Azusa man admits to sexual assault of Glendale woman inside her home

PASADENA >> An Azusa man admitted breaking into a Glendale woman’s home and sexually assaulting her at knifepoint before being chased away by her adult son in 2015, officials said.
Justin Amador Rios, 20, pleaded guilty Thursday in to one count of forcible sexual penetration in the Pasadena branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Ricardo Santiago said. Rios also admitted to a special allegation that he personally used a knife in the crime.
Rios did not know his victim prior to the crime, Santiago said. “It was a random attack.”
The attack took place on June 3, 2015, in the 900 block of Orange Grove Avenue, officials said.
“The defendant broke into the 38-year-old victim’s home and assaulted her at knifepoint,” Santiago said in a written statement. “When she managed to scream for help, her adult son woke up and stopped the attack.”
Glendale police found and arrested Rios in connection with the attack the following day.
Two additional counts of forcible oral copulation and one additional count of burglary were dismissed during Thursday’s hearing, which was the result of a negotiated plea arrangement, according to Santiago and court records.
Rios is expected to receive 24 years to life in state prison when he returns to court for sentencing on May 16, Santiago said.

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Family, friends continue search for Megan Di Piazza, 33, missing woman from Montrose

The Glendale Police Department has now issued a bulletin seeking clues in its search for Megan DiPiazza, 33, missing since last Sunday. Here’s what the flier says:

Megan DiPiazzaThe Glendale Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating Megan Sue Dipiazza. She was last seen on the evening of November 11, 2012. A note was discovered “saying goodbye to her family.” Megan has a history of depression.

There is no indication of foul play. No suspicious activity has been identified. The Police Department would like to speak with Megan Dipiazza. The family is concerned for her welfare and has been working closely with the Police Department.

Last week a police spokesman said he believed DiPiazza was in the company of “people”. On Monday a second spokesman recanted that statement. Meanwhile, DiPiazza’s friends continue to search for her or her car, a “2013 Gray Toyota Scion.” The car has license plates of 6XJR885, but those plates may not be attached, according to Glendale PD.
Megan DiPiazza car

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Desperate search for Megan DiPiazza of Montrose continues

Here’s what we have so far on the disappearance of Megan DiPiazza:

MONTROSE – Investigators on Wednesday asked for those who know the whereabouts of Megan Sue DiPiazza, the Montrose mother who went missing Sunday night, to come forward with information about the 33-year-old woman.
DiPiazza disappeared from her house Sunday night. She left behind a note “saying goodbye to her family,” Glendale police Sgt. Thomas Lorenz said Wednesday.
The department said foul play is not suspected in the disappearance.
“She is voluntarily missing,” Lorenz said. “There is nothing suspicious here. She left a note that said she was leaving.”

Glendale police officials didn’t know why the Montrose mother left her family but said DiPiazza suffers from depression.

Channel 2/9 has this:

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Pasadena smash and grab yields arrests and possible tie-in to Glendale

Here’s a link to our excellent photo gallery.

Richard Ghoogasian, the store manager, said he saw five to seven men when he came out from the back of the store.

“I wasn’t going to get physically involved until I saw one of them take a swing at one of the girls. I threw a phone at them and missed,” he said.

An ambulance was dispatched to treat a female employee injured in the break-in. Police did not release the names of those arrested Wednesday.

According to Ghoogasian, the suspects didn’t take much – “they did more damage than anything,” he said.

Compare that to this Glendale PD video release – then judge for yourself:

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Toonerville crew arrested in connection with Mongol slaying

LAPD Press Release: 
On October 8, 2008, at 1:55 a.m., Manual Martin was riding his motorcycle on the eastbound 210 Freeway while transitioning to the southbound 2 Freeway in the city of Glendale.  A car pulled up next to him, and within a few seconds, the occupants fired thirteen shots. Martin was shot once in the chest and died within minutes.  Seven additional bullets hit his motorcycle.  The Glendale Police Department investigated the murder and identified the suspects as members of a local street gang.  Their investigation also revealed that the gang was responsible for other crimes.  
This from the Associated Press: 
Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton says officers have arrested 19 members of one of the city’s most violent gangs. 
The arrests Thursday by Los Angeles and suburban Glendale police  were the result of a 10-month investigation of the Toonerville gang.
After a member of the Mongols motorcycle gang was gunned down on Interstate 210 last
October, Glendale police used a wiretap and discovered key evidence that led to the arrests.
Police say four murder suspects, four attempted-murder or assault suspects and 12 drug
suspects were arrested in the early morning raid. Police found 48 guns in one house and 63 guns in all.
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Outlaw motorcycle gangs not ruled out in shooting death

This is the latest in the strange and terrible saga of Manuel Martin’s’ death at the intersection of the 2 and the 210 freeways was the result of an ongoing feud between the Hell’s Angels and Mongols motorcycle clubs. Here’s Nathan McIntire’s update:

GLENDALE – Police are searching for a dark-colored car that may have been involved in the shooting death of a motorcyclist on the Glendale (2) Freeway.

