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

June 30, 2017

Law Enforcement News

Homicide Suspect Filmed Himself During Running Gun Battle That Wounded LAPD Officer
A homicide suspect who exchanged shots with Los Angeles police during a running gun battle in El Segundo on Thursday filmed at least part of the encounter on a cellphone while he ran from officers, according to a source familiar with the investigation.The shootout left a SWAT officer wounded and the suspect gravely injured and terrorized the neighborhood, where residents described bullets whizzing by and loud bursts of gunfire. The gunman, who has yet to be publicly identified, was shouting into the phone that was pointed at him, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation into the shooting. “They coming at me,” the man said on the video, according to the source. “I'm gonna die today.” KABC-TV showed a clip of what the station said was the video, which it said was posted on Facebook Live. A separate still image shows the man holding a gun to the camera. The union representing rank-and-file officers said the shooting was a “somber reminder that police work is inherently dangerous and deadly.” “We are thankful that our officer is expected to make a speedy recovery,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League said in a statement. “Every day, Los Angeles police officers risk their lives to keep our community safe.”
Los Angeles Times

2 San Antonio Police Officers Critically Wounded In Shootout
Two San Antonio police officers were wounded critically and a suspect was killed in a shootout on a street just north of the city's downtown section. Police Chief William McManus says one officer was in "grave, grave condition" at San Antonio Military Medical Center with a head wound and "is not expected to survive." Another officer was wounded in the upper torso and was in serious condition. McManus says he was expected to recover. One of two suspects was killed in the Thursday afternoon shootout, while the other suspect was arrested. McManus says the officers were nine-year department veterans. He says they were patrolling after a suspicious-persons report when they spotted the two men. The officers were immediately fired upon when they stepped from their car and returned fire. 
Associated Press

Man Accused Of Killing Va. Special Agent Faces Capital Murder Charge
A man accused of killing a Virginia State Police officer has been indicted on a capital murder charge. Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Herring said a grand jury brought the indictment against Travis Ball on Wednesday. Ball is accused of shooting 45-year-old Special Agent Michael Walter while the officer was patrolling in a Richmond public housing complex. Ball fled the scene and was arrested after an overnight manhunt. Walter died of a gunshot wound to the head. The 18-year Virginia State Police veteran was a father of three who previously served in the Marines. Herring said an arraignment for Ball will be held on Thursday. Ball was previously charged with malicious wounding and firearm charges. If Ball is convicted of capital murder, he could face the death penalty.
Associated Press

LAPD Raises Awareness As Sex Assault Reports Spike
Eight years ago, Britni Soto was out on the town when the cocktail she was drinking knocked her completely unconscious. That night, a man separated her from her friends, took her down the street and assaulted her. "No one knew where we were -- knew where I was," Soto said. "I couldn't give consent." Prompted by an uptick of sexual assaults in Hollywood, the Los Angeles Police Department has been working to prevent similar tragedies with a public service campaign against date rape. Soto's alleged attacker was never convicted, but she is certain that he drugged her. The cocktail she was drinking had nearly the same effect on two of her friends as it did on her. A slickly produced video that LAPD posted online depicts a date rapist spiking a woman's drink while she's not looking. It ends with the tagline "Arrive together, leave together." Diana Miranda, a rape prevention coordinator for the nonprofit organization Peace Over Violence, said she thinks the campaign is a good conversation starter. "It's very common ... that if you go to a club, you're not going to be leaving together," Miranda said.

Former San Fernando Valley Wrestling Coach Faces 61 Counts For Alleged Sexual Assaults Of Teen Athletes
A 56-year-old man was hit with 31 additional counts on Thursday in a sexual assault case involving minors he met through his position as a coach in the San Fernando Valley, officials said. Terry Terrell Gillard now faces a total of 61 counts related to accusations involving six underage teen athletes he met while working as a wrestling coach at John H. Francis Polytechnic High School in Sun Valley and the Boys and Girls Club of San Fernando, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The Sylmar resident was previously charged with 23 counts on June 9. His victims include four boys and two girls between the ages of 11 and 14, prosecutors said. Although most of the alleged conduct occurred between 2014 and this year, some of the felony charges involve a victim from 1991. He is being held on $750,000 bail, and Los Angeles police detectives are continuing to investigate the case. When charges were originally announced, L.A. Unified School District Superintendent Michelle King issued a statement to the Los Angeles Times stating Gillard “was immediately reassigned” and that the district was cooperating with police.

