UPDATED: Off-duty La Habra police officer shot with own gun following Castaic car crash

CASTAIC — An off-duty La Habra was shot and wounded with his own gun early Saturday after becoming involved in a fight with another driver on the 5 Freeway in Castaic, authorities said.
The off-duty officer was found along the freeway near Templin Highway with a gunshot wound about 5:15 a.m. , Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Thomas Richards said. The officer was taken to a hospital in unknown condition.
“Detectives have learned that the off-duty La Habra police officer was involved in a traffic collision,” Sgt. Diane Hecht of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement. “Then he and the suspect (driver) became engaged in a physical altercation at which time the suspect shot the officer.”
The suspect used the officer’s own gun in the shooting, Hecht added. “The handgun has not been recovered.”
No description of the shooter or the shooter’s vehicle was released Saturday, the sergeant said.
La Habra police officials deferred comment to the sheriff’s department. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were spearheading the investigation.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
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Photos of La Habra bank robber released

0906_NWS_WDN-L-ROBBERPHOTOS1

LA HABRA — The FBI has released surveillance camera images of a man who robbed a La Habra bank branch Wednesday.
The robber was armed with a small handgun when he entered the Bank of the West, 1330 S. Beach Blvd., about 11:25 a.m., La Habra police officials said in a written statement.
“The suspect displayed a gun and a note demanding cash,” according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
0906_NWS_WDN-L-ROBBERPHOTOS2The note, which was printed in red ink, stated that the bank was being robbed and ordered the teller to hand over $50- and $100-dollar bills, Eimiller said.
The robber took the note with him when he fled, officials said. He he was last seen running east from the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.
The gunman was described as white, fair-skinned and between 45 and 50 years old, according to the FBI. He 0906_NWS_WDN-L-ROBBERPHOTOS3stood 5 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds. He wore a white driving cap, aviator sunglasses, a striped dress shirt, a multi-colored tie and khaki pants.

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Bank robbed in La Habra

LA HABRA — A man wearing a golf hat and aviator sunglasses robbed a bank of an undisclosed amount Wednesday,
La Habra police September 4, 2013, at approximately 11:25 a.m., La
Habra Police Department personnel were dispatched to the Bank of the West,
located at 1330 S. Beach Blvd., regarding an armed robbery that had just occurred.
A male white, described to be in his late 50s or 60s, entered the bank. He was
wearing a golf hat, aviator sunglasses, a striped dress shirt, tie, and tan pants and
was armed with a small handgun. He approached a teller with a note demanding
money. The teller complied and the suspect was last seen running eastbound from
the location through the parking lot.
No customers or employees were injured during the robbery.

- Ruby Gonzales

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La Habra bank branch robbed

LA HABRA — A man wearing a mask and armed with a handgun robbed a local bank of an undisclosed amount Tuesday.
La Habra Police Sgt. Dan Henderson said no one was injured during the 3:12 p.m. robbery at the Bank of the West, 1330 S. Beach Blvd.
The robber entered the bank, jumped the counter, took money and ran out, Henderson said.
He fled in an unknown direction.
“He was in and out quick,” Henderson said.
The suspect was described as a white man, 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 225 pounds. He wore a blue shirt and tan shorts.

- Ruby Gonzales

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Police checkpoint planned in La Habra

The La Habra Police traffic unit will keep an eye out for motorists driving under the influence plus drivers without licenses at a June 1 checkpoint.
The checkpoint will be at held from 8:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. at an undisclosed location in the city.
Police said those caught driving impaired can expect jail, suspension of their license and hikes in insurance as well as fines, fees, DUI classes, and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.
In 2011, nearly 10,000 people were killed nationally in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher. In California, this resulted in 774 deaths.
“In 2012, La Habra experienced 89 DUI involved traffic collisions that resulted in one person being killed,” Sgt. Tigner said.
The checkpoint is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

- Ruby Gonzales

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Harbor Gateway triple-fatal shooting suspect arrested in La Habra

LA HABRA — Los Angeles police investigating a triple-fatal shooting in Harbor Gateway arrested a man at his La Habra apartment on suspicion of the crime late Friday, officials confirmed Saturday.
Narada Brooks, 28, was booked on suspicion of murder, LAPD Officer Sara Faden said.
Though the investigation was ongoing, “detectives believe he was the sole individual responsible,” Faden said.
Killed in the shooting were Dwayne Damion Cover, 33, of Torrance, Laurent Kenroy Latty, 33, of Joneboro, Georgia and a third man whose identity was not released Saturday pending confirmation that his family had been notified, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Joyce Kato said.
LAPD investigators arrived in La Habra about 6 p.m. Friday and took a suspect — later identified as Brooks — into custody without a struggle about 8:30 p.m. at an apartment in the 900 block of North Euclid Street, La Habra police Sgt. Jeff Bayloss said.
The LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division detectives were following up on an early-morning shooting in the Harbor Gateway portion of Los Angeles that left three men dead and a fourth wounded.
The shooting took place about 5:30 a.m. in an apartment in the 1600 block of West 205th Street, Faden said.
Three men appearing to be in their 20s were found fatally shot, Faden said.
A fourth shooting wounded man, who appeared to be in his 30s, was found shot a few blocks away and hospitalized, she said. An update on his condition was not available.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting were released.
According to county booking records, Brooks was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Second suspect convicted of teen’s slaying outside La Habra Halloween party in 2009

