Riverside Black History Parade To Go Ahead as Planned

Feb 8, 2013

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside Black History Parade will be held today as planned despite the ambush slaying of a Riverside police officer earlier this week, with ceremonies dedicated to law enforcement officers, firefighters, members of the armed forces and others who serve the public.

“What happened is so mind-boggling. It’s a real tragedy,” Carmen Roberts, chairwoman of the Riverside Black History Committee, told City News Service Friday. “Our hearts go out to the family of the slain officer and others who were impacted by this.”

Roberts said organizers of the 34th annual Black History Parade & Expo decided months ago to make this year’s theme “To Those Who Serve,” and now the message has taken on greater meaning in the wake of Thursday’s fatal shooting of a patrol officer and the wounding of his partner — both of whom were allegedly attacked by a rogue ex-lawman who is still on the loose.

“It’s a reminder of how vulnerable we are,” Roberts told. “We want to thank policemen and firemen and everybody else who serves.”

Riverside police Chief Sergio Diaz will participate in the parade, along with other city officials. Former Mayor Ron Loveridge, who left office Jan. 1, will be the grand marshal.

The event is slated to get under way at 9:45 a.m. outside Riverside City College at Magnolia Avenue and Ramona Drive.

High school marching bands, drill teams, church groups, classic car clubs, equestrian teams, children’s groups and other organizations will join the procession as it heads east on Magnolia, ending at 13th and Main streets, near the Civic Center plaza.

Following the parade, organizers will hold a five-hour expo, featuring a host of food and merchandise vendors, as well as informational booths providing healthcare and job-related resources.

Several local entertainers will perform on an exhibition stage, and spectators will have a chance to chat with local leaders, according to organizers.

“This is important to bring the community together in remembrance of our heritage and ancestors,” Roberts said.

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Street Closure for 12 days in Indio

Feb 8, 2013

INDIO  – Part of Avenue 50 will be closed for 12 days, starting Monday, an Indio city spokesman said today.

Avenue 50 from Monroe to Jackson streets will be closed for road work that is part of the Monroe Street Widening Project.

Work will be done Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the road will reopen on Feb. 22, city spokesman Chris Escobedo said.

There will be access to homes and businesses, and access for emergency vehicles. Detours will be posted.

Monroe Street is being widened from avenues 49 to 52. Construction is expected to be finished by March 29, Escobedo said.

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Free Electric Car Workshop in Palm Springs

Feb 8, 2013

PALM SPRINGS – The California Center for Sustainable Energy will hold a free electric car workshop in Palm Springs tomorrow, an event spokeswoman said today.

The Electric Ride & Drive Event and Electric Vehicle Workshop is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Palm Springs City Hall, 3200 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way.

A panel of local “plug-in” vehicle owners will talk about their experiences, including purchasing a vehicle, installing a charging station and financial benefits of owning the vehicle.

New vehicles hitting the road will be on display, and participants get a free lunch, event spokeswoman Traci Burton said.

The workshop will cover how to get a rebate through California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, vehicle rates and programs and financial and environmental benefits of owning an electric vehicle, Burton said.

Participants also can enter to win an electric PT Cruiser.

The California Center for Sustainable Energy, a San Diego-based nonprofit, administers the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project. The center is conducting workshops to promote the project and to educate people about electric vehicles.

To register, call (760) 323-8214 or go to www.yoursustainablecity.com.

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Funeral Services Announced for Fallen Officer

Feb 8, 2013

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside police officer shot and killed in an ambush allegedly perpetrated by a fired Los Angeles Police Department officer on a killing spree will be buried next week.

Funeral services for the officer, whose name is being withheld at the request of Riverside Police Department Chief Sergio Diaz, are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Grove Community Church, 19900 Grove Community Drive. The church was also the site of services for slain Riverside police Officer Ryan Patrick Bonaminio in November 2010.

Like that ceremony, the entire Riverside police force will turn out for Wednesday’s funeral, complete with an honor guard procession that will bear the 34-year-old patrolman’s casket to Riverside National Cemetery for internment. While the police department pays homage to its slain brother, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is expected to handle all emergency calls in the city.

The 11-year veteran was killed during an attack at the intersection of Arlington and Magnolia avenues around 1:30 a.m. Thursday. Both he and his partner, identified only as a 27-year-old officer on a training detail, were struck in the upper bodies, according to Diaz.

