Whittier checkpoint nets 1 DUI arrest, 10 citations

WHITTIER >> Police arrested one alleged drunken driver and issued 10 citations during an overnight checkpoint in Whittier, officials said Saturday.
Officers screened 1,216 drivers during the checkpoint, which was held from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday on Whittier Boulevard at Redman Avenue, just east of the 605 Freeway, Whittier police Lt. Aaron Ruiz said.
Two drivers were given field sobriety tests, however only one of them was ultimately arrested for DUI, he said.
Officers cited nine people for driving without licenses and issued one additional “miscellaneous” citation, Ruiz said.
Police impounded two cars, one of them for 30 days, he added.

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Police checkpoint planned tonight in Whittier

WHITTIER >> Police plan to check motorists for sobriety and valid licenses at a checkpoint tonight in Whittier.
The checkpoint will take place at an undisclosed location within the city between 7:30 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Saturday, 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,” Sgt. David Elizarraras said.
Funding for tonight’s 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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Woman sought in connection with South Whittier stabbing

SOUTH WHITTIER >> Deputies sought a woman Thursday on suspicion of stabbing her former roommate during an argument at a South Whittier home, authorities said.
The stabbing took place about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 11800 block of Eagan Drive, in the unincorporated county area just south of Whittier, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Eric Smitson said.
The ex-roommate, a woman in her late 20s, showed up at the home and became involved in an argument with a current resident, a man in his 50s, Smitson said.
“The female pulled a knife and stabbed the victim once in the chest,” Smitson said.
The wounded man was able to call for help himself, and paramedics took him a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, the lieutenant said. The woman had fled the scene by the time deputies arrived.
Thought he woman’s identity was known to detectives, they withheld it Thursday as they continued seeking her.
The case is being handled by detectives from the sheriff’s Norwalk Station.

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Azusa woman killed in East Whittier head-on crash mourned

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EAST WHITTIER >> Loved ones are devastated by the death of a vivacious Azusa woman who was struck and killed by a wrong-way driver in East Whittier early on New Year’s Day.
Corina Villarreal, 54, died in Thursday’s 1:30 a.m. crash on First Avenue, just north of 0103_NWS_WDN-L-FATALCRASHFOLOCandlelight Drive, in the unincorporated county area just east of Whittier, according to Los Angeles County coroner and California Highway Patrol officials.
Matthew George Tapia, 24, of Santa Ana also died in the crash, according to the CHP. Villarreal and Tapia were each the lone occupants of their vehicles.
Villarreal drove a Lexus IS 250 north on First Avenue just prior to the crash, CHP officials said in a written statement. Tapia drove a 1999 Isuzu trooper south. The SUV drifted over the double-yellow line and collided head-on into the Lexus. The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Family members gathered Friday at her home to mourn their loss.
“Everybody’s devastated. She walked into a room and just brightened it every time. She had a great way about her. She always looked at the positives.”
Ernesto Villarreal said his cousin had been celebrating the New Year with a friend in the Whittier area and had car trouble, he said. She was borrowing her friend’s car when the crash occurred.
Corina Villarreal grew in Azusa, where she spend most of her life, and attended Azusa High School, family members said. She also lived in La Mirada for a period during a former marriage.
0103_NWS_WDN-L-FATALCRASHFOLO2She worked for Southern California Edison, Ernesto Villarreal said.
Corina Villarreal had no children, but was very close with her nieces and nephews, family said. She was an avid fan of the Raiders and Dodgers, who enjoyed going to the stadium or riding on the back of Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
“She enjoyed life, and she wanted those around her to have the same level of joyfulness.”
Cousin Renee Villarreal said Corina Villarreal left behind friends from coast to coast.
“She was a very personable person and she was able to touch a lot of lives,” she said. 0103_NWS_WDN-L-FATALCRASHFOLO3“She always made you feel like you were important and special, and she would give you the shirt off her back.”
A fund to help the Villarreal family with funeral costs has been set up online on gofundme.com at www.gofundme.com/jlqjfc.

PHOTOS:

TOP – Photo of crash scene by Troy Case, Correspondent

2nd FROM TOP: –  Photo of Corina Villarreal (courtesy).

