La Habra 16-year-old boy armed with gun wounded in police shooting

LA HABRA  A 16-year-old boy was wounded in a police shooting Monday morning in La Habra, according to authorities.

Around 9:35 a.m. officers were dispatched to the 200 block of South Monte Vista Street after being notified by a woman that her son had armed himself with a gun following a family dispute, La Habra police Sgt. Jose Rocha said.

“The caller advised that the suspect left on foot, armed with the firearm and stated that he wanted to shoot something and be on the news,” he said.

However, when police arrived, the teen had already left the area. Police found him in the 300 block of South Walnut Street where an officer shot the teen, Rocha said.

The teen fled and was later located at Knudson Street and 3rd Avenue. A handgun was recovered,  Rocha said.

He was transported by ambulance to UCI Medical Center where his condition was unknown. He is in custody on suspicion of attempted homicide, criminal threats, and brandishing a firearm.

No officers were injured.

A motive for the shooting has not been released, and the incident remains under investigation.

 

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Police arrest 2 in connection with thefts from Westminster gym

Christopher Blackburn
Christopher Blackburn
Tiffany Cauyong
Tiffany Cauyong

FOUNTAIN VALLEY Two people were arrested Wednesday in connection with thefts from lockers at a Fountain Valley gym, police said.

Tiffany Cauyong, 18, and Christopher Blackburn ,19, both of Daly City were booked into the  Orange County Jail on suspicion of burglary, grand theft, and fraud, Fountain Valley police Sgt. Tony Luce said in a statement.

Around 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, police were notified that several lockers had been broken into at 24 Hour Fitness, 17200 Brookhurst St., Luce said.

Cauyong  and  Blackburn are suspected of stealing car keys, credit cards and cellphones, Luce said. Police believe the pair used the keys to unlock vehicles in the gym parking lot to take additional items.

Cauyong and Blackburn were arrested as they left Westminster Mall where police say they used stolen credit cards to make fraudulent purchases.

 

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Clapper: U.S. government ‘under assault’ by Trump after Comey firing

By HOPE YEN

WASHINGTON  — Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Sunday described a U.S. government “under assault” after President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to fire FBI director James Comey, as lawmakers urged the president to select a new FBI director free of any political stigma.

“I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally — and that’s the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system,” Clapper said. “I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.”

When he was asked, “Internally, from the president?” Clapper said, “Exactly.”

Clapper spoke following Trump’s sudden firing of Comey last week, which drew sharp criticism because it came amid the FBI’s probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible ties between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign.

Clapper said America’s founding fathers had created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now “under assault and is eroding.”

Lawmakers from both parties also criticized Trump’s actions last week, which included changing explanations from the White House for the firing and an ominous tweet by Trump that warned Comey against leaks to the press because he may have “tapes” of their conversations. The lawmakers urged the president to select a new FBI director without any political background.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said promoting an FBI agent to lead the agency would allow the nation to “reset.” He dismissed as less desirable at least two of the 14 candidates under consideration by Trump, former Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, explaining that “these are not normal circumstances.”

Rogers, an ex-FBI agent and former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has drawn the backing of the FBI Agents Association. Cornyn is the No. 2 Republican in the Senate.

“It’s now time to pick somebody who comes from within the ranks, or is of such a reputation who has no political background at all who can go into the job from Day 1,” the South Carolina Republican said. Asked whether Rogers or Cornyn would be good choices, Graham flatly said, “no.”

“The president has a chance to clean up the mess he mostly created,” Graham said, adding, “I have no evidence the president colluded with the Russians at all, but we don’t know all the evidence yet.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said the new FBI director should certainly be someone “not of partisan background” with “great experience” and “courage.” He left open the possibility that Democrats might try and withdraw support for a new FBI director unless the Justice Department names a special prosecutor. Under rules of the Senate, Republicans could still confirm an FBI director with 51 votes. Republicans hold 52 seats in the chamber to Democrats’ 48.

Less than a week after Trump fired Comey, the administration has interviewed at least eight candidates to be FBI director, and Trump has said a decision could come before he leaves Friday on his first overseas trip as president.

