<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Southern California News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:24:30 -0700 Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:24:30 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Two Arrested in Shooting Death of Anaheim Girl]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:10:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ximena_meza_tiroteo_anaheim_california.jpg

Two men were arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting a 9-year-old girl who was playing outside her apartment in Anaheim Wednesday in what police believe was a gang-related incident.

Ricardo Cruz, 19, of Buena Park and Alfredo Miguel Aquino, 20, of Anaheim, were arrested Friday around 11 p.m. on suspicion of murdering Ximena Meza while shooting at a group of men, according to the Anaheim Police Department.

"The investigation included a community meeting at Brookhurst Park, the interview of numerous witnesses, and the processing / collection of evidence," police said in a statement.

Preliminary evidence suggested two or more people drove down Greenacre Avenue from Crescent Avenue in a white vehicle around 7:15 p.m. near where Ximena and her sisters were playing, police said. One of the men allegedly exited the vehicle and shot at a group of men in what police believe was a gang-motivated incident, officials said.

Ximena was struck once in the chest after being "caught in the line of fire," police said. She was taken to a hospital where she later died.

The group of men fled on foot and the shooting suspect and vehicle sped away, investigators said. It's unclear how authorities were led to Cruz and Aquino.

The pair have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are being held on $1 million bail.

Police were expected to release more details during a press conference at 2 p.m.

Balloons, stuffed animals and other items were left outside the residence in memory of Ximena, the oldest of three sisters whose family moved to the neighborhood about three months ago. School excellence awards for math, language arts and other achievements also were placed at the site of the shooting.

<![CDATA[LAPD Investigating Possible Excessive Use of Force in South LA ]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:18:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/excessive_force_south_la_1200x675_347779651590.jpg

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating whether excessive force was used on a 22-year-old who was arrested in South LA last week.

Clinton Alford was involved in what the department calls a "use of force incident" on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, the LAPD confirmed Friday.

He was arrested near 55th Street and South Avalon Boulevard at 12:20 p.m. that, day but not booked until 2:32 a.m. the next morning, according to LA County jail records.

Alford was allegedly kicked by in the head by a police officer while others held him down during an arrest for drug possession and resisting arrest, according to an LA Times story published Friday. The newspaper said the altercation was captured on a private security camera. 

"I am extremely concerned about this particular use of force," Chief Charlie Beck said in a Friday statement, which did not reveal details about the incident.

The LAPD Force Investigation and Internal Affairs divisions are investigating the incident, along with independent investigators.

"I can assure you that our investigators will investigate every aspect of this incident to determine what transpired that resulted in the use of force last Thursday," said Beck, adding that officers abusing their position aren't welcome in the LAPD.

In February, the LA Police Commission added guidelines for officers using force, clarifying the department's policy to make it clear that officers can consider tactics and prior decision making when deciding to use force.

"The reasonableness of an officer's use of deadly force includes consideration of the officer's tactical conduct and decisions leading up to the use of deadly force," reads the sentence that was added to the LAPD manual.

<![CDATA[Two People Shot at Hookah Bar in Riverside]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 08:42:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-25-14_riverside+hookah+lounge.jpg

Two people suffered non life-threatening injuries during a shooting at a Riverside hookah lounge early Saturday, officials said.

Authorities responded around 2 a.m. to a report of a disturbance at the Sin Bad Hookah Lounge in the 12700 block of Magnolia Avenue. On their way to the call, deputies were alerted that a shooting had taken place, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Two people were found at the scene suffering from gunshot wounds. The victims -- whose ages and genders were not released -- were taken to a hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

The shooter was not located, and authorities did not have any suspect information as of Saturday morning. It was unclear what led to the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call Cpl. Martinez at 951-776-1099.

Photo Credit: Loudlabs]]>
<![CDATA[Bear Runs Across 210 Freeway in Duarte: CHP]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:09:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/duarte+bear+210+freeway.PNG

A bear was spotted running across the lanes of the 210 Freeway in Duarte early Saturday morning, the California Highway Patrol said.

The bear sighting was reported around 3 a.m. CHP officials were able to chase the bear off the freeway and into the brush on the side of the freeway, according to California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife official Adam Smith.

Smith and his colleagues arrived at the scene around 4 a.m. and were able to tranquilize the bear.

“He went down within five minutes. It went pretty smooth,” Smith said. “We’re going to take him back to the foothills.”

According to Smith, the bear is likely a male, approximately 150 pounds and in “great condition.”

<![CDATA[Victim in South El Monte Car-to-Car Shooting ID'd]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 07:16:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/south+el+monte+shooting+car.PNG

The Los Angeles County Coroner has confirmed the identity of a man was who killed in a car-to-car shooting in South El Monte Tuesday.

The victim has been identified as 20-year-old Jose Radillo Jr.

Radillo was killed when a shooter allegedly pulled up to his car around 4:30 p.m. in the 9000 block of Garvey Avenue. Both the victim's car and the alleged gunman's car were traveling eastbound on Garvey Avenue when the gunman started shooting. After the man was struck by gunfire, his car collided into the three other cars as he continued on Garvey Avenue.

A Good Samaritan who was working nearby tried to help the victim, who had been traveling in a black sedan with a female passenger when he was struck by gunfire.

"She just kept saying, 'He's my boyfriend, he's my boyfriend,' and I was just trying to calm her down," the Good Samaritan said. "But I didn't know everything until she started spilling it to me."

The female passenger was not injured. The male victim was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital.

The shooter fled in a dark colored vehicle. Officials have no knowledge of any possible motive. A weapon has not been recovered.

<![CDATA[Magnitude-3.1 Earthquake in San Bernardino Co.]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:46:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/217*120/running+springs+quake.png

A magnitude-3.1 earthquake struck San Bernardino County early Saturday morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake occurred at 4:07 a.m. near Running Springs, approximately 11 miles west of Big Bear.

<![CDATA[Woman With Last Name of Crook Arrested for Burglary]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:08:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/josephine+crook+burglary+kohls+alhambra.gif

A woman with the last name of Crook was arrested for burglary at a department store in Alhambra Friday night, police said.

Josephine Crook, 49, was arrested at a Kohl’s department store on the 1200 block of South Fremont Avenue and is suspected of commercial burglary and possession of burglary tools. Crook allegedly was in possession of a pair of wire cutters and a pair of scissors.

Crook allegedly took ladies’ undergarments and failed to pay for the items she concealed in her empty purse, police said.

Photo Credit: Alhambra Police]]>
<![CDATA[10-Car Crash Snarls Traffic on 405 Fwy]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:23:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/226*120/10-24-14-hawthorne+crash+405+freeway.JPG

A 10-car crash that left at least nine people hurt snarled Friday night traffic on the San Diego (405) Freeway in Hawthorne, officials said.

The crash happened about 10:05 p.m. just south of El Segundo Boulevard, LA County Fire officials said.

Eight people had minor injuries, and one person was critically hurt, officials said.

Lanes reopened by 11:16 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

<![CDATA[Claremont Water War Will Go to Voters for Decision]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:39:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/10-24-14-claremont+water+war+measure+w.JPG

The home of trees and Ph.D.s is gaining a less idyllic distinction — as ground zero for something of a water war.

