LMU students witness car crash into Westchester apartment building

Photo Credit: Kate Remsen

Photo Credit: Kate Remsen

Originally published in the Los Angeles Loyolan. For original, please refer to: LMU students witness car crash into Westchester apartment building – Los Angeles Loyolan.

Multiple witnesses reported that a car smashed into an apartment building in Westchester at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday morning.

According to junior communication studies major Sonja Bistranin, a resident of the apartment building along with junior film production majors Kevin Halladay-Glynn and Kate Remsen, a “small silver car smashed into the side” of the Lido Apartments on the corner of Manchester and Park Hill.

Halladay-Glynn said he heard what he described as “a big bang” in his living room. When he stepped onto the balcony, he saw the car had smashed into the cement wall around the corner of the building.

Paul Morgan, a senior film production major on his way home from improv practice, saw the silver car “careen” into the building at what he approximated at 40-50 miles per hour. He said that five LAPD units appeared almost immediately after, at which point officers exited their vehicles and drew their weapons.

Bistranin and Morgan said that before additional LAPD units arrived on the scene, a man and a woman stepped out of the car.

“The woman tried to run, but she fell,” Bistranin said. “And the man was tackled by police.”

Junior political science major Harrison Geron, also the advertising coordinator for the Loyolan’s business department, lives directly below Halladay-Glynn, Bistranin and Remsen in the Lido apartments. According to Geron, who along with his roommate heard the crash and watched officers arrive, the time elapsed between the impact and the officers drawing their weapons was less than a minute.

According to Remsen, a third man who appeared from the north already apprehended by the police was put into a squad car shortly after. Bistranin said that both men were “screaming” and yelling at the police.

Geron said that at least one of the men appeared to have a neck wound.

According to Bistranin, the two males and one female were put on stretchers and taken away in ambulances at approximately 1 a.m.

“We hear one of the police say that they need people to go down to help because there’s a second car on the loose,” Bistranin said when she spoke with the Loyolan at approximately 12:40 a.m. “It’s clear that they still haven’t found the second car.”

Senior entrepreneurship major Kevin Chow lives in an apartment building down the street from the Lido Apartments. When he attempted to go home this morning, he discovered that officers had closed off the street.

“[They] told me to go around the block,” Chow said. “The side streets behind Manchester were blocked off by cops too. I managed to ask one what was going on and apparently armed robbers were on the loose and if I tried to get home, I would most probably be carjacked.”

Geron said he overheard the officers on the scene say that the first units on the scene were in pursuit of the vehicle “at around 70-80mph” down Manchester. He also overheard the officers put out a overall command on the alleged second vehicle.

In the aftermath of the incident, a stretch of Manchester Ave. was closed, according to Remsen. At one point, several at the scene reported 16 police cars, though by 1:15 a.m. Bistranin said the police presence had dwindled somewhat.

By 1:45 a.m., Halladay-Glynn said that the crashed car had been towed. According to Geron, the car sustained massive damage.

“The engine compartment was squished into maybe two feet of room,” Geron said, suggesting that the 70-80 mile per hour approximation by the officers on the scene was accurate.

Fire breaks out at Westchester residence

Originally published in the Los Angeles Loyolan. For original, please refer to: Fire breaks out at Westchester residence – Los Angeles Loyolan.

A fire broke out in a Westchester-area home earlier this evening. The residence, located on the corner of 83rd St. and Georgetown Ave., did not appear to be owned by any LMU students, though several who live in the surrounding area were at the scene to witness the emergency response.

Zach Stayner, a Stewart Ave. resident and non-LMU student at the scene, said that he heard “an explosion” when working on Christmas lights on the roof of his house. According to Stayner, the explosion occurred at approximately 5:20 p.m.

After calling 911, Stayner and his father, Matt, an LMU alumnus, ran to the scene. According to Matt, emergency vehicles arrived less than a minute later. The fire was put out by firefighters at the scene by approximately 5:33 p.m.

The residence’s owners arrived at the scene at approximately 5:40 p.m. just as EMS officials unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate the owners’ dog. According to several at the scene, the residents were in the process of moving out; several moving vans were seen near the house earlier in the day.

Two LMU students who also live on Georgetown Ave., senior business major Heather Dalhgren and senior psychology major Natasha Grabowski, heard the aftermath of the fire, but didn’t arrive on the scene until the fire was already put out. Grabowski described the sounds the two students heard as “like a war in the sky.”

UPDATE: According to a comment posted on the Loyolan’s Facebook page by an account appearing to belong to LMU alumnus Sean Grant (’10), the residents are his parents, and were in the process of moving out after renting the house for about a year. The post also said that the residents’ dog, Roxanne, was successfully resuscitated at the hospital.