Sheriff Baca to join local deputies at Valinda Corridor town hall meeting

LA PUENTE — Residents of La Puente and the nearby collection of unincorporated communities along the Pomona (60) Freeway that make up the Valinda Corridor are invited to join Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and other officials next month at a town hall meeting.
The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. April 4 at St. Louis of France Church, 13935 East Temple Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. John Babbitt said.
The discussion will center around law enforcement and quality of life issued affecting communities in the corridor including La Puente, Bassett, Valinda, East Valinda, West Valinda, Avocado Heights and North Whittier. The area is patrolled by the sheriff’s Industry Station.
Joining Sheriff Baca will be newly-appointed Industry Station Capt. Tim Murakami and local deputies.
Free hot dogs and drinks will be provided, along with free children’s fingerprinting and a raffle.
For more information, contact Lt. Babbitt at 626-934-3071.

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60-year-old West Valinda man killed in shooting identified

WEST VALINDA — Detectives Saturday released the name of a 60-year-old man gunned down on his own street early Friday.
Richard Quijada was pronounced dead shortly after he was found shot on the side yard of a house in the 13600 block of Flynn Street, in the unincorporated county area of West Valinda, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
He was believed to have been shot just before 4 a.m., when shots were heard in the neighborhood but deputies found no victims, Sgt. Luis Nunez of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
Someone at the home discovered Quijada lying in the yard shortly after 7:30 a.m. and called 9-1-1, officials said. He was believed to have been shot in the front yard of the home before fleeing to the side yard, where he succumbed to his injuries.
No suspects were arrested in connection with the fatal shooting, and no motive or suspect description were released.
Anyone with information was asked to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

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2nd UPDATE: West Valinda man found shot to death in own neighborhood

WEST VALINDA — A man was found shot to death early Friday in his own neighborhood, several hours after nearby residents reported hearing gunshots, authorities said.
Officials withheld the name of the victim Friday pending confirmation that his family had been notified, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
He was described by sheriff’s and coroner’s officials as being in his 50s or 60s.
He was believed to live on the street where the shooting took place, though not at the home where his body was found, Sgt. Luis Nunez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
The body was discovered about 7:35 a.m. on Flynn Street, just west of Puente Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Arthur Scott said.
A motive in the killing was not immediately clear, Nunez said.
“We’re keeping all out options open,” he added.
Deputies had received reports of gunshots heard in the area just before 4 a.m., but found no shooting victims, officials said.
But more than three hours later, someone at the home called deputies after finding the body on the side yard of the home, Nunez said.
It appeared the man was shot in the front yard of the home when he was shot, and ran through the side of the yard of the home, where he fell and succumbed to his injuries, Nunez said.
Michael Hazlett, 20, said he was asleep in his bedroom in the early morning hours when he heard what sounded like gunshots: “Five in a row.”
“It sounded right outside my window,” he said, but added that he heard no argument, yelling or vehicle following the shooting.
“All I heard was gunshots and the rain after,” Hazlett said.
The home where the body was found often sees many people coming and going, with people staying for only a brief time, according to Hazlett and Nunez.
Nunez declined to discuss any possible suspect description or say whether the shooter was believed to be on foot or in a vehicle, citing the ongoing investigation.
Hazlett said he’s seen the man he believed to be the shooting victim visit the home several times.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Lt. Dave Dolson at the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

PHOTO: Staff photo by Watchara Phomicinda

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UPDATE: Man found shot to death in East Valinda house

EAST VALINDA — Homicide detecitve are investigating after a man was found shot to death Sunday inside a MacLaren Street house, authorities said.
The incident was first reported about 11:40 a.m. in the 18500 block of MacLaren Street, in the unincorporated county area of East Valinda, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. James Beamon.
The man’s body was discovered by his brother, officials said.
Few details were available, as the investigation remained in its early stages, Beamon said..
“The body was discovered in the living room area of a house,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.

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UPDATED: Officials identify man shot to death in East Valinda

EAST VALINDA — Coroner’s officials Wednesday released the name of a 22-year-old La Puente man found shot to death earlier this week.
Dennis Ramon Osario died at the scene of the shooting, which was reported about 10:30 p.m. Monday in the 18600 block of Villa Park Street, in the unincorporated county area of East Valinda, Los Angeles County Department of Coroners Lt. Fred Corral said.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators described him as a documented gang member.
Few details were available Wednesday regarding the circumstances of the shooting, Lt. Mike Rosson of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
A motive and suspect description were unknown, he said.
“It appears that he was in a rival gang area,” Rosson said. “We don’t know why.”
Witnesses reported hearing gunshots and seeing a dark-colored, compact car speeding away from the scene, officials said, however it remained unclear Wednesday whether that vehicle was involved in the shooting.
Initial reports also described a Latino man running from the scene of the shooting, though detectives had not been able to confirm that piece of information, Rosson said.
A parked car and a home that were unrelated to the shooting victim were also struck by gunfire, however no one else was injured, Rosson said.
The investigation was ongoing. Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

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Bassett man killed in two-car crash identified

Authorities Friday identified a Bassett man killed in a car crash in West Valinda.
Robert Michael Jacquez, 47, died at the scene of Thursday’s 2:30 p.m. crash in the intersection of Temple and Millbury avenues, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
He was driving a 1993 Geo Prizm south on Millbury Avenue when his car collided with a 1994 Acura that was westbound on Temple Avenue, according to California Highway Patrol officials.
“After (Jacquez) stopped his vehicle at a stop sign, he proceeded to drive in a southerly direction through the intersection and drove directly into the path of (the Acura),” CHP Officer Louis Borunda said in a written statement. There is no stop sign for traffic on Temple Avenue.
Paramedics pronounced Jacquez dead at 2:56 p.m., Winter said.
The 19-year-old La Puente man driving the Acura and his 17-year-old brother, who was a passenger, suffered minor minor injuries in the crash, Borunda said.
Officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP are investigating the collision.

