Benjamin Diaz

Manhunt cabin in flames; possible burned body of suspect inside

Feb 12, 2013

RIVERSIDE – A fired Los Angeles police officer wanted in connection with the slayings of two people in Irvine and a Riverside police officer allegedly exchanged gunfire today with law enforcement authorities in Big Bear, killing a sheriff’s deputy and wounding another, after apparently tying up two people and stealing a vehicle.

The possible burned body in the cabin is belived to Dorners. The cabin is still burning and it’s to hot for anyone to go near it. No body has been found.

Both of the San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies were taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where one was pronounced dead, according to Sheriff John McMahon. As of late afternoon, the second deputy was in surgery, but he was expected to survive, McMahon said.

Meanwhile, suspect Christopher Jordan Dorner was believed to be holed up inside a Big Bear cabin, which caught fire late this afternoon not long after tear gas canisters were fired into the building. Gunfire could be heard coming from the cabin as it burned, possibly ammunition exploding due to the flames.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said deputies received a report around 12:20 p.m. that a person matching Dorner’s description stole a vehicle from a home in the 1200 block of Club View Drive in Big Bear.

A witness told ABC7 that the suspect had tied up two people inside the home — possibly a housekeeper and her daughter — and stole a vehicle. It was unclear exactly how long Dorner may have been in the cabin.

The vehicle was spotted a short time later on Highway 38 near Glass Road, Bachman said. A state Fish and Wildlife official told KCAL9 that wardens spotted Dorner and tried to pull him over, but he refused to stop and opened fire on the wardens, who were not injured, before fleeing on foot.

A witness told Channel 9 that Dorner apparently came out of the woods and carjacked a man driving silver pickup truck, which was later seen down an embankment in a wooded area. A massive police pursuit led to a cabin off Highway 38 where the suspect barricaded himself and engaged in a major gun battle with officers, Bachman said. Some reports indicated that hundreds of rounds were fired — leading to the shooting of the two San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies.



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Dorner manhunt: 2 deputies shot in Big Bear foot chase, gun battle

Feb 12, 2013

RIVERSIDE – A fired Los Angeles police officer wanted in connection with the slayings of two people in Irvine and a Riverside police officer allegedly exchanged gunfire today with law enforcement authorities in Big Bear, wounding two deputies, after apparently tying up two people and stealing their pickup truck.

The condition of the wounded deputies was not immediately known, a sheriff’s official told KCAL9.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said deputies received a report at 12:20 p.m. that a person matching Christopher Jordan Dorner’s description stole a truck from a home in the 1200 block of Club View Drive in Big Bear.

A state Fish and Wildlife official told KCAL9 that wardens spotted Dorner in a vehicle along Highway 38 near 7 Oaks Road and tried to pull him over, but he refused to stop and opened fire on the wardens.

He then bailed out of the vehicle and ran away on foot, prompting a massive police pursuit and gun battle, the official said.

Police shut down major roads in and out of the Big Bear area.

Riverside County sheriff’s officials said in a broadcast advisory that a man believed to be Dorner was involved in a home-invasion robbery at the home on Club View Drive and two people were tied up inside the house. The suspect fled in the couple’s 2008 white Dodge pickup with a back hitch, according the Riverside County sheriff’s broadcast.

On Feb. 3, Dorner allegedly gunned down the daughter and future son-in- law of the ex-police captain who represented him at a hearing that resulted in his dismissal from the LAPD. The bodies of 28-year-old college basketball coach Monica Quan and her fiance, 27-year-old USC public safety officer Keith Lawrence, were found in his car in the parking structure of their Irvine condominium building.

The next day, Dorner allegedly posted a 6,000-word manifesto on Facebook, vowing to kill named LAPD officers and their families. About 50 Los Angeles police officers and their families are being protected, authorities said.

On Thursday, Dorner was allegedly involved in the shootout with Los Angeles police guarding an officer’s home in Corona, leaving an LAPD officer with a graze wound to the head, police said. About 20 minutes later, he allegedly fired on the pair of Riverside police officers stopped at a red light, killing Crain, 34, and wounding the other. The wounded officer was expected to recover.

Crain, an 11-year department veteran, was a former Marine. He is survived by his wife, Regina, and two children, Ian, 10, and Kaitlyn, 4. Crain left “an unforgettable impression” on everyone he met, Riverside police Lt. Guy Toussaint said. His funeral is set for Wednesday.

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Bell ex-Councilman testifies: Off-the-clock work justified salaries

Feb 11, 2013

LOS ANGELES – Former Bell City Councilman George Mirabal today defended his salary — said to total more than $100,000 annually — based on “the amount of time and sweat spent in the community.”

“There’s no clock when you’re working on the council,” the 63-year-old defendant testified. “If a family calls you and needs help, you don’t say, ‘(it’s) four o’clock, I can’t go.”‘

Mirabal. who’s on trial along with five other ex-city officials, faces 20 counts of misappropriating public funds.

In 2008, according to documents presented by Deputy District Attorney Edward Miller, Mirabal and his fellow council members were making $1,332 per month for work on the city council, plus additional sums paid for work on behalf of various city agencies. That included about $18,000 a year for their work on the Solid Waste and Recycling Authority and another $18,000 from the Community Housing Authority, for example.

On July 1, 2008, the council voted for a 12 percent annual increase in their pay from those two authorities, declaring the scale “obsolete.”

