Two men shot in head in Baldwin Park Friday night

BALDWIN PARK >> Two men suffered gunshot wounds to the head Friday night in Baldwin Park in what police are investigating as two separate incidents.
The first shooting was reported about 11:30 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the 4300 block of Harlan Avenue, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Mike Hemenway said.
Passers-by reported finding the victim, a man in his 20s, lying on the ground and bleeding, the sergeant said.
Officials soon determined he had been shot in the head, Hemenway said.
Paramedics took the man to a hospital where his condition was unknown, though he was expected to survive, Hemenway said.
No information regarding the circumstances of the shooting or a suspect was available.
Police were summoned to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, 1011 Baldwin Park Ave., about midnight after a second gunshot victim was found in the hospital’s parking lot, Hemenway said. Officials believed the victim had been dropped off there.
Hemenway said the victim who turned up at the hospital was also a man in his 20s and had also been shot in the head, as well as the leg. He was listed in critical condition.
But authorities had not determined where the shooting took place Saturday, Hemenway said.
While detectives were looking into the possibility the shootings were related, “There’s nothing connecting them at this time,” he said.

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Resident shoots at burglar in Diamond Bar

DIAMOND BAR >> A homeowner shot at a burglar during a break-in Friday afternoon in Diamond Bar, authorities said.
A man was at home about 1:30 p.m. in the 400 block of N. Del Sol Lane when he heard a smashing noise, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Frank Rivera said. He soon discovered the noise was created by an intruder bashing his way through the home’s front door.
Investigators suspect the burglar did not realize anyone was home when he forced his way into the house, Rivera said. The burglar and homeowner encountered one another in the living room.
“I think they were both shocked when they saw each other,” the lieutenant said.
The homeowner grabbed a handgun and fires a single shot at the intruder, Rivera said. “He felt his life was in danger.”
The burglar fled, getting into a burgundy Toyota Camry with tinted windows and a waiting driver.
The burglar was not believed to have been struck by the resident’s gunfire, though it could not be ruled out Friday evening, Rivera said. Officials checked area emergency rooms for gunshot victims that may be linked to the crime with no success.
A detailed description of the burglar was not available.

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Rowland Heights woman rescued after being held by kidnappers for two days

ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> After spending two days bound and blindfolded in squalor inside a Rowland Heights garage,a 44-year-old woman grasped one of her rescuers in a firm hug when deputies freed her Wednesday from four suspects accused of kidnapping her for ransom.
Though terrified and weak from having been deprived food and water for two days, the Rowland Heights woman was expected to make a full recovery following her abduction Monday, Capt. Merrill Ladenheim of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau said once the case was made public Friday.
Meanwhile, two men and two women pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of kidnapping for ransom and conspiracy in connection with the unusual crime, according to sheriff’s investigators and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials.
0809_NWS_SGT-L-KIDNAPhandin1All four suspects live in Rowland Heights, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.
“The victim was located in very squalid conditions in a cluttered garage, on the floor,” the captain said. “She was duct taped. Her hands were bound.” The woman had also been blindfolded with duct tape.
“She was not given food or water,” he said. “She was kept their for two full days, deprived of food and water.” The woman was also forced to relieve herself using a bucket.
The four suspects entered their pleas Friday during an arraignment hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, district attorney’s officials said.
They are the victim’s former friend and longtime co-worker Judith Adriana Maldonado, 40; her boyfriend Francisco Inacua-Rosas, 34; Uziel Cuevas Figueroa, 32 and his girlfriend Rocio Inacua, 32, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials. Inacua-Rosas and Inacua are siblings.
0809_NWS_SGT-L-KIDNAPhandin3The suspects were being held in lieu of $2 million bail each, officials added. If convicted as charged, they could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Inacua-Rosas, Inacua and Figueroa were arrested Wednesday shortly after deputies rescued the kidnap victim, Ladenheim said. Maldonado was jailed Thursday.
Figueroa was guarding the victim in the filthy garage when deputies freed her Wednesday.
Ladenheim said the woman’s nightmare began Monday afternoon as she was heading home from work at a factory in Industry, where she had worked alongside Maldonado for “many years,” Ladenheim said.
One of the kidnappers, later identified as Inacua, called victim’s husband of two decades and demanded a $110,000 ransom, Ladenheim said. She threatened to kill or hurt the victim if the demand was not met.
0809_NWS_SGT-L-KIDNAPhandin2“The plot was purely for financial gain,” Ladenheim said.
Maldonado had heard the victim mention that she and her husband had saved up some money, but the family did not have access to the large sum of money demanded by the kidnappers, sheriff’s officials. The victim’s husband immediately notified authorities of the kidnapping and ransom call.
Inacua-Rosas offered the victim a ride as she was walking along Colima Road in Rowland Heights Monday afternoon, sheriff’s officials said. She had just missed her bus home. During the ride, he contacted his alleged co-conspirators via text messages.
Inacua-Rosas drove the woman to a restaurant where he told her he was going to get some food, Ladenheim said.
“Both Rocio Inacuna and Uziel Figueroa then, at gunpoint, forced the victim down the floorboard, bound, gagged and blindfolded her, and drove her to that garage in Rowland Heights,” the captain said. And for two days, she remained a captive.
He described a dramatic scene as deputies entered the garage where the woman had been held.
“Upon being rescued from those squalid conditions, she removed her blindfold, the duct tape, and immediately saw the lead detective, who happened to be in the door of the garage,” Ladenheim said.
“She immediately hugged the detective,” he said. “It was a very, very emotional rescue, and we are happy to report that she is safe and expected to make a full recovery.”
The captain described the kidnapping victim as “very hard-working” and “a very honest citizen.”
Officials said the suspects speak only Spanish, however their immigration status remained under investigation Friday.
Ladenheim said the suspects initially appeared unaware of the seriousness of their alleged offense, or the fact they face potential life sentences behind bars. They asked questions regarding what would happen once they were released from custody.
“While this is a frequent and common occurrence in other countries, we don’t deal with this very often here,” Ladenheim said.
But he added, “I believe it happens more often that is reported to law enforcement.”
Though ransomers generally threaten victims not to contact police, Ladenheim urged anyone who receives such a threat to report it immediately to law enforcement.

