Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (07/07/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching 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.   

Our Community: 

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.   

Pasadena’s Finest: 

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 felt better…”   

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.”  

Critical Incidents: 

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
(626) 744-4545
Mission First, People Always



Posted: 7/7/2013 02:00:00 PM
Water Usage Gauge