Police blotter: May 13, 2022

by Mick Rhodes | mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com

Monday, May 2
A 26-year-old El Monte woman wanted for an alleged November 2021 hit-and-run accident turned herself in at Claremont Police Department headquarters at 11:38 a.m. Nancy Sotelo was then booked and released with a citation to appear in Pomona Superior Court. The case stems from a 2 a.m. single-car crash that occurred near east College Way and Live Oak Canyon Rd. on November 24 of last year. Police say Sotelo admitted to crashing into an Edison power pole, damaging the structure, then driving her damaged car a short distance until it became inoperable. On the morning of the crash a witness told police a woman had approached her after the car conked out and asked to use her phone to call for a ride home. The witness refused, and said the woman then fled on foot. Arriving police conducted an area check at the scene of the crash, but did not find the driver. They did however locate her damaged car a short distance away. Police then talked to the registered owner of the car, Sotelo’s sister, who told them she had borrowed it. Later they interviewed Sotelo, who is alleged to have said, “I panicked when I drove away from the pole that I hit. I had also been drinking mixed drinks at a party in Riverside. I left the car parked on the street because it couldn’t drive any further.” Police then filed a case with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, which resulted in an arrest warrant being issued in February of this year.

Claremont PD responded to a 12:03 p.m. call from the Joslyn Center, 660 N. Mountain Ave., regarding a man smoking an unknown substance outside the building. Arriving officers found the suspect, 60 years old, unhoused, and allegedly in possession of a small baggie of methamphetamine and a meth pipe. A records check also revealed two outstanding misdemeanor warrants, and he was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and on the warrants. He was then booked and released with a citation to appear in Pomona Superior Court.

Tuesday, May 3
Police on extra patrol at the always colorful Claremont Lodge, 736 S. Indian Hill Blvd., say they received information that one of the motel’s occupants, Diana Sifunetes, 42, from Rancho Cucamonga, had multiple warrants out for her arrest. Officers saw Sifunetes and Richard Falcon, a 42-year-old Ontario man, exit one of the rooms, and approached the pair. A records check revealed Sifunetes had three misdemeanor warrants out of San Bernardino County and one felony warrant from Orange County. Falcon had two felony warrants as well, both from San Bernardino County. The pair were then arrested. Sifunetes was booked on her three San Bernardino County warrants and issued a citation, then transferred to the O.C. Inmate Reception Center in Santa Ana to await a court date on the felony. Falcon was transferred to the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on his felony warrants, where he waited on his day in court.

Wednesday, May 4
Claremont’s motel row continued to be fertile ground for arrests of all kinds this week. This time it was Motel 6 at 840 S. Indian Hill Blvd., where police were summoned at 8:47 p.m. by a 911 caller who said someone was lighting something on fire on the motel’s tennis courts. Arriving officers say they found Pomona resident Laurier Escueta, 34, lighting the tennis court nets on fire. They told him to stop, but say Escueta ignored them and continued the alleged arson. He was detained, and investigators allege he had also damaged several wood posts and a restroom door adjacent to the courts. A records check revealed he was on parole for previous arson and burglary convictions. Escueta’s parole officer then issued a no-bail parole hold, and he was arrested for misdemeanor arson and booked at CPD headquarters before being transported to L.A. County Inmate Reception Center at Twin Towers Jail in Downtown Los Angeles, where he was held for court on the parole violation.

Thursday, May 5
A 38-year-old unhoused man was arrested after police responded to a 11:26 a.m. call from the Joslyn Center, 660 N. Mountain Ave., regarding a person putting up a tent in front of the senior center. Arriving officers told the man he could not sleep there, and asked him to gather his belongings and move. While he was cleaning up his belongings, police say a methamphetamine pipe rolled out onto the ground. The man was then arrested for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, booked, and released with a citation to appear in Pomona court and a bag containing his belongings.

Friday, May 6
Shortly after midnight, cops on extra patrol in the area of the AM/PM gas station and market at 701 E. Foothill Blvd. noticed a car parked at the pumps with an expired registration tag. They say the driver, Joseph Garcia, 40, from Azusa, then exited the store and began pumping gas. Officers asked Garcia about the expired tag and ran a records check, which revealed five arrest warrants: two from San Bernardino County, two from L.A. County, and one from Pomona PD. He was then arrested and booked at the station on the four county warrants before being turned over to Pomona police, who took custody of him on their warrant.

Police were called to Trader Joe’s, 475 W. Foothill Blvd., at 9:36 a.m. regarding a man a witness said was drinking from a vodka bottle in front of the store. Arriving officers alleged the 70-year-old unhoused man was “highly intoxicated,” and arrested him for drunk in public, a misdemeanor. He was booked and jailed, where he spent the next several hours detoxing before being released with a citation.

Monday, May 9
A CPD officer on patrol near the intersection of Indian Hill Blvd. and American Ave. allegedly saw 20-year-old Inglewood resident Savanah Rosales walk across Indian Hill against a do not walk sign at 1:35 p.m. and attempted to stop her. She refused, police say. The officer then pulled over and got out of the cruiser and again told Rosales to stop walking, but she reportedly kept on moving. Several more commands followed, but the officer says she walked past and replied, “I’m not going to stop for you. I didn’t do anything wrong.” A second officer then arrived and attempted to detain her by holding her still, but say Rosales continued to pull away. Eventually they managed to stop her, place her in handcuffs, and put her in a police car. She was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest, booked, and released with a citation.


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