West Covina brothers arrested after foot chase, Taser use


WEST COVINA >> Police used a Taser to subdue a wanted man who ran from officers in West Covina Saturday afternoon, and also jailed his brother when he attacked on of the arresting officers, authorities said.
The incident began about 4:10 p.m. when an officer spotted 32-year-old Antonio Almanza, who was wanted on a warrant, in the 1000 block of North Morris Avenue, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
The suspect ran when confronted by the officer, who chased Almanza to his home nearby, the lieutenant said.
Officers used a Taser to subdue the fleeing suspect, he said.
Meanwhile, Almanza’s brother, 34-year-old Alfredo Almanza, emerged from the house angered that police were arresting his brother, Patton said.
The older brother tried to strike an officer with an elbow, which the officer was able to dodge before police took Alfredo Almanza into custody as well on suspicion of assault on a peace officer and resisting or obstructing police, Patton said.
Antonio Almanza was booked for his outstanding warrant, as well as resisting or obstructing police.

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UPDATED: Man killed by police after stealing West Covina police car, leading cops on chase to Glendale identified


GLENDALE >> Authorities Wednesday released the identity of a man fatally shot by West Covina police after stealing a police car and leading officers on a wild chase that ended in Glendale as television news cameras broadcast the incident live.
Man killed by police after stealing West Covina police car, leading cops on chase to Glendale identified
Gevork Alachadzhyan, 45, of North Hollywood died at the scene of Sunday’s 10:30 p.m. officer-involved shooting in the 100 block of South Glendale Avenue, according to Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Information Bureau.
But sheriff’s homicide detectives, who are handling the officer-involved shooting investigation, placed a “security hold” on the case at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
The security hold prevents coroner’s officials from releasing any information about the case, Winter said.
The reason for detectives’ decision to block the release of information was unclear. The handling detective at the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau declined to discuss the case Wednesday.
In a recording of police radio traffic from the pursuit, the driver — later identified as Alachadzhyan — can be heard screaming, sometimes unintelligibly, into the microphone.
AUDIO: West Covina police radio recording
“I’d rather take the car,” the man yells at one point.
“The police are gonna kill me,” he continued.
West Covina police chased Alachadzhyan, who activated the stolen squad car’s emergency lights and sirens, at high speeds before using a PIT maneuver to spin the car out. News helicopters filmed as a police SUV smashed broadside into the stolen cruiser, pinning it.
“The officers saw the suspect making efforts to remove weapons positioned between the passenger and driver’s seat,” officials from the sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. “Fearing the suspect was arming himself, both officers discharged their weapons.”
The suspect died at the scene, officials said. No officers were hurt.
Authorities said the suspect stole the West Covina police car after an officer responded to a call for service 200 block of Barranca Parkway in West Covina, but ultimately determined no crime had occurred, officials said.
The officer offered the man a ride to the east end of town, according to the statement.
Once the officer let the man out of the car, “the suspect ran to the driver’s door and assumed control of the vehicle,” according to the sheriff’s department statement.
“The transporting officer attempted to regain control of the police vehicle. The suspect began driving with the officer near the driver’s side window, but the officer was unable to regain control of the police vehicle.”
Fellow officers soon spotted the stolen police vehicle and initiated the chase.
In addition to numerous convictions for petty theft, receiving stolen property, DUI and driving without a license, Alachadzhyan was convicted in 2013 of possession of a machine gun, being a felon in possession of a gun, drug possession and possession of drugs for sales, records show.
Other convictions include contempt of court and false impersonation of another, according to court records. At the time of Wednesday’s chase and fatal shooting, Alachadzhyan had a case pending against him on charges of hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license and driving without a valid license.

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West Covina police fatally shoot suspect in Glendale following chase in stolen police car


GLENDALE >> West Covina police shot and killed a man who stole a police car, then led officers on a pursuit that ended in Glendale late Sunday, authorities said.
The shooting took place about 10:30 p.m. in the 100 block of South Glendale Avenue, just south of Broadway, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials, who are handling the investigation into the fatal officer-involved shooting.
“The suspect, a male adult, was struck by gunfire and pronounced dead at the scene,” sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
No officers were hurt in the incident.
In a drama broadcast by television helicopters, officers pursued the stolen cruiser with its lights flashing at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour until a police SUV crashed into its driver’s side door to bring it to a halt.
Further details were not immediately available.
— City News Service contributed to this report.

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Two arrested following West Covina police chase

COVINA >> Police jailed two alleged car thieves after a short pursuit that ended in Covina Sunday after the victims of an auto theft spotted their recently-stolen SUV driving through West Covina, officials said.
A man and wife called police about 12:45 p.m. to report that they’d just seen their 2007 Honda Element SUV, which has been stolen the previous day, being driven down Citrus Avenue near the 10 Freeway in West Covina, West Covina police Lt. Dave Lee said. A man was at the wheel, and a woman was riding as a passenger.
Police tried to pull over the stolen Honda, but the driver sped away, blowing through red lights and stop signs, Lee said.
The car slowed in the 2000 block of Puente Avenue, where both suspect jumped from the still-moving car, which continued rolling until it struck a mailbox, the lieutenant said.
The female passenger broke her ankle as she hopped from the still-rolling car and was immediately captured, Lee said. She was estimated to be about 30.
The driver, a man in his mid-20s, was found hiding in a residential garage and arrested with the help of a police dog following an hour-long neighborhood search, he said.
Both suspects were taken to a hospital for treatment, Lee said. Their identities were not available Sunday afternoon.
They were expected to be booked on suspicion of auto theft and resisting arrest, Lee said. The driver was also expected to be booked for evading police.

