UPDATED: Man struck my minivan along Colima Road in Whittier

WHITTIER >> Rescuers flew a badly injured man to a trauma center after he was struck by a minivan after running into traffic along Colima Road in Whittier on Thursday afternoon, police said.
The collision took place about 3:45 p.m. along Colima Road, just north of Mar Vista Street, Whittier police Lt. Bryan Ellis said.
Witnesses reported the man, estimated to be in his mid-20s, ran into traffic before being struck by a Honda minivan, the lieutenant said.
Paramedics took the injured man to a nearby baseball diamond, where they landed a helicopter to rush the patient to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, Ellis said.
He remained hospitalized in critical condition with major head injuries Thursday night, Officer John Scoggins said.
The driver of the minivan remained at the scene and was cooperating with police, Ellis said.
The minivan was heading south, down a steep hill, when it struck the pedestrian, police said. There was no crosswalk at the collision site.
It was unclear why the man ran into traffic lanes, officials said.
Police shut down Colima Road as they investigated the scene. The road was expected to reopen late Thursday afternoon.
No further details were available.

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Man sentenced for Monterey Park pizza parlor murder

MONTEREY PARK >> A Bakersfield man received a sentence of more than 16 years in state prison Thursday for stabbing another man 15 times, killing, at a Monterey Park pizza parlor four years ago, officials said.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury in Burbank convicted Jose De Jesus Ruiz, also known as Jose De Jesus Salas, 26, in July of second-degree murder for the Oct. 6, 2012, stabbing death of 25-year-old Patrick Raymond Ortega at Shakey’s, 1955 S. Atlantic Blvd. The jury also found true the special allegation that Ruiz personally used a knife in the crime.
Judge Michael Carter sentenced Ruiz to 16 years to life in state prison, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
The stabbing took place shortly after 7 p.m. as Ruiz was gathered at the restaurant with members of a youth football organization.
He became involved in a dispute with Ortega, who witnesses testified was being “disruptive” inside the pizza parlor while dining with friends, according to Deputy District Attorney Theodore Swanson, who prosecuted the case.
Ruiz briefly left the restaurant before returning and stabbing Ortega 15 times, Swanson said.
Ruiz was found hiding in his car several hours later and arrested, officials said. .
Second-degree murder is defined in California as the unlawful killing of another with malice, but without deliberation or premeditation.
If convicted of first-degree murder — a murder deemed deliberate, premeditated and with malice — Ruiz could have faced a maximum sentence of 26 years to life behind bars.

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Man robs teenage girl of soft drink at knifepoint in Pasadena

PASADENA >> Police are seeking a man who they say robbed a teenage girl of a bottle of soda at knifepoint on Wednesday afternoon.
The crime took place about 5 p.m. at Lincoln Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
The robber approached a teenage girl, grabber by the arm, brandished a knife and demanded her cell phone, Luna said.
When the girl refused to turn over her phone, the robber snatched a bottle of soda she was holding and ran away, according to the lieutenant.
He was last seen running west along Orange Grove Boulevard. The girl was not injured.
Police described the robber as a white or Latino man in his late-teens, about 5 feet 2 inches tall, of thin build, wearing a T-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241.

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Rowland Heights woman guilty of manslaughter for fatal scissor attack

ROWLAND HEIGHTS >> A Rowland Heights woman is expected to receive a 12-year prison sentence next month after pleading “no contest” Wednesday to a manslaughter charge for stabbing her brother’s girlfriend to death with a pair of scissors last year, authorities said.
Lisette Kimberly Moreno, 20, pleaded “no contest” to a charge of voluntary manslaughter for the fatal Aug. 16, 2015, stabbing of Annette Martinez, 21, of Rowland Heights, Los Angeles County District attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
In addition the manslaughter charge, Moreno also admitted to the special allegation that she personally used a weapon, scissors, in the killing.
Following the negotiated plea arrangement, Moreno is expected to receive 12 years in state prison when she returns to the Pomona branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for sentencing on Nov. 29, according to the statement. Moreno was first charged with murder following her arrest.
If convicted of murder at trial, she could have faced a potential maximum sentence of more than 25 years to life in prison.
Moreno became involved in an argument with Martinez about 2 a.m. as they were at the home of Martinez’s boyfriend’s family in the 1900 block of Batson Avenue.
Information regarding what the dispute was over was not available.
Martinez left behind a then-6-month-old daughter and a then-18-monthold son, family members said.


