PASADENA >> One man was hospitalized in critical condition and another was accused of attempted murder on Sunday after an early morning stabbing near Central Park in Pasadena, police said.
Officers arrested 51-year-old transient Lewis Divens minutes after the near-fatal 1:37 a.m. stabbing at Del Mar Boulevard and Raymond Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. Jason Clawson said.
“We received a call of a fight,” the lieutenant said. “They located a victim who had been stabbed during this fight.”
The victim, a 56-year-old man also described as transient, suffered “major injuries” in the stabbing and was taken to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition, he said.
Officers found and detained Divens without a struggle about a block away.
Police recovered a knife from Divens that was believed to have been used in the attack, Lt. John Mercado said.
The motive in the stabbing remained unclear Sunday.
SOUTH WHITTIER >> A man was beaten and stabbed with an ice pick by a group of three attackers as he walked along a South Whittier sidewalk early Wednesday, officials said.
A 25-year-old Montebello man was walking along Mulberry Drive, at Calmada Avenue, about 12:50 a.m. when a dark sedan approached and three attackers got out, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Robin Limon said.
The victim told investigators he was “jumped” by the trio, she said. One of them stabbed him in the torso with an ice pick during the assault.
Paramedics took the injured man to a hospital with injuries not considered to be life-threatening, Limon said.
No further information, including a detailed description of the suspects, were available.
PICO RIVERA >> A 16-year-old girl died after being stabbed in her Pico River home early Friday, and homicide detectives are seeking her ex-boyfriend as a possible suspect in the slaying, authorities said.
• PHOTOS: Deputies descend on Pico Rivera home where teen girl was stabbed to death
Elene Lillian Moore died at the scene of the 3:15 a.m. stabbing in the 9800 block of Shade Lane, according to Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
“Detectives learned that the victim’s mother was suddenly awoken by her daughter’s screams that she had been stabbed as she staggered into her bedroom and collapsed,” Deputy Guillermina Saldana of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“(The mother) believed she had been stabbed by her ex-boyfriend,” Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
• VIDEO: Sheriff’s deputy talks about teen’s stabbing death in Pico Rivera, neighbor recalls victim
The attacker had fled the home before deputies arrived and remained at-large Friday afternoon.
“Based on the victim’s statements to her mother prior to her collapse, the victim’s ex-boyfriend is being sought to determine f he was involved in the attack,” Saldana said.
Detectives identified the “person of interest” as 17-year-old Rory Murga.
Moore and Murga had dated for about a year, Hernandez said. “They broke up recently, about two weeks ago.”
The circumstances of the fatal stabbing remained unclear, officials said. The stabbing took place on the first floor of the home, while the mother’s room was upstairs.
“At this point, we’re not sure if he forced his way in or was let in by the victim,” Hernandez said. “We’re not sure if there was an argument that precipitated that stabbing.”
Moore had been stabbed multiple times, Winter said.
Both Moore and Murga attended Ruben Salazar High School in Pico Rivera, neighbor Jaime Lugo said.
“She was a really nice girl,” he said. “She was always really friendly. She was always really open with people.”
“Just shocking. I think that’s like really the only word that can describe it,” Lugo said.
Anyone with information is urged 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/VIDEO by Keith Durflinger
SAN GABRIEL >> A man cut a woman’s neck and also stabbed her boyfriend when he defended her in an unprovoked attack at a San Gabriel boarding house early Thursday morning, police said.
Qiznyi Wang, 35, was jailed on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon following the bloody attack, which unfolded about 2:20 a.m. in the 1900 block of South Twin Avenue, San Gabriel police Lt. Brian Kott said.
“On arrival, officers found a 56-year-old female near the front of the residence near the street in front of the residence who was bleeding profusely from her neck,” Kott said.
The nine or so other residents of the home also came outside when officers arrived, the lieutenant said. They didn’t speak English, but directed police toward the inside of the house.
Inside, officers encountered a 53-year-old man suffering from stab wounds, as well as Wang, police said.
“Both males were covered in blood and it appeared they were involved in some type of struggle, Kott said.
The injured woman was hospitalized in critical condition, he said. Doctors were optimistic she would survive her wounds.
The male victim, described as her boyfriend, suffered less-severe slashed to his head and arm, Kott said. He had been treated and released from a hospital Thursday afternoon.
Wang had moved into the house, which was operating as an unpermitted boarding house, just a day or two before, Kott said. Both victims were serving as managers.
Prior to the stabbing, other residents of the home had complained about excessive noise related to Wang, Kott said. But there was no physical fight or heated argument when Wang suddenly, and without provocation, grabbed a large kitchen knife and stabbed the woman in the neck.