Unlike most of its neighbors in eastern LA County, the college community of Claremont continues to be served by a private water company instead of a public utility.
Measure W on the November ballot, if approved, would authorize the city to take on as much as $135 million in debt to acquire the local assets of the Golden State Water Company, the city's longtime provider.
Calling for "local control," measure W advocates accuse the company of being unresponsive, and
complain that they pay rates higher than residents of neighboring cities with municipal water service.
"This isn't a fight against private utilities," said Councilman Sam Pedroza. "This is a fight against this water company, Golden State.
During summer, the city made a purchase offer of $55 million, which Golden State refused.
It estimates the value at $222 million. 
In opposition to measure W, Golden State supports a "stop the water tax" campaign. The company, through its PR consultant, referred a request for comment to Donna Lowe, a Claremont resident active in the campaign.
"There's a lot of misguided anger right now," said Lowe, noting that rate increases have to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.
To reduce water costs for residents, the focus should be on reducing consumption, not attempting to push out a company, Lowe said. She questioned the fiscal responsibility of issuing a bond to finance the purchase.
"Seems to me this is a risk for the city we should not take," said Lowe.
In recent months, since the city council voted to placed measure W on the ballot, tensions have escalated, and Golden State has filed a series of legal actions against the city.
"Sadly, Golden State has just mismanaged their relationship with Claremont," said longtime resident Betty Crocker, active with Claremont FLOW (Friends of Locally-Owned Water). Flow has collected signatures from more than 1,100 supporters, Crocker said.
Friday evening, several dozen gathered at the busy intersection of Foothill and Indian Hill boulevards and displayed signs supporting measure W.
Claremont is a small enough city — population 35,000 — that measure W could be decided
by a few thousand voters.
Approval would not automatically mean the transfer of Golden State into public hands. If a sales agreement cannot be negotiated — and Lowe said the water company would fight the sale — it would require the city to go to court to acquire the water system through an eminent domain process. Absent an agreed upon price, the value would have to be determined by the court.
That uncertainty is chief among the reasons measure W advocates stop short of promising city
control would enable rates to be lowered. The city estimates a price of $80 million would be
the break even point. Below that, rates could be lowered. Above, rates would have to be raised.
At $135 million, the city estimates the typical bill would increase by $24, Pedroza said.
Nevertheless, advocates see value in obtaining local control.
"It's not about whether rates go down," said Crocker. "It's about owning with a reliable partner."
Claremont is not Golden State's only service area. Throughout California, it serves 255,000 customers in 75 communities in 10 counties, according to its website. A trade association for the CPUC regulated investor owned water utilities, the California Water Association (CWA), counts Golden State among its 115 members.
"It's a well managed company," said Jack Hawks, CWA Executive Director. He believes the motivation to take Claremont's water service public may be "ideological." 
Besides a distribution network, Golden State operates a series of wells that provide approximately half of Claremont's water. The other half is purchased from the Metropolitan Water District, which imports water from the Colorado River. That balance has shifted somewhat during the drought, with water costs rising.

<![CDATA[Boarding for Breast Cancer: App Helps Cancer Prevention]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:26:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/226*120/10-24-14-boarding+for+breast+cancer.JPG

A Southern California organization is taking to the digital realm to urge people of all ages to get screenings and perform self-exams for breast cancer.

Started in 1996 by a group of professional snowboarders, Boarding for Breast Cancer or B4BC, aims to reach women and men who at times are more interested in play and surf than self-exams and doctor’s appointments.

"There is no cure that we know of so its boiling it down to the simple ways you can integrate health and wellness into your daily life," said Erika Seward, B4BC executive director. "It is about the community supporting and believing in the overall mission advocating for young women and girls."

The Hermosa Beach-based organization created an app in September to put their message of awareness in the hands of anyone with a cellphone or tablet.

From showing women how to conduct self-breast exams to setting alerts on when you should do them, the app is interactive, free and available on Apple or Android devices.

It also includes healthy recipes included in a cookbook B4BC just put together that can be downloaded for a $5 donation to the non-profit organization.

"That helps prompt the dialogue into you need to know this information, do your monthly self-checks but also the importance of day to day living and things you can do to help reduce your risk," Seward said.

Megan Pischke tackled her breast cancer head-on. For the professional snowboarder, it’s sort of her style. She received her diagnosis in 2012 just months after performing in a B4BC retreat mixing boarding, yoga and nutritional advice for breast cancer survivors.

"I look back at all the years and all the incredible young women that I met and all women of all ages that I met who had survived this who had been happy," Pischke said "It's an important thing to tell people to be aware of their health, to be aware of their body, and to stand up for themselves."

Pischke did just that as she treated her cancer with non-traditional methods including the cold caps NBC4 reported last year that saves the hair during chemotherapy.

"My main goal was to not only get through this but never ever have to deal with this again, ever," she said.

Her experience is now documented in a film sponsored by North Face and B4BC called "Chasing Sunshine."

"That's how I was living on those rainy days dark days, painful days," Pischke said. "I was like, the sun is going to come back out. It's coming, I know it is."

Pischke says the message to young people from both her and the folks at B4BC is simple.

"It's just empowering them. It's making life exciting and a little less serious when you are talking about breast cancer," Pischke said. "I want people to feel hope, I really do, because there's so much of it out there."

Photo Credit: Tommy Bravo]]>
<![CDATA[OC Teacher Arrested for Lewd Acts With Student]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:28:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-24-14-kristen-roush-lewdacts.jpg

An eighth grade teacher in Orange County has been arrested for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a juvenile student.

Kristen Roush, 34, was arrested Friday for lewd and lascivious acts with a child, according to a news release from the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Parents of the boy student at La Paz Intermediate School in Mission Viejo became concerned over what they perceived as an inappropriate relationship between Roush and their son and contacted investigators several months ago, officials said.

Investigators interviewed several witnesses and obtained information from both Roush's and the boy's cellphones before the arrest.

Roush is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call the sheriff's department at 714-647-7000.

Photo Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Motorcyclist Killed in Montebello Hit-and-Run]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:05:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/217*120/10-24-14-Montebello+Motorcycle+Hit+and+Run+Crash.JPG

Montebello police on Friday were searching for the driver who killed a motorcyclist after slamming into the back of the motorcycle and sending it crashing into a pole.

The crash happened at 4:45 p.m. near Washington Boulevard and Bluff Road, Montebello police said.

A tan four-door sedan traveling east on Washington Boulevard  "at a high rate of speed" crashed into the motorcycle, police said. The motorcycle then collided into a pole.

The motorcyclist died at the scene, and the driver of the car was seen heading east into Pico Rivera, police said. Anyone with information should call investigators at 323-887-1313.

Photo Credit: NewsChopper4]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. Marine From Riverside Dies in Iraq]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 11:07:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Marines-generic-137252757.jpg

A U.S. Marine from Riverside died in Iraq Thursday from a non-combat related incident, the Department of Defense announced.

Lance Cpl. Sean P. Neal, 19, died in Baghdad in an incident currently under investigation, according to a news release Friday from the Defense Department. Marine officials did not immediately have more information about the incident.

Neal was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, which refers to the U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State in the Middle East.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command, which officials said deployed from Camp Pendleton around September.

Neal joined the Marine Corps in July of 2013.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Zombie-Filled Maze Comes to Lancaster]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:34:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/Maze2.jpg

Thrillseekers will get to experience the undead firsthand at a zombie-filled maze in Lancaster this weekend.

The "Trail of the Dead" will turn a fun-filled stroll into a genuine scarefest for visitors during its three night run until Oct. 26.

The Lancaster Performing Arts Center has been transformed into what is billed as the ultimate haunted maze.

Scareventures, the company behind the attraction, has designed and built haunts such as Scare LA, Nightmare Nursery and Herschel’s Barn.

