SANTA FE SPRINGS >> The second of two defendants denied murder and assault charges in connection with the fatal stabbing of a La Mirada woman during a fight over a parking space at the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet last month, officials said.
Reggie Cervantes, 22, of South Los Angeles pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon for the Oct. 17 stabbing in the parking lot of the swap meet at 13963 Alondra Boulevard, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
Cervantes is additionally accused of the special allegation that he personally wielded a knife in the crime, officials said.
Cervantes’ co-defendant Brenda Jasmine Rangel, 19, of South Los Angeles pleaded not guilty to murder and assault charges Oct. 21 in Norwalk Superior Court.
The two suspects are accused of fatally stabbing 43-year-old Elizabeth Yanez of La Mirada during a dispute over a parking space about 9;30 p.m., Whittier police officials said.
Yanez was in a vehicle with her two adult children when she got into an argument with Cervantes and Rangel, who were in another car, police and district attorney’s officials said.
“At some point, Cervantes exited his car and attempted to stab Yanez’s son, but was unsuccessful,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Cervantes then allegedly walked over to Yanez and stabbed her,”
Yanez succumbed to her injuries at an area hospital.
Investigators found and arrested Cervantes and Rangel in connection with the fatal stabbing the following morning at a South Los Angeles apartment, according to Whittier police Lt. Kent Miller said.
Prosecutors said Cervantes was previously convicted of robbery in 2009 and receiving stolen property in 2010.
Both face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted as charged, officials said.
Cervantes and Rangel were being held in lieu of $1 million bail pending trial, according to booking records. They were scheduled to return to court Dec. 15 for a preliminary hearing.
NORWALK >> A Downey man pleaded no contest Wednesday to fatally stabbing a Long Beach man during a dispute at a Norwalk home earlier this year, authorities said.
William Edward Johnson, 38, entered a “no contest” plea in Norwalk Superior Court to a count of voluntary manslaughter for the March 4 stabbing death of 53-year-old Darin Sivley, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said. Johnson also admitted the special allegation that he personally used a knife in the crime.
Under the negotiated plea arrangement, Johnson is expected to receive a 12-year prison term when he returned to court for sentencing Monday, Ardalani said. He had originally been charged with murder prior to the plea deal.
Sivley was found fatally wounded on along the road near Studebaker Road and Ferina Street shortly before 3 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
But the stabbing took a place while both Johnson and Sivley were at the home of a mutual acquaintance nearby, according to sheriff’s and district attorney’s officials.
“While there, Sivley began to irritate the homeowner, who wanted him to leave,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. “As a result, Johnson pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim in the upper arm. The puncture severed a major artery and Sivley began to bleed profusely.”
Someone at the home place a tourniquet on Sivley’s wound before Sivley got on a bicycle to go to a hospital, officials said. But soon collapsed and bled to death.
Detectives from the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau arrested Sivley in connection with the fatal stabbing two days later.
WHITTIER >> Police are once again teaming with the Salvation Army to collect toys for needy local families, officials said.
Toy donations are being accepted through Dec. 10, Whittier police officials said in a written statement. Collection sites are at the Whittier Police Department, Whittier City Hall, Palm Park, Parnell Park, the Whittier Senior Center, the Whittier Community Center, the Whitwood Branch Library, and the Whittier Public Library.
Salvation Army officials are coordinating family sign-ups for the toy distribution for family’s in need of a helping hand this holiday season. The last day to sign up is Dec. 5. For more information, or to apply, contact Nadine Alvarez
The Salvation Army is coordinating family sign-ups for the distribution of toys. The last day to sign up is Wednesday, December 5th.To enroll, contact Nadine Alvarez of the Salvation Army at (562) 698-8348, extension 201.
Other questions can be directed t Whittier police Sgt. Kevin Ramos at 562-567-9272.
HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Bullets tore through a Hacienda Heights family’s home early Wednesday, though no injuries were reported in the shooting, authorities said.
Deputies received a report of gunshots about 12:40 a.m. in the 1700 block of Charlemont Avenue, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Boese said.
They found that a nearby home had been struck by gunfire, and several spend bullet casings were collected from the ground, the sergeant said.
A family, including children, was inside the home, however no one was struck by the gunfire, he said.
No suspect description was known, and no further details were available.
PASADENA >> Police arrested a man and woman Sunday afternoon for allegedly assaulting an officer during an early-morning traffic stop, resulting in an officer opening fire, authorities said.
Neither the officer or the suspects were injured in the incident, which took place about 3:15 p.m. at La Tierra Street and Avocado Lane, Pasadena police officials said.
The Southwest Regional Pacific Fugitive Task Force tracked suspects Sanjay Kumar Varma, 32, of Pasadena and Crystal Buelas Orleans, 22, of Moreno Valley to a Van Nuys parking lot and took them into custody without a struggle about 4:20 p.m., according to police and Los Angeles County booking records. Police described Varma as a gang associate.
Varma and Orleans escaped from police after a brief pursuit that followed the alleged assault and officer-involved shooting, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement. Prior to the suspects’ arrest, it was unknown whether either had been wounded in the shooting.