The woman’s boyfriend tackled Wang and struggled with him before the knife was knocked free from his grasp, Kott said. Other residents of the home then helped hold Wang down prior to the arrival of police.
Wang was treated for minor injuries before being booked into jail, officials said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Wang was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Alhambra Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Monday in the Alhambra branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
BALDWIN PARK >> Police are investigating the stabbing of a drunken man found wounded in front of a Baldwin Park business Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The stabbing was first reported shortly after 4 p.m. in the 13800 block of Los Angeles Street, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Joshua Hendricks said.
A relative of the victim, a 26-year-old Baldwin Park man, found him wounded in front of a business and called for help, the sergeant said.
The man’s injury, a stab wound to his abdomen, did not appear to be life-threatening, Hendricks said.
Paramedics took the patient, who appeared extremely intoxicated, to a trauma center for treatment.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the stabbing were available.
The victim was either unwilling, or unable due to his level of inebriation, to tell police what happened, Hendricks said.
The investigation was ongoing.
MONTEREY PARK >> Police released surveillance video footage Thursday in hoped of identifying a man who stabbed a woman in a seemingly random and unprovoked attack at a hair salon she owns last month.
The woman was working in her shop in the 2300 block of South Garfield Avenue when the attacker walked in about 3:42 p.m. on July 14, according to Monterey Park Lt. Bill Cuevas.
“The suspect… stabbed the unsuspecting victim without provocation and made no demands,” Cuevas said in a written statement. The assailant fled the area on foot, as captured on video by nearby surveillance cameras.
*Video: Monterey Park hair salon stabbing
Officers searched the area but did not find the attacker, police said.
The woman was treated for a non-life-threatening slash wound to her torso, Sgt. Bob Hung said.
No motive in the seemingly random stabbing was known, police said.
The attacker was described as a Latino man, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, heavy-set, with a shaved head. He wore a white shirt with a large blue horizontal stripe, dark-colored shorts, a backward baseball cap and a bandana covering his face.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Monterey Park police detectives at 626-307-1236. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect the correct date of the attack.
WEST COVINA >> A La Puente woman who befriended an elderly West Covina man, stabbed him to death and set the house ablaze pleaded “no contest” to murder and arson charges Thursday, authorities said.
Brenda Armstrong, 40, is expected to be sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison when she returns to the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for sentencing on Dec. 14, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
She was originally accused of the special circumstance of murder during the coarse of a burglary, but the special circumstance allegation was dismissed under the negotiated plea arrangement, Deputy District Attorney Tony Cho of the D.A.’s Elder Abuse Section said. If convicted as originally charged, Armstrong could have faced life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors previously decided not to seek the death penalty in the case.
Ralph Simonian, 82, was found dead on Nov. 15, 2012, inside his burning home in the 900 block of Holiday Drive, according to prosecutors and Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators, who assisted West Covina police in the investigation.
“His house had been set on fire and he had been stabbed multiple times,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
After a lengthy investigation, detectives determined Simonian, who lived alone at his home, had been slain by Armstrong during a burglary at his home, Sgt. Robert Gray of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said at the time.
She had befriended Simonian while working at J.B. Burgers in La Puente, where Simonian was a regular customer, officials said.
On the day of the slaying, a neighbor’s security camera captured images of a car Armstrong had borrowed arriving on the victim’s street, detectives and prosecutors said. Cell phone data also linked Armstrong to the crime scene.
Detectives first arrested Armstrong in connection with the slaying about two months after it occurred. But prosecutors declined to file charges, citing insufficient evidence. Armstrong promptly moved to Delaware.
Detectives continued gathering evidence and building their case. Prosecutors ultimately filed a murder charge and issued an arrest warrant for Armstrong, who was taken into custody in Delaware during a traffic stop on Sept. 13, 2013.
Deputies found no signs of forced entry at Simonian’s home. Detectives learned she had visited the victim on several occasions, Gray said.
There were no signs of forced entry at Simonian’s home, the sergeant said. The fire, which began in the master bedroom where Simonian was fatally stabbed, was believed to have been set in order to destroy evidence.
The entire incident lasted about 45 minutes, Cho said.
Many of the details surrounding the slaying remain a mystery, as there were no witnesses, and Armstrong has not detailed the crime.
Officials said theft was believed to be the motive in the murder, but it was unclear what was stolen.
A small safe was discovered missing from Simonian’s home following the slaying and fire, Gray said.
The safe has never been recovered.
“We don’t know what was in the safe,” Cho said.
Absent of eye witnesses or DNA evidence, the case was largely “circumstantial,” Cho said.
