WEST WHITTIER >> Deputies shot and wounded a man late Wednesday in a residential neighborhood just west of Whittier, officials said.
The shooting took place about 11:40 p.m. in the 12000 block of Rosehedge Drive, in the unincorporated county area of West Whittier, Deputy Kelvin Moody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
“The suspect’s condition is unknown,” Moody said. “No deputies were injured.”
No further details were available early Thursday.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are spearheading the investigation.
WHITTIER >> A Whittier man fleeing from police in a stolen van crashed violently into a tree before being arrested Sunday morning, police said.
Ruben Torres, 23, is accused of auto theft and resisting police, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said.
An officer spotted Torres driving a van that had been reported stolen Saturday in Whittier in an alley to the rear of Penn Street, near Milton Avenue, the lieutenant said.
The van sped away before the officer could turn on his lights and sirens to pull it over, Dean said. As the van sped around the corner, the driver lost control and the van careened into a tree in front of an apartment building, uprooting the tree and causing major damage to the van.
Police quickly apprehended the driver, who was taken to a hospital for examination before being booked into jail.
The same neighborhood was the scene of a shooting late Friday, though Dean said there was no indication the incidents were related.
WHITTIER >> A man was shot five times, but is expected to survive, following a drive-by shooting in a Whittier alley late Friday, police said.
The victim, a 40-year-old Whittier man, was walking about 8:20 p.m. in an alley along the 12800 block of Penn Street, just east of Milton Avenue, when an assailant in a passing car fired seven shots, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said.
Five of the bullets struck the man, wounding him in the torso, arm and leg, the lieutenant said. He was taken to an area hospital where he was expected to survive his injuries.
The victim has ties to a Los Angeles Street gang and the shooting is believed to be gang-related, Dean said.
A suspect description was not available, he added. The victim did not cooperate with investigators, and other witnesses provided conflicting descriptions of the involved car.
WHITTIER >> Residents of a Whittier neighborhood awoke to discover Ku Klux Klan propaganda fliers strewn on their front lawns early Sunday, police said.
The packages consisted of three sheets of paper sealed in plastic bags, weighted with small rocks and pieces of candy, were first reported to police about 6:30 a.m., Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said. They were found in the 5400 block of Adele Avenue, as well as along neighboring Carley Avenue.
“There was no threatening language,” Ruiz said. The fliers contained political statements and material promoting the KKK.
No crime had been committed, he added.
Police in Fullerton noted a similar incident exactly one week prior on June 21. And additional KKK flier distributions were reported in Santa Ana in January and in Orange last year.
WEST WHITTIER >> An 18-year-old man died after he was shot near his home in an unincorporated county area near Whittier Tuesday night, authorities said.
Steve Cerda died in the shooting, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said.
Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting a shooting in the 6100 block of Norwalk Boulevard, according to a department statement.
Deputies found Cerda lying on the lawn in front of an apartment complex with multiple gunshot wounds. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
“According to witnesses, the victim was hanging out in front of the apartment complex with some friends when the suspect, a male Hispanic, walked up to the victim and his friends and started shooting at them,” Deputy Mike Barraza of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement. “The victim was struck by the gunfire and collapsed at the location.”
No one else was struck by the gunfire, Barraza said.
Witnesses told deputies that the victim was hanging out in the front of the complex with some friends when a suspect walked up to the group and started shooting at them, the statement said. The victim was struck by gunfire and collapsed. No one else was injured.
• Photos: Man shot in front of Norwalk Boulevard apartment building in West Whittier
The suspect fled the location on foot and was last seen running south on Norwalk.
Randy Avalos, 15, who lives at the complex, said the victim, who he called Steve, was talking about how he was planning on going to the Irwindale Speedway to watch cars race when a lone gunman wearing a black hooded sweatshirt approached the group and started starting shooting at the group.
The group scattered as the gunfire broke out, Avalos said.
After Avalos fell wounded, “He went up to him and shot him in the head,” Avalos said, adding that they didn’t recognize the suspect. “It’s crazy. He didn’t deserve it.”
Cerda lives on the same street where he was shot, officials said.
According to his Facebook profile, Cerda studied at Rio Hondo College and had previously attended Pioneer High School, Frontier High School and Whittier High School.
Investigators asked anyone with information to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
— Stephanie Baer, Keith Durflinger, Brian Day
WHITTIER >> A gunman shot and wounded one man, then robbed and pistol-whipped another before police found him hiding under a house in Whittier early Saturday, officials said.
