LA PUENTE — Sheriff’s deputies, in partnership with the City of La Puente and the National Latino Peace Officers Association, is in the process of distributing 100 backpacks full of school supplies to needs students.
The giveaway began last week at Workman Elementary School and Hurley Elementary School, and will continue next week at Sparks Elementary School and Del Valley School, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. and La Puente Police Chief Pete Cacheiro said.
The backpacks and supplies were donated by the National Latino Peace Officers Association, and were arranged by Explorers from the sheriff’s Industry Station. Sheriff’s officials worked with the schools to identify the students most in need of the supplies.
In addition to putting smiles on children’s faces, the event exemplifies the “Community Oriented Policing” strategy employed in La Puente, fostering trust between young people and law enforcement. La Puente City Councilwoman Valerie Munoz accompanied deputies as they distributed the backpacks at the first two schools.
“In our community, we do have students who need these services,” she said.
Students also got a chance to chat with deputies and sit in their patrol cars.
“How wonderful it is they take the time to build those relationships. They’re very present in the community,” Munoz said. ” They’re going above and beyond and making a big impact in our community by being involved.”
Cacheiro and Munoz both credited community-oriented policing with significant drops in La Puente’s crime rate this year, which is among the lowest in the county.
“The effort that they’ve made in community-oriented policing is something that’s shown a vast improvement,” Munoz said.
PHOTOS: (Top)Sheriff’s deputies, La Puente City Councilwoman Valerie Munoz and students of Workman Elementary School in La Puente pose for a photo after deputies gave them backpacks full of school supplies, donated by the National Latino Peace Officers Association, on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. (Below) Deputy Richard Muehlich hands out backpacks full of school supplies, donated by the National Latino Peace Officers Association, to kids at Workman Elementary School in La Puente on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. (Courtesy)
LAKEWOOD >> A sheriff’s deputy was suffered major injuries Friday when he was badly beaten in an unexpected attack at the Lakewood Center shopping mall, authorities said.
Frankie Estrada, 21, was ultimately arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer following the incident, which unfolded about 8 p.m. at the mall, 500 Lakewood Center Mall, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Reveles said.
Deputies went to the mall to investigate a report of a domestic disturbance between a man and woman, officials said. One deputy located the woman, while the second deputy sought out the man.
“While escorting the man out of the location towards the other deputy, the man unexpectedly turned on the deputy and hit him several times, knocking the deputy to the ground, and continued his assault with a shod foot,” Reveles said in a written statement.
“A bystander in the mall witnessing the assault intervened by pushing the suspect away from the deputy. Assisting deputies arrived, and took the suspect into custody without further incident,” Reveles said.
The deputy was hospitalized in critical-but-stable condition, Reveles said.
Estrada was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, according to county booking records. He was scheduled to appear in Bellflower Superior Court Tuesday for an arraignment hearing.
AZUSA >> Authorities on Wednesday identified the man found dead from a mysterious apparent stabbing in a residential neighborhood as a 19-year-old Las Vegas man.
Jessey Chavira died after he was found badly wounded lying in a pool of blood about 3:30 p.m. outside a home in the 5500 block of Orangeglen Street, in an unincorporated county area just outside of Azusa, Los Angeles County coroner’s and sheriff’s officials said.
“He was discovered by his mother, lying in the driveway covered in blood,” Lt. Ed Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
The mother immediately called for help and paramedics treated Chavira, but succumbed to his injuries at the scene, officials said.
“His injuries appear to be consistent with some type of an assault,” Hernandez said. Detectives were awaiting an autopsy to determine the “extent and nature of the injuries,” and exactly how Chavira died. The injuries were initially described as possible stab wounds.
“We’re investigating it as a suspicious death,” the lieutenant said.
Hernandez said Chavira had last been seen alive inside the house about noon, a little more than three hours before he was found bleeding in the driveway. He was dressed in basketball shorts and other casual attire.
Initial rumors that Chavira was stabbed as he exited a car were determined to be unfounded, Hernandez said. But investigators were left with few clues into what did unfold Tuesday afternoon on Orangeglen Street.
No one reported hearing or seeing anything unusual before Chavira was found wounded, Hernandez said.
Several people inside the involved home voluntarily went to the sheriff’s San Dimas Station to give statements to investigators, though the interviews shed little light on what happened to Chavira, Hernandez said.
