Touching Base: A Message from the Chief
July 7, 2013
Save the Date:
National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, August
6th, from 6:00-10:00 p.m. The Pasadena Police Department
will collaborate with our community stakeholders to promote police-community
partnerships; crime, drug and violence prevention, safety and neighborhood
unity. Kings Villages will host the kick-off celebration beginning promptly at
6:00 p.m. Participants are encouraged to begin the evening at Kings
Villages. If you have questions, please contact Pasadena Police
Specialist Hilda Jurado at (626) 744-7659, or email at: Jurado@cityofpasaden.net.
On July 3, I met with Council Member John Kennedy regarding
several public safety issues. The meeting was informative and productive.
On July 3, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commander Chris Russ, and
I attended a meeting with PUSD representatives to discuss public safety
issues. The meeting was chaired by PUSD President Renatta Cooper.
Mayor Bill Bogaard, Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, Assistant City
Manager Steve Mermell, and PUSD Superintendent Jon Gundry also
attended the meeting.
On July 4, several Pasadena Police Personnel were
assigned to the America Fest at the Rose Bowl. Several Pasadena Police
officers worked the event to ensure the crowds had a safe and relaxing time at
the bowl. Thousands of people were camped out on the grass area and more
entered the bowl to watch the fireworks display. There were several VIPs
at the event; however, I only saw a few including: Mayor Bill Bogaard,
Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, Council Member John Kennedy, Congressman Adam
Schiff, and Pasadena City Attorney Michele Bagneris.
On July 5, I met
with Tammi Devine about a new program hosted by Crown City News. The
show is scheduled to air live from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m., seven days a week in
Pasadena on the Arroyo Channel (32). More on the program as it evolves.
Over the past week few
weeks, officers and employees assigned to the department’s Community
Services Section have been extremely busy. Under the direction of Pasadena
Police Lieutenant Ed Calatayud and Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, the
Mobile Command Post (Curbside Coffee & Chat) visited about 12 different
locations, including neighborhood gatherings on Sierra Bonita Avenue, Garfield
Avenue, Oakland Avenue, El Molino Avenue, Blair Middle School, Boys & Girls
Club, and El Dora Street, to name a few. At the Garfield Avenue location,
PPD collaborated with the Pasadena Public Health Department (Nancy
Tafoya-Gutierrez and Eric Cheung) to talk about personal health
topics. If you would like the Pasadena Police Mobile Command Post to visit your
neighborhood or community meeting, please contact Pasadena Police Officer Ralph
Ordonez at ROrdonez@cityofpasadena.net.
On June 26, I received a copy of an email from Pasadena
Police Specialist Karla Kauhola commending Park Safety Officers
Tony Ambrozevicius and Nick Ortiz for conducting the bicycle safety
segment at the Kids Safety Academy. Karla said Tony and Nick were
professional and well organized and that the students enjoyed the presentation.
On June 30, several Pasadena police employees from
the Strategic Services Division participated in the Pasadena Marathon: Dispatcher
Robin Evans and her son, and Dispatcher Lara McDonald and her
daughter participated in the 5K. Records Police Specialist Sarah
Presley completed the half Marathon.
On June 30, I received an email from a Pasadena Half
Marathon participant commending the Pasadena Police Department for assisting
her towards the end of the race. The author said in substance, “…I was
not doing well with the heat. He (the officer) kept an eye on me until I
On June 30, I received a copy of an email from Pasadena
Power Distribution Crew Supervisor Wayne Reighlman commending the officers
and volunteers who provided traffic control at the intersection of St. Johns
Avenue and California Boulevard following a power outage. Wayne wrote,
“The fact that we did not have to worry about traffic control at such a
dangerous intersection allowed us to focus on marking repairs to the power
system and it made our job much easier. I would like to thank the
Pasadena Police Department, and the personnel involved for providing such
critical assistance.” PPD personnel included Lieutenant Vasken
Gourdikian and CAPPS Volunteers Shar Stafford, Kristin Stafford,
and Ray Avesian.
On July 1, I received an email from Women at Work
Assistant Director Janet Pope Givens commending the offices and
employees assigned to the department’s Youth and Family Services Section
for their professionalism and flexibility.
On July 1, I received a letter from Signal Hill
police chief commending Pasadena Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls for his
assistance with their police captain promotional exam. Darryl was part of
a professional panel assessing candidates.
On July 2, I received an email from Pasadena
Police Commander Lisa Rosales about Records Police Specialist Sarah
Presley. Sarah was commended by a citizen at the police department’s
front counter for her professionalism, excellent attitude, and congenial
demeanor. The citizen wrote, “… Great Staff in Records Department.”