The prosecution alleges that those city agencies — which funded the bulk of the council members’ pay — rarely met, sometimes doing so only to push through a pay increase.

Defense attorneys have countered that the council members worked full- time on behalf of the city and that much of that work was done outside of scheduled meetings.

Mirabal and his family had owned two funeral homes. After selling them to a “major corporation” in 1993, he continued to stay involved, but says he spent more than 40 hours a week on city matters.

Under cross-examination, Mirabal said he couldn’t estimate how many hours or how many days he spent working on issues related to specific city agencies.

“I believed … and still do … that a council person should be judged on the body of their work,” Mirabal testified.

Mirabal was the second defendant to take the stand — following Teresa Jacobo, 55, also charged with 20 counts of misappropriation.

Both testified that they relied on former City Attorney Edward Lee, among others, to make sure that salary levels were within legal limits.

“Legal is Ed Lee,” Mirabal said.

As to what he thought about the level of compensation, Mirabal said, “I thought that compensation gives you a freedom … freedom to be where you have to be do to your job correctly.”

Mirabal sometimes struggled to remember the content of certain ordinances or resolutions, but said he was pretty sure about the section of the California Constitution related to local government powers.

“I used to pay craps or dice,” Mirabal said. “So it was either Section 7 or Section 11.”

Former Mayor Oscar Hernandez, 65, is also charged with 20 counts of misappropriation. Also on trial are former Councilman Victor Bello, 54, who is charged with 16 counts; former Councilman Luis Artiga, 51, who is charged with 12 counts; and former Councilman George Cole, 63, who is charged with eight counts.

Testimony will resume on Wednesday morning, as courts are closed tomorrow in recognition of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

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Manifesto grievances claim LAPD shady tactics; airs dirty laundry of police divisions

Feb 7, 2013

IRVINE  – An ex-LAPD officer suspected of fatally shooting two people in Irvine and a Riverside policeman posted a 6,000-word manifesto online vowing to kill law enforcement officers and rambling about everything from grade school insults to his admiration for first lady Michelle Obama.

“Think before you attempt to intervene. You will not survive,” Christopher Jordan Dorner warned law enforcement officials in an online manifesto titled “Last Resort” and addressed to “America.”

Dorner, now the subject of an intense manhunt centered in Big Bear, where his vehicle was found abandoned, wrote about his termination from the LAPD, its impact on his life and why he believes bloodletting is the only way to resolve the perceived injustices he’s suffered.

“I’ve lost a relationship with my mother and sister because of the LAPD,” Dorner stated. “I’ve lost a relationship with close friends because of the LAPD. In essence, I’ve lost everything because the LAPD took my name and knew I was innocent … The attacks will stop when the (Los Angeles Police) Department states the truth about my innocence.”

According to the murder suspect, the proceedings that led to his 2008 firing from the police force were rigged against him. He goes into detail about how his complaint against a fellow officer — now sergeant — alleging brutality against a detainee resulted in his being the target of retaliation by superiors.

“Don’t retaliate against officers for breaking your so-called blue line,” Dorner wrote. “I am a man who has lost complete faith in the system, when the system betrayed, slandered and libeled me … You have awoken a sleeping giant.”

He made clear his desire for revenge against the LAPD and its personnel, but emphasized that any law enforcement official would be fair game.

“The LAPD created this situation,” Dorner wrote. “Outside agencies and individual officers on patrol … if you recognize my vehicle and … you proceed with a traffic stop or attempt to notify other officers of my location, you will not live to see the medal of valor you were hoping to receive for your actions.”

Dorner is suspected of engaging two LAPD officers in a gunfight in Corona, inflicting a non-life-threatening injury to one before fleeing to Riverside, where he allegedly killed a 34-year-old police veteran and wounded his partner by firing through the front windshield of their patrol unit.

Police Chief Sergio Diaz said the officers were on routine patrol at the time and not looking for Dorner.

The alleged gunman is also suspected of killing a couple in Irvine Sunday night. One victim was a USC policeman, the other the daughter of an LAPD captain who represented Dorner at his board of rights hearing in 2008.

Dorner’s online declaration shifted erratically from one subject to another. He hailed his nearly seven years as a U.S. Naval reservist as exemplary and blamed the LAPD for the end of that career.

He called attention to several alleged racial insults, starting when he was in first grade and a fellow student provoked him, calling him “derogatory racial names.”

“My response was swift and non-lethal,” he said. “I struck him fast and hard with a punch and kick.”

He alleged that two fellow LAPD officers also used the “n” word in his presence during a bus ride, prompting him to choke one of them until they were separated.

Dorner’s thoughts turned to national politics, and he denounced critics of President Barack Obama, implying they were bigots.

“I love your bangs, Mrs Obama,” the suspect wrote. “A woman whose professional and educational accomplishments are second to none when compared to recent first wives.”

Dorner also praised Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s efforts to implement more gun control in the form of a sweeping “assault weapon ban.”

“The time is now to re-institute a ban that will save lives,” he said, rattling off the names of the “small arms” investigators would find in his arsenal.

Dorner recognized his friends and family by name, asking them not feel ill-will toward him, then went back to talking politics and entertainment.

“Hillary Clinton: You’ll make one hell of a president in 2016,” he wrote. “Ellen DeGeneres, continue your excellent contribution to entertaining America. You changed the perception of your gay community … Charlie Sheen, you’re effin awesome.”

Dorner disavowed any religious moorings, referring to the Bible as “that old book made of fiction and limited nonfiction.”

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