Robber pepper sprays liquor store clerk in Norwalk


NORWALK >> A robber sprayed a liquor store clerk with pepper spray before fleeing with cash from the register early Saturday, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 8:30 a.m. at a liquor store in the 10000 block of Alondra Boulevard, near Studebaker Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jaime Alvarez said.
A man entered the store, approached the counter and sprayed the employee with pepper spray, according to the sergeant.
“The suspect then reached over the cash register and took approximately $300,” he said. He got into a black, four-door sedan which was last speeding north through a nearby alley.
Officials described the robber as a black man in his 20s, about 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with a “Nike” logo and black pants.
Paramedics treated the clerk at the scene for pepper spray exposure, but he did not need to be taken to a hospital, Alvarez said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Cerritos College Football Player accused of rape

NORWALK >> A student football player from Cerritos College in Norwalk who was previously convicted of rape as a teenager has been charged with the rape of a fellow student, authorities announced Thursday.
Prosecutors filed two counts of rape by force or fear against Kishawn Holmes, 21, on Feb. 24 in the Bellflower branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and court records.
Investigators from the LASD Special Victims Bureau arrested Holmes two days earlier in connection with the alleged sexual assaults of a 19-year-old woman, Sgt. Marvin Jaramilla of the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau said in a written statement.
The crimes took place on Sept. 8, according to court documents.
“Suspect Holmes was a student and football player for Cerritos College,” Jaramilla said. “The incident occurred in the city of Norwalk, and did not occur on the college campus.”
Further details of the allegations were not available.
Holmes pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to appear in the Norwalk branch of Los Angeles Superior Court for a preliminary hearing setting on March 16, records show. In the meantime, he’s being held in lieu of $2 million bail at the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic.
Holmes and his alleged victim, a 19-year-old woman, were acquainted through school, Jaramilla said.
The victim took part in a physical therapy program, he said. As part of the program, physical therapy students conduct sessions with student athletes.
The alleged crimes took place after the victim met Holmes for a physical therapy session at a home in Norwalk, according to the sergeant.
The attorney from the County Public Defender’s Office who represented Holmes during his arraignment hearing could not be reached for comment Thursday.
“Special Victims Bureau detectives believe there are potentially additional victims related to this investigation,” Jaramilla said.
Holmes has been accused of rape and other sex crimes before, while in High School.
As a student football player at Murrieta High School in Murrieta, at age 17, Holmes was arrested and charged with crimes against six underage female victims.
The charges included two counts of forcible rape, two counts of lewd acts with a girl under 14 and three counts of false imprisonment, as well as one count of dissuading a victim from reporting a crime. Holmes’ family and attorney said the charges were unfounded.
He pleaded guilty to rape by force in April 2014, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Hall said. In juvenile cases, proceedings are public record only for certain serious crimes, including rape. Hall said he could not confirm or discuss the outcome of other counts against Holmes that are not public.
Holmes was a star player at Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, where he transferred after attending West Valley high School in Hemet.
He earned the nickname “Sweet Feet” during a passing tournament in Diamond Bar from rapper Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus, who was a fixture of SoCal sidelines while his son, Cordell Broadus, was playing locally.
His performance on the field earned him at least one Division I scholarship.
He posted on Twitter that he was “blessed” to received a scholarship from Akron University in November, and another from Akron University earlier this month.
He also took the social media network to discuss recent struggles and accomplishments in his life.
“I was homeless house 2 house the last 3-games of the season & maintained over a 3.0 & produced an ALL-AMERICAN season real,” he Tweeted on Feb. 6, along with a collage of video clips of himself.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau at 877-710-5273, or by email at specialvictimsbureau@lasd.org. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Riverside Press Enterprise staff contributed to this story

PHOTO of Kishawn Holmes courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Man wounded in Norwalk drive-by shooting


NORWALK >> A drive-by shooting in a Norwalk residential neighborhood left one man wounded, authorities said.
A man was walking south along Horst Avenue, approaching 165th Street, when shots were fired from a passing car, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jaime Alvarez.
The victim suffered a gunshot wound to his abdomen, the sergeant said. He was taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
The attackers were described as four men in a blue Toyota or Honda sedan, Alvarez said. “The victim did not provide additional information.”
A motive in the shooting had not been determined.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Officials: Man acting erratically dies after being taken into custody in Norwalk


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.

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Woman attacked and robbed in Norwalk


NORWALK >> A man punched a woman and robbed her of her purse in Norwalk early Wednesday, authorities said.
A woman was walking about 9:30 a.m. in the 11400 block of Excelsior Drive when the robber approached, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Cunningham said.
He punched the woman and then forced her purse away from her, the sergeant said. No significant injuries were reported.
Deputies described the robber as a Latino man between 25 and 30 years old, wearing a gray sweater, blue jeans and a baseball cap.
He fled in a burgundy Honda sedan.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Norwalk child sex predator gets 22 years in prison for crimes against children in Cambodia

