Robber pepper sprays liquor store clerk in Norwalk


NORWALK >> A robber sprayed a liquor store clerk with pepper spray before fleeing with cash from the register early Saturday, authorities said.
The crime unfolded about 8:30 a.m. at a liquor store in the 10000 block of Alondra Boulevard, near Studebaker Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jaime Alvarez said.
A man entered the store, approached the counter and sprayed the employee with pepper spray, according to the sergeant.
“The suspect then reached over the cash register and took approximately $300,” he said. He got into a black, four-door sedan which was last speeding north through a nearby alley.
Officials described the robber as a black man in his 20s, about 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with a “Nike” logo and black pants.
Paramedics treated the clerk at the scene for pepper spray exposure, but he did not need to be taken to a hospital, Alvarez said.
Anyone with information can reach the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Woman pepper sprayed during Arcadia robbery


ARCADIA >> Police are seeking a man and two women who pepper sprayed a woman during an armed robbery at an Arcadia business on Friday afternoon, authorities said.
The crime took place shortly before 2 p.m. in the 100 block of East St. Joseph Street, according to Arcadia police Sgt. Luis Juarez.
The woman, an employee of a nearby business, was walking down the street when the three attackers approached, he said.
“The victim stated a female suspect pepper sprayed her as a second female suspect stole the victim’s wallet,” Juarez said in a written statement. “The male suspect told the victim he had a gun and she felt what she believed was a gun pressed up against her body.”
After obtaining the woman’s wallet, the robbers were last seen running west along First Avenue, he said.
Police described the robbers as a Latino man and two Latina women between 25 and 30 years old.
The man was heavyset and wore basketball shorts and a dark-colored shirt.
One of the female robbers wore black clothing, a black hat and black sunglasses, police said. The other had acne on her face and wore workout clothes, a black hat and black sunglasses.
The victim suffered irritation from the pepper spray but did not require to be taken to a hospital, Juarez said.
Anyone with information can reach Arcadia police at 626-574-5151. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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UPDATED: Monrovia woman faces federal case in alleged pepper-spray attack on postal carrier in Pasadena


PASADENA >> Postal inspectors arrested a Monrovia woman Wednesday on suspicion of chasing down and pepper-spraying a mail carrier while screaming racial slurs in an incident of road rage in Pasadena two weeks ago, officials said.
Ruby Guerrero Valenzuela, 64, was arrested on suspicion of assault on a U.S. Postal Service employee in connection with the bizarre attack, reported about 10:40 a.m. on April 20 in the 1000 block of North Lake Avenue, according to Pasadena police and U.S. Department of Justice officials.
Valenzuela became enraged after the 55-year-old postal worker, who was driving a mail truck, accidentally cut her off in traffic in the area of Claremont Street and Mar Vista Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said at the time.
“Valenzuela shouted obscenities and followed the victim to her next stop (on Lake Avenue),” U.S. DOJ spokesman Thom Mrozek said in a written statement.
“Valenzuela ran up the victim, who had walked the entrance of building on Lake Avenue,” Mrozek continued. “According to witnesses, Valenzuela screamed additional obscenities and racial epithets at the victim before spraying the victim in the face with pepper spray, which caused the victim to suffer severe pain and blurred vision.”
The postal carrier declined to be taken to a hospital, Luna said.
Despite the racial slurs allegedly uttered by Valenzuela, both the suspect and victim are Latina, police said.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service joined Pasadena police in the investigation, as did Monrovia police, once the suspect was identified as a Monrovia resident.
Federal officials arrested Valenzuela on Wednesday morning, and she made her initial appearance in federal court in Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon, Mrozek said.
She entered no plea and was released after posting a $10,000 bond, Mrozek said. She was scheduled to return to court for an arraignment hearing on May 31.“The evidence in this case indicates that a postal carrier carrying out her duties was the victim of an unwarranted attack,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of California’s Central District said. “All federal employees should be able to carry out their duties without fear of attacks based on the performance of those duties.”
If convicted as charged, Valenzuela faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

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Mail carrier pepper-sprayed in Pasadena road rage attack

PASADENA >> A woman pepper-sprayed a postal carrier Wednesday in an attack prompted by road rage, police said.
The incident unfolded shortly after 10:40 a.m. as the postal carrier, a 55-year-old woman, was driving a mail truck in the area of Claremont Street and Mar Vista Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
“The postal carrier inadvertently cut off another vehicle,” Luna said.
The suspect, also a woman, became angry and followed the postal carrier to an apartment complex in the 1000 block of North Lake Avenue, between Claremont and Mountain streets, the lieutenant said.
Luna said the attacker then confronted the victim, yelled at her about the prior incident on the road and sprayed her in the face with pepper spray.
The attacker got into a late-model, light-colored pickup truck and fled south on Lake Avenue, he said. She was described as a Latina woman in her 50s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 160 pounds, of medium complexion, with dark hair. She wore a dark-colored shirt.
Paramedics provided first aid to the postal worker, who suffered irritation due to the pepper spray but was otherwise unhurt, Luna said. She declined to be taken to a hospital.
Anyone with information can reach Pasadena police at 626-744-4241. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Police: Man uses pepper spray to fend of knife attack in Pasadena


PASADENA >> A Pasadena man used pepper spray to defend himself after a family member attacked him with a knife amid a psychotic episode Sunday, police said.
The incident took place about 10 a.m. at a home in the 1800 block of El Sereno Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
A 23-year-old Pasadena man attacked a 34-year-old family member, the lieutenant said.
“He was having a psychotic episode when he threatened to kill the victim with a knife he was holding in his hand,” Luna said. “He advanced toward the victim, at which point the victim pepper-sprayed the suspect in the face, thwarting the attack.”
The victim was unharmed, Luna said. The suspect was treated by paramedics for exposure to pepper spray and taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Criminal charges were likely to follow.

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Man with knife, pepper spray robs San Dimas gas station


SAN DIMAS >> A man armed with both a knife and pepper spray robbed a San Dimas gas station Sunday afternoon, authorities said.
The hold-up took place about 3:40 p.m. at a Shell Station, 630 W. Bonita Ave., Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Vicki Gregory said.
The robber entered the store and approached the cler, “with a knife in one hand and pepper spray in the other,” the sergeant said. The robber demanded the money from the register, and the cashier handed over between $150 and $200 before running off. He was last seen heading east on Bonita Avenue.
No injuries were reported.
Officials described the robber as a Latino man between 23 and 25 years old, of medium build, with a shaved head. He wore a light-colored, possible gray, T-shirt and black pants.

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Clerk pepper sprayed during Pasadena robbery


PASADENA >> A robber pepper-sprayed a cashier during a late-night heist Friday along Foothill Boulevard in Pasadena, police said.
The crime took place about 11:20 p.m. at a business in the 2800 block of East Foothill Boulevard, just east of Daisy Avenue, Pasadena police Lt. John Mercado said.
The robber entered the store and demanded money from the cash business’ cash register, he said.
“The clerk initially refused. “The suspect sprayed him with pepper spray,” the lieutenant said.
Police said the victim then opened the register, and the robber fled with an undetermined amount of cash. He was last seen running north along Daisy Avenue.
Officials described the suspect as a Latino man in his 20s, with a light complexion, of about 5 feet 9 inches tall. He wore a black baseball cap with white lettering on the front, a black short-sleeve shirt, gray shorts and gray gloves.
Mercado said the victim, an El Monte man in his 20s, suffered irritation from the pepper spray but declined to be taken to a hospital.

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