Touching Base: A Message from the Chief
August 11, 2013
Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:
On August 6, several Pasadena Police employees
participated in the opening ceremonies for National Night Out. The
kick-off event was held at Kings Villages and was very well attended. I
provided brief comments after remarks from elected officials, community
leaders, and other stakeholders. Many of the Pasadena Police employees
then traveled to other National Night Block Parties throughout our
I received several positive remarks commending Pasadena Police
Specialists Hilda Jurado for facilitating such a special event.
Community leaders, police officers, and elected officials joined together to
celebrate our rich history, collaboration, and partnerships. The Kick-Off event
was coordinated by Pasadena Police Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, and Dr.
Yolanda Cunegin, DM. VIPs included: Mayor Boggard, Vice Mayor Robinson,
City Manager Beck, and Councilmember John Kennedy (Photos
On August 7, several police employees attended the
Pasadena Public Safety Committee (PSC) meeting, which was held at the Pasadena
Police Range. Commander Russ and Deputy Fire Chief Kosta provided
an overview of the 2013 4th of July Fireworks Event at the Rose
Bowl. Corporal Anthony Russo provided police training for the PSC
members covering the use of force, which included policies and
procedures. Following the presentations, I updated PSC on AB109 and
the potential release of 9600 (additional) formally incarcerated
prisoners. The last presentation of the meeting focused on the Pasadena
Police Department’s Internal Affairs process, personnel
complaint/investigations, and use of force incidents during the first six months
of 2013 (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).
On August 8, Commander Rosales, Administrator Patterson, and I
participated Ramadan celebration at New Horizon School. The event was
very well attended by community leaders, parents and students. VIPs included Mayor
Bogaard and Councilman Kennedy.
On August 8, Commander Rosales, PS Correa,
Deborah K. Sanchez, and several police employees attended graduation
ceremonies for Pasadena Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy, Class
39, which was held at the First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena. The
event was very well attended and each graduate received a certificate of
completion. Several of the class participants commended the program, its
instructors, and emphasized the value of their experience. The graduation
was coordinated by Pasadena Police Specialists Kitty Johnson (Photos at
On July 15, I received a letter from Azusa Police
Chief Samuel G. Gonzales commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Chris Kirby
and the West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Taskforce for their
assistance during a gang search warrant. Currently, detectives
from Pasadena, South Pasadena, Monrovia, Arcadia, Monterey Park, El Monte, and
Los Angeles County Probation serve on the taskforce. The unit is responsible
for AB109 compliance checks, property crime investigations, and other major
cases as assigned. Pasadena Police Lieutenant Diego Torres is the
On July 21, I received a letter from the Pasadena
Tournament of Roses commending several Pasadena Police officers who
participated in their Annual All Member Family picnic. Although there
were several police officers participating in the event, the letter identified Officer
Jack Rappuchi and the Bear-Cat Rescue Vehicle.
On July 14, Pasadena Police Detective Mary Hooker
distributed a wanted poster (flyer) describing a suspect wanted for CA Penal
Code Section, 647 (i), loitering and prowling. After seeing the information, Corporal
Kim Smith remembered a similar suspect description on a case that she had
handled when assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division. Smith
provided Hooker with the data, which subsequently led to the arrest of the
On July 27, I received a note from a Pasadena
community member commending Pasadena Police Commander John Perez
for his role in the recent Cold Case Homicide Summit. You may recall,
Commander Perez served as a panel member and engaged the audience regarding
violence, homicide investigation, and cold case follow-ups.
On August 5, several Pasadena Police employees
attended the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Reserve Officer Academy graduation,
Class 129. Pasadena Police graduated three reserves: Reserve
Officers Tavera, MCGaham, and Romberger. The event, which was
held at the Los Angeles Board of Supervisor’s Hearing Room, was very well
attended (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).
From August 4 – 7, the Pasadena Police and
Fire Departments and PUSD participated in Active Shooter Training at Washington
Middle School. The training was coordinated by Pasadena Police Corporals
Jayce Ward and Glenn Thompson and was very comprehensive. Pasadena
police officers participated in the training, which included role-players
making the environment dynamic and realistic. The local media covered the
training: http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/police-school-district-will-conduct-active-shooter-training(Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).
On August 2 at about 7:30 a.m., Pasadena Police
officers responded to a report of road rage on Colorado Boulevard. One
of the involved parties reported that the aggressive party displayed a handgun.
PPD officers located the suspect vehicle and conducted a traffic stop.
