GLENDORA >> A man fleeing from police in a stolen car rammed a pursuing officer’s vehicle in Glendora late Saturday, prompting an officer-involved shooting, before the suspect was tracked down and arrested, authorities said.
Andrew Joseph Baltierra, 20, who was not wounded by the gunfire but was hospitalized for treatment of K-9 bites sustained during his arrest, was expected to be booked on suspicion of crimes including attempted murder of a police officer, evading police, auto theft, DUI, drug possession, Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said. Baltierra’s city of residence was not clear.
The series of events began about 7:30 p.m., when an automated license plate reader notified Glendora officers that a 2003 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck driving in the area of Grand Avenue and Arrow Highway had been reported stolen, the chief said.
Officers initiated a chase when the driver of the truck — later identified as Baltierra — refused to pull over, officials said.
Two patrol cars chased the truck for less than a mile before the fleeing driver made a “sudden and unexpected U-turn” at Bonita Avenue and Dale Road, police said.
The lead patrol car was following the truck through the U-turn when it collided nearly head-on with the second patrol car, which contained Glendora police K-9 “Bo” and his handler Staab said.
Despite the “substantial” impact, which totalled the police cruiser and caused the air bags in both vehicle to deploy, the pickup truck was still running, the chief said. The officer who was struck by the fleeing pickup truck saw the suspect again gun the engine in his direction.
“The suspect was about to ram the police car again,” Staab said. The officer fired two round from her service pistol, striking the pickup truck but not Baltierra.
The officer whose car was rammed by the suspect was treated for apparently minor injuries, Lamborghini said.
K-9 Bo appeared uninjured in the crash, Staab added.
Baltierra fled into the surrounding residential neighborhood, Lt. Rob Lamborghini said. Officers set up a search perimeter with help from neighboring law enforcement agencies.
The suspect left behind a shoe as he ran, which a Pomona Police Department bloodhound was able to use to obtain his scene and track him to a motor home in the backyard of a home about a block away about three hours later, Staab said.
Baltierra refused commands to surrender, prompting officers to send in another police dog to help apprehend him. The suspect punched and kicked the dog before the animal got the better of him and helped officers take him into custody. The police dog suffered no significant injuries.
Officials took Baltierra to a hospital for treatment of dog bites prior to booking him into jail.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court records, Baltierra was already on probation for a previous criminal conviction prior to Saturday’s incident.
He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years of formal probation after being convicted of auto theft in September of 2015, records show.
He was also convicted of possessing stolen property in May, resulting in a 90-day jail sentence, and of possession of drug paraphernalia in August of 2015, earning him a 49-day jail sentence.
IRWINDALE >> An El Monte woman wanted for an alleged cigarette lighter attack on her ex-boyfriend last month led Irwindale police on a short pursuit before being taken into custody early Thursday, officials said.
Jessica Magaly Ruvalcaba, 20, was booked on suspicion of felony domestic violence, evading a police officer, drunken driving and driving on a suspended license, according to Irwindale police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The chase began about 9:40 a.m. when an Irwindale officer spotted a gray Ford Mustang speeding at Irwindale Avenue and First Street and tried to pull it over, Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said.
“(Ruvalcaba) failed to yield and led officers on a pursuit that terminated approximately one mile later in the area of Cypress Street and Irwindale Avenue,” police said in a written statement. Ruvalcaba stopped her car and surrendered.
A woman riding as a passenger in the Mustang was questioned and released, police said.
While the chase was ongoing, the pursuing officer recognized the description of the Mustang from a previous call he had handled several weeks ago, Zendejas said.
Ruvalcaba had been sought since Sept. 9, when she burned her ex-boyfriend with a cigarette lighter during an argument that took place in the same car, also along Irwindale Avenue.
Ruvalcaba told her ex to get out of her car, Zendejas said. When he did not comply, she burned him in the upper body with a cigarette lighter.
The man was injured by declined to be taken to a hospital, the sergeant said. Ruvalcaba fled the scene before officers arrived.
According to county booking records, Ruvalcaba was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail at the Glendora Police Department’s jail pending her initial court appearance.
PHOTO Jessica Ruvalcaba, 20, of El Monte. (Courtesy, El Monte Police Department)
PASADENA >> Police arrested a man wanted in connection with a San Bernardino County armed kidnapping following a short pursuit in Pasadena on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Pasadena police received information that a suspect in the San Bernardino County kidnapping investigation may be in their city, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Officers spotted the suspect driving a burgundy SUV the area south of the Rose Bowl, police said. The driver refused to pull over, initiating a short pursuit.
“The suspect drove to a residence in the area of Manzanita Avenue and Orange Grove Blvd. where a brief police containment was established,” the statement said.
