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Pasadena Police Chief Recaps Week’s Critical Incidents

Pasadena Chief of Police Phillip L. Sanchez runs down last week's major public safety incidents

Published on Sunday, November 9, 2014 | 4:50 pm

On November 3, a verdict was rendered in a homicide case which began on August 5, 2013 at about 1:00 a.m., when Pasadena Police officers responded to the 100 block of East Colorado Boulevard following a 9-1-1 call of a combative subject inside a restaurant in Old Pasadena. A subsequent caller reported that a Male Hispanic Adult was lying injured in the curb lane of East Colorado Boulevard. Officers arrived quickly and located the unresponsive victim, Los Angeles resident Joshua Martinez, male Hispanic, 25 years, in the roadway. Officers notified PFD who determined the victim was suffering from a head injury (apparently caused by blunt force trauma). The victim was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. Because of the nature of the incident, Pasadena Homicide / Assault detectives responded to the scene and began their investigation.

Pasadena Police Detective Pham was assigned the case as the Lead Investigator. Later the same morning at about 5:30 a.m., Pasadena Police detectives received a call from an El Monte hospital saying they were treating two victims who had been stabbed in Old Pasadena. PPD detectives later determined the stabbing incident and the fight in Old Pasadena were related. Detective Pham completed a comprehensive investigation, which led to the arrest of three suspects involved in the original Old Pasadena altercation. One of the suspects, Rowland Heights resident Fernando Ramirez, Male Hispanic, 24, was taken into custody at his residence without incident.

On August 6, 2013, Joshua Martinez, succumbed to his injuries (he was an active US Marine Reservist stationed at Camp Pendleton). The case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who filed ADW and Involuntary Manslaughter Charges against Suspect Ramirez.

In October 2014, Ramirez’s trial began and a verdict was rendered on November 3, 2014. Defendant Ramirez was found guilty on both counts and was remanded into custody. His sentencing is scheduled for December 1, 2014. Detective Cuong Pham completed an exceptional investigation and was assisted by other investigators assigned to the Homicide / Assault Unit. Uniformed Patrol officers, Police dispatchers, and Forensic personnel were all involved in the defendant’s conviction. Pasadena Police Lieutenant Terysa Rojas commands the Homicide / Assault Unit.


On October 30, Pasadena Police officers responded to Washington Park regarding a “shots fired call.” Officers arrived and located several shell casings indicating someone had discharged a firearm. Despite an extensive search, officers did not locate any gunshot victims. Reluctant witnesses provided a general description of the incident.

The Washington Park incident generated concerns, in part because of misinformation and rumors. Some community members stated they believed there were as many as seven shootings in District 1, 3, and 5, and that the Pasadena Police Department was attempting to conceal the incidents. However, based on information received at the police department, it was determined there were approximately eight calls related to “shots fired” (from October 1 – November 5, 2014) in the concerned areas. Of the eight Calls for Service (CFS) regarding reported “shots fired,” only one was proven to have occurred (evidence collected at the scene). The other seven reports of “shots fired” were unfounded (no evidence or witness statements supporting the report of shot fired). It is not uncommon for misinformation to occur following critical incidents in our community. However, concerned persons may wish to contact the police department (626) 744-4241 or use the Crime Mapping program ( for more information.

On October 30, Markus A. Gray threatened to kill his mother during an argument in the area of Painter Street and Marengo Avenue. He subsequently robbed his mother taking her wallet. PPD officers responded to the location; however, Gary had already fled the area. The case was assigned to Pasadena Police Detective Alex Torres who completed a comprehensive investigation. Alex distributed alerted other Pasadena police officers who were on the lookout for Gary. The suspect was arrested by Detective Florendo without incident on November 7.

On November 2, at about 9:39 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 600 block of North Marengo Avenue regarding an assault investigation. On arrival, officers talked with the victim who said he was involved in an argument with the suspect (female Hispanic, 24). The argument turned violent and the suspect hit the victim on the head with a glass bottle. PFD paramedics were called to the scene; however, the victim refused medical assistance. The victim also said he was not desirous of prosecution.

On November 3, at about 2:26 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 600 block of East Mountain Street regarding a dead body investigation. On arrival, officers talked with the caller who said he returned home and found the victim lying face down in the bedroom. PPD officers checked the bedroom and located the victim, who was clearly lifeless. There were no signs of foul play. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office responded to secure the victim’s body. Our investigation is ongoing.

On November 4, members of the West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Taskforce apprehended suspect Benny Torres in East Los Angeles without incident. Torres was wanted by the Monterey Park Police Department for kidnapping and rape. The taskforce, comprised of detectives from Pasadena, South Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, El Monte, Monterey Park, and Los Angeles County Probation, conducted an exhaustive week-long search for Torres. The taskforce observed Torres in East Los Angeles and he was taken into custody. Torres is currently being held on a $2.25 million bail.

On November 6, at about 10:29 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 300 block of Carmelo Avenue regarding a residential burglary in-progress. A nearby resident reported a suspicious person on his neighbor’s property after hearing the sound of breaking glass. The Pasadena Police Helicopter Flight Crew arrived quickly and immediately contained the area (from the air). The Flight Crew directed ground units to the area and the dwelling was quickly secured. PPD officers ordered the suspects to surrender and they were arrested without incident. The victims were an elderly couple, Pasadena Residents.

On November 7, at about 6:30 p.m., a city worker observed three suspects acting suspiciously as they walked out of the woman’s restrooms in Brenner Park. The interior of the restroom had been freshly tagged with paint and markers. Our coworker called PPD and officers detained the suspects. Officers recovered paint cans and markers from the suspects, which matched the vandalism in the restrooms. Following a positive field show-up the suspects were arrested without incident. Both cases are great examples of See Something; Say Something, which is a concept you can share with our community at meetings and other communications.

On November 8, at about 8:46 a.m., the Pasadena Police Department received a call regarding a male suspect assaulting a female victim with a screwdriver in the 700 block of South Arroyo Parkway. The suspect fled the area on a bicycle. Pasadena Police Officer Jeff Disney observed the suspect and detained him without incident. Following a positive field show up the suspect was arrested. Fortunately, the victim was not injured.

On November 8, at about 1:50 p.m., Pasadena Police Officer Mat Morgan was investigating a dispute between a male and female in the 200 block of South Raymond. Without warning the male brandished a pair of scissors at the victim in a threating manner. Mat immediately ordered the suspect to surrender and arrested him without incident. The suspect was transported to the Pasadena jail and booked.

On November 8, at about 3:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 70 block of South Roosevelt Avenue regarding a residential burglary that just occurred. The victim came home and interrupted the burglary. The suspect immediately fled the location. PPD officers arrived quickly and began searching for the suspect. Despite their initial search, PPD officers did not locate the suspect. As the officers began to leave the area, Office John Yoo and Mat Chavarin spent a little more time in the search area. Their determination and intuition paid off when they observed the suspect in the 2400 block of Colorado Blvd. The officers detained the suspect without incident. The suspect was still in possession of the victim’s property from the burglary. John and Mat could not have made this great arrest without the assistance of their Team Mates and the Helicopter Flight Crew. The incident was supervised by Sergeant Keith Gomez.

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