MONTEREY PARK >> Homicide detectives sought clues Wednesday into the fatal stabbing of a 35-year-old man in the parking lot of a business.
Edward Mendoza, 35, died at a hospital after he was wounded in the stabbing about 9:10 p.m. Tuesday at the corner of Portrero Grande and Arroyo drives, Lt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. He was believed to have been staying in Monterey Park.
Few details were available regarding the stabbing. No description of the killer was known.
After being stabbed, Mendoza managed to call 9-1-1 from a cell phone to seek help, Corina said.
Responding police officers and paramedics found Mendoza collapsed at what was believed to be the scene of the stabbing in the parking lot of a business park, Corina said.
Paramedics took Mendoza to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries at 10:11 p.m., Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
A friend and co-worker of the victim at the city of Alhambra, who did not want to be identified, said that the victim worked with children as a physical education coach.
“It’s a huge loss to the family. We are very close,” he said.
Alhambra city officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
A second man, who identified himself as the victim’s childhood friend, believes the victim may have been leaving from the home of his mother, who lives in the area.
According to the man, the victim not drive and took public transportation to get around. He also said the victim was found with his backpack and wallet.
The motive in the fatal stabbing remained under investigation.
“Right now, it doesn’t look like he was robbed,” Corina said.
The circumstance leading up to the killing also remained unclear Wednesday. “We don’t know what he was doing there,” Corina said.
Mendoza had been staying several blocks away, but within walking distance, from the parking lot where he was stabbed, the lieutenant said.
Other than that he needed help, Corina declined to discuss what Mendoza said during his call to 9-1-1 after being stabbed, citing the ongoing investigation.
The weapon used in the killing had not been recovered Wednesday afternoon, he said.
Detectives Wednesday continued reviewing surveillance cameras at nearby businesses for clues, Corina added.
Virginia Schellberg, an employee at Southern California Funeral Service located in the business complex, said the victim’s girlfriend and best friend were at the scene at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
“They said there was no reason for him to out walking (at that hour) and they don’t understand how it happened,” Schellberg said. “They stopped by because they wanted to see where it happened. They’re devastated.”
Anyone with information is asked to call LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.
Friends set up an online fund to collect donations to benefit Mendoza’s family at www.gofundme.com/fvoges.
- By Venusse Navid and Brian Day
PHOTO of crime scene by Venusse Navid
PHOTOS of Edward Menoza, courtesy
GLENDORA >> A man attacked another man with a pizza cutter Friday night during an argument at a Glendora grocery store, officials said.
The unusual assault took place about just after 10 p.m. at Vons, 432 E. Arrow Highway, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
“A 23-year-old male was in Vons when, for unknown reasons, he was confronted by a two females and a male,” the lieutenant said. The suspects were initially described as being in their late-teens or early-20s.
“The male picked up a pizza cutter from inside the store and repeatedly slashed the victim in the face and arms,” Lamborghini said. The suspects then fled.
The wounds appeared superficial and were not considered life-threatening, the lieutenant said.
Further details were not available as police continued seeking the suspects Saturday, he said. Detectives were reviewing surveillance footage and following other leads to identify the stabber and the two women who accompanied him.
AZUSA >> Two men suffered stab wounds in what was believed to be dispute between two family members at an Azusa home Thursday afternoon, police said.
The incident unfolded about 1:40 p.m. at Dalton Avenue and 11th Street, according to Azusa police and Los Angeles County Fire Department officials.
“We got a call of an assault with some sort of weapon,” Azusa police Lt. Paul Dennis said.
On arrival, police found two men in their 20s bleeding from apparent stab wounds, Lt. Mike Bertelsen said.
Both men were taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, Bertelsen said. One was flown to the hospital by helicopter, while the other was transported by ambulance.
An update on the conditions of the wounded men was not available.
The circumstances of the incident remained under investigation, however Bertelsen said the incident was believed to have been between the two men, and no suspect was being sought.
The two men were believed to be relatives, though their exact relationship was not clear.
Several other people at the home, including a small child, were not injured, police said.
ALTADENA >> A man suffered serious stab wounds Thursday while breaking up a fight between two women believed to have started over cookies, authorities said.
The unusual alleged crime took place about 8:15 p.m. at Raymond Avenue and Woodbury Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and fire officials said.
A 22-year-old Altadena man suffered a serious stab wound to his abdomen when he tried to break up a fight between two women that started over cookies, sheriff’s Sgt. Wayne Waterman said. The man was in stable condition at a hospital Friday.
A 19-year-old woman suffered moderate injuries including slashes to her face during the incident, and was also taken to a hospital for treatment.
Shandra Easterling, 43, of Pasadena, was also treated for injuries suffered in the scuffle prior to being booked into jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Waterman said.
Easterling and the younger woman became involved in an argument after one of them asked for cookies that the other had, but was refused. It was unclear Friday which woman had the desserts.
The argument escalated into a fight, officials said.
