Rowland Heights man accused of four-month tagging spree

ROWLAND HEIGHTS – A 19-year-old Rowland Heights man pleaded no contest Tuesday to three counts of felony vandalism in connection with an alleged four-month graffiti spree, authorities said.
Deputies arrested Vicente Christoph Haro about 6:30 a.m. Friday after a tipster reported seeing him scrawling graffiti at Colima Road and Paso Real Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Christopher Blasnek said.
Haro was still at the scene when deputies arrived and discovered he had vandalized a bus bench, a wall and a utility box, the lieutenant said. And the marks he scrawled were familiar to officials, who had seen similar graffiti in the area over since December.
He’s accused of causing more than $2,500 worth of damage during his “bombing runs,” a slang term for scrawling graffiti on multiple spots at the same time, Blasnek said.
He appeared in court Tuesday, where prosecutors charged him with eight counts of felony vandalism, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
He pleaded no contest to three counts at his initial court appearance, she said. The remaining five counts of felony vandalism were expected to be dismissed at his sentencing, scheduled for Friday.

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Young Rowland Heights woman badly hurt in 57 Freeway crash in Diamond Bar

DIAMOND BAR — A 19-year-old Rowland Heights woman suffered major injuries Tuesday when an SUV struck her stopped Toyota Corolla on the Orange (57) Freeway, authorities said.

Kathryn Rios was hospitalized following the 2:27 p.m. crash on the southbound 57 Freeway, just south of Brea Canyon Cutoff Road, California Highway Patrol Officer Alex Antillon said in a written statement.

Edward Castaneda, 38, of La Habra, who was driving the Ford Explorer that rear-ended Rios’ car, was cited at the scene on suspicion of driving on a suspended license and failing to provide proof of insurance at a collision scene, the officer said. Driving under the influence was not initially suspected to be a factor.

The Corolla was travelling ahead of the Ford prior to the crash, officials said. “For an unknown reason, Ms. Rios’ Toyota came to a complete stop within the No. 4 lane,” Antillon said. “Mr. Castaneda failed to notice the Toyota stopped directly ahead of him,” he said.

“The front of the Ford subsequently struck the rear of the Toyota.” Rescuers took Rios to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center for treatment with “major injuries,” Antillon said. An update on her condition was not available. Castaneda was not injured.

Any witnesses to the crash where asked to contact the CHP’s Baldwin Park office during normal business hours at 626-338-1164.

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Man and woman arrested in Pomona on suspicion of auto theft

Deputies following the signal from a LoJack vehicle anti-theft system found and arrested a man and woman in a stolen car, authorities said.
The names of the suspects, initially described as a man and woman in their 20s, were not immediately available pending the booking process, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Perez said.
The incident began about 8:45 a.m. when deputies from the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Statin picked up on the signal in the Rowland Heights area, Perez said.
Deputies closed in on the SUV and spotted it getting onto the eastbound San Bernarindo (10) Freeway from the Orange (57) Freeway heading into Pomona, the sergeant said.
When the SUV exited the 10 Freeway at Garey Avenue and headed south, deputies attempted to pull it over, but it sped away instead, Perez said.
Deputies did not pursue the SUV due to safety concerns, Perez said.
“He started driving a little erratically,” he said. A sheriff’s helicopter kept track of the car from above.
After travling a short distance south on Garey Avenue, the SUV came to a stop near Pearl Street, Perez said.
The female suspect was arrested without a struggle near the SUV, while the man fled into a nearby apartment complex, officials said.
Witnesses pointed out which apartment the fleeing suspect ran into, Perez said. Deputies found him inside and took him into custody.

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1,000 Ecstasy capsules seized, 3 arrested in bust

Gang investigators arrested three suspects, seized 1,000 Ecstasy capsules and uprooted a small indoor marijuana grow in busts linked to Asian organized crime in Rowland Heights and Arcadia earlier this week, authorities said.
Denis Lam, 20, and Ruoyo Mike Dong, 22, both Arcadia residents and members of an Asian street gang, were arrested along with Juan Carlos Cabrales, 23, of Azusa, in the operation, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The arrests took place late Wednesday at a strip mall in the 18900 block of Gale Avenue in Rowland Heights.
Lam and Dong had hired Cabrales to deliver 1,000 capsules containing a powder form of the drug Ecstasy to a buyer at the strip mall, officials said. The capsules were expected to fetch $5,000.
“Cabrales was arrested by investigators before the transaction was completed,” according to the sheriff’s statement. “Lam and Dong, who were monitoring the transaction nearby, were located by the investigators and arrested as well.”
Detectives then obtained a search warrant for the Arcadia homes of Lam and Dong in an unincorporated county area near Arcadia, where they discovered a “small but functional” indoor marijuana grow, sheriff’s officials said.
All three suspects were booked on suspicion of drug charges and released Thursday pending their initial court appearances after posting $30,000 bail each, according to officials and Los Angeles County booking records.

PHOTO of Ecstasy capsules courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Name of Rowland Heights man fatally struck by SUV on Colima Road released

ROWLAND HEIGHTS — Coroner’s officials Sunday released the name of a 28-year-old Rowland Heights man fatally struck by an SUV after apparently lying down in a traffic lane on Colima Road.
Earl Tyrone Bourne II died was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident, which was reported about 12:20 a.m. Saturday on Colima Road, just west of Otterbein Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Dana Bee said. An autopsy was pending to determine his official cause of death.
Preliminary investigation determined a 21-year-old woman was driving a 2003 Dodge Durango east on Colima Road in the right-hand lane when, for reasons that remained under investigation, Bourne stepped off the sidewalk and lay down in the lane ahead of the Durango, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
The woman was cited on suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence following the incident and released, according to officials and county booking records.

