UPDATED WITH A CORRECTION . . .
It's the Weekly's weekly round-up of local police calls--now with more girlie knife fights, un-tartared waters, pranksters with bullhorns, real-looking fake-gun scares and dogs stolen, smashed, smelling marijuana and taking bites out of crime
MONDAY, SEPT. 28
Everything But the Clothes Off His Back A man in the middle of a transaction at the Bank of America ATM in the 500 block of Camino de Estrella in San Clemente around 1 a.m. (his first mistake) was confronted by a robber with a gun. The victim then handed over cash, two bank cards, an iPhone, a watch and a ring, and the gunman was also making eyes at the victim's car. The bad guy was described as black, in his mid-20s, 5 feet 7 with a stocky build, a short Afro-style haircut and wearing a white shirt with a black logo on the back.
He Takes Justice Into His Own Hands, Which Are Then Cuffed Someone committed a burglary between 3 and 6 a.m. at Blue's Outlet Clothing Store, 300 N. French St., Santa Ana. Officers were shown surveillance video from the store that afternoon that revealed several men broke a front window and carted off merchandise over a three-hour period. The store owner was inside Blue's about 10 that same night when he noticed a vehicle driving by several times. Believing a passenger resembled someone he'd seen in the video hours earlier, the store owner grabbed a gun and confronted the stranger, who'd been dropped off in a nearby parking lot. An argument ensued, during which the merchant allegedly hit the man with his gun, causing minor injuries. Police responding to a call of an assault and shots fired in the parking lot arrived to arrest Jose Estrada on suspicion of burglary. But they also popped the store owner, Robert Marquez, 32, of Norco, on assault with a deadly weapon charges. Others involved in the burglary remained at large at press time.
Don't Go Eating That Yellow Grass A woman who had been drinking beer--obviously too much beer, and too early to boot--squatted down and peed on the lawn of a home in the 100 block of Avenida Baja in San Clemente around 11:30 a.m. The residents there were not amused, but it could have been worse. She could have mistaken it for Kentucky Poo Grass.
Shack Attack A man walked into the Radio Shack store in the 800 block of South El Camino Real in San Clemente around 3:30 p.m., kicked over a display and then walked out and into a black Mercedes-Benz before driving away.
Purse Clashes With His Running Shoes A woman was loading her car with groceries outside the Ralph supermarket in Ocean View Plaza in the 600 block of Camino de los Mares in San Clemente around 3:30 p.m. when a man grabbed her purse and ran off. The purse snatcher was described as white, 5 feet 10, 150 pounds with short hair.
Bullhorns on Parade Two teens inside a silver Toyota Tundra were using a bullhorn to force other motorists to pull their cars over in the area of Warner Avenue and Golden West Street in Huntington Beach around 7:30 p.m. After forcing an elderly couple to pull their car into a gas station, the teens laughed as they zoomed off. Ah, karma can be a bitch, my friends; wait until you get old.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 29
Terror at Terraza Place Police who responded to two men being shot and wounded near the 2000 block of Terraza Place in Fullerton around 3:30 p.m. are still trying to sort out whether they were firing at one another or if another gunman was involved. It's a safe bet drugs were involved, as a bag of marijuana was found near where the scene of the shoot-'em-up. Neither victim was identified. One, who was found lying in the middle of the street disoriented, bleeding heavily and suffering from several gunshot wounds, still had a gun in his hand. The other man was found at a 76 gas station at the corner of Bastanchury Road and Harbor Boulevard, where he'd gone seeking help for the smoking hole in his chest. Both were taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange. Police could not tie either man to Terraza Place.
It Was Then My Minor Drinking Problem Began Police, as part of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Minor Decoy Operation, performed an undercover sting at 28 Laguna Beach businesses this evening. Hennessey's Tavern received a misdemeanor citation for failing to check identification to determine whether a customer was at least 21 and could therefore be served alcohol legally. Restaurants that did check identification but served drinks to a minor anyway received similar citations. They were: La Sirena Grill, Sorrento Grille, the Lumberyard Restaurant, Z Pizza and the Royal Hawaiian Restaurant.
And Baby Makes Three (Victims) A couple with their 2-year-old son in tow was sitting and chatting in their 2001 silver Honda Civic parked in the 400 block of South Hickory Street in Santa Ana around 10 p.m. when three men walked up, opened the door and ordered everyone out. One bad guy whipped out a gun before pulling the woman out of the car and telling the man he'd better join her. Before the trio jumped into the Civic--two-door, California license plate 4SGK761, with chrome rims and an Air Jordan sticker on the back window--and drove off south on Hickory, they allowed the couple to remove the boy. The gunman was described as Latino, 18 to 22, 5 feet 5, thin and wearing black clothing. A second carjacker was described as Latino, 18 to 25, 5 feet 6, thin and wearing a black shirt and gray pants, and the third was 5 feet 6, thin and wearing black clothing.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 30
Rat Dog Down In the morning, the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter reported 2-year-old Chihuahuas Minnie and Daphne had been stolen from their kennel, whose padlock had apparently been broken with tools. By the afternoon, Daphne was dead, apparently having been hit by a car. Minnie was later returned to the shelter on Avenida Fabricante in San Clemente by two young women who said the dogs had been running loose near an apartment complex. The Chihuahuas had been up for adoption since their former owner dropped them off at the shelter about a month ago.