“I think the process is going to go quickly. Almost all of them are very well-known,” Trump said of the candidates before Air Force One took off for Lynchburg, Virginia, where he gave the commencement address at Liberty University. “They’ve been vetted over their lifetime essentially, but very well-known, highly respected, really talented people. And that’s what we want for the FBI.”

Trump abruptly fired Comey on Tuesday and later said Comey was a “showboat” and “grandstander” who was not doing a good job. The firing drew a wave of criticism in large part because the FBI has been investigating whether election meddling by Russia involved people in Trump’s presidential campaign, and Trump said in an interview with NBC that the investigation factored into his decision to fire Comey. The changing rationales the White House offered added an element of chaos to the president’s action.

The FBI director serves a 10-year term but can be replaced by the president.

So far 14 people — lawmakers, attorneys and law enforcement officials among them — have emerged as candidates. Eight met at the Justice Department on Saturday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein.

The first candidate to arrive for interviews was Alice Fisher, a high-ranking Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration.

Also interviewed were:

—Adam Lee, special agent in charge of the FBI’s office in Richmond, Virginia.

— Andrew McCabe, the acting FBI director.

—Michael J. Garcia, a former prosecutor and associate judge on New York’s highest court.

—Cornyn, a former Texas attorney general.

—U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, a Bush appointee who struck down the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s health care law in 2010.

—Frances Townsend, a former Bush homeland security and counterterrorism adviser.

—Rogers. The FBI Agents Association says it believes his diverse background makes him the best choice.

Fisher and Townsend were the only women on the list of candidates. The FBI has never had a female director.

Sessions has faced questions over whether his involvement in Comey’s firing violates his pledge to recuse himself from investigations into Russian interference in the election. Some lawmakers have alleged the firing was an effort to stifle that FBI probe.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Sessions and Rosenstein were involved in the interviews because the FBI director reports to them as attorney general and deputy attorney general.

Clapper and Schumer made their comments on CNN’s “State of the Union”; Graham spoke on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

___

Associated Press writers Sadie Gurman and Darlene Superville contributed to this report.

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Man sentenced to 52 years-to-life for stabbing mother’s boyfriend to death

SANTA ANA A 29-year-old Anaheim man was sentenced to 52-years-to-life in prison on Friday for stabbing his mother’s boyfriend to death in a rage over how the boyfriend treated her.

A jury in March convicted Ruben Martinez of first-degree murder for the death of Maximino Fuentes Clara, 52, of Garden Grove, who was found lying in the street with multiple stab wounds in an unincorporated area near Anaheim on Nov. 16, 2014.

Martinez, who has prior convictions for carjacking and vehicle theft, stabbed Clara after an argument, prosecutors said.

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Irvine man arrested after allegedly posing as a Fullerton employee to get inside business

FULLERTON An armed man posing as a city employee possibly to case an auto dealership was arrested Tuesday, May 2, police said.

Police arrested Junichi Kitasumi, 28, of Irvine on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, burglary tools and narcotics.

Kitasumi also was in possession of prescription painkillers and Oxycodone, which he had concealed upon entering Fullerton Jail, Radus said.

Officers responded around 8:30 a.m. to the dealership in the 18 block of West Commonwealth Avenue for a report of a suspicious person, Fullerton Sgt. Jon Radus said.

The business was open.

Kitasumi, wearing a reflective vest, claimed to be a city worker checking on a power surge from the previous night, witnesses told police. But officers searched Kitasumi and found a loaded 9-mm handgun in his waistband and unspecified burglary tools, authorities said.

Officers also found a controlled substance and prescription drugs in his vehicle, he added.

Police believe the suspect may have been casing the dealership for car keys or to disable the security system, Radus said. The investigation is ongoing.

Radus said that business owners and residents should be aware of people posing as workers for services that weren’t requested.

“People should always ask for identification, and if they are unsure then make a phone call to the company to confirm the services,” he said.  “At the very least, they can contact police.”

