PASADENA – Police officers checking a call about gunfire in a neighborhood later discovered a man with a gunshot wound to the leg at a hospital Thursday, officials said.
Pasadena police Sgt. Paul Carpenter said shots were heard around 6 p.m. on Tremont Street between Summit Avenue and Marengo Avenue.
The injured man, an Altadena resident in his 20s, drove himself to the hospital, Lt. Jason Clawson said.
The circumstances of the shooting, as well as a description of the shooter, were not available as the wounded man was not cooperating with investigators, police said. Police continued seeking witnesses Friday.
- Staff report
Police Wednesday arrested a man and woman from Ontario in connection with the armed robbery of a woman in the parking lot of a Glendora Sam’s Club store earlier this week, officials said.
James Reveles, 28, and his girlfriend Brittney Sloan, 26, were booked on suspicion of robbery following their arrest late Wednesday at an apartment complex near Haven Avenue and Riverside Drive in Ontario, according to Glendora police Lt. Brian Summers.
They’re accused of robbing a woman Saturday afternoon in the parking lot of Sam’s Club, at Gladstone Street and Lone Hill Avenue, police said.
A 68-year-old woman had just finished shopping and was walking through the store’s parking lot when she was approached by a man, Summers said.
“The suspect demanded her purse and produced a firearm, and when she refused to turn it over, forcible ripped it off her arm,” the lieutenant said.
The robber fled into a waiting getaway car, he added. “An alert witness heard the victim screaming and was able to obtain the license plate of the suspect vehicle.”
Detectives found the black Acura sedan involved in the robbery Wednesday night at the Ontario apartment complex, officials said. Police watched until they saw a man who matched the description of the robber get into the car, at which point they arrested him.
Sloan, the registered owner of the car, was found and arrested at a nearby apartment complex, Summers said.
“Detectives recovered a handgun and some of the victim’s credic cards from a hidden compartment in the suspect vehicle,” he said.
According to county booking records, Reveles was being held in lieu of $215,000 bail, while Sloan was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. Both were scheduled to be arraigned Friday in West Covina Superior Court.
PHTOOS of James Reveles and Brittney Sloan courtesy of the Glendora Police Department.
INDUSTRY – A 63-year-old La Puente man died Thursday after being struck by a vehicle along Azusa Avenue, authorities said.
Stephen Lozano died following the collision, which took place about 8:50 a.m. on Gemini Street, just east of Azusa Avenue, California Highway Patrol Officer Rodrigo Jimenez said.
He was heading east in the sidewalk running along the north side of Gemini Street prior to the collision, Jimenez said. A 1996 Lexus sedan was being driven westbound on Gemini Street at about 25 mph by a 34-year-old Pomona man
For reasons that remained under investigation, Lozano’s bike went down a driveway and into the street, “directly into the path of the Lexus,” the officer said.
The driver had little or no chance to avoid hitting the bicyclist, he said.
Lozano was taken to the Citrus Valley Health Partners — Queen of the Valley Campus in West Covina, where he died a short time later, CHP Officer Jennifer Cassidy said.
The investigation was ongoing, however nothing criminal was initially suspected, Jimenez said.
The circumstances of the collision were being investigated by officers from the Baldwin Park office of the CHP.
EL MONTE — A Mountain View High School music teacher is behind bars Thursday on suspicion of carrying on an inappropriate relationship with a freshman student, authorities said.
Abel Acosta, 40, was arrested Tuesday, according to El Monte police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
El Monte Unified High School District and police launched an investigation on May 3, when district officials, “received information that a Mountain View High School teacher was having an illicit relationship with a student,” EMUHSD officials said in a written statement.
“Late Tuesday night, the El Monte Police Department arrested (Acosta) for having a sexual relationship with a minor,” El Monte police Lt. Dan Burlingham said.
“The minor is safe and cooperating with authorities,” the lieutenant added. “No other victims have been identified at this time.”
The investigation was ongoing, Burlingham said.
Acosta, who has been employed by the EMUHSD for nearly two years, had no previous allegations against him, according to the school district’s statement.
“This was the first complaint that has been received regarding this particular teacher,” the statement said. “This employee had cleared all preliminary screening and requirements as a school employee, including clearance of fingerprints through the Live Scan system.”
The school and school district have been cooperating and collaborating with police, and will continue to do so, district officials added.
“Parents of students attending the school have been notified of the situation and counseling is available for all students if needed,” according to the EMUHSD statement.
EMUHSD Superintendent Nick Salerno said the teacher’s status with the district was yet to be determined as he remained behind bars, but he would not be back in a classroom while the investigation continues.
