POMONA >> Police have made an arrest in the fatal shooting of 8-year-old Jonah Hwang in Pomona last month.
Following more than a month of investigation in the wake of the Feb. 20 shooting at a home in the 1100 block of West 11th Street, police announced the arrest of Sengchan Houl, 35, in connection with Hwang’s slaying.
The drive-by attack took place as Hwang and his family were dinner guests at the home of another family, according to Pomona police Lt. Eddie Vasquez.
“The Pomona Police Department’s Homicide Unit has been actively investigating Jonah’s murder since that day’s events,” police said in a written statement issued late Sunday. “Today, the Police Department is announcing the arrest of a suspect in this case.”
Officers took Houl into custody without a struggle in an unincorporated county area near Pomona shortly after 11:490 a.m., according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
A motive in the deadly shooting has not been disclosed.
No further details regarding the arrest were released Sunday.
“Detectives are still actively working this case and we are not releasing any additional information at this time,” according to the police statement.
Gunshots struck the same home in January, resulting in no injuries, and again on Saturday morning, police said.
Police planned to hold a conference Monday afternoon to provide additional details on the investigation.
According to county booking records, Houl was being held in lieu of $2 million bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
POMONA >> Two people walked away with apparently minor injuries after a small airplane crashed or made a hard landing at the Fairplex in Pomona on Wednesday evening.
The incident was first reported at 6:42 p.m. at the Fairplex, which is just across Fairplex Drive from Brackett Field in La Verne, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Simms said.
Details of the incident were not yet clear, however, firefighters treated one person for apparently minor injuries, she said.
The single-engine Beechcraft F33A experienced engine failure near Brackett Field, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
“The pilot made an emergency landing near the race track grandstands,” Gregor said, “Neither of the two people on board was seriously injured.”
“There was substantial damage to the plane, he said.
Pomona police officials received no 911 calls reporting the emergency landing, Lt. Alex Rilloraza said in a written statement.
“The police helicopter was in the area and advised of a possible aircraft down on the property,” according to the lieutenant.
Upon locating the downed airplane,
“Two occupants were in the plane and have reportedly sustained minor injuries only and are walking on their own accord, Rilloraza said. “Both subjects were treated at the scene and released.”
Firefighters also dealt with fuel that was leaking fuel after the incident, police said.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are conducting an investigation, officials said.
FAA records show the airplane is registered to a Rancho Cucamonga man. The aircraft, manufactured in 1977, has a valid flight status through the end of 2018.
The aircraft was heading to Cable Airport in Upland from Selma Airport, Gregor said.
No further details were available.
POMONA >> A group of men carjacked a big rig containing more than half a ton of marijuana late Friday before leading police to an illicit marijuana grow at a Pomona home, police said.
Three men were arrested in connection with the carjacking, as well as on suspicion of cultivating marijuana and possessing pot for sales, according to Pomona police Sgt. Dennis Cooper. The victims of the carjacking were also ultimately arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sales.
“Although the investigation is still ongoing, it appears this was possibly a prearranged meeting between both parties and a drug deal gone wrong,” Cooper said in a written statement.
The armed carjacking unfolded about 11:45 p.m. at Mission Boulevard and Sorrento Drive, the sergeant said. Officers found the just-stolen truck and trailer a short time later in the 700 block of Washington Ave.
“The suspects were observed by the police helicopter unloading the trailer and throwing large bags into the backyard of the residence,” Cooper said. “When Officers arrived and detained the suspects, they found that the trailer and bags contained approximately 1,200 pounds of marijuana.”
Police got a search warrant for the home and soon discovered 240 marijuana plants growing inside, he said.
Arrested on suspicion of carjacking and possession of marijuana for sales were Tyler Brian Holthouser, 25, of Pomona and Xavier Leroy Blackmon, 26, of Victorville, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records. James Holthouser, 34, of Pomona is accused of conspiracy to commit carjacking and possession of marijuana for sales.
