Best of the worst: Police Blotter 2023

by Steven Felschundneff |

Friday, January 6

At 2:22 p.m. a woman in the 600 block of Bonita Avenue called the Claremont Police Department to report that she was blind and had bumped into an unknown man inside her apartment. The victim said she pushed the man out her front door before calling police. Police responded to find the suspect, later identified as Palm Desert resident Steven Arias, 34, standing on the street adjacent to the apartment. The officer left Arias on the street and went to check on the victim. As backup units arrived, they found Arias still standing in the middle of the street and arrested him for felony burglary. He was taken to the Claremont jail where a background check showed Arias was on probation for arson. He was transported to the Inmate Detention Center in Los Angeles and held for court.

Friday, February 17

Someone called 911 at 10 p.m. to report a driver on Foothill Boulevard weaving in and out of lanes while inhaling a substance from a balloon. Police caught up with 22-year-old Jose Alta Mirano of Pomona as he was turning into the parking lot of Sprouts Farmers Market, 835 W. Foothill Blvd. Police questioned Mirano and said he showed signs of being under the influence. They also reported seeing a nitrous oxide tank in the back seat of his car and several balloons. When police asked his passenger, 21-year-old Pomona resident Anthony Rios, to step out of the car, a gun allegedly fell out of his waistband. Police determined it was a fully loaded Glock style “ghost gun.” Mirano was arrested on the new DUI charge and for a suspended license. Rios was arrested for felony possession of an unregistered firearm.

Thursday, March 16

Police were called at 9:37 p.m. about a Claremont McKenna College golf cart, allegedly driven by San Jacinto resident Dakota Yang, 32, that had been involved in a minor accident with a car. Police on the scene at Claremont Boulevard and Sixth Street said Yang displayed symptoms of intoxication and was stumbling. They performed field sobriety tests which allegedly showed that he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Police said he was a campus safety employee and was operating the golf cart while on duty.

Wednesday, March 29

A 10:50 p.m. call from a man at La West Liquor & Market, 333 W. Arrow Hwy., indicated somebody had just taken his car. The Claremont resident told police that he had picked up a hitchhiker and the man had driven off in his rented car. The suspect, a Hispanic male, 28, about 5 foot 8 inches tall with brown hair and tattoos on his hands and neck, had begun to make odd statements about guns, the victim said. Police recovered the car on April 4, and had a suspect in custody who matched the description. However, when they called the victim, he no longer wanted to press charges and did not want to identify the suspect.

Thursday, April 6

Police received call at 9:07 a.m. from a woman who said she had been attacked by her ex-boyfriend. Police said the 34-year-old Upland man approached the woman and broke her car’s window attempting to get in. He then allegedly assaulted her through the broken window before she escaped out the other side of car. The alleged assailant reportedly stole items from the woman’s car before fleeing in his own vehicle. Police were able to track the man down at a tech school in Ontario, but he fled on foot, resulting in a short pursuit. He was arrested and taken to the CPD jail where he was booked, charged with felony robbery, domestic violence, stalking and attempted kidnapping as well as misdemeanor resisting arrest and vandalism.

Thursday, April 13

Police received a 12:23 p.m. call about a fire at Blaisdell Park, 440 S. College Ave. Arriving officers contacted the Claremont park ranger who made the emergency call and identified the suspect after seeing him exit a restroom, where he allegedly set a trash can on fire. Officers questioned Gary Alridge, 29, of Pomona, and a background check showed he was on parole for a previous arson incident. While police were speaking with Alridge he suddenly bolted and led them on an extended foot pursuit that went through a number of backyards south of the park. Police were finally able to detain Alridge on San Jose Avenue. He was arrested on felony arson and misdemeanor resisting arrest charges and taken to the Claremont jail, where he was booked and later transferred to the West Valley Detention Center on a parole hold.