Though Acosta continued teaching Monday and Tuesday as police investigated and gathered evidence, “There was very close monitoring by both the police department and school officials,” Salerno said.
Mountain View High School parents were notified Thursday of the situation via automated phone calls, he said.
Salerno said the allegation was handled swiftly and appropriately.
“I appreciate the efforts of the El Monte Police Department and our staff,” he said. “I commend the police in their quick work.”
According to county booking records, Acosta was being held in lieu of $1.3 million bail pending his initial court appearance. The date of Acosta’s first court appearance was not available Thursday.
Anyone with information was asked to contact El Monte police Detective Jake Fisher at 626-258-8696.
NORWALK — A judge reduced a Pico Rivera man’s murder conviction to voluntary manslaughter Thursday and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, officials said.
A jury last month convicted Robert Redd, 53, of second-degree murder for fatally shooting 19-year-old Joseph Rubalcaba of Pico Rivera and burying his body in a shallow grave in Redd’s backyard in the 8500 block of Pico Vista Road in July of 2011, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Brandon Wong. The jury also found true three sentence-enhancing special allegations related to using a gun in the crime.
He was expected to be sentenced to 40 years to life in prison at Thursday’s sentencing, the prosecutor added.
But in a highly unusual legal maneuver, Norwalk Superior Court Judge Raul Sahagun exercised his discretion to reduce the charge to voluntary manslaughter and sentenced Redd to 10 years in prison, Wong said. The maximum sentence he could have received under the law with a voluntary manslaughter conviction and the special allegations was 21 years in prison.
Wong said he, as well as Rubalcaba’s family members, were disappointed by the decision.
“I believe the jury has spoken based on the evidence, and they said it was second-(degree murder),” he said. “I disagree with the court, but it’s within the court’s discretion.”
Rubalcaba’s aunt, Melinda Rodriguez, said the entire family was stunned and upset over Thursday’s court proceedings.
“We are in awe and shock and disbelief of why the judge would do this. Why would he go against the jury?” she said. “The whole family is distraught right now. We just can’t believe it.”
“It’s a slap in the face, not only to us, but to the jurors,” Rodriguez said. “The whole family feels like justice wasn’t served. It’s like he was murdered all over again today.”
Rubalcaba’s body was found by family members July 20, 2011, in a shallow grave in the backyard of Redd’s home, where the young man was known to frequent, officials said. Rubalcaba had been staying with red off and on for about two months leading up to his death.
The family members had gone looking for Rubalcaba, after he went missing in the days before his body was found.
Redd maintained that he shot Rubalcaba because the young man was a gang member who had been threatening to kill him, but Wong argued that Redd shot the Rubalcaba to death as the result of a personal dispute.
Though the jury apparently rejected the self-defense argument made by Redd’s attorney in returning a second-degree murder conviction, Judge Sahagun apparently disagreed, Wong said.
“He indicated that he believed the defendant actually was in fear for his life, though that belief was unreasonable,” Wong said.
The defense attorney, listed as Christine Rodriguez of the Office of the Los Angeles County Public Defender, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Wong said the court proceedings Thursday came as a surprise to him.
In his more than 12 years as a prosecutor, he said, “I have not personally, in my experience, heard or seen a court reduce a murder conviction to manslaughter.”
Rodriguez said she found Redd’s self defense argument unbelievable.
If someone justly kills someone else in self defense, “Your first reaction is going to be to call 9-1-1, not to keep the body for a day or days and bury it in the backyard,” she said. “It takes a sick mind to do that — a murderer — and that’s what he is.”
The aunt said she believed the judge reduced Redd’s charge largely because the victim, Rubalcaba, had gang ties.
Rubalcaba is survived by his mother, grandmother, two brothers and a sister, Rodriguez said.
“Like I told Mr. Redd — whatever his name is: Joseph’s never going to be able to get married, have children, have a chance to make good things happen in his life,” Rodriguez said. “You cut it down. You shot him in the head.”
EL MONTE — A man died Wednesday after falling through the roof of a hangar at the El Monte Airport, authorities said.
Lon Schultz, 46, of Alhambra died in the apparent accident, Los Angeles County Department of Coroner Lt. Larry Dietz said.
The fatal mishap occurred about 1:40 p.m. as the man was making repairs to an air vent atop the hangar at the airport, 4233 N. Santa Anita Ave., El Monte police Lt. Dan Burlingham said.