He praised the tenacity of homicide detectives for Thursday’s conviction.
“I would jut credit with the detectives with putting together all the circumstantial evidence in the case,” Cho said.
PHOTO by Keith Birmingham
MONTEREY PARK >> A man who “viciously” stabbed another man to death at a Monterey Park pizza parlor is guilty of murder, a jury ruled Thursday.
The fatal stabbing of 25-year-old Patrick Raymond Ortega took place Oct. 6, 2012, at a Shakey’s restaurant, 1955 S. Atlantic Ave., according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials. He was stabbed 15 times with a large knife, with a blade measuring more than 6 inches long.
“The jury deliberated for two hours before finding Jose De Jesus Ruiz of Bakersfield guilty of second-degree murder,” district attorney’s office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement. The convict is also known as Jose De Jesus Salas.
The jury also found true the special allegation that Ruiz personally used a knife in the slaying.
“To stab an unarmed person so many times and in such a vicious manner is unfathomable,” said Deputy District Attorney Theodore Swanson, who prosecuted the case. “No one should have been killed that day.”
The deadly stabbing took place shortly after 7 p.m., according to sheriff’s investigators and Monterey Park police officials.
Evidence and testimony during the trial showed Ruiz was affiliated with a youth football organization that had met for a gathering at the pizzeria, Swanson said. Ortega was not affiliated with the sports organization and was at the restaurant with friends.
Testimony showed Ortega became “disruptive,” including gang references, the prosecutor said.
Surveillance video footage from a neighboring Bank of America branch showed Ruiz and another man exiting the restaurant just before the fatal attack.
“The defendant then reenters Shakey’s and stabbed the victims 15 times,” Swanson said.
Immediately after, Ruiz left the restaurant and returned to his car.
“He’s seen on video taking of his Dodgers jersey an hiding it under the wheel well of the car,” Swanson said. “He then gets into the back seat of the car and lies down.”
Police found Ruiz hiding in the car and arrested him several hours later, officials said.
The knife used in the killing was found hidden between the tire of a car Ruiz’s car had been parked next to, Swanson said. DNA tests determined blood on the knife, as well as Ruiz’s socks, belonged to Ortega.
The confrontation involved only Ruiz and Ortega, Swanson said. There may have been other arguments or fights among representatives of rival youth football teams, but the fatal stabbing was not believed to be related to the football rivalry.
A Monterey Park police officer fired a shotgun during the aftermath of the shooting, but injured no one, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
The officer opened fire as a car drove toward him at high speed, authorities said at the time. A woman at the wheel of the car was arrested on suspicion of assault on a police officer, but she and her passengers were not suspected to be involved with the stabbing.
Ruiz’s trial began June 27.
Ruiz faces a maximum sentence of 16 years to life in state prison when he returns to the Burbank branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for sentencing Sept. 1, Ardalani said.
If he had been convicted of first-degree murder, Ruiz would have faced up to 26 years to life behind bars.
PASADENA >> Three men showed up at a Pasadena emergency room with stab wounds following a large street brawl in northwest Pasadena early Saturday, police said.
The melee took place about 1:45 a.m. in the 100 block of West Claremont Street, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
“We received multiple calls of a large group fighting in the middle of the street,” he said.
The combatants scattered and fled as police arrived, the lieutenant said.
Staff at a local hospital called police about 10 minutes later to report that three stabbing victims had just shown up at the emergency, Mercado said.
A Colton man in his mid-20s suffered stab wounds to his head and neck, he said. A Pasadena man in his late-teens was stabbed in the chest, and another Pasadena man in his early 20s was treated for a slash to one of his arms.
Mercado said all three victims were in stable condition, but “uncooperative” with investigators.
No suspect description was available.
LA PUENTE >> A suspect is in custody after a senior citizen suffered serious injuries after an argument escalated into a stabbing outside a La Puente donut shop late Thursday, officials said.
The victim, a man estimated to be in his 60s, became involved in a confrontation with another man shortly after 8 p.m. in strip mall parking lot in the 400 block of South Azusa Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Edward Lopez said.
The attacker pulled a knife and stabbed the victim in the upper torso, he said.
Paramedics took the injured man to a hospital, where he was rushed into surgery, the sergeant said. The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
Deputies searched the neighborhood and ultimately detained a2 7-year-old Valinda man, Lt. David Infante said. The man was initially held on suspicion of an unrelated misdemeanor, but ultimately booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
Officials withheld the suspect’s name Friday as they continued their investigation, Infante said.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the stabbing were available.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Industry Station at 626-330-3322. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.