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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Auto theft suspect arrested after short chase in Whittier

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WHITTIER >> Police jailed an alleged car thief after a brief car chase, which ended in a crash, in Whittier Thursday afternoon.
An officer was on patrol about 2:10 p.m. in the area of Gunn Avenue and Whittier Boulevard when he spotted a car matching the description of one reported to be involved in a burglary attempt several hours before, Whittier police Lt. Jim Uhl said.
The officer tried to stop the Honda Accord, but the driver fled instead.
After a short chase, the suspect crashed into a parked car at Calmada Avenue and La Forge Street, the sergeant said. He continued fleeing on foot, but was soon apprehended nearby.
Police determined the Honda had been reported stolen in Whittier in March, Uhl said.
The driver was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries suffered while running from officers, Uhl said. His name was not immediately available.
He was expected to be booked on suspicion of auto theft and evading police, Uhl said. Police were continuing to investigate the suspect’s possible connection to the earlier burglary attempt.

PHOTO courtesy of the Whittier Police Department

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Gang member sentenced for Pasadena crash that killed two during police chase on Christmas, 2012

Williams

PASADENA >> A judge sentenced a gang member to more than three decades in prison for killing an 11-year-old boy and his 25-year-old cousin when he crashed an SUV into their family’s minivan in Pasadena on Christmas Day of 2012.
The Pasadena jury found Darrell Lee Williams, 25, guilty in November of two counts of manslaughter and five counts of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the crash at Marengo Avenue and Maple Street, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago. The conviction was his third strike under California’s Three Strikes Law. He was acquitted of a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Dorothy L. Shubin sentenced Williams to 30 years to life in prison, Santiago said.
Killed were Tracey Ong Tan of Glendale and Kendrick Ng of Daly City. Ng was visiting relatives for the holidays. Ng’s parents and sister suffered serious injuries.
Williams was fleeing from an FBI SUV, driven by an FBI agent with a Pasadena police officer riding as a passenger, that had tried to pull over the Dodge Durango Williams was driving, authorities said.
“Williams refused to stop because he had a firearm in the SUV while on parole and a high-speed chase began,” Santiago said in a written statement.
William’s girlfriend and passenger in the fleeing SUV, 23-year-old Brittany Washington of Los Angeles, pleaded no contest to a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 2014 and received a two-year jail sentence, officials said.
The fatal pursuit occurred as Pasadena police and FBI agents were conducting gang-suppression patrols following the fatal shooting of community youth coach and sheriff’s department employee Victor McClinton, 49, of Pasadena earlier on the same deadly Christmas Day in Pasadena.
A Los Angeles jury continued deliberating Friday in the case of alleged gang members Larry Darnell Bishop, 23, of Chino and Jerron Donald Harris, 28, of Pasadena, accused of gunning down McClinton with an errant bullet intended for a rival gang member.
The trial is the second for Bishop and Harris after a jury failed to reach a verdict in their first trial last July.

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Arcadia burglary suspect with police radio scanner arrested in Westmont following chase

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ARCADIA >> An alleged burglar with a police radio scanner in his car led police and CHP officers on a high-speed chase that ended with his arrest in Westmont following a residential break-in in Arcadia late Friday, authorities said.
Arcadia police had received a report shortly before 9 p.m. of a suspicious person and vehicle in the driveway of a home in the 200 block of Monte Place, Arcadia police officials said in a written statement. The car drove away, and it was later determined a the home had been burglarized, and items stolen.
Police spotted the Nissan Altima as it got onto the 210 Freeway and tried to pull it over, but the driver sped away instead, officials said.
Arcadia officers gave chase as the Nissan sped down the southbound 605 and westbound 105 freeways at speeds reaching 100 mph.
0327_NWS_PSN-L-CHASE2Arcadia officers eventually turned the pursuit over to California Highway Patrol officers, who ultimately took the driver into custody when he came to a stop along 102nd Street in Westmont.
Officials recovered items taken during the Arcadia break-in inside the suspect’s car, along with a radio scanner programmed with the frequency of the Arcadia Police Department, allowing him to monitor police radio traffic, Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther said.
Steve Gainer, 32, of Paramount was booked on suspicion of residential burglary and evading police, both felonies, police said.
0327_NWS_PSN-L-CHASE3According to Los Angeles County booking records, Gainer was being held in lieu of $125,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court.

 

PHOTOS: Steve Gainer, 32, of Paramount [TOP], police scanner recovered from car [BELOW], courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department.

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UPDATED: Man killed by police after stealing West Covina police car, leading cops on chase to Glendale identified


GLENDALE >> Authorities Wednesday released the identity of a man fatally shot by West Covina police after stealing a police car and leading officers on a wild chase that ended in Glendale as television news cameras broadcast the incident live.
Man killed by police after stealing West Covina police car, leading cops on chase to Glendale identified
Gevork Alachadzhyan, 45, of North Hollywood died at the scene of Sunday’s 10:30 p.m. officer-involved shooting in the 100 block of South Glendale Avenue, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
But sheriff’s homicide detectives, who are handling the officer-involved shooting investigation, placed a “security hold” on the case at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
The security hold prevents coroner’s officials from releasing any information about the case, Winter said.
The reason for detectives’ decision to block the release of information was unclear. The handling detective at the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau declined to discuss the case Wednesday.
In a recording of police radio traffic from the pursuit, the driver — later identified as Alachadzhyan — can be heard screaming, sometimes unintelligibly, into the microphone.
AUDIO: West Covina police radio recording
“I’d rather take the car,” the man yells at one point.
“The police are gonna kill me,” he continued.
West Covina police chased Alachadzhyan, who activated the stolen squad car’s emergency lights and sirens, at high speeds before using a PIT maneuver to spin the car out. News helicopters filmed as a police SUV smashed broadside into the stolen cruiser, pinning it.
“The officers saw the suspect making efforts to remove weapons positioned between the passenger and driver’s seat,” officials from the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. “Fearing the suspect was arming himself, both officers discharged their weapons.”
The suspect died at the scene, officials said. No officers were hurt.
Authorities said the suspect stole the West Covina police car after an officer responded to a call for service 200 block of Barranca Parkway in West Covina, but ultimately determined no crime had occurred, officials said.
The officer offered the man a ride to the east end of town, according to the statement.
Once the officer let the man out of the car, “the suspect ran to the driver’s door and assumed control of the vehicle,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
“The transporting officer attempted to regain control of the police vehicle. The suspect began driving with the officer near the driver’s side window, but the officer was unable to regain control of the police vehicle.”
Fellow officers soon spotted the stolen police vehicle and initiated the chase.
In addition to numerous convictions for petty theft, receiving stolen property, DUI and driving without a license, Alachadzhyan was convicted in 2013 of possession of a machine gun, being a felon in possession of a gun, drug possession and possession of drugs for sales, records show.
Other convictions include contempt of court and false impersonation of another, according to court records. At the time of Wednesday’s chase and fatal shooting, Alachadzhyan had a case pending against him on charges of hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license and driving without a valid license.

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West Covina police fatally shoot suspect in Glendale following chase in stolen police car


GLENDALE >> West Covina police shot and killed a man who stole a police car, then led officers on a pursuit that ended in Glendale late Sunday, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 10:30 p.m. in the 100 block of South Glendale Avenue, just south of Broadway, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials, who are handling the investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting.
“The suspect, a male adult, was struck by gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
No officers were hurt in the incident.
In a drama broadcast by television helicopters, officers pursued the stolen cruiser with its lights flashing at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour until a police SUV crashed into its driver’s side door to bring it to a halt.
Further details were not immediately available.
— City News Service contributed to this report.

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Two arrested following West Covina police chase

COVINA >> Police jailed two alleged car thieves after a short pursuit that ended in Covina Sunday after the victims of an auto theft spotted their recently-stolen SUV driving through West Covina, officials said.
A man and wife called police about 12:45 p.m. to report that they’d just seen their 2007 Honda Element SUV, which has been stolen the previous day, being driven down Citrus Avenue near the 10 Freeway in West Covina, West Covina police Lt. Dave Lee said. A man was at the wheel, and a woman was riding as a passenger.
Police tried to pull over the stolen Honda, but the driver sped away, blowing through red lights and stop signs, Lee said.
The car slowed in the 2000 block of Puente Avenue, where both suspect jumped from the still-moving car, which continued rolling until it struck a mailbox, the lieutenant said.
The female passenger broke her ankle as she hopped from the still-rolling car and was immediately captured, Lee said. She was estimated to be about 30.
The driver, a man in his mid-20s, was found hiding in a residential garage and arrested with the help of a police dog following an hour-long neighborhood search, he said.
Both suspects were taken to a hospital for treatment, Lee said. Their identities were not available Sunday afternoon.
They were expected to be booked on suspicion of auto theft and resisting arrest, Lee said. The driver was also expected to be booked for evading police.

