SAN MARINO — Officials released the name Saturday of a San Marino man who allegedly stabbed a police dog and set his house on fire during a standoff with authorities. David Pohung Liu, 45, lived at the home where the standoff occurred Friday in the 500 block of Los Arboles Lane, San Marino police said in a written statement. Police responded to a burglar alarm shortly before 5 p.m. at the home when they encountered Liu in the doorway, San Marino police Lt. Steve Johnson said. “(Liu) was in possession of a large knife and a gun,” the police statement said. “He told the officers to shoot him.” Liu then went into his house where he remained for about five hours, police said. SWAT officers from the Foothill Special Enforcement Team, which is made up of officers from police agencies throughout the area, surrounded the home while a crisis negotiator tried to talk to Liu via telephone, Johnson said. Liu refused repeated orders to surrender. When police sent an Irwindale Police Department dog into the house, Liu allegedly slashed it across the head and muzzle, Irwindale police Sgt. Richard Breceda said. Officers were able to call the injured dog back out of the home. A short time later, Liu set fire to his home, the San Marino police statement said. “(Officers) used pepper ball guns and foam projectiles against Liu, who finally surrendered to the officers,” according to the statement. Liu remained hospitalized Saturday for treatment of burns to his face and hands and smoke inhalation, police added. A motive for Liu’s alleged behavior was not released. The dog, a Belgian Malinois named “Rik,” was expected to be okay Saturday after receiving medical treatment, Breceda said. “There’s apparently no permanent injuries,” he said, and the dog was resting at home with his handler. Rik has been the Irwindale Police Department’s K-9 for about four years, Breceda added. Johnson said Liu is expected to be booked on suspicion of charges including assaulting a police dog, obstructing police and brandishing weapons.
Lifetime unveiled their heavily advertised made-for-TV movie this week. In case you missed it, here’s my review: (Snippet below)
Every now and again we in the newspaper business get packages containing DVDs of upcoming television programs.
It’s never anything good like “The Sopranos” or “Man v. Food.” So usually the DVDs end up in the round file with the all the other junk that entertainment publicists send here.
Needless to say that basket has been filled up with its share of Artemis Pyle CDs and “Dora the Explorer” lunchboxes.
About two weeks ago I got a DVD from Lifetime Network as part of a package touting an upcoming movie titled “Who is Clark Rockefeller?”
Honestly I had no desire to watch it.
Besides re-runs of “The Simpsons,” my box set of “The Wire,” “Poorman’s Bikini Beach” “Kelly’s Heroes” “Dirty Harry” or just about any Jackie Chan movie, my boob tube diet is limited – and it doesn’t include Lifetime.
But instead of tossing it, I stuffed it in a box in my garage and forgot about it.
A man fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash Wednesday after robbing a bank in an unincorporated county area just outside of San Marino, authorities said. The robbery was reported about 9:10 a.m. at the Wachovia Bank branch at Huntington Drive and San Gabriel Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tom McNeal said. No weapons were seen during the robbery, which was carried out by a white or light-skinned Latino man in his early 20s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and about 240 pounds, the lieutenant said. He wore a burgundy hooded sweat shirt with the words “Morehouse College” written on it, a gray beanie with ear flaps and baggy gray sweat pants. After demanding money from a teller, the robber was last seen fleeing the area on foot, McNeal said. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Temple Station.
SAN MARINO — A masked bank robber escaped, though apparently empty-handed, following a heist at a San Marino bank branch Friday, officials said. The crime was reported about 11:45 a.m. at Chase Bank, 2270 Huntington Drive, San Marino police Officer Tim Tebbetts said in a written statement. The bank is located next door to the police station, and was previously robbed on Jan. 30. The robber was described as a black man, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 160 pounds, police said. He wore dark blue ski mask, a black sweat shirt, blue jeans, black shoes and black gloves. He jumped over the counter at the bank and helped himself to all the cash in one of the tellers’ drawers, Tebbetts said. No weapon was seen, officials added. Police said the robber was last seen running south from the bank. A bag of money apparently abandoned by the suspect was located nearby, Tebbetts said, however the robberwas not found.
BOSTON — Lawyers for the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller are asking a Boston judge to throw out his kidnapping and assault convictions. The defense is challenging the credibility of the state’s mental health expert. They also fault the prosecutor for telling jurors not to allow Rockefeller to pull off the “culminating manipulation” — an insanity defense. Rockefeller is a German man whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter. He was convicted earlier this month in the kidnapping of his 7-year-old daughter and the assault of a social worker. His lawyers claim the state’s expert was not qualified to testify about whether Gerhartsreiter was legally insane because he gave the wrong definition for criminal responsibility to the jury. California authorities have identified him as a “person of interest” in the 1985 disappearance and presumed slayings of a newlywed couple from San Marino. A grand jury is investigating the case.