The officers conducted a preliminary field investigation and determined that a
handgun was not involved, and that the alleged brandishing was unfounded.
On August 2 at about 1:30 p.m., the Pasadena
Police Department received information about an elderly woman who went
missing from East Pasadena. PPD initiated a massive search for the victim and
alerted the local media and our community (via a Nixle alert) requesting their
assistance in the effort to locate the missing female. Unfortunately, the
collective efforts did not produce the whereabouts of the victim. On August 3,
at about 11:21 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a report of a
traffic collision at the bottom of a ravine in the 300 block of Manford
Way. Officers arrived and found the vehicle. The drive and sole
occupant was deceased behind the steering wheel. The victim was identified as
the missing elderly woman from the night prior. The Los Angeles County Coroner
Office was contacted and assisted with our investigation. Our preliminary
investigation does not suggest foul play (http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/08/03/missing-elderly-woman-last-seen-in-east-pasadena).
On August 5 at about 12:30 a.m., two groups
of Hispanics were at a nightclub in the 100 block of East Colorado Boulevard.
Both groups started to argue inside the location. The nightclub staff
intervened and escorted one of the groups outside the club. A Male
Hispanic, 25 years old, who was with one of the groups, walked to a nearby
light standard. He was approached by a Male Hispanic, who punched him on
the side of the head. The victim fell unconscious to the pavement, and
was transported to a local hospital in grave condition. PPD officers
responded to the hospital and learned the victim was placed on life-support (http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/monday-bar-fight-victim-remains-in-critical-condition).
The on-duty Pasadena Police Watch Commander, Lieutenant
Gourdikian, notified Pasadena Police Detectives, who ultimately
responded. On August 5, at about 2:00 p.m., PPD received
information that the victim’s family elected to remove the victim from
life-support. The incident was classified as a homicide. http://sanmarinotribune.com/2013/08/06/man-assaulted-pasadena-restaurant-died. On
August 6, (less than 60 hours following the homicide) Pasadena Police detectives
arrested several suspects responsible for the assault on the victim. Lead
Detective Pham presented the case to the Office of the Los Angeles County
District Attorney, who filed several felony charges including manslaughter.
Detective Pham was assisted by Investigators Gordon, Sandeen, Duran, Russo, and
Carter. Lieutenant Rojas and Sergeant Devis supervised the
investigation. Story at: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=9198235.
On August 5 at about 8:47 a.m., Pasadena Police
officers responded to the 200 block of West Washington Boulevard regarding
suspicious circumstances. A witness reported seeing a male subject allegedly
discharging a firearm at the residence. On arrival, officers saw a subject run
into the rear house on the property. Officers asked the subject to
surrender; however, he was nonresponsive. PPD established a command post
and requested additional resources. Officers conducted a limited number
of evacuations to ensure neighbors were a safe distance away from the
incident. PPD officers began talking with the occupants in the front and
later, the rear house, requesting they walk out to contact police. All complied
with our request.
Subsequently, all occupants were accounted for without further
incident. Officers then searched the location to determine if a firearm
was involved. One of the subject contacted had a No Bail Warrant
for probation violation. He was arrested without incident. The
story was covered by the local media: http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/police-have-closed-washington-blvd-hunt-possible-gunman.
On August 6, during the early morning hours,
Pasadena Police officers assigned to the department’s Special
Enforcement and Special Investigation Teams served two independent
search warrants in conjunction with Operation LaJale. The investigation
involved the ATF and several other local, state, and federal law enforcement
agencies. The 13 suspects arrested during the search warrants are
associated with the Mexican Mafia International Cartels. The successful
operation was a follow-up to an extensive investigation of organized narcotics
On August 7 at 9:38 p.m., Pasadena Police officers
responded to the 1500 block of North Raymond Avenue regarding a serious traffic
collision. On arrival, officers found one victim driver (Male Hispanic
Adult) in the driver’s seat bleeding and unresponsive. The passenger in
the victim’s car (Female Hispanic Adult) was located outside the vehicle in
serious condition. The driver of the second vehicle (Male Black Adult) was
located attempting to mix into the crowd that had gathered around the crash
site. All parties were transported to a local hospital with non-life
threating injuries. The Pasadena Police Department’s Traffic Section was
notified and responded to the incident. Our preliminary investigation
suggests alcohol may have been involved.
Phillip L. Sanchez
Chief of Police
Pasadena Police Department
207 N. Garfield Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
Mission First, People Always