POMONA >> A Baldwin Park man received a sentenced of 25 years to life in prison Tuesday after a Pomona Superior Court jury convicted of murder and child abuse for the death of his 20-month-old son, authorities said.
The jury deliberated for about an hour before finding David Paz Vasquez, 34, guilty of second-degree murder and child abuse causing death for the June 12, 2013, death of his son, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said. Judge Bruce Marrs immediately sentenced Vasquez to 25 years to life in state prison.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators identified the young toddler as Joshua Anderson Vasquez.
His father brought him to Citrus Valley Medical Center – Queen of the Valley Campus about 10:50 a.m. before he was pronounced dead at 11:08 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroners officials said. Doctors determined the boy died from blunt force trauma to his torso and head, and detectives responded the man’s home in the 3700 block of Downing Avenue to investigate, Detective Eddie Brown of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said at the time.
The toddler’s mother was at work when the fatal injuries occurred, officials said.
“Vasquez told investigators that placed the child on a bed and told him not to move,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. “The toddler fell onto the floor and Vasquez became so upset that he struck his son on the head and abdomen and then took him to the hospital.”
“It appears Vasquez slammed the victim’s head against the floor and that he used a shoe to strike the child in the abdomen,” Risling said. The victim’s injuries included a broken skull, broken ribs and internal bleeding to the abdomen, officials said.
An autopsy determined the boy died of “blunt force trauma inflicted by caregiver,” and the case was ruled a homicide, Los Angeles County Department Coroner Assistance Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
Detectives arrested David Vasquez on suspicion of murder late the same day.
About 15 months prior to the child’s death, when he was five months old, he suffered a broken leg when Vasquez yanked him away from his mother, the district attorney’s statement said. “After that incident, the toddler was placed in foster care for about a month and then went to his grandmother’s house for six months. “He was then returned to his parents.”
AZUSA >> A knife-wielding man robbed a liquor store Sunday, police said.
The crime took place about 11:20 a.m. at Canyon City Liquor & Deli, 424 W. Foothill Blvd., Azusa police Cpl. Nick Covarrubias said.
The robber approached a lone female clerk, brandished a knife and demanded money from the register, the corporal said.
He fled with an unknown amount of cash, as well as the clerk’s cell phone, which was found outside the store, Covarrubias said. The clerk suffered no injuries.
Police described the robber as a Latino man in 20s, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall and 150 pounds. He wore a black hooded sweat shirt, dark basketball shorts, dark high-top sneakers and a dark baseball cap with a letter “A” emblazoned on the front.
SIERRA MADRE >> The Sierra Madre Police Department ceased handling calls for about an hour Sunday in response to an “emergency situation” at the police station, reportedly after someone brought a grenade to the facility.
Few details were initially available regarding the incident, which began about 4 p.m. at the police department, 242 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre police announced via Facebook that police services, both emergency and non-emergency, were being handled by the Monrovia Police Department, “Due to an emergency situation at the station.”
Sierra Madre police could not be reached for comment.
Officials did not confirm initial reports that the incident stemmed from someone bringing a grenade to the police station.
City officials announced the station has safe and police services returned to normal shortly after 5 p.m.
SAN DIMAS >> Coroner’s officials Sunday identified a 55-year-old trucker found dead inside a big rig parked along the right shoulder of the 10 Freeway Saturday afternoon.
Luis Diaz-Jaramillo of Chula Vista was pronounced dead at the scene after he was discovered unresponsive in his big rig alongside the eastbound 10 Freeway, just west of the 57 Freeway, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
Firefighters first responded to the the incident as a medical emergency, however Diaz-Jaramillo’s cause of death had not yet been determined, officials said.
He had last been heard from the day before, when he contacted his dispatch center and conveyed that he was vomiting blood, Corral said. The man had a history of medical problems.
An autopsy was pending.
ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> Officials Sunday released the identity of a Walnut man found dead at the wheel of his car after suffering an apparent medical emergency and crashing into a residential front yard.
Steven Irving Fischer, 61, died at the scene of the incident, which was reported just after 9 p.m. Wednesday in the 19200 block of Windrose Drive in Rowland Heights, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
An autopsy had been performed, but Fischer’s cause of death was deferred pending the results of further testing, Corral said.
California Highway Patrol Sgt. Brian Axt said the driver had dropped off a passenger before the crash which was reported just after 9 p.m.
Fischer was traveling east when his 2000 Jaguar came to a stop in the middle of the road, then accelrated toward the curbline and ended up in a front yard, California Highway Patrol officials said.
There were no signs of trauma on the body, Corral said.
POMONA >> A woman died and a man was hospitalized in critical condition after they were both found shot in the back seat of a car in a residential neighborhood early Sunday morning, police said.
Vanessa Renee Lopez, 28, of Pomona died at the scene of the 2:50 a.m. shooting in the 1300 block of Caprino Way, Pomona police officials said in a written statement.