3rd FROM TOP: Corina Villarreal, 54, of Azusa, died early Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in a head-on collision in East Whittier after another vehicle crossed into the wrong direction of travel on First Avenue, slamming into the car she was driving. Villarreal (left) is pictured in this undated photo with boyfriend Joe Chubbs. (Courtesy)

BOTTOM:  Corina Villarreal, 54, of Azusa, died early Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in a head-on collision in East Whittier after another vehicle crossed into the wrong direction of travel on First Avenue, slamming into the car she was driving. Villarreal (left) is pictured in this undated photo with friends Gina Morga (center) and Terri Morga (right).
(Courtesy)

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Azusa woman, Santa Ana man killed in head-on crash in East Whittier

EAST WHITTIER >> An Azusa woman and a Santa Ana man died early New Year’s Day in a head-on crash on First Avenue in East Whittier, authorities said.
The collision took place about 1:30 a.m. on First Avenue, near Candlelight Drive, in the unincorporated county area, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
Corina Villareal, 54, and Matthew George Tapia, 24, both died at the scene, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
Coroner’s officials did not have cities of residence listed for the dead, however CHP officials described Villareal as an Azusa resident and Tapia as a Santa Ana resident.
Villareal was driving a 2007 Lexus IS 250 northbound on First Avenue when a 1999 Isuzu Trooper being driven south on First Avenue crossed over into northbound lanes, CHP officials said.
“Just north of Candlelight Drive, Tapia drifted to his left, crossing the double yellow lines into the No. 1 lane of northbound First Avenue, directly in front of Villareal’s path of travel,” according to the CHP statement. “Both vehicles collided head on just north of Candlelight Drive.”
It was not clear Thursday if intoxication may have played a role in the crash, officials said. The collision remained under investigation by officers from the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs office.

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San Gabriel Valley cops brighten holidays for disadvantaged kids

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Throughout the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, cops have been working to brighten the holidays of needy and disadvantaged kids.
Police and California Highway Patrol Officers, as well as Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, have been busily playing the roles of elves distributing toys, food and cheer to young people in need of some holiday spirit.
1223_NWS_SGT-L-COPCHRISTMAS-WHITTIERThe California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have run large-scale toy drives to collect gifts for kids who might otherwise go without this holiday season.
And sheriff’s officials even brought Santa Claus, via helicopter, to meet with kids in Compton Saturday as deputies took them on a special Target shopping trip. Sheriff’s deputies also hosted an annual party Dec. 7 for abused and neglected children.
Police officers from both the Irwindale and Covina police departments have delivered toys to the young patients at the City of Hope in Duarte this month.
1223_NWS_SGT-L-COPCHRISTMAS-LAPUENTEPolice agencies including those in Whittier and West Covina, as well as some sheriff’s stations, joined Target stores for the “Heroes & Helpers” program, in which officers take needy youths shopping for gifts, officials said.
In La Puente, deputies visited schools and churches and neighborhood to hand out about 300 bags full of groceries Friday, sheriff’s Lt. Pete Cacheiro said. And more food giveaways are planned this week.
1223_NWS_SGT-L-COPCHRISTMAS-BALDWINPARKBaldwin Park police attracted an estimated 2,000 kids to their police station Friday as they handed out more than 3,500 toys, according to the Baldwin Park Police Association. And of course, Santa Claus was on-hand as well.

 

 

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PHOTOS: (top to bottom) 1.)Covina police officials deliver toys to children at the City of Hope in Duarte on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. (Courtesy) 2.) Whittier police take children shopping at Target in Whittier as part of the “Heroes & Helpers” program on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014. (Courtesy) 3.) Principal Mona Diaz of Workman Elementary School in La Puente stands in front of a patrol car as Sgt. John Suh unloads bags of groceries to be handed out to families to help out for the holidays on Friday, Dec. 18, 2014. (Courtesy) 4.) Children meet with Santa Claus at the Baldwin Park Police Station as the Baldwin Park Police Association handed out more than 3,500 toys. (Courtesy) 5.) Irwindale police and city officials from Irwindale and La Puente deliver donated toys to City of Hope in Duarte on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. From left to right: La Puente City Councilman David Argudo, Irwindale police Officer Shawn Cory, Irwindale police Officer Diego Cornejo, Irwindale police Detective Jose Vargas, Irwindale police Capt. Ty Henshaw and Irwindale Mayor Mark Breceda. (Courtesy) 6.) West Covina police take children shopping at Target in Whittier as part of the “Heroes & Helpers” program on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. (Courtesy)

 

 

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Teen sought in connection with Whittier stabbing

WHITTIER >> Police sought a teenager Sunday who they say stabbed and wounded a man in a residential neighborhood.
Police responded to a report of an assault just after 11 p.m. Saturday in the 8000 block of Washington Avenue, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
“It was determined that a stabbing had taken place, and that the primary suspect and victim know each other, and possibly live at the same location,” the lieutenant said.
Paramedics took the injured man to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, Ellis said.
Officers identified the “primary suspect” as a 16-year-old boy, Ellis said. He, along with several other accomplices described only as male, fled from the scene before police arrived and remained at-large Sunday.
It was unclear of the wounded man and suspect were related to one another or merely roommates, Ellis said. A motive in the stabbing was also not available.