The two carjacking victims — Timothy Alan Frerich, 39, of Redding and Dennis Young, 40, of Redding — were booked on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sales.
Tyler Holthouser, James Holthouser, Frerich and Young were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, records show. Blackmon was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.
Anyone with information can reach Pomona police at 909-620-2085. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
ALTADENA >> The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday renewed a $20,000 reward in the case of a West Covina man whose body was found four years ago on an Altadena horse trail.
Marcus Anthony Nieto, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene by coroner’s officials on February 16, 2013 after he was discovered unresponsive by two riders near the 3800 block of Canon Boulevard, officials said in a written statement.
He died of “multiple blunt trauma to the head” and the death was ruled a homicide, according to Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner records.
Investigators said Nieto left his home to visit an acquaintance in Pomona, but may have returned to the Covina/Azusa area at some point before he went missing.
The reward, originally approved by the board in April of 2014, had expired before Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s motion reestablishing it for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of a suspect or suspects responsible for the murder.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
— Sandra Molina and Brian Day
POMONA >> Coroner’s officials have identified a 38-year-old man who died after being struck by several vehicles while running across the 10 Freeway in Pomona on Thursday night.
Daniel Rodriguez of Bell died at the scene of the collisions, which took place about 11:10 p.m. in the westbound lanes of the 10 Freeway, just west of Towne Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Kelly Yagerliner said.
According to witnesses, Rodriguez ran from the center divider into traffic lanes, directly into the path of a 1996 Ford Ranger pickup truck, according to Officer M. Walters of the CHP’s Baldwin Park-area office said in a written statement.
The truck driver was unable to stop in time and struck Rodriguez, Walters said. Several additional vehicles also struck Rodriguez following the initial impact.
An autopsy found that Rodriguez died from “multiple traumatic injuries,” however a mode of death — such as accident or suicide — was yet to be determined, coroner’s officials said.
It was unclear why Rodriguez was on the freeway.
Anyone with information can reach the CHP’s Baldwin Park-area office at 626-338-1164.
POMONA >> A man died after being struck by several vehicles while running across the 10 Freeway in Pomona late Thursday, authorities said.
The incident took place about 11:10 p.m. in the westbound lanes of the 10 Freeway, just west of Towne Avenue, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The pedestrian’s identity was yet to be determined Friday afternoon, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. He was listed at the coroner’s office as a “John Doe.”
A 28-year-old San Gabriel man was driving a 1996 Ford Ranger pickup truck at about 70 mph in the No. 2 lane, in light traffic, when he spotted the pedestrian running from the center divider into traffic lanes, Officer M. Walters of the CHP’s Baldwin Park-area office said in a written statement.
The driver of the pickup truck braked, but was unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with the pedestrian, the officer said.
“After the collision, the pedestrian was struck by several passing vehicles,” Walter said.
As a result of the fatal collision, all lanes of the westbound 10 Freeway were shut down for about four hours.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can reach the CHP’s Baldwin Park-area office at 626-338-1164.
POMONA >> A 30-year-old man died late Saturday in a motorcycle crash on a transition road between the 60 and 71 freeways in Pomona, authorities said.
Paramedics pronounced Christopher L. Smith of Los Angeles died at the scene of the solo-vehicle crash, which was reported about 10:50 p.m. on the transition road from the westbound 60 Freeway to the northbound 71 Freeway, California Highway Patrol Officer D. Crislip said in a written statement.
Smith was riding a 2000 Kawasaki Ninja 500 at about 80 mph when he lost control, according to the CHP.
“For unknown reasons, Mr. Smith allowed (the motorcycle) to leave the roadway and its front tire struck the raised asphalt curb,” Crislip said. “Mr. Smith was ejected from (the motorcycle) onto the asphalt roadway, where he succumbed to his injuries.”
Smith was wearing a helmet, officials added.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation. Any witnesses or anyone with information was asked to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park-area office at 626-338-1164.
POMONA >> Police are seeking an attacker who stabbed an Ontario man as he tried to break up a fight in a Pomona parking lot early Saturday morning, officials said.