The younger man remains in serious but stable condition at Riverside Community Hospital.

Diaz described the shootings as a “cowardly ambush.” Former LAPD Officer Christopher Jordan Dorner is suspected in the slaying and of killing an Irvine couple Sunday, as well as engaging two LAPD officers in a gunfight in Corona just minutes before the Riverside attack. One of the officers suffered a grazing head wound.

Dorner published an online diatribe saying his honor had been stained by an LAPD Board of Rights panel’s decision to terminate him in 2008 for allegedly lying about a fellow officer’s actions. He vowed to take revenge on the agency and any law enforcement official not affiliated with the LAPD who got in his way.

Dorner remains at large.
Donations are being accepted to assist the family of the murdered officer. All checks should be made out to Riverside Police Officers Association Assistance Fund, or RPOA, and mailed to 1965 Chicago Ave., Suite B, Riverside, Calif. 92507.

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Man accused of stabbing wife pleads not guilty

Feb 8, 2013

CHULA VISTA – A San Diego man accused of fatally stabbing his estranged wife in a parking lot at a South Bay sheriff’s substation pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge and was ordered held on $5 million bail.

Marvin Dennis Duncan faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted of killing his 36-year-old wife, Rocio, said Deputy District Attorney Ted Minahan.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Duncan pressed an intercom button at a side door at the precinct house on Imperial Beach Boulevard, said sheriff’s homicide Lt. Glenn Giannantonio. When a deputy answered, Duncan, who was holding two toddlers, announced he had just killed his spouse, according to the lieutenant.

The mortally wounded victim was found lying on the ground on the west side of the substation. She died a short time later.

Duncan, 59, was detained for questioning and later arrested. The children, who were unharmed, were taken into protective custody. The motive was under investigation.

Duncan will be back in court Feb. 21 for a readiness conference and Feb. 25 for a preliminary hearing.

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Child Molestor Behind Bars

Feb 8, 2013

SANTA ANA – A 37-year-old La Palma man who raped a young female relative, who was later coached by her mother to recant her allegations, was sentenced today to 73 years to life in prison.

Juan Estrada was convicted Dec. 4 of five counts of having sex or sodomizing a victim younger than 10, a count of oral copulation and a count of lewd acts with a child, all felonies.

The jury deliberated for less than an hour, despite the girl’s attempt to recant her allegations to police, Deputy District Attorney Cindy Nichols said.

Estrada was accused of having sex multiple times with the girl, beginning when she was 6 years old, and also of sodomizing her several times when she was 8 years old, Nichols said.

The girl’s mother cooperated with police initially and authorities were able to get forensic evidence to prove the allegations, Nichols said.

Later, however, taped conversations in an Orange County jail between the mother and the defendant revealed that she had coaxed the girl to recant, Nichols said.

The woman also coached the defendant on how he should testify, Nichols said.

At today’s sentencing hearing, the woman prodded her daughter to make a statement to Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg. The girl told the judge that she had lied and the defendant should not go to prison.

“The facts of this case are very disturbing,” Bromberg said. “They’re beyond imaginable.”

The judge added he was also disturbed by how the woman convinced the girl to lie during testimony.

“Imagine the damage she will sustain and she will have to deal with the guilt of displeasing (the woman) and sending (the defendant) to prison,” Bromberg said. “Come Thanksgiving or Christmas and she asks where is (the defendant), I hope to God you don’t say, ‘You sent him to prison.’ ”

The sexual abuse, which happened in 2010 to 2011, began when in Los Angeles, but the family later moved to La Palma, Nichols said.

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Hate Crime Under Justice

Feb 8, 2013

Jeffrey Aguilar, 19, Efren Marquez, 21, were arrested on Jan. 24 for committing an alleged hate crime in Compton,CA.

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Two Hispanic reputed gang members were expected to be arraigned today on federal hate crime charges for allegedly carrying out a racially motivated attack against four black juveniles as part of a campaign to intimidate black residents and force them out of their Compton neighborhood.