Attendees will be met by a terrifying horde, with ghosts, goblins and other members of the undead seemingly appearing out of nowhere.

"The Trail of the Dead" is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Admission is $5.

<![CDATA[Horror Halloween Maze Comes to Lancaster]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:35:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*242/Maze1.jpg A three day thrillfest comes to Antelope Valley city.]]> <![CDATA[Public's Help Sought to ID Attacker of 88-Year-Old Man]]> Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:19:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/john+fu+hollywood+attack+victim.gif

Detectives on Friday sought the public’s help to identify the man who attacked an 88-year-old man in an armed robbery in Hollywood in an incident that was caught on surveillance camera.

Video from Aug. 19 shows an armed robber following 88-year-old John Fu into an apartment complex and hurling him against the wall and floor, according to a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department.

"And when I get in the bus, I sit down, he followed me and sit besides me," Fu said.

The assailant had followed Fu for five blocks after he got off a bus at Hollywood Boulevard and Bronson Avenue, down the 5900 block of Carlos Way, through the parking lot of the apartment complex and into the apartment building, police said.

The attacker confronted the victim twice demanding money, but the victim ignored him and continued walking before the attack, police said.

"At one point you can see the victim trying to push the door off, so that the suspect doesn't walk inside, but the suspect is too strong," LAPD Officer Nuria Vanegas said. 

The victim finally handed over money in the elevator, but his assailant wanted more and punched him several times before leaving, police said, citing elevator surveillance footage.

"It is sad, in the video you can clearly see that the victim cannot defend himself," Vanegas said. "I believe detectives have now exhausted all of their leads and they don't have any information of who the suspect is."

The robber is described as white or Hispanic with black hair and brown eyes, and around 25 years old. He stands 5 foot 8 and weighs 150 pounds.

At the time of the incident he was wearing a gray baseball cap with a red bill, a black T-shirt with white print on the front, floral shorts and black tennis shoes.

"I want to catch the bad guy of course, but they say they didn't catch him," Fu said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hollywood officers at 213-972-2933 or 213-972-2936, or 877-LAPD-24-7 during nonbusiness hours or weekends.

Samia Khan contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Grieving Neighborhood Holds Memorial Car Wash]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:08:52 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ximena_meza_tiroteo_anaheim_california.jpg

A grieving neighborhood in Anaheim held a carwash memorial Friday to raise money for the funeral of a 9-year-old girl who was shot and killed Wednesday night as she played on a sidewalk in front of her home.

Ximena Meza was playing outside her home in the 2300 block of Greenacre Avenue when she was shot at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday, police said. She died at a hospital.

Family, friends and community members gathered Friday at a carwash to raise money for Ximena’s funeral. There is also a GoFundMe page dedicated to her asking for funeral donations.

"There's people here that came to just wash the cars," said Juan Zacarras, a family friend of the Mezas. "They didn’t have money and we appreciate that too."

The memorial on Friday was a symbol of what neighbors say is a neglected community.

One woman, who said her parents were sharing their two bedroom apartment with the Meza family, remains concerned for her own safety. She believes police have not kept tabs on gang-related activity.

"I'm very, very angry," she said. "They know how bad is this neighborhood."

Two years ago the Brookhurst Park neighborhood was singled out by both police and the city as a priority.

Edgar Medina, of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, said the only way he sees to combat gangs is to empower residents.

"They're tired to live in a situation that isn't safe," Medina said.

Detectives are searching for the gunman and a white car seen leaving the area.

<![CDATA[Window Washer Critically Injured When Shocked on Job]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:46:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/211*120/lageneric+power+outage+electricity+utility+LADWP.jpg

A window washer was alert but severely injured with burns to his hands and arms after he touched an electrical wire with equipment in San Bernardino Friday and was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

"Yeah it was scary," said witness Jose Cabrales.

Cabrales works with the victim for Mr.Window window washing service. He said he was using a 30-foot pole to wash the windows on the third floor of an office building, when he heard an explosion.

His co-worker was using a similar washing pole, and accidentally touched the high voltage lines that stretch across the business park.

He said the victim was frozen by electricity and couldn't let go of the fiberglass pole, until it disintegrated in his hands.

The victim’s clothing also caught on fire as Cabrales ran to get help.

"When we arrived on scene, we saw numerous bystanders that were rendering aide and trying to keep the individual calm and keep him conscious throughout the ordeal," said Battalion Chief Nathan Cooke of the San Bernardino City Fire Department.

Firefighters say its a miracle the victim didn’t die instantly because of the amount of electricity that ran though his body.

"An electrical outlet is a 110, and this was 115,000 volts, so put into perspective," Cooke said. "That's a lot of power and electricity he contacted today."

Investigators, including Cal/OSHA, are now looking into the incident to see if any safety regulations were violated. The victim, who has not been identified, was hospitalized in critical condition.

Witnesses said they hope the victim makes a full recovery.

"My prayers are out to them out to his family and him," said San Bernardino resident Leticia Romero.

<![CDATA[Reward Offered in Cold Case Murder of Granada Hills Family]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:59:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/183*120/10-24-14_Yoo-Family-Murder-Reward.JPG

A $75,000 reward for information in the decades-old brutal murder of a family of four in Granada Hills was renewed Friday by the Los Angeles City Council in the hope of drawing out new leads in the cold case.

The bodies of Hee Wan Yoo, 36, his wife, Gyung Jin, 34, and their two children, 6-year-old Pauline and 4-year-old Kenneth, were found in their home Nov. 20, 1991. They had been stabbed to death.

Investigators told neighbors and reporters at the time of the slaying of the Korean-American family they did not believe it was racially motivated. There was also no indication robbery was a motive.

There also did not appear to be any sign of forced entry, according to reports to neighbors soon after the crime.

The children were found in a bedroom in their pajamas, and the parents were found under a blanket in the living room, discovered after Hee Wan Yoo failed to show up to work at the dental lab he owned in Koreatown.

Some speculation early in the investigation focused on the family’s deep roots in Los Angeles’ Koreatown community, but no arrests ever came of that lead.

In the more than two decades that has passed, a reward has been repeatedly offered for information that could lead to the arrest of the family’s killer, but there have been few leads.

The council originally offered a $25,000 reward a month after the killings, and has renewed it several times during the last 23 years.

<![CDATA["Abominable Conditions" Lead to Animal Cruelty Charges]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:20:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/177*120/80842804.jpg

A woman who allegedly housed almost 40 animals in squalid conditions in her Lake Balboa home has been charged with animal cruelty and neglect — the second such incident this week, the Los Angeles City Attorney said.

Corey Carnegie, 50, was charged with one count of animal cruelty and three counts of animal neglect Friday, following an investigation that allegedly found 32 dogs, five cats and two pigs being kept on her property, officials said.

Officers who responded to neighborhood complaints in July allege that the two-bedroom home in the 6600 block of Louise Avenue was "in extremely unsanitary conditions with an overwhelming odor and presence of urine and fecal matter throughout that made it difficult for officers to breathe," according to a press release from the City Attorney’s Office.

Authorities said all of the animals were removed from the property and taken into custody by Animal Services.

Earlier this week, City Attorney Mike Feuer also charged a Sherman Oaks woman with three counts of animal neglect, for allegedly keeping 249 chickens, 21 ducks and four guinea pigs inside her home.

Investigators allege they found several dead animals, "excessive bird excrement" and feathers throughout the home of Georgeanne Leong, 54.

Carnegie and Leong each face jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.