Police surrounded the home and ordered the suspect to surrender via a loudspeaker, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said. He complied and was taken into custody without a struggle.
The suspect is a 50-year-old man who’d been sought in San Bernardino County since November of 2015 in connection with an armed kidnapping case, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
No further details regarding the kidnapping case were available.
Police withheld the suspect’s name was not available Thursday afternoon as they continued their investigation.
LA PUENTE >> Deputies arrested a suspected gang member with a handgun following a pursuit through La Puente in a stolen car on Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
A deputy patrolling in the area of Valley Boulevard and Ferrero Lane spotted a Toyota Camry which had been reported stolen in Baldwin Park earlier this month driving down the road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Pete Cacheiro said.
The driver refused to pull over, initiating a short chase along surface streets that ended when the driver abandoned the car and ran on nearby Wegman Drive, the lieutenant said.
Deputies nabbed the suspect as he fled through a residential neighborhood, he added. He was arrested without further struggle.
Retracing the suspect steps, deputies found a handgun, as well as a shirt and baseball cap the fleeing suspect had apparently discarded in an attempt to change his appearance, Cacheiro said.
The identity of the suspect, a man estimated to be in his early-30s, was not released Thursday as detectives continued their investigation into the man, he added. The suspect was believed to have gang ties.
PHOTO – courtesy
DUARTE >> A Duarte man shot and killed his neighbor Friday night before leading police on a chase that ended with his arrest in Azusa, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 7:55 p.m. in the 2100 block of Broach Avenue, Deputy Crystal Hernandez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
Gabriel Alejandro De La Torre, 35, died in the shooting, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
Luis Valdes-Santillan, 40, was booked on suspicion of murder, according to sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
De La Torre and Valdes-Santillan lived in separate homes on the same lot, Hernandez said. Both attended a party being held at another neighbor’s home.
“At some point during the party, the victim and the suspect began to argue,” she said. “The suspect then entered his residence, retrieved a handgun, exited, and fired multiple rounds at the victim, striking him.”
De La Torre died at the scene.
Witnesses told deputies the shooter had fled in a white Toyota work truck, officials said.
Deputies soon spotted the truck nearby. The driver refused to pull over, initiating a pursuit.
The chase headed down Duarte Road and Huntington Drive before ultimately making its way onto the eastbound 210 Freeway, according to sheriff’s radio traffic.
A helicopter joined in the pursuit before Valdes-Santillan stopped and surrendered on the Azusa Avenue offramp in Azusa.
“A weapon was recovered inside the suspect’s vehicle,” Hernandez said.
The man was taken to the sheriff’s Temple Station for questioning, officials said. He was ultimately booked on suspicion of murder.
Valdes-Santillan was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Alhambra branch, records show.
No further details were released as the investigation continued Saturday.
De La Torre’s brother-in-law, Bobby Serna, said De La Torre is survived by his wife and three step-daughters who he had helped raise. The youngest of his step-daughters is a teenager.
“It doesn’t make sense,” Serna said. “He took a really good man that I looked up to. I loved him, I really did.”
Serna, who was not present when the shooting occurred, said his brother-in-law was gathered with family members behind his home, along with Valdes-Santillan.
It was unclear what angered Valdes-Santillan and prompted him to retrieve a gun from his home.
The suspect made a statement to the effect of, “Who wants it first?” before opening fire, Serna said.
Until the gunshots were fired, “Nobody even knew it was happening,” he said.
Serna said he did not know whether De La Torre was specifically targeted in the shooting.
“He was such a good man,” Serna said of his brother-in-law.
De La Torre migrated to the U.S. from Mexico as a teenager and had been working as a subcontracting electrician, he said. De La Torre’s white work van with a ladder affixed to the top remained parked in front of the home Saturday.
He was saving money and planning to obtain his contractor’s license, so he could start his own contractor business, Serna said.
“He would help anybody,” Serna said. “He really valued family. He loved kids. He was a hard worker.”
De La Torre’s personality was “quiet but humorous,” he said.
“My daughters are devastated. They loved their uncle,” Serna said.
Funds to benefit De La Torre’s family are being collected online at www.gofundme.com/2ksz74hg.
Anyone with information can reach 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.
PHOTO: Gabriel Alejandro De La Torre, courtesy
EAST PASADENA >> Deputies arrested two suspects and sought two more after a pursuit of a suspected stolen car ended with a crash near Pasadena Friday afternoon, officials said.
The crash occurred about 6:40 p.m. along Sierra Madre Boulevard, near Del Mar Boulevard, in the unincorporated county area of East Pasadena, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Oscar Lopez said.
Deputies had been chasing a car that had been reportedly stolen for a short distance when it collided with another car, he said.
A woman inside was treated for minor injuries, Lt. Tri Hoang said.
