Shot fired during failed robbery at Pasadena cellular store


PASADENA >> Two men fired a gunshot during a failed robbery at a Pasadena wireless store Sunday afternoon, but ultimately fled empty-handed, officials said.
No one was hurt in the 1:25 p.m. robbery attempt at a cellular store at Orange Grove Boulevard and Wheeler Lane, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
Two robbers entered the stores and immediately caught the attention of the two men working inside, Ibarra said.
“The employees though they were acting suspicious,” the lieutenant said. “They started going toward the back door.”
One of the suspects yelled to the employees not to run, she said. One of the two suspects then fired a single shot into the floor.
The employees proceeded to run out of the back of the store, Ibarra said. The robbers then fled without taking anything and were last seen getting into a white vehicle.
A detailed suspect description was not available.

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Pasadena courthouse to continue altered operations Monday in wake of fire

PASADENA >> The Los Angeles Superior Court branch in Pasadena will continue operating with an altered courtroom schedule Monday as officials continue cleaning up the aftermath of a fire that has forced the closure of portions of the building.
The fire was blamed on oily rags that sparked on the third floor of the courthouse early July 27.
The courthouse will be open for business as usual Monday, but the second, third and fourth floors are to remain off-limits, court officials said in a written statement. Departments D, E, F, G, H and J will be open.
Cases scheduled in Department A will be heard in Department P; cases in Department B will be moved to Department H; Department C cases will be heard in Department E; Department K cases will be heard in Department R; and cases scheduled in Department S will be moved to Department 270.
The Public Defender’s Office is will be operating on the first floor, behind the Family Law Clerk’s Office, officials saisd. The Probation Department is conducting its business in the courthouse’s main corridor.
The court self-help desk has been temporarily moved to room 206 on the second floor.
For more information, visit www.lacourt.org.

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Mistrial declared in case of Christmas Day slaying of bystander in Pasadena

Candles in front of a photograph of Victor J. McClinton, is posted during a Candlelight Memorial in Remembrance of Victor J. McClinton, on the steps of Pasadena City Hall in Pasadena, Thursday, December 27, 2012. On Christmas Day, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employee and youth sport volunteer, Victor J. McClinton was shot and killed, when he was caught in the cross fire between two gang members. (Correspondent Photo by James Carbone/SVCITY)

Candles in front of a photograph of Victor J. McClinton, is posted during a Candlelight Memorial in Remembrance of Victor J. McClinton, on the steps of Pasadena City Hall in Pasadena, Thursday, December 27, 2012. On Christmas Day, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employee and youth sport volunteer, Victor J. McClinton was shot and killed, when he was caught in the cross fire between two gang members. (Correspondent Photo by James Carbone/SVCITY)

LOS ANGELES >> A judge declared a mistrial Thursday after a jury became deadlocked in the case of two alleged gang members charged with capital murder for the fatal shooting of an innocent bystander investigators say became caught in gang crossfire in Pasadena on Christmas Day in 2012.
Reputed Bloods gang members Larry Darnell Bishop, 23, of Chino, and Jerron Donald Harris 27, of Pasadena, have been charged with murder and other crimes in connection with the Dec. 25, 2012, shooting that left 49-year-old Victor McClinton of Pasadena dead in the 1900 block of Newport Avenue in Pasadena.
After a trial that lasted more than a month, the Los Angeles County Superior Court jury hung with respect to both defendants, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said.
The jury hung 9-3 in favor of convicting Bishop of all charges, and 7-5 in favor of acquitting Harris, Risling said.
Judge Curtis Rappe declared a mistrial. It was unclear Thursday whether prosecutors would pursue a second trial.
“Our office hasn’t made a decision on whether to retry the case,” Risling said.
McClinton was walking with a friend to deposit a Christmas gift in the friend’s car when Bishop and Harris both opened fire on a rival gang member, police and prosecutors allege. McClinton became caught in the crossfire.
But the man allegedly targeted in the shooting, who was wounded in the hand, testified at a preliminary hearing that Bishop and Harris were not his assailants.
The two defendants were each charges with murder with special circumstances of discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle and murder to benefit a criminal street gang, attempted murder, two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling or vehicle and possession of a firearm by a felon.
McClinton was a father of two, a former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department law enforcement technician of 18 years and a youth coach who founded the nonprofit Brotherhood Community Youth Sports League in Pasadena.
Bishop had benefitted from the state’s prison realignment of 2011, also known as AB 109, officials said. Under the sentencing guidelines, he was able to serve less than one year of a two-year sentence for a previous assault with a deadly weapon as a “nonviolent, non-serious” offender in county jail, rather than state prison. Also as a result of AB 109, Bishop was released from custody without parole supervision about six months before McClinton’s slaying. He had two prior felony convictions as well.

