Officials: La Verne man arrested by SWAT after chasing neighbor with hammer

LA VERNE >> A 63-year-old La Verne man chased after a neighbor with a hammer and smashed up a car and other property before barricading himself inside his mobile home for more than six hours early Friday, authorities said.
Eric Alfred Bark, 63, was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after he surrendered to SWAT officers after a stand-off lasting for several hours, according to La Verne police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The incident began about 2 a.m. when police received a call of a man acting violently with a hammer at the Cobacobana Mobile Home Park, 2717 Arrow Highway, La Verne police officials said in a written statement.
Police responded to a report that a man with a hammer had chased after and tried to attack a fellow mobile home park with a hammer, police said. The neighbor was not injured.
“Following the attack, the male subject reportedly also used the hammer to damage a nearby vehicle and other property,” according to the police statement.
When police confronted the suspect, he fled into his mobile home and refused officers’ orders to come out, officials said.
The Foothills Special Enforcement Team was summoned to the scene, and Bark ultimately surrendered to them without further incident about 9 a.m., officials said.
Bark was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
No information regarding a motive in the alleged crime was available.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Checkpoints net more than 100 arrests throughout the San Gabriel Valley

Checkpoints held throughout the San Gabriel Valley over the weekend resulted in more than 100 arrests, most of which were for driving without a license, officials said Sunday.
A six-hour checkpoint in La Puente late Friday and early Saturday resulted in two DUI arrests, along with 55 arrests of unlicensed drivers and 22 arrests for other alleged crimes, authorities said.
The checkpoint, run by deputies from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Industry Station, took place from 7 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday on Hacienda Boulevard at Temple Avenue, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. It was one of several checkpoints held throughout the San Gabriel Valley over the weekend by area law enforcement agencies from La Verne to Pasadena.
Of the 2,271 cars that passed through the overnight checkpoint, deputies screened 1,673 drivers, officials said.
Two drivers were arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and two people were arrested on suspicion of drug possession, according to the sheriff’s department statement. One person was jailed on suspicion of knowingly allowing an unlicensed person to drive and one driver was accused of driving without a court-ordered ignition interlock device.
One person was jailed on an outstanding traffic warrant, officials said. And 17 drivers were arrested for driving on a suspended or revoked license.
But the vast majority of the 79 arrests, 55 of them, were of unlicensed drivers, officials said.
Eleven cars were impounded for 30 days at the checkpoint, while 15 were impounded for one day and 48 were released at the checkpoint.
Similar results were seen during the sheriff’s Industry Station’s last checkpoint, which was also held in La Puente overnight Dec. 21 and 22.
More than 70 people were arrested at the December checkpoint, which took place on Hacienda Boulevard at Nelson Avenue, sheriff’s officials said at the time. One driver was accused of driving under the influence of methamphetamine; one person was jailed for drug possession; one person was arrested on a parole violation, three people were arrested due to traffic warrants; two people were arrested for allowing an unlicensed person to drive, 14 people were jailed for driving on a suspended or revoked license; and 56 arrests of unlicensed drivers were made.
The dozens of arrests of unlicensed drivers at the December checkpoint, as well as dozens more at a checkpoint in Baldwin Park the following weekend, sparked outrage from family members of those arrested and immigrant rights activist who allege the checkpoints unfairly target undocumented immigrants.
But the sheriff’s department maintains the checkpoints are designed to improve public safety.
“Checkpoints are placed in locations that have the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence and provide the greatest safety to the public,” according to the sheriff’s department statement. But arresting intoxicated drivers is not the only goal.
“This DUI/Driver’s License checkpoint lowers DUI deaths and injuries. A major component of these checkpoints is the deterrent effects it has on those who might drive drunk or drugged.”
The La Puente checkpoint was one of several held over the weekend throughout the region. Arcadia, La Verne, and Pasadena also had overnight checkpoints. The California Highway Patrol also sent 20 extra officers out on a DUI saturation patrol late Saturday and early Sunday.
In Arcadia, police screened about 1,200 of the nearly 2,000 cars that passed through a checkpoint held from 9 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday along Baldwin Avenue at the Gate 8 entrance to Santa Anita Park and the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall, Arcadia police Lt. Bob Anderson said.
“Fifteen (field sobriety tests) were given, resulting in five DUI arrests,” Anderson said. Two people were jailed on traffic warrants.
Police cited, but did not arrest, 16 unlicensed drivers and 7 people who were driving on a suspended or revoked licensed, Anderson said. One person was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public.
Arcadia police impounded six cars for 30 days, and another six cars for 1 day, Anderson said.
Official results from Pasadena’s checkpoint, which took place late Friday and early Saturday at Fair Oaks Avenue and Hurlbut Street, were not available over the weekend, officials said. But electronic police logs indicated four suspected DUI drivers were arrested.
In La Verne, a checkpoint late Saturday and early Sunday netted 15 arrests, La Verne police Sgt. Monica Schusse said.
Two of the arrests were for intoxicated driving, while the other 13 resulted from other alleged crimes, the sergeant said. Further details regarding the arrests were not available Sunday.
The reasons for the difference in the ways in which police agencies deal with unlicensed drivers at checkpoints — whether such drivers are cited or arrested is not entirely clear.
Following protests in Baldwin Park in December and January, Baldwin Park police officials said unlicensed drivers were taken to jail because they did not have valid identification to prove their identities, as the Los Angeles Superior Court’s West Covina Branch, where the department files it’s cases, would no longer accept matricula consular cards as identification.
Court officials said no such policy change occurred.
Baldwin Park city officials subsequently announced police would resume accepting matricula consular cards as identification, and the city council discussed considering a moratorium on checkpoints. The city previously suspended checkpoints and changed its checkpoint impound policy in 2010 amid outcry from activists.
Funding for the checkpoints is provided by the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