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LOS ANGELES >> A previously convicted child sex predator from Norwalk who traveled to Cambodia for sex with at least five boys received a sentence of more than two decades in federal prison this week, authorities said.
Erik Leonardus Peeters, 48, received a 22-year prison term in federal court in Los Angeles on Wednesday after pleading guilty in 2012 to two counts of engaging in illicit sexual contact with a minor in a foreign place, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement.
U.S. District Court Judge Christina A. Snyder also ordered Peeters to pay $15,000 in restitution to his victims, officials said. Upon his release from prison, he will be subject to supervised release for life.
“This defendant is a sexual predator who repeatedly victimized young boys, several of whom have physical disabilities, and all of whom come from deeply impoverished communities in the developing world,” according to U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Eileen M. Decker.”This lengthy sentence sends a message to all pedophiles in the United States that they cannot escape prosecution by traveling to other countries to engage in illegal and horrific sexual acts against children.”
Peeters was already a registered sex offender, convicted of crimes against young boys in 1990, when he visited Southeast Asia, according to federal prosecutors and California’s sex offender database.
“According to court documents filed in this case, Peeters traveled to Cambodia in April 2008, and within two months began seeking out youths for sex, targeting victims who were destitute and often disabled,” Mrozek said.
Cambodian National Police arrested him in February of 2009 for violating Camobian laws against child sex abuse, according to Mrozek.
U.S. prosecutors subsequently filed charges of engaging in sexual conduct with minors in a foreign country, authorities said. He was returned to the U.S. to face the American justice system in August of 2009.
Four of Peeters’ victims appeared at his sentencing hearing Wednesday to tell the court how his abuse had affected their lives, Mrozek said.
According to California’s sex offender database, Peeters was convicted in 1990 of committing lewd or lascivious acts on a boy under 14 years old. Records indicate he was released from jail or prison the same year.
“Peeters is the third and final defendant sentenced as part of Operation Twisted Traveler, a joint initiative by (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations) and the Department of Justice to identify and prosecute American men who traveled to Cambodia and engaged in sexual conduct with children there,” Mrozek said. “The defendants were charged under the PROTECT Act, which took effect in 2003 and substantially strengthened the federal laws related to predatory crimes involving children outside the U.S. by adding new crimes and increasing prison sentences.”
Two other men have received prison sentences of 70 years and 10 years, respectively, in connection with the operation.
Special Agent in Charge of HSI in Los Angeles Joseph Macias credited the law enforcement officials who investigated and prosecuted the cases for their “tenacity and tireless dedication.”
“Americans tempted to commit sex crimes overseas should understand that tough U.S. laws will ensure they pay a high price for their criminal actions,” he said. “We owe it to the young victims, many of whom will bear the emotional scars for the rest of their lives.”

PHOTO: Erik Leonardus Peeters, 48, of Norwalk. (courtesy)

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Man killed, another injured after car crashes into Norwalk building


NORWALK >> A driver died and his passenger was critically injured when a sedan slammed into a building in Norwalk early Saturday, authorities said.
The crash took place about 1 a.m. at Funston Street and Front Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Daniel Gillespie said.
A man in his early-20s was at the wheel of a 2002 BMW 540i when he lost control while rounding a curve along northbound Funston Street, just south of Front Street, and veered to the left, according to the lieutenant.
The car slammed into the side of a building formerly used as a Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States post, officials said.
Paramedics pronounced the driver dead at the scene, Gillespie said.
His identity was not available Saturday afternoon. Los Angeles County coroner’s officials had not record the death, coroner’s Lt. David Smith said.
The passenger, also described as a man in his early-20s, was hospitalized in critical condition, Gillespie said.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711.

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Man shot to death at Norwalk skate park


NORWALK >> A man died in a Saturday night after an argument escalated into a shooting at a Norwalk skate park, authorities said.
The shooting was reported about 8 p.m. at a skate park within Norwalk Park, in the 12200 block of Sproul Street, Deputy Lisa Jansen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
“Detectives have learned during their investigation that witnesses saw the victim at a skate park with several other people when the victim became involved in an argument with another male,” Jansen said in a written statement. “During the argument, the unknown male suspect produced a handgun and shot the victim multiple times in the torso.”
Paramedics pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
His identity was withheld pending notification of family members, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Rudy Molano said.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting were available Sunday, and no suspect description was released.
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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UPDATED: Man wounded in Norwalk shooting


NORWALK >> A man arrived at a hospital after being shot in Norwalk on Friday afternoon, officials said.
The 30-year-old victim showed up at an emergency room about 5:30 p.m. following the shooting, which was believed to have taken place in the area of Rosecrans Avenue and Studebaker Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robin Limon said.
The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the leg and was expected to survive, she said.
Further details were not immediately available, as the wounded man did not appear to be cooperating with deputies. He only told investigators he was shot by another man.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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One man killed, another wounded in Norwalk shooting


NORWALK >> A man died and another suffered serious injuries in a shooting in a Norwalk residential neighborhood early Saturday morning, authorities said.
Few details were initially available regarding the deadly shooting, which took place just before 2:30 a.m. in the 12000 block of Molette Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Detectives have learned that Norwalk Station Deputies responded to a shots fired call,” according to the statement. “Upon arriving, two male Hispanic adults were found lying in the street suffering from gunshot wounds to their upper torsos.”
Paramedics took both wounded men to a hospital, officials said. One of the victims, who had been shot multiple times, soon succumbed to his injuries.
His identity was not available pending positive identification and notification of family, coroner’s officials said.
The second victim, who suffered a single gunshot wound, was listed in “serious” condition.
“There is no suspect information, nor any additional information at this time,” the statement 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.

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