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.
PASADENA >> A Los Angeles woman is fighting for her life at a hospital after she was struck and severely injured by a car while crossing Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena late Friday, officials said.
The crash took place about 10:30 p.m. along Fair Oaks Avenue and Congress Street, just outside of Huntington Hospital, Pasadena police Lt. Pete Hettema said.
The woman, who is in her mid-50s, was believed to be crossing mid-block when she was struck by a subcompact car, the lieutenant said.
She suffered major injuries and was hospitalized in critical condition, Hettema said.
The driver of the car, a man estimated to be in his 40s, remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, he added.
GLENDORA >> Police arrested one suspected drunken driver, as well as five other people for other alleged crimes, and wrote 17 tickets during an overnight checkpoint, officials said.
The checkpoint took place from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday on Route 66, between Pasadena Avenue and Lemar Park Drive, Glendora police Cpl. Shawna Celello said in a written statement.
In addition to the one alleged DUI driver, police jailed five other people for various traffic- and license status-related offenses, the corporal said.
Officer issues 17 tickets and impounded eight vehicles, she added.
A total of 1,306 vehicles passed through the checkpoint.
Funding for the checkpoint was provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.
COVINA >> Police stopped a driver for a traffic violation but ended up arresting his passenger after an officer spotted the suspect stealing money from his friend’s wallet during the traffic stop early Saturday, officials said.
Victor Hugo Rojas-Salgado, 22, of Rowland Heights was arrested on suspicion of petty theft following the unusual incident, which unfolded about 1:45 a.m. in the 200 block of West College Street, Covina police Sgt. Gregg Peterson said.
Two officers stopped a car, suspecting the driver may have been intoxicated, the sergeant said. The driver was ultimately found to be sober, but was issued a ticket for a traffic violation.
But while one officer spoke with the driver outside the car, Rojas-Salgado helped himself to $20 from his friend’s wallet and placed it in his pocket, Peterson said. Rojas-Salgado apparently didn’t realize the second officer was watching.
The officer asked the driver if his passenger should be taking money, and arrested Rojas-Salgado after the driver told them his friend did not have permission.
Rojas-Salgado was released with a misdemeanor citation, Peterson said.
PHOTO – Courtesy of the Covina Police Department
SOUTH EL MONTE >> A passenger died and the driver fled following a solo-car crash on a freeway on-ramp late Friday which investigators suspect may be connected to a shooting that had just occurred in Pico Rivera, officials said.
The rollover crash took place just before 9:40 p.m. on the northbound Rosemead Boulevard on-ramp to the eastbound 60 Freeway, near the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area, California Highway Patrol Officer Tony Polizzi said.
An unidentified driver had two passengers in a 2006 Mitsubishi Galant headed north on Rosemead Boulevard at an unknown speed just prior to the crash, CHP Sgt. T. Kinzler said in a written statement.
The driver lost control and the car struck the curb along the west side of the on-ramp, he said.
“(The Mitsubishi) traveled down the dirt embankment and overturned,” Kinzler said.
The driver fled from the wreck wand was not found, officials said. Two guns were discovered inside the crashed car.
Paramedics pronounced one of the passengers, a man estimated to be 20 years old, dead at the scene, CHP officials said.
His identity was not available Saturday morning pending positive identification and notification of family, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said.
A second passenger also rode inside the Mitsubishi, officials said, though it was not initially clear whether that person remained at the crash scene or fled along with the driver.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau detectives are also looking into the fatal crash and its possible connection with a shooting minutes earlier.
Prior to the crash, deputies responded to a local hospital after a gunshot victim arrived seeking treatment, officials from the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau said in a written statement.
“While they were at the hospital investigating, deputies received a traffic collision call of a rolled over vehicle with a man found dead inside,” the statement said. “They responded to the scene and found two firearms inside the vehicle.”
“Detectives are investigating reports that the occupants in the vehicle that rolled over may have been involved in some type of altercation with the gunshot victim from the hospital,” according to the sheriff’s department statement. “It is unknown at this time if the two incidents are related.”
No further details were released as detectives continued their investigation Saturday morning.
Both the northbound and southbound Rosemead Boulevard on-ramps to the eastbound 60 Freeway, remained shut down overnight, as well as the Rosemead Boulevard off-ramp of the eastbound 60 Freeway.
Police arrested three Glendora burglary suspects Thursday following a pursuit that ended in Covina and a neighborhood search that lasted more than eight hours, authorities said.
Charter Oak High School and the school district office went on lockdown in response to the incident, which began about 10 a.m., Glendora police Lt. Matt Egan said.
Police received a report of a suspicious person entering the backyard at a house in the 600 block of East Kirkwall Road, Egan said.
When officers arrived, they spotted a 16-year-old boy exiting the home and took him into custody after a brief foot chase, the lieutenant said. Two additional suspects fled in a car, leading officers on a pursuit to the 4900 block of Mangrove Avenue in Covina, Lt. Scott Strong said. Both Suspects ran from the car in opposite directions, police said.
One of the fleeing men, later identified as 19-year-old Jabaree Williams of Los Angeles, was quickly apprehended, Strong said.
