Tag Archives: west covina

DUI Driver Sentenced to 4.5 Years in Prison

Staff Reports

West Covina, CA – A 20-year-old man pleaded no contest Tuesday to driving under the influence in connection with a crash in West Covina that killed one of his passengers and injured another.

Andrew James Gomez of La Puente was immediately sentenced to 4 1/2 years in state prison following his plea to one felony count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of a drug causing injury.

Gomez was under the influence of nitrous oxide when he crashed his car into a pole in the 1000 block of South Lark Ellen Avenue in the early morning hours of April 29, according to Sarah Ardalani of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Jesse Jaco, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene, and a second passenger was injured.

Gomez was arrested that morning by West Covina police and has remained behind bars since then, according to jail records.

Woman Arrested for Abandoning Baby in WC Sandwich Shop

Photo Courtesy of the West Covina Police Department. Mary Grace Trinidad’s mug shot from a drug arrest in January 2016

Photo Courtesy of the West Covina Police Department. Mary Grace Trinidad’s mug shot from a drug arrest in January 2016

Staff Reports

West Covina – On Feb. 16 at 8:34 a.m., a woman was arrested for abandoning her baby in a West Covina Subway sandwich shop’s bathroom after giving birth.

The West Covina Police Department stated that a 9-1-1 call was received on Feb. 16 regarding a baby who was found in the restroom of the Subway Restaurant located at 2540 S. Azusa Avenue. “The caller also stated that a woman who had just exited that restroom was seen bleeding as she headed toward the front doors,” according West Covina Police Department Public Information Officer Rudy Lopez.

“Employees from the restaurant heard a baby crying as they entered the restroom. An umbilical cord was seen hanging out from the toilet and the newborn baby boy was found partially submerged in the toilet water,” said Lopez.

The baby was treated and transported to the Neonatal Unit of Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina and is currently in stable condition.

West Covina Police Officers said they were able to find a blood trail that led them to the suspect in an alleyway behind the Pep Boys Auto located at 1540 E. Amar Road. Mary Grace Trinidad, 38, of West Covina was arrested immediately.

“Due to the suspect’s medical state, she was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Following her release, she will be booked for Attempted Murder and Child Abandonment. Bail will be set at $2 million dollars. The suspect also had a $30,000.00 narcotics related warrant outstanding for her arrest,” said Lopez.

The recording of the 9-1-1 call and a Subway security surveillance video has also been released.

After this incident, Supervisor Don Knabe issued a release reminding the community that the Safe Surrender program gives the opportunity for mothers to legally leave their baby with an employee at any hospital or fire station at any time, no questions asked. This provides a “safe, secure and anonymous way to get her child into safe hands–at any fire station or hospital, any time, in any county in California–and to protect a baby from abandonment: No shame, No blame, and No names,” said Knabe.

“Though 142 lives have been saved by the Safe Surrender program, this near-tragedy shows we still have a lot more work to do to spread the word,” said Knabe.


Animal Control Checking Licenses in Los Angeles County

Staff Reports

Los Angeles County – Officers from the Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) will be conducting field licensing checks in the unincorporated areas of West Covina (zip code 91792), and South San Gabriel (zip code 91770) beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The field checks will ensure that residents’ dogs and cats are in compliance with licensing requirements, the mandatory spay/neuter and microchip ordinance. Officers will also be checking state-required rabies vaccinations and licenses for dogs and cats over four months old.

According to the county officials, beginning January 1, 2014, puppies may be vaccinated at three months old, but still are not required to be vaccinated until four months of age.

“Securing a dog or cat license is essential to assisting animal control agencies if a pet becomes lost,” officials said.

Pet owners are advised to be in compliance with licensing and the mandatory spay/neuter and microchip ordinance if they reside in any unincorporated area of Los Angeles County (or contract city that has adopted the County’s ordinance).

Residents not in compliance will be subject to license fees and delinquency charges, including a $40 field enforcement fee to offset the cost of the Department’s field services.

“In order to avoid penalties, be sure your pet is licensed,” officials urge residents.

New animal license applications are available online at www.animalcare.lacounty.gov, or by visiting any local Los Angeles County animal care center. Owners of pets whose license is not delinquent can simply renew the license at county website: www.animalcare.lacounty.gov .

In addition, DACC offers low-cost vaccination/microchips clinics (microchips are now $15, which includes an AVID registration) and low-cost assistance (for individuals who qualify) for spay and neuter surgeries.

