Man shot during Whittier robbery attempt; suspect jailed


WHITTIER >> A man shot and wounded another man during a failed robbery in a residential neighborhood Wednesday, police said.
Police arrested James Nicolas Avila, 34, in connection with the shooting, which took place just before 8 p.m. Wendesday in the 10800 block of Monte vista Drive, Whittier police officials said in a written statement. He was booked for attempted murder.
The victim was sitting in a parked car when an attacker, later identified as Avila, approached on foot, police said.
The would-be robber pointed a handgun at the victim and demanded his wallet, according to the police statement.
“The victim immediately exited the driver’s door and began running,” the statement said. “The suspect fired one shot, which struck the victim in the lower back.”
Paramedics took the wounded man to a hospital for treatment, officials said. An update on his condition was not available.
Investigators gathered clues at the scene which led them to identify Avila as a suspect, police said.
Police arrested him about 10 a.m. Thursday, according to county booking records. He was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Monday in Bellflower Superior Court.

 

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Whittier chiropractor accused of molesting patients

0326_NWS_WDN-L-CHIRO

WHITTIER >> A Whittier chiropractor is accused of sexually assaulting two female patients who he treated at his home in recent months, police said.
Investigators arrested Steven Patrick Lowry, 31, of Whittier about 9:40 a.m.Wednesday at the Whittwood Town Center on suspicion of sexual battery, according to Whittier police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Police arrested Lowry as he was on his way to work, Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said.
Police declined to identify what business Lowry works at, however his online resume lists him as an employee of The Joint, a chiropractic practice within the mall.
But both of the alleged incidents of inappropriate contact took place at Lowry’s home, “where he conducted some of his business,” Whittier police said in a written statement.
The alleged crimes occurred within “recent months,” Scoggins said. The alleged victims were in their mid-20s and early-30s.
Further details regarding the allegations against Lowry were not available Wednesday.
Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to contact Whittier police Detective Brenna Dineen at 562-567-9283.
According to officials and county booking records, he was being held in lieu of $40,000 bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Friday.

PHOTO of Steven Lowry courtesy of the Whittier Police Department.

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Man repeatedly stabbed in Whittier alley


WHITTIER >> A man suffered stab wounds to his head, neck and chest in an attack in a Whittier alley Sunday afternoon, police said.
Few details were available regarding the stabbing, reported just after 2 p.m. in the 7200 block of Whittier Avenue, just south of Wardman Street, Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller said.
The victim, a 27-year-old Whittier man, did not appear to be cooperating with investigators, Miller said. He only told police he was attacked by about five people armed with a knife and possible broken bottles.
A neighbor found the victim bleeding in the alleyway and called for help, Miller said.
The circumstances and motive in the stabbing were not clear.
Paramedics took the injured man to a hospital where he was listed in stable condition, Miller said. The investigation remained in its early stages.

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UPDATED: Suspects flee from Whittier DUI checkpoint, ditch sawed-off shotgun


WHITTIER >> Police jailed one man and sought several more late after they fled from a DUI checkpoint, ditching a sawed-off shotgun late Friday, authorities said.
The incident began about 10 p.m. when the suspects pulled through a checkpoint on Lambert Road at Scott Avenue, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
The 1992 Toyota 4Runner initially stopped at the checkpoint, police said. But once officers asked the car to pull over for further screening, the driver sped off, with three to four passengers in the SUV.
Police briefly chased the car north on Scott Avenue, Ellis said. A saw-off shotgun was thrown from the car.
The suspects ditched their car near Scott Avenue and Whittier Boulevard and ran, the lieutenant said.
A witness reported seeing at least one of the fleeing men run into the nearby 99 Cents Only Store, prompting officers to evacuate it and search the building. No suspects were found inside.
But police found one of the suspects hiding under a parked car in a nearby residential area and took him into custody. The other suspects eluded capture
Jessy Robledo, 18, of Whittier was booked for carrying a loaded firearm in public and resisting or obstructing police, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Robledo was being held in lieu of $35,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.

