Good Samaritan stabbed while intervening in 8 on 1 beating in West Covina

WEST COVINA >> A good Samaritan suffered a stab wound Thursday when he intervened as eight teens were beating up another young man in West Covina, police said.
The stabbing took place about 2:30 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 1700 block of East Nanette Avenue, West Covina police Cpl. Brandon Karmann said.
A 29-year-old West Covina man told police he saw eight teenagers beating up another teen, the corporal said. When he tried to break up the one-sided fight, one of the eight attackers stabbed him in the torso.
The group of suspects had fled the scene when police arrived, Karmann said. Officers searched the area, but did not find them.
The wounded man was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with an apparently moderate injuries, Karmann said. The injuries were not considered to be life-threatening.
The 17-year-old West Covina boy who was being attacked by the group declined to be taken to a hospital, he added.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Police seek additional victims after West Covina Craigslist robberies

WEST COVINA >> After two men were robbed in West Covina in separate incidents over the past two weeks while responding to Craigslist ads for computers, police are seeking an potential additional victims of similar crimes, authorities said Wednesday.
The robberies, believed to have been carried out by the same perpetrator, both occurred after the victims agreed to meet the purported seller at residential carports in West Covina, West Covina police spokesman Rudy Lopez said.
“We’re confident they’re connected,” Lopez said.
The first crime took place in the late afternoon of Jan. 28 in the 1800 block of East Grovecenter Street, Lopez said. The second unfolded mid-afternoon Feb. 1 in the 2400 block of S. Ridgewood Drive.
In the first robbery, a 44-year-old Paramount man had responded to an advertisement regarding a computer on craigslist.com, Lopez said.
“The victim called the posted number and spoke to a male who directed him to meet in the (Grovecenter Street) carport,” Lopez said. “When the victim arrived, the suspect displayed a handgun in his waistband and demanded the money. The loss was over $700.”
The Ridgewood Drive robbery took place four days later when a 35-year-old Hacienda Heights man responded to a similar Craigslist advertisement for a computer, police said. Though worded differently, the adds offered to sell similar computers.
The victim arrived to meet the seller, who gestured as if he had a gun in his waistband, Lt. Dennis Patton said.
The demanded the victim’s cash and fled with more than $700.
Police have described the robber as a Latino man in his mid-30s with short hair.
In addition to tips on avoiding scams primarily perpetrated through non-face-to-face transactions, craigslist.com provides personal safety tips when dealing with people in person through the website.
“The overwhelming majority of craigslist users are trustworthy and well-intentioned,” according to the statement. “With billions of human interactions facilitated, the incidence of violent crime is extremely low. Nevertheless, please take the same common sense precautions online as you would offline.”
Safety tips for in-person transactions include insisting on meeting in a public place, such as a cafe; never meeting in a secluded place or inviting strangers to a home; tell a friend or family member about your plans; take a cell phone if available; consider bringing a friend during the transaction; and trusting your instincts. Users were advised to be extra cautious when dealing with high-value items.
“It is believed that there are additional victims of this kind of robbery that may have occurred in West Covina and in neighboring cities,” Lopez said.
Detectives were eager to speak to anyone who may has been a victim of a similar crime as they continued their investigation, Lopez said. Anyone with information was asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8557.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

28 grams of methamphetamine found hidden in suspect’s buttocks in West Covina

WEST COVINA >> Police discovered 28 grams of methamphetamine hidden in a Rialto man’s buttocks Sunday after taking him into custody for a probation violation following a routine traffic stop in West Covina, authorities said.
Jimmy Ontiveros, 24, was booked on suspicion of possession of narcotics for sale, possession of narcotics in a custodial environment and violating his probation stemming from a previous case, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
An officer pulled over a 2004 Dodge Intrepid just after 9 a.m. at Cameron and California avenues, the lieutenant said.
The driver was ultimately released with a citation, he said. But officers discovered that a passenger, Ontiveros, was wanted for violating his probation.
While searching the suspect during the booking process, officials first discovered a small amount of methamphetamine hidden inside Ontiveros’ sock, Patton said.
Police then discovered 28 additional grams of methamphetamine concealed between the suspect’s buttocks, he said.
In addition to possession of drugs for sales, Ontiveros is accused of an additional felony for bringing drugs into a secure portion of a police department.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Ontiveros was being held without bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in West Covina Superior Court.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

West Covina man killed by hit-and-run driver while changing tire along 605 Freeway in Irwindale identified

IRWINDALE >> Coroner’s officials have released the name of a 35-year-old West Covina man who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while changing a tire along the side of the 605 Freeway in Irwindale just over a week ago.
Kevin Armando Marquez died at the scene of the collision, which took place about 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 30 along the southbound 605 Freeway, just north of Rivergrade Road, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
Marquez was changing a flat tire on a 2001 Honda Accord parked on the right shoulder of the freeway when he was struck, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Arlene Brannon said.
An unknown vehicle heading south veered to the right shoulder and struck Marquez, Brannon said.
Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics pronounced Marquez dead at the scene, officials said. The impact was believed to have killed him instantly.
An autopsy determined that Marquez died from multiple blunt force injuries, and his death was ruled accidental, Corral said.
The vehicle fled the scene.
A second driver struck Marquez’s body following the first collision, but the driver stopped at the scene and cooperated with investigators, officials said.
No description of the hit-and-run vehicle was available.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Baldwin Park office of the CHP at 626-338-1164.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

