After months of tireless efforts by colleagues and loved ones, a life-saving bone marrow match had been found for a Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant who is battling leukemia, supporters announced this weekend.
Fellow deputies have been organizing bone marrow matching events at sheriff’s stations and other sites throughout the region in hopes of finding a desperately-needed matching bone marrow donor for Sgt. Jorge Chavez, a 17-year-veteran of the sheriff’s department. She sergeant is in need of a bone marrow transplant after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December.
And on Friday, the “Be a HERO for Sergeant Jorge Chavez” Facebook page, dedicated to helping the deputy and his family through their journey, announced, “the news we have all been waiting for!”
The online community went on to share a letter from the Chavez family:
“It is with tremendous thanks and praising God that we share with you that a matching donor has been found and Jorge will be receiving his transplant within the next couple of weeks,” it said.
“Although we still have a long road ahead of us, your prayers, help, support and caring efforts have set us on our way. Earth Angel hero wherever you are, thank you. May our heavenly Father bless you forever. You will always have a very special place in our hearts.
“We now hope & pray that everyone will keep their hearts and minds open to the possibility of being a donor for another person who needs a hero too. With all our hearts, thank you,” the letter continued.
Chavez was most recently assigned to the sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau, colleagues said. Previous assignments included the sheriff’s San Dimas and Industry stations.
Despite the encouraging news, the community’s help is still needed, both for Chavez and other cancer patients in need.
Chavez will continue requiring blood and platelets over the coming months, according to the supporters’ Facebook page. Donors were encouraged to make an appointment at the City of Hope in Duarte. If blood and platelet donations are not needed by Chavez, they will not be wasted, as they will be used to help other patients.
“Also, although we have been fortunate enough to find Jorge his match, many other families — including four LASD families — have not been so fortunate, YET,” according to the web page. “Please continue to spread the word about being a donor and about the upcoming events. All of the events being held in support of Jorge can help anyone! Jorge would like to see many more families given the gift of life!”
For more information, visit Be a HERO for Sergeant Jorge Chavez online at www.facebook.com/sgtjorgechavez.
PHOTO of Sgt. Jorge Chavez courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
NORWALK >> A man died of unknown causes after being detained by two witnesses, then taken into custody by sheriff’s deputies following an erratic display of behavior that included climbing into passing vehicle late Saturday, authorities said.
The incident unfolded just before 7 p.m. in the area of Firestone Boulevard and Studebaker Road, according to Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
The identity of the man was not released Sunday pending positive identification and notification of family members, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
The string of events began in the 11700 block of Studebaker road, “where the suspect entered one occupied parked vehicle and attempted to enter a second occupied vehicle,” Alexander said in a written statement.
The man then ran south toward Firestone Boulevard and jumped into the bed of an occupied pickup truck, she said.
“The suspect fell out of the truck bed and entered a local business wearing only his shirt and underwear,” she said. “The two good Samaritans noticed the suspect’s erratic behavior and detained him until the deputies’ arrival.”
Deputies arrived to find the two men still detaining the suspect in front of the business, a Chuck E. Cheese’s pizza parlor, Lt. Robin Limon of the sheriff’s Norwalk Station said.
“The deputies began to take custody of the suspect when he became unconscious,” Alexander said. “Deputies immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the suspect was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.”
Deputies were not involved in any significant struggle with the suspect while taking him into custody, officials said.
Coroner’s officials are investigating his cause of death.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which is spearheading the investigation, at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
LA PUENTE >> La Puente’s Mayor Valerie Munoz and the deputies from the Los ngeles County Sheriff’s La Puente Special Assignment Team are inviting the community to join them for the 4th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast this month.
The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Feb. 16 in the banquet room of St. Joseph School, 15650 Temple Ave., organizers said in a written statement.
The mayor will also be discussing critical issues and accomplishments within La Puente over the past year, as well as the importance of local churches and clergy in the community, according the statement.
Sheriff’s Industry Station Capt. Tim Murakami and Lt. Pete Cacheiro are also scheduled to give a presentation regarding community policing, crime reductions, crime statistics and goals for policing in the 21st Century.
Breakfast will be served.
“The LASD/La Puente Prayer Breakfast has had great positive success in the past four years with the community, clergy and law enforcement,” Cacheiro said. “When our Special Assignment Team implemented the event, we had full support from then-mayor Charlie Klinakis and local business like Cacique Cheese, C&F Foods, Starbucks and Roly’s Trucking. The event has established a large network and outreach to our communities and the unincorporated areas.”
To reserve a spot, contact Deputy Viviana Marez at 626-934-3303, or email email@example.com.