Deputies immediately apprehended a man and a woman at the crash scene, the lieutenant said. Two additional suspects, both described as male, escaped capture and ran.
Officials cordoned off the neighborhood and searched for nearly four hours, but the two outstanding suspects were not found.
The identities of the two suspects arrested were not immediately available.
BALDWIN PARK >> A California Highway Patrol pursuit instantly turned into a rescue operation Wednesday after a fleeing stolen SUV with three people inside crashed and burst into flames in Baldwin Park, authorities said.
All three occupants of the car suffered significant injuries but were expected to survive following the crash, which took place shortly after 2:20 p.m. at Garvey Avenue and Big Dalton Avenue, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
Officers were chasing a stolen Toyota RAV4 when it crashed and burst into flames, he said. The same officers then pulled the driver and two passengers from the burning wreckage.
Officers were chasing a stolen Toyota RAV4 when it crashed and burst into flames,” he said.
“What these guys did was heroic,” Jimenez said.
Driver Ruben Cabrera Jr., 35, of Montebello was booked on suspicion of auto theft, felony evading of police causing great bodily injury and possession of methamphetamine. He was also already being sought for alleged parole violations.
Cabrera suffered injuries including broken ribs in the crash, Jimenez said. He was treated for his injuries before being booking into jail.
A 27-year-old woman who was riding as a rear passenger suffered a mostly-severed arm, the officer said. Surgeons had reattached the arm Thursday, however the ultimate prognosis was unclear.
A 16-year-old girl who was two to three months pregnant and riding as a front passenger in the SUV suffered injuries including a broken wrist, Jimenez said.
Officers first spotted the Toyota RAV4 speeding in the fast lane of the westbound 10 Freeway near Puente Avenue, Jimenez said. The SUV suddenly exited the freeway at Fransicquito Avenue and blew through a stop sign at Garvey and Vineland avenues.
Officers tried to pull the SUV over, but the driver sped off, initiating a chase, he said.
But the driver lost control of the vehicle as it rounded a bend where Garvey Avenue becomes Big Dalton Avenue, striking several trees and shearing a fire hydrant, Jimenez said.
The SUV’s gas tank ruptured and the RAV4 burst into flames, he said.
The pursuing officers suddenly became rescuers as they freed the three trapped occupants from the burning car, Jimenez said.
The officers pulled the driver from the SUV, he said. “That’s when they heard screaming from inside the car. The fire started growing. They saw that there was a female passenger in the right rear.”
Officer managed to pull out the rear passenger and discovered the 16-year-old passenger also trapped in the front passenger seat.
As the fire continued to grow larger, the officers cut the seat belt of the third and final occupant and freed her from the flaming wreck, Jimenez said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Cabrera was being held without bail at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Friday in West Covina Superior Court.
SOUTH EL MONTE >> Prosecutors filed four felony charges against a woman they say carjacked another woman at knifepoint in South El Monte, then led police on a televised chase to Bell Gardens
The suspect, Kelsey Woods, also listed as Britany Woods, 26, rammed a CHP car during the chase. Woods was previously convicted of leading police on a chase and driving against traffic in 2015 when she embarked on the alleged series of crimes on Wednesday, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
“Woods allegedly approached a woman with a knife in South El Monte and then took the victim’s truck,” Ardalani said.
The suspect was not immediately found following the morning carjacking, however deputies spotted the stolen truck later in the day, officials said. It was still being driven by the suspect, later identified as Woods.
Woods refused to pull over, initiating a pursuit, Ardalani said.
News helicopters broadcast live at the fleeing truck ran over a spike strip, but continued speeding. Sparks flew from the exposed tire rim as the suspect fled.
“During the pursuit, the defendant reportedly drove into oncoming traffic and did not stop at numerous stop lights,” according to Ardalani. “At one point, the defendant allegedly stopped the vehicle, went into reverse and hit the patrol vehicle before she fled the scene again.”
•Video: Raw CBS footage of pursuit
Prosectors charged Woods Friday with carjacking, two counts of assault on a peace officer and recklessly fleeing police, officials said.
Woods is also accused of the special allegation that she personally used a knife in the carjacking.
A scheduled arraignment hearing Friday in the El Monte branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court was continued to Monday, Ardalani said.
If convicted as charged, Ardalani said Woods could face up to 16 years and four months in state prison. Her hometown was unclear.
According to county booking records, Woods was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
EL MONTE >> An armed federal fugitive sought by the U.S. Marshals Service attacked a police officer in El Monte before leading officers on a motorcycle chase and ultimately being arrested on suspicion of a laundry list of crimes Saturday, authorities said.
George Olotoa, 50, of South El Monte is accused of assault on a police officer, evading police, possession of a stolen handgun, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of drugs while armed and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to El Monte police Sgt. Roger Cobian.
