PASADENA — Police arrested a 22-year-old transient with a penchant for high-end SUVs for the third time in the past two months Sunday for burglarizing the same Land Rover dealership, officials said.
Mychal Poole was booked on suspicion of commercial burglary after he was taken into custody about 2:30 a.m. at the dealership, 3485 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Police responded to a report of a trespasser when they saw Poole, who fled, Clawson said. The officers chased after him and detained him before discovering items taken from the dealership’s auto service area, the lieutenant said.
Poole was previously arrested for similar crimes at the Land Rover dealership on July 3 and July 5.
Police jailed him in the first incident after he was found on the lot trying to take a vehicle, Clawson said.
But he was released from jail later in the day, Clawson said. Details on the case were not available Sunday, however the lieutenant said he believed the release was related to an injury or medical condition.
The tenacious suspect showed up again at the Land Rover dealership two days later, police said.
In that incident, he was found hiding in the area in a stolen dealership employee’s uniform and in possession of keys from the dealership, officials said. He had tried to steal one of the vehicles, but been unable to open a driveway gate to complete the alleged crime.
According to county booking records, Poole appeared in Pasadena Superior Court July 16 and received a 120-day jail sentence.
He was due to complete his sentence Aug. 2, but out of custody through a work release program, when he was arrested Sunday morning, county jail officials said.
Following Sunday’s arrest, Poole was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail at the Pasadena Police Department jail pending his initial court appearance.
BALDWIN PARK — A 2-year-old cat appeared traumatized but was expected to survive after being discovered with its head and paws wrapped in duct tape inside of a box left in the parking lot of an animal shelter, officials said.
The male domestic medium hair cat was discovered shortly before 9 a.m. in a lower-level parking lot at the Baldwin Park office of the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control, DACC spokeswoman Evelina Villa said. Officials have since named him “Amigo.”
A worker spotted the box abandoned in the parking lot and went to take a closer look, officials said.
“Inside the box, an animal control officer was shocked to find the cat gasping for air,” DACC officials said in a written statement.
Officials removed the tape from the animal’s head and paws, and the cat appeared to be doing well physically, Villa said. “He’s a little bit overwhelmed,” she added. “He was fearful at first, but he’s opening up a little. We’re just happy he’s okay.”
An investigation was ongoing into who bound and left the animal in the parking lot, Villa said.
“I can’t imagine why someone would do this to a cat,” DACC Director Marcia Mayeda said. “Animal cruelty is heartbreaking, intolerable and usually a precursor to human violence.”
Because of the ordeal Amigo had been through, he was not to be adopted immediately, Villa explained.
He would first be rehabilitated and placed into a foster home, she said. “When we feel he’s ready, we’ll adopt him out.”
Anyone interested in adopting Amigo can send an email to email@example.com to be notified when the cat is ready for permanent home.
Updates on Amigo’s recovery will be posted on the Baldwin Park DACC’s Facebook page, facebook.com/CountyofLosAngelesAnimalCare, or follow the shelter on Twitter, @LACoAnimalCare.
PHOTOS courtesy of the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control.
WEST COVINA — A man who used handsaws to cut both his arms to the bone last week inside a Home Depot is expected to survive and retain his arms, authorities said.
The man, whose identity was not released because he is not a criminal suspect, was described as being in late 30s or early 40s, West Covina police officials said.
But a week after the bizarre and grisly incident, investigators still did not know why the man entered the hardware store, picked up coping saws and began sawing through his own arms, Lt. Jerry Pearman said.
The incident, which is being treated as an attempted suicide, was reported about 12:20 p.m. April 19 at the Home Depot, 2220 S. Azusa Avenue, officials said.
Witnesses did not report hearing or seeing anything unusual before they noticed the man pick up coping saws, a total of three, and start cutting into his flesh, Cpl. Rudy Lopez said.
Though initially hospitalized with extremely serious injuries, the wounded man had since been stabilized, Pearman said. It also appeared that doctors had been successful in reattaching his arms.
