Irwindale police sport pink patches to fight breast cancer


IRWINDALE >> Police in Irwindale began sporting pink shoulder patches with their uniforms Thursday in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and raise funds for the City of Hope.
The pink patches are intended to stimulate conversation within the community and encourage public awareness in the early detection and fight against this disease,” Irwindale police officials said in a written statement.
PINKPATCHThe patches are also available for members of the public to purchase. They are available for $10 each at the Irwindale Police Department, 5050 N. Irwindale Ave., along with T-shirts available for $15 each.
The patches were first offered for sale in July, but officers began wearing them Thursday and will continue wearing them through October.
The effort had been well-received so far, Sgt. George Zendejas said.
“The Pink Patch Project has been a team effort, and we have received overwhelming support in our efforts to raise funds, raise awareness and unite with those who have battled breast cancer either personally or through friend and family,” he said.
PINKPATCH3The department’s foal is to raise $10,000 for the City of Hope in Duarte to fund breast cancer research, treatment and education, officials said.
Police Chief Anthony Miranda said he was proud of department personnel for their efforts.
“They identified a great cause, in where by raising funds we believe we can help make a difference in the fight against breast cancer,” Miranda said.
For more information on the Pink Patch Project, visit To purchase a patch or T-shirt, contact Norma Ortiz at, or call 626-430-2249.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department.

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CHP hosting teen driver program at Irwindale Speedway

IRWINDALE >> The California Highway Patrol invites teens to learn about the dangers of drinking and driving Saturday before enjoying car races, a pit area tour and more at the Irwindale Speedway.
The free Designated Driver Program begins at 4:45 p.m. inside Building 5 of the race track, 500 Speedway Drive, on the same day Irwindale Speedway will honor police, fire and emergency officials during First Responders Night, CHP Officer Ramberto Salcido said
Following a brief presentation by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, guests will be taken on a guided tour of the pit area, provided with a meal and given a chance to meet drivers for an autograph session, the officer said.
Pre-race ceremonies honoring first responders will take place at 6:45 p.m., followed by racing at 7 p.m.
For more information on the Designated Driver Program, contact Officer Salcido at 818-240-8200. Spots must be reserved via email at

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Irwindale police chief challengers other area top cops to drag race Saturday

IRWINDALE >> Irwindale Police Chief Anthony Miranda has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging other area police chiefs to a drag race Saturday night at the Irwindale Speedway to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal street racing and encourage legal competition.
The TOP COP race will take place at 8 p.m. at the drag strip at 500 Speedway Drive, Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said.
TOPCOPThe event will follow an afternoon of NHRA Street Legal racing beginning at 5 p.m.
An admission price of $10 for adults and $5 for kids includes all of the day’s racing events, Gatto said.
The cost to race is 20, according to Speedway officials. Gates open at 4 p.m.
“We’ve invited the chiefs to bring their own police cars or one of their department’s police cars,” Miranda said in a written statement. “We’ll get them some practice runs on our eighth-mile drag strip and then, at 8 o’clock, we’ll see who the ‘TOP COP’ will be! We’ll determine the night’s winner based on each driver’s reaction times on the starting line.”
Chiefs from the Bell, Beverly Hills, San Gabriel, San Marino, Santa Monica and Vernon police departments had accepted the challenge, among others, Gatto said.
“The purpose of the “TOP COP” challenge is to raise public awareness about the dangers of illegal street racing and to raise support for street legal NHRA drag racing as a safe alternative,” Gatto said.
“Illegal street racing affects everyone, not just the participants,” Miranda added. “We need to have safe, controlled places like Irwindale for this activity and to put an end to the senseless loss of young lives.”

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UPDATED: Irwindale fire station evacuated after found mortar shell brought in

IRWINDALE >> Officials evacuated a Los Angeles County fire station after a couple cleaning out a deceased veteran’s home in Covina discovered what appeared to be an 81mm mortar shell and brought it to the Irwindale firehouse Wednesday afternoon, police said.
The incident began just after 2 p.m. at Los Angeles County Fire Department Station 38, 15546 Arrow Highway, Irwindale police Capt. Ty Henshaw said.
A couple was cleaning out the home of a relative and military veteran who had died in Covina when they came across a collection of military items, which included the ordinance, described as a somewhat football-shaped M43A1 mortar shell, the captain said.
Firefighters stored the device in a brick office and summoned a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad to investigate, Henshaw said.
The bomb squad responded and determined the device was inert and contained no explosives, police said. The all-clear was sounded shortly before 4 p.m.
The fire station was evacuated, but no other nearby buildings in the commercial neighborhood were evacuated, Henshaw said.
In general, residents who discover possible explosives are advised to leave them where found and call 9-1-1, rather than transport them to a fire or police station, Henshaw said.

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Suspect dies after being subdued with Taser in Irwindale

IRWINDALE >> A man died Saturday after police took him into custody with the use of a Taser while responding to reports he was acting strangely along Ramona Boulevard, officials said.
The incident began about 3:30 p.m. when officers responded to a gas station in Baldwin Park along Ramona Boulevard at the 605 Freeway after someone reported the man was lying on the sidewalk, Baldwin Park Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said.
The man, who was reported to be in his 40s, was calm when officers arrived but witnesses directed them to a parking lot across the street.
“When officers arrived, they were told that the suspect had stolen a large American flag and flag pole from a gas station and had been swinging it at cars and people in the area,” deputy Crystal Hernandez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.


