PASADENA >> Officials Saturday arrested a Pasadena man at the Nevada border who they had been seeking for holding his ex-girlfriend captive for nearly two days while physically and sexually assaulting her, as well as trying to extort her for money, authorities said.
California Highway Patrol officers found and captured Jorge Arturo Ruiz, 42, of Pasadena, about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, “just prior to crossing the state line into Nevada on the Interstate 15 Highway,” Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Also arrested was 36-year-old Marta Valladares of Los Angeles, who was accompanying Ruiz at the time of his arret, and 30-year-old Christine Yerikian of Los Angeles, who was arrested Friday in Los Angeles County, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
The women are accused of aiding and abetting Ruiz, as well as destruction of evidence and helping Ruiz avoid arrest.
Police first learned of the alleged crimes just after midnight Friday.
“A resident of the 100 block of North Raymond Avenue reported to the Pasadena Police Department that a female had run out of an apartment, where she states she had been held against her will and physically and sexually assaulted,” according to the statement.
The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment of “severe contusions” to her head, face and body, police said. The injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Investigators determined Ruiz had held the woman captive for one-and-a-half to two days while carrying out the assaults and trying to extort money from her, Sgt. Schuyler Sandeen said. The sergeant declined to discuss details of alleged the extortion plot.
The suspect — later identified as Ruiz — fled from the area on foot before police arrived. Pasadena police partnered with the U.S. Marshals Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force in search of Ruiz.
CHP officers spotted Ruiz’s “wanted” vehicle about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, just before it crossed into Nevada, officials said.
They took Ruiz and Valladares into custody without a struggle, Sandeen said. Valladares’ two children, ages 3 and 7, were also in the vehicle and were turned over to the custody of the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services, Sandeen said.
All three suspects were taken back to Pasadena to be booked into jail.
Ruiz, who is accused of crimes including confining a person for the purpose of extortion, physical assault and sexual assault, was being held in lieu of $1.05 million bail pending his initial court appearance, officials said.
Valladares was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, while Yerikian was released from jail Saturday pending her court appearance after posting $100,000 bail.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Pasadena police Detective Robin Stinson at 626-744-7099. During weekends and evening hours, the Pasadena Police Department watch commander can be reached at 626-744-4620. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
PASADENA >> Police negotiators spend more than two hours persuading a suicidal man who claimed to be armed with a handgun to come out of his Pasadena motel room and accept help, officials said.
The incident began about 8:30 p.m. when a 30-year-old Monrovia man called police from a motel in the 1600 block of East Colorado Boulevard and said he was suicidal and had a gun with him in his motel room, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Police arrived on scene and got the man back on the phone, Mercado said. After more than two hours, police crisis negotiators managed to persuade the man to come out.
No gun was ultimately found, Mercado said. The man was taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
PASADENA >> Police arrested a man on suspicion of being a convicted felon in possession of a gun after finding him napping in an parked car in Pasadena late Friday, officials said.
Officers responded to the 2900 block of Margaret Drive about 11:15 p.m. after someone called police to report seeing an “unresponsive male” inside a parked car, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Police found Richard Bojorquez, 35, of Monrovia inside the car and began speaking with him, the lieutenant said. Officers learned he was on probation, and ultimately found a loaded .22-caliber handgun inside his car, along with a small amount of methamphetamine.
Bojorquez was arrested without a struggle, Mercado added.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Bojorquez was being held in lieu of $65,00 bail pending his initial court appearance.
COVINA >> Police are seeking two men who burglarized a nonprofit teen center in Covina over the weekend, officials said.
The break-in, which was partially captured on video by security cameras, took place just after 10 p.m. Friday at the 212 Training Center, 542 N. Second Ave., Covina police Lt. Dave Foster said.
Two intruders pried open a window to get into the building, he said. The thieves only managed to get away with a laptop computer — valued at about $500 — before apparently be scared away by a burglar alarm.
The security cameras did no clearly
The 212 Training Center, which is designed to provide athletic training, academic help and life guidance to at-risk San Gabriel Valley youths, opened its doors in 2012 after years of planning and fundraising.
It is run by the Man-e Moreno Foundation, dedicated to keeping young people away from gangs, drugs and violence. The foundation was launched by family members in the wake of the slaying of 26-year-old Manuel Moreno, who was gunned down in 2007 in his hometown of Covina.
While he said he was concerned about the important information stored on the laptop computer, the “violation” of the charity organization was the most unsettling, said Man-e Moreno Foundation founder and 212 Training Center Founder and brother of Manuel Moreno, Robert Moreno.
“I understand people are desperate, but to steal from a nonprofit?” he said.
