ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A 20-year-old downhill skateboarder died Friday morning after colliding with a dump truck on Glendora Mountain Road in the Angeles National Forest north of Glendora, authorities said.
The collision took place about 10 a.m. on Glendora Mountain Road, just south of East Fork Road, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
The skateboarder’s name was not released Friday pending positive identification and notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. David Smith said. CHP officials described him as a 20-year-old Clayton man.
He was riding a longboard-style skateboard downhill at 20 to 30 mph along with friends, CHP Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said. The group was traveling north.
The skateboarder has one fellow rider in front of him, and one behind him, Jimenez said. Another friend followed behind the group in a van.
“As (the skateboarder) approached a sweeping right curve in the roadway, (he) was failed to remain in his lane, crossed the center line into opposing traffic,” CHP officials said in a written statement. “He subsequently struck the undercarriage of the dump truck.”
The 2000 Freightliner three-axle dump truck ran over the skateboarder, Jimenez said.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at 10:39 a.m., Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Randall Wright said.
The skateboarder was wearing safety gear including a helmet and knee pads, Jimenez said.
A 45-year-old Compton man who was driving the dump truck remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, CHP Officer Patrick Kimball said.
Both directions of Glendora Mountain Road remained closed well into the afternoon as CHP officials investigated the scene, Kimball said.
The investigation will include an inspection of the dump truck, Jimenez said.
While skateboarding is prohibited on forest roads, and dangerous, Jimenez said CHP officers encounter downhill skateboarders in the mountains from time to time while on patrol.
“It happens more during the summer,” he said.
Countless videos uploaded to YouTube depict skateboarders racing downhill on Glendora Mountain Road at high speeds. One such video, which poster sdimas73 related was shot in August of 2013, captures a near collision between a car and a downhill skateboarder.
AZUSA >> Azusa officials are planning a test of the city’s emergency siren Monday morning, authorities said.
The siren, along San Gabriel Canyon Road at the mouth of the canyon, will sound at intervals for about five minutes between 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m., according to Azusa police Lt. Sam Fleming.
“No action is necessary by residents during these tests,” Fleming said.
“The test will be conducted to ensure that the early warning system is operational and that the connection to the 9-1-1 Center of the Azusa Police Department is signaling correctly,” the lieutenant said.
The test will be conducted by police, in conjunction with Azusa Amateur Radio Communications Emergency Services.
The siren is used to notify residents near the mouth of the canyon of a need to evacuate in the event of a wildfire or flood, in addition to announcements by emergency responders and door-to-door notifications.
ALTADENA >> The specific cause of an explosive house fire that killed an elderly woman and her son earlier this month remains a mystery, though investigators were certain it was accidental, officials said.
Through X-ray comparison, officials Thursday confirmed the identities of Betty Kopp, 85, and her 58-year-old son Robert “Bob” Kopp, who died in the March 7 fire at the home they shared with three roommates in the 2400 block of Holliston Avenue, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Chief of Operations Craig Harvey said. They had previously been identified by a roommate, but their official identifications were delayed to to the conditions of their remains.
After a detailed analysis of the scene of the fatal fire, investigators were unable to determine exactly what sparked the fire, Detective Cynthia Valencia of the Sheriff’s Arson-Explosives Detail said. The officials cause is listed as “undetermined.”
Investigators have determined the fire started in a bedroom toward the rear of the house where Betty Kopp, who was confined to bed and used oxygen tanks, Valencia said.
And it was clear that the fire was fueled by the oxygen, she said Two of at least eight tanks at the home exploded in the fire.
Nonetheless, “We don’t know exactly what ignited it,” Valencia said.
But the massive fire was so intense it scorched any evidence investigators may have been able to use to narrow down a more specific cause, the detective said.
“It is accidental. We know that,” Valencia said. “There wasn’t any malicious intent.”
Two of the Kopps’ roommates were treated for minor injuries following the fire, officials said.
SOUTH EL MONTE >> A deputy shot at, but did not strike, an auto theft suspect who officials said rammed a patrol car with a pickup truck Thursday afternoon.
Allan Sanchez, 22, of South El Monte was ultimately captured during a neighborhood, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Loy McBride said. He was expected to be booked on suspicion of auto theft and assault on a peace officer. Additional charges were possible as well.
The incident began about 4:10 p.m. at Garvey and Seaman avenues, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Mackenzie said.
Deputies spotted a pickup truck parked along the roadside that had been reported stolen, the sergeant said.
Deputies approached the truck, with a driver later identified as Sanchez at the wheel, McBride said.
Sanchez accelerated, ramming a patrol car and at least one additional car, the lieutenant said. A deputy shot at Sanchez, striking the pickup truck but not the suspect.
McBride said the pickup truck sped away, leading officers on a very brief chase before crashing into a wall. He then exited the truck and ran.
The wanted man surrendered once deputies had him cornered. Mackenzie said.
He was taken to a hospital for examination before being booked into jail, McBride added.
The deputy in the patrol car allegedly rammed by the pickup truck suffered an apparently minor injury, he said. No other injuries were reported.
ALTADENA >> A former teacher at an Arcadia private high school accused of falsely imprisoning three teenagers at knifepoint and demanding they drive him to a fast-food restaurant pleaded “no contest” Thursday to two felony charges, authorities said.
Under a negotiated plea arrangement, ex-John Edward Maust, 34, of Altadena pleaded no contest to two counts of false imprisonment by violence, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said. An additional count of false imprisonment, as well as a count of kidnapping and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon were dismissed.
Pasadena Superior Court Judge Elaine Lu sentenced Maust to five years of formal probation, 180 days of community service and more than 50 Alcoholics Anonymous sessions, Santiago said.
