Woman fatally struck by SUV alongside 605 Freeway in Norwalk


NORWALK >> A 71-year-old pedestrian died after an SUV veered off the side of the 605 Freeway in Norwalk and struck her as she sat on a dirt median on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Pauline M. Widuschek died in the 4:22 p.m. crash along the southbound 605 Freeway at Firestone Boulevard, Officer J. Farner of the California Highway Patrol’s Santa Fe Springs area office said in a written statement.
A 62-year-old Lynwood man was traveling south in the right-hand lane, at an unknown speed, when his 1998 Toyota 4-Runner veered toward the right side of the roadway, the officer said.
The 4-Runner went over an asphalt berm along the right shoulder, then struck a tree before striking Widuschek, who was sitting on a dirt median separating 605 Freeway traffic lanes from the Firestone Boulevard offramp, according to Farner. The woman died at the scene.
The SUV continued until it plowed through a chain-link fence at the bottom of the Firestone Boulevard offramp, then collided with a 1999 GMC Yukon heading west on Firestone Boulevard, Farner said.
The driver of the 4-Runner was treated for injuries described as “moderate,” Farner said. A Lynwood woman who was at the wheel of the Yukon was unhurt.
No arrests had been made as the investigation continued.
Any witnesses, or anyone with information, can reach the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs-area office at 562-868-0503.

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UPDATED: One man dead, several others wounded in spate of shootings in Whittier, La Mirada areas; Man and woman in SUV sought

One man died and several other people were wounded in a string of shootings in the Whittier, La Mirada and Norwalk areas on Saturday afternoon which were believed to linked to the same carjacked car, authorities said.
The attacks took place beginning about 3:30 p.m. in the jurisdictions of the Whittier Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Norwalk Station, according to Whittier police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials. A man died at a hospital following one of the shootings in La Mirada, officials said.
The series of crimes was believed to have begun with the carjacking of a dark green or black Nissan Pathfinder SUV in the Pico Rivera area about 3 p.m., officials said.
The vehicle was occupied by a man and a woman, both armed with guns, when it pulled through the rear alley of a Starbucks coffee shop at Whittier Boulevard and Colima Road about 3:30 p.m., Whittier police Lt. Brian Ellis said. A man in his 50s was walking in the alley.
“The suspects pulled up to him and shot him in the leg,” Ellis said. The victim was treated for injuries not believed to be life threatening.
There was no apparent motive for the attack, which appeared to be random, he said.
The SUV then headed south on Colima Road, where the attackers opened fire on another car at Colima Road and Lambert Road, according to Ellis. The victim’s car was struck, but no one inside was injured.
The SUV was last seen heading west on Lambert Road following the car-to-car shooting.
The same SUV is believed to be linked to a fatal shooting about 30 minutes later in La Mirada, Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
A man was shot and mortally wounded about 4 p.m. at Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Alicante Road, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead,” according to the statement.
Deputies were also looking into possible additional shootings.
“There are additional shootings in the surrounding areas involving multiple victims,” the sheriff’s department statement said. “The number of victims, as well as their conditions are unknown at this time. There is no additional information available at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.”
Deputies found the SUV believed to have been used in the shootings parked, unoccupied, at Mayberry Park in South Whittier shortly after 6 p.m., officials said. But the suspects remained at large.
The spate of violence followed another shooting in unincorporated South Whittier early Saturday afternoon in which a man was wounded.
A man was shot in the leg about 12:45 p.m. along Carmenita Road, just north of Telegraph Road, sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Nevarez said.
It was unclear whether the earlier afternoon shooting had any connection to the spate of shootings that occurred later in the afternoon.
Anyone with information 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.

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UPDATED: Man gunned down while collecting charity donations in Norwalk

NORWALK >> Detectives are seeking the killer or killers of a 50-year-old man who was gunned down while soliciting charity donations in a residential Norwalk neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.
The fatal shooting took place about 5:30 p.m. in the 14400 block of Dinard Avenue, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Information Bureau.
“Detectives have learned that the victim was shot and killed while walking down the street going door-to-door soliciting to paint addresses on the curb-lines,” Schrader said in a written statement.
The man was wounded several times in the “upper torso,” Schrader said Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Coroner’s officials did not formally identify the victim on Wednesday, however officials at the charity for which the man was working when he was shot identified him as Matthew Douglas Glover, 50, of Long Beach.
“Homicide detectives are actively searching for two male Hispanics in their early-20sm, driving a late-model, four-door, white sedan,” Deputy Carolina Rodriguez of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said. “Homicide detectives and the victim’s family are asking the public’s assistance in obtaining any information that will help solve this crime.”
The circumstances of the shooting remains a mystery.
Glover was collecting donations for the Whittier-based charity Care For The Children, according to organization director and founder, Robert Henderson.
Henderson said he’d been working with Glover on-and-off for the past 14 years, even before Care For The Children began in it’s current form in 2006. Glover moved back to Southern California, where he grew up, about two weeks ago after spending time staying with his parents in Arizona, where his mother recently died. He had been staying at a sober living house in Long Beach.
“Matt was one of those guys that the moment you started talking to him, you’d like him,” Henderson said. “He’d make you smile or laugh. He was charismatic. He was bubbly. He had that upbeat personality.”
Glover spend his mornings delivering food baskets to the elderly, then he spent evening collecting donations from address painting, according to Henderson. He enjoyed his work.
Glover was collecting donations after the organization previously re-painted the addresses on curb-sides on Dinard Avenue when the fatal shooting took place, Henderson said.
“He had just collected a donation. He was walking away from the door, he heard the gunshots being fired,” Henderson said.
Henderson said he did no understand why anyone would have targeted Glover, and wondered if the shooting was a robbery or a case of mistaken identity.
Glover is survived by an adult son, Henderson said.
“He was a great guy,” the employer said.
Funds to help Glover’s family with burial expenses are being collected online at www.gofundme.com/memorial-for-beloved-matthew-glover.
Anyone with information is urged 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.

