Man shot while sitting in parked car with girlfriend in Santa Fe Springs


SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A man suffered wounds to his head and back after attackers inside two different cars opened fire on him as he sat in a parked car with his girlfriend near a park early Sunday, officials said.
The victim, a 20-year-old Whittier man, was expected to survive his injuries following the shooting, which took place about 1:10 a.m. in the 13200 block of Lakeland Ave., in front of Amelia Mayberry Park on the border between Santa Fe Springs and South Whittier, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
The man and his girlfriend were sitting in a parked car when two dark-colored cars pulled up next to them.
“There was a little bit of dialogue between them,” Ellis said. “The vehicles that pulled up fired several rounds.”
Bullets struck the victim in his head and back, Ellis said. He was taken to a hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
Ellis said the victim’s girlfriend was unhurt.
The suspect vehicles were described only as a possible Dodge Dart with three people inside and a possible Honda Civic.
It was unclear what was said before the attackers opened fire, and the motive in the shooting remained under investigation, Ellis said.
Anyone with information can reach the Whittier Police Department, which provides police services to Santa Fe Springs, at 562-567-9200. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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2 gunmen sought in Santa Fe Springs insurance agency robbery


SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Police are seeking two gunman who robbed a Washington Boulevard insurance agency Tuesday afternoon, officials said.
The crime unfolded about 4:20 p.m. at Fred Loya Insurance, 11418 Washington Blvd., in Santa Fe Springs, Whittier police Lt. Jay Tatman said.
Three women were working inside the business when the two robbers entered office, pointed handguns and the workers and demanded money, the lieutenant said.
They fled with an undetermined amount of cash, he said. No injuries were reported.
Police described the robbers as two Latino men in their mid-20s, both about 5 feet 6 inches tall and of thin build. Both wore baggy hooded sweat shirts and dark jeans, and both carried handguns.
They were last seen fleeing from the business on foot, Tatman said. No getaway car was observed.
Detectives were working to obtain surveillance camera footage of the crime, he added.
Anyone with information can reach Whittier police at 562-567-9200. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Santa Fe Springs man sentenced for sexually abusing child at mother’s daycare business

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A judge sentences a 34-year-old Santa Fe Springs man to 10 years in prison Wednesday for sexually molesting a 5-year-old girl at his mother’s home-based child care business more than a decade ago, authorities said.
Robert Andres Martinez pleaded “no contest” in May to two felony charges: committing forcible lewd acts on a child and committing lewd acts on a child, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
Prosecutors charged Martinez with child sex crimes in January following an investigation by the Whittier Police Department.
In addition to his prison term, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph Porras also ordered Martinez to register as a sex offender for life during the sentencing in the Norwalk courthouse, Ardalani said.
Martinez’s mother ran a child care center out of her Santa Fe Springs at the time of the molestations in 2005, officials said.
“In the afternoons, the children would have naptime in the living room,” Ardalani said. “It was during naptime that Martinez lured one of the children, a 5-year-old girl, into his bedroom and sexually abused her.”
The victim did not report the abuse at the time, officials said.
“The victim, who is now in high school, recently revealed to her mother about the molestation, which prompted the parent to call authorities and report the sexual abuse,” Ardalani said.

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Santa Ana teen shot to death in Santa Fe Springs identified


SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Authorities have identified a 17-year-old Santa Ana boy found shot to death along a set of railroad tracks in Santa Fe Springs Wednesday morning.
Arturo Morelos was pronounced dead shortly after he was found suffering from gunshots wounds about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday along a set of railroad tracks near the 13700 block of Carmenita Road, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
No information regarding the circumstances of the shooting, or the shooter, was available.
A nearby worker called 911 to report a “man down” before officers arrived to find the teen had been shot, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said.
It was unclear exactly what time the shooting took place.
Anyone with information can reach Whittier police at 562-567-9200. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Man fatally shot along railroad tracks in Santa Fe Springs


SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Police are seeking clues in the fatal shooting of a man whose body was discovered along a set of train tracks in Santa Fe Springs early Wednesday, authorities said.
A worker at a nearby business called police about 8:30 a.m. to report a “man down” along a set of sidetracks servicing businesses near the 13700 block of Carmenita Road, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said.
The victim, estimated to between 20 and 25 years old, was pronounced dead at the scene, Ruiz said.
“He appears to have suffered gunshot wounds,” the lieutenant said.
His identity was not available Wednesday pending notification of his family, coroner’s officials said.
Further information regarding the circumstances of the fatal shooting, or the shooter, was not available.
No witnesses reported seeing or hearing the gunshots, Ruiz said. It was unclear exactly when the man had been shot prior to the discovery of his body early Wednesday.
Anyone with information can reach Whittier police at 562-567-9200. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Man taken for psychiatric evaluation after Santa Fe Springs bomb threat


SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A man claiming to have a bomb in his car drew a bomb squad to a Santa Fe Springs neighborhood late Saturday, but no explosives were found, authorities said.
The incident began about 8:40 p.m. along Pioneer Boulevard, between Telegraph Road and Florence Avenue, Whittier police Sgt. Ryan Todd said.
“Officers were advised the suspect had entered the parking lot of a business and told passers-by he had a bomb in his car, then drove off,” Officer John Scoggins said in a written statement.
Police quickly found and detained the man driving just down the street and pulled him over, Scoggins said. He was “detained without incident.”
Police shut down Pioneer Boulevard, evacuated nearby homes and summoned a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad to investigate the car.
The bomb squad ultimately determined there were no explosives in the vehicle, Todd said.
The detained man was taken for psychiatric evaluation.

