Written by AARON CASTREJON
COVINA - Azusa officers abruptly ended a pursuit of a reckless Hyundai Elantra that found its way into San Gabriel Valley surface streets.
The white Elantra was abruptly stopped by Azusa officers on Hollenbeck Avenue north of Covina Boulevard. One suspect was taken into custody. It is unclear if a second suspect seen earlier in the chase, was found and arrested.
The driver and his passenger were sought for possibly reckless driving by East Los Angeles CHP officers on the eastbound 60 freeway west of Peck Road. The driver bypassed traffic by using the right shoulder.
Officers attempted to stop the driver on the north 605 freeway near Ramona, but driver kept going into Duarte on surface streets. The chase went onto the East 210 freeway where officers could not keep up while the driver used the shoulder, according to California Highway Patrol radio traffic.
After exiting onto Citrus Avenue, the suspect took numerous side streets and stopped at an Azusa apartment complex near Azusa Avenue and Gladstone Street where the suspects ran on foot.
One or more of the suspects got back in the car and took off again.
San Dimas Sheriff’s deputies joined the chase along with Azusa police officers who used the Pursuit Intervention Technique to stop the driver.
POLICE: Crowd Dispersed After Property is Vandalized, Officer Assaulted During Covina Protest Sunday
Written by AARON CASTREJON
COVINA - Three people were arrested after another large crowd of protestors turned up at the reported home a deputy who fatally shot a man in Gardena.
The three were accused of various crimes, ranging from trespassing, to assaulting a peace officer and lynching — the latter is a confusing use of the term, according to Lt. Ryan Davis of the Covina Police Department.
“At some point there was an intoxicated person who came onto the property and pushed an officer,” Davis told SGV CityWatch. “As he was attempting to make an arrest, the crowd basically surrounded the officers and started pulling her away.”
The protestor was pulled away from the officer. Eventually, an unlawful assembly was declared and the crowd was dispersed roughly after 7 p.m. with the help of officers from Azusa, Glendora, West Covina and the San Dimas Sheriff’s Station.
The woman who allegedly assaulted an officer was later seen near the Covina Police Department and arrested, Davis told SGV CityWatch.
One of the people who pulled the protester away from the officer during the arrest was also found and taken into custody, Davis told SGV CityWatch. That person was booked on suspicion of lynching, which the California Penal Code describes as removing someone from police custody by means of a riot, Davis told SGV CityWatch.
Police originally responded to the home, which is located near San Bernardino Road and Hollenback Avenue, to keep protesters off the private property.
The protests began around 4 p.m.
Protesters allegedly placed Post-It notes and larger signs on the deputy’s home and walkway, Davis told SGV CityWatch. Protestors also wrote messages in chalk on a public as well as the private walkway claiming that Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy Miguel Vega is a murderer, Davis told SGV CityWatch.
One other person was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and for not providing his name to an officer.
Written by AARON CASTREJON
COVINA - Police arrived en mas Thursday night to a neighborhood to quell a group of protestors who reportedly found the home of the deputy who fatally shot an 18-year-old man in Gardena.
The deputy reportedly lives in the area of Hollenbeck Avenue and San Bernardino Road. Protesters stood in the street, on the sidewalk and walked all over the front yard of a home believed to belong to Miguel Vega July 30.
Police from Covina, Glendora, Azusa and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrived to push back protestors who left behind signs at the home. Most, if not all, of the signs were removed by police.
In a video posted to social media, law enforcement could be seen going in and out of the home, talking to whoever was inside.
Deputies descended on Andres Guardado, who was employed as a security guard, at a Gardena business June 18.
Deputies claim they saw a gun on Guadardo’s person. Guardado ran from deputies a brief distance into an alley. He was shot and killed by deputy gunfire.
A gun was reportedly found in Guardado’s possession. Deputies allege he reached for his weapon during the foot pursuit.
Guardado’s death has strained the somewhat current tenuous relationship between law enforcement and the public, amidst calls for defunding law enforcement and amidst destructive protests and rioting.
Compounding the investigation is the allegations that shortly after shooting Guardado, deputies ripped surveillance cameras from a nearby business without a search warrant.
A security hold was placed on the autopsy report for Guardado — a standard procedure in police shooting investigations, but the very public family squabble between embattled Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and County authorities took an unexpected turn.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner defied the Sheriff’s security request and made public the preliminary results. Guardado was shot five times in the back, according to the coroner report.
An independent autopsy confirmed the county coroner’s findings.
Written by AARON CASTREJON
COVINA - A man caught on camera assaulting a woman in a coin laundromat was arrested this week and was booked on suspicion of indecent exposure and battery, police said.
