South Pasadena 3-year-old hospitalized in critical condition after choking on grape

SOUTH PASADENA — A 3-year-old girl was hospitalized in critical condition but expected to recover after choking on a grape Thursday afternoon, officials said.
A panicked mother called 9-1-1 about 4 p.m. to report her daughter was choking on a grape at a home in the 1100 block of Pine Street, South Pasadena police Cpl. Matthew Ronnie said.
South Pasadena police and paramedics arrived to find the girl unconscious and struggling to breathe, he said.
“The obstruction could not be located or removed at the scene,” the corporal said.
So paramedics loaded the girl into an ambulance and police blocked intersections with their squad cars as rescuers rushed the choking victim to the hospital, he said.
Once at the hospital, doctors were able to remove the grape from the child’s throat, Ronnie said.
She remained in critical condition late Thursday, he said. “They believe she’s going to recover.”

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Altadena man fatally struck by train in South Pasadena

SOUTH PASADENA — Authorities are investigating the death of an Altadena man who was struck by a Metro Gold Line train Saturday.
The fatal incident took place just after 4:10 p.m. near Monterey Road and Pasadena Avenue, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Transportation Services Bureau spokesman Ramon Montenegro said.
The name of the dead man was not released Sunday pending notification of his family, coroner’s officials said. He was described as 57 years old.
A witness account indicated the man was standing on the tracks between two crossing arms, which were believed to be down and working properly, when struck by the northbound commuter train, Montenegro said.
But the specific circumstances of the incident remained under investigation.
South Pasadena Fire Department paramedics rushed to the scene, South Pasadena police Sgt. Brian Solinsky said.
“All possible live-saving measures were attempted, and the victim succumbed to his injuries at the scene,” he said.
Service was briefly shut down between the Highland Park and Pasadena Gold Line station, and buses were used to transport passengers, Montenegro said. Service on the line was delayed for about 20 minutes.

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Businesses cited for selling alcohol to minors in Pasadena, South Pasadena

PASADENA — Police working with a nonprofit community organization cited three stores in South Pasadena and one in Pasadena in recent weeks for selling alcohol to minors during a compliance check, officials said.
Officials made use of decoys to try and buy alcohol at 10 businesses in Pasadena on Nov. 22, as well as 10 businesses in South Pasadena on Dec. 13, representatives of the Pasadena-based nonprofit organization Day One said in a written statement.
One business in Pasadena, K + S Mobile at 1813 E. Colorado Boulevard, sold alcohol to the minor decoy, according to Day One.
Three businesses in South Pasadena failed the test, officials said. They were Big Lots, 1401 Huntington Drive; Ralphs, 1745 Garfield Ave.; and Carmines Italian Restaurant, 424 Fair Oaks Ave.
“Findings from studies conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism noted that underage alcohol use kills more young people than all illegal drugs combines,” according to the Day one statement.

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Two jailed in connection with theft from car in South Pasadena

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SOUTH PASADENA — Police jailed two men earlier this week after they were found in possession of a purse that had been stolen in a South Pasadena car burglary, authorities said.
Elvis Ayala, 31, and Andres Alvares, 23, both of Los Angeles, were booked on suspicion of receiving stolen property following their arrests early Tuesday in the 1000 block of Highland Street, according to South Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
A resident called police about 3:40 a.m. to report seeing two men getting out of a parked car, South Pasadena police Detective Richard Lee said in a 1128_NWS_PSN-L-SPARREST2written statement. Ayala immediately surrendered to arriving police officers, while Alvares ran.
Alhambra and San Marino police helped South Pasadena officers track Alvares down in a nearby yard, Lee said. He was found with a backpack that contained a purse that had been stolen from an unlocked car just around the corner, in the 900 block of Buena Vista Street.

PHOTOS of Elvis Ayala (top) and Andres Alvares (below) courtesy of the South Pasadena Police Department.

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Three burglary suspects arrested in South Pasadena

SOUTH PASADENA — Police jailed two women and a man after they were found driving around with stolen property and burglary tools early Wednesday, officials said. Among the suspects were a woman on parole for carjacking, as well as a documented member of the Mongols motorcycle gang.
Andrew Duarte, 32, Michelle Armenta, 37, and Rachelle Galarze, 35, all of Los Angeles, were booked on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and identity theft in connection with the early-morning incident, South Pasadena police Sgt. Brian Solinski said in a written statement.
Armenta was already on parole for carjacking, and Duarte is on probation and a known member of the Mongols, Officer Spencer Louie said.
An officer was on patrol about 1:55 a.m. at Huntington Drive and Maple Street when he spotted a black Honda Civic stopped in the middle of the road with it’s headlights off, Solinski said.
“As the officer went to investigate, the Honda drove off, refusing to stop for the officer,” the sergeant said. “The Honda eventually stopped a half-mile away in the 55000 block of Berkshire Avenue in Los Angeles.”
The three suspects were detained without a struggle, he said.
Inside their car police found stolen credit cards and identification, handheld radios and tools used for burglary, Solinski said.
According to booking records, Duarte and Galarze were being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending their initial court appearances, while Armenta was being held without bail.
The investigation was ongoing, and anyone with information was asked to contact South Pasadena police detectives at 626-403-7270.

