PICO RIVERA — A gardener remained hospitalized in critical but stable condition Thursday after being struck by an alleged drunken driving while removing equipment from his truck in a residential neighborhood, authorities said.
The crash took place just before noon Wednesday in the 9500 block of Rosehedge Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
The gardener, a man estimated to be in his 40s, had his truck parked along the roadside and was in the back unloading lawn mowers and other supplied when his truck was hit, the lieutenant said.
Dena Luna, 51, of Pico Rivera was driving down the street at a “high rate of speed,” Smith said, believed to be in excess of 50 mph.
Her car first struck a parked car before slamming into the gardener’s truck, Smith said. The man was thrown 30 to 40 feet by the impact.
He suffered major injuries to his head and body, officials added.
Smith said Luna also suffered significant injuries in the crash, including a punctured lung and broken ribs. Her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
She was hospitalized for treatment prior to booking on suspicion of felony drunken driving.
LONG BEACH — A jury Wednesday convicted two Whittier-area men of the 2009 robbery and murder of a 27-year-old San Pedro woman.
The Long Beach Superior Court jury found Raul Tiscareno, 30, of Whittier and Daniel Martinez, 39, of Pico Rivera guilty of Jan. 30, 2009 slaying of Ginie Samayoa, who was found slumped in her car in an alley near her San Pedro home.
She had been shot in the back of the head, authorities said.
The jury Wednesday convicted the two men of murder and second-degree robbery, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Julian Recana.
They were each expected to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole when they return to court March 25 for sentencing, the prosecutor said.
Martinez was also convicted of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, officials said, however the jury did not find true the allegation that he personally fired the gun that killed Samayoa.
Samayoa’s mother and brother were present in court for the verdict, and the mother plans to read a victim impact statement at the sentencing, Recana said.
It was Tiscareno’s second trial, as a jury failed to reach a verdict in a previous trial.
A third killer, 35-year-old Michael Lee Bonfiglio of Whittier, was convicted by a jury on March 22, 2012 of first degree murder with the special allegation of murder during the course of a robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and second-degree robbery. A judge sentenced him in August to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On Aug. 13, Bonfiglio was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The men tried to rob Samayoa of her laptop containing credit card numbers and other information related to identity theft, officials said.
Samayoa died of her injuries the day after the shooting.
Though the special allegation of murder during a robbery made the three killers eligible for the death penalty, prosecutors did not pursue it.
PICO RIVERA — Coroner’s officials Saturday identified a 63-year-old man in a wheelchair who was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver early Friday.
Marcos Dominguez, who was listed as a transient, died at the scene following the 3:50 a.m. crash on Whittier Boulevard, at a railroad overcrossing just west of Paramount Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
Dominguez was struck by a westbound vehicle described only as a gray vehicle, possibly a Mistubishi, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. No suspect had been located Saturday.
The place where Dominguez was struck is lined by high curbs and has no crosswalk, officials said.
It was not certain whether he was trying to cross the street, or lost control of his wheelchair while traveling down the sidewalk beside the road, which is at a steep incline.
Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421.
PICO RIVERA — A hit-and-run driver fatally struck a man in a wheelchair on Whittier Boulevard in Pico Rivera early Friday, authorities said.
The man’s identity was unknown Friday morning, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. He was initially described as a Latino man in his 50s.
The fatal collision was reported just before 3:50 a.m. on Whittier Boulevard, at a railroad overcrossing just west of Paramount Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
The man was in the westbound No. 2 lane when struck, the lieutenant said.
Little information was initially available regarding the hit-and-run vehicle.
“It’s a possibly gray Mitsubishi,” Smith said. “It’s going to have front end damage, and possibly undercarriage damage.”
The driver of a passenger bus reported the hit-and-run, but was unable to get a good look at the involved vehicle, officials said.
It initially appeared the pedestrian was crossing the street when he was struck, though the investigation remained in its early stages.
There is no crosswalk at the point where the man was struck, and the road is lined by high curbs both on the sides and at the center median, Smith said. The sidewalk alongside the road is angled at a steep incline.
Investigators had not ruled out the possibility that the man ended up in the roadway after losing control of his wheelchair on the downhill sidewalk, Smith added.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421.
PICO RIVERA — Deputies jailed an auto theft suspect Sunday following a pursuit after a man reported spotting his truck, which had been stolen, parked in a Pico Rivera neighborhood, authorities said.
Suspected Lynwood gang member Daniel Gomez, 44, was booked on suspicion of auto theft, reckless driving and felony evading of police following the incident, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza said.
A man called sheriff’s officials shortly before 2 p.m. to report seeing his red Ford F-150 pickup truck, which had recently been stolen, parked in the 6600 block of Baquette Avenue, Mendoza said.