An autopsy was performed on the victim Thursday, but the results were not available, authorities said.
Manuel Vincent Martin, 30, suffered a bullet wound in the chest but had no other major visible injuries, according to Los Angeles County Department of Coroner spokesman Craig Harvey.
Police confirmed Thursday that another motorcyclist riding with Martin was wearing a Mongols Motorcycle Club T-shirt. The Mongols, a biker gang that originated in Montebello in the 1970s, has been warring with the Hell’s Angels.
Gang involvement is being investigated as a possible motive in the slaying, according to Glendale Police Department Sgt. Tom Lorenz.
Several people showed up to the crime scene following the shooting, Lorenz said.
“The apparel that they were wearing indicated an association with the Mongols,” he said. “There was one individual with a Mongol tatoo.”
“The Police Department has not ruled out any outlaw biker activity that may have caused this event,” he added.

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American Heat

In wake of increased violence between outlaw motorcycle gangs, Palm Desert is prepping for a weekend orgy of motorcyclists to descend on the Riverside County Community, according to the Desert Sun:


Palm Springs Police Chief David Dominguez told merchants this week that while there have been recent incidents around the state between rival motorcycle gangs, he does not expect violence during this weekend’s event.

“They (the motorcycle groups) have let us know they are coming and they just want to have fun,” Dominguez said.

Earlier this year, Dominguez warned the City Council that he was concerned about rising incidents among the Mongols, Vagos and Hells Angels motorcycle gangs.

He said this week that there is always a chance that something could happen, but his department will be prepared.

There will be a heavy presence of uniformed officers throughout the weekend, as well as volunteer and off-duty law enforcement officers who will be in town showing off their own bikes, Dominguez said. Burke said he will also have security on hand to ensure a family-friendly event.

“I think we will be fine,” Dominguez said.

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A fallen biker

Here’s a photo of Manuel Martin supplied by the DMV. Martin was apparently shot and killed at the 210 2 connector on the Glendale La Canada border early Wednesday morning, officials said. He was 30.

Police are working two theories in regard to the incident. The first is that Martin may have been killed as a result of road rage. The second involves a fellow motorcyclist’sapparentaffiliationwiththeMongols outlaw motorcycle gang and an ongoing feud between the Hell’s Angels andMongols. Police don’t know (or wont’ say) if Martin was a Mongol.
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The strange and terrible saga of outlaw motorcycle gangs continues***

A motorcyclist who was shot to death on a freeway in Glendale may have been a member of the Montebello-based Mongols motorcycle gang, authorities said Wednesday.

The shooting occurred about 2 a.m. And the connector linking the 2 and the 210 was shut down for most of the morning, authorities said.

The death may be the latest chapter in a feud between the Mongols and the Hells Angels.

In early September, Hells Angels leader Mark “Papa: Guardado was shot to death in San Francisco’s Mission District. Christopher Ablett, a Modesto member of the Mongols is believed to be responsible for the slaying, according to witnesses.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:


Guardado was killed about a mile from the Hells Angels clubhouse on Tennessee Street, where he lived as head of what the group calls the Frisco chapter.

Police say murder charges were filed against Ablett in San Francisco earlier this week. He is considered armed and dangerous, and is being sought on a $5 million arrest warrant.

Homicide Inspector Karen Lynch declined to elaborate on a possible motive for the killing, other than to say Guardado and Ablett apparently argued on the street before the shooting.

Ablett is a freelance electrician who lives with his parents in a suburban neighborhood of Modesto.

* Ablett turned himself in to authorities in Oklahoma yesterday, according to the Associated Press:

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) – The man police think killed the leader of the San Francisco Hells Angels motorcycle gang last month surprised a smalltown police force in Oklahoma by turning himself in.
Bartlesville Police Chief Tom Holland says Christopher Ablett showed up to surrender Sunday.
A check of Ablett’s name and fingerprints turned up nothing tying him to any case in Oklahoma. He suggested they might want to expand their search, and that’s when a California warrant for his arrest popped onto the screen with a $5 million bond attached. Ablett told the officers, “That would be me.”
Holland says Ablett was “as polite as could be,” and not someone you’d think killed anyone.
Ablett is said to be part of a rival motorcycle gang fueding with the Hells Angels.

** The official Mongols Web site is here.

***The dead man has been identified as Manuel V. Martin, of Torrance or Venice. He was 30 years old.
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