"Animal hoarding often results in abominable conditions that threaten the health and safety of animals and humans alike, as well as creating a nuisance in the neighborhood," Feuer said in the statement Friday. "My office takes protecting the welfare of animals extremely seriously."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[7 People Isolated Not Suspected of Having Ebola]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:50:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-24-14-Downtown+LA+Patients.JPG

Seven people were taken to a hospital in isolation from the Union Station bus depot Friday afternoon after one reported flu-like symptoms.

Los Angeles Fire Department officials ruled out Ebola, despite the abaundance of precaution taken during the transport of the patient.

Sarah Kissel from LA County Public Health confirmed the patients do not have Ebola.

The initial patient was traveling from Nigeria, which is not considered to be impacted by the West African Ebola crisis.

Six additional people who were exposed to the initial patient were also being transported to local hospitals following isolation protocols.

<![CDATA[Man Recalls Horrific Slaying of Then-Girlfriend]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:28:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/10-24-14_James_Alt.JPG

A Riverside County man whose then-girlfriend was brutally murdered 36 years ago said he "shook immediately" when he learned a previously linked cold case had been solved.

James Alt, 53, of the Riverside County city of Wildomar, was relieved when he learned the suspected killers of Claire Hough, 14, had finally been named, even though both of them were found dead before they could be brought to justice.

Despite the fact police have ruled out a link between the two crimes and despite both occurring at the same San Diego beach six years apart, Alt was still overwhelmed when two men were named as suspects in Hough's slaying by DNA evidence on Thursday.

"I started shaking immediately," said Alt, recalling a time years ago when the FBI said the same person or people killed his former girlfriend, tried to kill him and killed Hough. "I was very optimistically hopeful ... that we found Barbara's killer as well as Claire's.

"I'm happy right now that they're at least talking about Claire and I can finally let her go. I've been holding onto her for a while."

Alt was just 17 when he was severely beaten and left for dead while Barbara Nantais, 15, was bludgeoned and strangled to death. Her young body was found mutilated and posed on the sand of Torrey Pines State Beach in San Diego on Aug. 12, 1978.

The couple had traveled to the beach town from Lakewood with two friends to surf and party.

Due to the similarities of the crime scenes, investigators had previously thought the same killers may have murdered Claire, whose body was found in 1984. Authorities had prepared an arrest warrant this week for suspected Hough killer Kevin Charles Brown, 62, but he killed himself before detectives could close in, police said.

His widow, Rebecca, defended her former husband, an ex-San Diego Police Department criminalist, in an interview with NBC4's San Diego affiliate.

"They just pushed him because he was a quiet, gentle, nervous person," she said. "They just pushed him over the edge."

Police don't think Kevin Brown, who retired from the force in 2002, helped investigate the Hough murder case.

A second Hough murder suspect, Ronald Clyde Tatro, 67, died in a boating accident in 2011.

Alt insists he will continue to fight for justice to discover who was responsible for the attack that claimed his then-girlfriend's life, and which nearly killed him as well.

"I've never stopped," he said. "Once my mother died I took over and I don't stop and I'm not going to. I'm like the Energizer bunny."

<![CDATA[Parents Demand Crossing Guards After Hit-and-Run]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:05:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-24-14_upland+cross+guard+hit+and+run.jpg

Parents in Upland were demanding safer routes for their children the day after an 11-year-old boy was killed in a hit-and-run while walking to school.

Isaiah Dobine was walking to Cabrillo Elementary School around 8 a.m. Thursday when authorities said he was hit by a Jeep Cherokee that fled the scene.

As a makeshift memorial of balloons and flowers for Dobine continued to grow Friday, parents carried signs reading “Slow Down!” as a volunteer crossguard safely led students across the street near the elementary school.

There have been no crossguards near the school for nearly five years.

“This is what happens when we do that,” parent Valerie Pineda said. “We end up losing our children, and there’s no need for it.”

Ismael Nieves donned an orange safety vest Friday morning after hearing about Dobine’s death.

“It’s not what you love, it’s what you do - how you show your love for the community,” Nieves said. “This is how I show my love to the community.”

Phone calls from NBC4 to the school’s superintendent were not returned.

Fliers were also being handed out for a march up Euclid Avenue on Saturday to petition for safer streets for students in the area.

Dobine was walking near Arrow Highway and Benson Avenue when he was struck. Upland police later arrested Jason Fehr, 25, shown at right, in connection with the hit-and-run.

A memorial fund for Isaiah has been stated and his family asked anyone who wishes to donate to visit his YouCaring page at www.youcaring.com/shelton.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Mother Fatally Stabbed Over Parking Spot: Police]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:58:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tlmd_handcuffs11.jpg

A 43-year-old mother was fatally stabbed in front of her adult children in a fight over a parking space at a popular Whittier swap meet last Friday, police said.

Whittier police arrested Reggie Cervantes, 22, and Brenda Rangel, 19, on suspicion of murder for their involvement in the death of Elizabeth Yanez on Oct. 17.

Officers responded around 9:30 p.m. to a report of a fight in the parking at the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet. When they arrived, Yanez was found lying on the ground with several stab wounds to her neck and back, police said. She was taken to UCI Medical Center where she later died.

Investigators learned that Yanez was stabbed by a male and female during a dispute over a parking space. Police said Yanez’s 22- and 23-year-old children witnessed their mother being stabbed.

Detectives developed a possible suspect vehicle description and, after “obtaining crucial evidence” at the scene, were led to Cervantes and Rangel. They are being held on $1 million bond at the Los Angeles County Jail.

<![CDATA[Police Seek Masked Male in Attempted Sex Assault]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:41:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/simivalleypolicejpg.jpg

Simi Valley police were asking for the public’s help in finding a masked male who attempted to sexually assault a woman at her home Thursday afternoon.

A burglary and attempted sexual assault was reported in the 2300 block of Clover Street just before 2 p.m., according to the Simi Valley Police Department.

Investigators learned that a woman was home alone when a masked male confronted her and attempted to sexually assault her. The male fled before police arrived.

"We probably haven't had a crime like this in several years," Simi Valley Police Sgt. Craig Dungan said. "There was no struggle between the victim and the suspect, and the victim did not sustain any injuries."

The woman's door was open at the time of the incident, police said.

"When you’re at home, it’s a good idea to keep your home secure," Dungan said.

Two K-9 units and a Ventura County Sheriff's helicopter were used in a search for the male, but he was not found.

Details about the male were sketchy, but authorities said he was about 6 feet tall and wore dark clothing at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Det. David DelMarto at 805-583-6218.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Simi Valley Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[High-Speed Pursuit Ends With PIT Maneuver ]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:19:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-24-14_chp+pursuit+pit+maneuver.jpg

A high-speed pursuit ended early Friday when officers performed a PIT maneuver on a small sedan attempting to flee in Huntington Park.

The driver of a dark colored Toyota refused to pull over for officers attempting a traffic stop around 1:30 a.m. in the South Los Angeles area, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The pursuit took officers through several cities, and at one point the driver traveled on the wrong side of the road. The chase ended in Huntington Park after pursuing officers performed a PIT maneuver.

Officers arrested the driver at the scene. CHP is handling the investigation.

Photo Credit: SoCal News]]>
<![CDATA[Crash Scatters 101 Fwy Divider Debris]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:40:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/10-24-2014-101-freeway-encino.jpg

Lanes were blocked on both sides of the 101 Freeway in the west San Fernando Valley Friday morning after a crash that left debris on the road.