On July 3, the Special Enforcement Section
(SES) and Pasadena Police Detectives served a search warrant on persons
believed to be involved in citywide burglaries. During the search, officers
recovered two long rifles, a shotgun, and a revolver. Officers also recovered
several high-capacity rifle magazines and numerous shotgun/handgun rounds.
A known gang-member was arrested at the location for burglary and possession of
guns. He was later booked at the Pasadena jail. The seizure of the
firearms involved in this investigation likely kept them from reaching our
streets. The trio of detectives investigating this case was: Dustin Gomez,
David Duran, and Anthony Russo.
On July 3, Pasadena Police officers responded to
the 400 block of Los Robles Avenue to investigate a threats call (suspect was
threating to shoot the victim). On arrival, PPD Officers Mike Herrera and
Linda Mercado saw the suspect vehicle. Mike and Linda attempted a traffic
stop; however, the driver failed to yield. Attempting to evade the officers,
the suspect driver entered the 134 Freeway. The officers initiated a
vehicle pursuit and requested the assistance the Pasadena Police Helicopter and
the California Highway Patrol. The vehicle pursuit continued into the City of
Los Angeles where Los Angeles Police Officers assisted. Subsequently, the
suspect diver stopped his vehicle in the 10000 block of Bluffside Drive and
fled on foot. Officers quickly contained the area and the suspect was later
arrested without further incident. He was transported back to the
Pasadena jail and booked. There were no accidents or injuries associated
with this incident.
On July 3, distraught parents contacted the San
Marino Police Department and reported their 17 year old daughter missing.
Following a preliminary review of the incident, it was determined the last
known location of the victim was in Pasadena. The Pasadena Police
Department took over as the lead agency. Some of the initial facts of the
case were concerning, so additional resources and personnel were assembled to
assist with the investigation. Pasadena Police Sergeant Ernie Devis coordinated
PPD’s efforts to locate the victim. The police department alerted the
community via Nixle and Twitter. Pasadena Police Officer Tom
Brown remained with the victim’s parents in San Marino during the
investigation, acting as a liaison between the family, SMPD, and the Pasadena
Police Department. Later in the evening, Officers John Buchholtz and
Steve Rappuchi saw the victim on Glen Oaks Boulevard sitting in her car.
Officers contact the victim, who was unharmed. Based on our preliminary
investigation, it appears the victim was despondent over family issues.
Detectives responded to the location and interview the victim. She was
later returned to her family.
On July 5, Pasadena Police officers
responded to the 400 block of East Walnut Street regarding a residential
burglary investigation. On arrival, PPD officers talked with the victim
who said she heard movement in her bedroom. When she investigated, the
victim saw the suspect standing in her residence. The suspect (Male Black
Adult) immediately fled the location. Our preliminary investigation suggests
the suspect entered the dwelling through an unlocked sliding glass bedroom
door. This very dangerous incident is a good reminder to keep your
doors and windows locked during the evening and when you are away. If you
have an alarm, please use it.
On July 5, Pasadena Police officers
responded to investigate a large group causing a disturbance at Community
Arms. On arrival, about 20 people were gathered around a parked
car. As officers approached, many of the people fled. Officers
detained several subjects and recovered a load firearm from the vehicle.
Officers determined the revolver was reported stolen from Altadena. Our
investigation is ongoing.
On July 6, at
about 1:03 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a report
of gunshots in the area of East Hammond Street and Summit
Avenue. On arrival, officers saw a large crowd in front a residence in the 100
block of East Hammond Street. Officers also saw two females lying in
the roadway. They quickly determined the females had not been shot,
but were victims of a hit-and-run (vehicle v. pedestrian)
collision. Pasadena Fire Paramedics responded and both victims were
reported as having minor to moderate injuries. The victims were
transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation. The victims are both
Latinas in their late teens to early 20s.
The suspect vehicle
was located at the scene; however, the driver fled before officers
arrived. The driver is described only as a male Latino. Witnesses reported
the driver may have intentionally struck the victims after an argument. Our
investigation is ongoing. Lieutenant Vasken Gourdikian was the on-duty
Watch Commander and supervised the incident. On July 7 at about 2:43 a.m.
I received information that PPD officers identified and arrested the suspect
(without incident) responsible for the deliberate hit and run assault.
Officer Rodney Saunders led the field investigation. The suspect was
booked at the Pasadena jail for attempted murder.
Phillip L. Sanchez
Chief of Police
Pasadena Police Department
207 N. Garfield Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
Mission First, People Always