Man Dies While In Custody In Montebello Jail

January 25, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

Authorities Wednesday identified a man who died while in custody at the jail in police headquarters in Montebello.

George Heredia, 59, believed to have been a transient, died shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday at the facility at 1600 West Beverly Blvd, according to the coroner’s office and the sheriff’s department. An autopsy was pending.

Heredia was arrested on Monday night by Montebello police on a no-bail felony warrant, and was awaiting transportation to a court appearance when he was found unresponsive in his cell on Tuesday morning, the sheriff’s department reported.

“There were no obvious signs of trauma or foul play,” a sheriff’s statement said.

Sheriff’s detectives were assisting Montebello police in the investigation. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

Pedestrian Struck in Montebello

March 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A pedestrian was struck by a commercial vehicle Tuesday in Montebello and hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

The accident occurred at Garfield Avenue and Whittier Boulevard early this afternoon, the Montebello Police Department reported.

The person, whose name and age were not immediately released, was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Traffic was routed away from the area while an investigation was conducted.

Montebello Neighborhood Watch Meeting Goes ‘Live’

February 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Montebello residents who want to attend a citywide Neighborhood Watch meeting will no longer have very far to go. Last week, the Montebello Police Department held their first-ever virtual Neighborhood Watch meeting on Facebook Live, bringing the community-based, crime prevention program right into residents’ homes, or wherever they access the popular social media site.

Sgt. Marc Marty, Corp. Maria Chavez and Officer Scott Howard, who make up Montebello PD’s Community Relations Unit (CRU), answered questions and addressed the concerns posted by dozens of viewers watching the live event on Feb. 8.

Sgt. Marty explained they got the idea for hosting the virtual meeting after seeing how a larger social media presence resulted in a bigger turnout at the department’s annual National Night Out event last August.

The CRU – or “crew” as they pronounce it – explained that their role is to build a better relationship with the community.

“Not that our relationship is bad, but I think we need to continue to build the dialogue,” Marty told their virtual audience last week. “This is where we start the dialogue, but we continue it when we see you out in public.”

While one of the community relations unit’s goals is to improve communications between the police department and the public, other top objectives include crime prevention and educating the public on what they can do to help officers do their job.

Screen shot 2017-02-15 at 11.12.44 AM

To that end, residents will next month have an opportunity to meet the officers in person during a Neighborhood Watch seminar March 1 at the city’s senior center. Officer Howard explained the event would provide residents with tips and tools on how to start a Neighborhood Watch on their residential block.

The department is encouraging the city’s large Spanish speaking population to attend, and has arranged to provide translation services for those who need it.

During last week’s Facebook Live Neighborhood Watch event, many of those who posted comments expressed concern over recent vehicle break-ins.

Howard attributed some of that rise to reduced jail sentences brought on by Proposition 47.

“We can’t change that, but what we can change is to help prevent the crime from happening in the first place,” he said, emphasizing the importance of checking to make sure car doors are locked and removing valuables from vehicles.

“You are one broken window away from everything being taken,” Howard reminded viewers.

Officers also answered questions about the city’s growing homeless population, speeding, double parking and 911 calls.

“We are doing our best with the man power we have,” said Marty, explaining that the department is down 17 officers. The city currently has nine open officer positions and eight current officers are either out for training or injured, he said, noting that fewer officers on duty makes their job harder.

“Those concerned that they don’t see enough officers on patrol, the truth of the matter is we don’t have a lot of officers out there,” said Marty. “Not as many as people think.”

He assured, however, that officers with the community relations unit are not just sitting in an office; They still monitor the radio and respond to calls, he said.

The officers encouraged residents to volunteer for citizen patrols and to attend upcoming training sessions to help with patrolling.

The live-streamed event also received comments from people not all that happy with the department, but even then, the three officers answered questions about police beatings and racial profiling.

Howard advised viewers to take a video and to call the police department and ask to speak to the watch commander if they believe they have witnessed an officer mistreating someone.

“If you see something, say something,” said Marty. “We don’t cover anything up.”

Many of those posting comments said they are happy to see the department being progressive and thinking outside the box.

“Thanks for doing this! Dragging Montebello into the 21st century,” wrote Diana Ashkenasy.

“Thank you for reaching out to the community and for your service day in and day out,” wrote Helen Ligh.

Officers advised viewers of other resources available to them, recommending they sign up for the free Nixle alert system used by many law enforcement and emergency service agencies, and the neighborhood connection app Next Door. They also urged residents to follow the Montebello Police Department on Facebook and Twitter, adding they plan to continue interacting with the public in other ways, such as attending chamber events, visiting businesses.

The department is also in the process of getting their website built, according to Marty, who said they hope to create a central hub for all the information they distribute. With thousands of views, Marty said the department plans to hold more live events in the future.

“We’re trying to be transparent,” he said. “We want to show you we are human just like you.”


Coming Together at National Night Out

August 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Dozens of block parties were held across the Southland Tuesday night, drawing thousands of residents to join with local police officers, sheriff’s deputies and elected officials as part of the annual National Night Out crime-prevention event.

As many as 38 million people across the country were expected to take part in National Night Out activities, which annually takes place on the first Tuesday in August. Chief among its goals is to promote a partnership between the police and the community, which this year has been under greater strain due to some controversial police-involved-shootings and the ambush-style deadly assaults on police officers in recent weeks.

In Boyle Heights, the National Night observance included a peace march denouncing crime and violence.

LAPD National Night Out Santiago

(Office of Assemblymember Miguel Santiago)

Some cities, like Commerce, hosted BBQ-style block parties while other cities like Bell Gardens and Montebello held larger events at local parks that featured demonstrations from K-9 units, information booths and displays of public safety vehicles, to the delight of many children.

