Monthly Archives: March 2013

Police: woman found dead in car

SAN CLEMENTE – A woman was found in the back seat of a car on Saturday in the 200 block of Avenida Vista Montana near the Rancho San Clemente Tennis and Fitness Club and was pronounced dead at the scene by authorities.

The Orange County Fire Authority requested help from Orange County Sheriff deputies at 11:47 a.m. Lt. Joe Balicki of the Sheriff’s Department said deputies do not believe the woman, who was only described as being in her 30s, died under suspicious circumstances.

Firefighters arrived at the scene first after a call that the woman was unresponsive in a car. They then smashed a window to enter the car, Balicki said. Deputies arrived soon after and investigators from the Orange County Coroner’s Officers where called out to the scene.

The identity of the woman has not been released.



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Irvine couple mourned at crash site

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Debby Rodriguez, left, gives Tami Crowell a hug during a curbside memorial to her parents, Richard and Sharon Crowell, who were struck and killed while walking to the gym on Eastwood in Irvine Tuesday morning.

IRVINE – Over 100 childhood friends, family members and longtime neighbors gathered Friday on an Irvine sidewalk where a married couple was struck by a car and killed.

Rick Crowell, 65, and Sharon Crowell, 61, were hit by a car on Eastwood on Tuesday morning. Sharon was found beneath the wreckage and was declared dead on the scene by paramedics. Rick was transported to a hospital but died a short time later, officials said.

“My mom was my best friend,” said Tami Crowell, the couple’s daughter, at Friday evening’s vigil. “So, not only did I lose my mother, I lost my best friend, too.”

Tami stood next to her brother Casey as neighbors and friends shared memories of their parents. Many who attended the vigil described Rick as friendly man who volunteered his time with youth football leagues and always greeted everyone, “even if he didn’t know them,” Tami said.

“They were as sweet as can be,” said Bill Tasher, who said he knew Rick for over 20 years growing up in El Segundo. “They loved living here and taking advantage of the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood.”

Friends at the vigil said Rick and Sharon were on their way to the Custom Bodies Fitness gym when the crash occurred. Employees at the gym said police officers came in that morning with the couple’s gym badges to try to identify them.

Authorities said a 17-year-old on his way to school veered onto a walkway lined with bushes. His car struck the couple before coming to a stop against a retaining wall and a tree. He stayed on the scene and cooperated with police after the crash. There are no charges pending against the boy, the Irvine Police Department said.

Several people at the vigil said the boy was a Northwood High School student on his way to school. He wasn’t at school the day after the crash, said M’Lis Fox, whose daughter goes to school with the boy. High school students at the vigil said Advanced Placement testing was scheduled for the day of the fatal crash.

A weeklong fundraiser for the couple’s family will be held starting Monday at Northwood Pizza. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the family, which plans to use it for a memorial near where the couple was killed.



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Police investigating death of woman as homicide

Anaheim Police are investigating the death of Nancy Corona, 23, of Anaheim in the 500 block of E. South St.

Police received a call about a woman in her 20s found unresponsive near a car at 6:51 a.m. Saturday in a ground level parking structure of an apartment complex, said Sgt. Darron Wyatt of Anaheim Police. Investigators are looking into the death as a homicide, and the investigation is ongoing, Wyatt said.

“I think a passerby saw something that didn’t look right and called us,” he said

Officers arrived on scene and found Corona had been shot in her upper body, said Sgt. Bob Dunn of Anaheim Police.

“We believe she suffered at least one gun shot wound and in that location,” Dunn said.

Police do not have any suspects at this time, and the motive for the shooting is still under investigation.

Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to call 1-855-847-6227.



If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.



2 held in traffic-stop shooting of Fullerton officer

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Fullerton police investigate after a Fullerton officer making a traffic stop early Sunday morning at Knepp and Woods avenues in Fullerton was shot multiple times.

FULLERTON – Fullerton police had two suspects in custody Sunday night after the early-morning shooting of an officer during a traffic stop.

After a foot chase that began when information led detectives to an Anaheim home, police arrested a 29-year-old man Sunday afternoon, according to a Fullerton police statement. California Highway Patrol officers had arrested a 27-year-old woman in the morning. She was found in Riverside driving the four-door Pontiac that had been pulled over, police said.

Police say an officer made a 12:13 a.m traffic stop near Woods and Knepp avenues and was shot multiple times as he approached the car’s driver’s-side window. The officer is stable and is expected to fully recover, according to the police statement. He has been on the force for seven years.

The shooting suspect is Marcos Bush of Santa Ana. Police say his arrest record includes robbery, aggravated assault and carjacking. He is a member of a criminal street gang, police say.

When police found Bush at a home on West Cornelia Circle in Anaheim, he fled and discarded a handgun pulled from his waistband, police say. They are testing the gun to determine if it was the one used in the shooting.

