Police Blotter: January 6, 2022

by Steven Felschundneff | steven@claremont-courier.com

Monday, December 19

At 3:40 p.m. a Claremont police officer returning to town from Pomona Superior Court saw Pomona resident Alex Alanis, 56, whom she recognized from previous encounters, dancing and flailing his arms about. He then allegedly threw a large dirt clot at her patrol car causing minor damage. The officer made a U-turn to confront him, at which point he began to walk away. The officer steered her vehicle into an alley in the 300 block of E. Mission Street in Pomona where she attempted to detain Alanis. When the officer attempted to place handcuffs on him, he allegedly pulled away and a struggle began, during which both the officer and suspect fell to the ground. The officer called for emergency backup, a Pomona police unit arrived in less than a minute, and Alanis was arrested for misdemeanor resisting arrest. He was then transported to the Claremont jail, where a records check showed he was on probation for vandalism. Alanis was issued citation for the resisting charge and after a call to the L.A. County Probation Department was transported to the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles, where he remains in custody.

Police responded to a residence on Mt. Carmel Drive at 7:57 p.m. after a woman called to report a domestic altercation. Officers noticed the female had a small laceration on her lower lip, while a male had abrasions on his right and left cheeks. Neither required medical attention. The couple stated they were driving when a verbal fight began, at which point the woman asked to be let out of the car and began walking home. The man then drove home and waited in the driveway for the woman to arrive. When she reached the house she allegedly screamed at the man and struck him on the side of his face with her hand. She then reportedly head-butted him on the other cheek and both people fell to ground. The woman then went inside to call police. Police determined the woman was the primary aggressor and she was arrested for felony assault on a spouse or cohabitant, transported to the CPD jail, booked, and later posted bail. She is due in court on January 12.

Tuesday, December 20

An officer patrolling the parking lot at Denny’s restaurant, 820 S. Indian Hill Blvd. at 12:37 a.m., spotted a silver 2006 BMW X5 that had been reported stolen in Inglewood. The driver, Lancaster resident Eric Burch, 43, parked the car and opened the door, at which point police initiated a high-risk traffic stop, holding Burch at gunpoint until additional officers responded. Burch was detained without further incident. A records check showed he had a L.A. County Sheriff’s Department vandalism warrant with $51,000 bail. He was arrested for the warrant and felony possession of the stolen vehicle. During a search police say they found a methamphetamine pipe on the front passenger seat and methamphetamine in the center console. Burch was transported to jail, booked and held for court.

Officers patrolling near Foothill Boulevard and Towne Avenue saw a blue 2008 Toyota Tacoma heading west on Foothill with several equipment violations. As they began to follow the vehicle, driven by Pomona resident Joseph Fairfield, 37, it allegedly began weaving, nearly colliding with the center median several times. Police stopped Fairfield for the equipment violations and during questioning reported smelling a strong odor of alcohol, that he exhibited symptoms of being intoxicated, and seeing a bottle of Sauza tequila in the car. Officers conducted field sobriety tests using a “preliminary alcohol screening device,” which allegedly showed Fairfield was approximately three times the .08 legal limit to drive. He was arrested for misdemeanor DUI, held for detoxification and later released with citation.

At 2:30 a.m. officers spotted a white 2011 Chevrolet HHR with expired temporary dealer plates and conducted a traffic stop at the Chevron/McDonalds, 860 S. Indian Hill Blvd. A records check showed the driver, Vance Eubanks, 60, of Ontario, had two parole violation warrants, including one for battery on a police officer causing injury. A search  allegedly produced a methamphetamine pipe in a jacket pocket and a switchblade knife in a pants pocket. During a search of Eubanks’ car police say they found a baggie of methamphetamine on the front passenger seat. He was arrested on the misdemeanor possession charges and for the knife, taken to the CPD jail, booked, issued a citation and transported to West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga for a parole hold.

