West Covina police seek missing 77-year-old man


WEST COVINA >> Police are asking the public’s help in finding a 77-year-old man who went missing in West Covina on Saturday.
Larry Thomas was last seen about 9 p.m. on Saturday at the Cove bar, 146 S. Glendora Ave., West Covina police officials said in a written statement. He disappeared and hasn’t been seen since.
Thomas, who may be suffering from the early stages of dementia, was driving a silver, four-door, 2002 Jaguar SJ with a California license plate of 4XBK749. He was last seen wearing a royal blue Hawaiian shirt and blue jeans.
Anyone with information is urged to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8500, or dial 911.

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UPDATED: Motorcyclist killed in West Covina crash

WEST COVINA >> A man died following a collision between his three-wheeled motorcycle and another vehicle in a West Covina intersection Sunday afternoon, officials said.
The fatal crash took place about 1 p.m. at Azusa and Fairgrove avenues, West Covina police Lt. Ron Allen said.
“Preliminary details suggest the vehicle been travelling north on Azusa Avenue and turned west onto Fairgrove,” West Covina police said in a written statement. “The motorcycle trike had been travelling south on Azusa Avenue.”
Paramedics took the injured motorcyclist to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries, police said. His identity was not released Sunday.
Police shut down traffic on southbound Azusa Avenue at Autumn Drive and eastbound Fairgrove Avenue at Nelson Street as they carried out their investigation Sunday afternoon, according to the statement. The cause of the collision was yet to be determined.
No further details were available.

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Man in ‘Jason’ mask robs West Covina restaurant

WEST COVINA >> A gunman wearing a Halloween mask carried out an armed robbery at a West Covina Chinese food restaurant, police said.
The heist took place shortly after 2 p.m. at the Silver Dragon Restaurant at the Plaza West Covina shopping mall, 1129 West Covina Parkway, West Covina police Lt. David Lee said.
A robber entered the store, brandished a handgun and demanded money from the cash register, he said. He fled with between $100 and $200.
The gunman wore a white, plastic Halloween mask similar to that of “Jason” in the “Friday the 13th” horror movie series.
He was in his late-30s to early-40s, heavy set, about 6 feet tall, with a tattoo on the right side of his neck.
Anyone with information can reach the West Covina Police Department at 626-939-8500, or the department’s 24-hour tip hotline at 626-939-8688.

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Woman and daughter wounded in West Covina stabbing, suspect surrenders

WEST COVINA >> A man stabbed a woman and her adult daughter in West Covina before turning himself in to authorities in East Los Angeles late Thursday, police said.
Eduardo Marin, 46, of East Los Angeles was arrested following the double stabbing at a home in the 3100 block of South Adrienne Drive, West Covina police Lt. David Lee said.
A woman in her 40s, with whom Marine had previously had a relationship, was hospitalized in critical condition but expected to survive after undergoing surgery, he said. Her daughter, a woman in her 20s, suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
Marin showed up at the victims’ home about 9 p.m. and became involved in argument, according to the lieutenant.
“Some type of argument ensued,” he said. “He stabbed the mother and daughter.”
Marin fled from the crime scene on a motorcycle but soon turned himself in to the deputies at the Los Angeles County sheriff’s East Los Angeles Station, Lee said.
He was expected to be booked on suspicion of attempted murder.
Authorities cordoned off the neighborhood as detectives and crime scene investigators scoured the scene for evidence.
Lee said the knife believed to have been used in the stabbing was recovered at the scene.

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West Covina man convicted of manslaughter for fatal stabbing of father