“The females were fighting,” Waterman said. “The male tried to intervene and stop the fight. He broke the two apart.”
Easterling pulled, “some type of edged weapon,” and stabbed the man in the abdomen, Waterman said. The 19-year-old woman also suffered injuries including cuts to her face.
The weapon had not been recovered Friday.
Deputies responding to reports of a stabbing detained Easterling at the scene and arrested her once she was identified as the alleged attacker, officials said. She was initially medically examined booked at the sheriff’s Crescenta Valley Station, but later taken to a hospital for further treatment of injuries possibly suffered during the fight.
The suspect and two witnesses were believed to be acquaintances, Waterman said.
According to county booking records, Easterling was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail pending her initial court appearance.
PICO RIVERA >> A teenage boy previously sought as a “person of interest” in his father’s fatal stabbing in Pico Rivera was arrested on suspicion of murder Sunday, along with a second suspect, authorities said.
Detectives sought Sergio Anthony Gutierrez, 17, of Pico Rivera since his 50-year-old father was found fatally stabbed about 1:30 a.m. Saturday at the family home in the 3700 block of Oaklawn Lane, Lt. Holly Francisco of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
Coroner’s officials have not yet released the name of the slain father, however neighbors said he was also named Sergio Gutierrez.
The teenage Gutierrez was detained Sunday morning, along with Jesus Rafael Adame, 18, by Montebello police, according to sheriff’s officials and Los Angeles County booking records. Adame’s city of residence was not available.
After questioning the teen and Adame, detectives arrested them both on suspicion of murder about noon, Sgt. Sean Geske of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station said.
The investigation was ongoing, and detectives continued seeking possible additional suspects, Geske said.
Handling detectives could not be reached for comment Sunday, and no further details regarding the arrests were available.
Deputies went to the house inside a gated community after a woman described as the suspect’s mother and victim’s wife called 9-1-1 to report a robbery, sheriff’s officials said. Deputies arrived to find the elder Gutierrez mortally wounded in the family room of the home. He had been stabbed several times in the torso.
There were no signs of forced entry at the home, Francisco said. It was not clear if anything had been stolen.
The teenage Gutierrez was believed to have been home, along with his mother and another woman who rented a room in the home, when the stabbing took place, Francisco said. But by the time deputies arrived at the scene, both the teen and the family car were missing.
Investigators described the teen as a “person of interest” as they sought him Saturday, stopping short of labeling him a suspect in his father’s slaying.
It was unclear Sunday whether prosecutors would seek to charge the 17-year-old murder suspect as an adult.
According to county booking records, Adame was being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Downey Superior Court.
Anyone with information 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.
SAN DIMAS >> A San Dimas man is accused of stabbing his house guest and lifelong friend in the face when the two men got into an argument Saturday, authorities said.
Deputies arrested Matthew David Anderson, 26, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon following the 11:20 a.m. stabbing at a house in the 400 block of Conestoga Road, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records.
The victim, a 28-year-old man, was hospitalized in stable condition with stab wounds through both of his cheeks, sheriff’s Lt. David Vega said. The victim and his wife live out of state and had been staying with Anderson as house guests.
It was not clear exactly what the two men argued about before Anderson attacked the victim with a what investigators described as a “large kitchen knife,” Vega said.
The wounded man’s wife called 9-1-1 to report the stabbing, and deputies encountered the victim in front of the home. The injured man and his wife told deputies the name of the suspect, and that they believed he was still inside the house, the lieutenant said.
Deputies surrounded the home as a sergeant made “intermittent” contact with Anderson via telephone, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Three children exited the home unharmed, Vega said. They were believed to be family members of Anderson.
“(Anderson) initially said he was inside the location, but later said he fled on foot,” according to the statement.
After about two hours, the sergeant persuaded Anderson to surrender at Fifth Street and Eucla Avenue, in the presence of his mother, officials said.
“Investigators learned the victim and suspect have known each other since childhood,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
In addition to being arrested in connection with the stabbing, Anderson was also being held on outstanding warrants, officials said. He was being held in lieu of $115,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court.
PICO RIVERA >> A man died after being stabbed inside his home early Saturday, and his teenage son and the family car were missing, authorities said.
The fatal stabbing took place about 1:30 a.m. at a home within a gated community in the 3700 block of Oaklawn Lane, Lt. Holly Francisco of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
The circumstances of the slaying remained a mystery as investigators poured over the scene Saturday afternoon.
“At this time, we don’t know what happened inside this residence,” Francisco said.
Coroner’s officials did not release the name of the 50-year-old stabbing victim, however neighbors identified him as Sergio Gutierrez.
His son, 17-year-old Sergio Anthony Gutierrez, was believed to be home at the time of the stabbing, but has not been seen since, Francisco said. Also missing is the family car, a silver, 200 Infiniti with a California license plate of 4MAB667.
The teenage son was not considered a suspect, but was being sought for questioning as a “person of interest,” Deputy Kelvin Moody of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said.