Moreno added that the theft would not deter the staff at the 212 Training Center from their work.
“We’ll keep battling, doing what we do,” Moreno said. “We are not going to allow this to detour our mission and purpose to help our youth in Covina and surrounding cities.”
In the meantime, the center is hoping to raise funds to increase security at the old building, Moreno said.
For more information on the 212 Training Center, visit www.facebook.com/212TrainingCenter.
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PASADENA >> Police arrested an Oregon man late Saturday after he allegedly climbed into a hotel hot tub with a 10-year-old girl and made lewd comments to her, officials said.
Andrew Le, 21, of Portland, Oregon, is suspected of contacting or communicating with a minor for the purpose of committing a sex crime, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
The incident was reported about 9:30 p.m. at the Langham Huntington, 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave.. he said.
A 10-year-old girl was sitting in a hot tub, with her nanny supervising from the nearby deck, when Le climbed into the hot tub next to the girl and began making lewd comments, the lieutenant said. Hotel security called police and detained the suspect as they awaited police arrival.
Officers took custody of Le.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Le was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
PASADENA >> Police jailed a convicted felon late Friday after he ran from officers with a loaded gun in-hand, officials said.
Francisco Flores, 21, of Pasadena was booked on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm following his 9:25 p.m. arrest in the area of Garfield Avenue and Parke Street, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Special Enforcement officers patrolling in the area saw a car make an illegal U-turn at Parke Street and Marengo Avenue, Mercado said. They tried to pull the car over.
As the car headed east on Parke Street, a passenger — later identified as Flores — got out holding a handgun, the lieutenant said.
He ran for a short distance, throwing the gun on the roof of a building as he fled, Mercado said. Officers quickly chased him down and captured him.
Mercado said in addition to the loaded 9mm handgun police recovered from the roof, officers found Flores in possession of methamphetamine.
The car officers initially tried to pull over drove away as police chased after the gunman, Mercado said. It was not found.
According to county booking records, Flores was released from jail Saturday morning pending a court appearance after posting $50,000 bail.
PASADENA >> Police are seeking a man who pulled a handgun on two gardeners in Pasadena during a failed robbery Thursday.
The two victims, a 51-year-old man and an 18-year-old man, were sitting on a curb in the 2400 block of Lambert Drive eating their lunch about 11:30 a.m. when the would-be robber approached in a white compact car, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“He drove up beside them and he pointed a chrome semi-auto handgun at them and demanded their money,” Goodman said. The gardeners replied that they had no money.
The robber again demanded cash, and the victims again told him they had none, before the gunman drove off empty-handed, Goodman said. He was described as a Latino man between 30 and 35 years old, with a mustache.
PASADENA >> Police arrested a teenage boy Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of robbing a woman of her cell phone on a Pasadena sidewalk, officials said.
The strong-arm robbery unfolded about 12:20 p.m. as the victim, a 36-year-old woman, was standing in the 600 block of Mar Vista Avenue when a group of four young men passed by, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said. As the group passed her by, one of them grabbed the woman’s Samsung Galaxy cell phone from her hand.
The group ran to nearby McDonald Park, where police soon found them, Goodman said.
The suspect was found to still be in possession of the victim’s cellular telephone, and was positively IDd by the victim,” the lieutenant said.
The 17-year-old Los Angeles boy was booked on suspicion of robbery and taken to a juvenile hall, Goodman said.
PASADENA >> A trio of burglars smashed their way into a Pasadena cell phone store early Sunday, making off with 90 smartphones, officials said.
The break-in took place about 4:18 a.m. at a MetroPCS store at 664 N. Los Robles Ave., just south of Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Police responded to a burglary alarm at the store and discovered the front glass door had been shattered, Mercado said.
The store manager came to the scene and discovered 90 smartphones missing, he said.
Surveillance camera footage captured three male burglars smashing their way in and ransacking the rear portion of the shop, the lieutenant said. All three wore dark hooded sweatshirts, with the hoods pulled tight around their faces, and dark pants.
They were last seen running south down Los Robles Avenue.
PASADENA >> A man threatened a 13-year-old boy with a handgun and robbed him of his “hoverboard” electric scooter at a Pasadena intersection Friday night, police said.
The crime took place about 8 p.m. as the young victim was standing at Washington Boulevard and Raymond Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
The robber approached the boy, lifted his sweatshirt to display a handgun tucked into his waistband and demanded the boy turn over his green, self-balancing, two-wheeled scooter, the lieutenant said. The frightened boy complied and ran home.
Police described the robber as a Latino man between 20 and 25 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall, of medium build and medium complexion. He was clean-shaven and wore a black baseball cap, blue jeans and a sweatshirt.