An officer stopped an SUV containing the suspects for a traffic violation and saw the driver — later identified as Varma — had a handgun, Lt. Pete Hettema said.
The SUV then sped off, nearly striking an officer, police said. An officer fired at least one shot.
Varma and Orleans were booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, officials said.
According to county booking records, Varma was being held in lieu of $130,000 bail pending his initial court appearance. Orleans was being held without bail.
SAN DIMAS >> Deputies arrested an Oak Hills man early Sunday after a Via Verde homeowner caught him in the act of a residential break-in, authorities said.
Victor Chirino, 40, was ultimately booked on suspicion of burglary, possession of burglary tools and bringing drugs into a sheriff’s station, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Rebecca Rodriguez said.
A man in his 40s called police about 6:50 a.m. to report finding a man inside his home in the 1000 block of Camino Del Cerritos, the sergeant said.
“The homeowner heard noise in the living room,” she said. He encountered a man breaking into the home through a window.
The burglar ran from the home and fled in a car after being confronted by the homeowner, Rodriguez said. The homeowner provided deputies with the intruder’s license plate number.
Responding deputies found Chirino and his vehicle in the same neighborhood, Rodriguez said. He was in possession of a crowbar and other alleged burglary tools.
Rodriguez said Chirino also had a small amount of suspected methamphetamine, which was not discovered until after he was brought into a secure portion of the sheriff’s station, resulting in an additional felony allegation.
According to county booking records, Chirino was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court.
Due to technical problems with Los Angeles County booking records Sunday, information regarding Chirino’s bail and initial court appearance was not available.
AZUSA >> An SUV ran through a red light an plowed into another SUV in Azusa late Saturday, injuring four people, two of them seriously, police said.
The wreck took place about 7 p.m. in the intersection of Vincent Avenue and Arrow Highway, Azusa police Sgt. Andy Sutcliffe said in a written statement.
“A gold Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling north bound on Vincent Avenue through the intersection of Arrow Highway when it collided with a black Chevrolet Tahoe which was traveling west bound on Arrow Highway at the same intersection,” Sutcliffe said. “The impact caused the gold Tahoe to flip onto its roof and trap a male and female adult inside who were riding in the vehicle.”
Firefighters worked for about 45 minutes to free the man and woman from the overturned Tahoe, officials said. Paramedics took them to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center by helicopter with injuries described serious, but not not believed to be life-threatening.
A man and woman inside the black Tahoe suffered minor injuries, Sutcliffe said.
“Although the investigation is active and on-going, several witnesses at (the) scene told officers the gold Tahoe failed to stop for the red light,” Sutcliffe said. Police were looking into the possibility of DUI on the part of the man who was driving the gold Tahoe.
PHOTO courtesy of the Azusa Police Department
PASADENA >> A police officer shot at an armed man following a traffic stop early Sunday, however it was unclear if the suspect was struck by the gunfire, officials said. The incident unfolded about 3:15 a.m. at La Tierra Street and Avocado Lane. An officer pulled over a black SUV for a traffic violation, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said. “When he approached the car, the driver was armed,” Hettema said. “He had a handgun.” The SUV suddenly accelerated, “and just about ran over the officer,” the lieutenant said. The officer fired at least one shot at the suspect, he said. The SUV continued fleeing. Officers briefly chased the SUV but lost sight of it on Sierra Madre Boulevard, Hettema said. It was unclear if the driver had been wounded, Hettema said. The officer was not injured. No further details were available Sunday morning.
MONTEREY PARK >> A woman suffered major injuries Saturday when she was struck by a car while riding a bicycle in Monterey Park, officials said.
The collision took place about 3:30 p.m. as the woman was riding a bicycle in a crosswalk at Garvey and Orange avenues, Monterey Park police Lt. Eric Kim said.
The woman suffered serious injuries, however an update on her condition was not available, Kim said.
She was crossing Orange Avenue inside a crosswalk when she was struck by a car making a right turn onto Orange Avenue from eastbound Garvey Avenue, the lieutenant said.
A woman who was driving the car remained at the scene and cooperated with police, Kim said.
The investigation remained in its early stages Saturday afternoon.
Officials shut down Orange Avenue between Garvey and Mabel avenues as they investigated the scene, Kim said. The road was expected to remain closed into Saturday night.
IRWINDALE >> Police asked the public’s help Saturday in tracking down a man believed connected to a series of mail thefts from five Irwindale businesses late last month.
The thefts occurred Oct. 27 at five businesses in the 4800 block of Fourth Street, Irwindale police Sgt. George Zendejas said in a written statement.
A thief pried open the locked, outdoor mailboxes and took mail, the sergeant said. “Several checks were stolen during the thefts and subsequently cashed at nearby locations.”
Since the Oct. 27 thefts, several incidents of mailbox tampering have been reported in the same area, officials said.
Police released a surveillance camera image of a man taken as he cashed a stolen check, as well as a photo of an SUV captured on security cameras near where the mail was stolen.
Anyone who recognizes the suspect or has information regarding the case is asked to contact Detective Jose vargas at 626-430-2290.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Irwindale Police Department.