Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch
LA Police Protective League


Los Angeles
Police Protective League
the union that represents the
rank and file LAPD officers

  Daily Local & Regional NewsWatch

Daily News Digest
from LA Police Protective League

March 14, 2017

Law Enforcement News

State Police trooper dies from 9/11-related illness
A state trooper who spent most of his 19-year career patrolling the North Country died Monday from a 9/11-related illness, State Police announced. Trooper Brian S. Falb was assigned to the World Trade Center site following the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, to help in search-and-recovery efforts. According to a website dedicated to raising funds for his family, he was diagnosed with brain cancer last year. Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City certified Falb's illness as related to 9/11 through the World Trade Center Health Program, according to Beau Duffy, a State Police spokesman.
Times Union

Arrest Made in Los Feliz Robbery That Was Caught on Camera; Second Suspect Remains at Large
A 19-year-old man was arrested in connection with a Los Feliz robbery that was caught on surveillance video, LAPD officials said Monday.  Tanner Jacob Mitchell was arrested on suspicion of robbery, and an warrant was issued for Kevin Andrew Haney, 23, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Before robbing the home on Feb. 9, the suspects first went inside a home in the 3800 block of Amesbury Road. In the first incident, the two men were seen sitting in their car for about 20 minutes while they allegedly watched the homeowners.  After one resident went out to walk her dog, the men allegedly walked up to the front door and opened it.

Elderly Pedestrian Struck, Killed in Van Nuys Hit-and-Run
An elderly man died after being struck in Van Nuys by a car whose driver fled the scene, police said Monday.  The victim, identified as 84-year-old Vahan Khachatryan, was hit shortly after 11:30 p.m. Sunday on Burbank Boulevard between Tyrone and Sylmar avenues, according to Officer E. Hansen of the Los Angeles Police Department's Valley Traffic Division.  Police said Khachatryan was crossing Burbank Boulevard, in an area where there is no crosswalk, when he was struck. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died, Hansen said.  The car that fled was described as a light-colored, possibly silver, four-door sedan, believed to be a Honda Civic or similar model, he added.

Deadly Couple Clash: He Strangles Her, She Stabs Him to Death
A woman pleaded no contest Monday to voluntary manslaughter in the stabbing death of her 34-year-old boyfriend during an argument at their home in Watts. Katrina Jeaneene Rawls, 27, is scheduled to be sentenced March 29. Details of the plea negotiated with prosecutors were not immediately available. Following her arrest, police said that early in the evening of Aug. 27, 2016, Rawls was arguing with her boyfriend, Ty Garland, at home in the 2000 block of East 114th Street. Garland tried to strangle her and Rawls armed herself with a kitchen knife and stabbed him several times, police said.

South LA Hit-and-Run Driver Sought; Woman in Critical Condition
A woman riding an adult tricycle was in critical condition Monday morning after a driver in South Los Angeles slammed into her and took off.  The hit-and-run happened just before 11 p.m. at 87th Place and South Central Avenue, according to Los Angeles police.  The woman, believed to be between 50 and 60 years old, suffered a fractured skull, numerous broken bones and internal bleeding, police said. She was transported to St. Francis Medical Center in "extremely" critical condition.  Authorities did not make any arrests and were working to release a description of the vehicle that fled the scene.

Burglars Target 94-Year-Old Woman 4 Times In 8 Days
Burglars targeted a 94-year-old woman four times in eight days at her in Westlake District  home , a couple of miles west of Downtown Los Angeles. The first three break-ins happened within a five-day period in early January, and Marjorie Romer was  home  all those times. “You can't believe to have every other day have a robbery,” she said. During the fourth time, she confronted the burglar even though she knew it was dangerous to do so. “He just kept walking out the  door , and he left. He didn't say goodbye. He just wanted to get out,” Romer recalled. When asked if she was scared, Romer said she didn't know but “just was so bewildered by how he got in.” The thieves stole money, jewelry and other valuables.

86-Year-Old Woman Pleading for Return of Stolen Wedding Ring
An Angelino Heights woman is pleading for the return of her stolen wedding ring. The ring was taken Friday by two men who came to her home and posed as utility workers. Aurora Ramirez, 86, believes she was targeted because of her age and because she lives alone.  On Friday morning, a man dressed in a white polo and jeans told her a water pipe broke up the hill and that he needed to check her water. Ramirez said he was creating a distraction for another man. "I think he gave him time to get in my house and get jewelry," she told NBC4. Ramirez had no idea that a second person was burglarizing her home as she turned on her garden hose for a man posing as a utility worker. 

Man Pleads Not Guilty in Connection With Leading Authorities on High-Speed Chase That Ended in Hollywood
A 23-year-old man who led authorities on a high-speed pursuit that ended in the heart of Hollywood last week has been charged, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office officials said Monday.  Tony Carl Calloway Jr., of Mission Hills, pleaded not guilty to felony counts of fleeing a peace officer's vehicle while driving recklessly and driving or taking a vehicle without consent for the March 8 incident. Officials said Calloway stole a car in Colton and was spotted by police along the 101 Freeway in Calabasas. He then led officials on a chase that ended on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, when police used spike strips.

