Monterey Park police K-9 to receive protective vest


MONTEREY PARK >> A four-legged Monterey Park police officer will soon be patrolling with a bullet- and stab-resistant vest thanks to a donation from a charity organization dedicated to protecting police K-9s.
“Piro,” a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, has been apprehending suspects and sniffing out drugs since completing training about eight months ago, Monterey Park police Sgt. Gus Jimenez said. The dog is handled by Officer Ryan Esquibel.
Vested Interests in K9s Inc. announced Friday hat Piro had been selected to received a free vest, provided by Michigan-based manufacturer Armor Express, Jimenez said. The vest is expected to arrive next week.
Monterey Park police have to other K-9s — Robin and Veeda — which have both previously received donated vests through the Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization, the sergeant said.
Vested interests in K9s has provided more than 1,600 protective vests to police dogs in 49 states at a cost of $1.5 million, donated by private and corporate sponsors, Jimenez said.
The group estimates there are more than 30,000 law enforcement dogs in the U.S.
For more information on Vested Interest in K-9s, visit

PHOTO of Monterey Police Officer Ryan Esquibel and K-9 Piro courtesy of the Montebello Police Department.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

UPDATED: Suspects in San Dimas, Diamond Bar robberies arrested after chase

A man and woman carried out a robbery in San Dimas and an attempted robbery in Diamond Bar before fleeing from deputies in the wrong direction down the 60 and 57 freeways, crashing their car and being arrested, authorities said.
The series of crimes began about 12:30 when the two suspects robbed a woman of her purse at gunpoint in a commercial area in the 100 block of East Via Verde in San Dimas, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Tonya Edwards said.
A man pointed a gun at the woman and demanded her purse before driving off in a getaway car with a female accomplice riding in the passenger seat, Edwards said.
About 15 minutes later, deputies received a report of a second crime along Sunset Crossing Road near the 57 Freeway in Diamond Bar, sheriff’s Lt. John Saleeby said.
A man and woman brandished a gun at a man and demanded property, but fled empty-handed after he told them he had nothing to take, Saleeby said.
Within minutes, deputies spotted a car matching the description of the robbers’ vehicle driving on Grand Avenue along the border between Diamond Bar and Walnut, Saleeby said.
They began a pursuit, but quickly cancelled it when the fleeing Toyota Corolla got onto the 60 Freeway, heading eastbound in the westbound traffic lanes, officials said.
The car continued fleeing, heading southbound in the northbound lanes of the 57 Freeway, Saleeby said. The car ultimately crashed into a cinder block wall at the 57 Freeway and Pathfinder Road.
The man and woman were taken into custody, Saleeby said.
The suspects’ names were not available, as they suffered apparently minor injuries in the crash and were taken to a hospital for treatment prior to booking.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

VIDEO: Suspect sought in bizarre liquor store rampage, attack in Santa Fe Springs

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Police are seeking a man caught on surveillance camera trashing a Santa Fe Springs liquor store and attacking the clerk with a coffee mug earlier this week after the clerk refused to let the man use his cell phone, officials said.
The bizarre rampage, which was caught on surveillance video, took place about WDN-L-ASSAULT7:50 p.m. Monday at Bruce’s Liquors, 12623 Imperial Highway, Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said in a written statement.
•VIDEO: Suspect attacker Santa Fe Springs liquor store clerk
The suspect walked up to the clerk, a man of about 60 years old, and asked to use his cell phone, the officer said.
“When the clerk refused, the suspect went into a rage and destroyed the cash register and several other items on the counter,” Scoggins said. “He then picked up a porcelain mug and threw it, striking the clerk in the head.”
The clerk was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries, police said. The attacker fled and remained at large Thursday.
Police described the attacker as a white or Latino man in his 20s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, gray jeans and black Adidas tennis shoes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Whittier police Detective Rob Wolfe at 562-409-1869. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

VIDEO/PHOTO courtesy of the Whittier Police Department

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Man stabbed while walking down street in Pasadena

PASADENA >> A man stabbed another man in the back in an unprovoked attack as the victim walked down the street in northwest Pasadena early Wednesday, officials said.
A 41-year-old Pasadena man was walking down Los Robles Avenue, just south of Woodbury Road, about 5 a.m. and felt a sharp pain in his back, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
“He saw man running south on Los Robles, then he discovered he was stabbed with an unknown object,” Luna said. No further description of the attacker was available.
The man was treated at hospital for a small stab wound that did not appear to be serious, the lieutenant said.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

UPDATED: Second victim of mysterious Hacienda Heights double-slaying identified as 16-year-old boy