He was expected to be sent for psychiatric evaluation once released from the hospital, Pearman added. It was not clear Wednesday whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident.
Off-duty Pasadena Fire Department Capt. Art Hurtado, who happened to be at the store, rushed to the man’s aid, officials said.
His quick response likely prevented even more serious injury or death, Pearman said.
BASSETT — A horse walked into a bicycle shop Sunday, but what happened next was no joke.
About 45 bicycles were damaged when the animal broke free from a nearby equestrian community about 10:30 a.m. and ran amok inside Reyes Bicycle Shop, 13054 Valley Blvd., according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and the shop owner’s son.
The horse suffered cuts and ultimately became trapped in bicycles, said the shopkeeper’s 14-year-old son, Jose Ruben Reyes.
“There’s a gang of damage on the bikes, but nobody got really hurt,” Reyes said.
After the female horse made it’s way into the store, “It started hitting all the bikes and started getting stuck,” he said. “I was scared. I was panicking.”
Two of three customers inside the store fled out the back door upon seeing the horse, while a third sought refuge in the bathroom, Reyes said.
The horse soon became entangled in bicycles.
“It got so scared,” Reyes said. The animal thrashed it’s way free of the bikes and exited the store on it’s own.
The incident lasted about a minute, Reyes added.
Deputies and animal control officials responded to the scene and helped with the situation, sheriff’s Sgt. John Suh said.
The horse owner and shopkeeper met to discuss payment for the damage, Suh said.
The horse had numerous cuts it suffered while rampaging through the bike store, however the owner retrieved it and told Reyes it would likely be okay, he said.
Following an extensive clean-up effort Sunday, Reyes said the bicycle shop was expected to back to business as usual Monday.
WEST COVINA — Police arrested a 19-year-old woman Sunday on suspicion of indecent exposure after she stripped nude at Cortez park and began practicing yoga, authorities said.
Witnesses at the park reported the unusual incident just before 10:40 a.m. at the park, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
The woman, whose name was not available pending the booking process, arrived at the park, disrobed and proceeded to practice yoga, the lieutenant said.
“When officers arrived, she was fully nude,” he said.
The woman was arrested and expected to be released with a citation for a misdemeanor count of indecent exposure, Patton said.
PASADENA — Police detectives and coroner’s officials are investigating after the discovery of an apparent altar of some kind containing bones, including a human skull, in a Pasadena back yard.
Officers were summoned to the 800 block of North Oakland Avenue about 12:50 p.m. Saturday after a resident reported a possible trespasser, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
The trespasser was not found, though officers encountered and arrested man not believed related to the trespassing due to outstanding warrants, the lieutenant said.
While searching over the area, however, officers did find “some type of makeshift altar” in a residential back yard, Clawson.
The pile of items was comprised of sticks, candles, incense, burned artifacts, animal bones, human bones and a human skull.
The bones were were collected by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner for examination, coroner’s Lt. Cheryl MacWillie said. An anthropologist was expected to examine them Monday.
It was not clear of the altar was left behind by the reported trespasser.
SOUTH EL MONTE — Two South El Monte High School seniors who lost fingers in a tug-of-war mishap during a pep rally continued recovering from surgery Wednesday, officials said.
The students, football player Pablo Ocegueda and soccer player Edith Rodriguez, each had several fingers ripped off when the rope snapped during a game of tug-of-war. The accident took place during the lunch period Monday.
“The last I heard, surgeries went into the early evening (Monday),” El Monte Union High School District Superintendent Nick Salerno said.
“The report we got is that the surgeries went well,” Salerno said. But it was unclear if surgeons were able to reattach some or all of the severed digits.
Due to medical privacy laws, information on the conditions of the students was limited, Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center spokeswoman Rosa Saca said Wednesday.
“They’re stable right now,” she said. “They’re awake, alert; they’re recovering from the operation.”
The exact circumstances of the accident remained unclear Wednesday, as well as the type of rope that was being used in the tug-of-war.
There were conflicting reports regarding exactly how many fingers each student lost in the mishap, or from which hands, though officials reported both students had at least four fingers severed in the incident.