Jose Luis Ibarra, 23, was taken into custody by Covina officers after he was arrested by Azusa Police July 6. Community members also helped to identify Ibarra, according to the Covina Police Department.
Ibarra was arrested in Azusa the same day he was accused of masturbating inside Coin Laundry, 314 N. Azusa Ave. Ibarra allegedly ejaculated on a 20-year-old woman’s leg and clothing at the laundromat.
Azusa officers jailed Ibarra after he was accused by another woman of following her in the 900 block of East Galatea Avenue. He allegedly exposing himself and masturbated, Azusa Police said.
In addition to the assault at Coin Laundry, Ibarra is suspected of indecent exposure at Walmart, 1275 N. Azusa Ave., Covina Police said.
Police seek additional victims.
Anyone with information on Ibarra is urged to call Covina Police Detective Ramirez at 626-384-5621.
Written by AARON CASTREJON
COVINA - Police announced the capture of a man who admitted to most recently igniting a destructive fire behind a Walmart.
Jose Javier Salgado, 39, was located at Azusa Avenue and Arrow Highway after three suspicious fires were set. He reportedly admitted to setting the fire at Walmart, according to the Covina Police Department.
Salgado was placed on a psychiatric hold, Covina Police said.
Firefighters were sent to the first blaze behind the Covina Walmart, 1275 N. Azusa Ave., at 10:36 p.m. April 15. Firefighters finally knocked down the blaze at 11 PM, according to Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman.
Cardboard, wood pallets and a forklift burned in the Walmart fire which forced the evacuation of those within, but no injuries were reported, Covina Police said.
At 11:34 PM, firefighters were dispatched to a dumpster fire behind Pupuseria Mi Salvador, 474 E. Arrow Hwy. A third fire was ignited at Hollenbeck Park, 1250 N. Hollenbeck Ave. Firefighters were dispatched at 11:48 p.m. to a dumpster fire, Pitman told SGV CityWatch.
Salgado is suspected in setting fires April 4 at Covina’s Guitar Center, the Covina Bowl, Walmart, Ross and Loan Max, Covina Police said. Salgado is also accused of igniting a fire in the area of Newburgh Street and Azusa Avenue.
Azusa Police captures Salgado after the Newburgh fire, was arrested and placed on a psychiatric hold, Covina Police said.
Anyone with information on these fires is urged to call Covina Police Department Detective K. Hulsey 626-384-5616, or LA Regional Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Refer to Covina PD Incident #20-10369, 20- 10375, and 20-10376.
Covina Police Chief John Curley issued a scathing statement via social media Thursday detailing the failure of the California justice system to keep criminals behind bars:
“10 arson fires in less than 2 weeks and unfortunately in California, “serial arson” is not considered “VIOLENT”....just like human trafficking of a child, rape by intoxication, and many others. Disgraceful to our community,” Curley said.
Written by AARON CASTREJON | CityWatch Editor
COVINA - “So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
William Shakespeare wrote the above words in the 16th century’s “A Merchant in Venice” and they certainly apply to one Covina Police Chaplain who saw fit to help a homeless couple get on their feet.
Chaplain Dave Truax, who has served Covina Police for 29 years, purchased bus tickets for the man and woman, who was in her second trimester of pregnancy, to go live with the woman’s sister in Georgia.
Truax and the local multi-agency Homeless Assistance Liaison Officer team met the couple at Covina Park, right outside the Covina Police Department this month.
The HALO team consists of Covina, West Covina, Azusa and Glendora Police officers, whose sole purpose is to provide local homeless people a plethora of helpful resources.
Truax listened in to the couple’s conversation with Los Angeles County social workers and heard of the offer to move to Georgia, but the couple could not save enough money to purchase tickets. Some of their money had even been stolen, Covina Police said.
The HALO team agreed that moving to Georgia was the best option.
“Chaplain Truax again offered the couple ... two options. Accept local housing and job placement help from the county, or relocate to Georgia and the care of family members,” Covina Police said.
The couple chose Georgia.
Truax met the couple the following afternoon outside the Covina Police Department, packed and ready to leave. After saying goodbye to their Covina Park family, Truax drove them to a nearby bus station and purchased tickets and some travel essentials, Covina Police said.
Two days later, the sister reported the couple arrived safely in Georgia and were in her care, Covina Police said.
“Finding smart and creative ways to solve these issues on a local level is challenging and that’s why we invest in not only the HALO program, but also the Mental Evaluation Team,” Covina Police said, referring to the local multi-agency program, which features a County Department of mental Health clinician.
“This act of kindness, compassion and generosity are what we see daily by the men and women of law enforcement,” Covina Police said. “It’s what we do. Chaplain Dave Truax is an extension of the law enforcement community and we are fortunate to have his skills and abilities.”