Pasadena police investigate three weekend shootings; no injuries reported

PASADENA >> Police investigated three shootings in Pasadena over the weekend, but no injuries were reported.
The shootings took place during the early-morning hours on Saturday and Sunday, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
The first shooting took place about 1:55 a.m. on Saturday in the 1600 block of Kenneth Way.
Officers responded to reports of gunshots heard in the neighborhood when they spotted a car driving out of the area at high speed, according to the lieutenant.
Police stopped the car and found it had been struck by gunfire, Mercado said. But the two men and one woman inside were not injured.
“The occupants were uncooperative and did not provide the officers with any information,” he said.
Evidence, including broken glass from a shattered window of the victims’ car, led police to the shooting scene on Kenneth Way.
Police then received a flood of 911 calls about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday reporting shots fired along North Garfield Avenue, Mercado said. Officers found evidence of a shooting in the 1900 block of North Garfield Avenue, but encountered no suspects or victims.
And more gunfire was reported about 3:10 a.m. Sunday in the 100 block of West Montana Street, where a parked car was struck by bullets.
No witnesses to the shooting were found, and no further details were available.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241.

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Police: Jealous boyfriend attacks bakery worker in Pasadena


PASADENA >> Police are seeking a man who they say attacked a bakery worker and threatened him with a knife after becoming jealous when his girlfriend, who also works at the bakery, hugged the co-worker on Saturday afternoon.
The incident unfolded shortly before 3 p.m. at the Corner Bakery, at Lake Avenue and Del Mar Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
A man in his 20s arrived at the bakery to begin his shift at work just prior to the alleged attack, the lieutenant said. As he was walking into the restaurant, the worker briefly talked with and hugged a female co-worker who was ending her shift.
The female co-worker’s boyfriend was outside the bakery and became enraged, Mercado said.
The jealous boyfriend punched the victim in the face, then threatened him with a pocket knife before the store manager intervened. Both the attacker and his girlfriend drove away together.
Mercado said the victim suffered a cut and swelling to his lip, but was not seriously hurt.
Police were still seeking the suspect Sunday. He was described as a Latino man in his 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 175 pounds, wearing a black T-shirt and black basketball shorts. He was armed with a pocket knife with a 3-inch-long blade.
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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Authorities release list of 57 guns seized from Pasadena police lieutenant’s home; Weapons cache valued at more than $50K

PASADENA >> Federal authorities on Sunday released a list of 57 guns, value at more than $50,000, seized by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents from the Sierra Madre home of a Pasadena police lieutenant in February.
ATF and Pasadena police have released little information about the ongoing investigation, during which the lieutenant has been placed on administrative leave.
ATF agents were seen seizing numerous gun cases from the lieutenant’s home during the Feb. 16 raid, however no arrests have been made, and no details of the investigation made public.
But the U.S. Department of Justice posted a list Sunday of the weapons seized during the search Sunday as part of a national listing of property targeted by federal officials for forfeiture.
According to the document, the arsenal seized from the home of Lt. Vasken Gourdikian included 34 pistols, valued at about $27,900, 21 rifles or rifle receivers, valued at about $20,450, and two shotguns, valued at about $2,600.
The cache of weapons represented a wide variety of guns, ranging from inexpensive and small-caliber pistols to pricey and powerful tactical rifles.
Gourdikian formerly served as the police chief’s adjutant and department spokesperson.
The lieutenant and the Pasadena Police Department have repeatedly declined to comment on the investigation.
The head of the ATF’s Los Angeles-area field office issued an advisory to Southern California law enforcement agencies in late-March, caution of a growing trend of illegal weapons dealing by police officers.

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Pasadena man accused of slashing roommate during fight over noise


PASADENA >> A Pasadena man is accused of assault with a deadly weapon after an argument over noise with his roommate escalated into a stabbing early Tuesday, police said.
Jorge Olguin, 23, was arrested following the 4 a.m. incident at an apartment in the 400 block of North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
The suspect and his roommate, a 53-year-old man, got into an argument after the older man accused his roommate of making too much noise, according to the lieutenant.
“The argument progressed to the point where the suspect armed himself with a knife,” Goodman said. “The suspect lunged at victim.
“The victim was able to dodge the knife, for the most part,” he said. The victim suffered a 4-inch cut to the back of his neck that was not considered to be life-threatening.
Police found Olguin at the scene and arrested him without a struggle, Goodman said. He was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
Police collected the kitchen knife believed to have been used in the attack as evidence, he added.

