Police arrested a Hacienda Heights woman after she struck two women who were crossing Whittier Boulevard in La Habra with her car — fatally injuring one of them — before leading officers on a chase that ended in a crash, authorities said.
Caroline Kim, 20, was expected to be booked on suspicion of hit-and-run, evading police and vehicular manslaughter once released from the hospital, where she remained under observation Saturday, La Habra police Sgt. Clint Angle said.
Orange County coroner’s did not release the dead woman’s name, however police initially described her as a 38-year-old La Habra resident, Angle said.
She was crossing Whittier Boulevard at Rigsby Street just before 9 p.m. with another woman when both pedestrians were struck by a Cadillac sedan, Angle said.
“They were crossing northbound,” the sergeant said. “The suspect was westbound on Whittier Boulevard.”
The 38-year-old woman suffered major injuries and was taken to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, where she died from her injuries a short time later, Angle said.
The other woman struck by the car suffered injuries to both of her feet, officials added.
An acquaintance of the women who witnessed the crash sprained his ankle while rushing to assist but was not struck but he Cadillac, Angle said. The man was also taken to a hospital by paramedics.
The car that struck the women fled the scene.
But Whittier police soon received a call from a motorist who was following the alleged hit-and-run driver.
Whittier Police Lt. Steve Dean said officers picked up the vehicle on Colima Road, but she refused to pull over. The car reached speeds as high as 90 mph.
The chase ended on Countrywood Avenue and Pepper Brook Way in Hacienda Heights when the Cadillac hit a parked car, and officers took Kim into custody, Dean said.
The driver told officers she was fine and didn’t want to be transported to a hospital, the lieutenant said. But paramedics took the woman to a hospital as a precaution.
The circumstances of the initial hit-and-run remained under investigation by La Habra police traffic investigators.
- Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales
LA HABRA — A robber with a knife and his accomplice hit a drive-thru dairy Tuesday but fled empty-handed after a store clerk disarmed the culprit.
One of the suspects was later turned over to police by his mother, La Habra Police Lt. Jeff Swaim said. Officers detained a second suspect.
The botched robbery in the 2300 block of West Whittier Boulevard was reported to police at 6:23 p.m.
Swaim said two suspects entered the business and approached an employee. One of the robbers carried a knife.
He said the clerk disarmed the knife-wielding robber but the lieutenant didn’t have details on how the employee got the upper hand on the suspect.
The robbers ran.
Officers were later at a nearby apartment complex when they were contacted by a woman who thought they might be looking for her son. Swaim said. The 15-year-old boy was arrested.
- Ruby Gonzales
LA HABRA — Officials Wednesday released the name of a 53-year-old Brea man fatally struck by an SUV while crossing Imperial Highway.
Claude Caler was jaywalking across the highway between Beach Boulevard and Idaho Street about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when he was struck by an eastbound SUV, La Habra police officials said in a written statement.
He was taken to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center following the collision, where he succumbed to his injuries a short time later, La Habra police Sgt. Brian Miller said.
The crash remained under investigation, however no crime was initially suspected and driver of the SUV cooperated with investigators, police said.
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.
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.
The 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 stood 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.
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
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
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
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.
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.