POMONA >> Police arrested a 17-year-old boy in connection with a stabbing at a Pomona park that left a 24-year-old man hospitalized in critical condition Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
The near-fatal stabbing took place about 1 p.m. at Tony Cerda Park, 450 W. Grand Ave., Sgt. Brian Hagerty of the Pomona police Major Crimes Task Force said in a written statement.
After responding to a call reporting a stabbing, officers encountered the victim, a Pomona man, suffering from “multiple stab wounds,” Hagerty said. Paramedics took the wounded man to a hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
Officers identified a 17-year-old boy as a suspect in the stabbing and soon spotted him loitering in the area of Ralph Welch Park, about a mile to the west at 1000 Buena Vista Ave., the sergeant said. He was arrested without a struggle.
“The investigation revealed the suspect and the victim have known each other for several months and were involved in a physical altercation prior to the stabbing,” Hagerty said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Pomona police detectives Edson or Bebon at 909-620-2160. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
POMONA >> A small airplane crashed or made a hard landing on the roof of a state parole building in Pomona Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The incident was first reported about 4:45 p.m. in the 900 block of Corporate Center Drive, southwest of the junction of the 10, 57 and 71 freeways, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department and California Highway Patrol officials.
After responding to reports of a small airplane in trouble, officials found the craft atop a large building, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Melanie Flores said. There was no initial reports of major injuries.
“A single-engine Piper PA-28 crashed under unknown circumstances near Kellogg Hill Road and the 71 (Freeway),” Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
One of two people aboard the airplane, believed to be the pilot, was flown by helicopter to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, Flores said. The second occupant was not taken to a hospital.
Both pilot and passenger managed to walk away from the damaged airplane, Flores said.
The building the airplane landed on top of was a state parole building run by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, CHP Officer Alex Rubio said.
The plane was headed to Brackett Field Airport in La Verne, Gregor said. It was not immediately clear where the plane had departed from.
CHP logs indicated the airport lost radio contact with the airplane just before the crash site was found.
Further details were not immediately available.
The aircraft is registered to an owner in Fullerton, according to FAA records. The plane was manufactured in 1961 and had a valid, standard-classification flight status.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Fire Department
POMONA >> A California Highway Patrol car struck and seriously injured a Pomona man as he ran in lanes of the 10 Freeway after crashing his motorcycle while fleeing from a CHP officer early Saturday, authorities said.
Martin Ruiz, 19, was hospitalized with major injuries and expected to face charges including evading police following in the unusual chain of events, which unfolded on the 10 Freeway, between Fairplex Drive and White Avenue, according to CHP Officer Monica Posada,
The incident began just before 1:20 a.m. when the CHP officer spotted Ruiz on a 2012 Kawasaki motorcycle, heading west on the 10 Freeway, just west of White Avenue, in Pomona.
“He was observed crossing over the double white lines out of the HOV lane, across all lanes,” Officer M. Bevan of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office said in a written statement. “(Ruiz) exited the freeway at Fairplex Drive, travelling in excess of 100 mph.”
The CHP officer tried to pull the motorcycle over once it reached Fairplex Drive and started heading south, officials said.
Ruiz stopped at a red light along Fairplex Drive at the 10 Freeway, then rode through the red light and got back onto the 10 Freeway, heading east, Bevan said.
The officer followed but lost side of the fleeing motorcyclist, Bevan said. As the officer continued east, he saw the motorcycle crash just west of White Avenue.
“As (the officer) continued eastbound, the rider came out of the darkness running in a southeasterly direction and was struck by the patrol vehicle,” Bevan said.
Ruiz was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment of major injuries, officials said. An update on his condition was not available Sunday.
The officer was unhurt.
The incident remains under investigation, and anyone with information is asked to contact Officer C. Flores of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office at 626-338-1164.
POMONA >> Deputies and police arrested an alleged drunken driver who led a deputy on a chase from Walnut to Pomona before crashing his pickup truck into another car and fleeing the scene, authorities said.
The incident began about 6:20 p.m. when a deputy tried to pull over a suspected drunken driver in a Dodge pickup truck in the area of Temple and Bonita avenues, near Mt. San Antonio College, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Joseph Badali said.
The driver refused to pull over, leading the deputy on a short chase before colliding with another car along Temple Avenue, just west of Valley Boulevard, just across the city border in Pomona, the lieutenant said.
Deputies called of the pursuit following the collision, he said. At least one person inside the car struck by the fleeing suspect was hurt, though the injuries were not believed to be serious.
Badali said the drunken driver then continued driving and parked his truck at a nearby gas station. The suspect was apprehended nearby on foot.
He was booked on suspicion of drunken driving, evading police and hit-and-run, Badali said.
Investigators at the crash scene took measurements around a sedan spun the wrong way in eastbound lanes of Temple Avenue with significant damage toward the rear end.