The third and final suspect, 34-year-old Jerad Chaney of Los Angeles, eluded police until officers, including a SWAT team and a police dog, found him hiding in a residential garage shortly after 6 p.m., Strong said.
Police recovered from the suspects items stolen in the Kirkwall Road break-in, as well as property taken during another Glendora burglary earlier in the day, Strong said.
Nearby Charter Oak High School at 1430 East Covina Blvd. and the Charter Oak Unified School District offices at 20240 East Cienega Ave. were placed on lock down as police hunted for the alleged burglars.
– Brian Day and Stephanie Baer
PASADENA >> Police asked the public’s help Thursday in finding a man who suffers from schizophrenia and depression and has been missing since Monday.
Dion Andre Afeworki, 30, was last seen about 11 a.m. Monday at the Allen Gold Line Station, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Afeworki suffers from schizophrenia and depression and requires medication, Lt. Marie Sell said.
Police described Afeworki as black, 5 feet 6 inches tall, with black hair in a Mohawk hairstyle, tattoos on both forearms and pierced ears.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Pasadena police at 626-744-4241.
PHOTO of Dion Afeworki courtesy of the Pasadena Police Department.
MONTEREY PARK >> Prosecutors have filed criminal charges against a 19-year-old driver who fatally struck a 76-year-old crossing guard earlier this year, authorities said Thursday.
Jin Yang of Monterey Park is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and driving without a license in connection with the Jan. 27 collision at Garfield Avenue and Elmgate Street that claimed the life of Abel Castellanos of Monterey Park, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said. He was scheduled to appear in Alhambra Superior Court to enter a plea July 22.
Yang was driving a Ford Mustang south on Garfield Avenue at about 50 mph when he lost control of the car, California Highway Patrol Officer Doris Peniche said. The posted speed limit is 40 mph.
Yang slammed on his brakes and veered to the right to avoid a Toyota Celica making a left turn from northbound Garfield Avenue onto westbound Elmgate Street, Peniche said. The Mustang went out of control and careened into the southwest corner of the intersection, where Castellanos was sitting in his folding chair in between escorting schoolchildren across the street.
The impact instantly killed Castellanos, officials said.
Yang’s mother, who was riding as a passenger, was treated for injuries described as moderate following the crash.
The misdemeanor charge manslaughter charge against Yang alleges that the death resulted from an unlawful or dangerous act, “but without gross negligence.”
The charge carries a maximum potential sentence of one year in county jail.
Yang could not be reached for comment Friday. It was not clear whether he was being represented by an attorney.
One of Castellanos’ sons, Ronnie Castellanos, said Friday that he had not heard of the charges and had no further comment.
Castellanos lived in Monterey Park with his family for more than five decades. After retiring from the linen business, he had worked as a crossing guard in Monterey Park for 10 years.
POMONA >> An El Monte gang member has begun serving a sentence of 80 years to life in prison for the fatal shooting of a fellow gang member in El Monte in 2012.
A Pomona Superior Court jury convicted Frank Escalante, 27, in April of the June 14, 2012, slaying of 34-year-old German Palacios of El Monte in the 11500 block of Medina Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
Convicted along with Escalante was 27-year-old Noah Akuna of Pomona, who was sentenced earlier this month 50 years in life in state prison. The jury found both guilty of murder with special gun allegations, conspiracy to commit murder and being convicted felons in possession of a firearm. Escalante also admitted a previous conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.
Both men fired on Palacios, Deputy District Attorney Robert Serna said.
Pomona Superior Court Judge Thomas C. Falls sentenced Escalante Tuesday to 83 years to life in state prison, Ardalani said.
Homicide detectives said Escalante and Akuna, along with two other attackers, shot Hicks 16 times because they believed he was involved in the April 12, 2008, slaying of Jack Edward Hicks, 35, of El Monte in a tent trailer parked behind a friend’s house in the 5200 block of Cogswell Road. Officials also suspected Palacios was targeted for disrespecting a higher-ranking gang member.
Detective Ray Lugo of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau confirmed that investigators had looked into Palacios in connection with Hicks’ slaying, but charges were never filed.
Two other men charged in connection with Palacios’ killing — Richard Sanchez of Covina and Michael Dominguez of El Monte — have pleaded “no contest” to charges of voluntary manslaughter.
Sanchez helped plan the killing, and Dominguez provided Akuna with a handgun used in the shooting, Serna said.
Sanchez has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, while Dominguez is scheduled to be sentenced July 8.
PHOTOS: [Above] -Convicted killer Frank Escalante, 27, of El Monte [Below] – Homicide victim German Palacios. (Courtesy)
AZUSA >> Police shot and wounded a suspect late Wednesday in a residential Azusa neighborhood, officials said.
The shooting took place about 11:40 p.m. in the 5400 block of N. Conwell Avenue, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Kyle Sanford said. Paramedics took one patient to a hospital in unknown condition.
No officers were hurt, officials said.
Police deferred further inquiries the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, which is spearheading the investigation, as is common practice in officer-involved shooting in the county. No further details were released.
The shooting was the second this week involving Azusa police officers.
An officer fatally shot a 24-year-old burglary suspect Sunday during a confrontation in the 400 block of East Lee Drive, officials said.