LA VERNE >> Officials in La Verne reminded residents to be aware of their forest-dwelling neighbors after a bear attacked and killed a pet collie in a residential neighborhood on Wednesday morning.
The attack took place about 3:30 a.m. in the 5400 block of Edgewood Drive, La Verne police officials said in a written statement.
A resident called police to report hearing suspicious noises coming from the garage area of the home, police said.
“Upon arriving at the location, officers observed a large dog with injuries lying on the floor of the garage,” according to the statement.
Officers rushed the badly injured dog to a local animal hospital.
“Hospital staff treated the injuries, which they determined to be consistent with a bear attack,” according to the statement. “However, the dog succumbed to said injuries.”
Police notified the California Department of Fish and Game of the incident, officials said.
“Residents living near the foothills are reminded that it is not uncommon for wildlife to enter residential neighborhoods,” the statement added. “We ask that you be vigilant and take precautions so as not to attract bears and other wildlife.
Officials urged residents took check out information on discouraging bear encounters and tips on what to do if encountering a bear, as well as other wildlife, online at www.wildlife.ca.gov.
LA VERNE >> Thirteen students at Bonita High School in La Verne fell ill Thursday after ingesting an unknown substance, police said.
The incident was first reported about 1:50 p.m. at the campus, 3102 D Street, La Verne police and school officials said.
Students began showing up at the school nurse’s office reporting feeling ill, the lieutenant said. “The students “all appeared to have ingested an unknown substance.”
The 13 students were taken to hospitals as a precaution, some by ambulance, and some by parents, Gonzalez said. Their conditions were not believed to be life-threatening.
Police were continuing their investigation into what exactly the students had ingested, he said. No arrests had been made Thursday afternoon.
“All affected students were assessed by paramedics, appropriate care was administered and parents have been contacted,” Bonita High School Principal Derek Bub said in a written statement. “Due to confidentiality laws, we are only able to release limited information. We are confident that this was an isolated incident that does not pose a continued threat to student safety. We would like to thank La Verne Police and Fire Department for their rapid response.”
No further details were available.
POMONA >> Two people walked away with apparently minor injuries after a small airplane crashed or made a hard landing at the Fairplex in Pomona on Wednesday evening.
The incident was first reported at 6:42 p.m. at the Fairplex, which is just across Fairplex Drive from Brackett Field in La Verne, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Simms said.
Details of the incident were not yet clear, however, firefighters treated one person for apparently minor injuries, she said.
The single-engine Beechcraft F33A experienced engine failure near Brackett Field, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
“The pilot made an emergency landing near the race track grandstands,” Gregor said, “Neither of the two people on board was seriously injured.”
“There was substantial damage to the plane, he said.
Pomona police officials received no 911 calls reporting the emergency landing, Lt. Alex Rilloraza said in a written statement.
“The police helicopter was in the area and advised of a possible aircraft down on the property,” according to the lieutenant.
Upon locating the downed airplane,
“Two occupants were in the plane and have reportedly sustained minor injuries only and are walking on their own accord, Rilloraza said. “Both subjects were treated at the scene and released.”
Firefighters also dealt with fuel that was leaking fuel after the incident, police said.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are conducting an investigation, officials said.
FAA records show the airplane is registered to a Rancho Cucamonga man. The aircraft, manufactured in 1977, has a valid flight status through the end of 2018.
The aircraft was heading to Cable Airport in Upland from Selma Airport, Gregor said.
No further details were available.
LA VERNE >> A La Verne man holed up inside his car with what turned out to be a realistic looking pellet gun for about five hours Friday, enduring multiple types of teargas and even a foam-spraying fire hose before a SWAT team pulled him from the vehicle, officials said.
Richard Stamp, 55, was taken into custody just before 10 p.m. following the standoff at Calle Aragon and Via Del Marino, La Verne police Capt. Nick Paz said.
The incident began just before 5 p.m., when a utility crew working along nearby Golden Hills Road spotted a man getting out of a car while brandishing a handgun, the captain said. They reported what they saw to police.
When officers arrived, the suspect got back into his car and drove off, leading police on a short pursuit, Paz said.
He crashed into a fire hydrant around the corner at Calle Aragon and Villa Del Marino but refused to get out of his car.
The Foothill Special Enforcement Team, a SWAT team comprised of officers from several local police departments, was summoned shortly before 6 p.m. to take over the scene at Calle Aragon and Via Del Marino as the suspect continued refusing orders to surrender, Paz said.
The standoff with the suspect, who was presumed to still be armed, continued for about five hours. Nearby homes were evacuated as precaution, and surrounding streets were shut down as the situation continued.
SWAT officers used several different types of teargas in attempts to flush Stamp out of the car with no success, Paz said. He also refused to budge when officers sprayed him with foam from a fire hose.
After using flash-bang grenades and a particularly potent form of teargas to disorient Stamp, SWAT officers rushed the car and took him into custody without further incident, Paz said.
Officers recovered a realistic-looking pellet gun which had been fitted with a scope, as well as an axe and a water pistol, the captain said.
Stamp’s motive for the standoff, as well as his state of mind, remained unclear Friday night.
He was taken to a hospital for examination prior to the booking process.
LA VERNE >> Police are seeking a man who went on an arson and vandalism spree targeting six La Verne businesses Tuesday night.
The rampage unfolded shortly before 10 p.m. at a string of businesses along Foothill Boulevard, between Damien Avenue and Baseline Road, La Verne police officials said in a written statement.
