•VIDEO: Raw CBS footage of pursuit
SOUTH EL MONTE >> Prosecutors filed four felony charges against a woman they say carjacked another woman at knifepoint in South El Monte, then led police on a televised chase to Bell Gardens
The suspect, Kelsey Woods, also listed as Britany Woods, 26, rammed a CHP car during the chase. Woods was previously convicted of leading police on a chase and driving against traffic in 2015 when she embarked on the alleged series of crimes on Wednesday, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
“Woods allegedly approached a woman with a knife in South El Monte and then took the victim’s truck,” Ardalani said.
The suspect was not immediately found following the morning carjacking, however deputies spotted the stolen truck later in the day, officials said. It was still being driven by the suspect, later identified as Woods.
Woods refused to pull over, initiating a pursuit, Ardalani said.
News helicopters broadcast live at the fleeing truck ran over a spike strip, but continued speeding. Sparks flew from the exposed tire rim as the suspect fled.
“During the pursuit, the defendant reportedly drove into oncoming traffic and did not stop at numerous stop lights,” according to Ardalani. “At one point, the defendant allegedly stopped the vehicle, went into reverse and hit the patrol vehicle before she fled the scene again.”
•Video: Raw CBS footage of pursuit
Prosectors charged Woods Friday with carjacking, two counts of assault on a peace officer and recklessly fleeing police, officials said.
Woods is also accused of the special allegation that she personally used a knife in the carjacking.
A scheduled arraignment hearing Friday in the El Monte branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court was continued to Monday, Ardalani said.
If convicted as charged, Ardalani said Woods could face up to 16 years and four months in state prison. Her hometown was unclear.
According to county booking records, Woods was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
LA PUENTE >> For the third year running, La Puente has been named one of the 50 safest cities in California by security organization Safe Wise.
The city earned the 48th spot on the SafeWise Report’s 50 Safest Cities in California list for 2016.
“Besides its enviably low crime rate, what caught our attention about La Puente is the way it cares for its children,” SafeWise said in a written statement.
“ La Puente’s Self-Esteem Through Activities Recreation and Sports program provides elementary school children with a diverse assortment of after-school activities. La Puente’s Teen V.O.I.C.E. program is a volunteer-based program for teens ages 13 to 18, and its Tiny Tot program helps build the self-esteem of children ages three to five.”
City Manager David Carmany said the designation “validated we are on the right track,” but said the majority of credit belongs to the city’s partners at the Los Angels County Sheriff’s Department, as well as city staff.
Six other San Gabriel Valley cities made the list of California’s top 50 safest cities.
Sierra Madre ranked 9th safest city in California, Walnut ranked 20th, Temple City ranked 38th, Diamond Bar ranked 42nd, Chino Hills ranked 47th and La Mirada ranked 49th.
SOUTH WHITTIER >> Firefighters freed a sheriff’s deputy from a wrecked patrol car following a collision that left her and elderly civilian injured in the unincorporated county area of South Whittier, authorities said.
The crash took place about 10:50 a.m. at Telegraph Road and Valley View Avenue, Deputy Kimberly Alexander of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. Both the deputy and the other driver were hospitalized in stable condition.
The deputy, a 6-year department veteran, was responding to a report of an alarm activation when the crash occurred, officials said. She was not using the patrol car’s emergency lights or sirens.
“The deputy was traveling west on Telegraph Road in the No. 3 lane when her patrol vehicle was struck by a Lexus sedan that was making a left turn from eastbound Telegraph Road onto northbound Valley View Boulevard,” Alexander said. “The force of the collision then caused the patrol vehicle to strike a signal pole and wrap itself around it.”
Firefighters cut the deputy free of the mangled patrol car before taking both her and an elderly woman who was driving the Lexus to hospitals for treatment, sheriff’s officials said.
The crash is being investigated by officers from the California Highway Patrol’s Santa Fe Springs area office. Any witnesses, or anyone with information, can reach the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs area office at 562-868-0503.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
LA PUENTE >> A foodservice company teamed with local officials Saturday to delight 64 La Puente elementary school students with brand new bicycles as a reward for academic achievement and perfect attendance, officials said.