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Crime log for Huntington Beach, April 23-29

April 23

Vehicle burglary: Around 12 a.m. Acacia Ave. and Main St.

Disturbing the peace: Around 1 a.m. 200 block of Main St.: Police made at least one arrest.

Assault: Around 1 a.m. Main St. and Olive Ave.

Disturbing the peace: Around 1 a.m. 8700 block of Anchorage Dr.

Loud party: Around 5 a.m. 16300 block of Wishingwell Lane: Police advised the address.

Burglary: Around 6 a.m. 9000 block of Adams Ave.

Vehicle theft: Around 9 a.m. 16000 block of Springdale St.

Grand theft: Around 10 a.m. 6300 block of Silverwood Dr.

Garage burglary: Around 10 a.m. 2300 block of Florida St.

Domestic violence: Around 1 p.m. 1700 block of Florida St.

Disturbing the peace: Around 1 p.m. Main St. and PCH: Police made at least one arrest.

Physical fight: Around 2 p.m. Broadway and N. Pacific Ave.: Police made at least one arrest.

Petty theft: Around 3 p.m. 21000 block of PCH: Police made at least one arrest.

Assault with a deadly weapon: Around 3 p.m. 100 block of Main St.

Vehicle theft: Around 5 p.m. 2000 block of California St.

Vehicle burglary: Around 7 p.m. 10200 block of Kamuela Dr.

Vehicle theft: Around 8 p.m. 16800 block of Hoskins Lane

Loud party: Around 10 p.m. 17100 block of Oak Lane

Loud party: Around 11 p.m. 18500 block of Beach Blvd.

April 24

Disturbing the peace: Around 3 a.m. 18500 block of Beach Blvd.

Drunk in public: Around 6 a.m. Atlanta Avenue and Greenfield Lane

Vehicle theft: Around 8 a.m. 1st Street and Orange Ave.

Vehicle burglary: Around 8 a.m. 600 block of 13th St.

Vehicle burglary: Around 9 a.m. 8200 block of Atlanta Ave.

Burglary: Around 10 a.m. 16300 block of Bradbury Lane

Burglary: Around 10 a.m. 16800 block of Scotsdale Circle

Vehicle burglary: Around 11 a.m. 16200 block of Parkside Lane

Vehicle theft: Around 12 p.m. 21100 block of Chesterbrook Lane

Physical fight: Around 4 p.m. 1st Street and Walnut Ave.

Burglary: Around 5 p.m. 16100 block of Parkside Lane

Vehicle burglary: Around 5 p.m. 7400 block of Edinger Ave.

Burglary: Around 5 p.m. 20300 block of Bluffside Circle

Vehicle burglary: Around 5 p.m. 21900 block of Summerwind Lane

Drunk in public: Around 7 p.m. Huntington Beach Pier: Police made at least one arrest.

Attempted burglary: Around 8 p.m. 100 block of 14th St.

Vehicle theft: Around 8 p.m. 16200 block of Parkside Lane

Disturbing the peace: Around 8 p.m. 21800 block of Oceanview Lane: Police made at least one arrest.

Loud music: Around 11 p.m. 16600 block of Dolores Lane

April 25

Vehicle burglary: Around 2 a.m. 7800 block of Center Ave.

Vandalism: Around 5 a.m. 19400 block of Beach Blvd.

Vehicle burglary: Around 6 a.m. 8700 block of Knights Circle

Domestic violence: Around 12 p.m. 5900 block of Nordina Dr.

Physical fight: Around 4 p.m. 15900 block of Springdale St.

Burglary: Around 7 p.m. 16300 block of Beach Blvd.

Disturbing the peace: Around 7 p.m. 19000 block of Goldenwest St.: Police made at least one arrest.

Disturbing the peace: Around 11 p.m. 19900 block of Beach Blvd.

April 26

Vehicle theft: Around 2 a.m. 7600 block of Amazon Dr.

Vehicle burglary: Around 7 a.m. 5000 block of Flamingo Dr.

Vandalism: Around 10 a.m. 6700 block of Warner Ave.

