Police: Driver found asleep at wheel with 100 grams of methamphetamine in Covina

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COVINA >> Police jailed a San Gabriel man found passed out behind the wheel of his car in Covina early Thursday after discovering nearly a quarter-pound of methamphetamine, along with some heroin, in his vehicle, officials said.
Officers first responded about 4:15 a.m. to reports of a solo-car crash in the 900 block of North Grandview Avenue, Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said.
“When officers got there, the driver-side tires were up on the sidewalk with the passenger side tires on the street,” the lieutenant said. “The vehicle was running with the suspect asleep behind the wheel.”
Police woke the suspect, who was believed to be under the influence of heroin and appeared “lethargic and confused,” Doonan said.
Upon searching the 2002 Lexus, he said, police found 100 grams of 1030_NWS_SGT-L-METH2methamphetamine, with an estimated street value of more than $1,500, as well as a vial of heroin and a pipe and a “shaved” car key often used to steal or burglarize cars.
Binh Chi Ly, 33, of San Gabriel, was booked on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sales, possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a burglary tool, according to Covina police and Los Angeles County booking records.
He was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

PHOTOS: [TOP] – Binh Ly, 33, of San Gabriel. [BELOW] – 100 grams of seized methampetamine

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Suicide suspected after discovery of man’s body in San Gabriel parking lot


SAN GABRIEL >> Police suspect suicide after a man was found dead in the parking lot of a Valley Boulevard business park Friday, officials said.
A witness called 9-1-1 about 11 a.m. to report seeing a man in his 50s lying on the ground in a parking lot in the 1000 block of East Valley Boulevard, just west of Walnut Grove Avenue, San Gabriel police Lt. Riki Nakamura said. Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene.
After finding trauma on the man’s head, detectives initially treated the death as a possible homicide, the lieutenant said. But further investigation indicated the man had committed suicide by jumping from the roof of a nearby two-story building, standing about 50 feet tall.
Though not witnesses to the fall had been found, shoe prints matching the shoes on the body were discovered on the roof of the building, Nakamura said.

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Police to hold weekend checkpoint in San Gabriel

SAN GABRIEL >> Police plan to screen drivers for sobriety and valid licences during a checkpoint Friday night.
The checkpoint will be held from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within San Gabriel, San Gabriel police officials said in a written statement.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

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San Gabriel police officers to host annual charity golf tournament

BADGES Flier

SAN GABRIEL >> The San Gabriel Police Officers’ Association is once again seeking players to take part in its annual “Badges of Courage” charity golf tournament.
The tournament will take place Nov. 9 at the Via Verde Country Club, 1400 Avenida Entrada, organizers said. Sign-ins will begin at 10 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at noon. A dinner will be held after the tournament.
•“Badges of Courage” golf tournament flier and entry form
The cost of entry is $125 per golfer, and $30 for non-golfing diners.
In addition to benefiting the SGPOA, a portion of collected funds will be donated to local charities, police said.
Golfers are advised to sign up as soon as possible. Non-golfing diners are asked to RSVP by Oct. 9. The event will include raffle prizes and a live auction.
For more information, to make reservations, or to inquire about advertising, sponsorship or donation opportunities, contact San Gabriel police Office Vince Salazar at 626-422-9053, or email deftac1@hotmail.com.

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San Gabriel man fatally struck by truck in 605 Freeway in Industry identified


INDUSTRY >> Authorities have released the name of a San Gabriel man who was fatally struck by a big rig after exiting his car on the 605 Freeway i Industry early Saturday.
Richard Taiyung Tswei, 62, died at the scene after being struck by a truck about 6:20 a.m. on the right shoulder of the southbound 605 Freeway near Valley Boulevard, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Betsy Magdaleno said.
Tswei had exited his car for an unknown reason when he was struck by a big rig, according to Officer J. Gomez of the CHP’s Baldwin Park area office.
The truck driver remained at the scene.

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San Gabriel man fatally struck by big rig on 605 Freeway in Industry


INDUSTRY >> A San Gabriel man died after he was struck by a big rig after exiting his car on the right shoulder of the 605 Freeway in Industry early Friday, officials said.
The man, described as 62-years-old, died at the scene of the 6:17 a.m. collision along the southbound 605 Freeway, just south of Valley Boulevard, Officer J. Gomez of the California Highway Patrol’s East Los Angeles area office said in a written statement. His name was not released pending notification of family.
Officers investigating reports of a man lying on the right shoulder found the man unconscious, lying directly in front of his Toyota Camry, Gomez said.
Investigators determined that, for an unknown reason, the man had exited his car before being struck by a 2004 Peterbilt big rig, the officer said.
The driver of the truck remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, CHP Officer Alex Rubio said. The collision remains under investigation.