Daniel Machado, 30, of Whittier was ultimately booked on suspicion of attempted murder, robbery and resisting arrest, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
There was no apparent connection between the suspect and his alleged victims, Ellis said. “It doesn’t seem like he knew either victim.”
The shooting took place about 1 a.m. in the 6300 block of Whittier Avenue, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
Police said a Whittier man was walking in an alley when the suspect confronted him and raised his shirt to expose a handgun in his waistband.
“The victim ran and the suspect gave chase, eventually pinning the victim between two parked cars,” according to the police statement. “After hearing one gun shot, the victim was struck in his lower right abdomen.”
The wounded man was hospitalized in critical condition, but expected to survive, Ellis said.
The motive in the shooting was not clear. “We’re not actually sure if it was a robbery (attempt) or not.”
As the search for the shooter continued about two hours later, authorities received a second report of a violent crime believed to involve the same suspect nearby in the 6000 block of Citrus Avenue.
“The suspect again confronted the victim at gunpoint, this time demanding his personal property,” police said. “A brief struggle ensued and during the altercation the suspect pistol whipped the victim and subsequently fled on foot with the victim’s property.”
The robbery victim was also taken to a hospital for treatment.
About 30 minutes after the robbery, residents of the 12500 block of Pasadena Avenue began calling 9-1-1 to report a man matching the description of the previous crimes, “going door to door demanding help and carrying a hand gun.”
Officers, aided by a police dog, soon found Machado hiding under a nearby house.
The suspect, who had suffered a minor head injury while scuffling with one of his victims, was taken to a hospital for examination prior to booking, Ellis said.
WHITTIER >> Police are planning a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint late Friday.
The checkpoint will be held from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within Whittier, Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said.
Over the past three years, DUI-related crashed in Whittier have resulted in three deaths and 188 injuries, Sgt. David Elizarraras said.
Funding for this weekend’s checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.
SOUTH WHITTIER >> Police seized as much as 500 pounds of illegal fireworks from a South Whittier home Thursday as Independence Day approached amid a severe drought, officials said.
Whittier police and other officers from the San Gabriel Valley East AB 109 Task Force made the discovery about 11 a.m. at a house in the 11600 block of Allerton Street, Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said.
The team was performing a routine compliance check at the home of an AB 109 probationer when they discovered between 350 and 500 pounds of dangerous and illegal fireworks, the officers said. No one was home at the time, and no arrests were made as the investigation continued.
Police turned the fireworks over to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
PHOTO by Keith Durflinger
WHITTIER >> Prosecutors Wednesday declined to file criminal charges against a Whittier man arrested last week on suspicion of child molestation, citing insufficient evidence, authorities said.
Whittier police arrested Joseph Anthony Teixeira, 68, Friday on suspicion of molesting a girl over the course of three years, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
But prosecutors Wednesday reviewed the case and declined to file charges due to “insufficient evidence,” Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said. Police had sought two charges of committing lewd acts on a child.
In addition to the alleged sex crimes, police also booked Teixeira on suspicion of drug possession after discovering about 150 pounds of marijuana in his home while serving a search warrant, according to the police statement. But no drug-related charges were filed, Risling said.
SOUTH WHITTIER >> An Azusa man accused of violating a restraining order, breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s South Whittier home and trying to set it on fire pleaded not guilty to a string of charges in connection with the alleged crimes.
Joshua Diaz, 28, appeared in Downey Superior Court to answer to charges of burglary with a person present, attempted arson of inhabited structure, stalking and two counts of violating a restraining order, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Though also initially arrested on suspicion of trying to kidnap the former couple’s child, no kidnapping charge was filed Friday.
Diaz showed up the home of his former girlfriend 10700 block of Inez Street early Wednesday morning, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials said. The couple had been separated for about a year.
The woman fled from the home after Diaz grabbed a knife and threatened to kill himself, Ardalani said. Diaz was already gone when deputies arrived at the home.
But he returned about two hours later, doused the woman’s car and air-conditioning unit with gasoline, and tried, unsuccessfully, to light a fire, officials said. Diaz again fled, but was apprehended and arrested Wednesday afternoon.
Diaz is also accused of violating the restraining order on April 25, less than two weeks to the alleged break-in and arson, Ardalani said. “Diaz reportedly went to the victim’s home in violation of the restraining order, tapped on her window and told the victim he loved her,” she said.
Diaz was scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court May 15 for a hearing, Ardalani said. According to county booking records, he was being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.
PHOTO of Joshua Diaz: Courtesy