When the roof gave way, “He fell about 30 feet and suffered a fatal injury,” the lieutenant said. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
The investigation was ongoing, Burlingham said, however the incident was being investigated as an accident, and no foul play was initially suspected.
Airport officials deferred comment to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, which administers El Monte Airport, along with four other airfields in the county.
DPW spokesman Bob Spencer said the hangar where the accident took place was privately owned, and not managed by the county.
It was owned by Parker Aero Hangar Development, a hangar rental company based at the El Monte Airport.
It was not clear whether Schultz was the tenant of the hangar, or an employee of Parker Aero Hangar Development. The company could not be reached by telephone Thursday.
According to the company’s web site, it rents out hangars at the airport for storage of boats, recreational vehicles, vintage and classic cars, airport cars and aircraft.
EL MONTE — A 33-year-old El Monte man was convicted Wednesday of sexually abusing two children, officials said.
According to Deputy District Attorney Deborah Scott, jurors deliberated less than a day before finding Roberto Edgar Torres guilty of two counts each of unlawful sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child 10 years or younger, and unlawful oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years or younger.
He was also convicted of one count each of sending harmful matter with the intent to seduce a minor and lewd act with a child under 14 years. Jurors found true a special allegation of multiple victims.
Torres faces a maximum sentence of 80 years to life at his May 28 sentencing.
Authorities said Torres abused a boy and a girl between January 1997 and March 2009. The girl was then 7 and the boy was 7 or 8.
Torres fled during the investigation and was caught in Tamaulipas, Mexico. He was sent back to the U.S. Pomona police investigated the case.
- Ruby Gonzales
ARCADIA – Authorities on Wednesday identified the 32-year-old motorcyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run Tuesday night.
Kenneth Doherty of Los Angeles sustained internal injuries and head trauma and later died at a hospital, police said.
Lt. Bob Anderson said police received several 9-1-1 calls just before 8 p.m. about a collision involving a motorcycle in the 200 block of West Foothill Blvd.
“The rider was down and severely injured; the other involved party fled the scene in the automobile,” Anderson said.
PHOTO: Police are seeking a car similar to the one pictured in connection with a hit-and-run crash that left a motorcyclist dead in the 200 block of West Foothill Boulevard on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (Courtesy of the Arcadia Police Department)
PASADENA — Pasadena-area residents are invited to exchange unwanted guns for gift cards Saturday at Pasadena’s first gun buyback event.
The gun buyback will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pasadena Police Department, 207 N Garfield Ave., organizers said in a written statement.
The gun buyback will be accompanied by a “Peace-Source Fair,” which will feature not only free food and entertainment, but also information about local efforts to promote non-violence. Topics discussed will range fro mental health and parenting services to prisoner re-entry and conflict resolution training.
Planned speakers include Pastor Kerwin Manning, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and many others.
The resource fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the east side of Pasadena City Hall, Along Euclid Avenue just south of Walnut Street, officials said.
Those bringing firearms to drop off in exchange for Ralph’s, Target or Best Buy gift cards are asked to head southbound on Garfield Avenue from Walnut Street as they approach the buyback event.
“There is a no-questions-asked policy,” according to the written statement. “Please bring your unloaded firearm in your trunk of your car, and allow the police to remove it from your car. At that point, you will receive a gift card. ”
“You can exchange multiple guns, each for a gift card,” organizers added. ” Ammunition can also be brought, but there is no gift card exchanges for ammunition.”
Saturday’s gun buyback and Peace-Source Fair is presented by the Pasadena Area Gun Buyback Committee, a network of Pasadena-area churches, the City of Pasadena, the Pasadena Police Department at the Flintridge Center. Community donations have raised nearly $20,000 in funding for the events.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PICO RIVERA — Deputies are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man who stabbed three people during an argument outside a local bar.
The stabbing was reported at 12:10 a.m. Monday in the parking lot of the Iguana Bar in the 8500 block of Rosemead Boulevard.
The three victims, a 28-year-old Long Beach woman, a 33-year-old Downey man and a 48-year-old man from Pala, were still in the hospital Tuesday, according to Sgt. Joe Van Damme of the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station.
Authorities still don’t know what started the argument which led to the man suddenly stabbing three people.
Lt. Joe Mendoza said the man was last seen driving northbound on Rosemead Boulevard and out of view.
The suspect was described as Latino, 65, 5 feet 5 inches tall and about 180 pounds. He was driving a blue Honda Accord.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station at 562-949-2421. Anonymous tipsters may call “Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477, or by texting the letters “TIPLA” plus the tip to 274637, or by using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.
- Ruby Gonzales