Police: Fugitive arrested after attack on El Monte officer, motorcycle chase


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.

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Police: Suspect attacks Glendora police dog after pursuit ends in San Dimas

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.

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Three wounded in Baldwin Park car-to-car shooting; possible suspects detained after chase

BALDWIN PARK >> Three young men suffered gunshot wounds in a car-to-car attack in Baldwin Park early Sunday morning, authorities said.
Two suspects were arrested following a pursuit that originated in Baldwin Park about the same time as the shooting took place, and detectives were investigating the possibility the two incident were related.
The shooting occurred about 2 a.m. in the area of Ramona Boulevard and Badillo Street, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Shawn Blackburn said.
The three young men, along with a teen who was not struck by the gunfire, were riding in a car when gunshots rang out from another vehicle, officials said.
Blackburn said the car continued driving east for about three miles before coming to a stop at Badillo Street and Phillips Avenue, across the city border in West Covina.
One of the victims was hospitalized in critical condition after undergoing emergency surgery, he said. The other two victims were in stable condition.
All three wounded men were in their late teens or 20s, West Covina Fire Department Capt. Esteban Rodriguez said.
Just before authorities received word of the shooting, Baldwin Park officers were involved with a pursuit of a pickup truck, police said.
Officers chased the fleeing truck to Rosemead, but cancelled the pursuit due to safety concerns, Blackburn said.
But a helicopter continued following the truck as it headed back east toward West Covina, where West Covina police resumed the chase.
The pursuit led back to Baldwin Park, where the driver and passenger ultimately stopped and surrendered, police said. Their identities were not available Sunday morning.
“The investigations regarding both incidents are ongoing, and it has not been confirmed that they are related at this time,” Baldwin Park police said in a written statement.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Baldwin Park police Capt. Joe Bartolotti at 626-960-1955. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Suspects charged in deadly crash following police chase in Industry

INDUSTRY >> Prosecutors filed charges Friday against three alleged burglars accused of killing an innocent bystander in a car crash while fleeing from deputies in Industry earlier this week, authorities said.
Driver Anthony Michael Quisenberry, 35, of Los Angeles was charged with murder, burglary and assault on a peace officer, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
Co-defendants and passengers Michael Vincent Smyer, 26, of Los Angeles and Charles Allen Archer, 32, of Hawthorne each face charges of burglary, she said.
“f convicted as charged, Quisenberry faces a maximum possible sentence of 31 years to life in state prison, while Allen faces 14 years and Smyer 17 years in state prison,” Ardalani said.
The chain of events began Tuesday afternoon after a witness reported seeing the three men burglarizing a home in the 15200 block of Folger Street in Hacienda Heights.
Deputies found the three suspects riding in a Chevrolet Camaro and began a pursuit when the driver, later identified as Quisenberry, refused to pull over, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
As the suspects fled, their Camaro crashed into a small SUV at Gale Avenue and Johnson Drive in Industry, killing 66-year-old Rojelio Gonzalez of Bellflower, Lt. Joe Mendoza of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
“Following the crash, the occupants in the Camaro — Quisenberry, Allen and Smyer — fled from the vehicle, but were later apprehended by sheriff deputies,” Ardalani said.
The three defendants are scheduled to appear in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court Wednesday for arraignment hearings, Ardalani said.
Quisenberry has previously been convicted of burglary twice, as well identity theft and conspiracy to commit a crime, Ardalani said.
Allen has prior convictions for burglary, identity theft and forgery. Smyer also has a previous burglary conviction.
According to county booking records, Quisenberry and Allen were being held in lieu of $1.25 million bail each. Smyer was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

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UPDATED: Driver arrested after wild chase ends in Hacienda Heights

HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> A man in a stolen Honda Accord led California Highway Patrol officers on a chase that began in Norwalk and wound through the Whittier area before being captured in Hacienda Heights Friday afternoon.
The chase began at 3:04 p.m. at the intersection of the 605 and 105 freeways in Norwalk, CHP Officer Jennifer Bond said.
An officer spotted the car driving along the shoulder of the northbound 605 Freeway, Officer Kevin Tao said. The driver refused to pull over, initiating a chase. Pursuing officers soon determined that the Accord had been reported stolen.
The driver exited the freeway at Whittier Boulevard and drove through Montebello on surface streets before returning the the northbound 605 Freeway via Telegraph Road, Tao said.
The chase then worked it’s way to Washington Boulevard in Whittier, where the car exited the freeway and drove to Turnbull Canyon via city streets. Officers cancelled their pursuit as the driver continued up the winding and narrow Turnbull Canyon Road into Hacienda Heights, officials said.
The driver jumped fro the still-rolling car about 3:40 p.m., allowing the car to strike a dirt embankment near Blue Sky and Holly Tree roads in Hacienda Heights, Tao said.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies then launched a neighborhood search for the suspect as he continued fleeing on foot.
Deputies found and arrested the suspect in the area about 4:20 a.m., sheriff’s Lt. David Infante said.

