VALINDA >> A man raped and robbed a woman at knifepoint behind a Valinda shopping center Wednesday, authorities said.
Deputies apprehended a suspect several hours after the 6:45 p.m. attack at a small shopping center in the 1400 block of Valinda Avenue, just north of Maplegrove Street in the unincorporated county area of Valinda, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. David Cortinas said.
The suspect approached the woman and ordered her behind a building at knifepoint, the sergeant said. He sexually assaulted the woman and robbed her of her cell phone before fleeing.
The victim, a woman in her 20s, was taken to a hospital for treatment, Cortinas said. She suffered no life-threatening injuries.
Deputies searching the area and following up on leads found and arrested the suspect — a man in his mid-20s — without a struggle in the area shortly before midnight, Cortinas said.
His identity was not available pending the booking process.
EAST VALINDA >> Deputies arrested a carjacking suspect after he led them on a chase, which ended in a crash in East Valinda Wednesday, authorities said.
The incident began shortly before 2 p.m. when deputies spotted a suspect wanted in connection with a carjacking driving in the unincorporated county area of East Valinda, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials. The SUV has been reported carjacked in Hawthorne, Lt. David Infante said.
“The suspect was considered armed and dangerous,” the lieutenant said.
Aided by a helicopter, deputies chased the SUV along surface streets for about 15 minutes before the driver crashed into a tree along McLaren Street, between Jellick Avenue and Trafalgate Avenue in East Valinda, and continued to flee on foot, officials said.
Deputies captured the suspect as he was pounding on or trying to kick in the door of a nearby home, Infante said. The home may have been that of a relative of the suspect.
The name of the suspect was not available Wednesday afternoon pending booking.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
WEST VALINDA >> A shooting at a house party left an El Monte teenager dead and a second victim wounded late Saturday, authorities said.
The shooter remained at large following the 11:50 p.m. shooting at a home in the 14100 block of Barrydale Street, in the unincorporated county area of West Valinda, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Enrique Ortiz Jr., 17, of El Monte died in the shooting, Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said.
The gunfire erupted during a party, officials said.
“Detectives have learned that during a gathering at a residence, a male Hispanic adult suspect produced a firearm and shot one victim in the upper torso,” according the statement.
The gunman shot a second victim in the hand before fleeing, officials said. No suspect description was available.
The wounded victim, described by sheriff’s officials as a man, was taken to a hospital for treatment. An update on his condition was not available.
Barrydale Street remained closed off between Puente and Maryland Avenues as detectives and crime scene investigators continued working at the scene Sunday afternoon.
Investigators appeared to be focusing their interest on an area behind a single-story, wood-sided home as they took measurements and photographs.
Authorities were looking into the possibility the shooting was related to another gunshot victim who showed up at a West Covina hospital early Sunday morning.
A man in his 20s arrived at Citrus Valley Health Partners – Queen of the Valley Campus in West Covina about 1 a.m. with a gunshot wound to his leg, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said. But the victim refused to cooperate with police, other than to say he was shot while on his way to a party, Patton said. No solid link between the two incidents had been established Sunday as the investigation into both incidents remained ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be provided anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
VALINDA >> Coroner’s officials have identified a 25-year-old Baldwin Park man who was fatally shot by a deputy Friday after he allegedly broke into a family’s home while fleeing deputies, then reached for a deputy’s gun, officials said.
Johnny Angel Rangel died in the 1:18 a.m. deputy-involved shooting at a home in the 800 block of Ashcomb Drive, in the unincorporated county area of Valinda, Lt. David Smith of the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said.
Rangel’s city of residence was not listed in coroner’s records, however police described him as a Baldwin Park resident when he was arrested in West Covina last year.
Deputies patrolling spotted Rangel at Azusa Avenue and Amar Road early Friday morning and thought him to be suspicious, Detective Louie Aguilera of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. When they approached him, he ran.
Rangel broke into a nearby home on Ashcomb Drive, Aguilera said. A family comprised of two men and two women was sleeping inside.
Deputies evacuated the residents, but Rangel refused to exit the home, officials said.