PHOTO [TOP] – of Lisette Moreno, 21, of Rowland Heights (Courtesy) [BELOW] – Annette Martinez, 21, of Rowland Heights (Courtesy)

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West Covina man convicted of manslaughter for fatal stabbing of father


WEST COVINA >> A 21-year-old man pleaded “no contest” to involuntary manslaughter on Wednesday for the fatal stabbing of his father during a fight at their West Covina home last year, authorities said.
At what was scheduled to be a pretrial hearing in the case of Maverick Jacob Jimenez, the defendant accepted a negotiated plea deal in connection with the Aug. 16, 2015, fatal stabbing of his father, 49-year-old Joey Alfred Jimenez, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
“The defendant also admitted a special allegation that her personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the crime,” district attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
He’s expected to receive a six-year prison term when he returns to the Los Angeles County Superior Court’s Pomona branch for sentencing on Jan. 4.
Maverick Jimenez became involved in physical fight with his father about 3:30 a.m. at their home in the 900 block of Las Rosas Drive, according to prosecutors and West Covina police officials.
“During the altercation, the defendant stabbed his father,” the district attorney’s office statement said.
The motive behind the fight was not available.
Paramedics took Joey Jimenez to a hospital where he died from his injuries, officials said.
West Covina police arrested Maverick Jimenez at the scene, West Covina police spokesman Rudy Lopez said at the time.
Maverick Jimenez was initially charged with murder in the case, which could have resulted in a sentence of more than 25 years to life in prison if convicted at trial.

PHOTO of Maverick Jacob Jimenez, courtesy

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Whittier police seek missing woman


WHITTIER >> Police are seeking a missing Whittier woman who went out for a cigarette Friday night and hasn’t been seen since.
Monique Connie Bautista, 35, was last seen between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday at her home in the 9000 block of Painter Avenue, Whittier police Lt. Steve Dean said.
“Bautista stepped out to smoke a cigarette and never returned,” Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
“Bautista is reported to suffer from depression and is bipolar,” according to the statement. “It is unknown at this time whether or not she has been taking her medication.”
Police described Bautista as Latina, 5 feet 2 inches tall, 90 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to call Whittier police at 562-567-9270.

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Help sought finding missing Montebello teen


MONTEBELLO >> Police are asking the public’s help in finding a 17-year-old Montebello girl whose been missing for more than a month.
Isabel Frias was last seen on the night of Sept. 6 at her home in Montebello, prior to gong to sleep, Montebello police officials said in a written statement.
Her parents believed she had walked to school the following morning, but she never arrived, officials said.
“It is believed that Isabel may have run away with her boyfriend, Victor Alvarez, to an unknown location,” according to the statement.
“There have been possible sightings of Isabel in the East Los Angeles area near Obregon Park and Cesar Chavez Avenue,” the statement added.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Montebello police at 323-887-1313.

PHOTO courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.

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Report of hostage situation in Azusa proves unfounded

AZUSA >> A SWAT team responded to an Azusa neighborhood after a report of a man possibly being held hostage in his apartment late Tuesday, but ultimately encountered only a heavily intoxicated man who was taken for psychiatric evaluation, officials said.
The incident began about 9 p.m. in the 700 block of South Lark Ellen Avenue, Azusa police officials said.
A woman notified police that she had received text messaged from her boyfriend “that indicated he was possibly being held hostage by unknown persons,” Cpl. Tom Avila said.
Based on the information provided, police summoned a SWAT team to the scene, he said.
Once the home was surrounded, SWAT officers ordered anyone inside the apartment to come out, Avila said. The lone resident emerged from the home, unharmed, but apparently highly intoxicated.
No one else was inside the apartment, and there was no evidence a crime had occurred, according to the corporal.
Officials took the man for psychiatric evaluation and announced the situation was over shortly after 11 p.m.

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Police: Officers involved in Kendrec McDade shooting not involved in altercation with Reginald Thomas Jr. in Pasadena prior to death