Three lanes were closed on the eastbound side of the freeway and two westbound lanes were closed near White Oak Avenue. Aerial video showed damage to the concrete center divider that was struck by a vehicle.

Workers are attempting to clear the debris and make repairs. At least one vehicle was involved in the crash.

Details regarding injuries were not immediately available.

Refresh this page for updates.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Driver Speeding "In and Out of Traffic" Before Fatal Crash]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:13:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/10-24-2014-sunland-crash.jpg

A driver was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder Friday after a fatal crash that occurred as he and another driver were seen weaving "in and out of traffic" at high speeds in Sunland, police said.

The male driver of a black Nissan 370Z was detained for his possible involvement in the crash early Friday morning, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A female driver in her mid-30s was killed when her Infiniti G class vehicle struck a utility pole just after midnight in the 10100 block of Sunland Boulevard.

Luis Tapia, 28, of Sunland, was later arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder, Los Angeles police said. The driver "contributed to the cause" of the crash, police said.

"Two vehicles were observed traveling at a high rate of speed in and out of traffic, and unfortunately one of the vehicles lost control through one of the S-turns on Sunland Boulevard between La Canada Way and Whitman," LAPD Lt. Bill Bustos said.

The driver was trapped after the car sheared a telephone pole and the vehicle overturned. Firefighters attempted to extricate the woman and provide aid, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

"We're not saying racing at this particular point, we don't know if those drivers were just driving fast.... Or if there was illegal street racing going on," Bustos said.

Tapia's bond was set at $1 million.

Sunland Boulevard was closed for hours as LAPD officers collected evidence at the scene. The road reopened to traffic just after 6 a.m.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: OnSceneTV]]>
<![CDATA[CSUN Orders End to Pledge Activity]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:57:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/college+campus+generic.jpg

All fraternities and sororities at California State University, Northridge have been ordered to stop pledge activity following reports of a possible hazing incident, just seven weeks after a university investigation determined that hazing was involved in the July death of a CSUN freshman.

The possible hazing incident involves fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha, which has been placed on interim suspension by the school and on administrative suspension by its national headquarters. A student from the pledge class reported the possible case of hazing one week ago, according to school officials.

After the complaint, school officials questioned several other pledges and "more than one" described what the school considered possible hazing incidents. Vice president of student affairs William Watkins sent a letter to all sorority and fraternity presidents Thursday evening, a copy of which was posted on the school newspaper’s website, and in it ordered that "all pledge activities immediately cease and desist" and that "all pledging must immediately stop."

"CSUN takes hazing allegations extremely seriously, and we are deeply committed to protecting the health and safety of all students," Watkins wrote. "Following Armando Villa’s tragic death while on a fraternity-sponsored hike in the Angeles National Forest, CSUN reviewed all applicable policies and procedures to ensure that the university’s zero-tolerance policy on hazing is clearly understood and followed."

The school conducted training sessions with the sorority and fraternity community concerning expectations around pledge activities.

"Fortunately, one of our students came to us as a result of that training and reported to us concerning behavior that was occurring within the chapter pledge process," said William Watkins, CSUN dean of students.

In early September, CSUN officials announced that hazing contributed to the death of 19-year-old Pi Kappa Phi pledge Armando Villa (pictured below), who passed out in the Angeles National Forest during a hike in July and later died at the hospital. Following the internal investigation, that fraternity surrendered its CSUN chapter.

 "The report’s findings are deeply disturbing, and I will not turn a blind eye to any reports of hazing," CSUN President Dianne Harrison had said in a statement in September. "Hazing is stupid, senseless, dangerous and against the law in California. It is a vestige of a toxic way of thinking in which it was somehow OK to degrade, humiliate and potentially harm others. It has no place on this or any university campus, in any student club or organization, and it will not be tolerated."

In the statement issued Thursday, Watkins reiterated those thoughts, adding that it was “shocking and disappointing” that the alleged hazing would continue given that CSUN’s efforts to ensure a recruitment that “conforms to the university’s zero tolerance policy on hazing.”

According to the statement, any Greek organization that continues pledge activities will be suspended immediately and could be removed by the university.

President Harrison plans to address fraternity and sorority leaders to discuss expectations and changes, according to the statement.

"At this time, there will be no spring 2015 new member intake activity," the statement said.

As for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department investigation into Villa's death, authorities told NBC4 Friday that the department will be submitting its finding to the district attorney as early as next week. The district attorney's office would then consider whether criminal charges will be filed in the case.

NBC4's Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Drought's New Ally: Quagga Mussel]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:20:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/196*120/10-24_2014-mussel-drought.jpg

Emerging from obscurity, a tiny freshwater creature that has been a pest to boaters and water system managers for the past seven years is now making the drought even more difficult in one area.

The invasive pest is the Quagga mussel, a shellfish smaller than your thumbnail, but so prolific at reproducing it can leave room for little else.

"They will clog intake pipes. They will clog valves," said Jim Green, water systems operations manager for the Metropolitan Water District.

Native to Central Asia, quagga somehow made their way to North America. In 2007 they were discovered in the Colorado River, a major source of water for the Southwest, distributed via a network of canals and reservoirs, virtually all of which have now become quagga infested.

The MWD now spends $3 to 5 million a year on Quagga maintenance, removing the mussels from water delivery systems, only to see them reappear.

"There's no way to eradicate them," Green lamented.

There's no evidence Quagga present any health hazard, and so far, MWD has been able to work around them.

But now, in this third year of drought, Quagga have become a factor in preventing — or at least delaying — Colorado River water from being delivered to one district that could use it to replenish rapidly dropping groundwater.

Affected is the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, an MWD member that serves 18 cities and nearly a million residents in its 144-square mile service area.

It's a region that depends heavily on groundwater, historically replenished mainly by runoff from the San Gabriel Mountains, and to a lesser extent by imported water — both of which have been drastically reduced during this drought.

The water table, as measured at the designated key well for the San Gabriel's main basin, is now 17 feet below what is considered the minimum operating level, according to the office of the Watermaster for the Main San Gabriel Basin.

To make up for the lack of runoff, the Upper Valley District has sought to purchase 19,000 acre feet of water from MWD.

But so far this year it has received only 11,000, all from northern California via the state water project and its California Aqueduct, which so far has eluded Quagga contamination.

Dry conditions to the north have slashed the availability of water from the aqueduct.

As the region's largest wholesaler, MWD does not rely solely on the state water project.

It also imports water from the Colorado River, which so far has been less affected by the drought, and despite the Quagga issues, has made up for much of the cut in state water project deliveries.

The problem for the Upper San Gabriel Valley is how to get Colorado River water to spreading grounds for replenishment.

There is no direct connection to the Ben Lomond Spreading Grounds in Covina; the only existing link is via the San Dimas Wash, a county flood control channel.

But because the flood control system remains Quagga free — and Los Angeles County Public Works is bound by force of law to try to keep it that way — deliveries of water from the Colorado River have been prohibited in flood control channels.

There have been efforts to develop a workaround.

MWD has been working with the California Department of Water Resources on a protocol for chlorinating Colorado River water to kill Quagga and enable the water to be transported through uninfested systems.

The permit process to allow the San Dimas Wash to carry treated Colorado River water to the Ben Lomond spreading grounds is now in the public comment phase, Green said.

But Ben Lomond and an adjacent sister basin can offer only so much help.

Together, they have a storage capacity of no more than 5,000 acre feet, which would help, but represents only a fraction of the needed replenishment, according to Shane Chapman, general manager of the Upper District.