SAN DIMAS >> The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is inviting the community to join deputies at the sheriff’s San Dimas Station Saturday for a barbecue, and help save the life of a 17-year-veteran of the department who’s battling cancer.
Sgt. Jorge Chavez was recently diagnosed with leukemia, sheriff’s officials said.
“Sergeant Chavez is in need of a lifesaving marrow donor, and until a match is found, blood and platelet donations will be in dire need,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement. “There is currently no matching marrow donor for Sergeant Chavez.”
Fellow deputies have taken it upon themselves to organize several bone marrow match events in search of bone marrow donor for Chavez.
A barbecue and bone marrow matching event is planned from 11 a,m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the sheriff’s San Dimas Station, 270 S. Walnut Ave., where Chavez worked from 2013 to 2016, coworkers said. His assignments have also included the sheriff’s Industry Station, and most recently, the sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau.
In just a few minutes, through a “quick and easy” oral swab, potential donors can find out if they are a match for the ailing sergeant.
“I encourage everyone to become a bone marrow donor. Even if you turn out not to be MY perfect match, you might be someone else’s perfect match,” Chavez said in a statement issued from his hospital bed. “There are so many of us that are waiting and hoping our match will be found soon. By taking a few minutes and becoming a donor, you can be an angel and save one of our lives and keep our families together.”
Marrow donors must between 18 and 44 years old, be in general good health and be willing to help a patient in need, officials said.
Those who are tested for a match will receive a free barbecue lunch, organizers said. Those not undergoing testing can purchase a plate for a fundraising price of $7.
Those wishing to be tested, but unable to attend the event, can request a swab kit via mail by visiting http://join.marrow.org/swabforjorge.
Blood and platelet donors must be 17 years of age, in good health and meet some basic requirements. Blood and platelet donations can be made at the City of Hope in Duarte.
For more information, contact RARobbin@lasd.org.
PHOTO of Sgt. Jorge Chavez courtesy of the LASD.
PICO RIVERA >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a 48-year-old man who died after being shot by sheriff’s deputies who responded to reports he was attacking family members with scissors in Pico Rivera on Christmas Eve.
Zhonghua Li, 48, of died in the deputy-involved shooting, which took place shortly after 5 p.m. on Saturday outside a home at Greenglade Avenue and Kells Place, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner records.
Deputies were first summoned to the home in regard to a family disturbance involving a man with mental health issues, Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said. While en route, the call was updated to say the suspect was stabbing family members with a pair of scissors.
Two deputies arrived and confronted Li in the street, Alexander said in a written statement. He began walking toward the deputies with what was ultimately found to be a pair of “threading scissors,” Lt. Steve Jauch of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
A deputy fired a bean bag round at Li, to no effect, and he continued approaching the deputies and refusing to drop the scissors, according to Alexander. Both deputies then fired their pistols, fatally wounding Li.
Li’s sister suffered a stab wound to her hand in the original family disturbance but declined to be taken to a hospital, Jauch said.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Authorities have identified a 60-year-old Hacienda Heights man fatally shot by deputies after allegedly confronting them with a gun outside his home late Thursday.
Robert James Hess died at the scene of the deputy-involved shooting, which took place about 10:50 p.m. in the 15600 block of Windrush Drive, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
He was first approached by police in Downey about 1 p.m. who responded to reports he was armed with a knife and a gun and had threatened to kill family members, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Hess fled from police on a motorcycle and eluded pursuing officers on the 5 Freeway, she said.
Downey police went to Hess’s home in Hacienda Heights and set up a stake-out to wait for the suspect, authorities said. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy were summoned to assist when Hess was spotted walking up the street Thursday night.
Deputies used less-lethal weapons to try, unsuccessfully, to subdue Hess as he reached for a handgun in his pocket, Schrader said. He grabbed the gun and deputies opened fire, mortally wounding him.
No deputies were injured, officials said. A handgun was recovered from the scene.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips also may be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed an armed man in Hacienda Heights late Thursday after he fled from police in Downey earlier in the day, officials said.
The incident unfolded about 10:50 p.m. in the 15600 block of Windrush Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Prior to the fatal shooting, Downey police officers responded to a disturbance in their city about 1 p.m., according to deputy Trina Schrader of the sheriff’s Information Bureau. Someone reported a person was armed with both a knife and a gun and was threatening to kill family members.
When officers arrived, the suspect fled on a motorcycle, initiating a chase. The fleeing suspect managed to escape police on the southbound 5 Freeway, Schrader said.
Police learned the suspect’s identity and his home address in Hacienda Heights as the chase continued, officials said.
An unmarked police vehicle watched the home on Windrush Drive and saw the suspect walk toward the residence, officials said. When officers approached the man, he warned the officers he was armed with a gun.
“The suspect began to reach for the handgun that was in his pocket. The deputies deployed less-than-lethal weapons in a continued effort to gain compliance,” Schrader said. “The suspect armed himself with the handgun, and a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
Paramedics pronounced the suspect dead at the scene.
His identity was not available pending notification of family members, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. He was described as a man in his 60s.
Investigators recovered the suspect’s handgun, Schrader said. No deputies were hurt.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
INDUSTRY >> Sheriff’s deputies and young volunteers will be teaming with an auto shop, a car club and holiday shoppers at the Puente Hills Mall in Industry on Saturday in an effort to fill a bus with toys for children in need.
The “Fill the Bus” toy drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the east entrance of the mall, 1600 S. Azusa Ave., according to Deputy Caroline Rodriguez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Seidner’s Collision Center and the Purist Car Club will join officials from the sheriff’s Industry Station for the annual event, Rodriguez said in a written statement.
Young members of the sheriff’s Youth Activities League will be caroling and providing free gift wrapping for those add a donated gift to the bus. The Purist Car Club, which is bringing 500 toys to donate, will also be displaying their vehicles.
The gifts are to be distributed to kids in need throughout Los Angeles County.
The robbery suspect stands inside by himself with a shot up window as Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies surround an AMPM Arco gas station on Beach Boulevard at Hillsborough Drive in La Mirada on Monday November 21, 2016. (Photo by Keith Durflinger/Whittier Daily News/SCNG)
LA MIRADA >> Coroner’s officials have released the identity of a 45-year-old La Habra man who was fatally shot by SWAT deputies following a 3-and-a-half-hour standoff at a La Mirada gas station early Tuesday morning.
Mark Daniel Sly died at the scene of the deputy-involved shooting, which took place just before 1 a.m. at the ampm convenience store and ARCO gas station at 13550 S. Beach Blvd., Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operation Ed Winter said.
He fired at deputies at least twice during the standoff, which began with a report of a robbery in progress at the business, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Deputies responding to the robbery encountered Sly, who matched the suspect description, standing at the front door of the convenience store armed with a handgun, Deputy Caroline Rodriguez of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
Sly refused commands to drop his gun and surrender, and deputies summoned a SWAT team and a crisis negotiation team to the scene.
At one point during the hours-long standoff, the suspect fired at deputies through a front window of the business, Rodriguez said.
A deputy returned fire through a window, but it was unclear of Sly was wounded in that exchange.
Sly exited the store with a handgun and again fired on SWAT deputies at 12:55 a.m., officials said. Deputies fired back, fatally wounding Sly.
The investigation remains ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
SIERRA MADRE >> After spending nine months reinforcing its depleted ranks to full force, the Sierra Madre Police Department resumed full patrol responsibilities for the city Sunday, ending an arrangement in which the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department handled nighttime law enforcement duties in the city, officials said.
In a written statement, Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannone said the transition started “another chapter in the history of the Sierra Madre Police Department.”
“After a trying 9 months of rebuilding and restructuring, the police department is back to full force and once again able to police this fine community on a full-time basis,” Giannone said.
Following the sudden departure of nearly half the Sierra Madre Police Department’s force in 2015, and with recruitment challenged by looming concerns over potential slashed revenues looming in the form of a ballot measure to cut utility tax fees on the April, 2016, ballot, Sierra Madre partnered with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to supplement police services.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Temple Station have bee providing patrol service to Sierra Madre between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily.
Giannone said he was grateful for the help.
“Our thanks go out to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for their commitment to keep our community safe while they assisted us with coverage,” the chief said. “They treated the community as their own and for that we are appreciative.
The chief also thanked the community for its patience, support and understanding as the department faced its recent challenges.
“Your unwavering support, kind words, cards, letters, and friendly waves have inspired the new personnel to embrace the community and make it their own,” he said.
Sierra Madre had first reached out to its neighbor, Arcadia, to assist with supplementing police services, but city officials there declined the idea, saying the Arcadia officers were needed in Arcadia.
But with utility tax revenues maintained by the voters in the April election, the department was once again able to focus on beefing up its dwindling ranks.
“We are ready to move ahead and look forward to serving you,” Giannone said.
The department will face another significant change later this year, as Chief Giannone is scheduled to retire Dec. 10 after 44 years in law enforcement, 9 of them with the Sierra Madre Police Department.