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Man killed in two-car crash in West Valinda

WEST VALINDA — A man died Thursday in a two-car crash in a West Valinda intersection, authorities said.
The crash was reported about 2:40 p.m. at Temple Avenue and Millbury Street, California Highway Patrol officer Christian Cracraft said.
The circumstances of the crash, which involved a Chevrolet Prism and an Acura, were being investigated by officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP, officials said.

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Car-to-car shooting reported in West Valinda

WEST VALINDA — A car was struck by bullets but no injuries were reported in a car-to-car shooting early Sunday, authorities said.
A local resident estimated to be about 30 years old was driving in the area of Ragus and League avenues when someone inside a vehicle described only as a pickup truck opened fire, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Arthur Scott said.
“The driver was not hit,” Scott said. “The vehicle was hit numerous times.”
A description of the shooter was not available, and a motive in the shooting was unclear.
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UPDATE: Suspect in 2010 East Valinda slaying released from custody

62505-Emilio Borges, 24-thumb-300x476-62504.jpg
A man accused of the fatal shooting of another man outside an East Valinda house party more than two years ago was released from jail Wednesday after a jury hung for the second time, authorities said.
Jonathan Lopez, 20, of La Puente was released from custody after Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials announced they would not re-file the case, according to court officials and records.
Lopez had been behind bars since September of 2010, when he was identified as a suspect in the Feb. 27, 2010, fatal shooting of 24-year-old Emilio Borges of Hacienda Heights in the 17000 block of Boulay Street in East Valinda.
Lopez was arrested Sept. 30, 2010, following seven months of investigation by detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
A jury deadlocked on a verdict in the case on June 8, resulting in a mistrial, then again in the second trial, which concluded Sept. 24, Deputy District Attorney Robert Serna said.
At a hearing Wednesday, the prosecution announced it would not re-file the murder case against Lopez, officials said.
Though 17-years-old at the time of the killing, Lopez was charged as an adult.
The defense attorney in the case could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Borges was leaving the party in a car with another man and woman when a shooter opened fire on the occupants, fatally wounding Borges and inflicting a graze wound to the other man inside the car, Sgt. Brian Schoonmaker of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said shortly after Lopez’s arrest.
Emilio Borges’ uncle, Lawrence Ruiz, said he was disappointed by the news and believed the case was damaged because witnesses were afraid to come forward and cooperate with investigators. “Nobody wanted to come out,” he said.
Serna and detectives said they believed there were numerous witnesses to the shooting who never came forward.
“There was testimony that the main eyewitness was threatened in the week before trial,” Serna said.
“It’s injustice,” Ruiz said. “He’s walking free while my nephew is in the ground.”
A husband and father of two, the uncle said, Borges was “a family man.”
“He’d take the shirt off his back if you needed it,” Ruiz added.
Borges was attending Mt. SAC and learning the welding trade, his uncle said.
“He had his whole life ahead of him.”
The investigation continues.
Ruiz urged anyone with information to come forward. “It’s the right thing to do,” he said.
PHOTO of Emilio Borges: courtesy
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Two hurt in three-vehicle crash on Sunset Avenue in West Valinda

WEST VALINDA — Good Samaritans pulled a 73-year-old driver from his burning car Thursday following a three-vehicle crash that sent two people to the hospital, authorities said.
The crash took place about 4:25 p.m. on Sunset Avenue, just north of Amar Road, California Highway Patrol Officer Brian Paulson said.
A 73-year-old man was driving an older-model sedan southbound in the fast lane of Sunset Avenue when, “for unknown reasons, it drifted into northbound lanes,” the officer said.
A man in his late-20s or early-30s driving a Verizon work truck northbound on Sunset Avenue swerved to avoid the car but was struck, causing the truck to tumble onto its side, Paulson said.
A woman estimated to be in her 60s was also northbound on Sunset Avenue in an SUV when the crash occurred and was unable to avoid striking the rear of the work truck, he said. The impact sent her car crashing through a cinder block wall lining the east side of the road. No one on the other side was hurt.
The sedan being driven by the 73-year-old caught fire after the crash, and witnesses pulled him to safety, Paulson said. He was hospitalized with injuries including a possible broken leg.
The woman driving the SUV was taken to a hospital after complaining of pain, Paulson said, though her injuries were initially believed to be minor.
The driver of the work truck, who managed to climb out of his overturned truck following the crash, declined to be taken to a hospital.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by the Baldwin Park office of the CHP.
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