Compiled by Gary Walker
Widow Pleas for Driver Who Killed Whole Foods Cook to Come Forward
The Venice woman whose husband died after being hit by a pickup truck at the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Rose Avenue is calling on the driver to identify himself and for her husband’s employer to explain why nobody called an ambulance.
Timoteo Martinez Ildefonso, a father of three who worked as a cook at the Whole Foods Market in Venice, was walking back to work from an early evening break on Nov. 15 when a red pickup turning from Rose struck him in the crosswalk. The driver stopped to assist Martinez Ildefonso, but according to a witness the injured man declined to seek medical attention.
Martinez Ildefonso died at a local hospital the next day, with doctors telling Eve Jimenez that her husband suffered internal bleeding from a ruptured spleen.
What perplexes and angers Jimenez is that nobody insisted her husband seek medical attention, even though he was bleeding from his head and hand.
“No one from Whole Foods contacted me. They had one of his co-workers drive him home, but no one accompanied him inside,” said Jimenez, who called for an ambulance after her husband collapsed at home. “I keep thinking back: Would he have survived if the driver or a witness had called an ambulance, or if somebody at Whole Foods had called an ambulance? If I had known exactly what had happened I would have gone to get him.”
Whole Foods had not responded to inquires as of press time.
Because the driver who struck Martinez Ildefonso stopped to offer help, it does not appear that the driver committed a criminal act, LAPD West Traffic Bureau investigator Martha Dominguez said. Police have, however, issued an alert for the driver to contact them for an interview.
“From all indications he stopped and tried to render aid, but the victim indicated that he was OK. So it doesn’t fall within the elements of a hit-and-run. Right now he is a person of interest,” Dominguez explained. “We want to talk to him so that we can get a complete story.”
A witness said the driver was a man in a red Toyota Tacoma with chrome rims.
Jimenez encouraged victims of car accidents to seek medical attention immediately, regardless of how they are feeling to prevent what happened to her husband.
“Please, please call an ambulance when someone is hurt, even if they say they are fine, because they may be in shock and not realize the extent of their injuries,” she urged. “I feel angry that no one called me and I wonder if they have any protocols in place for when something like this happens.”
“I would like the driver to come forward so that he can take responsibility for what happened and so we can know who he is,” Jimenez said. “My husband is dead and he needs to know that.”
A GoFundMe page in support of Jimenez and her children, including burial expenses, has raised more than $42,000 from 700 donors.
Bezos Gives Millions to Fight Homelessness
The St. Joseph Center in Venice and Upward Bound House in Santa Monica are among 32 housing and services nonprofits nationwide to receive a share of $98.5 million in grants issued last week by the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund. The grants come in the form of Amazon stock and can be sold for cash at any time.
St. Joseph Center spokesman Paul Rubenstein said its $5-million grant will allow the social services organization to establish a hub for homeless families that combines temporary housing with integrated programs for returning
clients to self-sufficiency as quickly as possible.
Upward Bound House, a provider of temporary and permanent housing for homeless families, issued a statement that its $1.25-million grant will increase shelter capacity to serve 30 additional families and speed stabilization efforts to move families into permanent housing.
The Bezos Day 1 Families Fund launched last year with a commitment to infuse $2 billion into existing efforts to assist homeless families and to create a new network of preschools in low-income communities.
Jaguar Driver May Have Escaped Police Chase
The driver of a stolen black Jaguar who led police on a high-speed pursuit from South Los Angeles to Culver City on Sunday afternoon fled the scene on foot and may have evaded capture.
Police detained a man and a woman at the conclusion of the pursuit, but “as of this moment we don’t know if the driver is still at large,” LAPD officer Rosario Cervantes said.
Witnesses spotted at least a dozen police cruisers and two helicopters as the pursuit barreled down Washington Boulevard.
Domestic Dispute Triggered Police Standoff in Westchester
An Oct. 29 police standoff with an armed man who barricaded himself inside a home on the 8100 block of Gonzaga Avenue began as a domestic violence incident, according to police.
The suspect, 35-year-old Juan Zapeda, had been engaged in an all-night argument with his ex-girlfriend about whom she may be dating, wrestled her phone from her when she tried to call 911, and then allegedly pointed a handgun at her and threatened to shoot when she demanded that Zapeda return the phone, LAPD Pacific Division Capt. James Setzer explained. Police received a 911 call at around 3:40 a.m.
“Upon the officers’ arrival, the victim had locked herself in a bathroom. She then fled the house, leaving the suspect inside,” Setzer said. “When the victim was safe, officers successfully negotiated with the suspect, who gave himself up without incident.”
Officers recovered two shotguns, two rifles and a pistol that belonged to Zapeda, whom they arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and assault weapons charges.