The victim lived at the home with his wife, their son and a woman who rented a room in their home, Francisco said.
Deputies first responded to the home after victim’s wife called 9-1-1 and reported a robbery, Francisco said. Further details regarding the initial 9-1-1 call were not available.
Deputies arrived to discover the homeowner lying in the front family room of the home, suffering from several stab wounds to his torso, Francisco said. He was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:17 a.m.
There were no signs the home had been broken into or that an intruder had been present, Francisco said. It had not been determined whether anything other than the family car was missing from the home.
Deputies have visited the home more than once in the past for domestic violence calls, however further details of deputies’ previous visits to the home were not available, the lieutenant said.
Neighborhood resident Ariel Acosta, 22, said he grew up with the teenage Sergio Gutierrez.
“It’s sad. I just want to know what happened,” he said.
Acosta described the younger Gutierrez as a “calm” and “quiet” boy who loved soccer, and had previously played for El Rancho High School.
“He’s a normal kid, just like the rest of us,” Acosta said.
The neighbor said although he did not know the parents as well, “To me, it was a normal family.”
The father was often seen taking his son to school, or playing soccer with him in the family’s front yard, Acosta said.
Acosta said the husband and wife often walked their pet Chihuahuas in the neighborhood.
Despite Saturday’s tragedy, Acosta said he believed the neighborhood was a safe one.
“I’ve always felt safe in here. I’ve lived here 18 years,” he said.
PASADENA >> A judge declared a mistrial Wednesday after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing a Pasadena barbershop owner during a robbery in 2011, officials said.
After four days of deliberations, the Pasadena Superior Court jury announced they were deadlocked, and Judge Darrel Mavis declared a mistrial in the murder trial for Davon Moore, 25, of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said.
Prosecutors plan to re-try Moore on the murder charge, he said. A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for Sept. 25.
Santiago said the jury hung 11-1 in favor of convicting Moore of the first-degree murder of 43-year-old King E. King, who was found shortly after 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 21, 2011, lying in a pool of blood behind his business, King King’s Barber and Beauty Salon in the 900 bock of East Washington Boulevard in Pasadena.
In addition to murder, Moore is accused of the special allegations that the killing was committed during the course of a robbery and burglary, and that Moore personally used a knife in the slaying.
The alleged special circumstance of murder during the course of a robbery and burglary made Moore eligible for the death penalty if convicted, though officials declined pursue a capital case against him, Santiago said. If convicted as charged, Moore could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Co-defendant Sabrina King, 21, of Compton, who is not related to King King, pleaded “no contest” in March to charges of voluntary manslaughter and robbery in connection with the slaying. She faces up to 21 years in state prison when she returns to court for sentencing.
Pasadena police initially arrested two men and two women in connection with King’s slaying, however the other two people arrested along with Moore and Sabrina King were subsequently released without charges.
SOUTH WHITTIER >> A woman is dead and another is accused of murder after a fight escalated into a stabbing late Friday in an unincorporated county area just south of Whittier, authorities said.
Michelle Alexis Young, 31, of Los Angeles died following the stabbing, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
The stabbing was first reported as a “woman down” about 10:30 p.m. on a small cul-de-sac in the 11500 block of Obert Avenue, just north of Leffingwell Road, deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement.
Deputies arrived to find paramedics already treating Young, who had been stabbed multiple times, officials said
Young was pronounced dead on the sidewalk at 11:12 p.m., Smith said.
“A male adult witness at the scene told deputies that a female approached the victim and started an argument,” according to the sheriff’s department statement. “The argument escalated into a physical altercation. The female suspect then produced a knife and stabbed the victim several times. The suspect fled the location.”
Soon after, deputies detained another woman who as believed to have been involved in the incident, officials said.
After hours of investigation, detectives arrested Vanessa Rebecca Cella, 28, on suspicion of murder Saturday morning, sheriff’s officials said. Her city of residence was not immediately available.
Cella was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending her scheduled arraignment Tuesday in Bellflower Superior Court, according to county booking records.
Anyone with information 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.
EAST LOS ANGELES >> A Los Angeles woman was hospitalized with serious injuries, but expected to survive, after she was thrown, or jumped, out of vehicle with a large slash wound on her face, authorities said.
The incident was first reported about 1:50 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Avenue and Indiana Street, along the border between East Los Angeles and Los Angeles, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Erik Scott said.
Initial reports indicated the woman’s throat had been slashed, but it was determined her wound was actually on her face, Lt. Gulley of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station said. He declined to give his first name.
The injured woman was hospitalized with serious injuries, Scott said.
But the wounds were not believed to be life-threatening, Gulley said.
Investigators determined the woman had been tossed out of a car, or had jumped from the vehicle, however it was unclear where the actual stabbing took place, the lieutenant said.
No description of a suspect or the vehicle that left the woman at the intersection was released, and no further details were immediately available.