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La Cañada History: Would-be bank robber uses woman as shield, shoots man who comes to her aid

La Cañada History: Would-be bank robber uses woman as shield, shoots man who comes to her aid
Albert Hemsath, who thwarted a robbery at the La Cañada branch of Bank of America 60 years ago this week, is placed in an ambulance. He survived his wounds. (File Photo / La Cañada Valley Sun)

Ten Years Ago

About 900 kids ages 5 to 14 turned out on the field at La Cañada High School for the opening day of La Cañada Junior Baseball Softball Assn. The day’s festivities included a home run derby, golden arm competition, team pictures, a parade and In-N-Out burgers.

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Twenty Years Ago

Twelve thousand named varieties of tulips awaited visitors to Descanso Gardens for the 1999 Spring Festival of Flowers. The monthlong event included a host of activities, including Easter-themed fun for families.

Thirty Years Ago

Hobbs Drive homeowners banded together to ask the city to set a two-hour parking limit on their street in hopes of discouraging workers at nearby restaurants from using their neighborhood to park vehicles.

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Forty Years Ago

The annual Oak Grove Elementary School Carnival was held on March 17, 1979, for the final time in the school’s history. Due to declining enrollment in the La Cañada Unified School District, the campus at the east end of town was to be closed at the end of that school year. (Today the Child Educational Center and Crestview Preparatory School operate at the site as tenants of LCUSD.)

Fifty Years Ago

Largely through the efforts of La Cañada Valley Beautiful member Dr. Samuel Ayres Jr., a physician whose avocation was horticulture, a prize-winning orchid tree was moved from the path of the soon-to-be-built Foothill (210) Freeway to a new site at Descanso Gardens. The 25-foot tree, reported to be “spectacular in color,” had helped win a landscaping award for a home on Vista Bonita Way that was to be demolished by Caltrans.

Sixty Years Ago

A customer was shot while thwarting a man who held a La Cañada woman as a shield while he attempted to rob the Bank of America then located on Foothill Boulevard at Oakwood Avenue. Albert Hemsath of Montrose jumped the suspect from behind while the man held Mrs. Arthur Jacob with one arm and used the other hand to train his revolver on a teller. The suspect shot Hemsath in the stomach, then ran out of the bank’s front door and slipped through a 100-man dragnet.

Compiled from the Valley Sun archives by Carol Cormaci.

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