The suspect’s name was not available Wednesday as he was taken to a hospital for examination prior to booking, he said.
PASADENA >> A Pomona man sought on suspicion of killing his wife by setting her on fire on Christmas Day is in custody after police found and arrested him on a bus in Pasadena Sunday morning, authorities said.
Clarence Durell Dear, also described by police as Clarence Duwell Dear, 51, has been sought as a fugitive since Christmas Day, when he doused his wife in gasoline and set her on fire during a domestic dispute at their Pomona home, according to Pomona police Sgt. Bert Sanchez.
Pasadena police officers and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies tracked Dear down on a Metro bus at Foothill Boulevard and Halstead Street in Pasadena shortly after 10 a.m., sheriff’s officials said.
“Information was received that Clarence Duwell Dear had boarded a bus in the City of Altadena,” Pomona police officials said in a written statement. “Pasadena Police, along with Los Angels County sheriff’s deputies, responded and located the bus and took suspect Dear into custody without incident.”
Pasadena police turned Dear over to Pomona police, where he was booked on suspicion of murder.
Police in Pasadena deferred comment to their counterparts in Pomona. Pomona police released no further details regarding the case or the arrest Sunday.
Dawn Hensley, 41, died following the alleged attack, which took place about 1:45 p.m. Friday at the home the victim and suspect shared in the 1500 block of Cordova Street in Pomona, officials said.
Neighbors reported she fled from her home engulfed in flames and collapsed in the street, Sanchez said.
She was taken to a hospital where she soon succumbed to her injuries.
An autopsy was yet to be carried out Sunday, coroner’s officials said.
Dear has no criminal convictions listed in Los Angeles Superior Court records.
He was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Pomona Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court, records show.
POMONA >> Police are seeking a man they say killed his wife by dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire at their Pomona home on Christmas Day.
Clarence Duwell Dear, 51, of Pomona remained at large and was considered “extremely dangerous” Friday night, according to Pomona police Sgt. Bert Sanchez.
Dawn Hensley, 41, died in the alleged attack, police officials said.
The alleged attack took place about 1:45 p.m. in the 1500 block of Cordova Street, police said.
“It appears that during a domestic dispute, (Dear) chased the victim from their residence and was able to douse the victim with gasoline,” Sanchez said in a written statement. “The suspect then ignited the victim, possibly with a lit cigarette.”
“Neighbors who saw the victim run from the residence engulfed in flames rendered assistance as she collapsed on the street and remained with her until LA County Fire personnel arrived,” the sergeant said.
Paramedics took Hensley to a hospital with severe burns, officials said. She died a short time later.
Dear fled from the scene and hasn’t been found, Sanchez said. It was unclear whether he fled on foot, or had access to another form of transportation.
Dear is described as black, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 170 pounds, with black and gray hair and brown eyes.
Anyone who sees Dear, or anyone with information, is asked to contact their local police agency or Pomona police at 909-622-1241.
Tips may also be submitted anonymously through L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-8477.
PHOTO of Clarence Duwell Dear, 51, of Pomona courtesy of the Pomona Police Department.
POMONA >> Officials are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of whoever set an 8-week-old Chihuahua mix puppy on fire in Pomona this week.
Someone brought the badly burned male puppy to the Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA Monday after finding it in an alley in the 900 block of Loma Vista Street, IVHSSPCA Operations Manager James Edward said in a written statement.
A good Samaritan found the puppy after hearing it whimpering in the alley, he said. When the good Samaritan tried to pick the puppy up, it yelped in pain. At that point, the rescuer realized the animal “smelled of burnt flesh.”
The puppy was rushed to the IVHSSPCA and treated for second degree burns over most of it’s body.
“The Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA is currently investigating the case and believes it was a deliberate act of animal cruelty,” Edward said. “The dog is in critical condition and is under 24-hour care at the Inland Valley Humane Society and VCA Central Animal Hospital in Upland.”
The dog had no collar or microchip. He’s been dubbed, “Rocket.”
Donations to help pay for the puppy’s care can be made at www.ivhsspca.org/HelpCareForRocket.
Anyone with information can reach the IVHSSPCA at 909-623-9777.
PHOTO: A badly burned 8-week-old puppy, dubbed “Rocket,” was found in a Pomona alley on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. Officials have offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the puppy’s abuser.
ARCADIA >> A Pomona man and woman fled from Arcadia police in a stolen car before being arrested Friday night, officials said.
Michael Gomez, 35, and Chelsea Casas, 25, were expected to be booked on suspicion of auto theft “at a minimum,” Arcadia police Lt. Vaughn Whalen said. Gomez was also accused of evading police.
Arcadia officers tried to pull over a 1996 Honda Civic about 8:10 p.m. at Huntington Drive an Second Avenue, the lieutenant said. The car had been reported stolen out of Pomona.
The car accelerated away, kicking off a pursuit.
