UPDATED: Body of missing hiker from La Puente discovered near Hermit Falls in Angeles National Forest

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ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> The search for a La Puente man who disappeared during a hiking trip in the Angeles National Forest north of Sierra Madre came to a tragic end Saturday when officials discovered the man’s body near the base of Hermit Falls, authorities said.
Avid outdoorsman John Richard King, 63, left his home in La Puente on Thursday morning and never returned, according to Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
His family reported him missing after he failed to return home Thursday night, as planned, officials said.
King’s car was found in the parking area of Chantry Flat, and sheriff’s search and rescue team members launched a search of the area that continued all day Friday.
The searchers discovered King’s body near the base of Hermit Falls about noon, Sgt. Alan Lie of the sheriff’s Temple Station said.
Homicide detectives and coroner’s officials were summoned to the scene to continue the investigation.
“Detectives report his body was found in the water below Hermit Falls by the Antelope Valley Search and Rescue Team,” according to Deputy Ruan Rouzan of the sheriff’s information Bureau. “It appears Mr. King, while hiking, slipped and fell approximately 40 feet into the water.”
“There appears to be no foul play, and the fall was accidental,” Rouzan said. “Mr. King’s family arrived on scene to positively identify his body.”
No further details were available.

PHOTO of John King, 63, of La Puente (courtesy)

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La Puente man vanishes during hiking trip in Angeles National Forest north of Sierra Madre

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ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Rescuers continued searching the Angeles National Forest north of Sierra Madre on Friday for a 63-year-old La Puente man who went hiking Thursday and never returned, authorities said.
John Richard King was last seen about 10:30 a.m. on Thursday as he left his home in La Puente to go hiking in the Chantry Flat area of the forest, Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
King was expected to return home by 10:30 p.m. but never arrived, Deputy Oscar Cantu of the sheriff’s Temple Station said. A worried relative reported him missing.
“The missing person’s vehicle was located in the parking area of Chantry Flat,” Saldana said. “He is an avid hiker and his family is very concerned for his wellbeing.”
Sheriff’s search and rescue teams from Sierra Madre, Malibu, Montrose and San Dimas, assisted by a helicopter, went in search of the missing hiker Thursday night. The search was halted overnight and resumed Friday morning.
King is described as white, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 220 pounds, with short gray hair, brown eyes and a gray beard.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau’s Missing Persons Detail at 323-890-5500.

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La Puente gang injunction meeting cancelled

LA PUENTE >> A meeting previously planned by sheriff’s officials are to discuss La Puente’s gang injunction later this month has been cancelled.
The meeting, which has been scheduled for Oct. 25 at the St. Louis of France Catholic Church, 13935 E. Temple Ave., will be rescheduled for sometime early next year, organizers said.
At the annual meetings, sheriff’s officials, prosecutors and crime analysts meet with the community to discuss and answer questions regardingLa Puente’s gang injunction.
In addition to La Puente, the injunction against the Puente 13 and Bassett Grande street gangs also covers portions of West Covina and nearby unincorporated county areas such as Valinda and Bassett.

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La Puente man arrested following gas station robbery


LA PUENTE >> Deputies arrested a suspect minutes after a robbery at a La Puente gas station on Saturday, authorities said.
Rogelio Diaz, 22, of La Puente was booked on suspicion of robbery following the 10:55 a.m. heist at a Chevron station, 777 Glendora Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Arthur Scott said.
He wore a bandana over his face when he entered the gas station and demanded money from a female employee, the lieutenant said. The suspect, later identified as Diaz, kept his right hand covered with another bandana and gestures as if he had a handgun concealed beneath it. It was later determined he had no gun.
The frightened attendant handed over about $480 from the cash register and the suspect ran off. He was last seen running south along Glendora Avenue.
Deputies responding to the reported robbery spotted Diaz nearby and detained him in the area of Temple Avenue and Gaylawn Court, Scott said.
He was arrested once the victim identified him as the robber, he said. Deputies found Diaz to be in possession of two bandanas, as well as a little more than $480 in cash.
According to county booking records, Diaz was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the El Monte branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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Suspected gang member with gun jailed following chase through La Puente in stolen car

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LA PUENTE >> Deputies arrested a suspected gang member with a handgun following a pursuit through La Puente in a stolen car on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
A deputy patrolling in the area of Valley Boulevard and Ferrero Lane spotted a Toyota Camry which had been reported stolen in Baldwin Park earlier this month driving down the road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Pete Cacheiro said.
The driver refused to pull over, initiating a short chase along surface streets that ended when the driver abandoned the car and ran on nearby Wegman Drive, the lieutenant said.
Deputies nabbed the suspect as he fled through a residential neighborhood, he added. He was arrested without further struggle.
Retracing the suspect steps, deputies found a handgun, as well as a shirt and baseball cap the fleeing suspect had apparently discarded in an attempt to change his appearance, Cacheiro said.
The identity of the suspect, a man estimated to be in his early-30s, was not released Thursday as detectives continued their investigation into the man, he added. The suspect was believed to have gang ties.

