UPDATED: La Verne man jailed after pursuit, 5-hour standoff

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.

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UPDATED: Man sought in arson, vandalism spree targeting 6 La Verne businesses

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.
Arson suspect photoThe 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.

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Woman struck, killed by train in La Verne

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.

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Police checkpoint planned in La Verne

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.

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Doctor from La Verne killed in West Covina car crash

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.

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UPDATED: Pilot escapes fiery wreckage following La Verne plane crash

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 signFairplex 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

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La Verne man killed in Glendora motorcycle crash identified

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.

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La Verne man killed in rollover crash on 210 Freeway

LA VERNE >> A 68-year-old La Verne man died when his Corvette veered off the rain-slickened roadway and overturned on the 210 Freeway late Friday, officials said.
David Brighton of La Verne died in the 6:20 p.m. crash along the westbound 210 Freeway, just west of Foothill Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
He was driving a 1993 Chevrolet Corvette in the right-hand lane at 75 to 80 mph just prior to the crash, Officer J. Ortiz of the California Highway Patrol’s Baldwin Park Office said in a written statement.
“Due to excessive speed in wet/raining conditions, (Brighton) lost control, which caused the Chevrolet Corvette to veer off the roadway, overturning in the process,” Ortiz said.
Paramedics pronounced Brighton dead at the scene.
Any witnesses to the crash were encouraged to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park Office at 626-338-1164.

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Deputies to canvass Pomona neighborhood seeking witnesses in La Verne double-slaying


POMONA >> Sheriff’s homicide detectives investigating the mysterious slaying of an Elderly La Verne couple in their home late last year plan to canvass a Pomona neighborhood Friday for motorists, pedestrians and train passengers who may have key information to help solve the case, officials said.
Armie “Troy” Isom, 89, and wide Shirley Isom, 74, were found fatally stabbed and beaten on Dec. 26, inside their home at the end of secluded Roughrider Road in an unincorporated near La Verne, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
The case remains unsolved.
““We have not determined a motive,” Lt. David Coleman of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said last week.
“We’re still working all the clues that came in,” the lieutenant said. “We have multiple leads we are following.” Coleman declined to discuss what those leads were.
The search continues for a man spotted by neighbors walking away from the Isoms’ sprawling estate shortly before the couple was found mortally wounded.
The man, who has since been labeled a suspect in the killing, was last reported to be walking south from the isolated neighborhood where the victims lived. But he has not been found.
In an effort to develop new leads in the investigation, and track down the mysterious suspect, deputies plan to pass out fliers to drivers in the 3100 block of Garey Avenue in Pomona Friday.
The flier will include a composite sketch of the suspect previously released to the public in early January, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said. The canvassing will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the 3100 block of Garey Avenue, just south of the Isom’s neighborhood.
The operation is being held on the same day of the week as the killing, and covering the same time of day. Troy and Shirley Isom were discovered slain shortly after 1 p.m. on the day after Christmas.
“As people come through, we’ll hand out fliers and ask them a couple simple questions,” Lt. Andy Berg of the sheriff’s San Dimas Station said.
Deputies will ask drivers and pedestrians if they were in the same area on the afternoon of Dec. 26, and whether they’ve seen the man pictured in the sketch.
Deputies will strive to delay motorists as briefly as possible, Berg said. Deputies will not be looking for traffic violations, he said. They will not even ask driver’s names, unless they have information pertinent to the double-homicide investigation. Homicide detectives will be on-hand to interview anyone who may be able to help.
At the same time, deputies will be aboard commuter trains on the nearby San Bernardino Line passing out fliers and questioning passengers, Nishida said. No trains will be delayed as a result of the canvassing.
Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
— Staff writer Ruby Gonzales contributed to this report.

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Investigation continues into slaying of La Verne couple inside their home


LA VERNE >> Investigators continued trying to make sense Saturday of the fatal stabbing and beating of an elderly couple in their home near here.
No suspect was in custody in connection with the deaths of Armie “Troy” Isom, 89, and his wife, Shirley Isom, 74, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. The Isoms were both found mortally wounded shortly after 1 p.m. Friday near the entrance of their home in the 300 block of Roughrider Road in an unincorporated area.
Sheriff’s officials identified the man as Armie Isom. Neighbors, who said the couple had lived in their home about two decades, knew the husband as Troy.
Paramedics pronounced Shirley Isom dead at the scene. Her husband was taken to a hospital in critical condition, where he ultimately succumbed to his wounds.
Detectives and crime scene investigators returned to the scene Saturday to continue collecting and cataloguing evidence.
No suspect had been identified, and the motive in the double-killing remained unknown.
“This is a mystery. This is going to take a lot of detective work,” said Lt. Dave Coleman of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
Shirley Isom appeared to have suffered both stab wounds and blunt force injuries, the lieutenant said.
Troy Isom had been beaten, but it remained unclear whether he had also been stabbed, Coleman said.
1228_NWS_SGT-L-LVFOLO2The knife used in the stabbing had not been recovered, he said. Coleman declined to discuss what sort of blunt object was involved in the attack.
Detectives ruled out the possibility of a murder-suicide. Coleman said both the man and woman were homicide victims.
And Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said a “security hold” placed on the case by sheriff’s investigators prevented his agency from discussing it.
Coleman said detectives were yet to discover any valuables missing from the home.
It was unclear how the killer got into the home, he said. “There’s no obvious point of entry.”
The couple are survived by five children, Coleman said.
A woman who answered the phone at the home of the one of the victim’s daughters said the family was also awaiting further information about what happened to the Isoms as they deal with their sudden and tragic loss.
“There’s no words,” the woman said. She did not wish to comment further.
Deputies who first responded to the crime scene scoured the area for a suspicious man with a backpack that several witnesses said they saw at or near the Isoms’ property just before the attack was discovered.
Neighbors described the man as between 25 and 30 years old, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a backpack.
Coleman said the description did not match anyone who was supposed to be on the property Friday and detectives are seeking him for an interview.
“We’re trying to identify all of the workers who should have been there,” Coleman said.
But the lieutenant did not label the person seen by neighbors as a suspect in the killing, though he said the man’s potential involvement had not been ruled out.
Investigators planned to return to the crime scene Sunday to finish their search of the property, Coleman said. Detectives planned to use search dogs and searchers mounted on horseback to ensure a thorough examination of the massive, brush-laden property on a private road at the end of Roughrider Road.
Once work is completed with the plentiful physical evidence at the scene — which included a ”tremendous amount of blood,” Coleman said the investigation will shift to a broader focus as detectives look over the couple’s business dealings and personal lives for possible clues.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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