City may ask for reward money to find man accused in deadly North Long Beach crash

Long Beach could ask for help from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this week in creating a reward to find the man who police believe was was behind the wheel of a truck that crashed through a North Long Beach apartment, killing a father and his 3-year-old daughter.

On Tuesday the City Council will vote on a formal request to the county to establish a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the rest of Octavio Montano Islas, the 24-year-old who Long Beach police said they believe is responsible for the deadly crash last week.

Jose Palacios, 42, and his daughter Samantha were killed while they slept in their Hamilton Neighborhood apartment last Tuesday, according to authorities.

“Obviously this is a heart breaking incident that our community continues to be concerned about and they need justice,” said Councilman Rex Richardson, who represents North Long Beach and put the request on the council’s agenda.

Esnelia Palacios’ family members hold up signs calling for the closure of Bottoms Up Tavern, the bar police say Octavio Islas was last seen before he crashed his truck, killing two. Photo by Fernando Haro.

An arrest warrant was issued last week for Islas who community members said fled the scene after he crashed his pickup truck into the Palacios’ home. Witnesses said shortly before the crash Islas was seen leaving the Bottoms Up Tavern, which sits a few hundred feet away.

Protestors rallied outside the bar Saturday demanding justice and calling for the tavern to be shut down, referring to it as a “menace” to the area.

The Bottoms Up was the site of a deadly shooting in October 2019 where a man shot and killed a bar employee before being killed by police officers.

The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has already launched an investigation into the bar after the most recent incident.

Richardson said he’s asking for accountability and that the city and the ABC should use all the tools at their disposal to make sure the tavern pays for its history of being a public nuisance.

“The loss of three community members in three years is too much,” Richardson said. “Enough is enough.”

The council will vote Tuesday night to send the request to the supervisors for the $25,000 reward, which could grow if the city opts to put its own funds toward a potential reward.

3-year-old girl and her father killed when truck crashes into their apartment

North Long Beach community rallies against bar after crash that killed father and daughter

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Jason Ruiz has been covering City Hall for the Post for nearly a decade. A Long Beach resident, Ruiz graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in journalism. He and his wife Kristina and, most importantly, their dog Mango, live in Long Beach. He is a particularly avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the UCLA Bruins, which is why he sometimes comes to work after the weekend in a grumpy mood.
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