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Officials: Death of man at Pasadena bus stop appears natural


PASADENA >> The death of a man in his 30s found unconscious at a Pasadena bus stop Saturday is believed to be from natural causes, officials said.
Authorities responded to a bus stop at the parking structure of the Metro Sierra Madre Villa Station in the 100 block of North Halstead Street about 3:45 p.m. after receiving reports of a “man down,” Lt. Rich Maradiaga of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau said.
Pasadena Fire Department paramedics pronounced a man, estimated to be in his 30s, dead at the scene, the lieutenant said.
There no signs of foul play and the death appeared to be natural, he said.
An autopsy will be carried out by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner.

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UPDATED: Elderly man killed in Pasadena ambulance crash identified as retired priest from Chile

PASADENA >> Authorities Thursday released the name of a 79-year-old retired priest who was killed when the ambulance he was riding in collided head-on with another vehicle on Fair Oaks Avenue over the weekend.
Nelson Munoz Vergara died at a hospital following Sunday’s 4 p.m. crash between a private ambulance and a Jaguar sedan on Fair Oaks Avenue, just south of Hammond Street, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said.
The release of his identity was delayed as coroner’s investigators unsuccessfully sought Vergara’s next of kin, Harvey said. It was determined that Vergara was a retired priest who was being cared for by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and living at a Pasadena convalescent home.
Vergara was a retired, visiting priest from South America, Archdiocese of Los Angeles spokeswoman Monica Valencia said.
“We are saddened that a retired priest, who was visiting us from Chile, was killed in a vehicle crash on Saturday,” Archdiocese officials said in a written statement.” “The Archdiocese of Los Angeles grieves the loss of our brother, who blessed us with his warmth and friendship, while he was with us. We pray for the strength and comfort of his family and friends, and offer our prayers for the repose of his soul.”
Vergara was being taken to a routine dialysis appointment when the crash took place, officials said.
The ambulance, operated by Montebello-based Lifeline Ambulance, was southbound on Fair Oaks Avenue when a northbound Jaguar crossed into opposing traffic lanes and collided with the ambulance, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said. Why the northbound Jaguar crossed into southbound lanes remained under investigation.
A 21-year-old San Bernardino man who was driving the ambulance and his partner, a 27-year-old Whittier man, suffered minor injuries in the crash, police said.
A 68-year-old Altadena woman at the wheel of the Jaguar suffered injuries including a broken leg, officials said. Her injuries were not life-threatening.
The results of toxicology tests were pending, however alcohol did not appear to be a factor, Hettema said.
No arrests were made as the investigation continued.

Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales

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UPDATED: Pasadena man jailed in connection with home-invasion robbery of elderly Burbank woman

Police jailed a Pasadena man Wednesday in connection with their investigation into the violent home-invasion robbery of an elderly Burbank woman last week, officials said.
Lonnie Garcia, 27, is accused of robbery and attempted murder Friday’s 8:22 p.m. home invasion targeting an 89-year-old woman in the 1000 block of Cornell Drive, Burbank police officials said in a written statement.
The investigation also led to the arrest of a second suspect, 40-year-old Eddie Baca, on suspicion of evading police and drug sales following a car chase Wendnesday afternoon, according to Pasadena and Burbank police.
While following up in the investigation into the home-invasion robbery, “Investigators developed leads which led them to the City of Pasadena,” according to the Burnank police statement. “The leads and investigatory work resulted in the arrest of a suspect in the home invasion robbery.”
Garcia was arrested about 5 p.m. and was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, Los Angeles County booking records show.
(Garcia) was recently released from prison and is currently supervised as part of California’s Realignment Program, known as AB109,” according to the Burbank police statement.
Pasadena police officers joined their counterparts from Burnank to carry out surveillance of the suspect, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Baca led officers on a chase when they tried to pull him over, the lieutenant said.
The chase led to Del Mar Boulevard and Madre Street, where Baca was apprehended after crashing into another car at about 5 p.m. No significant injuries were reported as a result of the crash.
Baca was booked at the Burbank jail for evading police and drug sales, officials said. He was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, records show.
In Friday’s home-invasion robbery, the elderly victim answered a knock at her door when the suspect — later identified as Baca — forced his way into her home, Burbank police said in a written statement.
“A struggle ensued, and the victim received some injuries, including abrasions and lacerations,” according to the statement. It was unclear what, if anything, was stolen in the crime.
The woman summoned help via her medical alert system, police added.