HACIENDA HEIGHTS >> Authorities have identified a victim found stabbed to death inside a Hacienda Heights house along with the elderly homeowner last month as a teenage boy, but the mystery surrounding the circumstances of the double slaying remains.
Gavin Bustamante, 16, was found dead along with June Collins, 84, on Oct. 7 at Collins’ home in the 16600 block of Carriage Place, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Alyssa Fleak said. Sheriff’s offiicals said he was also known as Gavin Wilhelm.
An autopsy determined both victims had been stabbed to death.
But exactly what unfolded inside the Carriage place home remained a mystery, Lt. John Corina of the Sheriff’ Homicide Bureau said.
The coroner’s identification of the young victim represents, “another piece of the puzzle,” he said. But detectives still have their work cut out for them.
““We’re trying to figure out who was there and who did what they did,” Corina said.
Both bodies were already well into the stages of decomposition when they were found by deputies who has been asked to check on Collins, Los Angeles County sheriff’s and coroner officials said.
Lt. John Corina of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau estimated the killing took place about a week before the bodies were discovered.
Investigators noted signs of a struggle within the home, but no evidence of forced entry into the house, Corina said in the days following the double-homicide. Robbery was not believed to be the motive.
Handling homicide detectives could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Sheriff’s officials and neighbors said Collins had a 54-year-old adult son who was in jail for abusing his mother at the time of the killing.
But many associates of the son continued coming by Collins’ home, and even staying there at times, during the son’s incarceration, officials said.
Bustamante was believed to be one of those associates.
No city of residence for the teen was listed at the coroner’s office, however Corina said Bustamante, a former El Monte resident, had been staying at Collins’ home for several months.
Capt. Tim Murakami of the sheriff’s Industry Station said it appeared the son’s associates, often drug addicts, were taking advantage of Collins, who suffered from dementia.
Anyone with information is asked 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.

PHOTO of fatal stabbing victim June Collins, 84, of Hacienda Heights courtesy of the California DMV.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Whittier police plan checkpoint this weekend

WHITTIER >> Police are planning a sobriety and driver’s license checkpoint in Whittier this weekend.
The Whittier Police Department will be conducting the checkpoint from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 3:00 a.m. Saturday at an undisclosed location within the city, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
“Over the course of the past three years, “(Whittier Police Department) officers have investigated 319 DUI collisions which have claimed four lives and resulted in another 146 injuries,” according to the statement.
Funding for the checkpoint is being provided by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, through the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

College student killed along with Marine in weekend crash in Downey identified

DOWNEY >> Authorities have identified a 21-year-old international college student from Japan who died along with a Camp Pendleton Marine in a pickup truck crash along the 5 Freeway in Downey over the weekend.
Kokona Ando, 21, of Rancho Santa Margarita was a passenger riding in the truck when it veered off the roadway and struck a tree about 4:50 a.m. Saturday along the southbound 5 Freeway, just north of Paramount Boulevard, in Downey, according to Los Angeles County coroner and California Highway Patrol officials.
Also killed was Samuel Tristan Flynn, 20, a U.S. Marine based at Camp Pendleton, who was driving the 2002 Dodge Dakota.
Another passenger, a 21-year-old Irvine woman, was also injured in the crash.
A family friend said Ando attended Irvine Valley College as an international student after arriving in the U.S. from Japan in January. It was Ando’s dream to live and study in California, the friend said.
The cause of the crash remain under investigation by the officers from the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs Office.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Suspects charged in 2006 slaying of Iraq War veteran