Vehicle theft: Around 10 a.m. 16500 block of Beach Blvd.

Vehicle theft: Around 1 p.m. 2800 block of Huntington St.

Garage burglary: Around 5 p.m. 18300 block of Patterson Lane

Attempted burglary: Around 5 p.m. 17000 block of Newquist Lane

Drunk in public: Around 6 p.m. 21300 block of Monaco Circle: Police made at least one arrest.

Drunk in public: Around 8 p.m. 7100 block of Yorktown Ave.: Police made at least one arrest.

Disturbing the peace: Around 11 p.m. 1000 block of PCH: Police made at least one arrest.

April 27

Burglary: Around 2 a.m. 16700 block of Talisman Lane

Burglary: Around 7 a.m. 10100 block of Adams Ave.

Attempted auto theft: Around 8 a.m. 7600 block of Woodwind Dr.

Grand theft: Around 12 p.m. 16700 block of Talisman Lane

Petty theft: Around 1 p.m. 19100 block of Beach Blvd.: Police made at least one felony arrest.

Domestic violence: Around 4 p.m. 16000 block of Beach Blvd.

Vehicle burglary: Around 6 p.m. 7000 block of Little Harbor Dr.

Disturbing the peace: Around 6 p.m. 5100 block of Flamingo Circle: Police made at least one arrest.

Vehicle theft: Around 8 p.m. 17000 block of Beach Blvd.

Petty theft: Around 9 p.m. 7700 block of Edinger Ave.

Robbery: Around 11 p.m. 17400 block of Beach Blvd.

April 28

Vehicle burglary: Around 6 a.m. 6000 block of Welde Circle

Attempted auto theft: Around 6 a.m. 17300 block of Beach Blvd.

Vehicle burglary: Around 7 a.m. 6000 block of Welde Circle

Vandalism: Around 1 p.m. Oak Lane and Warner Ave.

Burglary: Around 3 p.m. 10000 block of Cliff Dr.

Brandishing a weapon: Around 4 p.m. PCH and Seapoint St.

Burglary: Around 6 p.m. 21800 block of Newland St.

Loud party: Around 8 p.m. 20900 block of Glencairn Lane: Police issued a civil citation to the address.

Domestic violence: Around 10 p.m. 200 block of 12th St.

April 29

Disturbance involving juveniles: Around 12 a.m. 200 block of Main St.

Loud party: Around 3 a.m. 9700 block of Brookhaven Circle: Police advised the address.

Attempted auto theft: Around 6 a.m. 8100 block of Opal Circle

Vehicle theft:  Around 7 a.m. 7500 block of Amazon Dr.

Vehicle theft: Around 8 a.m. 15500 block of Producer Lane

Vandalism: Around 9 a.m. 1st Street and Main St.: Police made at least one felony arrest.

Attempted burglary: Around 11 a.m. 17700 block of Beach Blvd.

Vehicle burglary: Around 12 p.m. 6400 block of Warner Ave.

Disturbing the peace: Around 12 p.m. 16600 block of Beach Blvd.: Police made at least one arrest.

Burglary: Around 3 p.m. 8700 block of Conner Dr.

Petty theft: Around 7 p.m. 9800 block of Adams Ave.: Police made at least one arrest.

Physical fight: Around 8 p.m. 16000 block of Tortola Circle

Loud party: Around 10 p.m. 18800 block of Rockinghorse Lane: Police issued a first response warning to the address.

Domestic violence: Around 11 p.m. Brookhurst St. and Hamilton Ave.: Police made at least one felony arrest.

The crime log was compiled by Stephen Bydal and consists of selected items from the Huntington Beach Police Department. Calls represent what was told to the officer in the field by the radio dispatcher. No assumption of guilt should be drawn. Time of day for each incident was rounded to the nearest hour by the source.

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Santa Ana’s police chief accepts top cop job at BART, that agency announces

SANTA ANA Carlos Rojas, who announced his resignation as Santa Ana’s police chief on Thursday, April 20, has accepted the same position with the Bay Area Rapid Transit in Northern California.

