PASADENA — A San Gabriel man who punched a security guard while stealing a bottle of wine from a Vons store, and dropped his ID at the crime scene in the process, turned himself in to police late Saturday, officials said.
Steven Diaz, 18, was booked on suspicion of robbery after he arrived with his parents at the Pasadena Police Department about 11 p.m. Saturday in connection with the robbery, which was reported about 9:30 p.m. Friday at Vons, 2355 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
“The suspect went into Vons and exited the store without making an effort to pay for a bottle of wine,” Clawson said. The alleged thief was confronted by a security guard, and a struggle ensued.
“(Diaz) punched the security guard in the face and ran to a waiting vehicle,” the lieutenant said.
But in the struggle, the robber dropped both wine, as well as his wallet, he said.
After identifying Diaz from the ID he left at the store, police went to his home but did not find him, Clawson said.
Police were ultimately able to contact him and he agreed to turn himself in.
According to county booking records, Diaz was released from custody pending his initial court appearance within three hours of his arrest after posting $50,000 bail.
WEST COVINA — Police, aided by a news reading tipster, arrested a transient who struck a gardener in the head with a rock in an unprovoked attack Friday, officials said.
Andrew Lopez, a 24-year-old transients known to frequent the West Covina area, was arrested Friday afternoon in connection with the alleged assault with a deadly weapon, which took place about 10 a.m. at Amar Road and Woodgate Drive, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
A landscaper was using a leaf blower when he spotted another man out of the corner of his eye, Patton said.
“Without provocation or any exchange of words, the subject throws a rock at him, striking him in the area of his forehead,” the lieutenant said.
The gardener suffered a half-inch cut but declined to be hospitalized via ambulance, Patton said. He was taken by his employer for medical treatment.
The suspect was not found when police searched the area, but the gardener was able to provide officers with a detailed description of the attacker.
A local apartment manager saw the attacker’s description in a report on the San Gabriel Valley Tribune’s website and recognized him as a man who had just been in the area, Patton said.
Officers responded to the area where the tipster reported last seeing the man and found him in the area, Patton said. He was detained without a struggle, and arrested once identified by the gardener as his attacker.
Based on the unprovoked violence exhibited by the suspect, Patton said police were relieved to have him in custody before he potentially injured someone else.
A motive in the alleged attack was not clear.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Lopez was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail at the West Covina Police Department’s jail Friday pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.
A bright streak observed flashing across the Southland sky Wednesday evening was believed to be an especially bright meteor from the ongoing South Taurid meteor shower, officials said.
Witnesses began reporting the sighting about 8 p.m., reportedly as far away as San Diego.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Sukup, whose normal field of study does not involve extraterrestrial objects.
“It sounds like it’s part of the South Taurid meteor shower,” he said. “That’s most likely what it was.”
Twitter user @Casheets described seeing the fireball from San Gabriel.
“I saw a meteor tonight, the coolest scariest thing I’ve ever seen,” she posted. “At first I thought it was a firework.”
The witness said the fireball was “bright yellowish and blue” as it fell from the sky.
According to the International Meteor Organization, a nonprofit agency tracking meteor showers worldwide, the South Taurids are expected to remain active through Nov. 20, though the shower was expected to peak in October.
This shower is made up of fragments of the Comet Encke, according to a 2005 publication by NASA. The shower is created as Earth passes through the debris left behind by the comet.
“Tiny grains hit our atmosphere at 65,000 mph,” according to the report. “At that speed, even a tiny smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light — a meteor — when it disintegrates. Because these meteors shoot out of the constellation Taurus, they’re called Taurids.”
PASADENA — A local transient was behind bars Wednesday, accused of climbing to the 14th floor of a Pasadena office building, smashing windows with a rock and threatening to kill people, police said.
Akil Talib Gibson, 40, was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats, burglary and malicious mischief in connection with the incident, which unfolded about 5:40 p.m. Tuesday at an office building at the corner of Lake Avenue and Corson Street, Pasadena police Lt. Tom Delgado said.
His motive was unclear when he allegedly headed up to the 14th-floor office and began his strange and threatening behavior, the lieutenant said. There was no indication he specifically targeted the office, which it appeared wandered into the office at random.
Police responding and took Gibson into custody without a struggle, Delgado said. No one was injured during the incident.
Gibson was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
AZUSA — A man who was seen running through the streets naked ended up at a hospital Thursday night.
Someone called Glendora police at 6:35 p.m. and reported a naked man running on Barranca Avenue and Armstead Street.
Azusa police found the man at 9:42 p.m. He was still in the buff and sitting on a sidewalk at Citrus Avenue and Baseline Road.
“It was determined he was in need of a psychological evaluation,” Azusa Police Sgt. John Madaloni.
The man was taken to a hospital, he added.
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.