WEST COVINA >> A 21-year-old man pleaded “no contest” to involuntary manslaughter on Wednesday for the fatal stabbing of his father during a fight at their West Covina home last year, authorities said.
At what was scheduled to be a pretrial hearing in the case of Maverick Jacob Jimenez, the defendant accepted a negotiated plea deal in connection with the Aug. 16, 2015, fatal stabbing of his father, 49-year-old Joey Alfred Jimenez, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
“The defendant also admitted a special allegation that her personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the crime,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
He’s expected to receive a six-year prison term when he returns to the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Pomona branch for sentencing on Jan. 4.
Maverick Jimenez became involved in physical fight with his father about 3:30 a.m. at their home in the 900 block of Las Rosas Drive, according to prosecutors and West Covina police officials.
“During the altercation, the defendant stabbed his father,” the district attorney’s office statement said.
The motive behind the fight was not available.
Paramedics took Joey Jimenez to a hospital where he died from his injuries, officials said.
West Covina police arrested Maverick Jimenez at the scene, West Covina police spokesman Rudy Lopez said at the time.
Maverick Jimenez was initially charged with murder in the case, which could have resulted in a sentence of more than 25 years to life in prison if convicted at trial.

PHOTO of Maverick Jacob Jimenez, courtesy

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Cal Poly Pomona student who drowned in West Covina identified

WEST COVINA >> Authorities have released the identity of a 22-year-old Cal Poly Pomona graduate student who accidentally drowned while swimming with friends at a West Covina apartment complex on Sunday.
Shravan Kumar of West Covina died at a hospital Sunday afternoon shortly after he was pulled from the swimming pool in the 2900 block of Virginia Avenue by friends, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
An autopsy determined Kumar drowned, and his death was ruled accidental, Winter said.
The young man, who did not know how to swim, was wading with his friends in the shallow end but inadvertently ended up in the deep end of the pool, according to West Covina Fire Department Capt. Scott Gilmore.
The man’s friends also could not swim. They called for help and used a hook device to pull Kumar from the pool. He was believed to have been underwater for about 10 minutes.
Kumar’s friends, then responding police officers and ultimately paramedics, performed CPR on Kumar as he was rushed to a Covina hospital, where he was soon pronounced dead, officials said.
His formal identification was delayed as coroner’s officials worked to notify family in India, Winter said.
Kumar was a graduate student in his first quarter studying computer science at Cal Poly Pomona, university spokeswoman Emily Velasco said.
“The university was deeply saddened to learn of his passing and our condolences go out to his family,” she said.

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La Puente gang injunction meeting cancelled

LA PUENTE >> A meeting previously planned by sheriff’s officials are to discuss La Puente’s gang injunction later this month has been cancelled.
The meeting, which has been scheduled for Oct. 25 at the St. Louis of France Catholic Church, 13935 E. Temple Ave., will be rescheduled for sometime early next year, organizers said.
At the annual meetings, sheriff’s officials, prosecutors and crime analysts meet with the community to discuss and answer questions regardingLa Puente’s gang injunction.
In addition to La Puente, the injunction against the Puente 13 and Bassett Grande street gangs also covers portions of West Covina and nearby unincorporated county areas such as Valinda and Bassett.

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Dodger Yasiel Puig meets with wounded West Covina police officer


LOS ANGELES >> When Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig learned that a West Covina police officer who returned to duty last month after being wounded in a gunfight in May received was among dozens of law enforcement officers honored during the Dodgers home game Wednesday during Law Enforcement Appreciation Night, he decided he needed to seek out the officer.
Officer Kenny Benitez, a Dodger fan who lists Puig among his favorite players, was part of a group of officers honored on the field for heroism.
“Puig had heard about Officer Benitez and this incident,” West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
Upon hearing that the officer was taking part in the ceremony, “Puig took it upon himself to search out Benitez,” according to the lieutenant.
The officer and the player met and took photos before each returned to their respective duties. Puig would go on to hit a three-run homer and an impressive catch, run against the San Francisco Giants, helping his team achieve a 9-3 victory.
Patton said the police department appreciated Puig’s personal gesture to Officer Benitez.
Benitez was allegedly wounded during a gunfight with Jose Chavez, 47, on May 20. Chavez was also wounded in the gun battle, but managed to escape.
He was apprehended by a SWAT team following a six-day manhunt and is now awaiting trial.
Benitez was fortunate in that the bullet that penetrated his abdomen did not strike any vital organs, West Covina Police Chief David Faulkner said at the time.
Benitez recovered from his injuries and returned to duty Aug. 18.