Rojas has been a Santa Ana policeman for 27 years.

BART officials, in announcing the appointment on Friday on its website, said Rojas is well-verse in community-oriented policing and “brings a wealth of Homeland Security expertise and knowledge.”

 

Rojas was Santa Ana’s first Latino police chief, and will be BART’s first as well.

BART’s offer is contingent upon Rojas’ successful completion of psychological exams and a background check, which could take up to 30 days. His start date is still to be determined but will likely be in late May or early June.

Rojas has faced recent criticism by some Santa Ana elected officials over a rise in shootings in town and questions about the department’s performance and leadership. After November’s city election, he lost support on the council.

Rojas’ annual salary with the city was $232,500, according to Transparent California for 2015, the most recently available reporting year. “Other pay” was listed as $13,396. His benefits package was valued at $158,120.22, putting his total compensation at $404,016.22.

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Amid controversy over rise in shootings, Santa Ana police chief resigns, says he has new job

Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas has announced his resignation, saying he has agreed to take a job with another undisclosed agency.

In a letter dated Wednesday to Acting City Manager City Manager Gerardo Mouet and obtained by the Register, Rojas noted he had served the city for more than 27 years and called for appointment of an acting police chief to “allow for a seamless transition as I separate from the department.”

The action comes amid recent criticism by some City Hall elected officials over a rise in shootings and an ongoing discussion by a sharply divided City Council of the department’s performance and leadership. The November city election, which focused in large part on crime and trends in shooting, reduced Rojas’ support on the council.

The Santa Ana Police Officers’ Association announced Thursday it was moving forward with a vote of no confidence on Rojas. The police union agreed to proceed with the vote last week, the group’s president, Gerry Serrano, wrote in an email to city officials.

Newly elected Councilman Jose Solorio, who had police union backing in the November election, said in an email to Register Thursday that  “maybe the POA won’t need to do a vote of no confidence.”

Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertanga had said early Thursday morning that Rojas “is not currently discussing his employment status.”

The police union email to city officials, provided to the Register, states that the union tabled plans for a no confidence vote more than a year ago, “in fairness, to allow Chief Rojas to address the issues.”

“A year has elapsed and gang shootings are up to historic numbers, mismanagement of resources and the morale at the police department has worsened to near unrecoverable levels,” Serrano wrote. “There has been no change in all of the areas of concern, and as new issues arise, the association has decided it is now time to move forward.”

The new development comes days after council members directed city staff to pursue, at the chief’s urging, what was characterized as a multi-pronged holistic approach, involving community groups, to combat shootings and gang violence.

“Gang prevention is a big challenge for us,” Rojas said during last week’s council meeting. “With that comes the increase in shootings we’ve seen.”

“We can’t arrest ourselves out of the problem,” he added.

There were 55 shootings in the first 50 days of 2016, a five-year high for Orange County’s second-largest city. Shortly afterward, the police department stopped releasing the number of shootings – which include attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and firing into an inhabited dwelling or vehicle – citing problems tracking from multiple databases.

The surge in shootings and the department’s handling of crime data became an issue in the council campaign later in the year, with the police union spending nearly $300,000 to help elect candidates who voiced concerns about the strategies and leadership of the department.

Figures released by the police department last month showed shootings in May and June last year exceeded the pace of shootings in the beginning of the year, and that the trend eased before climbing back to about one-per-day in January of this year. More broadly, shootings increased 183 percent from 2013 to 2016 to 292 incidents, according to the report. Many were gang-related

Mouet, the city manager, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

In his email, Solorio noted the chief worked many years for Santa  Ana “and we are thankful for his service and commitment to our city.”

Rojas rose through the ranks of the department and was appointed as the 20th Police Chief in May 2014. He served at the rank of corporal, sergeant, commander and deputy chief. Rojas developed the Homeland Security Division after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to the city’s website.

Rojas is a Medal of Valor recipient from the United States Customs Service, Santa Ana Police Department and the Federal Bar Association. He has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Chapman University and a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach.

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