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UPDATED: West Covina police arrest man and woman following bizarre pursuit, crash in Bassett

WEST COVINA >> In a strange seemingly illogical series chain of events, a man and woman called police on themselves to falsely report a carjacking Friday before leading West Covina police on a chase that ended with a crash in Bassett that injured two bystanders, including a little girl, authorities said.
Britanny Benquenchea, 26, and Joshua Rodriguez, 27, both of Victorville, were accused of crimes including evading police and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the bizarre episode, which began just after 7 p.m. at the Plaza West Covina shopping mall, West Covina police Lt. Travis Tibbetts said. Both are on parole for robbery, and Benquenchea wears a GPS tracking device.
Police first responded to the mall, 112 Plaza Drive, after a woman called 911 to report she had been carjacked of her 2015 Toyota Corolla at gunpoint by a man and woman, the lieutenant said.
Responding officers spotted a car matching the description of the stolen Toyota, containing a man and woman matching the description of the carjackers, driving just south of the mall.
Benquenchea, who was driving, refused to pull over for police, initiating a high-speed chase.
The pursuit ended minutes later when the fleeing car struck a civilian vehicle at Amar Road and Willow Avenue, Tibbetts said.
Both suspects were detained at the scene, he said. Police used a K-9 to help apprehend the male suspect, who refused to comply with officers’ commands.
An 8-year-old girl who was riding in the car struck by the fleeing suspects was initially hospitalized in critical condition, but was expected to survive, Tibbetts said. A woman in the vehicle, described only as an adult, was also hospitalized. Neither victims injuries were believed to be life threatening.
The investigation then took an unexpected turn.
Officers determined Benquenchea herself had called the police to falsely report being carjacked, Tibbetts said.
After being involved in a fight and getting escorted from the mall by security guards, Benquenchea and Rodriguez became involved in a confrontation with security before speeding away from the mall, police said.
The suspects may have struck a parked car as they left, he said. The details of the incident at the mall remained unclear late Friday.
“Apparently, they decided to call and report a carjacking, describing themselves as the suspects,” Tibbetts said.
The call appeared to be some sort of ill-thought-out ruse to divert police attention from the mall incident, he said. Although Benquenchea gave descriptions matching herself and Rodriguez as that of the phony carjackers, she reported the purported carjackers had fled in the opposite direction.
Benquenchea gave her real first name while reporting the carjacking, Tibbetts added. And when police called back the number, Benquenchea’s phone rang through the Toyota’s wireless audio system.
“I’ve never seen that before,” Tibbetts said.
Witness Christopher Morales posted footage of the male suspect being taken into custody with the help of a police K-9 on the social media network.
Another witness, April Aguirre, posted video of the aftermath of the collision in which firefighters can be seen treating an injured patient on Twitter.
The female suspect appeared to be wearing a GPS ankle bracelet, she said. “When they brought her out she seemed like she was on drugs,” the witness added.
In an email, Aguirre said she did not see the crash itself, as she arrived afterward.
“When I got there they had a male on a gurney taking him away. Then a couple minutes later they had a female in the video in handcuffs & she could barely walk or she was resisting it seemed like,” she said.
The woman yelled out, “Please don’t leave me,” and other phrases as firefighters treated her injuries, Aguirre said.
Both suspects were hospitalized prior to booking, Tibbetts said.

VIDEO: Courtesy of Christopher Morales

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Suspect crashes following chase from El Monte to Baldwin Park


EL MONTE >> A domestic violence suspect “erratically” driving a stolen car led El Monte police on a chase before crashing in Baldwin Park late Saturday, officials said.
Cesar Antonio Bobadilla, 23, of El Monte was ultimately booked on suspicion of domestic violence, auto theft, evading police, hit-and-run and resisting arrest following the chase, which began about 7:55 p.m., El Monte police Sgt. Richard Luna said in a written statement.
El Monte police had been seeking him in connection with an alleged April 16 battery on his girlfriend when officers spotted him driving a Black Acura Integra at Parkway Drive and Elliot Avenue, Luna said.
“The officer attempted a traffic stop of Bobadilla where upon Bobadilla accelerated his vehicle at a high rate of speed and fled. A vehicle pursuit ensued throughout the City of El Monte and then into the City of Baldwin Park,” Luna said.
“Bobadilla drove erratically, lost control of his vehicle and collided into a tree at the intersection of Los Angeles St. and Bresee Ave. (in) Baldwin Park,” the sergeant said.
The suspect ran from the crash, but was soon found hiding in a residential backyard in the 13900 block of Belgate Street, police said. The Acura he had been driving was found to have been reported stolen.
Officials took Bobadilla to a hospital for treatment of injuries suffered in the crash before booking him into jail.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, he was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

BOOKING PHOTO of Cesar Antonio Bobadilla, 23, of El Monte. (Courtesy, El Monte Police Department)

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Driver leads police on chase through West Covina, abandons stolen car on 10 Freeway

WEST COVINA >> A car thief led police on a chase through West Covina late Sunday before heading the wrong way on the 10 Freeway, abandoning the stolen car on the freeway and escaping into Covina Hills, authorities said.
An officer spotted a stolen car just before 7 p.m. in the area of Azusa and Vine avenues, West Covina police Lt. Travis Tibbetts said.
The driver refused to pull over, initiating a chase.
Officers chased the Honda Accord as it got onto the eastbound 10 Freeway, exited at Barranca Street, then re-entered the freeway heading the wrong way in westbound lanes, the lieutenant said.
Police cancelled their pursuit as the suspect entered the busy freeway heading in the wrong direction, he said.
They soon found the car crashed into the center divider west of Via Verde, Tibbetts said. But the driver had continued fleeing on foot, north across freeway lanes and into the Covina Hills.
Police and CHP officers searched for the suspect, with help from a helicopter, but he suspect was not found.
A detailed description was not available.

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Robbery suspect arrested in Pasadena after chase, standoff

PASADENA >> Police jailed a robbery suspect Sunday after he led officers on a car chase, then climbed onto the roof of an apartment building before ultimately surrendering, officials said.
Officers received a report of the “strong-arm” robbery of a woman about 10 a.m. in the 1500 block of West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. Jesse Carrillo said.
The woman’s purse and cell phone had been stolen, he said. It was determined that the robbery took place across the city border in the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department. Further details regarding the robbery were not immediately available.
Pasadena police spotted a car matching the description of the robber’s vehicle 10 to 15 minutes later in the area of Lincoln Avenue and Washington Boulevard, the lieutenant said. The driver refused to pull over, kicking off a pursuit.
Police chased the suspect to the 100 block of East Orange Grove Boulevard, where he abandoned the car and fled into an apartment complex and climbed onto the roof of a building.
After about an hour, officers persuaded the man to climb down and surrender, Carrillo said.
The suspect’s identity was not available pending the booking process.

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UPDATED — Officials: Pasadena woman tries to run down parents with SUV, strips nude at end of police chase in Downtown L.A.

PASADENA >> A woman allegedly tried to run down at least one of her parents with an SUV in Pasadena Friday night before leading police on a pursuit that came to an end in Downtown Los Angeles, where she stripped nude before being taken into custody.
The bizarre string of events began about 10:30 p.m. when police received a report of a family dispute at a home in the 1300 block of Linda Vista Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Vasken Gourdikian said.
Officers learned a woman had gotten into an argument with her parents, during which she allegedly tried to run them down with an SUV.
“She tried to strike one or both of her parents,” Gourdikian said. “They had to jump out of the way.” The parents were not injured.
The suspect also struck her parents’ parked car with her SUV and smashed a car window with a brick, Lt. Jesse Carrillo said.
The woman fled the scene before police arrived, but officers soon spotted the woman driving near the Rose Bowl, the lieutenant said. She refused to pull over, initiating a chase.
News helicopters broadcast live as police chased the SUV down the 134, 101, 118 and 210 freeways toward Los Angeles.
Police cancelled their pursuit as a safety precaution and planned to seek the woman later, as they knew her identity, Gourdikian said.
But news helicopters continued to follow and broadcast live online as the woman got onto the 110 Freeway, exited in Downtown Los Angeles and parked the SUV in a parking lot along 3rd Street, just east of Main Street.
The woman exited the SUV and began walking down the street, speaking with several passers-by, a live stream broadcast online by CBS Los Angeles. More than 15 minutes passed for Los Angeles police arrived.
In the meantime, a freelance news photographer arrived on the scene. He approached the woman, camera in-hand, and appeared to speak with her briefly.
As police approached, the woman suddenly stripped off all of her clothing. Police handcuffed the suspect and tried to cover her with a shirt before placing her into a squad car.
She made “incoherent” statements to officers during her arrest, Carrillo said.
Simone Megan Gonzalez, 32, of Pasadena was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and evading police, according to police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Officials had yet to determine Saturday whether Gonzalez’s bizarre behavior may have been the result of mental illness or intoxication.
She was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail pending her initial court appearance, records show.

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