Thursday, December 22

Pomona police called Claremont police at 1:31 a.m. about a catalytic converter theft that had occurred near the city limits, asking CPD to be on the lookout for the suspect’s vehicle, an older model light colored minivan. Claremont officers patrolling the south part of town saw a grey 2001 Dodge Caravan heading west on American Avenue and attempted a traffic stop. The van’s driver, later identified as Erick Diego, 28, of Los Angeles, refused to stop and fled at a high rate of speed eastbound on the 10 Freeway. A pursuit was initiated with two Claremont patrol vehicles. The van left the freeway at Vineyard Avenue in Ontario where police say Diego ran a red light before getting back on the freeway. Diego exited the 10 again at Archibald, running another red light, driving on the wrong side of the roadway before returning to the freeway, this time heading west. At Central Avenue in Montclair the lead patrol car was able to get close enough to the van that an officer was able to see the faces of the two occupants. Diego pulled into the Costco parking lot at 9404 Central, where police say he and his passenger Carlos Yahir Ramirez, 18, of L.A. bailed out and began to run. Diego was immediately taken into custody but Ramirez fled into the Metro Honda auto complex. Officers from the California Highway Patrol and the Montclair Police Department as well as an L.A. County Sheriff’s helicopter assisted in the search for Ramirez, who was caught running through the dealership. A search of the van allegedly turned up four catalytic converters, along with a floor jack and a handheld cutting device. A records check showed Diego had two felony warrants, $75,000 for grand theft and vandalism in Burbank and $30,000 for auto theft in Los Angeles. Both men were arrested for felony possession of stolen property, misdemeanor resisting arrest and misdemeanor possession of burglary tools. Diego was also arrested for his warrants and felony pursuit. They were transported to CPD jail and booked and Diego was held for court. Ramirez was released with a citation by the order of a L.A. Superior Court judge. Both men were due in court on December 27 where Diego pled no contest and was given two years probation. Ramirez failed to appear and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Friday, December 23

A witness called 911 at 2:32 p.m. to report that he was chasing a man who etched something into one of the windows at the Claremont Depot, causing an unknown amount of damage. The witness told police he saw the suspect, later identified as 25-year-old Rialto resident Jose Melendez, fleeing south on College Avenue on a skateboard and entering Blaisdell Park. When officers arrived, they spotted Melendez hiding in some shrubbery and ordered him to come out. Police searched Melendez and reportedly felt a knife in his front pants pocket. Melendez said it was a pocket knife but police say it was a weapon referred to as a “shank.” The witness said Melendez had a backpack and a search of the bushes revealed a satchel which allegedly contained a 9 mm semi automatic handgun with a fully loaded 30-round magazine and one bullet in the chamber, as well as two additional fully loaded 12-round magazines. The pack also contained psilocybin mushrooms and police say Melendez appeared to be under the influence of the psychedelic. He was arrested for three felonies: possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of ammunition by a felon and for the high-capacity magazine. He was also charged with three misdemeanors: vandalism, possession of a dirk or dagger and a controlled substance. Melendez was transported to CPD jail where he was booked, but due to a medical condition was transported to a local hospital. A day later the hospital called CPD because Melendez was being released. He was arrested again and brought back to CPD jail and later transferred to the Inmate Reception Center in L.A.


Thursday, December 29

At 11:50 p.m. police spotted a white 1999 Ford Ranger driving with inoperable tail lights east on Bonita Avenue at Indian Hill Boulevard. Officers say the truck then ran the stop sign at Yale Avenue, traveling at 25 to 30 mph along Bonita. Police conducted a traffic stop at College Avenue for the stop sign violation and allegedly saw an approximately four-year-old boy in the truck’s cab standing on the passenger seat looking out at officers. They say the boy was not in car seat or secured by a seat belt. While speaking with the driver, a 34-year-old Moreno Valley man, police say they smelled a strong odor of alcohol and that he showed symptoms of being under the influence. He reportedly told officers he had picked up his son in Beaumont and was driving home, and that he was in Moreno Valley, not 35 miles west in Claremont. A field sobriety test allegedly showed he was in excess of three times the legal limit to drive. A search of the car turned up three empty 24-ounce cans of King Cobra and a half full container of VooDoo Ranger IPA. He was arrested for felony child endangerment and DUI, transported to CPD jail where he allegedly became argumentative and refused a chemical blood sample. Because of the felony charge, a L.A. County Superior Court judge signed a blood draw search warrant and a blood sample was obtained for evidence. A records check revealed that he also had a $15,000 warrant for theft in San Fernando. Los Angeles County Child Protective Services provided a phone number for the child’s mother and she came to Claremont in the early morning hours to pick up her son. The suspect was issued a citation for the warrant and held for court on Wednesday.

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