*This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect that Lonnie Garcia is accused of robbery and attempted murder, while Eddie Baca is accused of evading police and drug sales.

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Transient accused of random attack on woman, carjacking of good Samaritan who intervened in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A transient randomly attacked a woman late Saturday and briefly carjacked the car of a good Samaritan who rushed to her aid, with the good Samaritan’s mother inside, authorities said.
Police jailed Shane Patrick Hawkins, 39, following the strange series of events which unfolded about 9:30 p.m. at Garfield Avenue and Union Street, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
A Pasadena woman in her 40s was walking by when Hawkins suddenly grabbed her, spun her around and held her with his knee pressed against her back, Mercado said.
“She started screaming for help. That drew two good Samaritans,” the lieutenant said.
A Pasadena man left his car in the middle of the street and rushed to the woman’s aid, Mercado said. A second good Samaritan, a passer-by described only as male, also jumped in to help.
“They were able to get the suspect to let go of her,” Mercado said. Hawkins then ran to the good Samaritan’s car, jumped in and began to drive away.
But the suspect didn’t get far. The good Samartian’s mother, a Pasadena woman in her 50s, fought with the carjacker, preventing him from driving off.
“The males then pulled him out of the car and held him until we arrived,” Mercado said.
No injuries were reported as a result of the incident to any of the victims or the suspect. The second good Samaritan left the scene before talking to police.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Hawkins was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Elderly patient killed when ambulance collides with car in Pasadena


PASADENA >> An ambulance collided head-on with a car on Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena Saturday, killing an elderly patient who was riding in the back of the ambulance and sending three other people to the hospital, police said.
The crash occurred just after 4 p.m. on Fair Oaks Avenue, just south of Hammond Street, Pasadena police Lt. Jesse Carrillo said.
The cause and circumstances of the crash remained under investigation, however it appeared the vehicles collided head-on, police said.
The patient, a man in his 70s, suffered major injuries in the crash, Carrillo said,
He was already in cardiac arrest when firefighters arrived on-scene, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said. He succumbed to his injuries a short time later.
The driver of the ambulance and his partner suffered apparently minor injuries, the lieutenant said. A woman who was at the wheel of the car, a four-door Jaguar, was hospitalized with injuries believed to include a broken ankle.
Carrillo said the ambulance, operated by Montebello-based Lifeline Ambulance, was taking the patient to a routine medical appointment. It was not using emergency lights or a siren.
The ambulance was heading south and the Jaguar was heading north when the crash took place, he added.
Police shut down Fair Oaks Avenue between Hammond and Mountain streets as officers continued their investigation Saturday evening.

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Nightly lane closures planned on 210 Freeway

PASADENA >> Officials are planning continued nightly closures of up to two lanes of the 210 Freeway in both directions between Pasadena and Glendale over the next two weeks as Caltrans continues work on a replacing and maintenance project, officials said.
Up to two lanes of the eastbound 210 Freeway will be shut down between Ocean View Boulevard in Montrose and the Lincoln Avenue and Howard Street overcrossing in Pasadena nightly from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. between Monday and July 17, Caltrans officials said in a statement.
Up to two lanes of both the eastbound and westbound 210 Freeway will be closed between Dunsmore Avenue in Glendale between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Monday to July 20.
And between Wednesday and July 24, up to two lanes of the eastbound and westbound 210 Freeway will be closed from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. between Dunsmore Avenue in Glendale and Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena.
The paving and median work is part of an ongoing $148.5 million project being carried out by Santa Fe Springs-based contractor Flatiron West Inc.

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Men robbed of gold necklaces in Pasadena alley


PASADENA >> Police are seeking a gunman who robbed two other men of their gold necklaces in a Pasadena alley Wednesday.
Two coworkers, ages 21 and 40, were walking through Herr Alley, just north of the 100 block of Palmetto Drive, about 6:45 p.m. when the robber approached, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
The robber brandished a semi-automatic handgun and demanded the victims turn over gold necklaces they were wearing, the lieutenant said. The victims complied, and the robber was last seen fleeing west on Waverly Drive.
Police searched the area but did not find the suspect, Luna said.

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