Man attacked by would-be-robber at Rowland Heights home


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A gunman knocked on a man’s door, tried to rob him at gunpoint and then punched the victim before fleeing empty-handed on Friday, authorities said.
A man of about 60 years old was at home about 8 p.m. when he answered a knock at his front door in the 17800 block of Colima Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Yuell said.
The man at the door pointed a semi-automatic handgun at the resident and demanded money, the sergeant said.
When the victim told the would-be robber he had no money, the frustrated gunman punched him in the eye and ran away, Yuell said.
The resident was treated at the scene by paramedics and declined to be taken to a hospital.
Deputies described the attacker as a white man, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 170 pounds.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station at 626-913-1715. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Two gunmen sought in Rowland Heights home-invasion robbery


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> Two men with handguns tied up a man and woman during a home-invasion robbery in Rowland Heights late Wednesday, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 9 p.m. in the 19200 block of Addis Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
A man and woman in their 20s answered a knock at their front door when the gunmen forced their way in, the lieutenant said.
Both robbers were armed with handguns as they tied up the two victims, he said.
The robbers stole a bag containing an undetermined amount of cash, as well as other items from the home, Saleeby said.
Sheriff’s officials described the gunmen as two Asian men wearing all black clothing.
Sheriff’s radio traffic from the scene further described one of the robbers as being in his early-20s, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, wearing a black silk jacket. The second robber was described as 5 feet 5 inches tall and 160 pounds, wearing a white T-shirt. No getaway car was seen.
The victims suffered no significant injuries, Saleeby said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station at 909-595-2264. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Man gunned down in Rowland Heights


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A man died following a shooting in a residential neighborhood in Rowland Heights Thursday night, authorities said.
Deputies responded to reports of gunfire about 11:40 p.m. in the 18400 block of Desidia Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“When they arrived, they were directed to the alley of the location where they discovered the victim had been shot,” Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. Paramedics pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
“Witnesses said that the victim and two acquaintances were inside the garage of the location when two male Hispanics in their early-20’s confronted them,” she said. “During the confrontation, one suspect produced a handgun and started firing at all three individuals, striking the victim at least once in the upper torso.”
The two others inside the garage were not hurt, officials said.
The attackers were last seen running east through the alley, officials said. A detailed suspect description was not available.
A motive had yet to be determined, and it was unclear whether the shooting was gang-related.
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.

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Ex-fugitive from San Bernardino in viral Rowland Heights crash video back in custody


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A former fugitive from San Bernardino charged with a laundry list of criminal charges in connection with a bizarre Rowland Heights car crash depicted in a viral YouTube video is behind bars, officials confirmed Wednesday.
Jasmine Lacey, 23, is charged with driving under the influence of drugs, hit-and-run with a runaway car, auto theft, taking a car without the owner’s consent and driving without a valid license in connection with the Sept. 1 crash along Harbor Boulevard, between Vantage Point Drive and Pathfinder Road, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
VIDEO: Bizarre Rowland Heights crash caught on camera
California Highway Patrol officers soon found and arrested an allegedly highly intoxicated Lacey on foot in the area, CHP officials said.
She was released from custody without charges four days later, however, pending the result of blood analysis.
But charged were filed against Lacey in February, but she failed to show up for a scheduled Feb. 10 arraignment hearing in the Los Angeles Superior Court’s West Covina branch, Ardalani said. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
Lacey was re-arrested April 18, according to county booking records. The circumstances of her re-capture were unclear Wednesday.
She pleaded has since not guilty to all charges.
But the legal process is again on hold as officials look into Lacey’s psychiatric health, Ardalani said.
“On May 5, a doubt was declared as to the defendant’s mental competency,” she said.
According to court records, Lacey is next scheduled to appear in the Mental Health Courthouse in Los Angeles May 19 for a mental competency hearing. She is then scheduled for a hearing in the West Covina courthouse the following day.
The unusual incident, which resulted in no significant injuries, was captured on video by the dashcam of another car. The footage was posted to YouTube by user “UlikeUC Here”, where it has since garnered more than 5 million views.
She was at the wheel of a stolen car when the suddenly slammed on the brakes, bringing the car to a halt, the video shows.
Lacey then inexplicably exits the car and begins walking down the center median as the driverless car rolled downhill and into opposing traffic lanes. An SUV was struck by the car before it ultimately struck a tree and stopped.
Lacey was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail, records show.