The show will devote an hour to the mystery of John and Linda Sohus.
The couple disappeared in 1985 from their home on Lorain Road.
Clark Rockefeller, 48, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, has been identified as a person of interest in the case. Using the name Christopher Chichester, Rockefeller lived with the Sohuses and vanished several weeks after they did.
Too bad the show goes head-to-head with the Laker game…
Here’s an excerpt from a September episode on the case:
Clark Rockefeller has been found guilty on two of four counts in his parental abduction trial. Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, will be sentenced later this morning.
So far the jury has issued a statement, as have other officials.
Here’s what Suffolk County DA Spokesman Jake Wark wrote following the verdicts this a.m.:
In a complete rejection of his insanity defense, jurors convicted GERHARTSREITER of custodial kidnapping and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Jurors acquitted him outright — that is, not for lack of criminal responsibility — on charges of providing a false name to police and assault and battery. Judge Gaziano will sentence the defendant at 2:00 pm in courtroom 906.
As for the jruors, a panel of four men and eight women. They’ve issued a joint statement. Here’s what it said:
BOSTON — Jurors deliberating kidnapping charges against the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller asked a judge Wednesday to explain what prosecutors must do to show he was legally sane when he took his 7-year-old daughter. The jurors sent a written question to Judge Frank Gaziano on Wednesday morning asking if prosecutors have to show either that he knew what he was doing was criminal or that he knew it was morally wrong. Gaziano told them it is not enough for prosecutors to prove one of those things; they must show both. The question appeared to show that jurors, who have been deliberating since Monday, are struggling with the legal definition of insanity. Defense lawyers say Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, was delusional and legally insane when he fled to Baltimore with his daughter, Reigh, during a supervised visit in Boston last July after he lost custody of the girl to his ex-wife. A psychiatrist who testified for the defense said Gerhartsreiter believed his daughter was communicating with him telepathically and telling him she needed to be rescued. Prosecutors call his insanity claim “preposterous” and say he is a con man who planned the kidnapping for months. A prosecution psychiatrist said Gerhartsreiter was not delusional and appeared to exaggerate his symptoms. Gerhartsreiter, 48, is accused of snatching his daughter during his first visit with the girl after his December 2007 divorce. He also faces two assault charges for allegedly pushing a social worker overseeing the visit to the ground and instructing his hired driver to “Go! Go! Go!” while the social worker grabbed onto the car door. The social worker suffered minor injuries. The German-born Gerhartsreiter is also charged with providing a false name to police. During the trial, several witnesses testified about elaborate tales Gerhartsreiter told during the three decades he has lived in the United States, including his claims of being a physicist, ship’s captain and debt negotiator for small countries. Prosecutors say he used multiple aliases — including the famous Rockefeller name — to ingratiate himself in wealthy circles in New York, Boston and Los Angeles. California authorities have labeled him a “person of interest” in the 1985 disappearance and presumed slayings of a San Marino couple, Jonathan and Linda Sohus. Gerhartsreiter, who then went by the name Christopher Chichester, was living in a guest house on the family’s property when they disappeared. A grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case. He has said he had nothing to do with their disappearance.
Suffolk County DA spokesman Jake Wark has been doing some writing of his own with lively press releases. Here’s an excerpt from today’s media memo, following the testimony of Sandra Boss, Rockefeller’s ex:
Cross-examination of GERHARTSREITER’s second ex-wife is expected to take place tomorrow morning. For planning purposes, his first ex-wife and an FBI print examiner may take the stand thereafter, but this is not set in stone.
Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, aka Clark Rockefeller, stands trial Tuesday morning in Boston on charges stemming from the abduction of his daughter Reigh “Snooks” Boss last summer.
What happens after that is anybody’s guess. The Los Angeles County District Attorney has convened a grand jury looking into allegations that Rockefeller was once Christopher Chichester, lived in San Marino and was the last person to see John and Linda Sohus alive.
The couple vanished in 1985 without a trace. Bones found in the backyard of the Lorain Road home where they lived surfaced in 1994, and they are believed to be those of John Sohus.
Here’ some of the stories cooking on the wire this Memorial Day afternoon: