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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Freeway pedestrian dies after being struck by van

A man who was struck by a van while lying in the slow lane on the 55 Freeway in Santa Ana early Friday morning, May 5, died in the hospital on Saturday.

The Orange County Coroner’s Office on Sunday identified the man as 30-year-old Oscar Bonilla, of Tustin.

The crash occurred a little after 1:20 a.m. on the northbound
freeway, south of Edinger Avenue, said California Highway Patrol Officer Florentino Olivera.

Bonilla was transported by ambulance to Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana.

The driver of the van remained at the scene and no citations were issued.

Officers are investigating why the man was in the freeway lane, Olivera said. It has not been determined if drugs or alcohol contributed to the incident.

Witnesses reported that Bonilla had been walking against traffic in the slow lane before lying down, Olivera said.

 

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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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Bus driver convicted in autistic student’s death sent text messages, had sex with other driver while teen sat on bus

The bus driver convicted of leaving a 19-year-old autistic student on a hot school bus two years ago was having sex with another driver while the teen died, according to legal documents filed Tuesday by the attorneys of the teen’s family.

The documents included a Whittier police report showing officers recovered more than a dozen sexually explicit text messages sent between Armando Ramirez and his female co-worker the morning of Hun Joon “Paul” Lee’s death.

In interviews with Whittier police, the two drivers said they met at Ramirez’s house to have sex that day. The female driver told police she felt guilty that while she and Ramirez were having sex, “this kid was dying, and we were laughing.”

Ramirez was sentenced in January to two years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of dependent adult abuse in connection with Lee’s death.

Lee’s family is now suing the Pupil Transportation Cooperative, the bus company that employed the two drivers, as well as the Whittier Union High School District.

Robert Glassman of Panish, Shea & Boyle LLP is an attorney for the family. He said the text messages showed Ramirez was preoccupied with going to have sex with his girlfriend while he was supposed to be doing a sweep of the bus.

“He neglected the safety of students, of Paul that day, so he could have sex with the other driver,” Glassman said.

Glassman alleged that the school bus company was permissive in its treatment of relationships between employees and what its workers did on their breaks.

The bus company, PTC, whose lawyers did not return phone calls Tuesday, said in court documents there were no merit to the claim.

Depositions filed as evidence in the lawsuit Tuesday showed the female driver interviewed by police said PTC knew of the affair and did nothing to stop it.

Ramirez left the PTC parking lot without permission to see his girlfriend and did not return to his midday or evening shifts, Glassman said.

He added that PTC has not reformed its policy on employee fraternization.

The filing was in response to PTC’s motion of summary adjudication earlier this year to a portion of the Lee family’s lawsuit. The family’s lawyer amended their original complaint to include a third action of neglect by PTC, which would have put the company in violation of the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act.

Under this statute, PTC could be liable for attorneys’ fees and other damages not usually allowed in a wrongful death case.

Lee, who was a student at Sierra Vista Adult School, was left on a bus for hours on Sept. 11, 2015.

Lee’s family, father Sang Sik Lee and mother Eun Ha Lee, became worried when the teen didn’t come home and called the school and Whittier police.

The young man was found unconscious and lying on the floor of a school bus parked at Mulberry Drive and Greenleaf Avenue in Whittier. Lee died at the scene.

The monetary amount will be discussed as part of the trial, which will begin next month, he said.

“The jury, the community will ultimately decide the value of the loss of the relationship between Paul and his parents,” Glassman said.

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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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Oregon man charged with sexually assaulting 2 girls in Stanton

SANTA ANA An Oregon man was charged with sexually assaulting two
girls in Stanton in alleged incidents dating back to 2005, according to records
obtained Tuesday.
Cesar Cabrera-Martinez, 39, was charged this week with two counts of
oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child age 10 or younger and four
counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child younger than 14, all felonies.
Cabrera-Martinez also faces a sentencing-enhancement allegation of multiple
victims, according to court records.
The dates of the alleged attacks for one of the girls ranges from
January 2005 through 2008. The attacks against the second alleged victim
occurred in 2012, according to court records.
Cabrera-Martinez, who was arrested Friday and being held on $1 million
bail.

Cabrera-Martinez was living in Madras, Oregon when he was arrested,
according to court records. The victims are related to the defendant, according to Orange County
sheriff’s Lt. Lane Lagaret.

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Anaheim PD buying third helicopter

  • The Anaheim Police Department’s “Angel in the Sky” helicopter. The department received approval from the City Council earlier this month for the purchase of a 2006 Airbus AS350 B2 helicopter.(Courtesy: Anaheim Police Department)

    The Anaheim Police Department’s “Angel in the Sky” helicopter. The department received approval from the City Council earlier this month for the purchase of a 2006 Airbus AS350 B2 helicopter.(Courtesy: Anaheim Police Department)

  • The Anaheim Police Department will add to their fleet of helicopters after the City Council earlier this month approved for the department to purchase a 2006 Airbus AS350 B2 helicopter. (Courtesy: Anaheim Police Department)

    The Anaheim Police Department will add to their fleet of helicopters after the City Council earlier this month approved for the department to purchase a 2006 Airbus AS350 B2 helicopter. (Courtesy: Anaheim Police Department)

  • The Anaheim Police Department received approval from the City Council earlier this month for the purchase of a 2006 Airbus AS350 B2 helicopter. The department has two of the same helicopter model in its fleet. Called “Angel in the Sky,” the helicopters are based at the Fullerton Municipal Airport and operated by the department’s Air Support Division Patrol. (Courtesy: Anaheim Police Department)

    The Anaheim Police Department received approval from the City Council earlier this month for the purchase of a 2006 Airbus AS350 B2 helicopter. The department has two of the same helicopter model in its fleet. Called “Angel in the Sky,” the helicopters are based at the Fullerton Municipal Airport and operated by the department’s Air Support Division Patrol. (Courtesy: Anaheim Police Department)

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Another Angel in the Sky will be watching over the city.

The Anaheim Police Department received City Council approval earlier this month for the $538,750 purchase of a 2006 Airbus AS350 B2 helicopter.

Anaheim already has two of that helicopter model in its fleet. Collectively known as Angel in the Sky, the helicopters are based at the Fullerton Municipal Airport and operated by the department’s Air Support Division Patrol.

Along with the half a million dollar price tag, the city has allocated $260,000 for equipping the helicopter with radios, monitors, a public address system and other hardware.

The money for the helicopter will come from a fund developers in the Platinum Triangle pay into as part of an agreement with the city that allows them to build inside the fast-rising community around Angel Stadium and the Honda Center.

The Airbus helicopters cruise the sky at 90 mph and have a max speed of 140 mph – they can travel from west Anaheim to Anaheim Hills in six minutes, police said.

In 2015, the helicopters assisted in 369 arrests and were involved in 38 pursuits, police spokesman Sgt. Daron Wyatt said. They also helped locate 19 suspects in hiding.

“Adding the third helicopter to our fleet will increase the lifespan of the helicopters and will increase the amount of time in between scheduled maintenance,” Wyatt said. “Also since it is the exact same model of our other two helicopters, it will provide consistency in training and operation, not only with the pilots but also with our aircraft mechanics.”

The helicopter the department is purchasing has 3,000 hours of flight time and has been well-maintained by a fellow law enforcement agency, according to city staff. Wyatt said the retail value is $3 million.

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Man dies in Westminster crash, two others injured

WESTMINSTER – A 26-year-old man is dead and two other people are recovering from minor injuries after their cars collided on an overpass Sunday night, April 9, police said.

The cars smashed into each other on Springdale Street bridge that crosses the 22-freeway around 8:45 p.m., Detective Aoki said.

Xavier Obregon, of Garden Grove was pronounced dead at the scene, according to The Orange County Coroner’s Office. The driver and a passenger in the second car were both taken to hospitals and treated for minor, non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation Monday morning. No citations or arrests had been made.

Anyone with a tip can phone the Westminster Police Department’s traffic bureau at 714-548-3220. Anonymous tips can be made to the Orange County Crime Stoppers hotline at 855-847-6227.

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