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Man and teen charged with murder in shooting at Santa Fe Springs park


SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A man and teen face murder charges in connection with the alleged gang-related slaying of a 23-year-old Commerce man at a Santa Fe Springs park last week, authorities announced Thursday.
Daniel Charles Esquer, 27, and Marcus Rene “Spunky” Garcia, 17, are each charged with murder for the April 5 fatal shooting of Anthony Palomares at Friendship Park, at Telegraph Road and Bartley Avenue, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials and county booking records. Garcia is being charged as an adult.
Whittier police officials described both suspects as transients with ties to Pico Rivera area.
The shooting took place about 6:30 p.m., Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
“Witnesses reported seeing two suspects approach the victim and soon thereafter, one suspect produced a handgun and shot the victim,” according to the statement.
Palomares died at a hospital the next day of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
Police initially sought as many as three suspects witnesses reported seeing running from the scene.
Officers detained two men in the area and arrested them in connection with the shooting.
Cruz Bermudez, 27, of Santa Fe Springs and Adam Giavelli, 27, of Pico Rivera, were ultimately released without charges related to the shooting, booking records show. But police re-arrested Bermudez in connection with a different cases being held without bail.
Continued investigation led police to find and arrest Esquer on suspicion of murder April 7, police said. Investigators arrested Garcia Tuesday.
“The motive appears to be a disagreement between the suspects and the victim,” according to the police statement. “(The) victim and suspects knew each other prior to the shooting.”
Both suspects are charged with murder, along with the special allegations that the crime was gang-related, and that in involved a handgun, according to the felony complaint filed against them in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Esquer is accused of pulling the trigger.
he formal charges were filed Monday.
Esquer and Garcia both pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing Thursday. They are scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court April 26 for a preliminary hearing setting, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Anyone with information can reach Whittier police at 562-567-9200. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Colton man accused of DUI after crashing into stopped CHP vehicle in Santa Fe Springs

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SANTA FE SPRINGS >> A Colton man is accused of drunken driving after crashing his Cadillac into a California Highway Patrol SUV as officers were assisting a family in a disabled car along the 605 Freeway in Santa Fe Springs early Sunday, authorities said.
One CHP officers suffered minor injuries in the crash, which took place just after 1:50 a.m. on the right shoulder of the northbound 605 Freeway, just north of Telegraph Road, Officer B. Axt of the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs area office said in a written statement.
Clarence Williams, 38, is suspected of DUI in connection with the crash, according to the CHP.
Two officers were helping two women, ages 45 and 21, and two children after their 2012 Jeep broke down, CHP Officer Monica Posada said.
“Williams drove his (1998 Cadillac Seville) onto the right shoulder, subsequently colliding with the rear of the CHP unit,” Axt said. “This propelled the CHP unit forward, colliding with the disabled vehicle.
“The disabled vehicle then struck one of the CHP officers, causing minor injuries as he was thrown to the ground,” Axt continued.
The woman and children inside the Jeep suffered no injuries, thanks, in part, to the use of seat belts, officials said.
Officials issued a Sig Alert for about one hour affecting the two right-hand lanes of the northbound 605 Freeway as they investigated the scene.

PHOTO courtesy of the CHP.

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CHP plans ‘Coffee With a Cop’ event in Santa Fe Springs


SANTA FE SPRINGS >> The California Highway Patrol invites members of the community to sit down with officers for coffee Tuesday in Santa Fe Springs.
The “Coffee With a Cop” event will begin at 7 a.m. at Cherri’s Donuts, 10017 Orr and Day Road, according to Officer Al Perez of the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs area office.
“‘Coffee with a Cop’ is an open invitation for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Los Angeles County,” Perez said in a written statement.
“I invite community members to drop in, if only for a few minutes,” added Capt. David Moeller. “Ask questions and address concerns; share criticisms and appreciation; or simply get to know our officers. Be part of the conversation that improves our community partnership.”
For more information, contact Officer Perez at 562-868-0503, or email alfperez@chp.ca.gov.

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Man sought in follow-home robbery of Santa Fe Springs woman

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SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Police are seeking a robber who followed a Santa Fe Springs woman home before robbing her at her doorstep earlier this month.
The crime took place about 10 a.m. March 5, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
“We believe the suspect followed the victim from the area of Norwalk Boulevard and Imperial Highway (in Norwalk) driving a two-door, 1995-2000 red Dodge Avenger with no hubcaps,” according to the statement.
When the woman arrived home, the robber accosted her at her doorstep and robber her of her purse, police said.
Authorities described the robber as a black man in his early-30s, about 6 feet tall, of thin build, with a short beard.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Whittier police Detective Wolfe at 562-409-1850, or call the Whittier Police Department’s tip hotline at 562-567-9299.

PHOTO of suspect vehicle courtesy of the Whittier Police Department.

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