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Pomona man struck by CHP patrol car after brief motorcycle chase


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.

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Trials for two separate Christmas Day slayings in Pasadena near end

PASADENA >> Two separate homicide cases stemming from a single tragic Christmas Day in Pasadena that left three innocent bystanders dead in 2012 are nearing conclusion.
Trial is ongoing in Los Angeles Superior Court for two gang members accused of fatally shooting 49-year-old civilian sheriff’s employee and community youth coach AR-150739946Victor McClinton. And another man is scheduled to be sentenced Monday in Pasadena Superior Court for crashing into a minivan while fleeing police, killing two members of a family visiting the area for the holidays.
In the McClinton case, prosecutors allege Bloods gang members Larry Darnell Bishop, 23, of Chino and Jerron Donald Harris, 28, of Pasadena, gunned down Victor McClinton of Pasadena with an errant bullet intended for a rival gang member on Christmas morning, 2012.
Their ongoing trial for murder with special circumstances, along with additional charges, continues Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
It is the second trial for the two suspects. A previous trial ended with a hung jury last July, and the presiding judge declared a mistrial.
Jurors deadlocked 9-3 in favor of convicting Bishop, and 7-5 in favor of acquitting Harris, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said at the time.
Though the special circumstance allegation of murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang makes the two defendants eligible for capital punishment if convicted, prosecutors are seeking life imprisonment in the case, officials said.
“They’re not seeking the death penalty,” Risling said.
McClinton was walking with a friend and carrying a Christmas gift about 11 a.m. in the 1900 block of Newport Avenue when Bishop and Harris both opened fire on a rival gang member nearby, police and prosecutors allege. The intended target was wounded, but a stray bullet struck and killed McClinton.
The father of two, who founded the nonprofit Brotherhood Community Youth Sports League in Pasadena, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
In Los Angeles Superior Court, a man convicted of manslaughter and other crimes for the deaths of a Glendale woman and Daly City boy after running a red light and slamming into their family’s minivan on Christmas evening, 2012, while fleeing from FBI and police officials in Pasadena is also due in court Monday for sentencing.
A Pasadena Superior Court jury in November convicted Darrell Williams, 25, of Pasadena of the voluntary manslaughter of 25-year-old Tracey Ong Tan and her 11-year-old cousin, Kendrick Ng, as well as five counts of assault with a deadly weapon in November for the crash, which took place about 8 p.m. at Marengo Avenue and Maple Street.
Ong and Ng died at the
Ng’s parents and his sister, who were also in the minivan, suffered serious injuries.
The family was visiting the area for the holidays when their minivan was struck by an SUV driven by Williams as he led an FBI agent and Pasadena police officer on a chase.
The chase started when police and FBI officials, who were working gang suppression in the wake of McClinton’s shooting earlier in the day, tried to stop the SUV, but Williams fled instead. He is not suspected in the McClinton slaying.
William’s girlfriend and passenger in the fleeing SUV, 23-year-old Brittany Washington of Los Angeles, pleaded no contest in early 2014 to charged of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and received a two-year jail sentence, according to district attorney’s office spokesman Ricardo Santiago.
Williams faces up to 150 years in prison.

PHOTO: Candles in front of a photograph of Victor J. McClinton, is posted during a Candlelight Memorial in Remembrance of Victor J. McClinton, on the steps of Pasadena City Hall in Pasadena, Thursday, December 27, 2012. On Christmas Day, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employee and youth sport volunteer, Victor J. McClinton was shot and killed, when he was caught in the cross fire between two gang members. (Correspondent Photo by James Carbone) 

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