VIDEO from press conference: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

KIDNAP SUSPECTS PHOTOS of garage courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

 

 

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57 Freeway briefly shut down in Pomona by man threatening to jump from transition road

POMONA >> A man threatening to jump from a freeway transition road prompted officials to shut down the 57 Freeway for about half an hour late Thursday, officials said.
Witnesses reported seeing the man on the elevated transition road connecting the northbound 57 Freeway to the westbound 10 Freeway at 6:58 p.m., California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball said.
Officials shut down the 57 Freeway as they worked to persuaded the man to come down from the transition road, which he did at 7:34 p.m., Kimball said. The freeway reopened minutes later.
The man was expected to be taken for psychiatric evaluation, officials said.

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UPDATED: Eminem and Rihanna fans held up by man threatening to jump from Pasadena freeway overpass

PASADENA >> Concert-goers heading to a Rihanna and Eminem concert were stopped in their tracks Thursday by a man who threatened to jump from a 210 Freeway overpass, authorities said.
Both directions of the 210 Freeway were shut down, along with the Metro Gold Line shortly before 7 p.m. after the apparently suicidal man was spotted on the outside of the bridge railing, Pasadena police Lt. Ed Calatayud said.
A cushion was put in place beneath the overpass as a precaution, Pasadena Fire Department officials said.
“The crisis negotiations team that was there talked to him for about 25 minutes or so, and convinced him to come back over,” the Calatayud said.
The man, who was in his 20s, was taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation, the lieutenant said.
The incident unfolded as tens of thousands of fans crowded into the Rose Bowl ahead of an anticipated concert featuring Rihanna and Eminem.
The closure caused traffic to back up for miles.
On the westbound side of the 210 Freeway, traffic was jammed all the way to the 605 Freeway.
Pasadena fire officials announced about 7:20 p.m. that the man was down from the overpass. The freeway opened minutes later once firefighters cleared their equipment from the roadway.

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UPDATED: Stabbing reported near West Covina park; 4 arrested

WEST COVINA >> A man was stabbed during a fight near Gingrich Park in West Covina Thursday afternoon, officials said.
A 27-year-old man was hospitalized in unknown condition following the 5:45 p.m. incident near the park in the 1800 block of Woodgate Drive, West Covina police Lt. Pat Cirrito said.
Witnesses first called police to report a fight among five male combatants, Lt. Dennis Patton said. As officers were en route, they received a second call reporting that someone had been stabbed.
The victim was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment, Patton said. The extent of the injuries was not clear.
Police found four suspects on foot several blocks away and arrested them in connection with the stabbing, Cirrito said
Detectives continued investigating what role the men may have played in the attack Thursday night.