Friday, May 12

A wild morning began at 2:02 a.m. when police received a call about a residential burglary in the 900 block of Appalachian. Arriving officers were provided with surveillance video through which they identified an Upland man as a suspect. While officers were watching a residence in Upland two suspects left in separate vehicles. Officers attempted to pull the drivers over but neither complied. Police initiated pursuits on each, but one chase had to be called off. Police followed Upland resident Keviana Coleman, 28, onto the 210 Freeway west at Base Line Road and he was taken into custody minutes later at Fruit Street in La Verne. Coleman was charged with felony burglary and receiving stolen property. Upland police arrested the other suspect, Ontario resident Demauria Hannah, 32. and he was charged with felony burglary, evading police, and a warrant.

Sunday, May 21

Police received a 5:16 p.m. call from a man in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s, 475 W. Foothill Blvd., who said someone had just removed his mother’s wallet from her purse. The caller described the suspect as a heavy-set man wearing a flower print shirt and a mask. Officers located the suspect, later identified as Paolo Cantillana-Vazquez, 53, on Baughman Avenue, where a foot pursuit ensued. The chase reportedly went through backyards, eventually crossing Foothill Boulevard until officers were able to apprehend Cantillana-Vazquez in the lobby of the DoubleTree Hotel. The victim identified the man, but the wallet was not recovered. Cantillana-Vazquez was charged with felony grand theft, misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. He was taken to the Claremont jail, where a background check showed he had an extradition warrant in Maryland. He was transferred to West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga to await extradition.

Friday, June 9

Police were called to the Chevron/McDonalds, 860 S. Indian Hill Blvd., at 8:26 p.m. about a man panhandling. Police contacted Pomona resident Charles Ellis, 34, and a records check showed he had a felony no-bail warrant and was on probation. As officers attempted to detain Ellis he pulled away and tried to flee. During a scuffle Ellis allegedly punched an officer in the face and pushed another. One officer sustained minor injuries. Ellis was arrested for felony battery, misdemeanor resisting arrest, the warrant, and for the probation hold.

Sunday July 2

Police received 911 call at 9 p.m. about a domestic dispute in the 2000 block of La Sierra Way. Police detained a man and a woman, and while checking the home allegedly discovered a large hallucinogenic mushroom grow and a firearm that did not have a serial number. There were also minor children in the residence. Claremont residents Waley Yiu, 38, and Alyssa Liang, 45, were arrested for felony child endangerment, possession of the unregistered firearm, and for the mushroom grow. Yiu was also arrested for misdemeanor criminal threats. They were transported to the Claremont jail where they were booked and held for court.

Saturday, September 23

Officers responded to Towne Avenue at Foothill Boulevard at 2:34 a.m. after a license plate reader camera identified a stolen car. Police located the vehicle a short distance away, however, the driver, aptly named Glendale Delacruz, 26, of Glendale, allegedly drove away at a high rate of speed. Police gave pursuit, which ended on the 57 Freeway at the 210 interchange when Delacruz’s car ran out of gas. He then fled on foot but was arrested a short time later. Delacruz was arrested for felony evading a peace officer and felony destruction of evidence. He was then transported to the Claremont jail where he was booked.

Sunday, October 15

Officers responded to Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 435 N. Berkeley Ave., at 4:11 a.m. after being alerted that a man was trying to kick in a side door. Arriving officers detained Pomona resident Lee Huffman, 40, who was still on church property. While searching the property police said they found evidence that Huffman forced entry into the church, ransacked several cabinets, and broke vases, pews, and statues. Additionally, police said he was in possession of stolen property from the church. He was arrested for felony burglary and felony vandalism and later booked at the Claremont jail and held for court.

Friday, October 20

The Diamond Center, 147 N. Yale Ave., was hit by would-be smash-and-grab robbers at 3 p.m. Two suspects entered the store with hammers, and one employee was hit with pepper spray while the other suspect attempted to shatter glass displays containing jewelry. The glass did not break, and the suspects fled, joining a third suspect who was waiting outside. All three suspects then ran to a waiting vehicle and fled north on Yale Ave.

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