“Deputies made entry into the home and gave verbal commands to the suspect to comply and cooperate,” Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“During this time, the suspect grabbed for a deputy’s firearm and a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
Rangel was struck once in the upper torso and died at the scene, officials said.
“A knife, believed to belong to the suspect, was recovered at the scene,” Navarro-Suarez said. No deputies were hurt, nor were any of the residents of the home.
Resident Carlos Flores said he did not recognize the intruder, later identified as Rangel.
Rangel was released from county jail in December after serving about six months in jail after being arrested in June of last year on suspicion of fighting with police in West Covina while high on methamphetamine, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court and booking records.
In that incident, officers subdued Rangel with a Taser, West Covina police Lt. Dave Lee said at the time.
Two officers suffered minor injuries in the scuffle, which occurred after officers responded to reports that an intoxicated Rangel was causing a disturbance.
After being hospitalized for a suspected meth overdose, Rangel was ultimately convicted of threatening police in December of 2014 and released from custody on “time served,” according to officials and records. Charges of battery against a peace officer and resisting police were dismissed.
Rangel’s criminal history also includes a conviction for possession of an assault weapon in 2011 and violating a gang injunction in 2012.
VALINDA >> Deputies shot a suspect in the unincorporated county area of Valinda early Friday, officials said.
The shooting was reported at 1:24 a.m. at Azusa Avenue and Amar Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
A suspect was wounded by gunfire, Sgt. Carmen Arballo of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said. The suspect’s condition was unclear.
No deputies were injured in the incident, Arballo said.
No further details were available.
A Baldwin Park man Wednesday admitted participating in a San Gabriel Valley-based drug distribution conspiracy Wednesday and admitted fatally shooting a man in La Puente in 2006, federal officials said.
Eddie “Criminal” Garcia, 39, faces up to 30 years in federal prison when he returns to court in Los Angeles for sentencing Jan. 25, U.S. Assistant Attorney Mack Jenkins said. But under the plea deal, the prosecution and defense agreed to recommend a prison term of 18 to 24 years to the presiding judge.
Garcia pleaded guilty to participating in a drug distribution conspiracy which included murder, Jenkins explained.
The charge stems from a 2010 investigation targeting the Puente 13 street gang’s drug activities in the San Gabriel Valley, officials said.
“In addition to participating in drug trafficking activities that include collecting ‘taxes’ or ‘rent’ on behalf of the Mexican Mafia member who controlled Puente 13, Garcia admitted that he murdered another gang member who failed to… make those extortion payments,” U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement.
Garcia and two other gang members who have since been convicted in connection with the slaying shot and killed 44-year-old David Dragna of East Valinda after luring him to an apartment complex in the 14700 block of Pritchard Street in La Puente on July 3, 2006, according to DOJ and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
Officials described Garcia as a former member of the 18th Street gang, while Dragna was part of the Townsmen gang.
The 18th Street gang, Townsmen and Puente 13 all operate under the leadership of the Mexican Mafia, Jenkins said.
As part of the same investigation that led to Garcia’s conviction, the then-leader of the Puente 13 gang and his brother were sentenced to life in federal prison in 2013.
The investigation was a joint effort by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
WEST VALINDA >> Prosecutors charged two West Valinda men with murder Thursday for the beating of their 44-year-old neighbor, a father of five, with a hammer and cement blocks earlier in the week, authorities said.
Doctors declared Luis Segura brain dead Wednesday afternoon from injuries suffered in the beating, which took place about 7 p.m. Monday in the 13400 block of Moccasin Street, said Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter.
Flavio Macias Jr. 28, and his brother Jonathan Macias, 23, were each charged with a count of murder in Pomona Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said in a written statement.
Lt. David Coleman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said the motive in the attack remained unclear.
“This is tragic,” he said. “(Segura) was a hard working guy. He had five kids.”
Segura and the Macias brothers had been neighbors for at least 15 years, Coleman said.
The lieutenant described Segura’s relationship with his neighbors as “cordial” and said detectives were aware of no previous incidents of violence.
Segura apparently went outside to speak with the brothers before the attack, though it was unclear what they discussed or what prompted Monday’s beating, Coleman said. “We don’t know exactly what happened.”