LA HABRA – The second of three gang members accused of fatally beating and slashing the throat of an 18-year-old La Habra man outside a Halloween party in 2009 pleaded guilty to his role in the slaying Thursday, authorities said.
Rene Antonio Lobos, 18, of La Habra was 15 years old when he took part in the Oct. 31, 2009 killing of Joshua Mora-Rodriguez of La Habra, officials said. Mora-Rodriguez, the son of two Los Angeles police detectives, had recently graduated high school and preparing to join the Army at the side of his death. He had no gang ties.
After more than three years of court proceedings, Lobos pleaded guilty Thursday in Santa Ana Superior Court to voluntary manslaughter, and admitted the the sentence-enhancing allegation that the crime was gang-related, Orange County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Farrah Emami said. Under a plea agreement, an additional charge of street terrorism was dismissed.
He was immediately sentenced to 16 years in state prison, Emami said.
A total of three young men were charged in connection with the killing.
A jury convicted Steven Salvador Hernandez, 20, of La Habra, in May of second-degree murder and street terrorism for Mora Rodriguez’s killing, officials said. He was sentenced in July to 15 years to life in prison. He was 17 years old at the time of the killing.
A third defendant, 23-year-old Francisco Nuno, has denied the same charges and was due in court May 15 for a pretrial conference and hearing to set a trial date, Emami said.
Though minors at the time of the killing, Lobos and Hernandez were tried as adults.
Mora-Rodriguez was attacked by a group of gang members, which included the three defendants, shortly before midnight on Halloween, 2009, as he left a house party in the 1000 block of East Francis Avenue, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Chris Duff. The party was hosted by a female friend of one of the suspects.
Prior to the fatal attack, two of Mora-Rodriguez’s friends had been involved in a fight by several other young men at the party, Duff said.
As Mora-Rodriguez and his friends were leaving the party, they became involved in an argument, then another fight, with the same group, officials said.
Six to eight gang members joined the attack, in what was described by witnesses as an “ambush,” Duff said.
Lobos beat the victim with a baseball bat while Nuno pummeled Mora-Rodriguez with his fists, the prosecutor said. Hernandez then used a knife to cut Mora-Rodriguez throat, fatally wounding him.

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Young Rowland Heights woman badly hurt in 57 Freeway crash in Diamond Bar

DIAMOND BAR — A 19-year-old Rowland Heights woman suffered major injuries Tuesday when an SUV struck her stopped Toyota Corolla on the Orange (57) Freeway, authorities said.

Kathryn Rios was hospitalized following the 2:27 p.m. crash on the southbound 57 Freeway, just south of Brea Canyon Cutoff Road, California Highway Patrol Officer Alex Antillon said in a written statement.

Edward Castaneda, 38, of La Habra, who was driving the Ford Explorer that rear-ended Rios’ car, was cited at the scene on suspicion of driving on a suspended license and failing to provide proof of insurance at a collision scene, the officer said. Driving under the influence was not initially suspected to be a factor.

The Corolla was travelling ahead of the Ford prior to the crash, officials said. “For an unknown reason, Ms. Rios’ Toyota came to a complete stop within the No. 4 lane,” Antillon said. “Mr. Castaneda failed to notice the Toyota stopped directly ahead of him,” he said.

“The front of the Ford subsequently struck the rear of the Toyota.” Rescuers took Rios to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center for treatment with “major injuries,” Antillon said. An update on her condition was not available. Castaneda was not injured.

Any witnesses to the crash where asked to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park office during normal business hours at 626-338-1164.

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La Habra Green Burrito restaurant robbed

LA HABRA – Two men with handguns fled with $500 and a cell phone after robbing a Green Burrito Wednesday night.
La Habra police Lt. Jeff Swaim said no one was injured during the 9:20 p.m. robbery of the store at 911 West Whittier Blvd.
The suspects left the store on foot, he said. They were only described as black men wearing black sweatshirts.
Swaim said prior to the La Habra robbery, there was a robbery in Fullerton involving two black men in a white 1990s Suburban with Arizona license plates.
He said the two cases haven’t been linked.

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8-year-old girl attacked by Rottweilers while walking to school in La Habra

LA HABRA — An 8-year-old girl walking to school was attacked by two Rottweilers Tuesday morning, police said.
La Habra police responded to the 200 block of Pacific Avenue about 7:15 a.m. regarding a dog attack.
Los Angeles County firefighters took the girl to a hospital.
Authorities early Wednesday said the girl’s injuries were not considered life-threatening, however no further details on her condition were available.
La Habra Animal Control found the two male Rottweilers and took the dogs into custody. Police don’t know yet who owns the dogs.

- Ruby Gonzales

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