The bizarre crime took place on Saturday, June 7, 2014, after three 17-year-old boys, two of whom were Maust’s students at Arroyo Pacific Academy in Arcadia, were driving around and saw Maust in his driveway, according to district attorney’s and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
Maust appeared to have been drinking when jumped into the back of their car, brandished a knife and told the teen’s to drive, Santiago said. Two of the teens got out of the car and called for help.
“When the driver attempted to also exit, Maust placed him in a choke hold with the pocket knife up to him and demanded that he be taken to a fast food restaurant,” Santiago said.
After going to a Jack-In-The-Box restaurant, Maust ordered the driver stop and fled on foot after a sheriff’s helicopter arrived overhead, officials said. He was arrested the following day and released from custody on $300,000 bail, according to county records.
School officials placed Maust on administrative leave at the outset of the investigation, officials said. His employment has since ended, however further details were not available.
SOUTH PASADENA >> Police are seeking a man who exposed himself to two South Pasadena Middle School girls in front of the campus Thursday.
The indecent exposure took place about 1:40 p.m. in front of the school, 1500 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
“A male subject exposed himself in the presence of two female middle school students as he drove past the school,” the statement said.
“Both students believe the suspect was unaware of their presence as he drove passed the school westbound on Oak Street, then turning northbound on Fair Oaks Avenue,” the statement continued. “The subject did not approach the two students or attempt to contact them.”
Police described the suspect as a man of unknown race, between 30 and 55 years old, wearing a white baseball-style T-shirt with red sleeves. He was driving a grey Lexus sedan of unknown year and license plate number.
Anyone with information is asked to contact South Pasadena police detectives at 626-403-7280.
MONTEBELLO >> A 75-year-old man convicted of strangling his wife of 44 years at their Montebello apartment received a sentenced of 15 years to life behind bars Wednesday, authorities said.
Baghdo Hayrapetyan, 75, received the sentence from Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta, court officials said.
A jury convicted him Oct. 30 of second-degree murder for the March 5, 2012, strangling death of his wife, 63-year-old Anahit Hayrapetyan, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials. At a hearing the following month, the same jury determined that Baghdo Hayrapetyan was sane at the time of the killing.
The couple, who had been married for more than four decades, became involved in an argument at their home in a seniors’ apartment complex in the 2000 block of West Whittier Boulevard.
Rescuers and police arrived at the scene to find Anahit Hayrapetyan unconscious and not breathing, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner’s officials said. Baghdo Hayrapetyan was also suffering from stab wounds on his torso that were believed to be self-inflicted. He was initially hospitalized in critical condition before receiving medical treatment and facing trial.
The crime was first discovered by worried family members who went on the apartment to heck on the couple after being unable to contact them, Lt. Eddie Hernandez of Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said.
PICO RIVERA >> Deputies plan to check drivers for sobriety and valid licenses during a checkpoint today, officials said.
The checkpoint will take place from 7 p.m. Tuesday to 3 a.m. Wednesday at an undisclosed location within Pico Rivera, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years in the contract cities policed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, DUI collisions have claimed 33 lives and resulted in 898 injury crashes harming 1330 of our friends and neighbors,” Sgt. Daniel Dail of the sheriff’s Traffic Services Detail said.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
POMONA >> Police seeking a missing rookie Los Angeles police officer who is being sought in connection with a fatal Pomona shooting found the officer’s car abandoned in Pomona on Sunday afternoon, officials said.
Investigators found a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta belonging to LAPD Officer Henry Solis, 27, of Pomona just before 1 p.m. at Main Street and Monterey Avenue, Pomona police Lt. Ron McDonald said.
The car was parked along the street several blocks north of the scene of Friday’s shooting, which took place about 3:30 a.m. at Main and Third streets, the lieutenant said. Police towed the car away so investigators could examine it in detail for evidence.
Police have described Solis as a “person of interest” in the shooting, which claimed the life of 23-year-old Salome Rodriguez Jr. of Ontario. But investigators have not labeled the LAPD officer a suspect in the slaying.
A gunman shot and killed Rodriguez during a fight, police said. Witnesses reported seeing a compact car fleeing the scene.
Further details regarding the circumstances of the shooting were not released.
Solir, who joined the LAPD in June, was assigned to the LAPD’s Devonshire Division, LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera said.
Solis has not shown up to work since the shooting, officials said.
PHOTO of LAPD Officer Henry Solis courtesy of the Pomona Police Department.
SAN DIMAS >> A Covina woman and her two dogs died late Saturday after she was struck by a vehicle that ran a red light around the corner from her home in San Dimas, authorities said.
Violet Margaret Lopez-Prieto, 62, died at the scene of the 10:08 p.m. collision at the angled intersection of Badillo and Cypress streets, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corrall said.
“She was crossing the intersection when the (driver) failed to stop for a red light,” sheriff’s Sgt. Vicky Gregory said.
The woman and two dogs she was walking were struck by the vehicle, Gregory said.
Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene, Corrall said.
The driver of the car, described only as a man, remained at the scene and cooperated with deputies, sheriff’s Sgt. Louis Serrano Jr. said. There were no initial signs of intoxicated driving, and the driver was not arrested as the investigation continued.
Lopez-Prieto lived in a house about a quarter-mile from where she was struck, just across the city border in Covina.
Family members gathered at the home Sunday said they were not ready to comment as they continued absorbing the shock of Lopez-Prieto’s sudden death.
Public records indicated Lopez-Prieto had been an owner of the home since 1998, and the home had been owned by her family since at least 1992.
Only a discarded paramedic’s glove marked the scene of the fatal collision Sunday afternoon.
No further details regarding the circumstances of the collision were available.