PASADENA >> Police on Sunday identified the six Pasadena police officers involved in subduing and arresting a man who ultimately died in police custody late last month, contradicting claims by the man’s family’s attorney that one of the involved officers was the same who was involved in the controversial police shooting of an unarmed 19-year-old man in 2012.
A wrongful death claim filed Friday against Pasadena police by attorney Caree Harper named two Pasadena police officers — Officer Mathew Griffin and Sgt. Aguilar, whose first name was not listed — as being involved in the arrest of Reginald Thomas Jr., 35, of Pasadena early on Sept. 29 at an apartment in the 200 block of East Orange Grove Blvd. Griffin was one of two officers who was involved in the March, 2012, shooting of Kendrec McDade.
But in a written statement issued Sunday, Pasadena police released the identities of six officers the department who “took part in the altercation” with Thomas. Neither of the two officers named in the wrongful death claim were present, according to police.
The involved officers were identified as: Officer Thomas Butler, Officer Robert Griffith, Officer Michael Orosco, Officer Phillip Poirer, Officer Raphael Santiago and Officer Aaron Villacana.
One of the two officers involved in the McDade shooting arrived on the scene after Thomas had already been detained, but it was Officer Jeffrey Newlen, not Mathew Griffin, police said.
“After Mr. Thomas had been restrained, Officer Jeffrey Newlen arrived at the location and assisted with CPR,” according to the police statement.
Pasadena Police Phillip Sanchez could not be reached for comment over the weekend.
Harper maintained her position.
“We stand behind several eye witness statements which place Officer Griffin and Sgt. Aguilar inside the apartment. We also stand behind the videotape clip that appears to be Griffin,” she said.
“Unless Chief Sanchez discloses the identity of the officer depicted in the photo and provides a specific denial that Griffin and Aguilar were not involved, we have no reason to question eyewitness’ account at this time,” she said.
Thomas died after being shocked with Tasers and taken into custody after confronting officer with a knife and a fire extinguisher, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives, who are spearheading the investigation into Thomas’ death. Police responded to calls from the home reporting that Thomas was armed with a knife, acting strangely and apparently under the influence of drugs.
Harper alleges that police punched, kicked and struck Thomas in the head and upper body with batons and “hogtied” him before he stopped breathing, causing his death. Thomas officials cause of death has not been released by coroner’s investigators, and details of the coroner’s investigation are being withheld due to a “security hold” placed on the normally public information by sheriff’s investigators.
Sheriff’s investigators said Thomas was not beaten, and that although his wrists were handcuffed and his ankled tied together, he was never hogtied with his wrists and ankles linked.
Police also disputed the allegation set forth in the wrongful death claim that police delayed providing CPR to Thomas, as well as calling in paramedics to help.
“Upon restraining Mr. Thomas, the officers observed him not breathing, at which time, they immediately began CPR and life-saving measures,” according to the police statement.
Detectives from the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are investigating the in-custody death, along with simultaneous investigations by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner and Pasadena police administrators.

*UPDATED with comment from attorney Caree Harper

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UPDATED: Shots fired after alleged truck thief rams Glendora police officer during chase

GLENDORA >> A man fleeing from police in a stolen car rammed a pursuing officer’s vehicle in Glendora late Saturday, prompting an officer-involved shooting, before the suspect was tracked down and arrested, authorities said.
Andrew Joseph Baltierra, 20, who was not wounded by the gunfire but was hospitalized for treatment of K-9 bites sustained during his arrest, was expected to be booked on suspicion of crimes including attempted murder of a police officer, evading police, auto theft, DUI, drug possession, Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said. Baltierra’s city of residence was not clear.
The series of events began about 7:30 p.m., when an automated license plate reader notified Glendora officers that a 2003 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck driving in the area of Grand Avenue and Arrow Highway had been reported stolen, the chief said.
Officers initiated a chase when the driver of the truck — later identified as Baltierra — refused to pull over, officials said.
Two patrol cars chased the truck for less than a mile before the fleeing driver made a “sudden and unexpected U-turn” at Bonita Avenue and Dale Road, police said.
The lead patrol car was following the truck through the U-turn when it collided nearly head-on with the second patrol car, which contained Glendora police K-9 “Bo” and his handler Staab said.
Despite the “substantial” impact, which totalled the police cruiser and caused the air bags in both vehicle to deploy, the pickup truck was still running, the chief said. The officer who was struck by the fleeing pickup truck saw the suspect again gun the engine in his direction.
“The suspect was about to ram the police car again,” Staab said. The officer fired two round from her service pistol, striking the pickup truck but not Baltierra.
The officer whose car was rammed by the suspect was treated for apparently minor injuries, Lamborghini said.
K-9 Bo appeared uninjured in the crash, Staab added.
Baltierra fled into the surrounding residential neighborhood, Lt. Rob Lamborghini said. Officers set up a search perimeter with help from neighboring law enforcement agencies.
The suspect left behind a shoe as he ran, which a Pomona Police Department bloodhound was able to use to obtain his scene and track him to a motor home in the backyard of a home about a block away about three hours later, Staab said.
Baltierra refused commands to surrender, prompting officers to send in another police dog to help apprehend him. The suspect punched and kicked the dog before the animal got the better of him and helped officers take him into custody. The police dog suffered no significant injuries.
Officials took Baltierra to a hospital for treatment of dog bites prior to booking him into jail.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court records, Baltierra was already on probation for a previous criminal conviction prior to Saturday’s incident.
He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three years of formal probation after being convicted of auto theft in September of 2015, records show.
He was also convicted of possessing stolen property in May, resulting in a 90-day jail sentence, and of possession of drug paraphernalia in August of 2015, earning him a 49-day jail sentence.

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