UPDATED: Pilot and passenger walk away from helicopter crash at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area

HELOCRASH

ROSEMEAD >> A pilot and passenger walked away from a small helicopter crash at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area early Saturday, authorities said.
The crash was first reported by a witness on the ground about 9:25 a.m. on an open field near the tennis courts at the east side of the large park, which sits along Rosemead Boulevard and the 60 Freeway, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jorge Marchena said.
The two-seater helicopter ended up on it’s side, however the two people on board suffered no significant injuries, according to sheriff’s and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
“A Bell 47 helicopter rolled onto its side during an emergency landing in a park after losing engine power,” Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Lynn Lundsford said. “The pilot was not injured, his passenger sustained minor injuries.”
The passenger was ultimately taken to a hospital for treatment, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said. The pilot was not hospitalized.
Officials described the pilot as a man and the passenger as a woman.
Lundsford said the trip appeared to be a pleasure flight, but she did not have information regarding where the helicopter took off, and where it’s destination was.
A hazardous materials crew was summoned to the scene to deal with fuel that had spilled from the vehicle, fire Dispatch Supervisor Melanie Flores said.
About 100 gallons of aviation fuel was believed to have leaked from the helicopter, according to initial reports from the scene.
The helicopter crashed onto soft soil, officials said.
“They’re very lucky,” Marchena said. “They tried to make a hard landing, and it worked out for them.”
Marchena added that it was also fortunate no one on the ground was injured in the incident.
“There’s parts of the park that can get pretty populated,” he said.
The tail number written on the helicopter is registered to a 1958 Bell 47G helicopter owned by a Delaware-based corporation called 5847G LLC., according to an FAA database. It’s certification expired April 30.
The sheriff’s Aero and Parks bureaus were investigating the crash, along with the FAA.

PHOTO by William Camargo

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Man robbed along Loma Avenue in Rosemead

ROSEMEAD — A man lost cash to a robber as he walked home early Wednesday, authorities said.
The crime took place shortly after 4:15 a.m. in the 4000 block of Loma Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
A man in his 20s was walking when he was approached by a robber described as a Latino man in his 20s, wearing dark clothes and a dark hooded sweatshirt, Detective Sgt. Steve Ruiz said.
The robber was possibly armed with a handgun, though investigators had not yet confirmed that whether that was the case, Ruiz said.
After obtaining cash from the victim, the robber was last seen running south on Loma Avenue toward Valley Boulevard, Chavez said.

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Suspect accused of attempted murder in Rosemead shooting

ROSEMEAD — Deputies arrested two people Tuesday after an argument over a woman ended in a shooting.
No one was injured in the 1:37 p.m. shooting near Klingerman Street and Charlotte Avenue.
“Deputies contacted the victim who reported he was in a verbal confrontation with another male over a mutual female friend,” Lt. Ignacio Somoano said in a statement.
He said the suspect shot at the victim. When the victim ran, the assailant chased him and fired several more rounds.
The gunman got into a car and left.
Somoano said the suspect and the vehicle were identified based on information from the victim and witnesses.
Deputies notified Los Angeles police because the suspect was from Los Angeles, he said.
Officers found the vehicle at Vermont Avenue and 22nd Street at about 3 p.m.
Somoano said the passenger, 31-year-old Jose Barajas of Los Angeles, and the driver, 28-year-old Monica Lucero of Los Angeles, were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
A gang investigator at the sheriff’s Temple station is handling the case. He declined to discuss the shooting because it is an ongoing investigation.
A sheriff’s spokeswoman didn’t have anymore details about the shooting.
According to booking records, both suspects were in custody at the Temple station jail. Lucero’s bail is $1 million and Barajas was being held without bail.

- Ruby Gonzales

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San Gabriel man accused of trying to kidnap boy in Rosemead

ROSEMEAD — Deputies jailed a San Gabriel man Sunday on suspicion of trying to kidnap an 11-year-old boy from a Rosemead sidewalk last month, officials said.
Bin Zhang, 44, was booked on suspicion of attempted kidnapping following his arrest, which took place about 10 a.m. in the 2700 block of Del Mar Avenue in Rosemead, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Phillip Marquez said in a written statement.
The alleged kidnapping attempt took place in January, but went unreported until after sheriff’s officials issued a public alert Feb. 12 regarding a separate Jan. 30 incident in which a man grabbed onto a young girl on the campus of Arlene Bitely Elementary School, on Fern Avenue just west of Jackson Street.
“As a result of the press release, Temple Sheriff’s Station investigators learned that in early January, an 11-year-old male was accosted near Del Mar Avenue and Emerson Place, Rosemead, and the incident went unreported. An investigation was launched,” Marquez said. “It is alleged the suspect attempted to kidnap the 11-year-old male from a public sidewalk in January of 2014.”
Deputies Sunday morning spotted a man matching the description of the man who tried to kidnap the boy and arrested him without a struggle, Marquez said.
According to county booking records, Zhang was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled for Wednesday in El Monte Superior Court.
The investigation was ongoing, Marquez said, and it was not clear Sunday if the suspect arrested for attempting to kidnap the boy was the same man who accosted the young girl.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective S. Gibson of the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171.

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Man sought for suspicious encounter with girl at Rosemead elementary school

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ROSEMEAD — Investigators Wednesday released a sketch of a man involved in a suspicious encounter with an 11-year-old girl on the campus of Arlene Bitely Elementary School in Rosemead late last month.
The incident occurred about 3:30 p.m. Jan. 30 at the school along Fern Street, just west of Jackson Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Sherif Morsi said in a written statement.
“(The man) entered the school grounds where he approached an 11-year-old female student from behind,” Morsi said. “The suspect grabbed the collar of the female’s shirt. The female turned and, realizing it was a stranger, immediately began to run away and broke free of his grasp.”
The suspicious man then fled.
Deputies described the man as possible Filipino, between 40 and 50 years old, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 160 pounds. He had long, stringy black hair and a thin mustache. He had scratches on his left cheek. He wore a white tank top and blue jeans and was barefoot.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective S. Gibson of the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171.

PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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Man exposes self, tries to kidnap woman in Rosemead

ROSEMEAD — Authorities Thursday sought the public’s help in tracking down a man who exposed himself and tried to kidnap a woman earlier this week.
The attack occurred shortly after midnight Tuesday as the woman, was walking at San Gabriel Boulevard and Fern Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ignacio Somoano said in a written statement.
“She saw a male suspect masturbating while standing next to a vehicle,” the lieutenant said.
The woman, whose age was not available, continued walking along Fern Avenue and the suspect began following her, he said.
“Subsequently, the suspect ran up to her and grabbed her and tried to pull her away,” Somoano said. “The victim struggled with the suspect while telling for help. The suspect fled on foot and the victim escaped his grasp uninjured.”
Investigators described the attacker as a Latino man between 20 and 25 years old, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 140 pounds. He had dark hair and wore black shorts and a gray shirt. His vehicles was described as a gray sedan.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171. Tips may also be submitted anonymously by calling L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477, or online at www.lacrimestoppers.com.

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Armed robbery reported at Rosemead market

ROSEMEAD — A masked gunman fled with cash Wednesday following a robbery at a Rosemead market, officials said.
A man carried a black and silver semi-automatic handgun when he walked into the International Market, 8638 Ramona Blvd., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
The robber demanded money from the clerk before fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash, the lieutenant said.
He was described as a Latino man in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 130 pounds, wearing a brown hooded sweat shirt, brown sweat pants, dark glasses and a bandana over his face.
He was believed to have gotten into a light blue Toyota Corolla with paper license plates following the heist, Chavez said.
Detectives from the sheriff’s Temple Station are handling the investigation.

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Man wounded, attacker sought in Rosemead stabbing

ROSEMEAD — A Rosemead man suffered stab wounds Friday during a fight with a man he told investigators was an old acquaintance from high school, officials said.
The stabbing was reported about 4:20 p.m. along Bartlett Avenue, just north of Garvey Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
The victim, a 27-year-old man, told deputies he was walking down the street when a car pulled over and the driver — a man he knew in high school — got out of the car, the lieutenant said.
The attacker then challenged the victim to fight, Chavez said.
“During the fight, he noticed he was bleeding profusely from the abdomen,” he said. “He was stabbed multiple times.”
The wounded man went home and called for help, but would not give authorities the name of his attacker, Chavez said.
The suspect was described only as a white man in his mid- to late-20s wearing a white T-shirt and black pants.
Chavez said the victim’s injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.
Detectives from the sheriff’s Temple Station are handling the investigation.

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West Covina woman turns self in following fatal Rosemead hit-and-run

ROSEMEAD — A West Covina woman accused of fatally striking a senior citizen with her SUV before fleeing the scene has turned herself into sheriff’s deputies, authorities said late Tuesday.
Janet Ngo Bowman, 32, was booked on suspicion of hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence after she showed up at the Sheriff’s Temple Station lobby about 11:30 a.m. Monday in connection with Sunday’s 6:20 p.m. hit-and-run at Marshall Street and Greendale Avenue in Rosemead, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
“Temple Station traffic investigators recovered the suspect’s vehicle, a 2007 Nissan Murano, and it is being held as evidence,” Lt. Carlos Marquez said in a written statement.
Killed was Qingrong Chai, 69, of Rosemead, who would have turned 70 Thursday, according to Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter.
Chai was crossing Marshall Street when she was struck by an eastbound SUV with no headlights on, sheriff’s officials said. The did not stop, and paramedics pronounced Chai dead at the scene.
According to county booking records, Bowman was released early Tuesday after posting $50,000 bail.
She was scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 28 in El Monte Superior Court.

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Authorities seek ‘New Hat Bandits’ in five bank robberies over past six months

New Hat Bandits

The FBI and local law enforcement officials are seeking two bank robbers dubbed the “New Hat Bandits” in connection with five Los Angeles County bank heists in the past six weeks.
The robbers are linked to two robberies in Monterey Park, one in Rosemead and most recently, the bandits have turned their attention toward two banks in Manhattan Beach , FBI officials said in a written statement.
NewHatMontereyPark1114“The New Hat Bandits are described by witnesses as black males who wear baseball hats that appear to be new,” according to the statement. “During the robberies, the New Hat Bandits enter the bank and make oral and written demands for cash.”
According to the FBI, the robbers struck Tuesday at Citibank, 2710 N. Sepulveda Boulevard in Manhattan Beach, as well as Nov. 22 at a U.S. Bank Branch at 3300 N. Sepulveda Blvd. in Manhattan Beach.
They previously robbed the Cathay Bank at 250 S. Atlantic Blvd. in Monterey Park on No. 14; the Pacific Alliance Bank at 8400 E. Valley Blvd. in Rosemead on Halloween; and the Chase bank at 459 S. Atlantic Blvd. in Monterey Park on Oct. 23, officials said.
In the first four crimes, only one of the bandits at a time entered the banks to carry out NewHatMontereyPark1023the robberies, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. But both robbers were seen during Wedesday’s robbery.
Authorities described the bandits as black men in their 30s between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall and between 150 and 170 pounds. A black Lincoln Navigator SUV has been described by witnesses as a possible getaway vehicle.
No weapons have been seen during the robberies, Eimiller said.
Anyone with information was urged to call the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at 888-226-8443, or 9-1-1.

NewHatRosemead1031

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