Southern California -- this just in

Category: KTLA News

Good Samaritan saves man who was carjacked, shot, left in desert

A Good Samaritan helped rescue a man who had been carjacked, shot in the head in Lake Los Angeles and left lying in the desert, authorities said.

John Eldridge was riding a dirt bike near his home around noon Monday when he found the wounded man. Eldridge stopped and called for help.

"I decided to go explore those trails," he told KTLA. "I went back to where I had been 2½ hours earlier and I find a man screaming for help, covered in blood. What would you do?"

The 21-year-old victim told police he had been shot and that his gray four-door Toyota Camry had been stolen by two attackers.

He was airlifted to a hospital and underwent surgery, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. The man, who was not identified, was in stable condition.

The attack occurred about 12:15 p.m near 180th Street East and Avenue M.

Eldridge said the victim had an entry wound just below his right eye and "a lot of ugly" on the back of his head.

"If he lives, great," he said. "But if he doesn't live, at least he had a chance."

Police are looking for two men that stole the car with California license plate 6JPX870.


Santa Ana disbands fire department to save money

How a jailed killer got $30,000 in unemployment benefits

San Francisco earthquakes caught on tape shaking news studio

-- Robert Lopez and KTLA News

Girl, 10, who died after fight remembered as 'full of life'

 The 10-year-old girl who died in Long Beach after a fight over a boy was laid to rest Sunday at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Hundreds of mourners gathered to remember Joanna Ramos, a girl described by friends as "full of life."

Authorities say Joanna died Feb. 24 of blunt-force trauma to the head after a preplanned fight with an 11-year-old classmate in an alley near Willard Elementary School.

Joanna fell ill after the fight, which lasted about a minute, and died hours later. Her death was ruled a homicide, and detectives are investigating whether classmates goaded the girls through social media or in person. No arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation.

Long Beach police called the case highly unusual and delicate, given the ages of the victim and the possible suspect. Officials said they were not even sure whether criminal charges were warranted.

Investigators will present their findings to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, which will determine if any charges will be filed.

An account for donations has been set up at the Bank of America in Long Beach under Cecilia Villanueva's name.


Bullying not suspected in fatal fight between 2 girls

Girl who died after school fight was bleeding inside skull

'Many questions' in death of girl, 10, after fight with another girl

-- KTLA News

Pursuit, car-jacking end with shooting in Pomona

A man is in critical condition, shot by police, after leading officers on a pursuit in a car with his small son inside.

The incident began at about 3:45 p.m. in West Covina, and the chase may have begun as a stolen vehicle investigation, said Deputy Tony Moore of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The pursuit continued into Pomona, where the suspect allegedly commandeered a second vehicle, Moore said.

A West Covina officer shot the suspect in the torso. He was taken to a local hospital. No officers were hurt.

Moore had no additional details early Sunday night, but witnesses in Pomona sketched a fuller picture in interviews with KTLA Channel 5.

They said a red SUV careened into a residential neighborhood with police in pursuit. The SUV jumped a curb and possibly damaged a house.

The driver then allegedly ran from his car with a shotgun, leaving his son in the vehicle. The driver approached a white Honda Civic and ordered its driver from the car, then climbed in and drove off. He stopped after several blocks and tried to run from the scene, witnesses said.

That was when one witness reported hearing two shots.

One bullet struck the fleeing driver, Moore said.

The SUV was left behind on private property. A woman rushed out of the house and took charge of the boy, who was still in the car.

“I hugged him, and he said, ‘I’m scared because, my dad, I think he died,’” the woman recounted in a broadcast interview. “He wanted to know how his dad was doing.”

She said she reassured the boy. The boy, who appeared to be about 5 years old, was apparently unharmed and walked unassisted to a police cruiser.


Hooded gunmen rob Carnival cruise guests on bus in Mexico

Girl who died after fight at school complained of headache 

Marine died after day of training at Twentynine Palms 

-- Howard Blume

Police pursuit ends with shooting in Pomona

A police pursuit on Sunday ended in a car-jacking and a shooting, sending a suspect to the hospital, KTLA is reporting.

Police have confirmed that the chase began in West Covina and ended in Pomona but have yet to confirm other details or identify the suspect.

KTLA interviewed witnesses who told of a red SUV careening into a residential neighborhood with police in pursuit. The SUV jumped a curb and possibly damaged a house. The driver then allegedly ran from his car with a shotgun, leaving his son in the vehicle.

The suspect approached the driver of a white Honda Civic and ordered him from the car, then climbed in and drove off. He stopped after several blocks and tried to run, witnesses said. One or more officers fired shots, and the man fell.

Witnesses interviewed by KTLA included the man whose car was hijacked and a woman on whose property the SUV ended up. The woman took charge of the boy, who was still in the car.

“I hugged him, and he said, ‘I’m scared because, my dad, I think he died,’” the woman recounted in a broadcast interview. “He wanted to know how his dad was doing.”

No details on the man’s condition were immediately available.

The boy, who looked to be about 5 years old, was apparently unharmed and walked unassisted to a police cruiser.


Hooded gunmen rob Carnival cruise guests on bus in Mexico

Girl who died after fight at school complained of headache 

Marine died after day of training at Twentynine Palms 

-- Howard Blume

Girl who died after fight at school complained of headache

Joanna Ramos

An 11-year-old girl who died after a fight with a classmate in Long Beach complained that her head hurt after the altercation Friday, a friend said.

Long Beach police on Sunday were trying to determine exactly what happened and said no arrests have been made.

“There are still many questions, many questions that cannot be answered,” said Long Beach Deputy Police Chief Robert Luna.

PHOTOS: Long Beach girl dies after fight

Luna said the cause of Joanna Ramos' death remains “undetermined” but offered more details on the fight between the two children, which took place Friday after classes ended at Willard Elementary.

