COVINA >> In a crime described by police as both bizarre and disturbing, two men tried to buy a woman’s 2-year-old son as she shopped at a Covina supermarket Wednesday, officials said.
Both the woman and child got away unharmed following the 7:40 p.m. encounter at the Baja Ranch Supermarket, 425 S. Citrus Ave., which detectives are investigating as an attempted human trafficking case, West Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said.
Two men took part in the crime, police said. One approached the woman and child, while the other remained in the suspects’ SUV.
The first suspect walked up to the woman as she was checking out, Sgt. Gregg Peterson said in a written statement. He began complimenting the woman, telling her that both she and her son were beautiful.
“The suspect asked the woman if she wanted to sell her son, and when she told him no, the suspect continued with the compliments, but they were focused solely on her son.”
After finishing checking out at the store, the woman waited until several minutes after the man had left before exiting herself and heading toward her car with her son.
When the woman reached her car, she found the man sitting in the driver’s seat of a brown or champagne colored Honda Pilot parked next to her car, Peterson said. A second suspect was sitting in the passenger seat of the SUV.
The first man again began complimenting the woman and child.
Doonan said the man did not appear to be trying to intimidate the woman. “It was more like he was trying to charm her,” he said.
“The woman told the suspect to leave them alone and he exited his vehicle,” Peterson said. “The suspect approached her and removed a $100 bill from his pocket. The suspect said, ‘Can I buy your son.’”
“The woman felt the suspect was going to try and kidnap her son and became so scared, she could not scream or yell for help,” he said.
Still clutching the $100 bill, the suspect urged the woman to take the money. The second suspect inside the SUV also told the woman, ‘Just take the money,’” Peterson said.
“When the woman did not answer, (the first suspect) said, “Just keep it, here”, and dropped the $100 bill in her shopping cart. (He) got into his vehicle and drove away with (the second suspect).
Police described the first suspect as a Latino man of about 45 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 200 pounds. He wore blue jeans, a brown button-down shirt and a black baseball cap with a white logo on the front.
The second suspect, who remained in the SUV, was a black man in his 50s, about 6 feet tall and 215 pounds, wearing tan slacks and a long-sleeve white shirt, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Covina Police Department Detective Bureau at 626-384-5612. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTO/VIDEO: Police are seeking the men pictured in this surveillance video (brown shirt, black baseball cap) for trying to buy a woman’s 2-year-old son at the Baja Ranch Supermarket in Covina on Jan 7, 2015. (courtesy)
PASADENA >> A large whirlwind outside the Rose Bowl sent a canopy airborne, resulting in four minor injuries, as preparations were being made for Thursday’s Rose Bowl Game authorities said.
Paramedics treated three men and a woman at the scene and none wished to be taken to a hospital, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. One of them sought his own medical treatment for a finger injury.
The “sporadic wind event” took place shortly before 2 p.m. in Lot H of the Rose Bowl, where Oregon will take on Florida State in the College Football Semifinals New Year’s Day.
“A strong gust of wind blew a large framed canopy up in the air,” Pasadena police Lt. Marie Sell said.
A video posted on Youtube.com shows a large whirlwind making its way through the lot, before picking up the canopy, lifting it high into the air.
About 20 people were in the area at the time, Derderian said. “It could have been a lot worse.”
Police officers and firefighters assigned to the Rose Bowl Wednesday were on-scene within seconds, she added.
But despite online speculation, the whirlwind was not a tornado, Derderian said. Lot H was closed Wednesday afternoon as officials cleaned up the mess, but was expected be reopened in time for Thursday’s Rose Bowl Game.
PICO RIVERA >> Deputies subdued and arrested a psychologically troubled man following a six-hour standoff early Saturday after he shot passers-by with a crossbow in Pico Rivera, authorities said.
A SWAT team ultimately arrested Armando Marron, 48, of Pico Rivera on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and drug possession, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva said.
Deputies first responded about 10:45 p.m. Friday to reports of an assault in the 8500 block of Hasty Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Chapman said.
They encountered a 23-year-old Pico Rivera man who had been shot in the leg with a crossbow, Villanueva said. The victim was accompanied by a second young man who was not injured.
Marron also allegedly fired his crossbow at another nearby home with people gathered in the front yard, the lieutenant said. No one in the yard was struck.
No argument or exchange of words preceded the seemingly unprovoked attack, sheriff’s officials said. The wounded man and his companion were merely passing by when the attack occurred. At least one of the young men was riding a skateboard.
Paramedics treated the wounded man at the scene and removed the arrow from his leg, Chapman said. He declined to be taken to a hospital.
Deputies learned the attacker was inside his nearby home, Chapman said. Deputies ordered the occupants out of the house.
Two relatives of the suspect emerged from the home and told deputies that Marron was still inside, Chapman said. The relatives also told officials that the man had a history of psychological problems, off his medication and potentially violent.
A SWAT team was summoned to take over the situation, and a stand-off ensued for about six hours, officials said.
Deputies fired tear gas into the home about 5 a.m., and the suspect ultimately came out, Chapman said. But he continued refusing to surrender.
Officials used a less-lethal projectile and a K-9 to subdue the man, who was taken to a hospital for treatment prior to booking, Chapman said.
Deputies recovered a crossbow, arrows and a small amount of a substance believed to be methamphetamine from the suspect’s home, Chapman said.
Deputies have had more than a dozen past encounters with Marron in connection with calls such as disturbances, officials said.
