Fire damages Pasadena auto body shop, destroys two cars

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PASADENA >> A fire at a Pasadena auto body shop damaged a garage and destroyed two cars parked inside, causing about $375,000 worth of damage early Saturday, officials said.
The fire broke out just after 7:20 a.m. at Alliance Auto Body. 826 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
0928_NWS_PSN-L-GARAGEFIRE2Firefighters were greeted by heavy smoke and large flames when they arrived and started pouring water onto the burning garage, Derderian said. The burning building was a garage behind the main auto body shop used for auto detailing and prep work, officials added.
Officials declared the fire extinguished about half an hour later, Derderian said. The business was closed at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported.
Fire officials estimated the fire caused $300,000 worth of damage to the building, and $75,000 in damage to the two cars and other items inside.
Derderian said the destroyed cars were a Volkswagen and a Dodge.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

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PHOTOS courtesy of the Pasadena Fire Department

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Two buses collide in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Authorities said an MTA bus driver was hospitalized as a precaution after her bus rear-ended a Pasadena ARTS bus early Thursday morning.
One passenger on the MTA bus, a 52-year-old man, reported a minor head injury as a result of the collision but was not taken to a hospital, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
The crash took place about 6:50 a.m. at Fair Oaks Avenue and Washington Boulevard, the lieutenant said.
The driver of the MTA bus, described as a 61-year-old woman, told officials she felt ill before her bus struck the rear of an ARTS bus, he said. She did not appear to have suffered significant injuries, but was hospitalized as a precaution.
No one on the ARTS bus reported being injured in the collision, which resulted in damage to the front of the MTA bus, including damage to the bike rack and a bicycle that was stored on it, Luna said.
The cause of the crash was under investigation, however Luna said nothing criminal was suspected.

- Brian Day and Ruby Gonzales

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Bike worth $2,600 stolen in Pasadena two weeks before charity ride

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PASADENA >> Two weeks before a Pasadena man was set to begin his annual 450-mile charity bike ride to raise money for substance abuse recovery, his valuable elliptical bike was stolen from his garage.
And while the theft was a disappointment, 50-year-old Robin McGeough is not letting the costly setback take the air out of his tires. The 2014 Run 4 Recovery, from San Francisco to Pasadena and benefitting the Puente House sober living center in Covina, will begin as planned Oct. 1, McGeough said. He has obtained a new elliptical bicycle to complete the scheduled ride from San Francisco to Pasadena.
McGeough discovered the $2,600 black ElliptiGO bike missing from his garage in an alley between Plymouth Drive and Robinson Road Tuesday, according to McGeough and Pasadena police Lt. John Luna. It was believed to have been taken some time overnight.
No suspect information was available, Luna said. The following day, McGeough began circulating fliers in his neighborhood, explaining the bike’s purpose and asking neighbors if they had seen the stolen bike. But he also said he hoped the thief may see the flier.
“I want whoever stole my bike to be able to know that it meant something,” McGeough said. “I was a vehicle for more than just exercise.”

… FULL STORY

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Ex-felon arrested for gun possession in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police jailed a Los Angeles man late Saturday on suspicion of being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun, officials said.
Akeem Ross, 29, was arrested about 10:20 p.m. in the 100 block of West Claremont Street, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
A police sergeant was checking the area following a report of a possible burglary in progress when he noticed Ross, who, “appeared to be avoiding the police and hiding,” the lieutenant said.
The sergeant approached Ross and learned he was a convicted felon, Luna said. When police searched the area where Ross had first been spotted, they found a 9mm, semi-automatic handgun.
Ross was not believed to be involved with the original report of a burglary, Luna added.
According to county booking records, Ross was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Man wounded in police shooting near Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles police shot and wounded an armed man Wednesday afternoon, authoriites said.
Few details were initially available regarding the officer-involved shooting, which took place about 5:30 p.m. at Marengo and State streets, near Los Angeles-USC Medical Center, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Drake Madison said.
“Officers responded to a radio call of a man with a gun,” Madison said.
“Upon their arrival, officers encountered the suspect with the gun, and an officer-involved shooting occurred.”
The suspect was wounded and taken to a hospital in unknown condition, Madison said. No description of the suspect was available.
No officers were injured, Madison said. The shooting involved officers from the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Station.
The investigation remained in its early stages.