PHOTO: courtesy

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Body found in forest identified as missing West Covina dancer; murder suspect jailed


AZUSA >> The body of a 27-year-old dancer reported missing in West Covina earlier this week was discovered along a forest road north of Azusa Saturday morning, authorities confirmed Sunday.
Rahkeem “Rocky” Reyes of West Covina disappeared Sept. 5.
Reyes’ car was found with its engine running and his wallet and laptop computer inside in the 1500 block of McWood Street in West Covina, causing family members to fear something had happened to him.
Their worst fears were confirmed Sunday, when police conformed the body was that of Reyes.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, along with the San Dimas Search and Rescue team, found the body about 10:15 a.m. Saturday along mile marker 2.5 of San Gabriel Canyon Road, in the Angeles National Forest north of Azusa.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives soon realized the body was related to the West Covina missing person case, and the investigation was turned over to the West Covina Police Department.
“West Covina Police have been involved in an intense investigation that started with the disappearance of Rahkeem Reyes six days ago,” West Covina police Lt. David Lee said. “Their investigation led them to the area in Azusa Canyon where his body was found.”
Meanwhile, investigators have arrested a man on suspicion of murder in connection with Reyes’ death.
0912_nws_sgt-l-reyes1West Covina police arrested Phillip Von Wade, 20, of West Covina during the early-morning hours Thursday, according to Los Angeles County booking records.
Reyes, a professional dancer, was last known to be with Wade before he disappeared, Hampton said.
Information regarding the motive in the killing was not available Sunday. The relationship between the victim and suspect remained under investigation, Lee said.
Reyes, a professional dancer, was last known to be with Wade before he disappeared, Reyes’ girlfriend, Christina Oliver, said in an email.
Reyes had hired Wade to make a costume for him several months ago for between $700 and $900, but it was never completed, Oliver said.
Reyes went to Wade’s house in West Covina on the afternoon of Sept. 5 in order to be fitted for a portion of the costume, she said. She began looking for him when he never came home.
Oliver said her boyfriend had no enemies.
“There was no reason For anyone to be mad at Rocky,” Oliver said. “He is not gang related, he doesn’t do drugs, he doesn’t drink nor does he owe anyone money.”
Coroner’s investigators have yet to determine Reyes’ cause of death.
Wade was being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Monday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Pomona branch.
Anyone with information was asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTOS: [ABOVE] – Rahkeem “Rocky” Reyes, 27, of West Covina. (Courtesy) [BELOW] – Phillip Von Wade, 20, of West Covina. (Courtesy)

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UPDATE: Arrest made in connection with dancer’s disappearance in West Covina


WEST COVINA >> Police in West Covina have arrested a man in connection with this week’s “suspicious” disappearance of a 27-year-old professional dancer, but released little information about the case, according to officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Rahkeem “Rocky” Reyes, 27, of West Covina disappeared Monday, according to West Covina police officials and  Ronda Hampton of the organization REACH for Mental Health Awareness, who assisted the family in the early stages of the search. He’s not been seen or heard from since.
His car was found later the same day in the 1500 block of McWood Street, police confirmed late Friday.
The engine was running, with the keys in the ignition, Hampton said. Property belonging to Reyes, including his laptop computer and wallet, were found inside the car, she added. Police declined to confirm those details.
In a written statement issued Friday night, West Covina police announced “the arrest of an adult has been made,” but provided no further details, including what crime the suspect was accused of.
“The name (of the suspect) and details of this arrest is not being released at this time as this is an active and fluid investigation,” according to the statement.
Hampton said Reyes was last seen with a man named Phillip Wade at about 5:40 p.m. Monday.
While police refused to release information about the arrest Friday, county booking records show West Covina police arrested Phillip Von Wade, 20, on suspicion of a felony at 12:27 a.m. Thursday.
Alleged crimes are not listed on the county’s booking system, however Wade was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, which is consistent with an allegation of a serious crime carrying a possible life sentence.
Wade is scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing Monday in the West Covina branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Hampton described Reyes as a professional dancer who has performed in dance videos, movies, commercials and live performances.
Anyone with information was asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8556. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTO/FLIER (Courtesy)


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