PHOTO of Matthew Glover, courtesy.

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Lakewood man accused of running human trafficking, prostitution ring out of Norwalk escort service

NORWALK >> A sheriff’s task force arrested a Lakewood man and seized 13 guns while dismantling an alleged prostitution and human trafficking ring operating out of a Norwalk escort service last week, authorities announced Wednesday.
Omar Nicandro Sanchez, 37, is also accused of sexually assaulting at least one woman and one underage girl who worked for his illegal escort business, “Bombshells,” which operated out of an office at Studebaker and Leffingwell roads in Norwalk according to California High Patrol Investigator Kerri Rivas of the L.A. Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, who served as the lead investigator on the case.
The multi-agency task force arrested him Friday at the business, she said. He was released from custody two days later after posting $420,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled April 28 in the Norwalk branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
In a written statement, sheriff’s officials described Bombshells as, “an illegal escort business, which supplied women for commercial sex to paying customers.”
Furthermore, “Mr. Sanchez victimized some of the women who worked at the agency and sold their sexual services for money,” Rivas said.
At least one of the sexual assault victims was a juvenile, she said.
The purported Escort service was believed to have been operating in Norwalk for two to three years, Rivas said. It used vague advertisement on websites such as Backpage.com to solicit Johns.
The investigation was ongoing, and investigators were still working to determined exactly how many victims were involved.
Sanchez faces expected charges of human trafficking related to the underage victim, as well as pimping and pandering charges in connection with the adults, Rivas said. He also faces potential charges of rape and sexual assault of a minor.
Additionally, Sanchez is expected to face numerous weapon-related charges after investigator seized 13 guns, including several AR-15 and AK-47-style weapons. “Because of a previous felony conviction, Sanchez is prohibited from possessing firearms,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
The cache of weapons was seized from Sanchez’s home, vehicle and a storage unit he had rented, Rivas said.
Investigators also seized cash believed to be proceeds from the illicit operation, officials said.
The bust was the culmination of a six-month-long investigation that began when some of the victims came forward, Rivas said.
Investigators are seeking any potential additional victims of Sanchez or his operation, she said. Anyone with information can reach the L.A. Regional Human Trafficking Task Force at 323-526-5156. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTOS courtesy of the L.A. Regional Human Trafficking Task Force

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Suspect in recent Norwalk sexual assault linked by DNA to 2015 rape

NORWALK >> A man arrested last month on suspicion of raping a woman has been linked by DNA evidence to a second unsolved rape from 2015, officials said Wednesday.
Ronald Mitchell Douglas, 33, is charged with three counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, false imprisonment by violence, attempted sodomy by use of force and bringing contraband into a jail, Deputy Lisa Jansen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Information Bureau said.
He’s pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment hearing on March 7 and is scheduled to return to the Norwalk branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing setting, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court and booking records.
“Both cases occurred in the city of Norwalk where Suspect Douglas offered to walk the victims home or give them a ride, Jansen said in a written statement. “Shortly thereafter, at a secondary location, Suspect Douglas proceeded to sexually assault the victims.”
Deputies arrested the suspect during the early-morning hours on March 5 in connection with an alleged attack on a 40-year-old woman, officials said.
“During the investigation, DNA evidence revealed that Suspect Ronald Douglas was linked to a 2015 case where he is suspected of sexually assaulting a 37-year-old female,” Jansen said.
Douglas was being held in lieu of $200,000 bail pending the trial process, records show.
Investigators suspect there may be additional victims who have yet to come forward, and encouraged anyone with information to do so, Jansen said.
The sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau can be reached 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.

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Senior citizen stabbed in neck in ‘unprovoked’ attack at Norwalk bus stop


  1. NORWALK >> Deputies are seeking a man who stabbed a senior citizen in a seemingly random and unprovoked attack at a Norwalk bus stop on Saturday afternoon.
    The bizarre crime took place about 1:20 p.m. at a bus stop in front of a Wienerschnitzel restaurant Imperial Highway and Woods Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Eric Arias said.
    The victim, a man in his 70s, was sitting at the bus stop when his attacker approached from behind, the sergeant said.
    Officials said the attacker, a man between 20 and 30 years old, suddenly pulled what was believed to be a pocket knife and stabbed the victim in the back of the neck before running away.
    The assailant said nothing before the attack, which appeared entirely “unprovoked,” Arias said.
    Paramedics took the man to a trauma center for treatment in stable condition, he said.
    In initial radio broadcasts from the scene, deputies described the attacker as a Latino man between 20 and 30 years old, with a bald head, wearing a gray shirt and dark pants. He was last seen running south on Woods Avenue.
    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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Two shootings reported in Norwalk early Friday

NORWALK >> No injuries were reported following two separate shooting within a mile of each other in Norwalk early Friday morning, authorities said.
The first shooting took place about 2:30 a.m. in the 16000 block of Flallon Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jaime Alvarez said.
Deputies responded to reports of gunfire heard in the area and found several spent 9mm bullet casings in the street, he said. But there were no signs of victims or property damage.
About 30 minutes later, a man in his 50s was walking at Hayford Avenue and Horst Street when a newer-model, black Chevy Silverado pickup truck approached, the sergeant said.
An attacker inside the truck, described only as male, whistled at the man before firing two shots in his direction, according to Alvarez. The victim was not struck, and the truck sped away.
No further details were available.
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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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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