SAN GABRIEL >> Coroner’s officials have identified a 38-year-old Rosemead man who was fatally shot in the back during a gang-related dispute in South San Gabriel last week.
John Daniel Pollerana died at a hospital about 45 minutes after Thursday’s 11:47 p.m. shooting in the 1600 block of Del Mar Avenue, in the unincorporated county area, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner officials said.
He was among three men who became involved in an altercation with fourth other men in the parking lot of a motel, Lt. Jose Mendoza of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. The dispute was believed to be gang-related.
One of the four men pulled a handgun and shot the victim in the back, according to sheriff’s and coroner’s officials.
One of the attackers drove away from the shooting scene in a white, four-door sedan, Mendoza said. The other three suspects fled the area on foot.
Deputies quickly found one suspect — later identified as 31-year-old Juan Luis Colin of Bell Gardens — on foot in the area and detained him, officials said.
Juan Luis Colin, 31, of Bell Gardens, was treated for cuts to his arms he suffered while fleeing from deputies through backyards before being booked on suspicion of murder, Mendoza said.
Investigators determined Pollerana was staying at the motel along with two friends, Mendoza said. The group had ties to a local street gang.
The four suspects, who are tied to an East Los Angeles street gang, had been staying in another room at the motel, he said.
The groups encountered one another in the parking lot and an argument ensued before “at least one” of the suspects pulled a handgun and opened fire.
Pollerana was mortally wounded. Another man who was with him suffered a grazing wound, it was later determined.
The three additional suspects remained at large Wednesday.
According to county booking records, Colin was scheduled to appear in the El Monte branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday for an arraignment hearing. He was being held in lieu of $2 million bail.
Anyone with information was 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.
SAN GABRIEL >> Two brothers from Long Beach were behind bars Friday after San Gabriel police found them driving through town with a kilogram of cocaine stowed in a shoe box, officials said.
Manuel Eugenio Salazar, 23, and brother Jorge Eugenio Salazar, 22, were both booked on suspicion of transportation of narcotics following their arrests shortly before noon Thursday, according to San Gabriel police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
The bust stemmed from a “routine traffic stop” about 10:25 a.m. in the 1300 block of South San Gabriel Boulevard, Lt. Riki Nakamura said.
An officers topped a Nissan being driven by Manuel Salazar, with his brother riding as a passenger, for having no license plates, the lieutenant said. It was also soon determined that the driver had no license.
Police prepared to tow the car, Nakamura said. While conducting an “inventory search,” police found a 2.2-pound brick of cocaine stashed inside a shoebox within the car.
A drug-sniffing dog examined the car but found no additional drugs, he said.
Manuel and Jorge Salazar were being held in lieu of $30,000 bail each at the Alhambra Police Department’s jail pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Tuesday in Alhambra Superior Court, records show.
PASADENA >> Trial is ongoing in Pasadena for a Rosemead gang member accused of murder in the mistaken-identity murder of a 17-year-old Gabrielino High School student in San Gabriel, which occurred 11 years ago today, authorities said.
Prosecutors made their case and continued calling witnesses Wednesday in Pasadena Superior Court in the trial of Daniel Guerrero, 29, in connection with the April 27, 2005, slaying of Ryan Dasalla, court officials said.
Guerrero, who was 18 at the time of the killing, along with then-23-year-old brother Daniel Guerrero and accomplice and fellow Varrio Nueva Estrada street gang member Sarah Toledo, then 17, shot and killed Ryan Dasalla in a case of mistaken identity, prosecutors said.
Toledo helped the brothers target Dasalla under the wrong belief that he was part of a tagging crew that had beaten up the Guerreros younger brother the night before, according to prosecutors and Los Angeles County sheriff’s homicide detectives. Dasalla was shot in the back.
Gabriel Guerrero and Toledo were arrested shortly after the fatal shooting, which took place about a block away from Gabrielino High School.
But the alleged triggerman, Daniel Guerrero fled and remained a fugitive until late-2013, when he was reportedly found and captured in Tijuana, Mexico, where he was living under an assumed identity.
He now faces charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, district attorney’s office spokesman Greg Risling said.
Records show jury selection in the case began April 4, and opening statement began April 20th, he said.
The other two defendants have since been convicted and begun serving lengthy prison terms.
Gabriel Guerrero received a sentence of 84 years to life in prison after a jury convicted him in 2010 of first-degree murder, and found true allegations the crime was gang-related and involved a gun.
Toledo received 50 years to life in prison in late 2011 after being convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, along with gang and gun enhancements.
SAN GABRIEL >> Police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and witnesses took up a collection to help a single mother who was dragged 20 feet by a pickup truck while being robbed of her purse in San Gabriel Saturday, officials said.
The crime took place about 10:45 a.m. outside a dry cleaning business in the 400 block of West Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel police Lt. Riki Nakamura said.
A 36-year-old woman stopped into the dry cleaning shop as her 7-year-old son waited in the back seat of her car. The boy was dressed in a costume, as the mother and son were planning a trip to the movies to see The Jungle Book before heading to lunch.