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Man killed in collision between motorcycle, SUV in West Covina


WEST COVINA >> A man died after his motorcycle collided with an SUV in a residential neighborhood in West Covina late Saturday, officials said.
The fatal crash took place just after 8:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of East Vine Street, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
The identity of the motorcyclist, described as a man in his 20, was not available Sunday morning. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Initial investigation indicated the SUV made a turn into a residential driveway when the motorcycle collided with the passenger side, Patton said.
The cause of the crash remained under investigation, he said. The driver of the SUV cooperated with police, and there were no overt signs of intoxication.
Witnesses or anyone with information can reach the West Covina Police Department at 626-939-8500, or the department’s 24-hour voicemail tip line at 626-939-8668.

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Man struck, killed by pickup truck in West Covina


WEST COVINA >> A man died late Thursday after he was struck by a pickup truck on Citrus Avenue in West Covina, police said.
The driver of the Ford truck remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators following the 10:40 p.m. collision along southbound Citrus Avenue, just north of the 10 Freeway overpass, West Covina police Lt. Travis Tibbetts said.
Police said the man was crossing the roadway when he was struck in the right-hand lane. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
The cause of the collision remained under investigation, however there were no signs of DUI on the part of the pickup truck driver, Tibbetts said.

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Woman accused of giving birth, abandoning baby in restroom of West Covina restaurant


WEST COVINA >> Police arrested a woman Monday after she gave birth and abandoned her baby in the restroom of a West Covina sandwich shop, authorities said.
The woman went into the bathroom at Subway, 2540 S. Azusa Ave., about 8:34 a.m. And gave birth, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
She then left the restaurant, abandoning the newborn, the lieutenant said. “She left the baby in the toilet.”
Paramedics rushed the baby to the neonatal intensive care unit of a local hospital, he said. An update on the baby’s condition was not available.
Officers quickly found the woman nearby along Amar Road, just east of Azusa Avenue, Patton said.
She was taken to a hospital for treatment, he said. She was expected to be booked on suspicion of child abandonment and attempted murder. Her identity was not immediately available.
Under California’s “Safe Surrender” law, new mothers can turn over their baby’s at any fire station or hospital, no questions asked, withing the first 72 hours of birth, so long as the child shows no signs of abuse.

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Three arrested after West Covina police chase, officer-involved shooting


WEST COVINA >> West Covina police arrested two men and a teenage girl early Saturday following chase in a stolen car and an officer-involved shooting in the unincorporated county area of South San Jose Hills in which no one was injured, officials said.
The series of events began at 3:12 a.m. when police tried to stop a 1994 Toyota Camry for a traffic violation in the area of Azusa Avenue and Amar Road, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
“Officers attempted to make a traffic stop on a motorist, who led them on a high-speed pursuit,” Patton said. In addition the driver, which was later determined to be stolen, a second man and a teenage girl also rode in the car as passengers.
The pursuit came to an end when the car pulled into a cul-de-sac near Gemini Street and Hambledon Avenue and stopped, the lieutenant said.
“The driver abruptly put the vehicle in reverse and used the vehicle in a ramming motion in an effort to pin our lead officer between his vehicle and the door of vehicle, Patton said.
The officer fired several rounds at the approaching car, which came to a halt. No one was struck by the gunfire.
But the driver still refused orders to surrender, Patton said. Officers ultimately took him into custody with the help of a police dog.
The other two suspects were arrested without a struggle, Patton said.
All three were accused of auto theft and resisting arrest, he said.
The driver, 18-year-old Raymond Elias of El Monte, was taken to a hospital for treatment before being booked into jail, is also accused of attempted murder of a police officer and evading police.

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UPDATED: Shots fired in West Covina


WEST COVINA >> Police are seeking two attackers who shot at, but missed, another man in front of a West Covina home late Friday, officials said.
The gunfire rang out just after 8 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 300 block of North Vincent Avenue, West Covina police Lt. Travis Tibbetts said.
A man pulled up to a home and exited his car as two other man were passing by on foot, Lt. Dennis Patton said. One of them men pulled a gun and fired several shots, but did not strike the intended victim.
The attackers, described as two heavy-set Latino men between 25 and 30 years old, wearing dark clothing, were last seen fleeing the area on foot, officials said.
The victim did not appear to be cooperating with investigators, Patton added. The shooting was being investigated as possibly gang-related.

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Police: 5 DUI suspects caught driving away from West Covina courthouse without valid licenses during Glendora police sting


WEST COVINA >> Police cited and impounded the cars of five drivers who drove away from a courthouse in West Covina after having their licenses suspended or revoked, or being ordered by a judge not to drive, due to pending DUI cases, officials said.
Glendora police officers conducted the sting between 8 a.m. and noon Wednesday at the Los Angeles Superior Court’s West Covina Branch, 1427 W. Covina Parkway, Glendora police Community Service Officer Wendy Brewer said in a written statement.
Police officers staked out those offenders leaving the courthouse without a valid license who proceeded to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and drive away,” Brewer said.
The targeted drivers are intoxicated driving suspects, she explained. Some had their licenses suspended or revoked, while others had no licenses to begin with and had been ordered by a judge not to drive.
Officers followed 11 such people from the courthouse.
“While some offenders complied with the law and had alternate means of transportation, five individuals drove away despite judges’ orders,” Brewer said. “Those who chose to drive with their invalid license statuses were stopped by waiting officers, cited back into court and their vehicles were towed.”
They potentially face even longer license suspensions, along with other penalties,
The sting was funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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