Dogged Pursuit After a routine traffic stop of car with two people inside near El Toro Road and Painted Trails in Mission Viejo around 1:45 p.m., one occupant bolted out a door and started running. Orange County sheriff's deputies then questioned the other person in the car and learned the runner was Anthony Edward Pugh, 21, of Mission Viejo. As it happens, Pugh was on parole for burglary. He certainly was not on parole for making himself invisible, because six minutes after fleeing the stopped car, he was spotted on a hillside by another deputy who was driving along El Toro Road. A sheriff's canine was sent up the hill after Pugh, who was bitten by the dog and later taken to Mission Hospital for treatment before another trip, this one to jail.
Not Another Teen Movie Scene An 18-year-old woman was walking home from classes at Tustin High School this afternoon when she was approached by an 18-year-old man who asked if he could walk her home. Nothing wrong with that, that's how budding teen romances among classmates are portrayed all the time on television and in the movies. But the guy wasn't a fellow Tustin High student, and it wasn't romance he was after, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office. He continued following her after she refused the stranger's offer to walk her home and then lured her into an apartment complex laundry room on Williams Street in Tustin, according to the DA. There, he sexually assaulted her with his fingers, pulled down his pants and exposed his penis. He was only stopped from going further when someone walked into the laundry room, causing the attacker to flee and the victim to contact Tustin police. Jonathan Jimenez-Gonzalez, 18, of Tustin, was later arrested and charged with one felony count each of assault with intent to commit a sexual offense, attempted sexual penetration by foreign object by force, sexual battery, false imprisonment, and one misdemeanor count of indecent exposure. If convicted, he faces a maximum eight years in state prison. He was held in lieu of $250,000 bail while he awaits a scheduled Oct. 23 arraignment in Santa Ana.
THURSDAY, OCT. 1
Tragic End Stateside for Iraq War Veteran An unlicensed 15-year-old teenager and a 25-year-old U.S. soldier on leave and visiting a friend left a party to pick up more alcohol around 1:50 a.m. They must have been in a hurry to beat the 2 a.m. cut-off of alcohol sales. With the teen behind the wheel of a Lexus LS400 that hit speeds above 100 mph as it headed south on Camino del Avion in Laguna Niguel, control of the car was lost before it hit a curb and rolled into a hillside. The soldier, Nicholas Clayton, who was thrown from the Lexus, was later found dead near Camino del Avion and Niguel Road in Laguna Niguel. Deputies found the 15-year-old about 100 feet from the crash, walking in a center median. The teen, who faces vehicular manslaughter charges, was not identified because of his age, but deputies said the Lexus belonged to his parents. Blood tests later revealed he had little or no alcohol in his system at the time of the accident, although deputies were still awaiting results on possible drugs. Clayton, who was originally from Youngsville, La., had been expected to return to Iraq later this week.
FRIDAY, OCT. 2
Girl Fight Gets Ugly A fight between two female patrons of one of the two nightclubs in Triangle Square, 1870 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, spilled into the parking lot around 1:50 a.m., when one battler whipped out a 2 1/2-inch knife and slashed her foe's face. The lady with the blade then tried to drive off, but was prevented from leaving the lot by arriving police officers. Erika Monique Milton, 22, was later booked into Orange County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and driving under the influence. Her alleged 24-year-old victim was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana to patch the cut across the middle of her face.
Paint Them Busted Sheriff's deputies patrolling near Beach Boulevard and Chapman Avenue in Stanton noticed fresh graffiti painted in the area around 3 a.m. Symbols indicated this was gang graffiti, something that has been escalating in the area recently, according to deputies. The patrolmen who spotted the tagging then rolled up on a car with two men inside. For reasons that will surely come out in court, the unidentified 19-year-old and 24-year-old were immediately tied to the graffiti and tagged themselves, with gang graffiti charges.
SATURDAY, OCT. 3
Justifiable Huntington Beach City Hall Gun Scare An alarmed resident of the area near Garfield Avenue and Golden West Street called Huntington Beach police shortly before 12:30 p.m. to report a man in his late teens or early 20s carrying a rifle had just got out of a car that had pulled into the Civic Center parking lot. Upon further investigation, it was determined this was a teen who'd just been dropped off by her mom to play off to play with Airsoft guns with a friend. But don't blame the caller for this one. Have you seen an Airsoft gun? Goodness gracious, Google it and take a look. Anyone would be shitting bricks watching someone carry one of those into City Hall. Better yet, take the word of the Southern California Airsoft League: "Airsoft guns are realistic replicas of real firearms. They look and operate almost exactly like the real thing. Please treat it as such. Always wear eye protection while playing with these guns. Even if your Airsoft guns have an orange tip, they should not be used or brandished in public, in a threatening manner, or used in a way that would cause a person to fear personal injury. Airsoft replicas should not be used for anything other than skirmishes, at designated sites. If an individual ignores this advice, they may expect a lethal police response, prosecution, and confiscation of equipment; they also will contribute to the banning of this great sport." What's next? An IED-soft league?