A few miles to the west of the Ben Lomond, the flood control system leads to the much larger basins along the San Gabriel River bed.

However, because there are locations along the route which never dry out and could allow Quagga to become established, even chlorinating would not be considered a sufficient safeguard, and Colorado River water could not be delivered.

Currently, Upper Valley receives 50 acre feet a week of state project water from MWD.

Even before Upper Valley's emergency resolution called on MWD to deliver more water, MWD had agreed to triple weekly deliveries to 150 acre feet, but only for the next month.

Availability of water will be re-evaluated at that point, Green said.

Upper Valley's Chapman sees a need for more, but thinks that will buy the district some time.

"What Metropolitan is doing for us today will allow us to eke through until we see how this winter develops," Chapman said.

As it is, retail water companies that pump groundwater have run into situations in which the water table is dropping below well intakes.

The San Gabriel Valley Water Company lowered the intakes for three of its wells, according to Dan Arrighi, water resources manager.

Increasing the number of wells is not seen as a solution.

"It's just a matter of getting water to the wells," Arrighi said.

Though he would welcome the availability of more water for replenishment, he does not second guess the precautions being taken to prevent the spread of the Quagga mussel, and does not think it would be wise to risk infestation in the San Gabriel Valley.

"Then how do you get rid of it?"

In an effort to stop the Quagga's spread, boaters have been required to wipe down their vessels, and have them inspected before being launched in uninfected lakes and reservoirs.

The move to stop the Quagga's advance even has a slogan: "Don't move a mussel!"

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Mourners Leave Items for Slain 9-Year-Old Girl]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:02:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/190*120/10-23-2014-Ximena-Meza-anaheim-girl-shot-3.jpg Balloons, stuffed animals and other items were left outside the residences in memory of a 9-year-old girl who was shot to death while playing outside her Anaheim home.

Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Race for Calif. Education's Top Spot]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:25:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/211*120/10-20-2014-torlakson-tuck-education-election.jpg

With the midterm elections less than two weeks away, an unlikely race is heating up — the one for the California Department of Education’s top spot.

Former president of Green Dot Public Charter School Marshall Tuck and incumbent Tom Torlakson are vying for the position of state superintendent of schools.

Both candidates are Democrats with strong backing behind them.

Torlakson has the support of mainstream Democratic Party officeholders and the California Teacher’s Association, which is spending heavily on TV and radio advertisements.

Tuck, meanwhile, is the renegade Democrat, who ran then-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s partnership for L.A. schools to improve the most underperforming schools in the city’s poorest areas.

He’s drawn support from education reformers, high-tech executives and even Hollywood stars. Celebrities Joel McHale, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell, for example, starred in a web ad with Tuck.

Tuck says he wants to evaluate teachers based on merit and rid the state of the seniority system.

"That’s a piece of policy that doesn’t make sense for kids," Tuck said.

Torlakson, on the other hand, supports the tenure system and touts accomplishment during his own tenure as state superintendent.

"Our graduation rate went up to 80 percent, the highest in the state’s history for our high schools," Torlakson said. "Our eighth grade reading scores in California are higher than reading scores in any other state in the nation."

And while the position doesn’t hold much power, the race for the state’s schools chief is being watched around the nation.

The most recent poll has Tuck leading 31 to 28.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Catalytic Converter Thieves Target Silver Lake]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:10:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/10-23-catalyticconverters.JPG

A citywide rise in thefts of catalytic converters for scrap metal is particularly acute in the neighborhood of Silver Lake, according to Los Angeles police.

In two months, 35 catalytic converters have been reported stolen — one just this Monday, officials said.

Thieves take only a couple minutes using a portable hand saw to steal the car parts, which can be worth up to $300 due to the high content ratio of palladium, rhodium and platinum, said LAPD Detective Fernando Prieto.

Silver Lake is a hot spot for the thefts because of a high concentration of targeted cars such as the Honda Element, officials said.

Scrap yards and recycling centers are fueling the growing theft ring by paying top dollar for sawed-off catalytic converters, police said.

Officials advise people to park in a well-lit area, get a vehicle identification number etched on the catalytic converter and install a motion sensor or "cat clamp" on it.

The clamps cost between $100 and $700, but replacing a stolen converter can cost up to $3,000.

Popular cars targeted by converter thieves include the Chevy Cavalier, Pontiac Sunfire and Toyota Sequoia.

<![CDATA[Menifee City Councilman Arrested in Corruption Probe]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:31:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lagenerics-1-a-breaking-news-la-generic-graphic-april2014.gif

Menifee City Councilman Thomas Fuhrman was arrested at a city park on Wednesday by DA's investigators and faces charges in connection with conflicts of interest involving a business he owns, prosecutors said.

Fuhrman, 70, was arrested at Wheatfield Park in Menifee, said Riverside County District Attorney spokesman John Hall.

He faces eight counts -- one felony and seven misdemeanors -- including conflict of interest, using his official position to influence a governmental decision in which he knows he has a financial interest, and not having a business license, officials said.

The charges relate to his not having a business license to run businesses or hold events at the Wooden Nickel Ranch that he owns in Menifee and council votes relating to the business, Hall said.

He was booked into jail at the Southwest Detention Center.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated John Hall as being with the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office. He is with the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

<![CDATA[LGBT Inmates Sue Over Alleged Jailhouse Mistreatment]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:15:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/LAgenerics+prison+bars+jail.jpg

Fifteen former and current inmates at a San Bernardino County Jail are suing the county and sheriff’s officials over what they say is systematic discrimination and uneven treatment based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The complaint filed Wednesday in a federal court alleges that gay, bisexual and transgender inmates at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga are consistently abused, neglected and denied equal access to rehabilitation programs and work opportunities.

"At West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino County, gay, bisexual and transgender people are punished twice: first for the crimes they committed and second for being gay, bisexual and transgender," said Brendan Hamme, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is co-representing the inmates with a Pasadena law firm.

A San Bernardino County spokesman said Thursday that officials had not been served with paperwork, and had no comment.

Officials at the jail systematically transfer and isolate inmates who identify themselves as gay, bisexual or transgender to an area they call the "Alternative Lifestyle Tank," under the guise of protecting the inmates' safety, Hamme said.

Attorneys argue that such treatment violates inmates’ rights to equal protection under the California Constitution and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Six of the 15 plaintiffs — all of whom identify as GBT — are currently housed in the Rancho Cucamonga facility, while four are former inmates and five are housed in other facilities where they allege similar practices occur.

Hamme said the ACLU has received dozens of corroborating statements and complaints from current and former inmates.

The complaint alleges that GBT inmates are locked up in the "Alternative Lifestyle Tank" for more than 22 hours a day "without any security justification."

They also argue they’re routinely denied opportunities for work credits and rehabilitation programs that would help in reducing their sentences.

Some inmates add that they’ve been retaliated against by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department officials after complaining about conditions.

"Jails are simply not Constitution-free zones," Hamme said. "We want West Valley Detention Center to change its practice. We want GBT inmates to have the same level of access to services as their non-GBT counterparts."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Back-to-Back Quakes Strike Near Brea in Orange County]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 17:15:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/10-23-14-brea+quake.JPG

Two small earthquakes rattled Orange County Thursday afternoon.

A magnitude-2.8 quake struck 1 mile northeast of Brea at 3:34 p.m., and a 3.0 quake struck the same area at 3:35 p.m., according to USGS.

One NBC4 viewer in Buena Park described the quake as a "more of a push" than a jolt. A resident in Brea said she felt "a little shaking going on."