Police responded about 1:50 a.m. to reports of a stabbing at Garey Avenue and 2nd Street, Pomona police Lt. Marcus Perez said in a written statement. Officers encountered an Ontario man in his 40s who had been stabbed in the upper torso.
“The victim was coherent and stated that he received the injuries while trying to break up a fight in the parking lot,” Perez said.
Officials flew the wounded man to a hospital for treatment by helicopter, police said. He was listed in serious but stable condition.
The attacker was described only as male. He was believed to have fled the scene in a gray Chevy Cruze with paper license plates.
Anyone with information can reach Pomona police at 626-620-2085. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
POMONA >> Four people died and four other were hurt in a hit-and-run collision on the 60 Freeway in Pomona early Saturday morning, authorities said.
The crash took place about 5 a.m. on the eastbound 60 Freeway, just west of Reservoir Street, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
The eight victims, four men and four women between 21 and 49 years old, were all riding in a 2003 Ford Explorer and on their way home after a night out at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights when the crash occurred.
All four of those killed were passengers, and all were residents of Lake Elisnore, officials said.
They were identified as Elba Rosales, 26; Luis Herrera, 29; Noemi Herrera, 21; and Gerardo Herrera, 49, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Acting Lt. B. Kim said. The relationship between the victims was not available.
The four survivors, two men and two women, were hospitalized with injuries ranging from moderate to major, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
The Explorer, which was only configured to seat seven people, was traveling in the No. 2 lane at 65 to 75 miles per hour when a newer-model white vehicle struck the left side of the SUV, according to CHP Officer S. Sullinger.
(The Explorer driver) immediately lost control of her vehicle as it veered sharply to the right,” Sullinger said. “(The Explorer) subsequently overturned within the No. 4 lane and on the right shoulder area.
“The vehicle continued to overturn multiple times down a dirt embankment, across the Reservoir Street offramp, down a second dirt embankment, and finally came to rest against the chain-link perimeter fence,” Sullinger said.
Four victims were pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
Six of the eight people inside the Explorer were thrown from the SUV, he said.
Investigators found damage, and possible paint transfer, on the left side of the SUV that appeared consistent with the account of the driver, a 25-year-old Lake Elisnore woman, Jimenez said.
A detailed description of the hit-and-run car was not available, Jimenez said.
Of the four people who died, only one was wearing a seat belt, officials said.
The victims had just spend the evening at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Night and stopped for dinner before the crash occurred as they were on their way home, Jimenez said.
There was no indication the crash involved alcohol or drugs, officials said.
The fatal crash resulted in a Sig Alert that affected the freeway and nearby connector roads through Saturday afternoon.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office at 626-338-1164.
POMONA >> For the second night in a row, a drive-by shooting in a residential neighborhood left a teenage Pomona boy wounded late Wednesday, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 9:30 p.m. in the 2900 block of Hollander Street, near Harrison Avenue, Pomona police Sgt. Jaime Gutierrez said.
Shots were fired from a passing dark-colored four-door sedan, Sgt. Vincent Terrell said in a written statement.
“Based on preliminary information gathered from witnesses and the victim, the victim was outside of a residence when the suspect vehicle drove by and a suspect inside the vehicle fired several shots striking the victim,” Terrell said.
The wounded teen, 15, was hospitalized in stable condition, officials said. No further details were available.
A similar episode unfolded just under 24 hours earlier across town at Valley Boulevard and Dupont Street, police said.
A teenage boy showed up at a local hospital with gunshot wounds shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, Sgt. Robert DeVee said in a written statement.
“Officers arrived and spoke to the victim who stated he was walking in the area of Valley and Dupont when the suspect vehicle drove by and fired several shots,” he said. “The victim was hit in the upper torso.”
The young victim was later transported to a trauma center for continued treatment.
Police described the car in which the attacker or attackers rode as a older-model, dark-colored sedan.
Anyone with information can reach Pomona police detectives at 909-620-2095. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.