Apparently transgender woman intentionally struck by car, seriously injured, in Monterey Park


MONTEREY PARK >> Police are seeking the driver who intentionally struck and critically injured an apparently transgender woman in front of a Monterey Park restaurant and fled the scene and fled the scene early Saturday, officials said.
Police first received a call about 2:40 a.m. reporting a female body lying on the ground in the 3700 block of Ramona Blvd., Monterey Park police officials said.
The victim had suffered injuries consisted with being hit by a car, but the vehicle and driver were nowhere to be found, the lieutenant said.
Further investigation revealed the injured person, “was the victim of an assault and struck by a vehicle,” police said in a written statement.
Police initially listed the victim as male, but it appeared the person was a transgender woman, officials said.
Investigators had not been able to speak with the still unidentified victim Saturday afternoon due to the severity of the injuries, Lt. Tina Montoya said.
No description of the hit-and-run vehicle was available, and there was no available information regarding a motive in the near-fatal attack, police said.
Anyone with information can reach Monterey Park police at 626-573-1311. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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San Gabriel man accused in fatal shooting of man whose body was found in car trunk in Monterey Park

MONTEREY PARK >> Sheriff’s officials Friday announced the arrest of a suspect in connection with the fatal shooting of a man whose body was discovered inside a parked car in Monterey Park last week.
Andy Chen, 37, of San Gabriel is accused of the murder of Min Gu, 30, whose body was discovered about 6 p.m. March 21 in the trunk of a Lexus left parked in the 200 block of South Lincoln Avenue, according to Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
Investigators took Chen into custody about 4 p.m. Thursday, according to county booking records.
Sheriff’s officials announced the arrest in a written statement issued late Friday afternoon.
“Detectives believe the motive for the murder was a financial dispute,” Rouzan said.
No further details were released Friday.
The investigation began after witnesses reported a foul odor emitting from a a Lexus sedan, officials said.
Deputies soon discovered Gu’s body, which appeared to have been dead for at least a day or two when discovered.
An autopsy determined Gu was shot multiple times, and died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to sheriff’s and coroner’s officials. Gu’s city of residence was unclear.
Chen was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Alhambra branch.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is assisting Monterey Park police in the investigation.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s homicide detectives at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Woman stabbed two-dozen times in Monterey Park; husband accused of attempted murder


MONTEREY PARK >> Police detained a man after his wife was found lying in the street nude and suffering from two-dozen stab wounds in front of their Monterey Park home late Thursday, officials said.
Police first received reports of a stabbing about 8:25 p.m. at Newmark Avenue and Monterey Pass Road, Monterey Park police Lt. Scott Wiese said.
Callers reported, “a woman in the street, with no clothes on, bleeding,” he said.
Officers found the woman, 56, suffering from about 25 stab wounds or cuts, police said. She was taken to a trauma center for treatment.
The wounds to the woman’s head, face and torso appeared relatively superficial and were not initially believed to be life threatening, he said. She was conscious when taken to the hospital.
Officers then followed a trail of blood to a house in the 1200 block of West Newmark 0402_NWS_SGT-L-MPSTABAvenue, where they detained the woman’s husband, 63-year-old Kam Hing Wong.
“They located the suspect outside of the residence and took him into custody without incident,” Monterey Park police officials said in a written statement.
He was booked on suspicion of attempted murder and domestic violence, police said.
Wong is pictured with what appears to be blood on his head and shirt in his police booking photo.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Wong was being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Wednesday in the Los Angeles Superior Court Alhambra branch.

PHOTO of Kam Hing Wong, 63, courtesy of the Monterey Park Police Department.

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Man, 30, found shot to death inside trunk of car in Monterey Park identified

MONTEREY PARK >> Coroner’s officials Wednesday released the name of a 30-year-old man found shot to death in the trunk of a parked car in Monterey Park last week.
The body of Min Gu was discovered about 6 p.m. March 21 after residents called authorities to report a foul smell emanating from a black Lexus sedan parked in the 200 block of South Lincoln Avenue, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter. Gu’s city of residence was unclear.
An autopsy determined Gu died from “multiple gunshot wounds,” and the death was ruled a homicide, Winter said.
No arrests have been made in connection with the killing and no motive was available, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
The body had already begun decomposing, officials said. Investigators believed Gu was fatally shot at least a day or two before his body was discovered.
The Lexus had not been reported stolen, Sgt. Bill Cotter of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
It was unclear whether detectives had managed to contact the car’s registered owner. Handling detectives could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
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.