The woman saw a man approach her car and open a door, the lieutenant said. Fearing her son was in danger, the woman ran out to confront the man, he said.
The robber grabbed the woman’s purse from the front passenger seat of her car and fled to his own vehicle, a pickup truck.
Nakamura said the victim clung to the truck as the robber accelerated.
“He heads north on Ardmore (Drive), while she’s clinging on the driver-side door,” he said. “She’s asking for help and pleading with him to stop.”
The woman fell from the vehicle, tumbling in the roadway, before the suspect sped away, Nakamura said.
“I don’t know what possessed me. I guess it was just adrenaline,” said the mother, who asked her name be withheld due to safety concerns.”
She suffered injuries to her arms and legs, but declined to be taken to a hospital.
Despite her injuries, and the loss of her money and other personal belongings, including their movie tickets and Souplantation gift card, “She was more worried about breaking a promise to take her son to the movies,” the lieutenant said.
Touched by the scene, police officers, firefighters, EMTs and passers-by who witnessed the incident took up a collection to present to the woman, Nakamura said. They presented the mother and son with tickets to the same theater they were planning to attend, as well as extra money for popcorn or lunch.
Though sore and healing from deep abrasions and an injured knee, the mother said she was recuperating well Sunday.
Her son was also doing well, though she said the incident left him a bit nervous.
“He’s a little afraid now where he’ll stay with me. He doesn’t want to leave me,” she said. She planned to seek counseling for him.
The youngster also told his mother he was worried because he feared the “bad guy” now knows their home address from the items stolen from his mother’s purse.
But despite Saturday’s ordeal, the mother and son made it to the movies as planned, the grateful mother said.
With her family in Northern California, and while dealing with financial challenges, the woman said the kindness of strangers made her not feel alone following the frightening incident.
“I couldn’t believe it. What started off as a really dark, horrible situation ended up being jut an uplifting situation,” she said. “Complete strangers filled us with love and comfort and made us feel so secure.”
Police and the victim described the robber as a Latino man in his 40s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 130 pounds, with a dark complexion. He drove a lowered, orange or copper pickup truck, possibly a Chevrolet Silverado, with dark tint on the windows. The truck’s paint was very shiny and clean.
Anyone with information is asked to contact San Gabriel police at 626-308-2828.
MONTEREY PARK >> Sheriff’s officials Friday announced the arrest of a suspect in connection with the fatal shooting of a man whose body was discovered inside a parked car in Monterey Park last week.
Andy Chen, 37, of San Gabriel is accused of the murder of Min Gu, 30, whose body was discovered about 6 p.m. March 21 in the trunk of a Lexus left parked in the 200 block of South Lincoln Avenue, according to Deputy Ryan Rouzan of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.
Investigators took Chen into custody about 4 p.m. Thursday, according to county booking records.
Sheriff’s officials announced the arrest in a written statement issued late Friday afternoon.
“Detectives believe the motive for the murder was a financial dispute,” Rouzan said.
No further details were released Friday.
The investigation began after witnesses reported a foul odor emitting from a a Lexus sedan, officials said.
Deputies soon discovered Gu’s body, which appeared to have been dead for at least a day or two when discovered.
An autopsy determined Gu was shot multiple times, and died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to sheriff’s and coroner’s officials. Gu’s city of residence was unclear.
Chen was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending a scheduled arraignment Monday in the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Alhambra branch.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is assisting Monterey Park police in the investigation.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s homicide detectives at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
SAN GABRIEL >> Police arrested a man and woman and seized nearly 700 marijuana plants Wednesday when they dismantled an illicit indoor marijuana farm operating out of the back of a San Gabriel tailor business, officials said.
Reports of suspicious activity at New Craft Design Inc., 864 Commercial Ave., first attracted the attention of police, who paid a visit to the longtime business about 2 p.m., San Gabriel police Detective Lt. Brian Kott said.
Officers entered the open business and immediately smelled a strong odor of marijuana, he said.
Officers detained a man and woman who were inside the building and detectives obtained a search warrant for the business, Kott said.
The front portion of the business was operating as a tailor business, and had been doing so for several years, Kott said. But the building had been subdivided.
“The other part of the facility was an elaborate marijuana-growing operation,” the lieutenant said.
Police uprooted between nearly marijuana plants, in various levels of maturity, from two subdivided rooms within the building, he said. The business had also been outfitted with a hydroponic gardening system.
Peggy Mui Do, 62, and Phuong Day Ung, 36, were booked on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, Kott said.
Do was in the front portion of the business when officers arrived, Kott said. Ung was detained after emerging from the subdivided pot farm.
Another woman not believed tied directly to the marijuana-growing operation was arrested after she showed up at the businesses during the investigation and was found in possession of a methamphetamine pipe, Kott added.
PHOTOS courtesy of the San Gabriel Police Department
8SAN GABRIEL >> Two teenage burglary suspects shot by an off-duty Los Angeles police lieutenant during a break-in at his home had been upgraded to stable condition at a hospital Friday as the investigation continued, authorities said.