While My Guitarist Gently Weeps A woman called Huntington Beach police just after 2 p.m. to report that her brother had been beaten up by his roommates and "held hostage for 24 hours." His crime? He was apparently playing his guitar too loud. He must not have noticed the "No Stairway" sign his roomies had posted.
SUNDAY, OCT. 4
Did They Remember to Bring Tartar Sauce? Huntington Beach police got a call 22 minutes after midnight of a boat plying the protected waters of wetlands near Pacific Coast Highway and Brookhurst Street. Arriving officers discovered the craft was part of a Cal State Long Beach research team conducting a halibut study.
Possum Ain't Playing Possum Someone cut up an opossum over night and left it next to a fence near Kettler Elementary School, 8750 Dorsett Dr., Huntington Beach.
Cornhusker Pot Busters Crime Time travels all the way to Nebraska to report that Gerard Maddox, 50, of Los Alamitos, was driving his 2009 Chrysler 300 on I-80 near Lincoln around 9 a.m. when he was pulled over by Nebraska State Patrol for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. The trooper is said to have smelled marijuana in the Chrysler, which led to a command performance by a police dog, who eventually led his or her fellow troopers to 62 pounds of cannabis and four pounds of hashish in several bags in the trunk. Maddox was booked into Lancaster County Jail on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver.
That's OK, Ken Couldn't Afford Her Anymore Huntington Beach police received a call just before 5:30 p.m. from a resident who said a neighbor in the 16600 block of Delores Street took his daughter's Gucci Couture Barbie dolls.
MONDAY, OCT. 5
Robbers Tow Away Cash Three employees were working the late shift at Pepe's Towing, 1640 S. Grand Ave., Santa Ana, just after midnight when two men wearing bandanas over their faces came inside. One was holding a gun, and both demanded cash, which employees handed over through the cashier's window. One robber also kicked down the manager's office door and took away envelopes containing hundreds of dollars. The bandits were described as being in their mid 20s and wearing dark hooded sweatshirts in addition to the bandanas.
Hey, That Driver Has My Driver! Responding to a call just before 1 a.m. of a car burglary in the 100 block of Valente in Irvine, police arrived to find two people coming out of one vehicle and getting into a silver Honda Civic. The Civic was pulled over and besides occupants Anthony Arana, 31, and Samantha Sales, 21, both of San Clemente, items that had been in cars broken into in the Irvine neighborhoods were in the couple's possession. Jewelry, a camera, iPods, golf clubs, football equipment and handbags were among the property found, and police have so far identified two victims. Officers believe the pair targeted unlocked cars and, because they left no sign of entry, some victims may not even be aware their stuff was taken.
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Start Preparing For Another Guest to That Special Place in Hell The 38-year-old caretaker for a 92-year-old woman residing in Laguna Woods was arrested today after an Orange County sheriff's investigation determined the care worker had stolen nearly $35,000 from her client and sent it to her family in Mexico. Susana Duran of Tijuana, Mexico, had been working for the woman since June, but when she called in sick one day last month, a substitute worker took the elderly woman her mail, which included a bank statement. That's when the missing funds were discovered and the sheriff's department was called. Deputies say Duran had hidden the bank statements since nearly the beginning of her employ, and that she'd set up several accounts and bought merchandise over the phone to siphon away the old lady's funds. Duran was held in Orange County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail,
and it turns out she is familiar to law enforcement. She was put on three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution after she pleaded guilty in 2004 to misrepresenting herself in order to receive public aid. Correction: the Orange County District Attorney's Office says a different Susana Duran pleaded guilty in the 2004 case.
Two vs. One is Not Fair A teenager was walking along Chapman Avenue in Fullerton around 9 p.m. when, as he headed toward Woods Avenue, two young men began following him. After about 10 minutes, one man ran at the teen, grabbed his body and held what the teen believed to be a knife to his neck. The teen handed over his wallet and backpack and sustained a minor cut on the neck before the pair ran south on Woods and then east on Wilshire Avenue. The knifeman was described as Latino or white, 18-21, 5-foot-6 and wearing a black hoodie with a white pattern on the front, possibly checkers. His pal was Latino or white, 18-21, 6 foot and wearing a dark hoodie.
TUESDAY, OCT. 6
Bicyclist Down, But Who is He? A passerby called 911 just before 2:45 p.m. to report a bicyclist down in the northbound lanes of Valley View north of Lemon Avenue in Cypress. Officers arrived to find the bicyclist, thought to be in his late 20s or early 30s, unconscious and bleeding from the head. Orange County Fire Authority responded and rushed the man to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was listed in critical condition at press time. Authorities were also trying to uncover his identity. A Sig-Alert was issued for the area for the next four hours as the scene was being investigated and northbound traffic was reduced to one lane. Anyone who might be able to help identify this fellow, or if you witnessed what sent him to the ground, call the Cypress Police Department's Traffic Safety Bureau at (714) 229-6624.