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Monterey Park doctor sentenced for diet pill distribution, insurance fraud

LOS ANGELES >> A Monterey Park doctor received a four-year jail sentence Friday for prescribing diet pills without a legitimate medical purpose and insurance fraud, authorities said.
Dr. Thomas Lin, 46, was scheduled to surrender Friday evening after pleading “no contest” in December to two felony counts, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
“Lin provided diet pills known as phentermine, a controlled substance, through his pediatrics clinic known as “Kid’s M.D.” on Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park,” according to the statement.
He also fraudulently billed Medi-Cal and other insurers for services never rendered, prosecutors said.
“Over the course of several months in 2012, investigators from the California Medical Board posed as new patients and were able to secure phentermine with little or no physical examination by Dr. Lin,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Investigators received the drug either by paying his front office staff or receiving the drug for free.”
After serving two years in custody, Lin is to remain on mandatory supervision for another two years, officials said.
Prior to pleading “no contest” to the two felony charges, Lin was initially named in a 55-count indictment. If convicted on all original charges, he could have faced up to 34 years in state prison.

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Two jailed in connection with Monterey Park home burglary


MONTEREY PARK >> Police jailed a parolee from Alhambra and a second man from Los Angeles in connection with a Saturday break-in at a Monterey Park home, officials said.
Christopher Molina, 23, of Alhambra and Trayvon Watson, 21, of Los Angeles are accused of residential burglary following their arrests about 1:20 p.m. in connection with a burglary at a home in the 1000 block of Hillvale Drive, Monterey Park police officials said in a written statement.
One of them waited outside in a getaway car as the other went into the backyard of the home and smashed the rear sliding window, police said. But the suspects fled after an alarm system startled them.
“Shortly after the burglary an officer located the vehicle and the two suspects in the area of Ramona (Avenue) and Garvey (Avenue). A traffic stop was initiated and an investigation was conducted,” according to the statement. “After the investigation was concluded, both suspects in the vehicle were arrested for residential burglary.”
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Watson was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Wednesday in Alhambra Superior Court.
Molina, who is on parole following a January, 2015, conviction for vandalism, was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, also scheduled Wednesday in Alhambra Superior Court, according to police and records.

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Pico Rivera teens accused of Monterey Park burglary attempt


MONTEREY PARK >> Police arrested two Pico Rivera teens Saturday in connection with an attempted break-in at a Monterey Park home the day before, officials said.
The failed burglary took place about 6:30 p.m. Friday in the 1000 block of East West Crest Way, Monterey Park police officials said in a written statement.
Two intruders got into the home’s backyard and tried to pry open a bedroom window, she said. But the would-be burglars fled when confronted by the homeowner.
Investigators obtained surveillance camera images of the suspect and soon identified them.
Monterey Park police arrested both suspects Saturday at their homes in Pico Rivera, officials said. Both were booked on suspicion of residential burglary.

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Man convicted of murder for 2014 Monterey Park stabbing

0319_NWS_SGT-L-STABBING

MONTEREY PARK >> A jury convicted a South San Gabriel man Friday of murder for the seemingly random fatal stabbing of another man in a Monterey Park parking lot in 2014, authorities said.
An Alhambra Superior Court jury found Angel Octavion Garcia, now-20, guilty of second-degree murder for the Oct. 14 slaying of Alhambra Parks and Recreation Department employee Edward Mendoza, 35, in a commercial parking lot in the 1700 block of Portrero Grande, near Arroyo Drive, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani.
Jurors also found true the special circumstance that Garcia personally used a knife in the murder, she said. The deliberations took about one day.
He faces 16 years to life in state prison when he returns to court for sentencing April 8.
Garcia and Mendoza were strangers when they encountered one another by chance in the parking lot about 9:10 p.m., according to prosecutors and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
“It appears Mendoza was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Ardalani said.
Garcia, who was 18 at the time, stabbed Mendoza, “after he was humiliated over a failed drug transaction involving another person from earlier in the night,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
Though Mendoza had nothing to do with the prior incident, “The defendant took his anger out on Mendoza,” the statement said.
The men briefly argued before Garcia pulled a knife and stabbed Mendoza once in the upper torso, Lt. John Corina of the sheriff’s homicide bureau said shortly after the killer’s capture.
Mendoza managed to call 911 after being wounded, according to Deputy District Attorney Theodore Swanson, who prosecuted the case.
He managed only to tell the dispatcher he had been stabbed in the heart, and gave his location, before the line went silent.
Paramedics found Mendoza collapsed in the parking lot, officials said. He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital about an hour later.
Garcia initially escaped capture.
“Soon after the incident, a person came forward to police and revealed Garcia had confessed to the stabbing a man,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
Deputies found and arrested Garcia at his home on Oct. 22, eight days after the fatal attack. He denied the charges.
Mendoza had worked part-time as a recreation leader for Alhambra’s Parks and Recreation Department since 2001, city officials said. He had also begun refereeing kids’ football games at Almansor Park in Alhambra, coworkers said.
“It was a tragic case that resulted in the death of what appears to be a man who had a number of family and friends who loved him,” Swanson said.
Loved one’s have created a tribute video for Mendoza, which can be viewed online at www.eddiemendoza.org.