According to county booking records, Marron was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Downey Superior Court.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Special Enforcement Bureau.
LA VERNE >> A 150-pound tortoise disappeared from a La Verne backyard last week in what police are investigating as a theft, officials said.
Residents of the 4700 block of Camber Avenue called police on Oct. 9 to report the enormous sulcata tortoise had been taken from their backyard, La Verne police Sgt. Sam Gonzalez said.
The theft took place sometime between 5 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9 a.m. Oct. 9, he said.
Anyone with information can reach La Verne police at 909-596-1913.
DUARTE >> Deputies used a Taser to subdue a fleeing suspect armed with two Samurai swords in Duarte Thursday, officials said.
The bizarre incident began about 10:30 a.m. when the suspect’s mother called deputies to report that her 38-year-old son had swung a sword at her at her home in the 2000 block of Royal Oaks Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said. The woman, who was in her 50s, was not injured.
Following the alleged assault, the suspect fled from the home with two Samurai swords, Chavez said. Deputies encountered Andrew Kao about 10 minutes later several blocks to the south along Huntington Drive.
“He had the two swords on him in his waistband,” Chavez said. “He was refusing to cooperate with deputies. He ended up trying to grab the weapons and they Tased him.”
Officials took Kao to a hospital to be examined and treated prior to booking him on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Chavez said.
Kao stays with her intermittently, Chavez said.
ROSEMEAD >> A woman suffered a broken arm and narrowly escaped more serious injury after a utility pole impaled her car following a freak accident on Valley Boulevard in Rosemead, authorities said.
The crash took place just after 6 p.m. on Valley Boulevard, near Merwin C. Gill Way, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. William Wicker said.
The metal utility pole smashed through the windshield of the car, exiting through the driver-side rear window and narrowly missing the driver, according to sheriff’s and fire officials.
The crash was triggered when a cable strung between two utility poles to display banners suddenly fell onto the roadway, Wicker said.
The fallen cable ended up entangled with an SUV that was eastbound on Valley Boulevard, the lieutenant said. The SUV then ripped the pole in half, tossing a long portion of it into westbound traffic lanes.
“A White Acura heading westbound struck the pole. It went through the windshield,” Wicker said.
The pole narrowly missed directly striking the driver, described only as a woman, officials said.
“It looked like it was pretty close,” Wicker said.
But after freeing the woman from the wreckage, firefighters took her to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, including a broken arm, the lieutenant said.
Two women who were inside the SUV that became entangled with the fallen cable were not injured, he said.
It was not clear Wednesday what caused the cable to fall, or who was responsible for it.
PHOTO courtesy of KCBS/KCAL
PASADENA >> Police arrested 11 people Saturday night during a Beyonce and Jay Z concert at the Rose Bowl, including a man accused of biting off the tip of another man’s finger after groping the victim’s girlfriend, authorities said.
An estimated 55,000 fans attended the concert, which was to continue with a second performance Sunday night, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Police arrested eight people for public drunkenness and two people for ticket scalping during the event, Luna said.
And Roberto Alcaraz-Garnica, 25, of San Diego man was arrested inside the stadium about 10 p.m. on suspicion of sexual battery and mayhem, legally defined as disabling or disfiguring a part of a victim’s body, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
The alleged attack occurred after Alcaraz-Garnica groped a woman in her 20s, Luna said.
“The suspect sexually assaulted the female victim,” he said. The woman’s boyfriend confronted the alleged groper, and a fight ensued.
“During the altercation, the suspect bit the victim, causing serious injury to his finger,” the lieutenant said. “He lost the tip of one of his fingers.”
Police took the suspect into custody at the Pasadena Police Department’s jail, where he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
ALHAMBRA >> A massive tortoise found wandering through the streets of Alhambra Saturday has been reunited with his owners, police said.
The 150-pound reptile was spotted by a passer-by about 1 p.m. Saturday in the area of 6th Street and Norwood Place, Alhambra police Sgt. Esther Rodriguez said.
Two officers hoisted the large animal into a patrol car before it was taken into the custody of the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, she said.
The tortoise’s owners, an Alhambra family, claimed the tortoise late Saturday morning, Rodriguez said. It turned out his name id “Dirk.”
Dirk was back at home with his family, including his best pal, a bulldog, Saturday afternoon, she said.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department.
ALHAMBRA — Police arrested a Los Angeles man Friday after spotting him out for a run wearing nothing by shoes, officials said.
Lionel Giovanny Amador, 23, was booked on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs following his 8 p.m. arrest on Garfield Avenue, near Linda Vista Avenue, according to Alhambra police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
After police caught up with the nude runner, he told officers he had taken “a pill” and decided to go for a run, Alhambra police said in a statement posted on the agency’s Facebook page.
Amador was released from custody early Saturday with a misdemeanor citation, records show.
ALHAMBRA — Officials are seeking to reunite a 150-pound tortoise with it’s owner after the massive reptile was found wandering the streets of Alhambra Saturday, police said.
A passer-by called police about 1 p.m. to report seeing the animal strolling in the southeast end of town, Alhambra police Sgt. Esther Rodriguez said.
The caller kept tabs on the tortoise until police arrived, she said.
It took two officers to lift the creature into a patrol car, Rodriguez said. They took the animal to the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control’s Downey Office.
The rightful owner can claim the tortoise by contacting animal control officials at 562-940-6898.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department.