More than 300 people reported feeling the 3.0 quake on the USGS "Did You Feel It?" website.

No injuries or damage were reported.

Photo Credit: USGS]]>
<![CDATA["Look at This Shiz": Gory Hospital Pic Draws Lawsuit]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:30:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/285*120/county+usc+medical+center.JPG

A blind woman is suing a man who allegedly published to the web a gory photo of the woman's suicide attempt.

Suffering a bout of depression two-and-a-half years ago, the woman had stabbed pencils into her eyes and alleges that a nurse at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center took a photo of her that made its way this July onto a shock site. Shock sites collect disturbing images.

The woman's name was not released in the suit, filed Monday, Oct. 20, to protect her privacy, which she claims was violated by the release of the picture.

"This graphic and horrifying picture was taken without the knowledge, consent, or permission of Jane Doe," the complaint says.

Joshua Shivers is accused of uploading the photo and taking credit for its popularity -- over 192,000 views -- by boasting on a social network "I finally made it in life!!! Please check out my shiz" and linking to the image.

Also named in the lawsuit are Shiver's mother, Los Angeles County, Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and 20 of its employees.

The woman says in the suit that she recovered from her suicide, learning Braille and enrolling in college. But the knowledge that the photo is being circulated and may make people she meets aware of her suicide attempt was "deeply hurtful and humiliating," according to the suit.

<![CDATA[Memorial Left For Boy Killed by Ice Cream Truck]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:51:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Jamarion1.jpg

Mourners set down flowers, balloons and candles at a makeshift memorial on Thursday for a 7-year-old boy who was fatally struck by an ice cream truck while he was riding a motorized bike in South Los Angeles.

Jamarion Thomas was riding next to the vehicle when he fell Wednesday night. Police said the boy slipped as he was riding and fell underneath the truck near his home in the 200 block of 97th Street.

He was taken to hospital in grave condition after the apparent accident but later died, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Friends and family, meanwhile, grieved at a scene which included a bike which may have been the one ridden by the boy at the time of the incident.

A devestated neighbor, whose son was friends with Jamarion, said: "My baby been up running around, crying, and everything else, and I don't know what to tell him, because this is his first time going through this."

Family members wouldn't talk, but an uncle said Wednesday night he was in shock and didn't know how he was going to break the news to the boy's father.

The accident caused an angry crowd to attack the driver with bricks and sticks. Police said a knife was also possibly pulled during the melee. No arrests have been made.

The driver, who suffered bruises and was treated at the scene, was taken to a police station for his own safety.

Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Four Hurt in Residential Fire in Victorville]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:48:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lagenerics-1-a-breaking-news-la-generic-graphic-april2014.gif

Four people were airlifted to a hospital Thursday after they were burned in a garage fire in Victorville, officials said.

The incident was reported at 1:18 p.m. in the 16500 block of Lariat Road, said Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Three people suffered burns over 20 percent of their bodies. The fourth victim suffered minor injuries. The victims were male and female, all under age 21.

The fire started the garage and had been extinguished by residents by the time fire crews arrived, said Tracey Martinez, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Earlier reports said there were five victims, but authorities later corrected the number to four.

<![CDATA[Decorative Contacts Can Cause Blindness: Officials]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:25:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP18289346253.jpg

Decorative contact lenses serve as the finishing touch to many Halloween costumes, but federal agencies warn that counterfeit products could result in serious injury and even permanent vision loss.

"You'd never buy a heart valve at a gas station and you should never buy a medical device like contact lenses at one either," said Dr. Jeffrey Hackleman, president of the Georgia Optometric Association. "… A lifetime of good vision is so much more important than a cheap Halloween accessory."

Graphic images of injuries sustained from counterfeit contact lenses can be found here.

Officials caution customers not to buy contacts from Halloween shops or other unauthorized distributors of contact lenses. Due to the health risks involved, it is illegal to purchase or sell contact lenses of any kind without a valid prescription.

As part of "Operation Double Vision," federal agencies are joining forces to seize counterfeit and illegally imported decorative contact lenses. Already, they have taken more than 750 pairs off the market in the LA area.

Medical experts advise consumers interested in buying decorative lenses to get an eye exam from a local doctor. Even those who believe they have perfect vision should obtain a prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurement and expiration date.

"Make no mistake, contact lenses are medical devices that should be prescribed by trained professionals," said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) Los Angeles.

To be safe, don’t buy contacts from a vendor that does not require proof of a prescription.

Consumers should also follow directions for cleaning, disinfecting and wearing the lenses. Finally, consult an eye doctor immediately if there are any signs of infection.

"… Halloween is a fun and festive holiday, and nobody wants to see those celebrations end with a trip to the ER," Arnold said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA["Horrible Scene": Boy Killed in Upland Hit-and-Run]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 01:46:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-23-14_isaiah+dobine+upland+hit+and+run.jpg

An 11-year-old boy was killed in a hit-and-run while walking to an Upland school Thursday morning in what was described by one witness as "the most horrible scene I've ever seen in my life."

The boy was walking to Cabrillo Elementary School around 8 a.m. when authorities said he was hit by a Jeep Cherokee, possibly a 2008 model, in the area of Arrow Highway and Benson Avenue.

Family members said the boy's name was Isaiah Dobine.

"How can you just leave a defenseless child there and go about your day?" the boy's grandmother, Tamara Strong, told NBC4.

Witness Benny Dorado told NBC4 that he was with Isaiah in the moments following the collision.

"I saw him laying there. It was the most horrible scene I’ve ever seen in my life," Dorado said. "He was a little boy ... I was holding his hand the entire time."

Dorado said Isaiah had a small orange Bible with him.

"I picked it up and I just held it in my hand, and the paramedics did their job and I held (the Bible) in my hand, and I was praying for him," Dorado said.

Upland police said the boy was treated at the scene and then taken to San Antonio Community Hospital where he later died from his injuries.

Dobine's family said knowing Isaiah had a strong faith is helping them cope with his loss.

"This young man was so in touch with God, you wouldn't believe," stepfather Vincent Vega said.

"Had he seen this on the news, Isaiah would go pray," Strong said. "He would pray that the Lord would bring peace to the family that was going through this. That's the type of boy my grandson was."

Upland police arrested Jason Fehr, 25, shown at right, in connection with the hit-and-run. 

"We're fairly confident we have the right guy," Upland Police Lt. Alan Ansara said.

Police were still looking into what caused the crash, including community concerns over a lack of crossing guards near Cabrillo Elementary School.

Family members started a memorial fund for Isaiah and asked anyone who wishes to donate to visit his YouCaring page at www.youcaring.com/shelton.

<![CDATA[Three Officers Shot, One Civilian Shot in Northern CA: CHP]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:32:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lagenerics-1-a-breaking-news-la-generic-graphic-april2014.gif

Three officers and one civilian have been shot in Sacramento and Placer counties by a man and woman who are heavily armed, according to the CHP.

There is an ongoing pursuit on Interstate 80 near the city of Auburn after reports of shots fired and that the truck sought in connection with the shooting of a Sacramento County deputy had been spotted, police told NBC affiliate KCRA 3.

The suspects were described as heavily armed and dangerous, according to the California Highway Patrol in Sacramento.

Refresh this page for updates.

<![CDATA[Arrest in Slayings of Father, 12-Year-Old son]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:43:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/photo199.JPG

A suspect was arrested Thursday morning in the slayings of a father and son in Riverside County, Hemet police said.