UPDATED: Checkpoints planned this weekend in La Puente, La Verne, Monterey Park, Arcadia

Officials in La Puente, La Verne, Monterey Park and Arcadia are planning to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses at checkpoints this weekend.
Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Industry Station will hold a checkpoint from 7 p.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within La Puente, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
More than 70 people were arrested during the city’s last checkpoint, which took place overnight Dec. 21 and Dec. 22 on Hacienda Boulevard, just north Nelson Avenue, officials said.
One of the arrests was for suspected driving under the influence of methamphetamine, sheriff’s officials said. Fifty-six drivers were arrested for driving without a valid license, while one person was jailed on a parole violation, three people were arrested due to outstanding traffic warrants and 14 people were arrested on suspicion of driving on a revoked or suspended license.
The La Puente City Council suspended checkpoints in the city in mid-2011 amid concerns that such checkpoints unfairly target local residence who are unlicensed or uninsured. But the council reversed it’s decision a year later.
Protestors demonstrated against Baldwin Park police in late December after a checkpoint overnight Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 at Los Angeles and Littlejohn streets, as well as Ramona Boulevard and Barnes Avenue, in that city resulted in the arrests of more than two-dozen unlicensed drivers, along with five allegedly intoxicated drivers and several other arrests.
Another checkpoint is scheduled to take place this weekend in La Verne, La Verne police officials said in a written statement.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday at an undisclosed location within the city, police said.
Monterey Park police are planning a checkpoint at a undisclosed location within that city from 7 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m., officials said, Sunday, and Arcadia police will hold a checkpoint late Saturday into early Sunday.
Funding for all the checkpoints is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Woman flown to hospital following La Verne traffic collision

LA VERNE — Officials flew a woman to a trauma center as a precautionary measure Saturday following a two-vehicle crash in a residential neighborhood, authorities said.
The crash took place just after 3 p.m. at Via Campo and Via De Mansion, La Verne police Lt. Gary Mason said. It involved an older-model Toyota pickup truck and a Toyota Camry.
The Camry was making a left turn into a driveway when it collided with the pickup truck, the lieutenant said.
A woman estimated to be between 18 and 20 years old who was riding as a passenger in the pickup truck struck her head against the windshield, Mason said. She was wearing a seat belt, but it appeared the latch that held the belt in place was not working properly.
Her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, however paramedics flew her to a hospital for treatment as a precaution, Mason said. The driver of the pickup truck, the injured woman’s father, was unhurt. The lone woman inside the Camry also avoided injury.
The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Sobriety checkpoints planned this weekend in La Verne, San Dimas, La Puente

Police officers and sheriff’s deputies will be screening drivers for sobriety and valid drivers’ licenses during three checkpoints planned this weekend in La Verne, San Dimas and La Puente.
The La Verne Police Department will hold a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint Friday.
The checkpoint will run From 6 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location in the city, police officials said in a written statement.
Also Friday, sheriff’s deputies will be holding a checkpoint from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. the following morning at an undisclosed location within San Dimas, authorities said.
And deputies from the sheriff’s Industry Station plan to hold a checkpoint from 7 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. the following morning within La Puente, officials added.
Funding for the operations is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

CHP officer, paramedics resuscitate man following apparent heart attack on 210 Freeway in La Verne