PHOTO: Edward Mendoza, 35, of Monterey Park was fatally stabbed late Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, in a commercial parking lot in the 1700 block of South Portrero Grande Drive in Monterey Park. Angel Octavion Garcia, 20, of South San Gabriel, was convicted of the murder on Friday, March 18, 2016. (Courtesy)

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UPDATED: Three jailed after CHP officer interrupts convenience store robbery in Monterey Park


MONTEREY PARK >> Officials arrested three suspects Friday after a California Highway Patrol officer happened by a Monterey Park convenience store in the middle of a robbery, police said.
The incident unfolded shortly before 7 p.m. at 7-Eleven, 1600 Monterey Pass Road, Monterey Park police Sgt. Paul Yniguez said.
A CHP officer stopped by the store to make a purchase when someone came out and told him the store was being robbed, the sergeant said.
At least three men had used a handgun to rob the clerk of money from the cash register, police said.
Moments later, suspects ran out of the store, Yniguez said. The CHP officer detained one of them.
At least two additional suspects got away from the store, Sgt. Bob Hung said.
Officers set up a search perimeter and quickly found a second suspect hiding in a yard in a nearby neighborhood, Hung said.
After more than an hour of continued searching, the third suspect was found and arrested sitting inside a parked car in a nearby motel parking lot, Hung said.
Detectives continued investigating the possibility of additional accomplices involved in the crime Saturday, he added.

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UPDATED: Monterey Park attempted murder suspect wounded in gun battle with police officer in East L.A.


EAST LOS ANGELES >> Monterey Park police shot and wounded an attempted murder suspect during a gunfight in an East Los Angeles Wednesday, authorities said.
Monterey Park police Lt. Carrie Mazelin said officers located the suspect and the shooting occurred about 9:25 a.m. in the area of Woods Avenue and Escuela Street.
The suspect, a 34-year-old Monterey Park man, suffered a single gunshot wound to his torso and was expected to survive his wounds, according to Lt. John Corina of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which is spearheading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting. He’s also suspected of shooting and wounding an active duty U.S. Marine outside a Monterey Park convenience store earlier in the week. His name was not available late Wednesday as he remained hospitalized.
OIS2No officers were hurt, but an officer’s patrol car was struck by gunfire, officials said.
Capt. Steve Katz of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said Monterey park officers were following up on the previous shooting when the shooting took place.
“There were involved in identifying and tracking down a violent criminal who had committed an attempted murder in their city,” Katz said.
A Monterey Park officer spotted the suspect riding a bike in the area of 4th Street and Woods Avenue, Corina said. The suspect pulled a handgun and began shooting at the officer.
The officer did not initially return fire for fear of collateral damage in a nearby residential neighborhood, Corina said. The officer followed the suspect as he headed south on Woods Avenue from 4th Street, still riding a bicycle.
As the suspect and officer approached Escuela Street, the suspect again began firing at the officer, the lieutenant said.
Corina said the officer then did shoot back, firing multiple shots through the windshield of his patrol car, Corina said.
One bullet struck the suspect in the abdomen, Corina said. He fell wounded and was quickly taken into custody.
The man was wanted in connection with a shooting that left a U.S. Marine who was on leave wounded outside a Monterey Park 7-Eleven store earlier this week.
The attack took place about 2:45 a.m. Sunday at the convenience store, 281 E. Pomona Blvd., along Monterey Park’s southern border, Monterey Park police Sgt. Dave Elliot said.
The victim and a friend arrived at the store and were confronted by a man in the parking lot, the sergeant said.
“Some words were exchanged when the suspect brandished a firearm and shot the victim one time,” Elliot said.
The victim, who was struck in the abdomen, was hospitalized, Elliot said. An update on his condition was not available.
Witnesses described the shooter as a Latino man in his 20s, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants, carrying a dark-colored handgun, Elliot said. “The suspect was seen fleeing the parking lot on a bicycle.”
Corina said the suspect had been acting belligerent and trying to start fights with other patrons as well before the Marine and his friend, a fellow Marine, arrived at the convenience store, Corina said. It was unclear whether the suspect was intoxicated at the time.
A revolver and bicycle recovered at the scene of Wednesday’s gunfight between the suspect and police officer were believed to be the same used in Sunday morning’s shooting, Corina said.
Anyone with information regarding Sunday’s shooting is asked to contact Monterey Park police Detective Han at 626-307-1246.
Anyone with information regarding Wednesday’s officer-involved shooting 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.

OIS1

VIDEO, PHOTO by Walt Mancini

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