Family identified the victims as Deon Boyd, 44, and Deon Boyd, Jr., 12, whose family said moved from Compton to Hemet four years ago. They were found dead at their home Wednesday night.

The suspect was identified by Hemet police as Qualik Walton, 23, the stepson of Boyd, Sr., and half brother to Boyd, Jr., who lived at the home with the victims.

"He was a dedicated father, and he was a really good, obedient kid," said one family member, who didn't want to be identified. "They didn't deserve this brutal killing."

Police had been investigating the suspected double homicide at a residence on the 400 block of Winthrop Drive after Deon Boyd's sister discovered the bodies.

The first 911 call was received at 11:28 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, police said.

Investigators also impounded a vehicle believed to be related to the killings.

Below: Deon Boyd, Jr., 12, and his father, Deon Boyd, 44, were allegedly murdered at a residence in Hemet. Their bodies were found late in the evening Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.

Photo Credit: Family photo]]>
<![CDATA[Kat Von D Tattoo Parlor Location Struck by Fire]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:59:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/KatVonD1.jpg

A two-alarm fire damaged a West Hollywood strip mall Thursday morning where celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D has a tattoo parlor, according to an Los Angeles County Fire official.

About 50 firefighters responded to the call of a commercial fire, made at 4:07 a.m. Thursday, at a four-unit strip mall on the 1200 block of North La Brea Avenue, LA County Fire Inspector Rick Flores said.

Von D has two units in the block’s only strip mall, including her parlor High Voltage, which was the subject of a reality show called LA Ink that ran for four seasons.

The blaze was knocked down at 4:33 a.m., Flores said, though he didn’t confirm damage to any specific units. No injuries were reported.

A phone line at High Voltage was busy during several calls Thursday morning after the fire.

It’s the same block where a stolen Tesla was split in half on impact with a light pole at the conclusion of a high-speed police pursuit this July.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[$57,500 Reward Offered to Find 9-Year-Old Girl's Killer]]> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:24:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/190*120/10-23-2014-Ximena-Meza-anaheim-girl-shot-3.jpg

A more than $50,000 reward was being offered Thursday to find the killer of a 9-year-old girl who was was playing with her friends in front of her family's Anaheim home when she was fatally shot.

Ximena Meza was struck by at least one round outside the 2300 block of Greenacre Avenue (map) on Wednesday and later died at UC Irvine Medical Center. She would have been 10 next month.

Her father told NBC4 he heard gunfire before his daughter ran back to the residence bleeding from her side.

"She ran in there and she died in my arms. I just held her...I know she is with God right now," father William Meza said. "We don't have any idea about it. They were just playing right there. We just heard the shots -- three shots. She ran inside the apartment. When I grabbed her she was bleeding from the side.

"She was amazing -- awesome daughter. I just love her. She is an angel," Meza said.

No arrests had been reported Thursday. What began as a $5,000 reward for information in her killing reached $57,500 Thursday night with funding from the Anaheim Police Officers Association, the city of Anaheim, and the Orange County Attorney's Association.

Community members packed a recreation center Thursday night to demand justice for Ximena.

"I don't live in the area but this is my community. My son goes to the junior high. My kid goes to the school with the girl who was murdered," one resident said. "It upsets me."

Balloons, stuffed animals and other items were left outside the residence in memory of Ximena, the oldest of three sisters whose family moved to the neighborhood about three months ago. School excellence awards for math, language arts and other achievements also were placed at the site of the shooting.

One of the certificates called the fifth-grade student a "shining star."

"I'm not angry, I just have pain in my heart," grandfather Alonso Ortiz said.

The coroner's office identified the victim Thursday morning, hours after a 12-year-old boy discovered his playmate had been wounded by the gunfire. The two were among several children playing on the sidewalk in front of the apartments next to Brookhurst Park, police said.

"Her eyes were just like all rolled back," Hector Jiminez said.

Police were called to the neighborhood southwest of the 5 Freeway by witnesses who reported the sound of gunfire, said Anaheim Police Lt. Bob Dunn said.

Authorities are attempting to determine whether Ximena was caught in crossfire of a group of boys or men nearby.

"One male exited the white car and fired several rounds in the direction of a group of males," Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada said. "Ximena was struck with one of the rounds. Following the shooting, the male re-entered the vehicle and left."

"We have very limited information on any type of suspects. All we know is that there were some males involved. Whether that's more than one or six or more, we don't know," Dunn said.

Neighbors told NBC4 they have witnessed gang activity in a nearby park, but authorities have not confirmed whether the shooting involved gang members.

Anaheim Police believe potential witnesses at the park and apartment buildings nearby may provide them with additional information. Quezada said solving the case was the department's "number one priority."

"Innocent children shouldn't be dying so young," said neighbor Kimberly Rodriguez, who grew up in the neighborhood and left a stuffed animal with a flower at the site of the shooting. "It's just ridiculous.

"I can't imagine what (the family) is going through right now."

Ximena's aunt started a GoFundMe account at GoFundMe.com/g6n68k.

Beverly White contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Family Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested After SWAT Responds to Homemade Cannon]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:48:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-23-14_+swat+homemade+cannon.jpg

A man who was allegedly firing a homemade cannon east of Palmdale in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County was taken into custody Thursday morning, SWAT officials said.

Investigators responded around 5 a.m. to reports of a man firing a cannon in the 34000 block of 175th Street East in the Llano area, about 25 miles east of Palmdale, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The man was arrested by responding authorities and the area was deemed safe, officials said.

It was unclear what, if anything, was being fired at. Sheriff's at the Palmdale Station were handling the investigation.

The incident did not affect traffic on Highway 138.

Photo Credit: Special Enforcement Bureau/Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Mr. Incredible Slams Batgirl in Hollywood Blvd. Scuffle]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 09:12:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-23-14_hollywood+blvd+costume+superhero+fight.jpg

A violent encounter between costumed superhero characters ended with Mr. Incredible slamming Batgirl on the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard in a fight caught on camera.

It was unclear what set off the altercation Tuesday in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre at Hollywood and Highland, and by the time police showed up no witnesses or victims were on scene.

In the video costumed Chewbacca and Waldo try to hold back Mr. Incredible as he grabs at a woman dressed as Batgirl, eventually throwing her to the ground on the crowded sidewalk. People watching nearby lunge toward the man after the slam, but no further violence appears to take place.

A man dressed as Spiderman said the sidewalk, filled with celebrity impersonators and people dressed as superheroes, is fiercely competitive as the characters collect money for photos with tourists.

“No one has respect for each other out here … it’s do or die,” he said. “Literally, everyone is feeding themselves.”

No arrests have been made. Los Angeles police are investigating the case.

Photo Credit: www.filmon.com]]>
<![CDATA[Police Investigate Assault Complaint Against Blake Griffin ]]> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:09:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tlmd_griffin2.jpg

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers says he trusts player Blake Griffin, and a police investigation of a man's complaint that Griffin attacked him during an argument over a photo at a Las Vegas Strip shouldn't distract the team.

The Clippers issued a statement from Rivers before the team's home exhibition game against the Phoenix Suns. He said he's very confident things will work out.

"It shouldn’t be (a distraction)," Rivers said "It’s an ongoing investigation, so I don’t have a lot to say about it. I trust Blake 100 percent. He's a great kid. We'll figure it out and get through it. I feel very confident that things will work out. I'll put it that way.”

No arrest was immediately made while Las Vegas police investigate a battery complaint filed Sunday stemming from what a department spokesman called an altercation over a camera.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>