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San Bernardino woman in bizarre, viral Rowland Heights car crash video sought after skipping court


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A San Bernardino woman accused of abandoning a stolen car while high on drugs, allowing it to roll downhill and into opposing traffic in a bizarre Rowland Heights crash captured on a viral dashcam video, is now a fugitive after skipping out on her court date last month, officials said.
Jasmin Lacey, 23, faces charges of driving under the influence of drugs, hit-and-run with a runaway car, auto theft, taking a car without the owner’s consent and driving without a valid license in connection with the Sept. 1 crash along Harbor Boulevard, between Vantage Point Drive and Pathfinder Road, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
But Lacey failed to appear for a Feb. 10 arraignment hearing scheduled in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s West Covina branch, she said.
“A bench warrant was issued for her arrest,” Ardalani said.
•Video: Bizarre Rowland Heights crash
The strange series of events, which resulted in no injuries, was captured on another driver’s dashcam. The video, posted on YouTube, has since garnered more than 4.9 million views.
In the video, the driver of a 2010 Hyundai Sonata — later identified as Lacey — suddenly slams on the car’s brakes, bring the car to a halt, and exits the vehicle. The driver then walks down the center median with a casual stride as the abandoned Hyundai rolls downhill and across opposing traffic lanes.
California Highway Patrol officials said the car struck an SUV. A second SUV also became tangled in the wreck before the Hyundai ultimately struck two trees and came to a stop.
After being found in the area, Lacey appeared extremely intoxicated and provided no explanation for her alleged actions, CHP Officer Armando Perdomo said at the time.
She was initially arrested, but released from custody pending further investigation as officials awaited the results of blood tests, according to Perdomo and Los Angeles County booking records.
Prosecutors filed charges Feb. 5, records show.
The two auto theft-related crimes Lacey is charged with are felonies, Ardalani said. The three additional charges of hit-and-run, DUI and driving without a license are misdemeanors.

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Elderly Rowland Heights couple bound in home-invasion robbery


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> Three masked intruders tied up an elderly Rowland Heights couple and ransacked their home during a home-invasion robbery late Friday, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 9 p.m. in the 1400 block of Annadel Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Yoell said.
A man was home alone when he heard a noise in front of his home and opened the door to see what it was, the sergeant said.
“He opened the door, there they are,” Yoell said. At least one of the masked robbers was armed with a handgun.
The robbers tied up the man and began ransacking the home, he said.
The victim’s wife arrived home in the midst of the home invasion, Yoell said. The robbers tied her up as well before fleeing the home.
Neither victim wished to be taken to a hospital, he added. Both were senior citizens.
It appeared the intruders were looking for money, officials said. It was not initially clear what, if anything, was taken in the crime.
A detailed suspect description was not available, Yoell said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station at 626-913-1715. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Woman killed while crossing street in Rowland Heights, driver accused of DUI


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A Hacienda Heights man is accused of being high on drugs when he struck and killed a woman as she crossed the street in Rowland Heights late Tuesday, authorities said.
Yussef Hadi Afra, 23, is accused of felony drunken driving in connection with the 7 p.m. collision on Batson Avenue, just south of Colima Road, according to California Highway Patrol officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The identity of the woman killed remained unknown Wednesday, Investigator B. Kim of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical-Examiner Coroner said. She was officially listed as a “Jane Doe.”
Afra was driving a 2015 Honda Civic northbound on Batson Avenue as the woman was crossing west across the roadway, officer Tim Zaspal of the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs area office said in a written statement.
The Honda struck the woman, who was rushed to a hospital with major injuries, Zaspal said. She died a short time later.
“(Afra) was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs,” Zaspal added. It was unclear what type of drugs Afra was accused of being under the influence of.
After being examined at a hospital, Afra was booked into jail, where he was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to officials and records.

