The Signal from Santa Clarita, California on September 23, 1997 · 3
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The Signal from Santa Clarita, California · 3

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Santa Clarita, California
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Tuesday, September 23, 1997
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3
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I Tuesday. September 23, 1997 THE SIGNAL A3 Southland state unit ft a toreter nmin als across th LOS ANGELES (AP) Of all murders, rapes and other violent crimes committed in Los Angeles, police say about 13 percent are the work of criminals who flee the country, often to Mexico or Central America. "We want justice to be served the guy found and incarcerated," said Officer Philip Dudley, one of six investigators in the Police Department's Foreign Prosecution Liaison unit Since the unit was formed in 1985, investigators have filed more than 17S cases with Mexico. Of those, there have been about 90 arrests, said Lt. Bruce Meyer, who heads the Fugitive Warrant Section. Recently, detectives traveled to Honduras in pursuit of Jose Herminio Carmona. Honduran authorities arrested Carmona, 37, and found him guilty in the killing of his girlfriend, Alejandrina Guevara Lopez, in Los Angeles. Carmona is serving time in Honduras for a murder committed 2,300 miles away because of the unit's efforts. "Those guys are a godsend," said Detective James Rahm, who investigated the Lopez slaying. "They're fluent in Spanish and they know the inner workings of foreign bureaucracies." Massive migration of Mexicans and Central Americans to the United States in the last 10 years is one reason the unit focuses on those nations, police said. Last year, detectives flew to Mexico and Central America to lodge arrest complaints for 11 murders, an attempted murder and three narcotics and fraud cases. American police have no authority across the border. Jorge Garcia-Villalobos, legal attache for the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, works with the Fugitive Warrant Section to aid in capture and prosecution of criminals who cross the border. "We have to respect the law of each country, the sovereignty, the people but as well, we have to enforce the law," Garcia-Villalobos said. Two suspects Detective Fernando Gonzalez would like to see arrested are Ramon Reyes and Louie Jose Velarde Jr., in the 1992 killing of a Coca-Cola distributor at a grocery store in Van Nuys. Robert Joseph Ward, 28, of Palmdale had just finished a delivery and called his fiancee. He was shot point blank as his fiancee listened. Detectives believe Reyes, 30, and Velarde, 33, are in Mexico. "We'd love to catch these guys," Gonzalez said. . American citizens who flee are subject to extradition, but countries south of the border reserve the right to try their own nationals. A treaty between the United States and Mexico spells out crimes the nations will honor when deciding whether to surrender people, said Barbara J. Moore, chief of extradition services for the Los Angeles County district attorney. Moore has never had to resort to extradition. "I've never extradited anybody from Mexico. We haven't had to," said Moore, who's worked in the unit since 1976. "Mexico wouldn't give up their nationals, and the Americans they kicked over (the border) for us because they don't want undesirables." Because of agreements between the United States, Mexico and Central American countries, foreign nationals can be prosecuted in their homelands. People convicted across the border may serve hard time in prisons Los Angeles police say make California lockups look like resorts. Harvard mom, ErJd settle into campus after custody fight CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) For Gina Ocon, the choice was an easy one. The unmarried 21-year-old mother could stay at home in Southern California with her infant daughter, scraping by on welfare. Or she and little Bailey could return to Massachusetts and a $33,000 scholarship to Harvard University. The problem was, the father of her child wanted Ocon to stay in California so he could be near his daughter. Now, after months of rancor and court battles, Ocon and Bailey are back at Harvard, settling into a routine of classes and day care. Ocon is pretty much a regular Harvard undergrad, except for her apartment in the graduate quarters, the diaper bills and the difficulties of chasing an active 15-month -old up the front steps of Widener Library. Being a single parent, she said, has put Harvard in perspective. "There are more important things than just getting straight A's and going to the best law school in the country," she said last week. Ocon had just finished her freshman year at Harvard when she returned to her native Lakewood, Calif., a Los Angeles suburb, in 1995. She was looking for a fun romance after a tough academic year. She found it in Tommaso Maggiore, a high school acquaintance and community college student who worked in his family's ; Italian restaurant : When the summer ended, the couple decided to date long-distance, and Ocon returned to Harvard for her so- phomore year. She didn't realize she was pregnant until October. She withdrew from school and returned to California to have the baby, moving in with Maggiore and his pa- j rents in Long Beach. Her Harvard friends said that she -was crazy, that she