Police will ask the district attorney to charge Bush with attempted murder of a police officer, the police news release says. Police attribute the officer’s survival to his bulletproof vest and training.

Also in custody is Sjanee Duhart of Riverside, who is being charged as an accessory in the attempted murder of a police officer, the police statement says.

Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting or the other occupants of the vehicle to contact the Fullerton Police Department at 714-738-6838.



If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.



Everyday Hero delivers right words in times of trauma

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Tom Walsh of Orange Park Acres has been a volunteer in Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) for five years. The first responder supports those emotionally traumatized and helps police, firefighters and hospital personnel. Walsh goes on calls, serves as dispatcher, and mentors others in how to support people during “the terrible hours.” He’s in front of Irvine’s Orange County Fire Authority.

ORANGE – He was a wreck, this stranger sitting alone in front of the nurses station at the hospital.

It might have been Tom Walsh’s first day as a volunteer for TIP, the Trauma Intervention Program, but life experience told him that this was the man he’d been called to help. This was the one whose wife had gone to bed in the hotel room in Irvine after seeing their son off to college. In the morning, he couldn’t wake her up. She’d died of a stroke in her sleep.

Walsh recognized the look on the stranger’s face, the helpless feeling of being unable to save the woman you love. Years before, Walsh’s own wife, Barb, had suffered a small stroke and a traumatic brain injury from a resulting fall. Even though Barb eventually recovered, the experience had plunged them into the often scary maze that is the world of hospitals. That’s what had first given him the desire to volunteer to help others.

“We had a year of being in the hospital quite a bit. It was a nasty time,” Walsh recalls, his even voice perfect for delivering understatement. “I saw all these people in waiting rooms, waiting for whatever bad news they were going to get. I could just see that they were just out of it – ‘What’s going on, what’s happening?’ Because of that, I kept thinking, what could I do that would make sense? I can’t be a candy striper – my legs just wouldn’t look good in those skirts.”

Then, Walsh’s tennis partner was killed along with his toddler daughter in an auto accident. While the life of his partner’s wife was spared, it left her and the surviving children devastated. Walsh witnessed how TIP volunteers eased her pain to the point she could function again and provided information that helped her navigate a terrible time. That’s when Walsh knew he’d found the right way to help.

And now there he was – retired owner of an auto wrecking company, real estate investor, golf fanatic, sometime pool shark, tennis player, father of two boys – alone to take his first turn at being an “emotional paramedic” for a stranger.

Usually TIP volunteers go out on their first call with a program veteran, but Walsh arrived ahead of the 20-minute response time schedule. The first thing he learned: “You never think you’re ready for it,” says the normally unflappable Walsh.

The next thing he learned was that his innate cool character and the 100 hours of volunteer training combined to give him all he needed to act as a source of comfort, stability and information in the midst of what TIP volunteers call “the horrible hours” – the chaotic, painful time after sudden death or grave injury of a loved one upends your world.

Those horrible hours can also come after you’ve witness something violent and traumatic, whether crime, accident or act of nature. Fire departments, hospitals, coroner’s offices and police call TIP, a national nonprofit organization, to provide victims the emotional support emergency personnel have neither the time nor training to administer. The program seeks to prevent what mental health experts call “secondary injury,” lasting emotional effects that can result from experiencing trauma.

No sooner had Walsh wrapped up that first call than he was needed on another, this time for a Latino family who’d just lost a grandmother. He doesn’t speak Spanish. They didn’t speak much English. It didn’t matter. He was able to offer what they needed by just being there, holding hands, offering Kleenex.

That taught him a third indelible lesson: “We’re all pretty much the same. Some of us live in big houses, some of us live in small houses. Other than that, the fears, the joy, the sadness, we feel it the same,” he says.

That was five years ago. Walsh has become a stalwart of the Orange County chapter of TIP, not only volunteering every month on calls but serving as a dispatcher and mentor for other volunteers.

“Everybody thinks this kind of work is a good idea, but few people can do it over the long haul,” notes Wayne Fortin, founder of TIP, whose national offices are based in San Diego.

Fortin has come to know Walsh well as a veteran of the program. “You have to have a balance between compassion and courage – and I’m thinking of Tom as I say this. You have to have an unwavering focus on wanting to help others in crisis. If you are in it for any reason other than that, it won’t work. There’s no money, no accolades. It’s getting into your car in the middle of the night, wading into these devastations, where a lot of times you can’t fix it. You can’t bring back a dead child, you can’t save anyone. You have to be able to tolerate helplessness, and believe that just your presence can make a difference,” Fortin says. “Tom’s also got a great sense of humor. He takes his work seriously but never himself.”