The victim’s wife called 911 after she went looking for him and discovered the two suspects trying to load the severely injured man into his own van, Coleman said.
Deputies arrested the brothers with the use of tear gas and a sheriff’s K-9 following an eight-hour standoff at their home, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
Flavio Macias carried out the attack while Jonathan Macias acted as a lookout, prosecutors said.
“The felony complaint includes a special allegation that Flavio Macias Jr. used deadly and dangerous weapons, hammer and blocks, during the commission of the crime,” Ardalani said. He has previous convictions for domestic violence in 2005, carrying a dirk or dagger in 2006 and drug possession in 2012.
Segura was pronounced brain dead at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center Wednesday afternoon, according to Winter and hospital spokeswoman Rosa Saca.
Though clinically dead, Segura remained on life-support Thursday so that his organs may be harvested for transplant.
An arraignment hearing scheduled Thursday for the Macias brothers was postponed to Sept. 23 in Pomona Superior Court, Ardalani said.
POMONA >> A La Puente man accused of fatally shooting a man in West Covina, as well as shooting and wounding his ex-girlfriend in Covina, during an alleged crime spree in April, pleaded not guilty to six felony charges Thursday, authorities said.
Manuel Jerome Lujan, described by police as a 33-year-old West Covina gang member, appeared in Pomona Superior court where he denied charges of murder, attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, robbery, assault with a firearm and exhibiting a concealed firearm in public, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Prosecutors further allege that Lujan intentionally fired a firearm causing injury or death, and that Lujan was previously convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 2001.
His alleged series of violent crimes took place between April 26 and April 29. It began when Lujan robbed a man of his cell phone at gunpoint in Valinda and brandished a gun at other victims, according to prosecutors.
Three days later, he fatally shot 36-year-old Jabarri Butts behind a Social Security office in the 500 block of South Vincent Avenue, and opened fire on a nearby home, West Covina police officials said.
Hours later, he showed up at the home of his ex-girlfriend in the 300 block of West Center Street in Covina, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said. He through rocks and the woman’s window to get her attention, then shot her when she came to the window.
Lujan is scheduled to appear in Pomona Superior Court July 9 for a hearing, officials said. If convicted as charged, he could face life in prison.
VALINDA >> A man died at the scene of a shooting inside his own home in Valinda home early Sunday, authorities said.
The shooting took place just before 4 a.m. at a house in the 16000 block of Garrett Court, in the unincorporated county area of Valinda, Deputy Jeffrey Gordon of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
A man gathered with family members at the corner of the small cul-de-sac said the home was that of his brother. The man said he did not know what had happened and he was waiting for information from the sheriff’s department. He did not wish to comment further.
The street was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape as investigators continued gathering clues inside the well-kept, beige, two-story home.
Detectives, coroner officials and forensic investigators continued working at the home through Sunday afternoon.
Nearby neighbors said they did not hear any gunshots, or anything else unusual in the early-morning hours.
Tony Hoke was sleeping at the home a friend next to the shooting scene.
“What woke us up was the sirens,” he said.
Deputies knocked on his door a short time later to ask if he’d heard or seen anything regarding the shooting, he said.
No information regarding the circumstances of the shooting or any possible suspects was released.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
EAST VALINDA >> A man is accused of stabbing his friend during an argument in East Valinda Friday, officials said.
The alleged attack took place about 3 p.m. in the area of Valley Boulevard and La Seda Road, in an unincorporated county area surrounded by West Covina, La Puente and Industry, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. David Contreras of the sheriff’s Industry Station said.
Deputies ultimately booked Manuel Castellanos, 22, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, Capt. Tim Murakami said. He was believed to be a local resident.
The suspect and his alleged victim, also a man in his 20s, became involved in a dispute, Contreras said. The suspect pulled a knife, stabbing the victim in the torso and slicing his arm.
Contreras said the attacker fled from the scene but was soon captured by deputies.
Authorities said the victim was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
The suspect’s name was not available.
According to county booking records, Castellanos was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail his arraignment, scheduled Wednesday in West Covina Superior Court.