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.
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.
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
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
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.
Sheriff’ 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 and 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.
IRWINDALE >> Police jailed a wanted felon Friday after he tried to using a stolen credit card and identification to buy items at an Irwindale hardware store, officials said.
Daniel Garcia, 33, of Los Angeles, is accused of identity theft, false impersonation of another person and possession of drug paraphernalia, Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said. He’s additionally wanted by South Gate police due to an auto theft warrant and Manhattan Beach police in an identity theft case.
The arrest took place about 5:20 p.m. when the suspect tried to make purchases at Grainger Industrial Supply, 12780 Schabarum Ave., the sergeant said.
Store employees called police to report the fraud attempt, and Garcia ran from officers when they arrived at the store, Zendejas said. He was captured nearby, without a struggle.
Friday’s incident was the second time in recent days Garcia has gone shopping at the hardware store with stolen identification and credit cards, police said. He successfully bought goods at the store with fraudulent information in recent days, though the exact date was not available Saturday.
It is estimated that the suspect fraudulently purchased items totaling $3,000,” Zendejas added.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Garcia was being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
IRWINDALE >> A CHP patrol car and a Honda sedan collided on Irwindale Avenue on Friday afternoon, sending both drivers to the hospital.
The crash took place about 4 p.m. on Irwindale Avenue, just north of Arrow Highway, California Highway Patrol Officer Peter Bishop said.
Paramedics rushed the driver of the Honda to a trauma center by helicopter, while the injured CHP officer was taken to a hospital by ambulance, Irwindale police Sgt. Robert Avila said.
The woman in her 20s who was driving the Honda suffered injuries described as moderate, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Irvin Williams said. The officer, who is in his 30s, suffered apparently minor injuries.
The CHP car sustained significant damage to the front end. The Honda sustained major damage to passenger side.
Authorities shut down both directions of traffic on Irwindale Avenue between Arrow Highway and Gladstone Street as they investigated the scene.
Both CHP and Irwindale police officials took part in the investigation, which was expected to be spearheaded by Irwindale police.
The crash was the second involving a law enforcement patrol car in the San Gabriel Valley Friday.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department patrol car sustained major damage about 11:30 a.m. after colliding with a Nissan Altima being driven by a woman on San Gabriel Boulevard in Rosemead, sheriff’s Lt. Loy McBride said.
Officials said the deputy was driving southbound on Rosemead Boulevard, just south of Garvey Avenue, with emergency lights and sirens on when the crash occurred.
The patrol car struck the Nissan and a parked car, McBride said. The woman was not hurt. The deputy was treated for injuries described as minor.
The cause of the Rosemead crash remained under investigation.
PHOTOS: TOP – By Watchara Phomicinda; BELOW – By Brian Day
IRWINDALE >> Coroner’s officials have released the name of a 35-year-old West Covina man who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while changing a tire along the side of the 605 Freeway in Irwindale just over a week ago.
Kevin Armando Marquez died at the scene of the collision, which took place about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 30 along the southbound 605 Freeway, just north of Rivergrade Road, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
Marquez was changing a flat tire on a 2001 Honda Accord parked on the right shoulder of the freeway when he was struck, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Arlene Brannon said.
An unknown vehicle heading south veered to the right shoulder and struck Marquez, Brannon said.
Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics pronounced Marquez dead at the scene, officials said. The impact was believed to have killed him instantly.
An autopsy determined that Marquez died from multiple blunt force injuries, and his death was ruled accidental, Corral said.
The vehicle fled the scene.
A second driver struck Marquez’s body following the first collision, but the driver stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators, officials said.
No description of the hit-and-run vehicle was available.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Baldwin Park office of the CHP at 626-338-1164.
IRWINDALE >> The death of a woman whose body was discovered inside an SUV parked at an Irwindale gas pump Saturday is being investigated as natural, officials said.
An autopsy was pending, however initial indications were that the 70-year-old Arcadia woman, who was discovered slumped over the wheel of an SUV shortly before 3 p.m. at an ARCO station at Longden Avenue and Myrtle Street, died of natural causes, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corrall said. Her name was not released pending notification of family.
While the investigation was ongoing, “At this point, there’s nothing to indicate there was foul play,” Sgt. Rudy Gatto said.
“Obviously, we’re waiting for the coroner’s review to determine the cause of death,” Gatto added.
Police and firefighters rushed to the gas station after a witness reported finding the woman unconscious in her mid-size SUV, Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said.
Paramedics found she was not breathing and pronounced her dead at the scene, he said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Irwindale police at 626-430-2242.
IRWINDALE >> Police are investigating the death of a woman whose body was discovered slumped over the wheel of a vehicle parked at a gas pump in Irwindale Saturday, officials said.
The body, described police only as that of a woman between 40 and 60 years old, was found about 2:50 p.m. at an Arco station at Longden Avenue and Myrtle Street, Irwindale police Sgt. Geroge Zendejas said. The dead woman’s identity was not released pending positive identification and notification of her family.
“At this time, it is unknown if there is any foul play involved in the death,” Zendejas said.
Police responded to the gas station after receiving a 9-1-1 call reporting a person who was slumped over the steering wheel of a mid-size SUV vehicle parked next to a gas pump, the sergeant said.
She was unconscious and not breathing when police and paramedics arrived, he said. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
It was not clear whether there were any signs of trauma on the body, Zendejas said.
Detectives were working with the business owner to review surveillance video in hopes of learning exactly what took place, he added.
No further details were available.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner were assisting Irwindale police in the investigation.