On arrival, deputies saw a man — later identified as Gomez — and a woman standing beside the truck, the lieutenant said.
As deputies approached, the man jumped into the truck and drove off, initiating a chase, Mendoza said. The woman did not get into the car. She could not be found later.
Deputies chased the truck south on Rosemead Boulevard until it crashed into a curb near Rex Road and the driver got out and ran into a nearby neighborhood.
As officials were working to set up a search perimeter, Gomez made his way back to the truck and again led deputies on a brief vehicle chase, Mendoza said.
Gomez crashed the truck into the gate of an apartment complex in the 9000 block of Burma Road before exiting the vehicle and forcing his way into an apartment. The apartment was later determined to be the residence of an acquaintance of Gomez’s.
Deputies followed Gomez into the apartment, found him hiding in a closet and arrested him without further incident, Mendoza said.
Information regarding Gomez’s bail and initial court appearance was not available Sunday afternoon.
PICO RIVERA — Deputies cordoned off a neighborhood and placed schools on lockdown Friday as they hunted for a man who abandoned one stolen car, then carjacked another, authorities said.
The incident began shortly before 2 p.m. when deputies tracked the LoJack signal from a stolen car and began following it, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Sean Geske said.
Deputies, with help from a helicopter, were following the stolen car when the driver abandoned it near Home Depot in the 9200 block of Whittier Boulevard, the sergeant said. Deputies were not in pursuit.
A female passenger was found in a nearby store and detained, officials said.
But the driver — initially described as a Latino man in his 20s who was wearing dark clothing — took a car from another driver by force and continued, Geske said.
Deputies minutes later found the carjacked vehicle abandoned in a neighborhood just to the southwest of the Home Depot, the sergeant said. But the search for the driver continued.
Deputies locked down campuses including St. Hilary Elementary School and Valencia Elementary School as they searched for the suspect, Geske said.
A search perimeter was set up within the boundaries of Mines Avenue to the south, Loch Lomond Drive to the north, Passons Boulevard to the east and Lindsey Avenue to the west.
PICO RIVERA — A man died Saturday after being struck by a freight train near Whittier Boulevard, authorities said.
The incident was reported about 12:15 p.m. on a set of train tracks near the intersection of Whittier Boulevard and Grape Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Meyer said.
The man, initially described as appearing to be about 50 years old, was struck by an eastbound Union Pacific train, the lieutenant said.
“It looks like the person was sitting on the tracks and did not move when the train honked,” he said.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau were summoned to investigate the scene.
PICO RIVERA — Deputies arrested three men early Friday on suspicion of stealing two cars while they were in the process of looking for a third, authorities said.
Deputies were on patrol about 1 a.m. in the area of Millux Avenue and Underwood Street when they encountered three men who had apparently just parked a truck and were driving off in a Toyota sedan, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
As the deputies approached, one of the men ran away but was soon captured in the 5000 block of Millux Avenue, Smith said. The other two men were detained in the Toyota.
Investigators then found that both the truck and Toyota had been reported stolen, the lieutenant said. Officials suspected the men were looking for a third vehicle to steal when they were taken into custody.
Officials withheld the names of the suspects Friday, citing an ongoing investigation into the alleged auto theft ring.
PICO RIVERA — A Pico Rivera man was arrested Tuesday night for allegedly shooting at deputies.
A police dog sniffed out the suspect and bit him. Deputies also recovered a gun.
Lt. Andrew Meyer of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera station said deputies patrolling the area saw a man with a handgun about 10:45 p.m. Tuesday in the 4600 block of Pine Street.
When they tried to detain the gunman, Meyer said the man ran and fired three rounds at the deputies.
Deputies closed off the area, called for a K-9 unit and searched for the suspect.
Meyer said a police dog located the suspect and deputies also found a .38-caliber revolver.
Cesar Romero, 20, of Pico Rivera was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, shooting a firearm in a negligent manner and for three gun possession charges, according to Meyer. He said Romero is a known gang member.
Sheriff’s booking records show Romero is being held without bail at the Pico Rivera station. He has a Friday arraignment at Whittier Superior Court.
- Ruby Gonzales
PICO RIVERA — Sheriff’s officials are planning a checkpoint Friday to screen drivers for sobriety and drivers licenses.
The checkpoint will be held from 6 p.m. Friday through 2 a.m. the following morning at an undsiclosed location within Pico Rivera, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Alcohol impaired deaths make up the largest number of vehicle fatalities, with 31 percent of all vehicle fatalities caused by a drunk driver,” according to the statement.
Anyone who spots an intoxicated driver on the road is asked to report it immediately by calling 9-1-1.