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UPDATED: Sewage backup prompts evacuations at San Gabriel assisted living home

SAN GABRIEL >> A sewer line backup prompted officials to evacuate eight residents from a San Gabriel assisted living home for the night late Friday, officials said.
The incident was first reported about 7:10 p.m. at Vista Cove Care Center, 901 W. Santa Anita Street, according to a dispatcher at the Verdugo Fire Communications Center.
A crew working on the Alameda Corridor East San Gabriel Trench project nearby accidentally ruptured a sewage line earlier in the day, San Gabriel police Lt. Riki Nakamura said. By 7 p.m. or so, the sewage has seeped onto Santa Anita Street, creating noxious fumes and odors for residents of the nearby convalescent home.
About 30 residents were initially evacuated, though only eight were ultimately displaced overnight, according to police and fire officials. The displaced residents were taken to other care facilities for the night. They were able to return to their homes Saturday morning.

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Man on bike sought in San Gabriel purse snatchings

SAN GABRIEL >> Police are seeking a man on a bicycle who snatched a woman’s purse Wednesday, and possibly several others in the same area recent days, officials said.
The most recent robbery took place about 7:20 p.m. at Valley Boulevard and Palm Avenue, San Gabriel police Lt. Fabian Valdez said.
A woman in her 60s was walking down the street when a man on a bike rode past, grabbed her Coach purse from her shoulder and continued pedaling, the lieutenant said. The purse itself was valued at about $600. Inside was a cell phone, other personal items and more than $1,200 in cash.
A man on a bicycle also tried, but failed, to grab a purse from a woman’s shoulder about 5:15 p.m. in the area of Valley and San Gabriel Boulevards, just a few blocks east of the 7:20 p.m. crime, Valdez said. A witness reported seeing the robbery attempt, but police did not find the victim herself.
Several other purse snatchings have been reported in the same general area in recent days, he said. Further details were not available late Wednesday.
Valdez said police have increased patrols in the area and urged residents to be aware of their surroundings and avoid walking alone whenever possible.
Anyone with information was asked to call San Gabriel police at 626-308-2828.

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Transient accused of window smashing spree in San Gabriel

SAN GABRIEL >> A transient is accused of a vandalism spree in which he damaged at least three cars and a home early Tuesday, officials said.
Police booked Alexander Valenzuela, 31, on suspicion of multiple counts of felony vandalism following the incident, which unfolded about 1 a.m. in the area of Pine and Marshall streets, San Gabriel police Lt. Fabian Valdez said.
Officers first headed to the neighborhood after a motorist reported a glass bottle had been hurled at his car as it passed by, the lieutenant said.
Police interviewed the driver and detained Valenzuela, who was still nearby, Valdez said.
As officers continued investigating, a second caller reported that a brick had smashed the window of a nearby home, Valdez said. Officers ultimately found two other cars in the area with shattered windows.
At least one surveillance camera captured images of Valenzuela in the area at the time of the vandalisms, Valdez added.
Once at the San Gabriel Police Department’s jail, Valenzuela assaulted two officers, inflicting minor injuries to one, Valdez said.
Due to his “erratic” behavior, authorities suspected he was either intoxicated or mentally ill, he said.
Valenzuela was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment Thursday in Alhambra Superior Court, records show.

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San Gabriel man convicted in turtle smuggling scheme

LOS ANGELES >> A judge sentenced a San Gabriel man to two months in federal prison this week for trying to smuggle 46 turtles and tortoises to Hong Kong via the U.S. Postal Service last year, authorities said. Some of the animals died as a result of the failed scheme.
Kwong Wa Cheung, 36, was also sentenced to two years of supervised release following his prison sentence, two months of which will be served in a halfway house, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement. U.S. District Judge John F. Walter also ordered Cheung to perform 500 hours of community service at an animal shelter and pay a $12,000 fine.
Cheung pleaded guilty in August to a felony county of mislabeling wildlife intended for foreign commerce, Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Mitchell said. Five additional felony counts initially filed against Cheung were dismissed.
On Aug. 13 at the San Gabriel Post Office, Cheung tried to ship three boxes containing 26 Eastern box turtles and 20 African spurred tortoises, officials said. Both species are protected and illegal to transport overseas by international treaty and federal law.
“Cheung used a fake name and address on the packages, and declared that the contents of the packages were ‘toys,’” according to the statement. Because Cheung used a false name, the postal service refused to ship the package, but also could not locate Cheung to return the packages.
Officials found the animals after at least one of them died and began to emit a strong odor, Mitchell said. It was not clear how many reptiles died as a result of the failed shipment.
Investigators ultimately identified Cheung as the person who tried to mail the reptiles, which had an estimated market value in Hong Kong of more than $10,000, Mitchell said.

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