West Covina man struck by hit-and-run driver dies

0208_NWS_SGT-L-SIMON1

WEST COVINA >> A West Covina man who was struck and badly injured by a hit-and-run driver while crossing Francisquito Avenue last month succumbed to his injuries Thursday, officials said. The SUV driver who fled the scene after striking him remains at-large.
Emilio Simon, 50, fought for his life at a hospital for nearly two weeks before ultimately succumbing to his injuries, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
He was walking his bicycle across the street mid-block when he was struck and severely injured by a westbound SUV about 8:10 p.m. on Jan. 23 on Francisquito Avenue, just west of California Avenue, according to police spokesman Rudy Lopez.
The driver of the SUV, described as a silver, 1997 to 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee, drove off after striking Simon, police said. It was believed to have sustained damage to the front driver side. It was last seen heading south on Sunset Avenue.
0129_NWS_SGT-L-HITRUNFOLO2Police released surveillance camera images of the involved SUV in the days following the crash in hopes of generating tips, however the hit-and-run SUV and driver have not been found.
Anyone with information is asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8500, or the department’s 24-hour tip hotline at 626-939-8688.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

West Covina man badly injured in 10 Freeway crash in Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK >> A 21-year-old West Covina man suffered major injuries and three other people suffered minor injuries in a four-vehicle wreck on the 10 Freeway in Baldwin Park Friday night, authorities said.
The crash took place about 8:45 p.m. on the eastbound 10 Freeway, just east of Baldwin Park Boulevard, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
A 21-year-old West Covina man was at the wheel of a 1997 Chevrolet Blazer believed to have triggered the crash, according to the CHP. A 26-year-old Baldwin Park man was riding as a passenger in the SUV and suffered injuries described as minor.
The Blazer, travelling at a “high rate of speed,” in the No. 5 lane, went out of control and struck a 2007 Toyota Runner traveling ahead of it in the No. 4 lane, according to the CHP statement. A 39-year-old West Covina woman and a 1-year-old West Covina inside the 4Runner were treated for apparently minor injuries.
The impact of the collision pushed the 4Runner into a 2004 Dodge directly in front of it, officials said. The Dodge was subsequently pushed into a 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser to its left. The lone drivers of the Dodge and the FJ Cruiser were unhurt.
The Blazer rolled over after the initial impact with the 4Runner, according to the CHP. The driver suffered injuries including head trauma and was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
Officers from the CHP’s Baldwin Park officer are handling the investigation.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Man responding to Craigslist ad robbed in West Covina

WEST COVINA >> A man responding to an advertisement of a computer for sale on Craigslist ended up getting robbed Sunday afternoon in West Covina, police said.
The victim had arranged to buy a computer from the suspect online and met the purported seller about 3:40 p.m. at an apartment complex in the 2400 block of South Ridgewood Drive, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
But when the two met, the suspect motioned as if he had a gun in his waistband and demanded the victim’s money, the lieutenant said. The victim complied out of fear, and the robber fled with several hundred dollars.
The robber was described by police as a Latino man in his mid-30s, with short hair, wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans. He was last seen running south from the scene of the robbery.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Police still seeking West Covina hit-and-run driver

0129_NWS_SGT-L-HITRUNFOLO1

WEST COVINA >> Police are continuing their hunt for an SUV and driver that struck and badly injured a pedestrian last week before fleeing the scene, officials said.
Emilio Simon, 50, of West Covina, has remained hospitalized in critical condition since he was struck by the SUV about 8:10 p.m. Friday in the 1200 block of West Francisquito Avenue, just west of California Avenue, West Covina police spokesman Rudy Lopez said. He has not regained consciousness since the incident.
He was pushing a bicycle across the street when he was struck by the westbound SUV, West Covina police Lt. Pat Cirrito said.
The SUV that struck him was described as a silver, 1997 to 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee, police said. It likely sustained damage to the front, driver side.
Following the collision, the hit-and-run SUV continued west on Francisquito and drove through a parking lot before heading south on Sunset Avenue and out of sight, Lopez said.
0129_NWS_SGT-L-HITRUNFOLO2Police have released a photo of the involved SUV taken from a nearby surveillance camera in hopes of generating leads.
Anyone with information was asked to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8500, or the department’s 24-hour tip hotline at 626-939-8688.

PHOTO: (top) Emilio Simon, 50 , of West Covina – courtesy of the West Covina Police Department; (below) West Covina police are seeking the Jeep Grand Cherokee pictured in this surveillance photo after it struck a pedestrian on Francisquito Avenue just west of California Avenue and fled the scene on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.

