Woman fights off man who groped, tried to rob her in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A man groped and tried to rob a woman in Pasadena late Thursday before she managed to fight him off by hitting him with her purse, officials said.
An Altadena woman in her 40s was waiting for a taxi about 10:25 p.m. in the area of Holly Street and Raymond Avenue when the attacker approached, according to Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado.
The man groped the woman, then demanded her wallet, he said.
“She defended herself by hitting him with her purse, which caused him to run away without any loss,” the lieutenant said.
He was last seen fleeing the area on foot.
Mercado said the suspect was described as a Latino man in his 20s, about 5 feet tall, of thin build, wearing a red hat, a white T-shirt, a black jacket and dark-colored jeans.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477

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Gunman sought in Pasadena gas station robbery


PASADENA >> A man with a handgun robbed a Pasadena gas station late Thursday, police said.
The crime unfolded about 10:15 p.m. at USA Gas, 2800 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
A man entered the store and acted as if was going to make some purchases, the lieutenant said.
But when the clerk opened the cash register to accept payment, the robber pulled a handgun and demanded the money.
The clerk, a La Puente man in his 30s, complied and the robber fled with an undetermined amount of cash, Mercado said.
Police described the robber as a Latino man in his 40s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, of medium build, with a mustache, wearing a green hood sweatshirt and gray sweatpants. He carried a dark, semi-automatic handgun.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Elderly Pasadena woman killed in house fire identified

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PASADENA >> Coroner’s investigators have identified an elderly woman who died in a fire at her Pasadena home in late November.
Sandra Bassler, 80, was found dead shortly after 8 a.m. on Nov. 25 inside her burning home in the 300 block of Redwood Drive, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
Though Bassler was the home’s lone resident and has been unaccounted for since the fire, official identification was delayed to the badly burned condition of the remains. Her cause of death remained under investigation.
Neighbors called 911 to report the fire, a neighbor suffered burns as he twice attempted to rescue the elderly woman from the home, but was driven back by a “wall of fire,” Pasadena Fire Department Chief Bertral Washington said at the time.
Firefighters found Bassler and pronounced her dead at the scene, officials said.
Investigators noted multiple possible causes of the fire, but had not isolated a specific cause, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Overloaded wiring, excessive use of power cords and strips, an electric space heater, an electric blanket, candles and smoking materials were all found inside the room where the fire started, she said.

PHOTO by Walt Mancini

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Pasadena man charged with manslaughter in alleged DUI crash that killed Altadena man


PASADENA >> A driver accused of killing a motorcyclist in a drunken driving-related crash in Pasadena early New Year’s Day faces a vehicular manslaughter charge, officials said.
Prosecutors charged Shawn Antonio, 42, of Pasadena vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence on Wednesday, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
The charge stems from a crash between his BMW X3 SUV and a motorcyclist about 4:40 a.m. on Sunday at Fair Oaks Avenue and Washington Boulevard.
Killed was Carl Steve Perry, 57, of Altadena, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. An autopsy determined Perry died from traumatic injuries, and the death was ruled accidental.
Perry was southbound on Fair Oaks Avenue when Antonio made a left turn in front of him, causing the collision, according to Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman. Paramedics took Perry to a hospital, where he soon succumbed to his injuries.
Police determined Antonio was under the influence of alcohol and arrested him on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, Goodman said.
Antonio appeared in court but entered no plea Wednesday, district attorney’s office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said. His arraignment hearing was postponed to Jan. 11 in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Initially held in lieu of $2 million bail, Antonio’s bail was reduced to $50,000 bail during Wednesday’s proceedings, officials said.
He was released from custody Thursday morning pending the legal process after posting bail, Los Angeles County booking records show.
If convicted as charged, Antonio faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison.

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Parolee arrested for robbery, sexual battery of young woman in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A Pasadena man already on parole for robbery is accused of robbing and sexually battering a 19-year-old woman as she walked down a street in Pasadena early Saturday, officials said.
Tredon Marquis Thomas, 24, was arrested following the incident, which unfolded about 7:45 a.m. on Los Robles Avenue, just south of Walnut Street, according to Pasadena police and Los Angeles County booking records.
“The victim was walking from the Memorial Park Gold Line Station and was approached from behind by the suspect,” Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“The suspect asked to borrow the victim’s cell phone and then refused to return it to her,” he said. “During the crime, the suspect touched the victim in an inappropriate manner.”
The suspect, later identified as Thomas, ran off but was soon found and arrested by officer. Police recovered the woman’s cell phone.
Thomas was convicted of robbery in August of 2015 and sentenced to two years in state prison, Los Angeles County Superior Court records show. The crime took place on April 3, 2015.
He was since paroled, and remained on parole at the time of Saturday’s arrest, officials said.
According to county booking records, Thomas was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Man jailed following failed robbery at Pasadena Best Buy