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Mistrial declared in fatal Pasadena barbershop stabbing case

PASADENA >> A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing a Pasadena barbershop owner during a robbery in 2011, officials said.
After four days of deliberations, the Pasadena Superior Court jury announced they were deadlocked, and Judge Darrel Mavis declared a mistrial in the murder trial for Davon Moore, 25, of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
Prosecutors plan to re-try Moore on the murder charge, he said. A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for Sept. 25.
Santiago said the jury hung 11-1 in favor of convicting Moore of the first-degree murder of 43-year-old King E. King, who was found shortly after 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 21, 2011, lying in a pool of blood behind his business, King King’s Barber and Beauty Salon in the 900 bock of East Washington Boulevard in Pasadena.
In addition to murder, Moore is accused of the special allegations that the killing was committed during the course of a robbery and burglary, and that Moore personally used a knife in the slaying.
The alleged special circumstance of murder during the course of a robbery and burglary made Moore eligible for the death penalty if convicted, though officials declined pursue a capital case against him, Santiago said. If convicted as charged, Moore could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Co-defendant Sabrina King, 21, of Compton, who is not related to King King, pleaded “no contest” in March to charges of voluntary manslaughter and robbery in connection with the slaying. She faces up to 21 years in state prison when she returns to court for sentencing.
Pasadena police initially arrested two men and two women in connection with King’s slaying, however the other two people arrested along with Moore and Sabrina King were subsequently released without charges.

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UPDATED: 5 human cases of West Nile Virus confirmed in Pasadena area

PASADENA >> Pasadena Public Health Department officials confirmed on Wednesday that five people have become infected with West Nile Virus over the past month.
The last confirmed human case of West Nile Virus within the jurisdiction of the Pasadena Public Health Department was reported in December of 2012, Pasadena city officials said in a written statement. The Pasadena Public Health Department’s reporting jurisdiction encompasses the city of Pasadena, as well as portions of Altadena and San Marino, Pasadena spokesman William Boyer said.
“It is of concern,” Boyer said of the recent findings. “In extreme cases, it can be fatal. Our health department tracks this and we’re obligated to report out to the public when we have confirmed cases.”
None of the Pasadena-area WNV cases were fatal, Boyer said. But due to medical privacy laws, he said specific information regarding the WNV cases in Pasadena were not available.
“As far as I know, they’ve all sought treatment through their own physicians,” Boyer said. He added that none of the five cases were believed to involve major illness.
Symptoms of the virus, which is transmitted by bites from infected mosquitos, include fever, body ache, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache, health officials said.
“Up to about 80 percent of people infected have no apparent symptoms and can go undiagnosed,” according to the health department statement. “Severe cases, while rare, can include brain inflammation, paralysis or death.
Pasadena Health Department officials encouraged anyone who suspects possible WNV infection to seek medical care immediately.
“It’s certainly not the first time we’ve had West Nile Virus here in the Pasadena area, and it probably won’t be the last,” Boyer said.
The proportion of WNV-infected mosquitos detected in California is at an all-time high, officials said. And the risk of infection is highest during summer weather and drought conditions.
City health officials patrol the city at least once a week to treat gutters, puddles and other collections of standing water, where mosquitos breed. Pasadena Public Health Department officials said they collaborate with police to search for stagnant pools and green standing water from the air.
“We want people to be aware. We want people to take precautions,” Boyer said.
The risk of getting bitten is highest around dusk and dawn, he added.
To reduce the risk of getting WNV, state and local health officials suggest residents empty all standing water containers left outside, check for mosquito larvae in any standing water,wear long sleeves and pants when outside, wear insect repellents containing DEET, avoid areas known to be inhabited by mosquitos around dusk and dawn and keep swimming pools well-maintained.
As the hot summer months prompt some people to sleep with windows open, Boyer advised them to make sure that screens are in place and free from holes to prevent the bloodthirtsy insects from getting indoors.
So far this year, 311 human cases of WNV have been reported in California, according to the California Department of Public Health. Seventy-three new cases were reported over the past week alone, with 20 of them in Los Angeles County.
Twelve WNV-related deaths have been reported this year, officials added. Three deaths have been reported in Orange County; two have been reported in Los Angeles County; two were reported in Sutter County; two were reported in Stanislaus County; and single WNV-related deaths have been reported in Glenn, Sacramento and Shasta counties.
The number of humans infected with the virus this year more than doubles the 150 human infections reported at the same point last year, and more than triples the five-year average of 95 cases, according to state data.
But while the numbers of cases are increasing, fewer counties have reported WNV detection so far this year than last.
The virus has turned up in 38 California counties so far this year, compared with 41 affected counties as of Sept. 17, 2013. An average of 37 counties have reported finding WNV over the past five years.
More than 2,800 infected mosquito samples have been found during 2014, officials said. Officials turned up 193 new infected mosquito samples throughout California over the past week, with 24 of them found in Los Angeles County.
Health officials have detected 2,017 dead birds infected with the virus statewide this year, according to the California Department of Public Health. Thirty-eight infected birds were discovered over the past week, though none were found in Los Angeles County.
To report stagnant water, residents are encouraged to contact the Pasadena Public Health Departments Environmental Health Division at 626-744-6004.
Dead birds and squirrels can be reported to the West Nile Virus and Dead Bird Hotline at 877-968-2473.
For more information, visit www.westnile.ca.gov, or www.cdc.gov.westnile.

