PASADENA >> Police jailed a man late Friday after finding him carrying a loaded handgun at a busy city park, officials said.
Officers were patrolling about 9 p.m. Robinson Park, 1081 N. Fair Oaks Ave., which was crowded with visitors, when they noticed a man who began quickly walking away from them, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
As the officers followed, they saw the man discard a .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol beneath a parked car, he said.
Lawrence Dixon, 49, of Pasadena was arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed and loaded handgun in public.
He was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
PASADENA >> Two would-be robbers fled empty-handed after punching a bicyclist who refused to hand over his wallet early Friday, police said.
A 47 year-old Pasadena man was riding a bike about 6:35 a.m. at Martelo Avenue and Monte Vista Street when two suspects approached in a black car, described as similar to a newer-model Ford Mustang, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
A passenger stepped out of the car, motioned as if he had a weapon in his waistband and demanded the bicyclist’s wallet, the lieutenant said.
When the victim refused, and the would-be robber punched him in the face before getting back into the car and fleeing, Mercado said.
The bicyclist suffered a cut to his lip but declined medical treatment, he said.
PASADENA >> Authorities have announced street closures and flight restrictions in Pasadena Friday as President Barack Obama is expected to briefly stop by the Rose Bowl during his ongoing California visit.
Streets around the stadium will be shut down between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m., along with most of the lawn and parking areas surrounding the facility, Los Angeles police officials said in a written statement.
The president is expected to stop by shortly as a travel waypoint before heading to other scheduled events, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said. Ibarra declined to discuss the President’s travel arrangements in more detail, citing security concerns.
“Federal, state, local law enforcement authorities will be on sight, and they’re taking a strong security stance,” Ibarra said.
Road closures in Pasadena are to include: Seco Street, between West Drive and Lincoln Avenue; Rosemont Avenue between Prospect Terrace and North Arroyo Boulevard; West Drive between Linda Vista Avenue and Salvia Canyon Road; and Rosemont Avenue between North Arroyo Boulevard and Seco Street.
The Presidents stop in Pasadena will also prompt temporary flight restrictions, barring aircraft ranging from piloted planes to unmanned drones from the sky within 30 nautical miles of the commander-in-chief.
The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a fake beard-clad serial bank robber dubbed “The Bluto Bandit” who has robbed or been spotted at six banks throughout Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties over the past week.
The bandit has robbed Chase bank branches in Pasadena, Duarte and Ontario, and has been seen “casing” other branches in Monrovia, Chino and Fontana, according to FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
In each case, the bandit wore a thick, black, curly fake beard, prompting investigators to nickname him the Bluto Bandit, inspired by the bearded villain in the “Popeye” comic strip, Eimiller said.
He robbed a Chase bank at 3870 Foothill Boulevard in an unincorporated county area near Pasadena about 2:35 p.m. Tuesday, then robbed another Chase bank at 1000 Huntington Drive in Duarte about half an hour later, Eimiller said. The robber was also seen casing a Monrovia bank in between the two robbers, as well as a Fontana bank later in the afternoon.
In the Pasadena and Monrovia heists, the robber quietly approached tellers and handed over notes demanding cash, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Loy McBride said.
“He didn’t really even speak,” the lieutenant said.
But the serial bandit’s crime spree began June 10, when he robbed a Chase bank at 1070 N. Mountain Avenue in Ontario, according to the FBI. He was spotted casing a Chino Chase bank two days later.
Investigators described the robber as a Latino man, 28 to 30 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 195 pounds. In all of the crimes, he wore his fake beard and a blue, long-sleeve Pendleton-style shirt.
He’s been spotted getting into a white, newer-model Volkswagen Jetta with tinted windows and final three license plate digits of “665.”
No weapon has been seen during the crimes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the FBI Los Angeles Office at 310-477-6565.
PHOTOS from robberies in Duarte (above) and unincorporated Pasadena (below) courtesy of the FBI.
PASADENA >> An observant witness helped police arrest a man carrying a loaded gun in Old Pasadena early Sunday, officials said.
Gary Thompson, 30, of Alhambra was booked on suspicion of carrying a concealed handgun following his arrest shortly after 1:30 a.m. in an alley between Colorado Boulevard and Green Street, just west of North Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Officers were patrolling Old Pasadena on foot when a tipster approached them and pointed out a man he said was carrying a gun, Mercado said.
As officers went to speak with the alleged gun-toting man, he ran, the lieutenant said. The suspect, later identified as Thompson, threw a loaded .40-caliber handgun into a trash as he ran before surrendering to the pursuing officers.
PASADENA >> A man is accused of a series of crimes after he struck his wife or girlfriend and pointed a gun at her before firing a shot into the floor Saturday, officials said.
Police jailed Setrak Malatian, 54, of Pasadena on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, domestic assault and child endangerment, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
Officers first received a report of domestic violence about 3:35 p.m. at a home in the 2400 block of Las Tunas Street, the lieutenant said. They found a woman with a visible injury to her face.
Police learned the man had been threatening to commit suicide with a 9mm handgun. When the woman tried to intervene, he struck her, pointed the gun at her and fired a shot into the floor.
Officers got the woman, a teenage girl and a young boy out of the home safely, Mercado said. Police saw the suspect, who was not longer armed, and took him into custody without a struggle. The gun was recovered from the home.
Malatian was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to county booking records.
PASADENA >> Police jailed an Altadena man early Saturday on suspicion of robbing another man of a cell phone in Old Pasadena, authorities said.
Daniel Lionel Nelson, 21, was booked on suspicion of robbery in connection with the alleged crime, which took place about 1:55 a.m. in an alley connecting Union Street and Colorado Boulevard, along the 100 block of Union Street, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
A man in his 20s was sitting on a bench when the suspect approached and demanded his cell phone and money, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said. The victim handed over his cell phone.
Mercado said the robber fled, but the victim “almost immediately” found to police officers walking a foot beat in the area. As the officers were speaking with the victim, they spotted the suspect nearby and took him into custody without struggle.
The suspect, later identified as Nelson, was arrested after officers found him in possession of the victim’s cell phone, the lieutenant said.
According to county booking records, Nelson was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
PASADENA >> A fire in an underground electrical vault briefly prompted the evacuation of the Corner Bakery Cafe Thursday afternoon, officials said.
The fire broke shortly before 2:20 p.m. when debris gathered inside the underground vault near the cafe, at Lake Avenue and Del Mar Boulevard, caught fire, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
Officials evacuated no more than 20 people from the bakery and nearby area as firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and waited for the smoke to clear, she said. Lake Avenue was shut down in the area.
But the bakery returned to business as usual within an hour, and the street reopened, Derderian said. The fire resulted in no power outage.
PASADENA >> Pasadena police plan to screen drivers Friday night during a sobriety and license checkpoint, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held 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 alone in Pasadena, DUI crashed have resulted in five deaths and injuries to 121 people, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
PASADENA >> Police are seeking a man who sexually battered a homeless woman as she slept early Saturday morning, officials said.
The crime took place about 2:50 a.m. in the 400 block of South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
The woman awoke, “startled to find herself partially unclothed,” the lieutenant said. The suspect was asleep behind her, with his hands resting on her groin.
Once the woman stirred, the man got up and ran away, Mercado said.
Police described the attacker as a Latino man in his 40s between 5 feet and 5 feet, 4 inches tall. He weighed between 140 and 150 pounds, had short black hair and was clean-shaven. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt, charcoal gray pants, light-colored shoes and a blue or black sweater wrapped around his head. He was believed to be transient.