The giveaway, hosted by the Golden State Foods Foundation at Sparks Elementary School with help from city and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
“The GSF Foundation is committed to helping our youth and doing incredible work in our communities. We truly appreciate their work and dedication,” La Puente Mayor Valerie Munoz said.
GSF is not in the fourth year of it’s “Build-A-Bike” program, with a total of 1,300 bikes to be distributed at 24 locations nationwide during National Bike Month. About 4,700 bikes have been given out to kids through the program since its inception, according to GSF representatives.
Explorer Scouts from the sheriff’s Industry Station, which patrols La Puente, helped the kids assemble their brand new wheels, said Lt. Pete Cacheiro, who oversees police service for La Puente. Deputies provided safety classes.
“Bike recipients have been selected based on attendance, academics, and need to receive their very own, often very first, bike,” GSF officials said in a written statement. “Each child will get to build their bike with an accompanying ‘buddy’ mentor and take it home, along with a lock and helmet.”
Founded in 2002, the GSF Foundation, “is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in need in the areas where GSF associates live and work.”
GSF operates a distribution center in Industry, adjacent to La Puente.
PHOTO: TheGolden State Foods Foundation hosted the fourth annual “Build-A-Bike” event at Sparks Elementary School in La Puente, Calif. on Saturday, May 14, 2016. The company donated 1,300 bikes across the country, with 64 going to students at Sparks Elementary in celebration of national bike month. Deputies and Explorer Scouts from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helped kids assemble their new bikes. (Courtesy)
VALINDA >> Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a man in Valinda early Sunday.
Few details were initially available regarding the circumstances of the death, first reported about 2:25 a.m. in the 500 block of North Azusa Avenue, in the unincorporated county area of Valinda, Deputy Lisa Jansen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
The victim, described only as a “male adult,” was pronounced dead at the scene, Jansen said.
No further details were released, and it was unclear whether foul play was suspected in the death.
Anyone with information was 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.
IRWINDALE >> As they have done each year for more than a decade, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies on Friday spent 24 hours standing in silent, stoic tribute to fellow deputy David March at the site where he was murdered 14 years ago.
March, a 33-year-old deputy assigned to the sheriff’s Temple City Station, was shot to death in the line of duty on April 29, 2002, along Live Oak Avenue, just east of Peck Road. A permanent memorial to March stands at the roadside.
Deputies stood motionless in pairs in half-hour increments before ceremoniously switching positions with two other deputies. The process continued from midnight Friday morning to midnight Saturday morning.
Sheriff’s Temple Station Capt. Coronne Jacob and her husband, sheriff’s Sgt. Andy Jacob, took the first shift, Sgt. Jim Dexter said.
Visitors ranging from family members of the slain deputy to high-ranking officials from the sheriff’s department and other law enforcement agencies stopped by to pay their respects.
March’s killer, previously convicted felon and four-time deportee Jorge Arroyo Garcia, also known as Armando Garcia, fled to Mexico within 24 hours of the fatal shooting and remained a fugitive until he was arrested in 2006. Garcia was returned to the U.S. to face trial, and pleaded guilty in 2007 to murder, with the special allegations of intentionally killing a peace officer in the line of duty and using a gun in the crime. He is now serving life without parole in state prison.
When Garcia was returned to the U.S. to face justice, deputies cuffed him with March’s handcuffs.
SOUTH WHITTIER >> A man shot his wife to death before turning a shotgun on himself at the couple’s South Whittier home, authorities said Thursday.
The suspected murder-suicide was discovered about 10:30 a.m. Thursday at a house in on a cul-de-sac in the 13500 block of Lanning Drive, in the unincorporated county area of South Whittier, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
A close family friend called deputies to report the had not seen the couple that lives in the home for a few days, according to Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. The friend gave deputies a key to the home.
“Deputies entered the location and found the husband laying on the bed, with a gunshot wound to the upper torso,” Rouzan said. “A shotgun was recovered near the husband’s body. The gunshot wound appears to be self-inflicted.”
The body of the man’s wife was also found inside the home, he said. “She also had a single gunshot wound to the upper torso.”
