroin and recently-legalized marijuana, officers seized about 10 grams of methamphetamine, along with “paraphernalia that would be indicative of narcotics sales,” Gatto said.
Doke’s extensive criminal history dates back to age 19, Los Angeles County Superior Court records show.
He was convicted of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and forging an officials government seal in 2004. A charge of check fraud was dismissed.
Doke was convicted of being under the influence of drugs in 2005, as well as auto theft and resisting or obstructing police in 2006, records show.
He pleaded “no contest” to a charge of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer in 2011, while a charge of auto theft with a prior auto theft conviction was dismissed.
Doke was again convicted of resisting or obstructing police in 2011. A charge of possession of a stun gun by a convicted felon was dropped.
In 2013, Doke was convicted of auto theft with a prior auto theft conviction, and his probation was revoked for a violation later the same year.
He was arrested once more on Nov. 17, 2016, for violation his AB 109 felony probation. He received a sentence of 40 days in jail, but was released after 10.
Officials filed another allegation of violating his felony probation in October of 2016, but Doke failed to appear in court, resulting in the warrant on which he was being sought at the time of his arrest on Sunday morning.
Under AB 109, also known as the “California Public Safety Realignment” of 2011, those convicted of crimes deemed, “non-serious,” “nonviolent,” and “non-sexual,” can be supervised by county probation departments, rather than the more stringent oversight of state parole agents.
In determining eligibility, the law considers only convicts’ most recent conviction — in the case of Doke, auto theft — and not prior offenses. And critics of the legislation, such as the Association of Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles, have pointed out that crimes including assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer are considered to be a nonviolent offenses for the purposes of AB 109.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Doke was being held without bail at the Glendora Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
The law, as well as others aimed at meeting a federal mandate to reduce overcrowding in California prisons, has come under renewed scrutiny from critics in recent weeks after Whittier police Officer Keith Boyer was shot to death on Feb. 20, allegedly by a gang member with a lengthy criminal history who had been in and out of jail five times in the eight months prior to the deadly shooting.

PHOTO: Police arrested a wanted ex-convict and seized this handgun, along with methampetamine, heroin and marijuana, after approaching a Duarte man for illegally parking in a handicapped parking space outside an ampm minimart at 16000 E. Foothill Blvd. in Irwindale on Sunday, March 26, 2017. (Courtesy, Irwindale Polcie Department)

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Gang member arrested with pistol, stun gun in Irwindale

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IRWINDALE >> What began as a routine traffic stop for a broken tail light resulted in the arrest of a known gang member with a loaded pistol and a stun gun early Saturday, authorities said.
Brian Rodriguez, 22, of La Puente was booked on suspicion of being a carrying a loaded gun, being a gang member in possession of a gun and bring a weapon — a stun gun — into a jail facility following his arrest shortly after midnight at Irwindale Avenue and Arrow Highway, Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said.
An officer pulled Rodriguez over after noticing the Volvo sedan he was driving had a non-operating tail light, the sergeant said.
During the traffic stop, Rodriguez admitted to having a loaded 9mm handgun, which was recovered from beneath the driver seat of his car, he said. A small amount of marijuana was also recovered, thought the substance is no longer illegal to possess following November’s ballot initiative which legalized recreational marijuana for adults.
While in the process of booking Rodriguez into jail at the Baldwin Park Police Department, officials discovered he had a stun gun concealed on his person, Gatto said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Rodriguez was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Firefighters douse brush fire near 605-210 freeway interchange in Irwindale


IRWINDALE >> Firefighters quickly gained control of two small brush fires that scorched about half an acre of vegetation in wash area along the 605 Freeway in Irwindale on Friday afternoon, officials said.
The fires were first reported at 1:12 p.m. in a wash just southwest of the 605-210 freeway interchange, Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Gustavo Medina said.
About half an acre went up in flames before firefighters stopped the “forward progress” of the fire just after 2 p.m., he said.
Water-dropping helicopters joined firefighters on the ground in the effort.
No injuries were reported, and no structured were threatened by the fires.
Investigators were summoned to the scene to determine the cause of the fire, Medina said.
Another fire broke out less than a mile to the south along the same riverbed on Wednesday afternoon and also scorched about half an acre of vegetation, officials said. The cause of that fire remains under investigation as well.

