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Police Blotter: March 25, 2022

by Mick Rhodes | mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com
Monday, March 14
Sometimes folks just don’t want help. Case in point, Claremont Police were called to the 1800 block of north Mountain Ave. at 11 p.m. regarding a person lying in a front yard. Arriving officers found a familiar face: a 36-year-old local unhoused man with whom they’d had numerous interactions. An investigation indicated he was intoxicated, and he was arrested again for misdemeanor drunk in public, booked, and held in the Claremont jail for detox. He was released with a citation about 5 a.m. His sad story continues below.

Tuesday, March 15
At 1:10 p.m., CPD dispatch sent officers to the Claremont Unified School District offices at 170 W. San Jose Ave., in response to a call from inside the building about a physical fight underway in the parking lot. By the time officers arrived, the scuffle — between a 16-year-old unhoused boy and the same 36-year-old unhoused man from the night before — was over, and the combatants had moved on. They were located shortly thereafter, with the argument still in progress, police said, near Western Dental, 740 S. Indian Hill Blvd. Police had to separate the pair, and a subsequent investigation allegedly revealed both the boy and the man were intoxicated. Both were then arrested for misdemeanor drunk in public. The juvenile was also charged with daytime loitering, a misdemeanor, because he was not in school. He was then issued a citation and released at the scene into the custody of a male foster guardian. The 36-year-old unhoused man was again booked at the station and spent the afternoon and early evening sobering up in jail before being released with another drunk in public citation. Unfortunately the story continues below, on March 16.

An employee summoned police to Fitness 19, 364 S. Indian Hill Blvd., at 7:18 a.m., reporting a man had threatened him with a knife. Arriving officers found the alleged perpetrator, a 36-year-old unhoused man (not the same person mentioned three times in this Blotter), sitting on a bench outside the gym. An investigation determined the knife had in fact been a Sawzall blade, which the suspect had thrown into a nearby trash can. A records check revealed the man was on probation for a previous felony conviction for making criminal threats. His parole agent then issued a parole hold, and he was arrested on the new charge of brandishing a weapon, a misdemeanor, and for the felony parole violation. He was booked and held in front of his March 17 appearance in Pomona Superior Court.

Police responded to a 7:30 a.m. call regarding a man harassing female customers at the 76 gas station at 1092 W. Foothill Blvd. There they found the suspect, a 30-year-old unhoused man, lying on the ground under a blanket near the station’s restrooms. Cops say he refused to identify himself, sit up, or even show his hands. As they moved to detain him, a struggle ensued, but after a brief moment they were able to handcuff the man. Nobody was injured in the scuffle. A subsequent search allegedly turned up a methamphetamine pipe, and a records check revealed three active arrest warrants out of San Bernardino County and one from L.A. County. He was then arrested on the two new charges of resisting arrest and possession of unlawful paraphernalia, and for the warrants. After booking he was released with three tickets: one on the new charges, one for the San Bernardino County warrants and another for the L.A. County warrant.

Wednesday, March 16
The same 36-year-old unhoused man arrested for misdemeanor drunk in public each of the previous two days was picked up again on the same charge. This time cops were called to Motel 6, 840 S. Indian Hill Blvd., at 12:30 p.m. regarding a man creating a disturbance in the lobby by arguing with motel staff. Arriving officers again determined the man was intoxicated, and for the third day running, arrested him for drunk in public. All these consecutive arrests would of course lead one to question what police can do for habitual offenders of this sort. Claremont police do offer resources to these folks, through their Psychiatric Assessment Care Team, including medical and mental health services. But the person has to want the help, and in this case, police said, he again refused.

Thursday, March 17
A woman police described as a heroin addict and a person familiar to them through previous interactions was arrested for the third time on the same burglary charge. The latest run-in for the 43-year old unhoused woman occurred as she was riding a bicycle, allegedly without a headlight, at 12:30 a.m. near Arrow Hwy. and Virginia Rd. Claremont PD pulled her over and a records check revealed she was wanted for felony burglary stemming from a May 20, 2021 incident in which she is alleged to have taken part in robbing a garage in the 500 block of south Indian Hill Blvd. After her arrest last May she was released with a citation, but failed to appear in court, and an arrest warrant was issued. Picked up on that warrant on October 22, 2021, she was released with another citation, one she again failed to appear on. So, another warrant was issued, one which Claremont police arrested her on March 17. Unlike her previous two arrests on the burglary charge, this time she was booked and transferred to Century Regional Detention Facility, a women’s jail in Lynwood, where they have nursing facilities and the ability to treat persons who are withdrawing from heroin, police said. The troubled woman finally appeared for her arraignment in Pomona Superior Court on March 18.

Claremont PD officers on patrol allegedly noticed a brown 2014 Kia Soul with a driver’s side front headlight out and tinted front windows, and began following it as it headed west on Foothill Blvd. After the driver, Paul Portillo, 43, from Pico Rivera, allegedly made an abrupt turn into the mobile home park in the 200 block of E. Foothill Blvd., they pulled him over. Suspecting he was under the influence of drugs, they administered a field sobriety test, and Portillo was arrested for driving while under the influence of methamphetamine, a misdemeanor. His passenger, a 37-year-old unhoused woman, was found to have an active felony probation violation warrant out of Los Angeles County, and a misdemeanor warrant from San Bernardino County. She was arrested as well, then transferred to Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood to await a court date with a judge. Portillo was booked and jailed for detox, then released in the early morning with a citation to appear in Pomona Superior Court.