SOUTH EL MONTE >> A judge dismissed charges this week against a man and woman previously accused of murder in connection with the fatal stabbing of an Upland man in South El Monte last year.
Randall Chinchilla, 35, and Andrea Montoya, 37, both of El Monte, were arrested and charged in June in the fatal March 28, 2015, stabbing of 49-year-old Dennis Baltierra.
But during a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mike Camacho of the Pomona courthouse dismissed the case against the man and woman, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
At a preliminary hearing, a judge listens to a summary of the case to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to order a defendant to stand trial.
Chinchilla and Montoya were both released from custody Tuesday after spending 11 months behind bars with bail set at $2 million each, county booking records show.
Authorities alleged Chinchilla and Montoya stabbed Baltierra to death when they got into an argument while all three were hanging out at the home of a mutual friend about 11:30 p.m. on March 28 in the 11200 block of Broadmead Street in South El Monte.
Baltierra exited the home and collapsed in the yard with a stab wound to his neck, sheriff’s officials said. He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital a short time later.
Detectives identified Chinchilla and Montoya as suspects and arrested them on June 12.
Anyone with information on the fatal stabbing 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.
PHOTOS: [TOP] Photo from stabbing scene in the 11200 block of Broadmead Street in South El Monte the day after the homicide on March 29, 2016. (By Brian Day) [BELOW] Dennis Baltierra, 49, of Upland. (Courtesy)
SOUTH EL MONTE >> Deputies spent more than an hour persuading a suicidal man to climb down from a pedestrian bridge spanning a 60 Freeway offramp in South El Monte Friday, officials said.
The incident began about 7:10 p.m. on the bridge at Cogswell Road, just east of Santa Anita Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ismael Chavez said.
Officials received reports of a man sitting atop the fence lining the pedestrian bridge, the lieutenant said.
California Highway Patrol officers shut down the Santa Anita Avenue offramp of the westbound 60 Freeway as Los Angeles County firefighters set up an air cushion below the bridge, officials said. A specially-trained sheriff’s Mental Evaluation Team was summoned to the scene to speak with the distraught man.
After more than an hour, deputies persuaded the man to climb down and accept help, Chavez said. He was taken for psychiatric evaluation.
The offramp was re-opened about 8:30 p.m., according to the CHP.
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.
ARCADIA >> An El Monte man already sought on an auto theft warrant led police on chase in a stolen car from Arcadia to Temple City, where he was arrested following a crash early Sunday, authorities said.
Bryan Paul Sanchez, 20, was behind the wheel of a Toyota Sienna van when police tried to pull him over for a traffic violation about 3:30 a.m. at Sunset Boulevard and Duarte Road, Arcadia police Lt. Colleen Flores said. Sanchez sped away, and the chase was on.
“The pursuit entered the city of Temple City where the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a (Southern California) Edison telephone pole,”police said in a written statement.
Sanchez continued fleeing on foot following the crash about two miles to the south at Temple City Boulevard, just south of Olive Street, police said. But he was quickly apprehended in the area.
The car he had been driving was reported stolen the previous night in South El Monte, Flores said.
Officers also found drugs and a suspected stolen credit card in Sanchez’s possession, Flores said.
He was booked on suspicion of auto theft, evading police, receiving stolen property, drug possession, hit-and-run and his outstanding arrest warrant.
Sanchez, who was already wanted on a warrant for auto theft with a history of the same, was being held without bail, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records.
EL MONTE >> A man and woman carjacked a man and robbed him and his friend at gunpoint outside an El Monte pizza parlor early Sunday before police tracked a stolen cell phone to find and arrest them, officials said.
Samuel Barajas, 24, of El Monte is accused of carjacking, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and resisting police following the crime, which unfolded about 12:20 a.m. outside a Pizza Hut, 11910 Garvey Ave., El Monte police Lt. Chris Cano said. Ana Hidalgo, 18, of El Monte, is accused of carjacking and resisting police.
A 19-year-old Whittier man was talking with a friend, a 21-year-old El Monte man, when the suspects approached, Cano said.
Barajas brandished a handgun while demanding the Whittier man’s Infiniti G35, as well as both men’s cell phones, the lieutenant said. The victim’s complied, and the suspects fled in the stolen Infiniti.
The car was soon found abandoned along Whittier Boulevard in Pico Rivera, Cano said.
But police managed to track one of the stolen cell phones, which led them to a moving taxi cab, he said. Officers pulled over the taxi in the area of Peck Road and Durfee Avenue in South El Monte, Cano said.
Police arrested Hidalgo without a struggle, Cano said.
Barajas refused police commands, prompting them to shoot him with a less-lethal foam projectile fired from a 40mm grenade launcher, he said. Barajas ran, but was ultimately subdued nearby with help from a police K-9.
Police recovered a loaded handgun from the taxi in which the suspects were riding, Cano added.
Barajas was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries including dog bites to his arm prior to booking, police said.
He was released from jail in August after serving less than one year of a two year sentence following a conviction for assault likely to produce great bodily injury, Los Angeles County Superior Court and booking records show. He was acquitted of an attempted murder charge in the same case.
Hidalgo was being held in lieu of $180,000 bail pending her initial court appearance, records show.
SOUTH EL MONTE >> A man arrived at an emergency room after being shot in South El Monte late Friday, authorities said.
Few details were available regarding the 10:30 p.m. shooting in a commercial neighborhood at Rush Street and Central Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Mark Reyes said.
The victim arrived at Greater El Monte Community Hospital with a gunshot wound to his abdomen, but did not appear to be cooperating with investigators, the lieutenant said. He was described as a man in his 20s.
No further information regarding the circumstances of the shooting were available.
SOUTH EL MONTE >> Authorities Friday released the name of a 62-year-old man found drowned in the San Gabriel River near South El Monte.
Anacleto Antonio Garcia was found dead, floating in the river near Thienes Avenue about 1:10 p.m. on Oct. 1, Lt. R. Hayes of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said. He was described as a transient.
An autopsy found that Garcia had died from drowning, and the death was ruled accidental.
SOUTH EL MONTE >> The death of a man whose body was discovered floating in the San Gabriel River near South El Monte last week has been ruled an accidental drowning, coroner’s officials said Wednesday.
The body was found about 1:10 p.m. Thursday, floating face-down in the San Gabriel River near Thienes Avenue, just outside of South El Monte, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said.
The man’s name was withheld pending notification of his family, however an autopsy concluded the man drowned, and the death was ruled accidental, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said. Investigators noted the presence of alcohol at the scene.
SOUTH EL MONTE >> Detectives are investigating the discovery of a body in the San Gabriel River just outside of South El Monte, authorities said.
Few details were available regarding the discovery, which occurred about 1:10 p.m. in the water near Thienes Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. David Infante said.
No description of the person was immediately available, nor were the circumstances of the death, as the investigation remained in its early stages.
SOUTH EL MONTE >> A man is expected to survive after he was shot three times in South El Monte early Sunday, officials said.
Few details were available regarding the 1 a.m. shooting in a mixed residential and commercial neighborhood in the 2100 block of Sastre Avenue.
Deputies responded to a report of gunfire when they found a man in his 20s suffering from gunshot wounds, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Ignacio Somoano said.
The victim was struck twice in the torso and once in the wrist, the lieutenant said.
“His injuries are considered not life-threatening,” he said.
No information regarding the shooter or the circumstances of the shooting were available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Temple Station at 626-285-7171.