Neighbors also were unable to provide useful clues.
“Nobody could give us even a brief suspect description,” Hernandez said. “It’s very bizarre.”
Detectives continued canvassing the neighborhood looking for witnesses Wednesday, Hernandez said. Detectives were also looking into Chavira’s background and what he was doing in Southern California.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
EAST LOS ANGELES >> A possibly suicidal person on an overpass today caused the complete shutdown of the 5 Freeway in East Los Angeles during rush hour Friday, wreaking havoc on the afternoon commute for nearly four hours, authorities said.
The individual, described only as male, was seen about 3:40 p.m. on a freeway traffic camera grasping a sign attached to the Downey Road overpass, just west of 710 Freeway transition, according to California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles Count sheriff’s officials.
Deputies were treating the situation as a possible suicide attempt, and crisis negotiators responded to speak with the man, Sgt. R. Laflin of the sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station said.
“Our crisis negotiation team has made contact with him,” the sergeant said. No details were available regarding what the man was saying to officials.
Northbound Santa Ana Freeway traffic was being diverted onto the northbound 710 Freeway and southbound vehicles were being diverted onto Dittman Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol. The transition road from the northbound Long Beach Freeway to the northbound Santa Ana Freeway was also closed.
Traffic backed up significantly on the 5 Freeway, as well as on the 710, as officials continued dealing with the situation three hours later. An air bag was placed on the freeway below the overpass as a precaution.
The man was safely brought down from the overpass shortly before 7:30 p.m., however further details were not available, Laflin said.
The sergeant could not confirm reports that the man may have been scrawling graffiti when first encountered by officials, and it was unclear if the man was to be arrested or taken for psychological evaluation.
The Sig Alert for the 5 Freeway was cancelled about 7:30 p.m.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
EAST LOS ANGELES >> A man died at a hospital following a shooting in a commercial neighborhood early Saturday, sheriff’s officials said.
Little information was available regarding the shooting, which took place about 1:30 a.m. in the 900 block of South Kern Avenue, just south of Whittier Boulevard, according to Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.
Deputies responded to reports of gunshots and creaming when they encountered a 23-year-old man suffering from gunshot wounds, Saldana said. He was taken to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. His name was not released.
“Detectives have learned that the victim was walking down Kern Avenue when he was shot by unknown suspect (or suspects),” Saldana said. “The motive for the shooting is unknown.”
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
TEMPLE CITY >> Residents are forewarned to expect sounds such as gunfire, explosions and other noises Monday as sheriff’s deputies conduct a training operation at Temple City High School, officials said.
The training will take place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the campus, 9501 Lemon Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The training will simulate gunfire, explosions, persons screaming and persons injured,” according to the statement. “Please plan for potential disruptions and avoid traveling the area surrounding the high school.”
For more information, the sheriff’s Temple Station can be reached at 626-285-7171.
LOS ANGELES >> A man escaped from a Los Angeles jail facility following his sentencing for stealing laptop computers laden with sensitive data from an Alhambra-based hospital chain, officials announced Thursday.
Christopher Lee Brown, a 37-year-old transient known to frequent the Alhambra area, walked out of the Inmate Reception Center, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“As a result of the inmate’s actions, and that it appears that mandated security practices may have not been followed, the inmate was able to escape through the jail Inmate Reception Center release door,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said in a written statement. “Identified security concerns were immediately remedied.”
Brown was believed to have impersonated another inmate to slip past his guards, officials said. He was found missing during an inmate count overnight.
“This led to a search of the jail and ultimately the discovery of jail CCTV video showing the inmate leaving through the release area at 10 p.m. Wednesday, which confirmed the inmate had escaped,” according to a statement issued Thursday afternoon by the Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau.
Brown was sentenced to 4 years and 8 months in prison Wednesday for stealing two laptop computers and three flash drives laden with the personal information of 729,000 patients from an AHMC Healthcare Inc. facility in Alhambra in October, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials. The laptops were never recovered, however no identity theft issues related to the computer theft have been reported.
A jury convicted Brown in march of burglary and receiving stolen property.
In addition to the crimes he’s already convicted of, Brown is now also accused of felony escape from jail, sheriff’s officials said.
He is described as 6 feet 3 inches tall and 200 pounds.
He has numerous theft-related convictions and has been tied to areas including El Monte and Newport Beach, sheriff’s officials said. Brown was arrested in 1997 and later convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in the San Luis Obispo area.