PASADENA >> Police jailed a man Saturday afternoon following an ill-fated robbery attempt at a Pasadena Best Buy store, officials said.
Gabriel Robert Murrieta, 42. of Palmdale was arrested following the 2:25 p.m. incident at the electronics store, 3415 E. Foothill Blvd., according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
He walked into the store and told an employee that he was armed and demanded money, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said. He gestured as if he had a handgun.
The manager walked with the would-be robber to a cash register while other employees called police.
Officers responded to the store and arrested Murrieta without a struggle, Goodman said. He was found to be unarmed.
“The store was full of shoppers at the time of the incident, and officers did an excellent job of coordinating their response,” Goodman added.
Murrieta was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing on Wednesday in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, records show.

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Motorcyclist from Altadena killed, Pasadena man accused of DUI after collision


PASADENA >> An Altadena man died after a drunken driver collided wit his motorcycle in Pasadena early New Year’s Day, police said.
The deadly crash took place at 4:39 a.m. along Fair Oaks Avenue at Washington Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
The victim, a 57-year-old Altadena man whose name was yet to be released, was riding a motorcycle south on Fair Oaks Avenue when a 2006 BMW X3 made a left turn in front of him, he said.
“The victim collided with the suspect vehicle and was ejected from the motorcycle,” police said in a written statement.
Pasadena Fire Department paramedics treated the motorcyclist and took him to an area hospital where he soon succumbed to his injuries.
Police identified the driver of the BMW as Shawn Antonio, 42, of Pasadena.
“Antonio was found to be under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and was arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI,” according to the statement.
Antonio has a previous conviction for DUI, police said, making him potentially eligible for a murder charge once prosecutors file a case.
Under California law, defendants accused of DUI resulting in death following a previous DUI conviction can often be charged with murder.
Those convicted of DUI are generally made to acknowledge a “Watson advisement” stating that they understand DUI is dangerous to human life, and that should they be involved in another DUI resulting in death, they could be charged with murder.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Antonio was being held in lieu of $2 million bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Fire destroys garage in Pasadena

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PASADENA >> An early-morning fire destroyed a residential garage in Pasadena on Saturday, causing an estimated $100,000 worth of damage but resulting in no injuries, officials said.
The fire was first reported at 3:30 a.m. in the 1800 block of North Madison Avenue, according to Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.
Firefighters “aggressively” attacked the flames and declared the fire extinguished 20 minutes after arrival, she said.
Officials estimated the fire caused $70,000 in damage to the garage, and another $30,000 worth of damage to items stored inside.
The cause remained under investigation.

PHOTO courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department

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Robbers target painkillers in Pasadena pharmacy heist


PASADENA >> Police are seeking two men who fled with two duffel bags full of painkillers following a robbery at a Pasadena pharmacy on Wednesday afternoon.
The crime took place about 12:10 p.m. at the Pasadena City Pharmacy, 1648 E. Washington Blvd.
The two robbers gestured as if they had handguns, though none were seen, as they entered the pharmacy and jumped over the counter, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“They filled two duffel bags that they had brought with them with prescription medication,” he said. The robbers targeted painkillers and did not steal any cash. It was unclear how much medication they obtained.
Both robbers were last seen fleeing the store on foot, he said. No injuries were reported.
Police described both robbers as black men, between 25 and 30 years old, wearing all-dark clothing.
Investigators were in the process of checking area surveillance cameras for useful footage, Goodman said.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Northern California woman robbed in Pasadena on Christmas Eve


PASADENA >> Two men robbed a Northern California woman visiting Pasadena for the holidays at gunpoint on Christmas Eve, police said.
The robbery unfolded about 3:50 p.m. on Saturday in the 2800 block of East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman.
A 25-year-old Santa Clara woman was walking down the street when two robbers approached and one of the brandished a handgun, he said.
They demanded the woman’s money and cellphone, which she turned over.
The robbers then got into a dark-colored SUV, which sped away north on Sunnyslope Avenue, according to the lieutenant.
Police described the robbers as two Latino men between 20 and 25 years old. One stood 5 feet 10 inches tall, wore all dark clothing and carried a handgun. The second robber wore a beige trench coat and blue jeans.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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