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Police plan checkpoint Friday in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police are planning a checkpoint late Friday to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licenses, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said in a written statement.
Over the past three years in Pasadena, four people have died and 112 people have been injured in DUI-related crashes, according to Police Chief Phillip Sanchez.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided through a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Tourist carjacked in Pasadena after meeting woman at L.A. bar

PASADENA >> A first date turned into a carjacking early Saturday after an Argentina man visiting Southern California had his rental car stolen by a woman he had just met and an accomplice, police said.
The carjacking took place just after 3 a.m. at Allen Avenue and Corson Street, Pasadena police Lt. Ed Calatayud said.
But the incident began earlier in the night, when the 31-year-old victim met a woman at a Los Angeles bar, the lieutenant said.
The man was drunk when he agreed to go for a ride with the woman, Calatayud said. She drove, due to the man’s intoxication.
The woman pulled over in Pasadena and the two began talking when a carjacker approached the car from the passenger side, police said. The carjacker pulled the victim from the car and struck him in the head before climbing in to the passenger seat of the rented car.
Calatayud said the woman then drove off with her accomplice. In addition to the car, the carjackers also made off with the victim’s luggage.
The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for moderate injuries and released later Saturday morning.
Police described the carjackers as a black woman, between 20 and 30 years old and of thin build, along with a heavyset black man between 20 and 30. The 2013 Toyota Corolla they were last seen in had a California license plate number of 6ZTK556. The color was not available.

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Loud party leads to gun arrest in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police responding to a report of a loud party ended up arresting a party-goer on suspicion of carrying a loaded handgun Saturday night, officials said.
The incident unfolded about midnight in the 1100 block of North Lake Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Officers arrived at a home after someone complained about a noisy party, the lieutenant said. As they went to the rear of the home to talk to people congregated there, a man fled.
“The suspect ran a short distance and threw a loaded handgun over a fence,” Luna said. Officer quickly captured the man and recovered the semi-automatic handgun.
Desmond Jamal Every, 27, of Pasadena was booked on suspicion of possession of a loaded firearm, Luna said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, he was released from custody Sunday morning pending his initial court appearance after posting $35,000 bail.

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