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Man stabbed in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A stabbing victim showed up at a Pasadena emergency room Thursday night, but refused to provide details about what happened to him, police said.
A 20-year-old Pasadena man arrived at Huntington Hospital about 9:25 p.m. with stab wounds to his rib cage and back, Pasadena police Lt. Mark Goodman said.
“The victim told officers he was walking in the area of Oakland Avenue and Villa Street when he was stabbed by an unknown suspect with an unknown object,” according to Goodman. “The victim refused to provide further information and was not cooperative with investigative efforts.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Pasadena police at 626-74474241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Police: Man dies in jump from Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A man leapt to his death from the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena on Saturday morning, police said.
Foul play was not suspected in the death, which was being investigated as a suicide, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
Police received a report just after 8 a.m. that someone had witnessed a man jump from the bridge spanning the Arroyo Seco, he said.
The man, estimated to be between 30 and 50, appeared lifeless when police first arrived on scene, Clawson said. Paramedics subsequently pronounced the man dead.

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Gang members get life in prison for Christmas Day murder of Pasadena youth coach

PASADENA >> Two gang members will spend the rest of their lives in prison cells for fatally shooting a Pasadena community coach and sheriff’s department employee on Christmas Day, 2012, a judge declared Friday.
At their sentencing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Jerron Donald Harris, 29, of Pasadena and Larry Darnell Bishop, 24, of Chino each received sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Dec. 25, 2012, murder of 49-year-old Victor J. McClinton of Pasadena, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said in a written statement.
McClinton was walking with a friend in the 1900 block of Newport Avenue about a 11 a.m. when he became caught in gang crossfire.
The killers opened fire on a rival gang member, who was wounded in the shooting, according to Pasadena police officials and prosecutors. McClinton, who was struck by an errant bullet from the gang-related attack, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
McClinton was a father of two who worked as a law enforcement technician for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and founded the Brotherhood Community Youth Sports League in Pasadena.
Following a mistrial in 2015, and a 15-day jury deliberation process at the conclusion of their second trial in 2015, a jury convicted Harris and Bishop of first-degree murder, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Ricardo Santiago.
The jury also found true the special circumstances that the killing was gang related and that the shots were fired from a moving vehicle, he said. The jury also found true the allegation that Harris personally used a firearm in the crime, but did not find true the allegation that Bishop also fired a gun in the shooting.
Jurors also convicted Harris of two counts of shooting at an inhabited dwelling and one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, Risling said.
The special allegations made the defendants eligible for the death penalty, but prosecutors did not seek capital punishment in the case.

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LOS ANGELES >> The head of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Los Angeles has cautioned Southland police departments to watch out for the “growing trend” of law enforcement officers engaging in unlicensed, illegal firearms dealing.
In an advisory distributed to area police and sheriff’s departments and dated March 31, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF in Los Angeles Eric D. Harden warned the agency has learned of an “emerging problem” with respect to law enforcement officers buying and then reselling guns, in possible violation of federal firearms law. The involved guns include many which are considered “off-roster” under California law, meaning that they can be purchased only by law enforcement officers and are not available to the general public.
“Recently, ATF has discovered that some law enforcement officers who do not have a (Federal Firearms License) are purchasing ‘off roster’ firearms and reselling those firearms to non-law enforcement entities for a profit,” Harden wrote.
Some of the weapons have turned up at crime scenes.
“In some instances, ATF has discovered officers who purchased more than 100 “off roster” firearms that were subsequently transferred to non-law enforcement individuals,” Harden continued. “Such transactions potentially constitute violations of federal firearms laws, to include dealing firearms without a FFL, and lying on a federal firearms form when purchasing said firearm — also known as “straw purchasing.”
Officials declined to provide details regarding the incidents described in the advisory.
ATF agents conducted a search at a Sierra Madre home of a Pasadena police lieutenant.
Officials reportedly seized numerous large gun cases from the home, however no arrests were made. Federal officials released no information about the raid, and Pasadena police have deferred to the ATF for comment.
ATF Spokeswoman Ginger Colburn said the agency could not discuss whether the February raid helped prompt the ATF advisory.
“As a matter of (Department of Justice) policy, ATF cannot comment on any ongoing investigation or confirm individuals involved,” she said.
The lieutenant remains on paid leave pending the investigation, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said. He declined to comment further.
The involved lieutenant has also declined to comment.
While individuals can sell personal firearms without a federal firearms license, anyone engaged in the business of firearms sales must obtain a federal license, ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colburn said.
Harden also noted in the letter that filling out paperwork while purchasing a firearm to indicate the weapon personal use while intending to sell it or otherwise give to someone else is also a federal crime for anyone, including law enforcement.
A conviction for dealing in firearms without a license carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Making a false statement to a Federal firearms licensee when acquiring a firearm carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Harden’s advisory described the issue as a “growing trend.”
“ATF believed education is the most effective way to stop the growing trend of law enforcement officials engaging in the business of unlicensed firearms dealings,” Harden said in the advisory.
“It is our goal to educate, not investigate, to ensure law enforcement officials comply with federal law in order to avoid unnecessary public embarrassment to themselves and your Department/Agency,” he said.
But he added, “When presented with compelling evidence of flagrant violations of federal firearms laws, ATF is obligated to conduct a criminal investigation.”