Started in 1984, National Night Out is billed as “America’s night out against crime.” It is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and co-sponsored by local municipalities and law enforcement agencies nationwide.

(City of Bell Gardens)

(City of Bell Gardens)

The event initially began as a call for people to hold small public gatherings in a take-back-the-streets show of community pride.

Over the years, the event has grown to include block parties, parades, movie screenings and picnics.

(City of Commerce)

(City of Commerce)

During the event, residents are encouraged to lock their doors, turn on their front house lights and join with neighbors, law enforcement and Neighborhood Watch leaders at local neighborhood events. Activities vary by event but generally include free food, police and fire displays, live entertainment and a chance to interact with city officials and local police officers.

Information from City news Service used in this report.


Former Montebello Corporal Pleads Guilty

June 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A former Montebello police corporal pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor count of assault under the color of authority involving a run-in with a tagging suspect on Halloween 2014.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Horwitz immediately sentenced Mark Jason Ryan, 37, to 300 hours of community service, three years probation and ordered him to stay away from the victim, according to Jane Robison of the District Attorney’s Office.

The charge was reduced from a felony that had been filed earlier this year against Ryan, whom the prosecution alleged had slammed the suspect’s head into the pavement while responding to a call of two men tagging in the 2100 block of West Whittier Boulevard on Oct. 31, 2014.

Ryan retired from the police force in 2016, according to a Montebello Police Department statement released after the case was filed.

Ryan surrendered April 13 and was released the same day after posting $35,000 bond.

Man in Custody Following Standoff with Montebello Police

June 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A Los Angeles man was taken into custody Friday after a standoff with Montebello Police detectives.

Frank Chavez, 28, was initially arrested June 3 following a domestic violence incident at a Montebello home. He posted bond and was released pending a future court appearance, according to Montebello Police.

Days later Chavez returned to the victim’s home in an attempt to retrieve personal property when he allegedly became angry, brandished a weapon and shot the victim’s vehicle before fleeing.

Frank Chavez, 28, was taken into custody after standoff with authorities. (Montebello Police Department)

Frank Chavez, 28, was taken into custody after standoff with authorities. (Montebello Police Department)

The Montebello Police obtained an arrest warrant but were unable to locate him until today. According to authorities, they looked for Chavez at a residence on the 100 Block of Carmelita St. in Los Angeles at around 7 a.m. When officers attempted to make contact with the suspect he barricaded himself inside.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Buruea and Crisis Negotiation Team were called and after several hours of negotiations the suspect surrendered without incident.

Detectives took Chavez into custody and transported him to the Montebello Police Department jail for booking. He will remain in custody pending his court date, according to officials.


Former Montebello Officer Pleads Not Guilty to Assault

May 20, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A former Montebello police corporal, who is accused of assaulting a tagging suspect on Halloween in 2014, pleaded not guilty today to a felony charge of assault under the color of authority.

Mark Jason Ryan, 37, allegedly slammed the suspect’s head into the pavement while responding to a call of two men tagging in the 2100 block of West Whittier Boulevard.

Ryan surrendered April 13 and was released the same day after posting $35,000 bond.

According to a statement issued by the Montebello Police Department after the case was filed, Ryan retired from the force in 2016, but “no other details can be released regarding his employment or internal investigation.”

A date is scheduled to be set June 17 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial. If convicted of the charge, Ryan could face up to three years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Montebello Police Receives Community Relations Training

October 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In light of national events, officers from the Montebello Police Department gathered Wednesday for an eight-hour training with the United States Department of Justice training aimed at increasing public trust.

The goal of the meeting is to promote positive organizational change, uphold police legitimacy in the community and enhance officer safety, according to a press release from the Montebello Police.

The course introduces law enforcement officers and supervisors to four pillars of procedural justice, which include: fairness in processes, transparency in actions, opportunity for voice and impartiality in decision-making.

The training is sponsored in partnership with the Center for Public Safety at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Montebello Parking Tickets Voided

October 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Tickets issued for parking citations on Columbus Day in the city of Montebello will be dismissed due to an error on the city’s website, the Montebello Police Department announced Tuesday.

Several vehicles were issued tickets for parking during street sweeping hours on Monday despite the city’s website indicating that street sweeping citations would not be issued Oct. 12 due to the holiday.

In the interest of justice the city is dismissing citations for parking during street sweeping hours issued Monday, Oct. 12. All other parking violations remain valid, according to the police department.

Drivers who received such citation on that day may disregard the ticket without any further action.

For a full list of dates that street sweeping citations will not be issued in Montebello visit,

Montebello ‘Healer’ Wanted In Minor’s Rape

August 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Authorities Thursday sought public help to find a man who allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl while conducting “healing rituals” at his business in Montebello.

Known as a “Santero” or Santeria priest, Pablo Pinto Mata allegedly conducted the rituals at Los Angeles Imports, 2412 W. Whittier Blvd., the Montebello Police Department reported.

Pablo Pinto Mata, pictured, is accused of raping a 16-year-old at his Montebello business. (Montebello Police Department)

Pablo Pinto Mata, pictured, is accused of raping a 16-year-old at his Montebello business. (Montebello Police Department)

“In late 2013, Mata conducted three healing rituals (involving) a 16-year-old female, and had her disrobe,” according to a police statement. “On the last visit, Mata forced the minor to disrobe and sexually assaulted her. Mata told the minor the assault was part of the healing ritual.”

Police released a photo of the 46-year-old suspect, described as Hispanic, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing 175 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. Anyone knowing his whereabouts was urged to call Detective Alfred Martinez at (323) 887-1248.

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