SOUTH GATE >> Detectives Sunday announced the arrests of two suspects in the cold case slaying of a 24-year-old Iraq War veteran from Rowland Heights found slain inside his burning car in South Gate in 2006, authorities said.
U.S. Army veteran Jesse Aguilar was found dead inside his car, which was found on fire on Oct. 26, 2006, in the Los Angeles Riverbed near Paramount Boulevard in South Gate, Detective Ray Lugo of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
Prompted by evidence in the case, prosecutors Wednesday filed charged of murder and torture against Anthony Silvas, 36, and Juan Vallejo, 40, Lugo said. Silvas, who has been considered a person of interest in the case since shortly after it occurred, while Vallejo was identified as a suspect in recent months.
After nine years waiting for justice, Aguilar’s mother, Nancy Aguilar, said she was glad to see the investigation move forward.
“It’s been a relief that there’s going to be accountability,” she said. “I want to look into the killers’ eyes. I want to see them.”
Vallejo, who lived in La Mirada at the time of the slaying, was arrested Wednesday at a home where he was living in Hawaiian Gardens, Lugo said. Silva, a South Whittier resident at the time of Aguilar’s killing, was already in custody in Orange County for an unrelated drug offense.
Lugo declined to discuss details of the killing, due to the ongoing investigation, but said it was motivated by a dispute over money. He said Aguilar and Silvas were 1109_NWS_SGT-L-AGUILAR2friends, and described the victim and Vallejo as acquaintances.
Nancy Aguilar said she herself new little about her son’s death. “I don’t even know how they killed by son,” she said.
Information will emerge as the legal process moves forward.
“Do I want to know everything? No. But I have to,” the mother said.
Aguilar, who grew up in La Mirada and joined the Army in March of 2001, took part in the invasion of Iraq in March of 2003, his mother said.
“He went to war and came back in one piece, and I was so thankful,” she said.
He had been back in the U.S. less than two years and was working at the Automobile Club of Southern California in Costa Mesa when he was killed, according to the detective and Jesse Aguilar’s mother.
He never returned home after going to work Oct. 25, Lugo said. After being reported missing, his bound body was found the following day inside his car, which had been set ablaze.
Lugo, along with a team of fellow detectives, has been investigating Aguilar’s slaying since it occurred.
“We weren’t going to give up on this case,” he said.
1109_NWS_SGT-L-AGUILAR3Nancy Aguilar thanked detectives, and particularly Lugo, for their dedication.
“God sent Ray (Lugo) for this case because he never quits,” she said.
In addition to his parents, Nancy and Frank Aguilar, Jesse Aguilar is survived by two daughters, ages 9 and 14, three sisters and two brothers.
Nancy Lugo said in the years following son’s slaying, she has found comfort and solace in support groups, such as Parents of Murdered Children’s Orange County chapter.
According to Los Angeles County booking records, Vallejo is being held in lieu of $1.01 million bail and is scheduled for arraignment Monday in Los Angeles Superior 1109_NWS_SGT-L-AGUILAR4Court. Silvas remained in custody in Orange County pending a scheduled arraignment Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, officials said.


PHOTOS: [TOP TO BOTTOM] 1. Jesse Aguilar, 24, of Rowland Heights, was found slain inside his burning car in South Gate on Oct. 26, 2006. Two suspects were charged with his killing nine years later on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. (Courtesy)  2. Jesse Aguilar poses with an Iraqi boy while serving overseas with the U.S. Army following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. (Courtesy)  3. Jesse Aguilar spends time with one of his two daughters shortly after returning home from a U.S. Army deployment to Iraq. (Courtesy)  4. The gravesite of Jesse Aguilar, 24, of Rowland Heights, who was found slain inside his burning car in South Gate on Oct. 26, 2006. Two suspects were charged with his killing nine years later on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. (Courtesy)  5. Jesse Aguilar, a 24-year-old U.S. Army veteran found slain in 2006, is pictured upon his graduation from the Wilshire School of Continuing Education in Fullerton. (Courtesy)


Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Man killed in double-fatal crash in Downey identified as Camp Pendleton Marine

DOWNEY >> One of two people killed in a pickup truck crash on the 5 Freeway in Downey over the weekend has been identified as a Camp Pendleton-based U.S. Marine, coroner’s officials said Sunday.
Samuel Tristan Flynn, 20, died at the scene of Saturday morning’s solo-vehicle crash along the southbound 5 Freeway, just north of Paramount Boulevard, Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner-Medical Examiner said. Originally from Washington state, Flynn was a Marine based at Camp Pendleton.
A 21-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita woman riding as a rear passenger in the 2002 Dodge Dakota also died in the crash, California Highway Patrol officials said. Her name was not released Sunday pending notification of her family.
A third person riding as a passenger in the truck, a 21-year-old Irvine woman, suffered moderate injuries, officials said.
Flynn was driving the truck at an unknown speed about 4:50 a.m. when the truck veered to the right, left the roadway and struck a tree, California highway Patrol officials said. The cause of the crash remained under investigation.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email

Officials: Teen gang member accidentally shoots self in East Los Angeles

EAST LOS ANGELES >> A 14-year-old boy found fatally shot in an East Los Angeles alley is believed to have accidentally shot himself while handling a handgun, authorities said Sunday.
The shooting took place about 6:10 p.m. in the 3500 block of Cesar Chavez Avenue, Deputy Crystal Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Information Bureau said in a written statement.
Responding deputies found the teen lying in an alley suffering from a gunshot wound to his head, Hernandez said. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he succumbed to his injury.
“After speaking with witnesses, it appeared the victim, 14 years old, who was a documented member of a local street gang, may have been handling a loaded handgun and unintentionally shot himself,” Hernandez said.
His identity was withheld Sunday pending officials identification and notification of his family, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Lt. Fred Corral said.
Detectives were yet to determine when or how the teen got the gun, officials added. No further details were released.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

Facebook Twitter Reddit Tumblr Linkedin Email