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Police Blotter: September 3, 2021

by Mick Rhodes | mickrhodes@claremont-courier.com

Wednesday, August 25
At 1:44 a.m., Claremont Police Department patrol officers stopped the driver of a 2010 Jeep for a traffic violation after the SUV allegedly jumped the median on Towne Ave., just south of Foothill Blvd. After an investigation, they then ended up handcuffing the Jeep’s passenger, Valentino Manriquez, 25, from Pomona, and charging him with driving under the influence of alcohol. Stay with me here: It turned out Mr. Manriquez had been in an argument with the driver, and during said scuffle had allegedly grabbed the wheel and jerked it, causing the Jeep to jump the median. A field sobriety test led police to believe Mr. Manriquez was drunk, and he was arrested for DUI, because for those few seconds he had his hand on that steering wheel, he was allegedly driving drunk. He was transported, booked, and spent the morning detoxing in the Claremont jail before being released in the morning with a citation for misdemeanor DUI.

Cops on patrol at 11:15 p.m. say they saw a 2018 Dodge Charger driving without a front license plate near Auto Center Dr. and Indian Hill Blvd. and pulled it over. During questioning, the officers suspected the driver, 28-year-old Pomona resident Raul Gil, was under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant, a suspicion seemingly confirmed when he allegedly failed a field sobriety test. Mr. Gil was arrested for DUI and transported to the station for booking, where a search allegedly turned up a bag containing methamphetamine he had hidden in his right sock. He was booked on two misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. He spent the rest of his evening and early morning detoxing in the Claremont jail before being released with a citation to appear in Pomona Superior Court.

Thursday, August 26
Claremont police allege they saw a black 2003 Chevy driving with no front license plate and expired registration near the Chase Bank, 865 S. Indian Hill Blvd., at 7 p.m. After being pulled over, the driver, Alberto Guzman, 32, from Riverside, took a field sobriety test, the results of which allegedly confirmed the officers’ suspicion that he was driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. The passenger, 29-year-old Jonathan Arellano, from Norco, had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. Both men were arrested. Mr. Arellano was released with a citation, and Mr. Guzman spent the night and early morning detoxing in the Claremont jail before being released with a court date and a ticket for misdemeanor DUI.

Friday, August 27
A CPD officer on extra patrol at the Claremont Lodge, 736 S. Indian Hill Blvd., ran the license plate of a blue Mercedes in the parking lot at 9:53 p.m. The report showed the registered owner, Francisco Catano, a 58-year-old Pomona man, was on post-release community supervision for a previous conviction, and had a warrant out for his arrest. The officer then checked the motel registry and found Mr. Catano was renting a room, and knocked on the door. Police say Mr. Catano was found to be in possession of methamphetamine and a meth pipe, and he was arrested. They also took two other men in the room into custody: Rene Valenzuela, 41, from Pomona, for possession of a controlled substance, meth; and John Martinez, 44 and also from Pomona, for possession of unlawful paraphernalia, a meth pipe, and for an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. All three men were transported and booked before being released with citations to appear in Pomona court.

A sobriety checkpoint at Baseline Rd. and Sycamore Hills Plaza netted a suspected drunk driver in 21-year-old Upland resident Lawrence Mercado. At 10:46 p.m. police say they smelled the odors of marijuana and alcohol on Mr. Mercado’s breath as he made his way through the checkpoint. They then administered a field sobriety test, which he allegedly failed. A records check then revealed he had been driving on a suspended license, and a search of his car allegedly turned up metal knuckles. Mr. Mercado’s car was impounded, and he was arrested on three misdemeanor counts of DUI, driving on a suspended license, and possession of metal knuckles. He was booked and jailed before being released in the early morning hours with a citation to appear in court.

Saturday, August 28
Police were called to Blue Fin restaurant, 665 E. Foothill Blvd., at 7:12 a.m. regarding a disturbance. There they met up with a Hesperia man, Michael Thomas, 29, whom they say was “paranoid and hallucinating.” He was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor. He was booked and spent some time in the Claremont jail before being released later that day with a citation to appear in Pomona court.

Claremont cops responded to an 8:15 a.m. welfare check call from Stater Bros., 1055 W. Foothill Blvd., reporting a man apparently passed out in the driver’s seat of a 2007 Toyota Camry parked in a handicapped spot. Police rousted the 35-year-old unhoused man, and after a search allegedly turned up methamphetamine and a meth pipe, they determined he was drunk and under the influence of methamphetamine. The man was arrested on three misdemeanor counts of being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and drunk in public. He slept it off in the Claremont jail before being released later in the day with a ticket and a court date.

Sunday, August 29
Claremont Police officers on 1:27 a.m. extra patrol at the Super King shopping center in the 400 block of Auto Center Dr. say they saw Andrew Garcia, 52, from Glendora, prowling near the Cajun Crab restaurant. During questioning they allegedly found him to be in possession of methamphetamine, a meth pipe, burglary tools (a shaved key), and stolen property, a key that belonged to nearby Claremont Toyota. He was arrested on four misdemeanor counts of drug and drug paraphernalia possession, and possession of burglary tools and stolen property. Meanwhile, another CPD officer found a Honda parked in an adjacent alley, and determined the man sitting in the passenger seat, Robert Dominguez, 33, from Ontario, was Mr. Garcia’s lookout. Further, a search, allegedly found meth in his pocket as well, along with a meth pipe, and a records check on Mr. Dominguez turned up an active no-bail felony warrant. He was arrested on two misdemeanors, possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, and the felony warrant. Mr. Garcia was booked and released with a citation to appear in court, and his alleged accomplice, Mr. Dominguez, was booked and issued a citation for the two new charges, then transported to the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles to await a court date with a judge on the felony warrant.

Monday, August 30
Claremont police were led on a 20-minute low speed chase through city streets when Victorville resident Phillip Rico, 44, apparently decided he didn’t want to be pulled over after cops allegedly witnessed his white 2018 Hyundai motoring down the wrong side of San Jose Ave. about 8:20 p.m. The getaway was foiled at 8:41 p.m. when Mr. Rico turned into Gate 9 at the Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona, and was blocked by police cars. Cops say a subsequent field sobriety test determined he was driving under the influence of drugs, and he was arrested on two misdemeanor charges of DUI and driving on a suspended license, and for evading a police officer, a felony. Mr. Rico spent a few days in the Claremont jail before appearing Sept. 1 for his arraignment in Pomona Superior Court.

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