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


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

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.


VIDEO, PHOTO by Walt Mancini

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86-year-old man goes missing in Monterey Park


MONTEREY PARK >> Police are asking the public to keep an eye open for an 86-year-old Monterey Park man who went missing while taking a walk Wednesday afternoon.
Alexander Wu Wang was last seen about 4 p.m. taking his usual walk in his neighborhood along Pomelo Avenue, between Newmark and Graves avenues, Monterey Park police Sgt. Bob Hung said. He failed to return home.
Worried family members told police Wang had shown early signs of possible dementia, he said.
Wang is Asian, about 5 feet 4 inches tall and 130 pounds, with white hair and brown eyes, police said. He was last seen wearing a blue, long-sleeve checkered shirt and blue pants.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Monterey Park police at 626-307-1211.

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Officials, family seek missing Monterey Park teen


MONTEREY PARK >> Authorities and worried family members are seeking the public’s help in finding 15-year-old Monterey Park girl believed to have run away from home earlier this week.
Leilani Daisy Young, who is known to frequent the Alhambra and Monterey Park areas, was reported as a runaway to Monterey Park police on Monday, Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
“She was possibly seen recently at both Alhambra and Mark Keppel High Schools,” police said.
Young is described as 5 feet tall, 115 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
She was last seen wearing light blue jeans, a powder blue hooded sweatshirt with a Star Wars logo, a light green windbreaker and White Nike Air Jordan shoes with red and black highlights, according to cousin Eileen Young.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Monterey Park police at 626-573-1311.

PHOTOS – courtesy

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Man wounded in Monterey Park stabbing

MONTEREY PARK >> Police are investigating the stabbing of a man in a residential Monterey Park neighborhood early Wednesday morning, officials said.
Officials first received a call reporting the stabbing about 2 a.m. at a home in the 400 block of South Lincoln Avenue, Monterey Park police Sgt. Paul Yniguez said.
Rescuers took the victim to a hospital with injuries to his upper torso that were not considered to be life-threatening, the sergeant said.
The stabbing occurred just inside the entryway of a home, he said. Further details, including a suspect description, were not available, as the victim did not appear to be cooperating with investigators.
Authorities shut down Lincoln Avenue in front of the crime scene from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. as they conducted follow-up investigation, 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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UPDATED: Monterey Park man accused of impersonating police officer outside San Marino High School

SAN MARINO >> Police Wednesday arrested an 18-year-old Monterey Park man on suspicion of impersonating a police officer and approaching students near San Marino High School, officials said.
Kwannam Magnus Ho was booked on suspicion of impersonating a police officer, San Marino police Detective Sgt. Tim Tebbetts said in a written statement.
Police received a call from officials at San Marino High School about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday reporting that an Asian man between 18 and 21 had identified himself to several students as a police officer, “wearing a handgun and displaying a badge,” Tibbetts said.
“As the suspect was talking to the students, one of them thinking quickly, took out his cell phone and took a picture of the suspect and suspect’s vehicle,” the sergeant said.
Armed with the information provide by the students, police found and arrested Ho without a struggle just before noon Wednesday outside his home in the 1600 block of Loma Verde Street in Monterey park, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
“A search of the suspect’s vehicle resulted in the recover of a replica Sig Sauer firearm in the center console, a replica “police” badge and a FBI hat on the dashboard,” Tibbetts said.
Ho had been driving a white Toyota Highlander, Police Chief John Incontro said.
When approaching the students, he told them he was patrolling the area and asked them if they were involved in drug activity, Incontro said.
The investigation into Ho’s actions and motives remained ongoing, he added.
Ho was booked at the Alhambra Police Department jail, where he was being held in lieu of $2,500 bail on a misdemeanor allegation pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
Police were checking with other police agencies to determined whether similar incidents had been reported in other jurisdictions, the chief said.
Anyone who may have had a suspicious encounter with Ho is encouraged to contact Sgt. Tebbetts at 626-300-0722. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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