WHITTIER >> A 6-year-old boy escaped serious injury when he was thrown from a car in a multi-vehicle crash in Whittier Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The crash took place about 3:35 p.m. on Pickering Avenue at Pasadena Street, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said. It involved three occupied vehicles, as well as another parked, unoccupied vehicle, he said.
Police responded to the crash scene from throughout the city after officials received a report that a 6-year-old boy had been thrown from the wreckage and was lying in the roadway, Ellis said.
But officials arrived to find the boy suffering from no apparent serious injuries, the lieutenant said. He was taken to a hospital as a precaution.
Seven other people complained of pain following the crash, he said.
The circumstances and cause of the crash remained under investigation, Ellis said.
WHITTIER >> Police are planning to check drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint Friday, authorities said.
The checkpoint will be held from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within Whittier, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
Over the past three years, DUI-related crashes have killed three people and resulted in 188 injuries within the Whittier Police Department’s jurisdiction, 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.
WEST COVINA >> Police jailed an alleged car thief following a chase Sunday after using a LoJack system to track him to the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant, officials said.
Police ultimately jailed Eric Gonzales, 38, of Whittier on suspicion of auto theft, evading police and resisting arrest, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
The incident began about 9:30 a.m. when police detected a LoJack signal emitted from a 2005 Acura Integra reported stolen in Montebello earlier in the day, the lieutenant said.
With help from a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, officers followed the signal to a McDonald’s restaurant on Vincent Avenue, just south of the 10 Freeway, where they spotted him waiting in line at the drive-thru, Patton said.
Once the Acura exited the restaurant, officers tried to pull the car over, he said. “Initially the suspect yielded, but abruptly took off at a high rate of speed.”
Gonzales led officers on a chase down the 10 and 605 freeways before abandoning his car at the Whittier Boulevard offramp of the 605, Patton said. The suspect continued fleeing on foot, but was quickly chased down and captured by an officer.
WEST WHITTIER >> A man suffered a slash to his wrist in a seemingly unprovoked attack at a gas station in an unincorporated county area just west of Whittier late Friday, officials said.
The victim, a man in his early-20s, told deputies he was at a gas station at Washington Boulevard and Norwalk Avenue about 11 p.m. when a man he did not know flagged him down, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Vasquez said.
When the victim rolled down the window of his car, the suspect started stabbing at him with a 6- to 7-inch long knife, the sergeant said.
The victim suffered a wound to his left wrist, Vasquez said. He drove himself to a local hospital for treatment.
Officials described the attacker as a black man, 30 to 35 years old, with braces on his teeth, about 5 feet 7 inches tall an 180 pounds.
The investigation was being handled by deputies from the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station.
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.