was going to ruin her life. Ocon figured she would go back to school eventually . And the idea of young motherhood didn't scare her too much. After all, Ocon's mother had her when she was just 17, raising Ocon pretty much by herself. After Bailey was born in June 1996, the relationship between the baby's parents began to unravel. Ocon resented that she was still in California and not back at school. Maggiore filed for custody. ' The case went to trial. Ocon went on welfare. , Maggiore argued that he and his family could better care for Bailey in California. And he called his ex-girlfriend selfish for wanting to move their child to Massachusetts. A court ruled in Ocon's favor. Yes, Ocon admitted last week, perhaps it was a bit selfish to want to return to Harvard and an Ivy League education. But she added: "If I'm happy, confident and successful, that's going to spill over to my daughter. If I'm miserable and on welfare, that's also going to spill over to her." Il i i ' Media challe rtgss to sin na mo i ornbsr i osa urois Harvard University student Gina Ocon of Lakewood, Caiif., holds hsr 15-month-oid daughter, Bailey, on the steps of the university's Widener Library. Ocon has sole custody. Maggiore can see Bailey during school vacations. The parents split Bailey's daycare costs, and Maggiore pays $214 a month in child support. Harvard agreed to increase the scholarship package Ocon was receiving, providing additional money for living expenses, a one-bedroom unfurnished graduate student apartment overlooking the Charles River and health insurance for the baby. Yard-sale specials have helped Ocon furnish the apartment, which she decorated with photographs that ., include her ex-boyfriend. She said she wants her baby to see Maggiore daily, if not in person, then at least in color 8-by-10s. Maggiore, who described himself as the "underdog" in the custody case, said .Monday he feels excluded from his daughter's life. His daughter, he said, is spending nearly 40 hours a week in day care when she could be spending her days with him and his family back in California. "I'm missing seeing her grow, basically," said Maggiore, 21. "This is the most important time of her life and I feel this is the most important time that I should be in her life. But obviously the court didn't see that" For a time, he considered moving east to be closer to Bailey, but decided against it Despite everything, he said, he still has feelings for Ocon. SACRAMENTO (AP) News organizations on Monday urged a federal judge to quash his order allowing the names of Unabomber trial jurors to be kept secret, saying the public's constitutional access rights were jeopardized. The request to U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. was filed a week before hundreds of potential jurors were scheduled to arrive at the federal courthouse for preliminary questioning and interviews. There was no reason in the Una-bomber case to order anonymity for the jury a procedure normally used in drug and organized crime cases where jurors may be at risk, the media groups argued. "The court's anonymous jury order is unprecedented, as far as we can determine, in that the court and parties agree that jury safety is not a concern involved in this case. Instead the court rests its order upon 'extensive publicity,"' attorney Charity Kenyon wrote. Kenyon, representing several broadcast and print organizations, asked Burrell to lift his Sept 5 order because it would "unconstitutionally infringe on the public's historic and First Amendment rights of access to this trial." There was no immediate response from Burrell. Theodore Kaczynski, 55, a former Berkeley mathematics professor, is accused in California of using bombs to kill two people and injure two others. His trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 12. He faces the death penalty if convicted. Kaczynski faces a separate charge in New Jersey in the bombing death of an advertising executive. Burrell ruled Sept 5 that the names of trial jurors would not be made public. The information to be withheld includes names, employers, residences and employment addresses of jurors and their spouses. Burrell also said he was considering keeping confidential portions of the screening procedure. Kaczynski's court-appointed defenders, Quin Denvir and Judy Clarke, said Burrell's order didn't go far enough: They asked him last week to keep the entire jury screening secret, including the questionnaire, the interviews and any hardship requests submitted by potential jurors. Alleged child captivity mote! resident mystmes Disney Continued from paga A1 Disneyland spokesman John McClintock. Friday nights, the scene is usually at its height Most of the kids are middle-class Orange County high schoolers or middle schoolers; and most of course, don't act like sociopaths. Some just like to look that way. Younger kids often change out of regular clothes and into "extreme" attire after their parents drop them off. "It's a great way to get out of the house, because you ask your parents for a pass and they think, 'Wow, Disneyland, what bad could happen there?"' said a 15-year-old girl in white pancake makeup and blood-red lipstick. "But they don't know there are all these hundreds of kids hanging out together just, like, ragging on this whole tourist scene," she said. The girl didn't give her name in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. She