The tug-of-war was done as part of the school’s Spirit Week, which traditionally pits the campus’ junior and senior classes against each other in competition, Salerno said.
Meanwhile, school psychologists and counselors, along with outside counselors, were on-hand at South El Monte High School this week to address the concerns of other students.
“We’ve had a lot of kids coming in for counseling and support and wanting to talk,” Salerno said.
In addition to the injured senior, students affected by the incident included those who witnessed it and friends of the injured students, he said.
WEST COVINA — Authorities Wednesday continued seeking a motorcyclist who, along with more than 100 fellow bikers, shut down the 10 Freeway in West Covina over the weekend to propose to his now-fiancee.
The cyclists brought all traffic lanes to a halt and blocked an offramp for the proposal, as some bikers popped wheelies and turned donuts to celebrate.
Online comments posted on viral YouTube videos of Sunday’s 1:30 p.m. stunt on the eastbound San Bernardino (10) Freeway at Barranca Avenue range from support to fury.
The California Highway Patrol can be counted among those not amused by the stunt, which Sgt. Kurt Stormes called “dangerous.”
In addition to numerous traffic violations observed in the YouTube videos, officers are also investigating the incident as conspiracy to commit a crime, which can be prosecuted as a felony.
“It’s dangerous when you do something like that,” Stormes said. “You’ve got free flowing traffic; suddenly traffic comes to a stop and people don’t know what happened, and that’s when accidents happen.”
The motorcyclist had been identified and indicated he would turn himself in to investigators, Stormes said, however that had not taken place Wednesday morning.
The CHP and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office planned to prosecute the case to the “fullest extent” of the law, Stormes added.
Another group of men who intentionally stopped the Hollywood (101) Freeway in Los Angeles during rush hour in October of 2010 to promote their rock band were charged and convicted of felony charges last year.
The band members stopped a large truck plastered with an advertisement for their band on the southbound 101 Freeway at Sunset Boulevard, blocking all but one lane of the freeway, before climbing on top of the truck and playing their instruments, according to district attorney’s officials. The obstruction lasted about four hours.
The three members of an Orange County rock band each pleaded no contest to a felony count of conspiracy, as well as a misdemeanor county of creating a public nuisance and two misdemeanor counts of resisting, obstructing or delaying police.
Christopher Roy Wright, 34, David Paul Hale, 32, and Keith R. Yackey, 33, were sentenced to three years probation and 35 days of community service.
UPDATE: The FBI has dubbed this robber the “French Tip Bandit,” due to the fingernail polish worn during a Wednesday robbery at a Monrovia bank.
MONROVIA — A bizarrely dressed man claiming to have anthrax in a briefcase robbed a bank branch Wednesday, police said.
The robber wore lip gloss, candy apple red nail polish with a white trim, rectangular glasses, gold hoop earrings, a white bandana, a tan women’s track suit with the hood pulled up and dark-brown UGG Boots when he entered the Chase bank, 690 W. Huntington Drive, about 10 a.m., according to Monrovia police and FBI officials.
He demanded cash from a teller while carrying a briefcase, the lieutenant said. “He said that it had anthrax in it,” Monrovia police Lt. Michael Lee said.
“He indicated the victim should comply with the demands if they wanted to see their family for Christmas,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
After obtaining an unknown amount of cash, the robber fled the bank, Lee said.
The man took the briefcase with him when he left the bank, police added.
“Police do not believe there is a credible threat of anthrax,” Eimiller said. “No weapon was seen.”
The robber was last seen getting into a late-model, silver Chrysler PT Cruiser with a waiting driver, Eimiller said.
No injuries were reported. Police distributed a bulletin to other area police agencies in hopes of tracking down the unique-looking suspect.
He was described as 28 to 33 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall and of average build, Eimiller said. He spoke with a deep voice.
Officials were continuing to look into whether the robber was responsible for any other bank robberies, Eimiller said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Monrovia Police Department at 626-256-8000, or the FBI’s 24-hour Los Angeles-area tip line at 888-228-8443.