The vandal lit a vehicle on fire outside a Molly Maid business, as well as a gazebo at the neighboring business, Outdoor Elegance, and two trash cans at a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant and a 76 gas station across the street, officials said.
He also smashed windows at Outdoor Elgance, Inland Dental and Kiddie Academy, police said. At the diner, he set fire to a grease container.
Mr. D’s Diner was open for business when the suspect lit the grease collector on fire outside the rear of the store.
Employees were unaware of the fire as the man entered the restaurant, gobbled down salad and left without paying his bill. The fire was discovered a short time later and extinguished by employees.
Based on the man’s strange behavior, “We believe he was impaired,” Detective Matthew Hadan said. During the destructive spree, “He was kind of just wandering around, almost aimlessly.”
Hadan said, all of the fired remained relatively small.
“It could have been way worse,” the detective said. “It was very fortunate.”
A dollar-value estimate of the damage caused by the vandal was not available. The motive in the seemingly random destruction was unclear.
Police described the arsonist as a white man, 19 to 20 years old, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 145 pounds, with black wavy hair.
Anyone with information is asked to contact La Verne police Detective Matthew Hadan at 909-596-1913. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
VIDEO courtesy of the La Verne Police Department.
LA VERNE >> A woman died Wednesday afternoon after being struck by a commuter train in La Verne, authorities said.
The westbound Metrolink train struck the woman about 4:20 p.m. on a set of train tracks just west of San Dimas Canyon Road, alongside Arrow Highway, La Verne police Sgt. Cory Leeper said.
Upon arriving to investigate reports of a pedestrian being struck by a train, “officers found a woman on the side of the tracks who was confirmed deceased at the scene by La Verne (Fire Department) paramedics,” Leeper said in a written statement.
No injuries were reported to any of the 93 passengers on board the train, he said.
The woman’s identity was not available pending positive identification and notification of family by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, Leeper said. The investigation was ongoing.
The train was delayed at the scene for about 40 minutes before returning to operation, police said.
Delays of up to 45 minutes continued on the line into the early evening, according to Metrolink.
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, is encouraged to call La Verne police at 909-596-1913.
LA VERNE >> Police in La Verne will check motorists for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint Friday, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 5 p.m. to midnight at an undisclosed location within the city, La Verne police Sgt. Justin Newman said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years, La Verne has had 29 DUI injury collisions harming 30 of our friends and neighbors,” Newman said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided internally by the La Verne Police Department.
WEST COVINA >> A physician from La Verne died late Friday in a solo-car crash along Cameron Avenue in West Covina, police said.
Delroy Stelmo Hewling, 68, died at the scene of the 7 p.m. crash in the 2600 block of East Cameron Avenue, just east of Citrus Street, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
Hewling was at the wheel of a Nissan Maxima that veered to the side of the road and struck a parked Chevrolet Camaro, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said. West Covina Fire Department paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation by the West Covina Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team, Patton said.
Officials were looking into the possibility Hewling may have suffered a medical problem prior to the crash. His cause of death was to be determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
According to California Medical Board records, Hewling practiced medicine out of an office in West Covina.
He graduated the University of the West Indies in Jamaica in 1971, and was first licensed to practice medicine in California in 1981, records show.
LA VERNE >> A pilot escaped serious injury after a small airplane crashed at Brackett Field Airport and burst into flames, officials said.
The crash took place at 1:44 p.m. as the pilot was attempting to land at the small airfield, 1615 McKinley Ave., La Verne Fire Department Administrative Clerk Lauren Burtz said.
The landing came short, officials said.
“The aircraft, type currently unknown, struck a perimeter fence upon landing,” Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.
Kenitzer later described the craft as a single-engine Cessna 210. But the identifying “tail number” was not available. Cessna 210 airplanes generally seat six.
Burtz said the airplane ended up upside-down on top of the flattened fence along Fairplex Drive and quickly became engulfed in flames.
But the pilot managed to escape the wreckage, and La Verne firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, officials said.
Kenitzer said initial reports indicated two people were on board, however, Burtz said firefighters treated only one patient, the pilot.
Officials took the pilot to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center by helicopter for treatment, Burtz said. An update on the pilot’s condition was not available.
Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
PHOTOS by Leo Jarzomb
GLENDORA >> Coroner’s officials Sunday identified a 23-year-old La Verne man who died after his motorcycle collided with two cars along Arrow Highway Saturday afternoon.
Nathan Puga died in the 12:04 p.m. crash on westbound Arrow Highway, just east of Sunflower Avenue, in an unincorporated county area near Glendora, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Betsy Magdaleno said.
He was riding a 2015 Kawasaki Ninja at about 80 mph in the left-hand lane just before the fatal collision, Officer K. Croxford of the California High Patrol’s Baldwin Park area office said in a written statement. In front of him was a 2010 Volkswagen Passat traveling at about 10 mph, having just made a left turn onto Arrow Highway from a parking lot.
“ Due to Puga’s unsafe speed, he was unable to maintain control of his vehicle and struck the left side of the Volkswagen Passat,” Croxford said. “The force of his impact caused Puga to veer to right before the Kawasaki overturned onto its left side.”
The motorcycle and rider then slid into the rear of a 2004 Volkswagen Jetta stopped along the curb.
Paramedics pronounced Puga dead at the scene, officials said. Neither driver was injured.
The investigation was ongoing, and witnesses are encouraged to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office at 626-338-1164.