Manuel Flores Jr., 30, of Pomona was rushed to a hospital by helicopter and was listed in critical condition, police said.
Officers responding to a report of a shooting found the victims wounded in the rear seat of a car parked in the driveway of a home, according to the statement.
The relationship between the two victims was unclear. No suspect information was available, and no further details were released as Pomona police homicide detectives continued their investigation Sunday.
ALTADENA >> Deputies are seeking a 19-year-old autistic man from Altadena who vanished early Saturday morning.
Jonathan Taylor Clark left his home in the 100 block of West Alta Loma Drive about 3 a.m., Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“Jonathan has autism and (needs) prescribed medication,” the statement said. “If Jonathan is without his medication, his mental capacity would be (that of a) 7-year-old.”
Clark took some money and his identification from his mothers purse and left home on foot,” according to Deputy Jeffrey Gordon of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
“He has run away from facilities and his home before and is known to make poor decisions,” Gordon said.
Deputies notified their law enforcement counterparts in the area to be on the lookout for Clark, including the Sheriff’s Transit Services Bureau, which patrols train and bus lines, and the the Montrose and Altadena search and rescue teams, which searched the nearby forest.
Clark is described as white, 5 feet 11 inches tall and was last seen wearing blue jeans, along with white and yellow shoes.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the sheriff’s Altadena station at 626-798-1131.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
SAN DIMAS >> A truck driver died along the 10 Freeway in San Dimas after suffering an apparent medical problem Saturday, officials said.
The incident was first reported on the eastbound 10 Freeway, just west of the 57 Freeway, according to California Highway Patrol logs.
Paramedics responded to a report of a medical issue when they encountered the truck driver, described only as a man, in his truck, parked on the freeway shoulder, Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Cheryl Sims said.
Paramedics reported that the man was in full cardiac arrest and pronounced dead at the scene, she said.
MONTEBELLO >> A Montebello restaurant owner shot during a robbery along Whittier Boulevard shot back at his two assailants, fatally wounding both early Saturday, police said.
Montebello police said the robbery and shooting unfolded about 12:15 a.m. at a restaurant in the 2100 block of West Whittier Boulevard, which had already closed for the night.
“The preliminary investigation has determined both suspects were armed with handguns attempted to rob the victim,” police said in a written statement.“During the robbery, one of the suspects fired multiple shots at the victim, striking the victim once. The victim, a local business owner, returned fire striking both suspects.”
The business owner, a man estimated to be in his 30s, was expected to survive his injuries, Lt. Michael Bergman said.
Officers found one of the wounded suspects at the scene suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to the statement. The second suspect was found around the corner in the 100 block of North Wilcox Avenue suffering from a single gunshot wound.
Both suspects died from their injuries at the scene, Bergman said.
The names of the suspects had not been released Saturday pending notification of their family members, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Investigator Joyce Kato said. Both were initially described as men in their 20s.
The business owner’s identity was being withheld due to concerns for his safety, police said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Montebello police Detective C. Adams or Detective P. Antista at 323-887-1313.
NORWALK >> Detectives continue seeking clues into the mysterious shotgun slaying of a father and son found fatally shot inside their Norwalk home earlier this week.
Walter Vicente, 49, and Andrew Vicente, 24, were found shot to death shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday at their house in the 12300 block of Gettysburg Drive, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner officials said.
A family member, who was a son to the older victim and brother to the younger victim, found the men shot to death when he stopped by to visit, Lt. Dave Coleman of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. It was unclear when exactly the shooting took place, though it was believed to have been within a matter of a day or days.
No suspect has been identified in the double-homicide, and the motiveremains unclear.
“There’s nothing apparent that indicated it was a robbery,” Coleman said. The shots were fired from within the house, however there were no signs of forced entry into the home.
Walter Vicente’s body was discovered in the living room of the home, while Andrew Vicente’s body was found in an adjacent bedroom.
Neither the father or son appeared to have no ties to gang acivity, and investigators were aware of no one who would want to do them harm, the lieutenant said. Walter Vicente was a plumber, he said, adding that he believed his son was also involved in the trade.
“It’s a mystery,” Coleman said. “We just don’t have much at this time. We’re obviously going to get into their personal lives.”
Detectives were also still trying to determine the last time someone saw the father and son alive.
An autopsy determined the men both died from shotgun wounds to the head, and both cases were ruled homicides, coroner’s Assistant Chief of Operations Ed Winter said.
An exact time of death was not clear, however coroner’s reports indicated a neighbor reported hearing possibly gunfire shortly after 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Anyone with information was aksed 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.
PHOTOS of Walter Vicente, 49, of Norwalk (above) and Andrew Vicente, 24, of Norwalk (below) courtesy of the California Department of Motor Vehicles.