As officials reviewed the possible errors that led to Brown’s escape, the IRC was placed on lockdown Thursday, along with the Men’s Central Jail and the Twin Tower Correctional Facility, sheriff’s officials said. Medical and mental health services continued.
“A comprehensive review of jail systems, especially related to releases are continuing,” Parker said.
Anyone who spots Brown was advised not to approach him and to contact law enforcement immediately.
Wednesday’s incident was not the first time an inmate supposed to be in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had walked through the release doors at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles, where inmates are processed and held before transfer to other facilities.
Deputies continue seeking murder suspect Johnny Mata, 33, who was accidentally released at the IRC on April 4, 2013.
Mata was awaiting trial for the fatal shooting of David Anthony Deandrea on Christmas Eve of 2010 in Baldwin Park. After more than a year on the run, he was arrested by El Monte police in late May of 2012.
Officials released Mata to due to a clerical error, sheriff’s officials said. Though a murder charge had been filed against him, a clerk had not yet entered a “hold” on Mata to prevent his release from custody.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
LA PUENTE >> La Puente welcomed the little league baseball season Saturday with a parade and inspirations visits from two former professional baseball players.
The La Puente National Little League’s grand opening parade and ceremony was a success, La Puente Mayor Charlie Klinakis said.
In addition to a parade of local officials, organizations, and of course, baseball players that went from City Hall to La Puente Park, little leaguers and their parents got a chance to mingle with former Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles player Don Buford, as well as former Toronto Blue Jays player James Bishop. Both men are staff members at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton.
“These people taking the time and coming into the community… we all appreciated it,” the mayor said. ““I’m glad to see there’s programs like this out there.”
Saturday’s festivities were hosted by the City of La Puente, La Puente National Little League and the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Industry Station, which patrols La Puente, organizers said.
Sheriff’s Lt. Pete Cacheiro, who effectively serves as La Puente’s police chief, said sheriff’s department was glad to take part in the event and thanked the Urban Youth Academy for it’s support.
“These guys are always mentoring young kids, making sure they don’t get into gangs, and giving back to the community,” the lieutenant said.
Also in attendance were city officials, dignitaries including Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, State Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-57, State Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-24.
The community is rallying to quickly rebuild a roadside memorial to a slain sheriff’s deputy near Irwindale that was destroyed in a car crash Thanksgiving morning.
The memorial marked the location along Live Oak Avenue near Peck Road in an unincorporated county area near Irwindale, where Deputy David March, 33, of Saugus, was fatally shot after pulling over a career criminal on April 29, 2002.
A woman was driving eastbound on Live Oak Avenue about 7 a.m. Thursday when she fell asleep at the wheel and allowed the vehicle to drift to the side of the road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Hector Figueroa said in a written statement. But the Irwindale Police Officers Association, which initially helped fund the monument, along with L & L Building Material Inc., which originally did the brickwork, are wasting no time getting March’s memorial restored.
“The cost is no issue. It needs to back up as soon as possible with no delay,” Irwindale police Officer and POA President Rudy Campos said.
L & L volunteered to redo the brickwork for free, and the Irwindale POA will have the plaque that adorned the memorial polished and repaired, Campos said. He expressed gratitude to L & L for stepping in to help.
Neither the driver nor her passenger were injured in the crash, but the memorial comprised of bricks and a metal plaque was destroyed, he said.
No crime was initially suspected in the crash, which was being investigated as an accident, officials said.
The importance of the monument persuaded officials to move forward with the repairs early next week, hopefully as soon as Monday, instead of waiting on possible compensation for the damage from the driver. It’s unlikely the POA will seek to be reimbursed by the driver who crashed into the monument he added.
The destruction of the memorial gave a glimpse into how deeply March’s slaying affected the local community.
Flowers have been showing up at the memorial site since the crash, Campos said.
Fellow deputies have held annual 24-hour honor guards over the site on the anniversary of the deputy’s slaying.
Following the murder of March, who was assigned to the sheriff’s Temple Station, killer Jorge Arroyo Garcia, also known as Armando Garcia, fled to Mexico where he was arrested in 2006. He is now serving a life sentence in prison.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are squaring off in a boxing ring in Montebello with Los Angeles police officer tonight at 7 p.m. to raise money for the City of Hope in Duarte during the 20th Annual Fight for Life.