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Two injured in Whittier head-on crash

WHITTIER >> Two suffered serious injuries when a car drifted into opposing traffic on Lambert Road, triggering a head-on crash, police said.
A 22-year-old Whittier man was driving a 2003 Acura Sedan west on Lambert Road just before the 2 a.m. crash, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said.
As he approached the intersection of Santa Fe Springs road, “he drifted into the eastbound left turn lane of Lambert Road, Ruiz said.
The Acura struck a 2001 Chevrolet pickup truck head-on, the lieutenant said.
Paramedics took the driver of the Acura to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition, he said.
The driver of the pickup truck, a 47-year-old Whittier man, suffered less-severe injuries believed to include a broken leg, Ruiz said. The injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
The investigation was ongoing, he said, and it was too early to tell whether intoxicated driving played a role in the crash.

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Whittier police plan checkpoint Friday

WHITTIER >> Whittier police are planning a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint Friday night, officials said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed three lives and resulted in 135 injury crashes harming 188 of our friends and neighbors,” according to Sgt. David Elizarraras.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Off-duty Whittier police officer shoots at intruder in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES >> An off-duty Whittier police officer fired a shotgun at an intruder at his Los Angeles home late Thursday, though it was unclear if the suspect, who fled, was struck, authorities said.
The officer-involved shooting took place in the 3200 block of Military Avenue about 10 p.m. Thursday, said Sgt. John Marquez of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Station.
“The officer was in his home, sitting in the living room when he saw a male black about 20 years old wearing dark clothing standing in his kitchen,” Marquez said.
The officer ran to another room and armed himself with a shotgun, LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery said.
“Once he was armed, he exited the side door of his residence,” the sergeant said.
The officer encountered the intruder behind the house, near the back door, he said.
“It was at that point that am officer-involved shooting occurred,” Montgomery said. It was unclear exactly what promted the officer to open fire.
The suspect ran off, officials said.
Police searched the area but were unable to find the suspect, Montgomery said.
It was unclear if the suspect was struck by the gunfire.
“No one has turned up at a hospital or medical facility with a gunshot wound as far we know,” Marquez said. “So we have no idea where the suspect is at this point.”
Immediately following the shooting, the officer checked to make sure his two roommates were okay, then dialed 9-1-1, Montgomery said.
Whittier police officials deferred comment to the LAPD.

- Staff and wire report

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Police investigating death of man in Whittier home

WHITTIER >> Police checking on the welfare of a senior citizen found him dead inside his home Thursday afternoon, officials said.
Officers responded to the 13600 block of Putnam Street about 2 p.m. after someone asked them to check on the resident, Whittier police Officer Bradley White said.
“Upon arrival, officers discovered a male, (approximately 60-years-old, deceased,” White said.
The investigation was ongoing, however there were no overt signs of foul play, White said.

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Gas station clerk pistol-whipped during Whittier robbery


WHITTIER >> Police are seeking a gunman who pistol-whipped a gas station attendant during a robbery Tuesday, authorities said.
The crime took place about 1:40 a.m. when the robber entered a 76 station on Whittier Boulevard, just east of Laurel Avenue, Whittier police Detective Jose Bolanos said.
Wearing a surgical mask and brandishing a large-caliber handgun, the robber jumped over the counter and demanded the clerk open the cash register, police said in a written statement.
“When the victim couldn’t do it fast enough, the suspect hit him over the head with the gun.,” according to the statement. “The victim was able to get the register opened and when he did, the suspect grabbed the money.”
Police said the gunman was last seen running north from the gas station.
The victim, a man in his early-20s, declined medical treatment, Bolanos said.
The robber was a black man of about 5 feet 7 inches tall and 130 pounds, officials said. He wore a blue hooded sweatshirt and gloves. He carried a black, semi-automatic handgun.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Bolanos at 562-567-9281.

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Woman found fatally shot at Whittier park, suicide suspected


WHITTIER >> A woman was found fatally shot at a Whittier park Saturday in what was initially being investigated as a suicide, police said.
The woman, initially described only as 28 years old, died at the scene, Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller said. She was found about 1:20 p.m. lying on a handball court at Guirardo Park, at Pioneer Boulevard and Orange Drive.
Witnesses reported hearing the gunshot, though they didn’t realize what it was at the time, Miller said.
A man who knew the woman discovered her and called police, he said.
A 9mm handgun was found near the woman’s body.
“We believe it to be a suicide,” Miller said. “We’re trying to rule everything else out.”

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