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By: 
Steve Propes

Saturday, August 10

West Willow St. and Eucalyptus Ave. At 11:40 p.m., Police found a male adult victim with gunshot wounds to his upper torso. Both police and fire personnel attempted life saving measures on the victim, but subsequently determined the victim, Long Beach resident, Tasi Malaki, 45, to be deceased. Malaki was a hip hop and reggae recording artist under the name of Toko Tasi, who apparently had a dispute with the shooter.

Sunday, August 11

500 block of West Anaheim St. At 1:20 a.m., police found a man with gunshot wounds to his lower extremities, which were considered non-life threatening. Taken to a local hospital, the victim told officers an Hispanic man shot him at the location.

Tuesday, August 13

2900 block of Bellflower Blvd. A “Go see Cal” car dealership employee was arrested for falsifying invoices between 2015 and 2017, embezzling over $425,000. Police began investigating 50-year-old David Bruce Higgins of Corona in February 2018. Arrested for grand theft, pending white collar crime enhancement, Higgins was booked with a $70,000 bail.

Thursday, August 15

Hesperia. At 2:30 p.m., Long Beach detectives went to a residence in the 19100 block of East Mono Drive where they located and arrested two suspects in connection to the August 10 murder of Tasi Malaki. Thomas Arellaga, 43, of Long Beach was booked for murder and is being held on two million dollar bail. Lorna Clemena, a 43-year-old resident of Long Beach, whom police believe was aware of the shooting, and attempted to protect Thomas Arellaga from arrest by concealing evidence related to the shooting was booked for accessory after the fact and held on $1 million bail. Detectives conducted a search warrant at the 2400 block of San Francisco Avenue where evidence was recovered.

Sunday August 18

Pacific Coast Hwy. and Grand Ave. At 2:40 a.m., Marilyn Araiza, 21, of Cypress, a passenger in a 1999 Lincoln Town Car was killed in a two vehicle collision. Osvaldo Ramirez-Vazquez, 21, the driver of the Town Car, was allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control at Grand Avenue. Crossing into westbound Pacific Coast Highway, the passenger door of the Town Car was broadsided by a 2014 Cadillac XTS driven by a 49 year old resident of Garden Grove. That driver was extricated by the Long Beach Fire Department and transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. Ramirez-Vazquez sustained minor injuries from the accident and was alleged to be under the influence of alcohol.

Queensway Bridge. At 5 p.m. came reports of several hundred bicyclists blocking this busy weekend bridge. Maybe stragglers from the CicLAvia running from West Hollywood through Hollywood, but with no official stop scheduled for Long Beach.

Monday, August 19

4450 Atlantic Ave. A retail store was robbed of clothing at 9 p.m. by a woman and a man, who stabbed the store’s loss prevention employee who tried to detain them, causing minor lacerations.

Tuesday, August 20

4700 block Airport Plaza Dr. On August 19, an employee of the Airport Marriott reported a hotel employee had made threats against co-workers and hotel guests. Police identified him as 37-year-old Rodolfo Montoya of Huntington Beach. After being contacted, police searched the hotel, but Montoya was gone. On August 20th, police searched the suspect’s Huntington Beach residence where multiple firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and tactical gear were seized, including high-capacity magazines and an assault rifle, which are illegal to possess in California. Montoya was booked on manufacturing and distributing assault weapons, possession of an assault weapon and making a criminal threat and is being held on $500,000 bail. The preliminary investigation revealed that Montoya was upset over human resource issues. About this arrest, Long Beach Chief of Police Robert G. Luna said, “The witnesses who came forward and the diligence of our employees involved in this investigation very likely prevented a threat of violence and saved many lives.”

Wednesday, August 21

Broadway and Colorado Pl. At 5 p.m., a father and young son riding on a scooter in the bike lane collided with a vehicle, which had turned right in a blind spot and drove into the bike lane. Both flew in the air, but were okay. The father and son left the scene of the accident, but came back to the scene and cooperated with the police.

Thursday, August 22

1500 W. Pacific Coast Hwy. At 1:05 a.m., a patrol officer noticed a crowd on the sidewalk and was told about a shooting. They found 49-year-old Johnny Akins of Long Beach a male adult victim who had gunshot wounds to his upper and lower torso. While officers performed life-saving measures, the crowd dispersed. Investigators determined Akins was shot at an illegal gambling establishment. Evidence of the shooting was located inside of the establishment with several illegal gambling machines. On Friday, August 23, Akins died at the hospital, so the shooting became a homicide.

steve@beachcomber.news

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