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PHOTOS/VIDEO courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department.

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Woman robbed in Irwindale after arranging Craigslist transaction, 2 suspects jailed


IRWINDALE >> Police, aided by a good Samaritan, jailed two men after they robbed a woman of an iPhone in front of an Irwindale coffee shop after she arranged to sell the device online, authorities said.
Justin Mitchell Huff, 19, of Riverside was arrested for robbery and resisting arrest, and Bryan Joseph Gomez, 19, of Huntington Park was arrested for robbery, conspiracy, hit-and-run and resisting arrest, according to Irwindale police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
A woman had arranged to sell her iPhone 7 via Craigslist and met the purported buyer shortly after noon outside a Starbucks, 15700 Arrow Highway, Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said.
“When the victim arrived, she met the suspect to the front of the store and the suspect forcefully took the phone from the victim, struggling and pushing her in the process,” police said in a written statement. “The victim sustained minor scratches from the altercation.”
A good Samaritan saw the robbery occur and watches as the robber hopped into a getaway car with a driver waiting at the wheel.
The witnesses called police and followed behind the suspects car, Zendejas said.
The suspects crashed into a parked car in the 4700 block of Irwindale Avenue and continued to flee on foot, police said.
“Officers converged in the area and located the two outstanding suspects in the area of Fraijo Avenue near Burrola Street,” according to the statement. Huff and his alleged getaway driver, Gomez, were arrested without a struggle.
Officers also recovered a replica handgun from the suspects’ car, Zendejas said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Irwindale Police Department’s Detective Bureau at 626-430-2239.
According to booking records, Huff and Gomez were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances.
In an effort to combat exactly this type of crime, Irwindale police officials in May unveiled an e-commerce and child custody exchange “safe zone,” monitored by surveillance cameras, in front of the Irwindale Police Department at 5050 N. Irwindale Ave.
“The purpose of the designated parking spots is to help ease the worry that a crime may occur during these types of encounters,” police said in a statement.

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El Monte woman arrested after pursuit in Irwindale

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IRWINDALE >> An El Monte woman wanted for an alleged cigarette lighter attack on her ex-boyfriend last month led Irwindale police on a short pursuit before being taken into custody early Thursday, officials said.
Jessica Magaly Ruvalcaba, 20, was booked on suspicion of felony domestic violence, evading a police officer, drunken driving and driving on a suspended license, according to Irwindale police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The chase began about 9:40 a.m. when an Irwindale officer spotted a gray Ford Mustang speeding at Irwindale Avenue and First Street and tried to pull it over, Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said.
“(Ruvalcaba) failed to yield and led officers on a pursuit that terminated approximately one mile later in the area of Cypress Street and Irwindale Avenue,” police said in a written statement. Ruvalcaba stopped her car and surrendered.
A woman riding as a passenger in the Mustang was questioned and released, police said.
While the chase was ongoing, the pursuing officer recognized the description of the Mustang from a previous call he had handled several weeks ago, Zendejas said.
Ruvalcaba had been sought since Sept. 9, when she burned her ex-boyfriend with a cigarette lighter during an argument that took place in the same car, also along Irwindale Avenue.
Ruvalcaba told her ex to get out of her car, Zendejas said. When he did not comply, she burned him in the upper body with a cigarette lighter.
The man was injured by declined to be taken to a hospital, the sergeant said. Ruvalcaba fled the scene before officers arrived.
According to county booking records, Ruvalcaba was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail at the Glendora Police Department’s jail pending her initial court appearance.

PHOTO Jessica Ruvalcaba, 20, of El Monte. (Courtesy, El Monte Police Department)

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