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Whittier raid nets guns, drugs, hundreds of fraudulent credit cards

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WHITTIER >> Police arrested four people and seized drugs, guns and hundreds of stolen or fraudulent credit cards and other identity theft-related gear during an early-morning raid Thursday at a Whittier home, officials said.
The 5 a.m. raid in the 7200 block of Lynalan Avenue was the result of a months-long investigation by the Whittier Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team, Whittier police Officer Bradley White said.
FRAUDBUST2“There’s been an investigation that’s been ongoing in regard to several subjects, possibly dealing with fraud and forgery and sales of narcotics,” White said. “(Investigators) were able to get a search warrant, which was served this morning.”
A SWAT team helped with the raid, White said. Officials used flash-bang grenades and tear gas as they forced there way into the home.
Inside the home, “There were hundreds of credit cards not in the names of the suspects,” White said. Police also recovered suspected stolen checks and IDs, as well as machines used to make credit cards.
Additionally, police seized three handguns and nearly an ounce of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of about $1,000, police said.
Police arrested two men and two women who were at the home.
FRAUDBUST3Resident Steven Perez, 32, of Whittier is accused of forgery, fraud, drug possession and weapons charges, White said.
Raquel Monique Olivarez, 26, and Christina Marie Arroyo, 27, both residents of the home, were arrested on suspicion of forgery and fraud, according to Whittier police and Los Angeles County booking records.
Another resident of the home, 37-year-old Joey Lojero, was cited for alleged narcotics possession, White said. And Bryan Sanchez, 19, of El Monte was jailed due to outstanding warrants.
According to booking records, Perez was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance. Olivares’ bail was set at $60,000, and Arroyo was being held in lieu of $70,000 bail. Sanchez was being held without bail.
FRAUDBUST4Though detectives had not yet determined exactly how the suspects obtained the allegedly stolen identifying information, White said often times, such information is taken during home and car burglaries.
Police reminded the public to avoid storing valuables, including personal information, in an unattended cars, and to make sure homes are locked and secured before leaving.
The investigation was ongoing, and additional arrested were possible, White said.

PHOTOS by Watchara Phomicinda

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Senior citizen beaten, carjacked at knifepoint outside Whittier 99 Cents Only Store, suspect jailed

WHITTIER >> A man beat a senior citizen unconscious and stole the victim’s car at knifepoint early Wednesday in the parking lot of a Whittier 99 Cents Only Store before being captured, police said.
Michael Echavarria, 27, of Whittier is accused of carjacking in connection with the 7:55 a.m. crime outside the store, 15345 Whittier Boulevard, Whittier police Officer Bradley White said.
A 67-year-old Whittier man arrived in the parking lot of the store and was exiting his car when Echavarria approached, White said.
“The victim said the suspect brandished a knife and then began to strike him in his head with his fist until he lost consciousness,” police said in a written statement. “When the victim came to, he noticed his vehicle — 2011 Toyota Yaris, red in color — was missing.”
Paramedics took the victim to a hospital where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released by medical staff, White said.
The suspect and the victim’s car were gone when police responded to what was initially reported as fight, White said.
But an officers spotted the stolen Toyota about two hours later at Whittier Boulevard and Painter Avenue, he said.
Officers cautiously pulled over the car and took the driver, later identified as Echavarria, into custody, police said.
Police recovered a pocket knife from the suspect and were trying to confirm it was the same blade brandished at the carjacking victim, White said.
Echavarria was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, officials said.

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Whittier shooting leaves man dead and teenage girl wounded


WHITTIER >> A man died and a teenage girl was wounded after an argument led to a drive-by shooting early Sunday, police said.
Jose Duarte, 26, of Whittier, died at a hospital following the shooting, which took shortly after midnight along Lambert Road, just east of Sante Fe Springs Road, Whittier police Officer Bradley White said.
A 17-year-old Whittier girl also wounded in the shooting was expected to survive, he said.
Police said the two victims were walking east along a sidewalk when Duarte became involved in an argument with several other people who were across the street at a liquor store. The victims then continued walking east through a residential neighborhood.
“As the male and female victims continued to walk away from the location, the suspects drove past them and fired several shots at the victims,” police said in a written statement.
The gunfire struck Duarte in the chest, officials said. The teenage girl was shot in the back.
Paramedics took Duarte to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
“The suspect vehicle is believed to be a silver or gray sedan,” according to the police statement.
No description of the suspects themselves was available.
It was unclear what the argument that preceded the shooting was about, White said. Police were looking into the possibility the shooting was gang-related.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Whittier police at 562-567-9241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously via L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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