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Man arrested following quadruple-fatal Rowland Heights New Year’s Eve shooting released from jail

ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A Rowland Heights man initially arrested on suspicion of murder after fatally shooting his father, who had just shot three other family members to death on New Year’s Eve, has been released from custody pending further investigation, according to officials and booking records.
Christopher John Morey, 33, was released from custody at the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Los Angeles County booking records show. Detectives will still present their findings to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office later for consideration of potential charges.
Prior to his release Saturday afternoon, Morey had been held in lieu of $1 million bail.
He had been in custody since New Year’s Eve, when he shot his 54-year-old father, Michael John Morey, at the family home in the 2200 block of Batson Avenue, sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said.
Christopher Morey disarmed and shot his father after the elder Morey shot his bedridden wife, 54-year-old Betty Jean Morey, Christopher Morey’s 48-year-old girlfriend, Linda Patricia Merrell, and house guest Ernesto Calzadilla, 27, of Rowland Heights, authorities said.
The violence was preceded by an argument between Michael Morey and Merrell over the usage of a washing machine, Lt. John Corina of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
The home was littered with beer bottles, and Michael Morey was known to become agitated when drunk, according to investigators and neighbors.
Corina has said the investigation is now focusing on whether Michael Morey continued to pose a threat when his son shot him, Corina said. If that’s determined to be the case, the shooting could be ruled lawful self-defense.
Handling detectives could not be reached for comment Sunday, nor could Christopher Morey. It was unclear whether he was being represented by an attorney.
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.

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Four killed in Rowland Heights New Year’s Eve shooting identified

ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> Authorities have identified four people fatally shot during what investigators described as a domestic dispute at a Rowland Heights home on New Year’s Eve.
Michael John Morey, 54, shot and killed his 54-year-old bedridden wife, Betty Jean Morey; his son’s 48-year-old girlfriend, Linda Patricia Merrell; and a 27-year-old house guest Ernesto Calzadilla of Rowland Heights before his son wrestled the handgun away from him, then fatally shot his father, according to Los Angeles County coroner and sheriff’s officials.
Michael Morey’s son, Christopher John Morey, was subsequently arrested on suspicion of the murder, Lt. John Corina of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. He was the lone survivor of the violence that unfolded just after 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the home in the 2200 block of Batson Avenue.
The Moreys, as well as Merrell, lived at the home, sheriff’s officials said. Calzadilla, a friend of Christopher Morey and Merrell, is survived by an 8-month-old daughter, according to his family.
Though the complex investigation remained in its early stages, Corina said the gunfire appeared to have been preceded by an argument over using the washing machine between Michael Morey and Merrell. Michael Morey was known to become agitated when drunk.
Neighbors and officials said the house was known for partying. It was littered with beer bottles following the shooting, and deputies reported responding to the home more than two-dozen times over the past three years for a variety of reasons.
Betty Morey was bedridden after suffering a stroke, Corina said.
Calzadilla’s brother, Wilfred Calzadilla, said Ernesto Calzadilla had expressed fear about the elderl Morey in the past, adding that he had a large collection of guns. A neighbor said Merrell has also expressed concerns about Michael Morey.
Christopher Morey remained jailed in lieu of $1 million bail Saturday pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in West Covina Superior Court.
Prosecutors will review the evidence to determine whether to file charges against Christopher Morey.
The potential case hinges on whether Michael Morey still posed a threat when his son shot him, Corina said.

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Two dead, two injured in Rowland Heights shooting


ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> Two people died and another two suffered injuries in a shooting in a residential neighborhood in Rowland Heights on New Year’s Eve, authorities said.
The shooting was first reported just after 8:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of Batson Avenue, Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
Paramedics pronounced two people dead at the scene, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Reynold Dong said. Another two gunshot victims were treated for injuries.
A suspect was in custody, Schrader said. It was not immediately clear whether the suspect was among the wounded or dead.
No further details were available late Thursday as the investigation remained in its early stages.

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