(Courtesy of the West Covina Police Department)

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

UPDATED: Pedestrian injured in West Covina hit-and-run


WEST COVINA >> An unidentified man remained hospitalized with major injuries Saturday as West Covina police continued seeking the hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after striking him late Friday, officials said.
0125_NWS_SGT-L-HITANDRUNThe light-colored Jeep Grand Cherokee that struck the man about 8:10 as he pushed a bicycle across Francisquito Avenue, just east of California Avenue, West Covina police Lt. Pat Cirrito said.
Paramedics took the injured man, who was estimated to be in his 50s, to a hospital with serious injuries including head trauma, West Covina police spokesman Rudy Lopez said. He had no identification with him, and his identity remained a mystery Saturday.
The man was crossing mid-block when he was struck by the westbound SUV, police said.
After striking the pedestrian, Lopez said the hit-and-run SUV continued west on Francisquito and drove through the parking lot of DD’s Discounts, 1200 West Francisquito Ave., before heading south on Sunset Avenue and out of sight.
The SUV had a sunroof and a top luggage rack, Lopez said. It may have damage to the front end on the driver’s side.
Police asked anyone with information to contact West Covina police at 626-939-8500, or the department’s 24-hour tip hotline at 626-939-8688.

PHOTO: West Covina police are seeking the Jeep Grand Cherokee pictured in this surveillance photo after it struck a pedestrian on Francisquito Avenue just west of California Avenue and fled the scene on Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.
(Courtesy of the West Covina Police Department)

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

UPDATED: Female Covina Valley Unified School District teachers accused of sex with students

0119_NWS_SGT-L-WCTEACHERS1

WEST COVINA >> Deputies arrested two Covina Valley Unified School District teachers on Saturday on suspicion of having sexual relationships with students, officials said.
South Hills High School teacher Melody Lippert, 38, of Covina and Michelle Ghirelli, 30, who was working on special assignment at the district office, are accused of engaging in sexual conduct with male students during two separate trips to San Clemente State Beach late last year, according to Orange County sheriff’s and CVUSD officials.
Records indicate Ghirelli served as a girls’ junior varsity softball coach at South Hills High School in 2010 through 2012.
Their arrests came just 10 days after police in West Covina arrested South Hills High School part-time girls’ wrestling coach Anthony Vidales, 29, of Covina on suspicion of having sex with a female student on Jan. 7. Police disclosed Vidales’ arrest Tuesday.
0119_NWS_SGT-L-WCTEACHERS2The alleged inappropriate conduct by the women began in November, when Lippert met a group of male students at San Clemente State Beach in Orange County, sheriff’s officials said.
• SOCIAL MEDIA: What students think of the Covina teachers’ arrest
“During the meeting at San Clemente State Beach, Lippert provided alcohol to students and engaged in a sexual relationship with one of them,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
“Several weeks later, Lippert orchestrated an overnight camping trip to the same location with Ghirelli and several of the same high school students,” the statement continued. “During the camping trip, Lippert and Ghirelli are suspected of engaging in sexual relations with two students.”
The student Lippert was allegedly involved with was 18 or older, Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock said. Ghirelli’s alleged victim was under 18.
The camping trips took place over the Thanksgiving and Winter holidays and was not sponsored by the school or the Covina Valley Unified School District, CVUSD spokeswoman Michelle Van Der Linden said.
District officials were in the process of placing both teachers on administrative leave Sunday, she said. Parents were notified of the arrests by a recorded telephone message.
Lippert, an English teacher at South Hills High School, has worked for the school district for 15 years, Van Der Linden said. Ghirelli has been with the district for five years.
Van Der Linden said she had no information regarding any previous assignments the teachers may have had in the district prior to their current positions.
“We’re obviously taking it very, very seriously,” Van Der Linden said. She encouraged anyone with information to contact sheriff’s investigators.
“We’re gong to have additional counselors available Tuesday for students and staff,” Van Der Linden said.
Orange County sheriff’s officials began investigating the women on the evening late Friday after West Covina police notified them of the alleged sexual misconduct in their jurisdiction, officials said.
The allegations came to light when a fellow teacher reported the alleged inappropriate relationships to district officials, Van Der Linden said.
“No additional information about the alleged sexual relationships or the student victims is being released,” according the sheriff’s department statement.
Neither woman could be reached by telephone for comment Sunday.
Social media exploded with comments about the latest scandal at South Hills High School, many from students and alumni of South Hills High School. Comments ranges from apparent concern to jokes and sarcasm.
“Headlining every news channel, go south hills,” Twitter user @_toricazarez posted on the social network.
“South hills is a joke now,” Twitter user @ChrisCjmartin posted.
Others posted about their shock in learning of the arrests.
“Mrs. Lippert would never do this? she’s a sweet person and very loving,” Twitter user @ellieeamayaa wrote.
“my prayers go out mrs lippert and mrs ghirelli.!” user @victor92999 posted on Twitter.
Officials booked Lippert on suspicion of conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Ghirelli was booked on suspicion of oral copulation and unlawful sex with a minor.
According to Orange County booking records, Lippert posted $20,000 bail and was released from custody Sunday pending her initial court appearance. Ghirelli was freed on $50,000 bail.
No additional incidents or victims were known to investigators Sunday, Hallock said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 714-647-7000. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.

PHOTOS: Top – Melody Lippert, 38, of Covina; Below – Michelle Ghirelli, 30, of Covina. (Courtesy of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email