talked to a reporter recently while sipping vodka from a water bottle just outside Tomorrowland. Tomorrowland, traditionally the park's teen hangout because it offers bands and dancing, is a favorite gathering spot "There have always been teenagers going in and out of Disneyland on the weekends, but five years or so ago there weren't so many and they looked like everyone else," said Karen Tandoi, general manager of the Ramada Maing-ate Saga Inn near the park. "These kids, they do loiter and they are rude, and this is a family- oriented property. We've had a lot of complaints as far as things they say to our guests." Anaheim police Officer Dave Wiggins has led two special enforcement operations since June. "They are just misdirected delinquents rather than gang members, but they are . . . everywhere," he said. "And when they have been drinking, they taunt tourists, they use spray paint they throw bottles, camp out ... It's kind of turned the tourist area into a free-for-all." MONTEBELLO (AP) The father was clean-cut, paid in cash. The children were rambunctious, seemingly happy. The mother, seldom seen, let them play with a new neighbor. But the family's brief stay at a motel here apparently was anything but idyllic. Now, the children are in a foster home. The parents could face felony charges for allegedly gagging and taping their 2-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son and leaving them sitting in a bathtub full of water. ' The arrests Saturday night of 35-year-old Ralph Ramirez and Alejandra Munguia, 28, literally opened the door on a bizarre incident But then, when it comes to mistreatment of children in Los Angeles County, "bizarre is the norm," said Schuyler Sprowles, spokesman for the county Department of Children and Family Services, which oversees the welfare of 72,000 abused or neglected children. "We have so many cases, every weekend, every day," he said. "Not like this . . . but even more traumatic situations where the children have been severely abused and neglected, to the point where their lives are immediately threatened." Police in this semi-industrial Los Angeles suburb say they believe they know why Ramirez and Munguia allegedly bound their children, but they won't disclose it until they ask the district attorney's office to file charges. "We have a pretty good idea" of the cause, Lt Joe Juiliano said. Ramirez remained jailed in Mon-tebello on Monday and Munguia was being held at the Twin Towers jail in downtown Los Angeles, Juiliano said. What happened was this, according to police: At 8 p.m. Saturday, officers were called to the Best Inn on Washington Boulevard by a report of suspicious noises coming Room 208 on the second floor. Inside the room, they found the girl and boy, bound and gagged with duct tape. For the last six months, Robert John Magana, 50, has lived in the room two doors down from Unit 208. The children seemed healthy and there was no indication they were abused, authorities said. "I never heard screaming, I never heard yelling," Magana said. The boy wore a clean T-shirt, shorts and sandals and was rambunctious. "I never saw them cry. They always seemed like happy-go-lucky kids," Magana said. "The kids were all playful, man. They would come banging on my door." BRIEFS Marine feces dcscrEon charge af&r 29 yesrs CAMP PENDLETON A 48-year-old U.S. Marine who had been absent without leave since the Vietnam War was charged with desertion, officials said Monday. If convicted, Pvt. Randall J. Caudill could receive a sentence of up to three years ' confinement in a military brig. Caudill was charged with "desertion terminated by apprehension." Babbitt warns of global wanning MONTEREY U.S. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt told students Monday that global warming is real and warned that their generation will see its effects on the world's climate. Babbitt, speaking at California State University, Monterey Bay, also asked for the their help in reducing the use of fossil fuels and finding cleaner sources of energy measures that could lessen the effect of the Earth's rising temperature. Complied from Signal ntwt mtvIcm is when 84 of local residents can't name a remodeling contractor. (And you're a remodeling contractor.) The Signal has commissioned a national research firm to determine the name awareness of hundreds of firms in dozens of categories. Yours may be one of them. To find out more, call an account executive at 259-1234. orever, nrma (0REVER,ERMA r tt?i' i' JQf : J BEST-. LOVED V R 1 T I N C COM AMERICA'? H A V O II I' M C R I t T Erma Bomheck RITE Revisit tome of your favorite momenti with this very special collection of Erma's most popular and touching columns. To order the paper-hack edition of FOREVER, ERMA call 1-800-642-6480 and mention Trie Signal newspaper. Price $10.95 plus $2.00 shipping. .S(BSi(. ff(MP IT O.0 0 MM Families can use the newspaper to read together, think together, talk together. Here are a few tips for helping to improve your child's reading skills. For more information on how newspapers can be an effective learning tool at home and at school, call this newspaper's Newspaper In Education department. Read the newspaper regularly Talk about what you're reading Read aloud to your children Read together Let children choose what they want to read J 259-1234 IT ALL STARTS VIITH NEWSPAPERS f,

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