Olotoa was riding a 2000 Suzuki Sport Bike in the 2600 block of Millet Avenue when an officer tried to stop him for a traffic violation, Cobian said.
As the officer approached Olotoa, he tried to ride away, police said. The muscular 6-foot-tall, 230-pound suspect turned violent.
“The officer tried to stop the suspect but the suspect attacked the officer by striking him in the head,” Cobian said in a written statement. “The officer attempted to defend himself and overcome the violent attack while the assailant was still wearing a motorcycle helmet. The officer deployed his Taser, which malfunctioned, and the suspect fled on his motorcycle and a vehicle pursuit began.”
The officer chased Olotoa onto the 60 Freeway at Santa Anita Avenue, where he lost control of his motorcycle and fell, officials said. The motorcycle struck another car, resulting in no injuries to the driver.
“The suspect attempted to re-mount his motorcycle, and he disregarded commands to remove his hand from his front pants pocket,” Cobian said. “When the first of the assisting officers arrived on scene, he saw a volatile situation rapidly evolving and assisted in apprehending the suspect.”
Cell phone video footage of the incident posted on YouTube Saturday afternoon, but removed by Saturday evening, depicted suspect’s apprehension.
The arriving officer struck Olotoa’s motorcycle with his patrol car as he arrived on scene, pushing it out of his grasp, the video shows.
Officers then continued wrestling Olotoa into custody as additional officers arrived at the scene.
As assisting officers got Olotoa into handcuffs with the use of a Taser, the original officer collapsed backwards onto the street in exhaustion.
“A folding knife was found in the same pocket the suspect had his hand in and a loaded, stolen hand gun was found in the suspect’s backpack,” Cobian said.
Both the officer and suspected were treated for injuries described as minor.
Police determined Olotoa was on federal probation and was being sought by the U.S. Marshals Service, officials added.
He was being held in lieu of $225,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Wednesday in El Monte Superior Court.
SAN DIMAS >> A man attacked a Glendora police dog after leading officers on a chase that ended in San Dimas Friday morning, authorities said.
Driver Armando Nunez, 28, of El Monte and passenger Vitoria Yvonne Narvaez, 29, of Pomona were ultimately arrested, Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said.
Nunez was hospitalized for treatment of dog bites. The K-9 that apprehended him suffered injuries to its ear.
Nunez was already being sought by police in West Covina in connection with another chase and crash last week, West Covina police Lt. Travis Tibbets said.
The incident began shortly before 11 a.m. when an officer spotted a car in La Verne and found it suspicious, the chief said.
The officer approached the car when it pulled into a parking lot at Foothill Boulevard and San Dimas Avenue in San Dimas, he said. The car fled “at high speeds.”
Glendora police pursued the fleeing car to a residential cul-de-sac in the 900 block of Sedona Court, officials said. Both the driver and passenger abandoned the car and continued fleeing on foot.
Officers immediately captured the passenger, later identified as Narvaez, Staab said. But the driver, Nunez, fled into the surrounding neighborhood.
Police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies set up a search perimeter.
“One of the homeowners alerted us to their backyard,” the chief said. The resident noticed the storage shed in the backyard had become inexplicably unlatched.
Police ordered anyone inside the shed to surrender. After receiving no response, officers sent in a Glendora Police Department K-9 named Bo.
“Second later, both of them burst out of the storage shed,” Staab said.
“The male suspect had the K-9 in a headlock,” he said. “With the other hand, he grabbed its left ear and twisted its head around.”
Police tried to subdue Nunez with a Taser, but he continued fighting with officers before they wrestled him into custody.
“The suspect wouldn’t stop fighting,” Staab said. “Two of my experienced detectives said they’ve never fought with somebody so prolonged.”
No officers were hurt, Staab said.
Bo’s normally upright ear remained limp from the attack, but he appeared otherwise OK, Staab said. The K-9 was to be examined by a veterinarian.
Nunez was treated for dog bites to his face, arm and leg prior to booking, Staab said. He was expected to face charges including evading police and assault on a police dog.
He was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
West Covina police had been seeking Nunez since Sunday, when he allegedly led police on another chase in a stolen car, which ended in a crash at Amar Road and Valinda Avenue, Tibbetts said.
After crashing the stolen car after a brief chase, Nunez ran from the car, leaving a seriously injured woman who had been riding as a passenger behind, Tibbetts said. Officers did not find him that day, but investigators identified Nunez as the suspected driver.
Narvaez, was booked on suspicion of resisting police, Staab said. She is on parole for a prior burglary conviction and was being held without bail, according to officials and booking records.
The ignition system of the car the suspects were riding in Friday had been tampered with, Staab said. Detectives were investigating whether or not it had been stolen.