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Steve Propes

Saturday, November 17

Atlantic Avenue and South Street. At 6 p.m. the police set up a checkpoint to help drivers find mistakes before the mistakes found them, or something like that. In that spirit, the following things happened. Out of 267 drivers screened, two were arrested for DUI; two were cited for operating a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license; seven unlucky and unlicensed drivers were cited and six more were cited for unsafe driving.

Tuesday, November 20

Golden Shore and West Seaside Way. At 4 a.m., something inside a So Cal Edison vault exploded, injuring five contract workers, who were hospitalized with burns as a result.

Wednesday, November 21

Southbound 710 Freeway at the 91. At 7 a.m., a man was threatening to jump from an interchange ramp from the eastbound 91 to the 710, caused a ramp closure, with authorities turning vehicles around to exit the ramp, not to mention surface streets.

All the while, TV viewers were advised of “police activity,” showing the backed up traffic but avoiding showing the problem that caused the shutdown, a good move as the man eventually leapt to his death despite an inflatable airbag placed beneath the overpass. According to officials, he intentionally missed the bag at 8:15 a.m.

Cherry Avenue at Spring Street. Traffic was further impacted when a cement truck was apparently speeding exiting the southbound 405 Freeway, with the driver losing control and tipping the truck over at 7:15 a.m., spilling cement, hydraulic fluid and oil all over the place where it landed. Cherry Avenue was shut down from Wardlow Road to Willow Street, so that crews could clean up the mess. The truck driver was given a speeding ticket, but escaped injuries.

Saturday, November 24

2900 block of Palo Verde Avenue. At 3:45 p.m., a 91-year-old man intentionally crashed his car into a pole in a parking lot. No other vehicles were involved. Police are reportedly treating the wreck as a suicide because a video of the crash and other unnamed evidence indicate it was intentional.

Sunday, November 25

San Gabriel River (605) Freeway south of Carson Street. A white truck overturned at 6:07 a.m. Isaac Gomez, 19, of Compton died at the scene with the driver taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries. A SigAlert issued at 6:49 a.m. affecting the carpool lane was canceled at 7:32 a.m.

Delta Avenue near 33rd Street. The 12:55 p.m. pistol-whipping of a resident with the aforementioned pistol caused it to accidentally fire a shot. All of that effort meant multiple charges against the pistol-whippers who did their deed during an argument. The gunfire hit no one, but the two victims of the attack received minor injuries. Police tracked down the whippers and arrested 37-year-old Joseph Paul Muagututia and 55-year-old John Emmanuel Velega, who were both put in jail. Muagututia was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and shooting at an inhabited dwelling with $250,000 bail. Velega’s charges were suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and illegal possession of a firearm. He made his $50,000 bail and was released on Monday.

Monday, November 26

38th Place near the Belmont Pier. At 11:30 p.m., firefighters responded to a call in an apartment building. Fire and smoke were observed coming from a split level unit. A woman in her 60s, who had been asleep upstairs was trapped inside. Alarms from her home oxygen therapy unit woke her husband, who attempted to put the fire out, but was unsuccessful. The husband was unable to place his wife into a lift to get her up a flight of stairs. Firefighters managed to get her out of the building, paramedics attempted to treat her at the scene, but the woman did not survive. The husband was taken to a local hospital with moderate injuries. Investigator believe a lit cigarette near the oxygen tank sparked the blaze.

Tuesday, November 27

Henderson Avenue and 17th Street. Homicide detectives arrested 21-year-old Junior Alexander Munguia for the Sept. 17 murder of 46-year-old Fernando Rodriguez at Long Beach Blvd. and 14th Street. An altercation, not gang related, is the suspected reason. Munguia was booked at the city jail on bail of $2 million.

Thursday, November 29

Bellflower Boulevard and 27th Street. At 1:45 p.m., a skateboarder was crossing Bellflower Boulevard when a vehicle ran into him, sending him into the windshield, cracking his skateboard and leaving him injured on the road. The damaged vehicle then drove away. Police quickly found the hit-and-run vehicle and detained the 86-year-old Lakewood woman driver. According to police, detectives declined to arrest her while they continue to investigate. The skateboarder was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Seventh Street. At 4:20 p.m. came reports of a man masturbating at a bus stop near the VA Hospital.


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