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CHP: Pedestrian fatally struck by vehicle after lying down on Colima Road in Hacienda Heights

ROWLAND HEIGHTS — A 28-year-old man was struck and killed by a vehicle early Saturday morning after lying down in the roadway, authorities said.
The name of the dead man was not released pending notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner’s officials said. His city of residence was not available Saturday.
A 21-year-old woman who was driving the 2003 Dodge Durango that struck the man was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor drunken driving and released with a citation, officials said.
The fatal incident took place about 12:19 a.m. on Colima Road, just west of Otterbein Avenue, California Highway Patrol Officer G. Valles of the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs office said in a written statement.
The Dodge was eastbound on Colima Road in the right-hand lane when, “For unknown reasons, a pedestrian walked off the sidewalk from the south roadway edge of Colima Road and proceeded to lay doe within the No. 2 lane,” according to the statement.
The Dodge struck the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
Officers from the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs office are handling the investigation.

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Man sentenced for shooting at CHP officers during chase on 60 Freeway in Rowland Heights

A man has begun serving a 45-year prison sentence after pleading no contest to shooting at California Highway Patrol officers during a high speed pursuit through Rowland Heights, authorities said.
Isaac Arriaga, 28, of Moreno Valley received the sentence Tuesday after pleading no contest to three counts of assault on a peace officer with a semi-automatic firearm, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
Additional charges including multiple counts of attempted murder and assault were dropped, she added.
No one was injured in the shooting, which took place Aug. 4 as Arriaga was fleeing CHP officers on the westbound Pomona (60) Freeway in Rowland Heights, CHP officials said at the time.
The chase began in San Bernardino County, where officials tried to pull him over while he was driving a 2004 Land Rover Discovery that was being sought in connection with a carjacking, officials said. The chase reached speeds in excess of 100 mph.
As the chase passed through Rowland Heights on the 60 Freeway, Arriaga opened fire on pursuing CHP officers, striking two patrol cars, according to the CHP. One of the bullets pierced the gas tank of one of the patrol cars.
Arriaga’s SUV became disabled and came to a stop a short time later just east of Hacienda Boulevard in Hacienda Heights, officials said. He was arrested following a brief stand-off.

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Man snatches woman’s purse from moving car in Rowland Heights

ROWLAND HEIGHTS — A man leaned out of a moving vehicle to snatch a purse from a woman’s shoulder Thursday in a motel parking, authorities said.
The crime took place just after 7:50 a.m. outside the Best Western motel on Gale Avenue, just west of Nogales Street, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
A 35-year-old woman had just exited the motel’s lounge when a silver, American, 4-door car came up from behind her, the lieutenant said. One of the two men inside reached out and grabbed the woman’s purse before the car drove off.
Inside the purse was an iPad mini and other personal items,Saleeby said. The woman was not hurt.
One of the robbers was described as Latino man between 40 and 50 years old, while the other was a Latino man between 20 and 30, officials said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff’s Walnut-Diamond Bar Station.

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Ex-fugitives to stand trial in 1982 Rowland Heights slaying

More than 30 years after a stabbing and beating that left one man dead and another permanently injured in a Rowland Heights Park, two longtime fugitives are awaiting trial for the crimes, sheriff’s officials announced Saturday.
Gilbert Leal, 51, and Marcelino Diablos Corona, 49, and a third suspect, who remains at-large, fled to Mexico following the Aug. 8, 1982 attack that killed 20-year-old Richard Hernandez of Valinda and severely injured 19-year-old Daniel Ontiveros, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
But investigators earlier this year found Leal in Riverside County, officials said.
He was jailed July 20, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
Cold case detectives Thursday learned that Corona was living in Fontana and using a different name, sheriff’s officials said. They obtained a warrant and arrested him without a struggle.
Leal and Corona have both been charged with the murder of Hernandez, and assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated mayhem for the alleged attack on Ontiveros.
The crimes took place at the Rowland Heights Park, 1500 Banida Avenue, authorities said. Hernandez and Ontiveros were visiting with two female friends when they were approached by the three suspects, who challenged them to a fight.
“Both young men declined the challenge and continued their visit with the two young ladies,” according to the sheriff’s statement.
“A few minutes later the three suspects attacked Richard and Daniel armed with weapons,” the statement said. “During the assault, Richard Hernandez was beaten, stabbed and later died from his injuries. Daniel Ontiveros was beaten, struck in the head and suffered permanent brain damage.”
Hernandez was pronounced dead at a West Covina hospital about an hour after the 1 a.m. incident, sheriff’s deputy Tony Grace said at the time.
Knives, baseball bats and tire irons were used in what the deputy then described as a “melee.”
Information regarding the third suspect linked to the 1982 park attack was not available Saturday.
Corona, who was being held without bail, was scheduled to appear Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to county booking records. Leal, who was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, was scheduled to appear Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court.

PHOTOS of Gilbert Leal (above) and Marcelino Corona (below) courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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Teen wounded in foot in Rowland Heights shooting

A 16-year-old boy walking with another teen Friday night was shot in the foot by someone in a passing sport utility vehicle.
The shooting on Los Palacios Drive and Fullerton Road was reported to deputies at 10:43 p.m.
There’s no indication it was gang-related, Sgt. Christina Baker said.
She said a boy and a girl were on Los Palacios Drive when an SUV drove by and one of its occupants fired at the teens. The suspect said nothing before the shooting, Baker added.
She said the girl wasn’t hit. The 16-year-old boy was taken to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.
The suspect was in an older model red SUV with dark tinted windows. Deputies didn’t know how many people were in the vehicle.

- Ruby Gonzales

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