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Police help wrangle large runaway lizard in Irwindale


IRWINDALE >> Police helped a teenager wrangle his pet, 3-foot-long lizard after it escaped from its yard Saturday afternoon for the second time in recent weeks.
A neighbor first called police about 11 a.m. to report what they described as a Komodo dragon loose in the neighborhood along Nora Avenue, just north of Cypress Street, Irwindale police Sgt. Armando Lopez said.
While officers did not find a Komodo dragon, which is the largest lizard species on Earth and known for highly toxic saliva, they encountered an very “well-fed, 3-foot-long iguana,” Lopez said.
And the officers recognized the runaway reptile as the same one they had helped capture after a previous escape July 24, the sergeant added.
The officers contacted the teenage boy who owns “Peppy” the iguana, who came and picked him up.
Lopez said the large lizard did not cause any problem during Saturday’s foray.
“He just hisses a little when you get close,” he said.

PHOTO of “Peppy” the iguana, taken July 24, 2015, courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department.

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Baldwin Park man accused of stealing copper wire from Irwindale mining operation

IRWINDALE >> A Baldwin Park man was behind bars Sunday after being caught in the act of stealing copper wire from an industrial mining operation, police said.
Miguel Angel Gallegos, 31, was booked on suspicion of grand theft and providing false information to police following his arrest shortly before 8:30 p.m. Saturday in the 13100 block of Ramona Boulevard, Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said in a written statement.
A witness called 9-1-1 from a neighboring business to report seeing someone removing bales of copper wire from Vulcan Material Company via a surveillance camera, the sergeant said.
“Officers located a subject matching the description hiding in some bushes nearby the location,” Gatto said. “The subject was in possession of approximately 200 feet of large gauge copper electrical wire.”
Officers determined Gallegos had cut a hole in a fence surrounding the mining operation to take the wire, he said. The wire was valued at about $1,500.
Gallegos was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail at the Baldwin Park Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance.

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Irwindale police launch smartphone apps

IRWINDALE — The Irwindale Police Department has released a free mobile application to distribute emergency alerts and community information, officials announced recently.
The public can download the app on Android, Windows or Apple tablets or smartphones, searching for “Irwindale Police” in the app store. In addition to sending out information, the app allows users to send comments, crime tips, graffiti notices and more.
“The Irwindale Police Department’s mobile app provides an easy-to-use method for two-way communication between our department and our community members,” Chief Anthony Miranda said in a statement. “It is a valuable tool for keeping the city of Irwindale safe and it reinforces our commitment to maintaining positive connections with the community we serve.”
– Melissa Masatani
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Police: Duarte man carjacks ex-girlfriend in Irwindale


IRWINDALE >> An AB 109 probationer is accused of violating a restraining order and carjacking his ex-girlfriend early Sunday, officials said.
Officers arrested Manuel Martinez, 21, of Duarte on suspicion of carjacking and violating a criminal protective order following the incident, which took place shortly after midnight at an ARCO gas station at 110 E. Longden Ave., according to Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto.
Martinez, who was on post-release community supervision under AB 109 guidelines following a domestic violence conviction and was barred by court order from contacting the woman, approached the woman at the gas pumps, Gatto said.
Martinez demanded a ride, but the woman refused, the sergeant said. He then pulled the woman from the driver seat of the car, wrestled her keys away from her and drove away in her vehicle. The woman suffered minor injuries but declined medical treatment.
Police found the car abandoned near Pamela Park in Duarte about 30 minutes later, Gatto said. Officers found Martinez in the 400 block of Shrode Avenue in Duarte and took him into custody without a struggle.
Martinez was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his arraignment hearing, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court, records show.

PHOTO of suspect Manuel Martinez, 21, of Duarte courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department

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Deputies hold 24-hour honor guard in memory of slain fellow deputy in Irwindale

IRWINDALE >> Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies stood in 24-hour guard Wednesday over the site where fellow deputy David March was fatally shot during a traffic stop 13 years ago.
Afternoon temperatures climbed into the mid-90s as deputies have continued the stoic tradition each year since March was gunned down along Live Oak Avenue, just east of Peck Road, on April 29, 2002.
0430_NWS_SGT-L-MARCH-MEMORIAL1Sheriff’ Jim McDonnell visited the memorial site to pay his respects.
“These deputies from Temple have taken the time to pay tribute to the life of Deputy David March,” McDonnell said. “This tribute exemplified the belief that’s shared throughout the law enforcement community that we will never forget, and that we want to respect the memory and the sacrifice through the year.”
March, 33, who was assigned to the sheriff’s Temple Station, was fatally shot after pulling over Jorge Arroyo Garcia, also known as Armando Garcia. After being captured in Mexico 0430_NWS_SGT-L-MARCH-MEMORIAL2and extradited back to the U.S., Garcia pleaded guilty to the deputy’s murder in 2007 and received a life sentence in prison.
Two by two, deputies, primarily from the sheriff’s Temple Station, took turns standing half-hour shifts over the spot where March was fatally shot, which is marked with a permanent memorial plaque. After standing frozen in place for 30 minutes, deputies changed guards with a brief ceremony.



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