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South Pasadena woman bound during home invasion robbery

SOUTH PASADENA — Two men tied up and robbed a woman who arrived home Friday afternoon, interrupting a burglary, police said.
The victim, a woman estimated to be in her late-40s, arrived home about 6:20 p.m. in the 1500 block of Camino Lindo, near Flores De Oro, South Pasadena police Cpl. Matthew Ronnie said. Unbeknownst to her, two intruders had forced their way into her home by smashing a rear sliding glass door.
One of the men was armed with a knife, and they made mention of a gun, though the victim did not see it, he said.
The men ordered the woman to open a floor safe inside the home, the corporal said. “She couldn’t remember the combination due to stress. They tied her up and shoved her in the bathroom.”
The woman’s hands were bound with a pillowcase, Ronnie said. The men also stole the woman’s wedding ring from her finger.
“They told her since she was cooperating, they wouldn’t kill her,” he added.
While the woman was bound in the bathroom, the intruders forced the safe out of the floor and left, Ronnie said. The safe contained an unknown amount of jewelry.
Once the robbers had fled, the woman freed herself and called police.
The terrified woman was not injured in the incident, Ronnie said.
The robbers were initially described only as two black men of average height, both wearing dark clothing and black leather gloves.
Anyone with information can reach South Pasadena police at 626-403-7270.

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South Pasadena police recover stolen gardening equipment, arrest suspect

SOUTH PASADENA — Police arrested a man and recovered lawn mowers and other equipment stolen from a gardening truck early Wednesday, authorities said.
The alleged theft took place just after 8:20 a.m. in the 2000 block of Milan Avenue, South Pasadena police Sgt. Brian Solinsky said. A neighbor called police to report seeing to men stealing garden equipment from a truck parked along the street.
“As she was on the phone with police, the two suspect got into black Toyota pickup and fled the scene,’ Solinsky said. “Officers responded and checked the area. They located two suspects driving in their vehicle at West Huntington (Drive) and Van Horne (Avenue) in the City of L.A.”
The passenger of the pickup truck ran to a nearby alley and escaped, the sergeant said. The driver was taken into custody without a fight.
The gardening equipment that had been stolen from Milan Avenue was recovered inside the suspects’ truck, he added.
The name of the arrested suspect was not immediately available pending the booking process.

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Man killed in off-duty officer-involved shooting in South Pasadena identified

SOUTH PASADENA — Coroner’s officials Friday released the name of a Los Angeles man fatally wounded by an off-duty California State University, Los Angeles police officer last weekend after allegedly shooting at the officer, authorities said.
Justo Quintero, 30, died at a hospital shortly after Sunday’s 1 a.m. shooting in the 1000 block of Arroyo Verde Road, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
Los Angeles County homicide detectives released little information regarding the encounter between the two men, citing the ongoing investigation and concerns for the safety of the officer, whose name has not been released, Lt. Holly Francisco of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
She declined to say why the officer was in the area, and said it was unclear why Quintero was there. The men did not know each other before the encounter early Sunday.
There was no argument, however the officer and suspect did exchange words, Francisco said. She declined to discuss the nature of the conversation, but said the officer did not identify himself as an off-duty law enforcement officer during the exchange.
“The suspect ended up pointing a firearm at him,” Francisco said. “The suspect did fire at the officer.”
The officer was not struck by multiple gunshots fired by Quintero, Francisco said. The officer returned fire, striking Quintero several times in the upper body.
Quintero got into a nearby car and began driving away before crashing into a parked car nearby, sheriff’s officials said. He was detained by South Pasadena police and taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena where he died from his wounds.
The officer was treated for abrasions to his face, though it was not clear exactly how he sustained them, Francisco added.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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Officials: Armed suspect fatally shot by off-duty CSULA police officer in South Pasadena

SOUTH PASADENA — An off-duty California State University, Los Angeles police officer shot and killed an armed man who confronted him early Sunday, authorities said.
The wounded suspect, whose name was not available, died at a hospital shortly after the 1:01 a.m. incident in the 1000 block of Arroyo Verde Road, just south of Pasadena Avenue in South Pasadena, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“An off-duty officer employed by the California State University, Los Angeles – Department of Public Safety, was confronted by man with a gun when an officer-involved shooting occurred,” according to the sheriff’s statement.
“The suspect then fled the location in a vehicle before colliding with a parked vehicle a short distance away,” the statement said.
South Pasadena police officers detained the wounded suspect at the scene, officials said.
The wounded suspect, who sheriff’s officials said suffered “gunshot wounds to the upper torso,” was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
The off-duty officer was treated by paramedics for minor injuries, officials said. The nature of the injuries was unclear.
“The suspect’s handgun was recovered at the scene,” the sheriff’s statement said.
South Pasadena police deferred comment to the sheriff’s department.
Further details regarding the circumstances of the fatal officer-involved shooting were not available early Sunday. Officials did not say why the armed suspect confronted the off-duty officer.
Nearby resident Carole Chaingan said she was in her apartment when she heard what sounded like about five gunshots coming from the direction of the street.
She said she heard no further commotion and could not see the shooting scene from her apartment window. She did not go outside.
The Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau is assisting South Pasadena police with the investigation. Anyone with information was asked to contact the bureau at 323-890-5500.

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Lightning strike causes power outage in South Pasadena

SOUTH PASADENA — A lightning early Friday knocked out power to several hundred South Pasadena residents but injured no one, authorities said.
The bolt struck an electrical transformer in the 1600 block of Fletcher Avenue about 2:45 a.m., South Pasadena police Officer Randy Wise said.
The damaged equipment initially left 355 Southern California Edison customers in the dark, SCE spokeswoman Susan Cox said.
By Friday afternoon, all but 46 customers had their power back on, she said. Those homes were expected to have their power restored early Friday evening.

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