Juveniles Blamed for Sparking Sherman Oaks Brush Fire where Skull was Found
Juveniles playing with matches sparked a brush fire that led to the discovery of a human skull down a ravine in Sherman Oaks, authorities said Monday. Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart said the juveniles were not arrested and were placed instead in the Stop Adolescent Firesetting with Education program sometime over the weekend after their involvement became known. “Studies show that there's an age range that typically juvenile fire setters fall within,” Stewart said. “This program targets — through education — to modify those behaviors.” Stewart said she did not know how many juveniles were involved, what their ages are or exactly when they were placed in the program. 
Los Angeles Daily News

Closing Arguments End in Ex-Sheriff Lee Baca Obstruction of Justice Retrial
After two weeks of testimony and more than a dozen witnesses, closing arguments are scheduled Monday in the federal obstruction of justice retrial of former Sheriff Lee Baca, who's accused of orchestrating a scheme to thwart an FBI investigation into inmate mistreatment in the jails he ran and of lying to the bureau. Baca, who ran the nation's largest sheriff's  department  for more than 15 years, faces charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and making false statements. If convicted of the charges, he could be sentenced to a prison term of several years.
FOX 11

Here's Why Law Enforcement Groups are Divided on Legislation to Turn California into a 'Sanctuary State'"
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones says he does not want his deputies to enforce immigration laws. But he is worried about a bill that seeks to turn California into a so-called sanctuary state. At a news conference last week at the state Capitol, led by Republican lawmakers, he slammed the state Senate legislation, which would ban law enforcement agencies like his from using resources to enforce federal immigration laws. “If [Senate Bill] 54 passes, it will allow dangerous, violent career criminals to slip through the cracks and be released back into our communities,” Jones said, standing next to a photo of a young man killed by a drunk driver who was in the U.S. illegally.
Los Angeles Times

Smuggled girl abandoned near Calexico border
Border Patrol agents found a 4-year-old girl soon after she was abandoned by smugglers east of Calexico on Monday morning, authorities said. Agents stationed in El Centro spotted people crossing into the U.S. at the border near Mount Signal about 6:20 a.m. As agents approached that stretch of the Imperial Valley border, they saw one person return to Mexico, then go into a vehicle that drove away.
Los Angeles Times

Utah Lawmakers Pass Toughest DUI Limit in US
Utah could soon have the strictest DUI threshold in the nation after state lawmakers on Wednesday night voted to lower the limit for a driver's blood-alcohol content to 0.05 percent, down from 0.08 percent. The measure heads to Utah's governor, who has said he supports the legislation.  If Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signs the bill, it would take effect Dec. 30, 2018 — an unusual effective date for Utah laws that would ensure the harsher standard is in place before alcohol-laden celebrations on New Year's Eve.
Associated Press

Facebook says police can't use its data for ‘surveillance'
Facebook is cutting police departments off from a vast trove of data that has been increasingly used to monitor protesters and activists. The move, which the social network announced Monday, comes in the wake of concerns over law enforcement's tracking of protesters' social media accounts in places such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore. It also comes at a time when chief executive Mark Zuckerberg says he is expanding the company's mission from merely “connecting the world” into friend networks to promoting safety and community.
Washington Post

Public Safety News

Flames Burn Down Hookah Store at Hollywood Strip Mall
More than 100 firefighters were at the scene of a fire that burned an upper unit of a two-story strip mall early Tuesday in East Hollywood. The fire was reported before 4 a.m. in the 4600 block of West Fountain Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.  The flames spread to the facade and other units of the structure, threatening a four-story apartment building behind the mall, fire authorities said. Crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the apartments. The fire was knocked down in 50 minutes. Video showed flames shooting from a hookah store located on the second floor of the mall.

Chili Pepper Ash, Pungent Odor Linger After Downtown L.A Warehouse District Fire
The pungent tang of red chili peppers wafted through the produce district of downtown Los Angeles on Monday morning, forcing shoppers to cover their noses and mouths as they darted in and out of bustling shops. It had been more than 12 hours since 200 firefighters tackled flames and irritating smoke Sunday evening at a strip mall of small independently owned Latino businesses selling chili peppers, candies and restaurant supplies, piñatas and other merchandise, but a tinge of spice still lingered after the blaze.

Local Government News

Legal Battle Could Change Where Tourists, Hikers go to View the Hollywood Sign
Los Angeles may block access from Beachwood Drive to a popular trail near the Hollywood Sign, forcing hikers to reach the path from elsewhere in Griffith Park, according to residents who attended a court hearing Monday. Sarajane Schwartz and Ben Sheffner said that at the hearing, a city attorney talked about redirecting hikers to Canyon Drive in the Bronson Canyon area if they want to reach Hollyridge Trail. The two residents are on opposing sides of the battle over access to the Griffith Park trails. Their account was echoed by Michael Angel, an attorney representing a horseback riding facility involved in the case. City officials did not immediately confirm their accounts Monday.
Los Angeles Times

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