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One wounded in West Covina shooting

WEST COVINA >> A man suffered a wound to his leg in a shooting at a West Covina shopping center Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Police received multiple calls about 5:30 p.m. reporting gunshots heard at the Woodside Village Shopping Center in the 1500 block of East Amar Road, West Covina police Lt. Dennis Patton said.
“Our officers arrived on-scene and came upon a subject found to have sustained a gunshot wound,” the lieutenant said.
The victim, initially described only as male, was found to the rear of the business complex with a leg wound, he said. Paramedics took him to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for treatment.
The victim, a man estimated to be 40 years old, as well as several witnesses at the scene did not cooperate with investigators, Lt. Pat Cirrito said.
No further details were available.

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Pomona man accused of abandoning 6-year-old boy at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area

SOUTH EL MONTE >> Investigators arrested a Pomona man early Thursday for allegedly abandoning his prospective adopted 6-year-old son at the Whittier Narrow Recreation Area in South El Monte earlier this week.
Deputies arrested Juan Manuel Garcia-Tellez, 31, about 9 a.m. Thursday after spotting him at his Pomona home, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and booking records. He is in a relationship with the boy’s mother and was apparently in the process of trying to adopt the boy.
The investigation began about 9:40 p.m. Monday when a good Samaritan called authorities to report finding a 6-year-old boy wandering alone in the park near Legg Lake, Deputy Johnny Jones of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Parks Bureau said.
“He was just throwing rocks into he water. He was crying because he was looking for his dad.”
A car, later determined to be Garcia-Tellez’s, was found several miles away, however there were no signs of the man, officials said.
“The child, who was cold and hungry, was placed in the deputy’s patrol car and fed while parks bureau personnel continued to search,” Jones said.
After more than three hours of searching with no success, deputies turned the boy over to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services about 1 a.m., Jones said.
Officials ultimately contacted the boy’s mother and returned her child to her.
Garcia-Tellez’s motive was not clear, Jones said. The suspect said he left the boy at the park while running errand.
But investigators learned that he had been involved in an argument with the boy’s mother hours before leaving the boy alone at the park.
Deputies stopped by Garcia-Tellez home several times this week, but did not find him, Jones said. But they found him there Thursday morning and took him into custody without a struggle.
Garcia-Tellez was booked on suspicion of child endangerment, Jones said.
He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled Monday in El Monte Superior Court, records show.

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Two jailed in connection with bear hug robbery in Monterey Park

MONTEREY PARK >> Police arrested a man and woman in Los Angeles late Friday less than an hour after they robbed a man in Monterey Park, authorities said.
A Los Angeles man in his 20s was walking on a sidewalk at Emerson and Moore avenues about 9 p.m. when he was approached by the two suspects, Monterey Park police Lt. Tina Montoya said.
“The victim was approached by a male suspect who placed him in a bear hug,” the lieutenant said.
While the man held the victim, the woman went snatched his wallet and iPhone 5 from his pockets, police said. The robbers then fled in a white car. The victim was unhurt.
Police were able to quickly track the iPhone’s location and found the suspects driving on Pico Boulevard in Westlake Village, officials said. The stolen items were found in the car.
Juan Jose Cruz, 18, of Montebello and Michelle Salinas, 20, of Los Angeles were arrested on suspicion of robbery, Montoya said.
Cruz and Salinas were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each pending their initial court appearances, scheduled Friday in Alhambra Superior Court.

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Man accused of trying to photograph girl in changing room of Alhambra store

ALHAMBRA >> Police arrested a man Wednesday after he allegedly tried to take photos of a 10-year-old girl as she changed clothing in the changing room of an Alhambra department store.
Fu Sheng Situ, 22, of Los Angeles, was booked on suspicion of child annoyance, Alhambra police Lt. Gary LaGuard said.
The incident took place Wednesday afternoon at Kohl’s, 1201 S Fremont Ave., Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
“A male subject entered the women’s changing room at Kohl’s department store this afternoon and tried to use his cell phone to take pictures of a 10-year-old girl trying on clothes,” according to the police statement.
Police responded to the store and detained Situ without a struggle, LaGuard said.
Detectives were looking into whether the suspect had victimized others, police said.
Situ was expected to be released from custody with a misdemeanor citation, LaGuard said.
According to county booking records, Situ was scheduled to appear for arraignment Oct. 6 in Alhambra Superior Court. Police reminded residents to, “Be sure to always keep an eye on your kids and be aware of their surroundings, especially at public restrooms and changing rooms.”
Anyone with information can reach Alhambra police at 626-570-5151.

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