The two wounded suspects, both 17, were ultimately arrested along with two other 17-year-old boys following the shooting, which took place about 10 a.m. at the off-duty officer’s home in the 600 block of Los Olivos Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eddie Hernandez said.
Both wounded suspects were hospitalized in stable condition Wednesday, the lieutenant said. “They are expected to survive their injuries.”
All four suspects were expected to face charges of burglary.
The off-duty officer was awakened by noises inside his home when he encountered two of the teenage burglars, sheriff’s officials said.
He armed himself with a non-department-issued 9mm pistol and encountered the two intruders, Hernandez said. They fled from the home through the kitchen window, which is also believed to be how they broke in.
The homeowner yelled through the window at the fleeing suspects to stop, Hernandez said.
“He saw one of the suspects reach for his waistband and turn towards him,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The off-duty officer fired at the suspect reaching for his waistband, striking both of the teens, Hernandez said. One was struck in the abdomen and leg, while the other was struck in the abdomen. Both continued fleeing.
One of the wounded teens was soon found and arrested nearby, officials said.
The second wounded suspect was brought to a hospital, along with another teen, shortly after the shooting, Hernandez said.
Another teen, who dropped the wounded teen and the other suspect off at the hospital, was found and taken into custody later in the day, Hernandez said.
No weapon linked to the suspects had been recovered Wednesday, he said.
It was not clear Wednesday whether the two suspects arrested after taking the wounded suspects to the hospital were present at the time of the burglary, Hernandez said.
Los Angeles police officials and sheriff’s investigators declined to release the name of the involved officer Wednesday.
Detective Meghan Aguilar described the off-duty officer as a lieutenant assigned to the LAPD’s Pacific division with 29 years of experience.
The lieutenant has been placed on administrative leave pending investigations by the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, the LAPD and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, officials said.
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.
SAN GABRIEL — A man showed up at the San Gabriel Police Department for help after being stabbed in the chest at a nearby liquor store Saturday morning, authorities said.
The wounded victim drove to the police station, 625 S. Del Mar Ave., just after 9 a.m., San Gabriel police Sgt. Brian Sagocio said.
By chance, San Gabriel firefighters happened to be at the station to use it’s gasoline pumps and were able to immediately begin treating the man, he said.
The man had suffered a stab wound that punctured one of his lungs, officials said.
After undergoing surgery at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, “It looks like he’s going to make it,” Sagocio said.
The victim told investigators he was inside of his car near a liquor store just north of the police station, at Del Mar and Angeleno avenues, when he was stabbed by to male attackers, the sergeant said.
He managed to drive to the police station, just over 400 feet away, to seek aid.
The victim, who was believed to have gang ties, did not appear to be cooperating with investigators, Sagocio said.
The motive and circumstances of the attack remained under investigation Saturday night, he said. No further details were available.
SAN GABRIEL >> Deputies chased down and re-captured an El Monte man who escaped from a San Gabriel hospital Thursday, where he was being examined following an arrest earlier in the afternoon, officials said.
The incident began about 12:40 p.m. after deputies in South El Monte spotted Sergio Galiano, 20, of El Monte, who had an outstanding warrant for resisting arrest, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
He was arrested following a brief struggle, and deputies also found him in possession of methamphetamine, the lieutenant said.
Deputies took the suspect to the San Gabriel Valley Medical Center, 438 W. Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel, for examination prior to booking him into jail, Lt. Ronald Daily said.
While handcuffed and awaiting treatment about 2:20 p.m., Galiano managed to break free from the facility and run, Daily said.
Deputies set up a search perimeter, ultimately finding the man hiding, still handcuffed, in a residential neighborhood about an hour later, officials said.
He was again examined at a hospital before being booked into jail for the existing warrant, as well as on suspicion of drug possession, being under the influence of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest and felony escape, Chavez said.
According to county booking records, Galiano was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Wednesday in El Monte Superior Court.
SOUTH SAN GABRIEL >> Deputies arrested two alleged burglars and sought a third after they led deputies on a chase from Diamond Bar to South San Gabriel, then continued to run after crashing their car, authorities said.
The incident began about 12:45 p.m. with a report of a burglary in Diamond Bar, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. James Long said.
Deputies spotted the suspects fleeing the area in a gold Jeep Cherokee, the sergeant said. The driver led deputies on a pursuit west along the 60 Freeway until it exited northbound San Gabriel Boulevard and crashed at Delta Avenue.
The Jeep struck a curb and a fence, Long said.
Three men got out of the crashed car and continued fleeing on foot, Long said.
Two of them were soon apprehended in the area, while a third remained at-large shortly before 3 p.m, he said.
Officers from other area agencies joined sheriff’s officials, as well as law enforcement dogs and helicopters, in the search for the third suspect.
Officials focused their efforts on a neighborhood just northeast of San Gabriel Boulevard and Delta Avenue, in the unincorporated county area of South San Gabriel, before calling of the search about four hours later.
Deputies searched the area near the offramp, where the suspects were believed to have tossed an item during the chase, but found nothing, Long said.
The arrested suspects names and booking charges were not available Wednesday afternoon, nor were details regarding the original burglary, Lt. John Saleeby said.