LA VERNE — A California Highway Patrol officer helped restore the pulse of a man who had apparently suffered a heart attack while riding as a passenger in a minivan on the 210 Freeway, officials said.
CHP Officer Ruth Rodriguez responded to a medical emergency call about 11 a.m. when she encountered the couple stopped in their 2013 Honda Odyssey, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said in a written statement. The passenger, 81-year-old Dimitri Cocea, was unconscious and unresponsive.
“Mr. Cocea’s wife informed Officer Rodriguez that Mr. Cocea was having a heart attack. Officer Rodriguez checked for vitals and could not find a pulse and Mr. Cocea was not breathing,” Jimenez said.
“Officer Rodriguez then began chest compressions in an attempt to resuscitate Mr. Cocea,” he said. Due to Mr. Cocea’s position within the vehicle, Officer Rodriguez was not able to perform rescue breathing. Officer Rodriguez continued chest compressions until she was relieved by Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel.”
Paramedics rushed Cocea to a the Pomona Valley Medical Center, where he arrived with a pulse, the officer said. “Mr. Cocea is alive due to the rescue efforts of Officer Ruth Rodriguez.”

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Fire scorches La Verne apartment

LA VERNE — A fire scorched an apartment Thursday afternoon, however no injuries were reported, authorities said.
The fire ignited about 3:40 p.m. at a second-floor apartment unit int he 2600 block of Sycamore Drive, La Verne Fire Department spokeswoman Rafaela Giles said.
Firefighters declared the fire knocked down 24 minutes later, she said.
The cause of the fire, as well as the extent of the damage, was not immediately clear.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Man and woman hurt in 210 Freeway motorcycle crash in La Verne

LA VERNE — A man and woman suffered serious injuries when they motorcycle they were riding crashed on the 210 Freeway Saturday, authrorities said.
The crash took place just after 11 a.m. on the westbound 210 Freeway at Fruit Street in La Verne, California Highway Patrol Officer Ed Jacobs said.
Initial reports indicated the man and woman were riding a Harley-Davidson-style motorcycle with a group of other cyclists when their bike went down, Jacobs said.
Rescuers landed a helicopter on the freeway to take the injured riders to a trauma center, he added. One of the riders was believed to have suffered a broken hip, among other injuries.
CHP officials shut down all but the carpool lane of the westbound 210 Freeway for more than half and hour following the crash, causing traffic in the area to back up significantly.
The cause of the crash is being investigated by officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Man arrested in connection with La Verne shooting released without charges

LA VERNE — A man arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for the shooting of his wife earlier this week at a La Verne home was released from jail Wednesday after prosecutors declined to file a case against him, authorities said.
Michael Banda, 45, was released from custody after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to file a case against him, citing “insufficient evidence,” D.A.’s spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
Further details regarding the investigation were not available Wednesday. Handling La Verne police detectives could not be reached for comment.
Banda was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder shortly after the 3 p.m. shooting in the 4300 block of Edminster Drive, La Verne police Capt. Nick Paz said.
His wife had been shot in the neck and shoulder during an argument, police said. The wounds were not considered to be life-threatneing. A .22-caliber revolver was taken from the home.
Banda was initially held in lieu of $1 million bail, but released from the La Verna Police Department’s Jail about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday after prosecutors declined to charge him.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Two CHP officers hurt, La Verne man accused of DUI following 210 Freeway crash

LA VERNE — A 25-year-old La Verne man is accused of drunken driving after crashing his car in a constuction zone on the 210 Freeway, injuring two California Highway Patrol officers, authorities said.
Thomas Lapatka was treated for minor injuries and booked on suspicion of felony drunken driving at the sheriff’s San Dimas Station following the crash, CHP Sgt. Chris Hamilton said.
Two CHP officers suffered minor injuries, and their patrol car was significantly damaged in the collision, which took place just before 1 a.m. on the westbound 210 Freeway at Foothill Boulevard, the sergeant said.
They were assisting workers with a construction closure in which all lanes of westbound traffic were being gradually directed to the carpool lane by cones and sign boards, Hamilton said.
They were stopped within the closure, with the patrol car’s overhead lights activated, he said.
Lapatka
“According to witness statements, they see him fly by through the cones and pass them,” Hamilton said. “Their statements put him well over the 65 mph speed limit. Some witnesses put him at over 80 mph.”
Lapatka’s 2010 Mercedes E350 struck an electronic board that was displaying an arrow, ushering traffic toward the carpool lane, the sergeant said. The sign board then struck the patrol car, causing significant damage and injuring the two officers inside.
Officials at first were uncertain of the extent of the officers’ injuries, and they were taken to a hospital for treatment, Hamilton said.
“Thank goodness, once they got there, the doctors evaluated them and within a few hours they were released with minor injuries,” he said.
Lapatka was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, Hamilton said.
He was being held in lieu of $200,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court, according to county booking records.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email