The driver stopped at Huntington Drive and Fifth Avenue and let out a passenger before continuing to flee, Whalen said. Police detained the passenger, later identified as Casas.
Police chased Gomez onto the eastbound 210 Freeway before calling off the chase and electing to follow the car via helicopter, Whalen said.
Officers watched from a safe distance as Gomez exited the freeway, abandoned the car at a mobile home park at Foothill Boulevard and Garey Avenue and ran, officials said. Pomona police found and arrested him within minutes.
POMONA >> Tens of thousands of electronic music lovers swarmed to electronic music concerts in Pomona and San Bernardino over the Halloween weekend, resulting in more than 300 arrests, but no major incidents, authorities said.
The HARD Day of the Dead took over the Fairplex at Pomona Saturday and Sunday, while the Escape: Psycho Circus filled The National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino with the sounds of electronic dance music Friday and Saturday.
The rave in Pomona was the first held at the Fairplex since two young women died of suspected drug overdoses at the HARD Summer Festival rave in early August, drawing renewed scrutiny of raves from Los Angeles County supervisors.
In Pomona, police reported making 148 arrests Saturday, which was the first day of the two-day festival.
“Nearly all arrests were made at the security screening area or outside the venue, prior to entry,” Pomona police officials said in a written statement.
The vast majority of arrests were related to public intoxication, being under the influence of drugs, possession of drugs for personal use or sales, police said. Fifty people were arrested for having fake IDs, and officers arrested 10 allegedly intoxicated drivers at and around the Fairplex.
Guests noted the crowd at the Fairplex appeared smaller than previous electronic music concerts at the venue. The last event, HARD Summer Festival, was open to guests ages 18 and older. HARD Day of the Dead only admitted people 21 and over.
Police estimated 16,000 to 17,000 people attended HARD Day of the Dead on Saturday. HARD Summer Festival, by comparison, attracted about 65,000 to the two-day event.
“It’s hard to dissect any of this yet,” said Pomona Police Chief Paul Capraro said as he monitored the entrance checkpoints. “I’m hoping people think we did out job. I think it’s good to note we’re making it a safer event.”
Two “amnesty boxes” provided a place for people to throw away contraband with no questions asked before entering the venue.
“We had fewer medical issues. We didn’t have any other issues,” Capraro said.
There was a strong law enforcement presence at both the Pomona and San Bernardino events this weekend.
California Highway Patrol officers drove up and down the aisles in the parking lot, as Pomona police handed out anti-drug fliers encouraging concert-goers to “Play hard, not high.”
“There’s a lot more police here. It makes it a lot harder to focus on having fun,” said Amanda Lopez, 24, of Chatsworth. “It feels like someone is breathing down my back.”
While officers were making arrests of those who ignored warnings not to bring drugs to the Fairplex, they were also working to engage the public, Capraro said. “We’re also talking to people.”
Statistics regarding any possible overdoses or other injuries related to the concert treated at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center were not available Sunday, hospital spokesman Frank Garcia said.
In San Bernardino, 193 people were arrested during the two-day event, with 86 people arrested Friday and 107 people arrested Saturday, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, which collaborated with the San Bernardino Police Department for event security.
The event attracted more than 40,000 people Friday night, promoters said. A crowd estimate from Saturday was not available.
Officials did not give details about the arrests at the San Bernardino concert.
PHOTO by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher
POMONA >> A convicted sex offender awaiting trial for the 1981 slaying of a 6-year-old boy pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a second murder charge stemming from the 1986 slaying of a second young boy, authorities said.
Kenneth Kasten Rasmuson, 53, who was living in Idaho when arrested by cold case investigators in March after DNA evidence linked him to the killing of 6-year-old Jeffrey Vargo of Anaheim. Vargo’s body was discovered in Pomona the day after he disappeared while riding his bicycle in Anaheim on July 2, 1981.
After more than 30 years, Rasmuson was linked to the crime by DNA evidence and arrested, Pomona police Lt. Eddie Vasquez said at the time.
As the legal process moved forward in the murder case, DNA evidence linked Rasmuson to another slaying, that of 6-year-old Miguel Antero of Agoura Hills, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials said.
Prosecutors amended the felony complaint already filed against Rasmuson for Vargo’s killing to include Antero’s slaying as well, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
His body was found in a wash on April 8, 1986, the same day he went missing from outside his home, prosectors allege.
He pleaded not guilty to the new charges Wednesday in Pomona Superior Court, officials said. He was ordered back to court for another hearing in the case on Jan. 14.
Rasmuson now stands charged with two counts of murder, along the special circumstances that both killings were committed during the commission of lewd or lascivious acts on children, as well as the special circumstance of multiple murders.
Prosecutors are yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty in the case, or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Rasmuson was previously convicted of sex crimes against children in California in the 1980s.
PHOTO: Kenneth Rasmuson, 53. (courtesy)