Investigators determined the man fatally shot his wife before killing himself, Rouzan said. It was unclear exactly when the shooting took place prior to the discovery of the grisly crime scene.
The identities of the man and woman were withheld pending notification of family, officials said.
“There is no additional information available at this time and the investigation is ongoing,” Rouzan said.
Officials at the sheriff’s Norwalk Station, which patrols South Whittier, deferred comment to their counterparts at the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and sheriff’s Information Bureau.
Anyone with information was 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.
SAN DIMAS >> California Highway Patrol officer and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies are inviting the public to join them for some coffee and conversation Tuesday during a “Coffee With a Cop” event in San Dimas.
The event is scheduled for 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Klatch Coffee, 806 W. Arrow Highway, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said in a written statement.
“Coffee with a cop is as simple as it sounds. It is a chance to meet with your local officers and have a cup of coffee with them,” Jimenez said. “There are no agendas at this event, just an opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers in your neighborhood.
Officers from the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office, which patrols much of the San Gabriel Valley, as well as deputies from the sheriff’s San Dimas Station will take part.
For more information, contact Officer Jimenez at 626-338-1164, or email rjiminez @chp.ca.gov.
8SAN GABRIEL >> Two teenage burglary suspects shot by an off-duty Los Angeles police lieutenant during a break-in at his home had been upgraded to stable condition at a hospital Friday as the investigation continued, authorities said.
The two wounded suspects, both 17, were ultimately arrested along with two other 17-year-old boys following the shooting, which took place about 10 a.m. at the off-duty officer’s home in the 600 block of Los Olivos Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eddie Hernandez said.
Both wounded suspects were hospitalized in stable condition Wednesday, the lieutenant said. “They are expected to survive their injuries.”
All four suspects were expected to face charges of burglary.
The off-duty officer was awakened by noises inside his home when he encountered two of the teenage burglars, sheriff’s officials said.
He armed himself with a non-department-issued 9mm pistol and encountered the two intruders, Hernandez said. They fled from the home through the kitchen window, which is also believed to be how they broke in.
The homeowner yelled through the window at the fleeing suspects to stop, Hernandez said.
“He saw one of the suspects reach for his waistband and turn towards him,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The off-duty officer fired at the suspect reaching for his waistband, striking both of the teens, Hernandez said. One was struck in the abdomen and leg, while the other was struck in the abdomen. Both continued fleeing.
One of the wounded teens was soon found and arrested nearby, officials said.
The second wounded suspect was brought to a hospital, along with another teen, shortly after the shooting, Hernandez said.
Another teen, who dropped the wounded teen and the other suspect off at the hospital, was found and taken into custody later in the day, Hernandez said.
No weapon linked to the suspects had been recovered Wednesday, he said.
It was not clear Wednesday whether the two suspects arrested after taking the wounded suspects to the hospital were present at the time of the burglary, Hernandez said.
Los Angeles police officials and sheriff’s investigators declined to release the name of the involved officer Wednesday.
Detective Meghan Aguilar described the off-duty officer as a lieutenant assigned to the LAPD’s Pacific division with 29 years of experience.
The lieutenant has been placed on administrative leave pending investigations by the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, the LAPD and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, officials said.
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.
COVINA >> No significant injuries were reported after sheriff’s patrol car and a black sedan collided in a Covina intersection Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The collision took place about 1:50 p.m. at Covina Boulevard and Citrus Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jorge Chavez said.
The deputy involved in the crash, who is assigned to the sheriff’s San Dimas Station, was taken to a hospital as a precaution, but she did not appear to have suffered any significant injuries, Covina police Sgt. Tom Tardif said. A man at the wheel of the other car — a Chevrolet Monte Carlo — was also hospitalized as a precaution, but appeared OK.
Tardif said witnesses relayed that the Monte Carlo drove through a red light as it headed south on Citrus Avenue, colliding with the patrol car, which was heading east on Covina Boulevard.
The deputy was not using of the patrol car’s emergency lights or siren when the crash occurred, Chavez added.
A photograph of the crash aftermath showed the patrol car with moderate front-end damage, and the black sedan with moderate damage to the passenger side.
No citations or arrests had been made as the investigation continued, Tardif said.
PHOTO courtesy of John Recendez