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.
PICO RIVERA — A deputy shot and killed a pit bull Thursday in a residential neighborhood, apparently grazing a fellow deputy with his gunfire, officials said.
The incident was reported shortly after noon in the 8700 block of West Boulevard, Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau said.
Deputies were responding to a report of a possible gunshot victim when they encountered the animal, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said. No gunshot victim was found.
The the circumstances of what took place next remained under investigation, however at least one deputy opened fire on the dog, Nishida said.
A bullet apparently nicked one of the deputies at the scene, she added.
“One of the deputies had a very, very minor grazing wound,” she said.
It was not immediately clear if the injured deputy was struck by a ricocheted bullet or direct fire.
The Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which routinely investigated deputy- and officer-involved shootings in Los Angeles County, was called in to assist in the investigation.
PICO RIVERA — Authorities have released the name of a 17-year-old pedestrian fatally struck by a commuter train last week.
Dyverse Smith died shortly after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday after being struck by an eastbound Metrolink train between Paramount and Rosemead boulevards, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said. His city of residence was no clear.
The incident took place in a portion of the tracks not intended for pedestrian traffic, sheriff’s officials said.
The train’s engineer spotted him walking on or near the tracks and sounded the horn, but Smith did not move, and the engineer was unable to stop the train in time to avoid hitting him, officials said.
An autopsy had been carried out Sunday, but Smith’s officials cause of death had not been determined pending further investigation, Dietz said.
PICO RIVERA — Nightclub entertainment gave way to violence early Saturday as a man was beaten and gunshot were fired, authorities said.
The incident began about 1:30 a.m. at Iguanas, 8528 Rosemead Blvd.
A 29-year-old man reported he was inside the bathroom at the club when he was attacked by two men he did not know, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Ernest Bille said.
“They kicked him in the head a couple of times while he was on the ground,” the sergeant said. The victim reported that the attack went on for several minutes.
Nightclub staff escorted the alleged attackers from the establishment.
Within minutes, as the beating victim was still inside the nightclub awaiting the arrival of deputies and paramedics, “Four to five gunshots were fired at the front of the club,” Bille said. No one was struck.
A witness reported seeing an unknown-type car heading north on Rosemead Boulevard following the shooting, he added.
The beating victim was taken to a hospital with head injuries which were not considered to be life-threatening, he added.
Bille said the injured man was only able to describe one of his attackers, who had a shaved head with gang-type tattoos on it.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421.
PICO RIVERA — Deputies jailed a crooked carpet cleaner Thursday after he attacked a competitor and carjacked a work van loaded with expensive equipment, authorities said.
Luis Efren Garcia, 49, of Lynwood was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled for Tuesday in Whittier Superior Court, according to county booking records.
He was believed to have an ongoing business dispute with a fellow carpet cleaner when he spotted the victim, a man in his 40s, about 8:20 a.m. in the 9500 block of Carron Drive, just east of Passons Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
“The suspect happened to run across the victim, who had just gotten back from dropping his kids off at school,” the lieutenant said.
Garcia attacked the man, beating him in the head with an unknown blunt object which detectives suspected may have been a steel toe boot, Smith said. A sledge hammer was also recovered from the scene of the attack.
The victim had one of his eyes swollen shut by the beating but was not believed to have been seriously injured, officials said.
Officials said Garcia then fled in the victim’s work van, which was still running and loaded with more than $10,000 of carpet cleaning equipment.
Upon interviewing the victim and performing some initial investigation, deputies learned that Garcia may have been headed to either Bell Gardens or Lynwood.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Century Station spotted the work van, which had the victim’s business logo prominently displayed, parked on a street in Lynwood, Smith Smith said.
They watched as Garcia got into the stolen van and arrested him, authorities said. The victim identified him as his attacker.
“It was very good investigation by the initial deputy at the scene and follow-up by Century deputies and our detectives,” Smith said.
A second man, later identified as Garcia’s son, was with him when he arrived at the victim’s home but was not suspected of taking part in the attack or carjacking, Smith said.
The son was initially detained while cleaning a home in Montebello, but released after detectives determined he was not a participant in the crimes, Smith added.
Garcia was booked on suspicion of crimes including carjacking, grand theft and assault with a deadly weapon, he said.
A driver suspected of being under the influence ran red lights during a slow chase Friday that was brought to a halt by spike strips.
At one point during the police pursuit, the Chevrolet Astro van was traveling at 25 mph.
Lt. Andrew Meyer of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera station said it started just after 8 p.m. at Rosemead Boulevard and Gallatin Road in Pico Rivera.
Deputies saw the man driving erratically. Meyer said the van nearly hit three cars and drove up onto the sidewalk.
He said the driver refused to stop when deputies tried to pull over the van. A sheriff’s helicopter later followed the vehicle.
Deputies used spike strips which damaged the van’s back tires, Meyer said. The suspect continued driving for several minutes before he stopped at the Arco gas station at 12525 Hadley St. in Whittier, according to the lieutenant.
Randy Avalos, 31, of Whittier was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and for being a parolee at large.
Because he’s a parolee, Avalos is being held without bail at the sheriff’s Pico Rivera station. Booking records show he will be arraigned Tuesday at Whittier Superior Court.
- Ruby Gonzales
MONTEBELLO — Police arrested a Montebello man early Sunday on suspicion of violating a restraining order and breaking into a home before leading police on a chase which ended in a crash, authorities said.
Ernesto Vieyra, 56, was expected to be booked on suspicion of burglary and evading police, Montebello police Lt. Rick Rojas said.
Officers responded to a report of a man violating a restraining order and breaking into a home in the 1100 block of South Spruce Street just minutes before midnight, the lieutenant said.
The man had left when officers arrived, but a police helicopter spotted his vehicle speeding down Washington Boulevard.
Vieyra failed to pull over, initiating a short, low-speed chase that ended when the fleeing vehicle crashed into another car at Washington and Paramount boulevards in Pico Rivera, Rojas said. Vieyra was not believed injured in the crash, though the other driver suffered apparently minor injuries.
Vieyra was arrested, but taken to a hospital prior to booking after complaining of a medical problem, officials said.