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ATF warns of ‘growing trend’ of illegal gun dealing by cops

LOS ANGELES >> The head of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Los Angeles has cautioned Southland police departments to watch out for the “growing trend” of law enforcement officers engaging in unlicensed, illegal firearms dealing.
In an advisory distributed to area police and sheriff’s departments and dated March 31, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF in Los Angeles Eric D. Harden warned the agency has learned of an “emerging problem” with respect to law enforcement officers buying and then reselling guns, in possible violation of federal firearms law. The involved guns include many which are considered “off-roster” under California law, meaning that they can be purchased only by law enforcement officers and are not available to the general public.
“Recently, ATF has discovered that some law enforcement officers who do not have a (Federal Firearms License) are purchasing ‘off roster’ firearms and reselling those firearms to non-law enforcement entities for a profit,” Harden wrote.
Some of the weapons have turned up at crime scenes.
“In some instances, ATF has discovered officers who purchased more than 100 “off roster” firearms that were subsequently transferred to non-law enforcement individuals,” Harden continued. “Such transactions potentially constitute violations of federal firearms laws, to include dealing firearms without a FFL, and lying on a federal firearms form when purchasing said firearm — also known as “straw purchasing.”
Officials declined to provide details regarding the incidents described in the advisory.
ATF agents conducted a search at a Sierra Madre home of a Pasadena police lieutenant.
Officials reportedly seized numerous large gun cases from the home, however no arrests were made. Federal officials released no information about the raid, and Pasadena police have deferred to the ATF for comment.
ATF Spokeswoman Ginger Colburn said the agency could not discuss whether the February raid helped prompt the ATF advisory.
“As a matter of (Department of Justice) policy, ATF cannot comment on any ongoing investigation or confirm individuals involved,” she said.
The lieutenant remains on paid leave pending the investigation, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said. He declined to comment further.
The involved lieutenant has also declined to comment.
While individuals can sell personal firearms without a federal firearms license, anyone engaged in the business of firearms sales must obtain a federal license, ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colburn said.
Harden also noted in the letter that filling out paperwork while purchasing a firearm to indicate the weapon personal use while intending to sell it or otherwise give to someone else is also a federal crime for anyone, including law enforcement.
A conviction for dealing in firearms without a license carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Making a false statement to a Federal firearms licensee when acquiring a firearm carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Harden’s advisory described the issue as a “growing trend.”
“ATF believed education is the most effective way to stop the growing trend of law enforcement officials engaging in the business of unlicensed firearms dealings,” Harden said in the advisory.
“It is our goal to educate, not investigate, to ensure law enforcement officials comply with federal law in order to avoid unnecessary public embarrassment to themselves and your Department/Agency,” he said.
But he added, “When presented with compelling evidence of flagrant violations of federal firearms laws, ATF is obligated to conduct a criminal investigation.”

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Passenger killed in Pasadena alleged DUI crash identified


PASADENA >> Officials have released the identity of a passenger killed in an alleged drunken driving-related crash in Pasadena late Thursday.
Alejandro Banuelos, 26, of Pasadena died in the 11:42 p.m. solo-car crash at Colorado Boulevard and Michigan Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
Banuelos was riding as a front passenger in the 1998 Cadillac, which was heading east on Colorado Boulevard, according to Pasadena police Lt. Diego Torres.
“Preliminary investigation revealed the driver lost control of the vehicle and the vehicle struck the south curb line of Colorado Boulevard and a light standard,” he said in a written statement.
Paramedics pronounced Banuelos dead at the scene.
The driver, 22-year-old Diego Gomez of Altadena, and a second passenger, described as a 22-year-old Pasadena man, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.
Investigators determined Gomez was under the influence of alcohol and arrested him on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, Lt. Mark Goodman said.
According to county booking records, Gomez was released from jail on Friday pending his initial court appearance after posting $50,000 bail.

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