The family of the dead girl said the two girls had been quarreling over a boy.

A classmate of both girls said that after the altercation, Ramos complained of a headache.
Continue reading »

Woman dies after savage golf club beating, police say

A 51-year-old Rancho Cucamonga woman has died after suffering critical head wounds in a savage beating with a golf club at her home, authorities said.

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies were called to a domestic disturbance in the 11500 block of Stoneridge Drive just after 7 a.m. Thursday.

"We found a 65-year-old female, unconscious, breathing but labored, with severe head and facial injuries," Rancho Cucamonga fire Battalion Chief Jim Curatalo.

The woman, who was not identified, also suffered compound fractures of both wrists, probably from fending off the attack, Curatalo said.

The victim was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where she later died.

Luke Kang, 26, who lives at the home, was arrested.

Kang was in prison three years ago after being convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, according to authorities.

The relationship between the victim and Kang has not been confirmed, but neighbors say he is the victim's son.


Freight train derailment blocks Metrolink Commerce stop

Hackers publish private information about L.A. police officers

Teacher had sexual relationship with boys for 2 years, police say

-- KTLA News

Drowned girl's mom sought mental help, was rebuffed, relative says


A South Los Angeles mother who allegedly drowned her 1-year-old daughter and tried to drown her 5-year-old had sought psychiatric help but was rebuffed because she was an illegal immigrant, a relative said.

Family cousin Luis Padillas told KTLA-TV that Lorna Valle, 32, went to a hospital but was not treated because she had no papers. The family is originally from Guatemala, the TV station reported.

"We need a lawyer that can represent us because of the negligence of the hospital," he said in Spanish. He did not specify which hospital she went to.

Padillas' account was different from that of a neighbor who spoke with The Times on Wednesday. The neighbor, Dina Ceballos, said she spoke with a relative of the family who said the woman's husband had told her to go to the doctor, but she never sought that help.

Ceballos said she was told that Valle had shown signs of depression recently and asked the relative to care for the children should anything happen to her.

Continue reading »

Jimmy Kimmel pokes fun at reporting on Hollywood 'Catwoman' brawl

It was a piece of hard-hitting reporting, the kind of broadcasting that would make Edward R. Murrow proud. And it has been recognized.

Eric Spillman, a veteran reporter for KTLA, was in hot pursuit last week when a brawl erupted on Hollywood Boulevard during which a "Catwoman" pepper-sprayed a Jack Sparrow impersonator (though, according to some later reports, the man was said to actually be impersonating Ozzy Osbourne). And late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel took a moment on his broadcast to honor Spillman for his investigative reporting with an Excellence in Reporting award.

"I want you to know, folks," Spillman said in his report, "that I actually did reach Catwoman by phone, and I spoke to her just a few minutes ago and asked her about what happened here. She told me that she wasn't the Catwoman who was here yesterday. She says it was another Catwoman who pepper-sprayed here. She says it was the 'crazy Catwoman.' "

On Wednesday morning, his colleagues applauded his achievement. "Who needs the Peabody? Who needs the Pulitzer?" teased KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin.

The excellence, Spillman promised, won't end with breaking the Catwoman story wide open. "I'm not going to stop with just this," he said. "Next hour, an exclusive interview with Batman."


Teacher accused of calling student ‘Jew boy’ to be fired

Love letter allegedly from teacher's aide: Boy gave her 'chills'

Original Clifton's facade to be revealed after more than 50 years

-- Rick Rojas

Driver 'just kept going' after hitting 4-year-old, family says

Police are searching for a driver who struck a 4-year-old boy Wednesday night in Highland Park, then sped away.

Family members say the 4-year-old ran into the street about 8 p.m. on South Avenue 54 and South Terrace 52 when he was hit by the car. The driver stopped briefly, but then kept going, witnesses told KTLA News.

The child suffered serious injuries and was taken to County-USC Medical Center.

"I was looking at the guy like, 'Is he gonna stop?' and he just kept going," the boy's uncle, Julian Ramirez said.

The driver is described as a man wearing a baseball cap, driving a 1999 or 2000 white Ford F150 with a camper shell and pink taillights.


LAPD cracks down on drone aircraft use by real estate agents

L.A. traffic cop fired for appearing in porn video wants job back

'Most Notorious Crimes' book found in serial killer suspect's home

-- KTLA News

Vial of baby oil brought bomb squad to O.C. crash site

Authorities have arrested a man they say plowed his car into two buildings in Orange County on Monday evening and identified the mysterious substance he allegedly left at the first crash site.

Around 7:30 p.m., a green SUV crashed through the front doors of a social services building at 800 N. Eckhoff Street in Orange. Witnesses said the driver got out, left a package in the doorway and drove away.

The building was evacuated while a bomb squad inspected what authorities described as a small vial of clear liquid.

Later that evening, he said, the same SUV drove through the doors of another building, this time a business called Carquest Auto Parts at 340 Collins Ave., also in Orange.

This time, witnesses managed to get a license plate number.

Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, said the suspect, 36-year-old Jesus Torres, was sitting in his car outside his house in Orange when officers arrived.

"The motive is still under investigation," Amormino said.

He said Torres would be charged with burglary, vandalism and "facsimile of a weapon of mass destruction."

The mysterious liquid turned out to be baby oil.


L.A. man accused for smoking pot on plane

Man shot in head in front of Downey apartment

Haditha killings: Marine's sentencing hearing is this morning

-- Alan Zarembo

Photo: The caution tape is in place the morning after a 36-year-old man drove a sport utility vehicle into an Orange County Social Services facility in the 800 block of Eckhoff Street in Orange. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times


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About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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