Man takes big siesta in car, in traffic, knife in hand, foot on brake

On Saturday, August 4, Derrick Chiaratti, 26, of Rancho Cucamonga was found sound asleep behind the wheel of his Toyota Corolla around 5:15 a.m. However, his slumber was taking place while in the middle of the right-hand lane off the intersection of Foothill and Indian Hill boulevards, his car still in drive with his foot on the brake. Even stranger, he was found asleep with a knife in his hand. 

    Police positioned cars behind and in front of Mr. Chiaratti’s car before banging on his car window and yelling for him to wake up. He continued sleeping. They opened his unlocked door, put his car in park and removed the knife from his hand, but Mr. Chiaratti continued to snooze. It wasn’t until police shook him awake that he finally came to and attempted to begin driving again like nothing had happened, according to Lt. Vander Veen. Mr. Chiaratti was arrested for driving under the influence.


Monday, August 6

    Jessica Bentello, 33, of Pomona called police claiming she was being followed near the Greyhound bus stop, 888 S. Indian Hill Blvd., and sprayed with strange chemicals. However, no suspect was identified and the only chemicals found were those in her system. Ms. Bentello was arrested for being under the influence of methamphetamine and for possession of a meth pipe.


Wednesday, August 1

    An 81-year-old woman was watching television at her home in the 2000 block of Villa Maria Road around 1 p.m. when she heard 2 loud bangs. She decided not to investigate and continued to watch TV.  A couple hours later, the source of the noise was discovered. Sometime between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m., while the woman was at home, someone had forced entry into the home through a rear door and ransacked one of the bedrooms. A list of stolen property is still being compiled.


Friday, August 3

    Police were called to the Claremont Lodge Friday evening to solve an unusual civil dispute. A man claims he arrived at the Lodge to receive a back massage from Alesia Starks, 23, of Los Angeles. He had paid for it through an advertisement found online. When he arrived, Ms. Starks allegedly took off her clothes and approached the man with a condom in her hand. He immediately demanded his money back, but Ms. Starks refused. Police were called to resolve the matter. Though the man did not wish to press charges, Ms. Starks was found in possession of a glass meth pipe and arrested. 


Tuesday, August 7

    The search continues for a robber who held 2 men at gunpoint around midnight in the parking lot of the Greyhound bus stop, 888 S. Indian Hill Blvd. The robber approached the men sitting in a parked car and demanded that they empty their pockets and hand over their wallets or he would shoot. One man handed over his wallet, but the other refused, attempting to get out of the car and confront the robber, according to Lt. Vander Veen. Before he could get out of the car, the robber took off and was last seen heading east on Amherst Avenue and south on Bonnie Brae. He is described as a Hispanic male about 20 years old, with black hair and weighing about 130 pounds. Any information regarding this armed robbery should be reported to the Claremont Police at 399-5411. Police would like to remind Claremont residents not to confront a robber, especially one with a weapon: “No property is worth your life,” Lt. Vander Veen said.


    A man was rushed to a local hospital after experiencing a seizure while driving his car. He was exiting the Pepper Tree Square shopping center onto Arrow Highway when the seizure hit, causing him to run off the road and onto a curb. No other vehicle was involved in the incident. Police responded and the man was taken to Pomona Valley Hospital for treatment. 


    Police are investigating a tennis game-gone-bad. Four random members of the Claremont Club teamed up at The Club’s tennis courts to play a friendly game of doubles Tuesday night. The friendly atmosphere changed when one player made a comment about his partner’s serve that didn’t go over well. The offended tennis player dropped his racket and began to choke the man, not stopping until pulled away. Police are looking into battery charges as a result of the incident.

—Beth Hartnett

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