Jeffrey Aguilar, 19, and Efren Marquez, 21, were named in a five-count indictment returned Thursday by a federal grand jury. Both were indicted on a single count of conspiracy to interfere with housing rights and four counts of interfering with housing rights, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to prosecutors, Aguilar and Marquez approached a black 17-year- old who was walking along a Compton street on Dec. 31 and referred to themselves as “NKs,” a racial term referring to someone who kills black people. The teen ran to his girlfriend’s house, where other black juveniles were located, and Aguilar and Marquez allegedly yelled racial epithets at the group and demanded that they get out of the neighborhood. They also allegedly assaulted the 17-year-old boy with a pipe and threatened another juvenile with a gun, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

When the juveniles managed to run into the house, Aguilar and Marquez left the scene but returned a short time later with about 15 other gang members who went to the victims’ homes and yelled racial slurs and warned them to get out of the neighborhood, prosecutors allege. One of the gang members also smashed a window of one of the homes, prosecutors said.

“Hate-fueled crimes have no place in our society,” U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. said. “No one should have to look over their shoulder in fear because of who they area. Incidents like the one described in the federal indictment prove that we must remain vigilant to ensure that the rights of every single American resident are protected at all times.”

Aguilar and Marquez had been in custody on unrelated state charges, but were transferred to federal charges today. There were expected to be arraigned this afternoon in U.S. District Court.

If convicted, they each face up to 10 years in prison on each count, prosecutors said.

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Downtown Los Angeles On Lock-Down

Feb 8, 2013

Sheriff’s officials have locked-down the Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles in response to an unconfirmed report that someone generally matching the description of Christopher Jordan Dorner was seen in the area. Streets have been blocked off in the area.

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School Mentioned In Killer Manisfesto Children Stay Home

Feb 8, 2013

Photo By Cloe Poisson/Hartword Courant/MCT

NORWALK – As the search continued today for a fired Los Angeles Police Department officer suspected in the killings of three people, a Norwalk elementary school that he attended — and which he mentioned in his manifesto posted online Monday — remained closed for a second day, authorities said.

Norwalk Christian School was closed on Thursday, sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Arnold of the Norwalk Station, said.

Christopher Jordan Dorner, wanted in the revenge slayings of a college women’s basketball coach and her finance in Irvine and the ambush killing of a Riverside police officer, wrote in his manifesto that the elementary school in Norwalk was where he first experienced racism.

“My first recollection of racism was in the first grade at Norwalk Christian elementary school,” Dorner stated in his manifesto. “A fellow student … called me a n—– on the playground. My response was swift and non- lethal. I struck him fast and hard with a punch (and) kick. He cried and reported it to a teacher.

“The teacher reported it to the principal. The principal swatted (the other student) for using a derogatory word toward me. He then for some unknown reason swatted me for striking (the other student) in response to him calling me a n—–,” Dorner wrote.

The school was closed toward the end of the school day on Thursday, as s security precaution, Arnold said.

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LAPD Shoots Innocent Citizens In Massive Man Hunt For Ex-cop

Feb 8, 2013

Photo By Reuters/Patrick T. Fallon

LOS ANGELES – A 71-year-old woman remained hospitalized this morning with two gunshot wounds she suffered when Los Angeles police detectives on the lookout for Christopher Jordan Dorner opened fire on her pickup truck as she and her daughter were delivering the Los Angeles Times in Torrance.

Emma Hernandez and her daughter, Margie Carranza, 47, were shot at on Redbeam Avenue in Torrance before dawn Thursday. Hernandez was twice hit in the back, according to her attorney, and was reported Thursday night to be stable. Her daughter received stitches on her finger.

“The problem with the situation is, it looked like the police had the goal of administering street justice and in so doing, didn’t take the time to notice that these two older, small Latina women don’t look like a large black man,” attorney Glen T. Jonas, who is representing the victims, told the Los Angeles Times. Dorner is black, 6 feet tall and 270 pounds.

“We trust that the LAPD will step up and do the right thing and acknowledge that what they did was unacceptable, and we’ll deal with it,” Jonas said.

Police chief Charlie Beck Thursday called the Torrance shooting “a case of mistaken identity.”

Sources told The Times that the detectives involved in the shooting were on protective detail for a police official named in an online manifesto that authorities say Dorner posted to a Facebook page Monday. He has vowed to go on a killing spree in retaliation for having been fired from the LAPD and is accused of killing three people since Sunday.

Around 30 minutes after the women delivering papers were fired on, Torrance police opened fire after spotting a truck similar to Dorner’s at Flagler Lane and Beryl Street. No one was hurt.

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