West Covina Appoints New City Manager

Chris Freeland

Photo Courtesy: City of West Covina
Chris Freeland

By Natalie Kim

West Covina – On Sept 15, West Covina appointed Chris Freeland to the position of city manager, filling the void left by his predecessor Chris Chung. Freeland was born in West Covina, but moved to La Verne and attended Damien High School.

To complete the 100-hour requisite for graduation, Freeland worked with La Verne’s City Manager Marty Lomeli. It was during this time of service that Freeland was introduced to, and subsequently fell in love with, city government.

To pursue this goal, Freeland majored in Civil Engineering and Political Science at Cal Poly Pomona, and later earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration at Cal State Long Beach. In February 2001, Freeland returned to West Covina and worked in various city departments and held numerous titles, from Parks and Recreation to labor negotiation, before finally being appointed to his current position of City Manager.

September & October 2015 SGV News

2015-09AND10-SGVNewsSGV News covers Diamond Bar, Walnut, La Puente, Rowland Heights and surrounding areas of the San Gabriel Valley; portions of the western Inland Empire; and northern Orange County. Click this link to access the complete issue in PDF format: Sept. & Oct. 2015 SGV Newspaper

4th Of July In West Covina

Ready, Set, Fireworks!


Staff Reports

West Covina – Looking for some family fun this 4th of July?  The City of West Covina and the West Covina Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) invite you to join them for a day filled with festivities!

Bring your whole family and friends out on Sat., July 4, for a fun-filled day beginning with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m., at Hurst Ranch, for only $5.00 per person (includes pancakes, sausage, juice, milk, and coffee).

Then from 3 to 11 p.m., head on over to Edgewood Middle/High School for carnival rides, entertainment, food, and games. The band, Cold Duck, will have the crowd dancing to classic rock favorites from 6 to 9 p.m.

Finally, end your night with a firework spectacular that is sure to cap off your whole day.  The fireworks show is sponsored by the City of West Covina and Athens Services, and will begin at 9 p.m.

The entrance fee for the carnival and fireworks show is $1.00 per person, beginning at 3 p.m. Please note that a hand stamp will be given this year in lieu of wrist bands, so plan accordingly.

As a friendly reminder, no alcohol is allowed and bags are subject to search.  The school grounds will be secured prior to 3 p.m., so any personal belongings placed on the event grounds beforehand will be removed by the Police Department.

“City staff has planned a great day for the whole family and I hope everyone is able to come and celebrate our country’s Independence Day at Edgewood School,” said Mayor Fredrick Sykes.

For any additional information please contact the Community Services Department at (626) 939-8489.

Hurst Ranch is located at 1227 S. Orange Avenue, West Covina.

Edgewood Middle/High School is located at 1625 W. Durness Street, West Covina.

West Covina: City To Be Host Town For 2015 Special Olympics



West Covina – In a press release from the City of West Covina, they recently announced that they have

been officially selected to participate in the Special Olympics World Games “Host Town” program, July 21 through 24, in 2015. The Games will officially begin on July 25, 2015, and more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to Southern California through this program. One hundred communities from San Luis Obispo to San Diego will have this esteemed honor.


As a Host Town, West Covina will provide culture, training and accommodations to international athletes participating in the Special Olympics. This program provides an excellent opportunity for the community to open its doors to American culture, as well as share their own unique culture.


West Covina residents and businesses plan to roll out the red carpet for the visiting athletes, with community rallies, a summer concert in the park, old-fashioned American cuisine, and diverse activities to showcase West Covina as part of the melting pot of Southern California.


The Host Town program has been an important element of Special Olympics World Games since 1995, and the experience has left a lasting impression on the local communities in Ireland, Japan, China, Greece, South Korea and the United States, all of which have previously organized Host Town programs as part of the Special Olympics World Games.


The largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere, this will be the single biggest event in the Los Angeles area since the 1984 Olympic Games. The 2015 Special Olympics World Games, with the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events, will feature 25 Olympic-style sports in venues throughout the Los Angeles region.  The Opening Ceremony, to be held July 25, 2015 in the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is expected to attract 80,000 spectators.  Honorary Chairs of the Games are President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Governor Jerry Brown serving as Honorary Hosts.


Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than four million athletes in 177 countries. This organization helps unleash the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports. With the support of over one million coaches and volunteers, the Special Olympics helps to address inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society.


For more information on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, including volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.LA2015.org.