For his part, Walsh seems the type who’d be more comfortable facing an Internal Revenue Service audit than hearing what a great guy he is. He jokes that his skill at being a TIP volunteer all stems from his days as a kid, when his favorite show was “The Lone Ranger.”

“You ride in, help, then ride away, and people say, ‘Who was that masked man?'” Walsh says with a sideways grin.

On a more serious note, he says the hard part of the job is learning how to “shake off” the pain and suffering of the calls, as so many are about death. His happy, stable home life in Orange Park Acres with Barb, the same home where they raised their sons Tom, 27, and Matt, 22, gives him a lot to appreciate. And, he says, he leans on the tools he’s learned through TIP: “It teaches you to say the right thing versus the wrong thing when people are in their worst moments.”

What is always the right thing to say?

In the time it takes to blink, Walsh replies, “I’m here for you.”



If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced Orange County Bail Bondsman to assist you in any bail situation.


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19-year-old in critical condition after Anaheim stabbing

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Anaheim police officers investigate after a male was stabbed in the 100 block of West Guinida Lane early Monday morning in Anaheim.

ANAHEIM – A 19-year-old man was stabbed and left in critical condition Monday, as authorities also identified another 19-year-old who died after an apparently unrelated stabbing in a different Anaheim neighborhood over the weekend.

Officers about 3:30 a.m. Monday responded to reports of a man suffering from stab wounds knocking on doors in the 100 block of West Guinida Lane and asking for help, Anaheim police Sgt. Bob Dunn said.

The man, who had suffered multiple stab wounds to his upper body, was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he was listed in critical condition.

Investigators believe the stabbing may have occurred after the man confronted some people in a nearby alley. Police described the man as a documented gang member and say the stabbing is believed to be gang-related.

The stabbing came two days after a confrontation in a different Anaheim neighborhood left another 19-year-old, who police Monday identified as Andrew Pacheco of Anaheim, fatally injured.

Investigators believe Pacheco and 10 to 15 other people were walking in the 2400 block of West Ball Road shortly before 11:50 p.m. Saturday when a vehicle occupied by four males pulled up near them.

Two men got out of the car, singled Pacheco out of the crowd and asked if he had any gang affiliation, Dunn said.

The confrontation turned physical, Dunn said, and Pacheco was stabbed once or twice in the abdomen. The two assailants reportedly yelled out their gang name before driving away.

Pacheco, who police say has no known gang ties, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon.

While both stabbings are believed to be gang-related, authorities say there is no link between the two incidents.

No suspects in either stabbing have been identified, Dunn said, and no arrests have been reported.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.



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Dog stolen from SUV at Kaleidoscope is recovered

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Pudsy was reportedly stolen from a black Escalade that has the entire back looking like a doggy playpen. Bed, toys, food and water. Pudsy is always with her. Someone took out the drivers side key hole and opened the car leaving a laptop but taking the dog.

Pudsy, a dog, taken from an SUV parked at the Kaleidoscope Courtyards, is back but not doing well.

Patricia Karns, of San Clemente, got the dog back Monday after someone responded to her email address set up to recover the dog. Karns and her husband met with the man who said he found Pudsy at a gas station in Monrovia, said Vickie DeSilva, Karns’, a friend of Karns.

“The dog seemed disoriented and confused, ” DeSilva said. “She was crying and whimpering like she was in pain.”

The man told Karns Pudsy was found walking near a shopping mall in Monrovia over the weekend. They first contacted Karns via email on Sunday night.

DeSilva said Karns promptly went to seek medical help for Pudsy. The couple was accompanied by investigators from the Orange County Sheriff Department. More details on the investigation are expected.

The 4-year-old, hand-sized pup has been missing since Feb. 22 when Churee Serrano, Patricia Karns’ daughter, said she and her mother realized she was no longer inside the back of a Cadillac Escalade parked at the Kaleidoscope Courtyards, a shopping plaza at Crown Valley Parkway and I-5.

Patricia Karns, of San Clemente, got the dog as a therapy dog following a brain trauma. She took Pudsy with her at all times. At the time of the theft, between 6 and 8 p.m., both women were at a spa in the mall.

Serrano said when they were done, she drove her mother to her Cadillac on the lower level. Shortly after Karns, 57, got into the car, she called Serrano saying Pudsy was missing. They pulled over and returned to the Kaleidoscope where they searched for the dog. Although Karns had a Nordstrom shopping bag, some credit cards, a checkbook and her laptop in the car, those items were not taken. A glass case filled with several rings, a bracelet and a watch was also taken, Serrano said.

Mall management said Kaleidoscope helped with the investigation from the beginning. Security personnel were on duty that night and helped Karns and Serrano prepare a report for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Lisa Miller, who oversees mall management, said security at the mall was increased after the dogs reported theft.



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