PHOTO – courtesy

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Man wounded in stabbing at La Puente house party

LA PUENTE >> A fight at a La Puente house party escalated into a stabbing Saturday night, leaving one man wounded but expected to survive, authorities said.
The stabbing unfolded about 11 p.m. in the 15200 block of Flagstaff Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. William Kitchin said.
Two men got into a fight at a house party before the altercation ended up moving to the street, the sergeant said.
The attacker pulled a knife and stabbed the victim before fleeing the scene, he said. The wounded man, who was in his mid-20s, was hospitalized in stable condition.
Kitchin described as a Latino man in his 20s, bearded, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 250 pounds.
Investigators suspected the stabbing may have been gang-related, added.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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La Puente Business Watch Program meeting planned Thursday


LA PUENTE >> Sheriff’s officials are inviting La Puente business owners to join in a meeting of the La Puente Business Watch Program next week.
The program in run by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department La Puente Special Assignment Team, operating out of the sheriff’s Industry Station, officials said in a written statement. It scheduled for 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Starbucks, 1283. N. Hacienda Blvd.
“The goals are to link business owners via the Le Puente Business Watch program in taking systematic steps to reduce opportunities for crimes in and around business locations,” according to the statement. “It includes training business personnel to be the eyes and ears of the law enforcement.”
Topics to be covered will include reporting crime, marking equipment with identifying marks, robbery prevention, burglary preventions and self protection.
Those interested are asked to RSVP with Deputy Rudy Zamora at 626-934-3061.

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Man wounded in La Puente car-to-car shooting


LA PUENTE >> A car-to-car shooting in La Puente left a man wounded late Thursday, officials said.
The gunfire erupted about 10:40 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 16900 block of Turk Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Infante said.
A shooter or shooters in a car opened fire on the victim, a man in his late teens, as he was driving in his own car, the lieutenant said.
The victim’s car was struck six times, and one bullet struck the man in the shoulder, he said.
No further details of the shooting, including a suspect description, were available, Infante said.
The wounded man did not appear to be cooperating with investigators, he said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Deputies raid alleged ‘internet gambling cafe’ in La Puente

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LA PUENTE >> Sheriff’s deputies carried out a raid at an alleged illegal gambling house operating out of La Puente internet cafe on Wednesday night, authorities said.
The bust took place about 8 p.m., when deputies showed up at PC TIME Internet Cafe, 1047 N. Hacienda Blvd., with a search warrant, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Pete Cacheiro said.
“When deputies gained access to the location, they detained over 15 patrons who were engaged in illegal gambling,” Cacheiro said.
Investigators arrested five alleged proprietors, described as Glendale residents, he said.
Twenty-five computers, other communications devices and cash were seized as part of the investigation, officials said.
The computers were running an online gambling program known as “Internet Sling 7,” Cacheiro said.
The complex gambling operation was “fortified” with security measures and surveillance cameras and catered only to a select clientele, he said.
Detectives launched their investigation in June, when authorities received anonymous complaints of illegal gambling at the establishment.
“During the investigation, deputies conducted surveillances and undercover investigations and determined that the business was utilized as an ‘Internet Gambling Café,’” according to the lieutenant.
The investigation is ongoing, he said. Detectives have identified other possible internet gambling houses in other cities.
Officials withheld the suspects’ identities Thursday as they continued pursuing leads, Cacheiro said.
Investigators additionally found that the business was operating without a permit and in violation of city codes, he added.
Deputies from the La Puente Special Assignment Team, Major Crimes Bureau, Cyber/High Tech Crimes Bureau and Operation Safe Streets took part in the raid, Cacheiro said, along with California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials.
Code enforcement officials are handling the civil aspect of the case.

PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Police, sheriff’s deputies, CHP officers host ‘Coffee with a Cop’ in La Puente


LA PUENTE >> Local sheriff’s deputies, police officers and CHP officers will be meeting with the community this week for a “Coffee with a Cop” event in La Puente, officials said.
The informal gathering will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday at Starbucks, 1283 N. Hacienda Blvd., organizers said in a written statement.
Deputies from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Industry Station’s La Puente Special Assignment Team will chat with residents, as well as Covina police officers, West Covina police officers and California Highway Patrol officers.
There are no agendas or speeches planned, “just a chance to meet your deputies and officers,” according to the statement.
For more information, contact Deputy Viviana Marez at 626-934-3061.

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