North Hills Boy Missing Since Argument With Mother On June 18
A 16-year-old boy who takes medication for asthma and allergies was last seen June 18 in North Hills and his family and Los Angeles police are trying to find him. The teen's name is Joshua Mickens and he was last seen around 9 p.m. in the 9100 block of Sepulveda Boulevard after he had an argument with his mother and left the home, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Mickens is described as black with short black hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet 6 inches tall with a slim build and medium complexion and weighs 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing gray sweat pants with a black shirt and brown shoes. Authorities believe he could have visited a friend in the 4200 block of Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Woodland Hills. Anyone with information on Mickens can contact the LAPD Mission Area Juvenile Detectives at 818-838-9810 or 818-838-9800. During non-business hours or weekends, people can contact 877-527-3247 or anonymously to 800-222-8477 or .
Los Angeles Daily News

$50,000 Reward Offered In 2016 Shooting Of 20-Year-Old College Student In South L.A.
Authorities announced a $50,000 reward Thursday in the killing of a 20-year-old college student who was shot near a South Los Angeles park last year. About 10:30 p.m. Oct. 24, 2016, Mariana Resendiz was in the area of South Avalon Boulevard and East 41st Street in Historic South-Central when a person walked up and shot her, Lt. Raul Jovel with the LAPD's Newton Division said at a news conference. “We're offering a reward in this case, but more importantly asking for justice and compassion for Mariana and her family,” Jovel said. Resendiz grew up and lived in the area, and police said she frequented Gilbert Lindsay Park. Investigators say they hope anyone who was with her in the days before the shooting will contact them.

Wife Of Slain Woodland Hills Hairdresser And Her Lover To Be Arraigned On Capital Murder Charges
The wife of a prominent hairdresser who was fatally stabbed at his Woodland Hills home is scheduled to be arraigned today on a capital murder charge, along with her alleged lover, who is suspected of actually killing the man. Prosecutors contend Monica Sementilli, 45, and Robert Louis Baker, 55, were having an affair, then plotted and carried out the killing of Fabio Sementilli, 49. The murder charge against them includes the special circumstance allegations of murder for financial gain and lying in wait. Prosecutors will decide later if they will seek the death penalty against the pair. The charge against Baker also includes an allegation of using a knife in the killing. Both are being held without bail. Earlier this month, Sementilli's attorney, Leonard Levine, told reporters his client was not involved in her husband's killing. “My client adamantly denies any involvement whatsoever in the murder of her husband, and we are hopeful that when all the facts come out she will be totally exonerated,” he said.
Los Angeles Daily News

Husband Charged With Murdering Wife Whose Body Is Yet To Be Found
A Los Angeles County man has been charged with murdering his wife even though her body has not been found, authorities said Thursday. Hector Veloz, 46, was charged  with one count of murder with the special circumstance allegation of murder while lying in wait. He also faces a special allegation of using a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife. Authorities say 52-year-old Sandra Velasco — Veloz's wife —  disappeared on June 18. Velasco disappeared after allegedly meeting Veloz at a storage unit facility in the San Fernando Valley. If convicted as charged, Veloz faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date, officials said. Deputy D.A.s John McKinney and Saeed Teymouri are prosecuting the case. The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division.

47 arrested, 77 weapons seized in largest gang takedown in San Jacinto Valley
Dozens of people were arrested, and 77 weapons were seized in what law enforcement officials said Thursday was the largest gang takedown in the San Jacinto Valley. Operation Valley Vigilance was a seven-month investigation that culminated Thursday with the arrest of 24 people and the seizing of dozens of guns and several pounds of drugs from San Jacinto to Hemet, Riverside District Atty. Mike Hestrin said. The sweep targeted organized gangs, gun and drug traffickers, and suspects with felony warrants, including murder. It was the largest single-day operation in southwest Riverside County and the San Jacinto Valley, Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown said.
Los Angeles Times

California's gun control efforts suffer 2 legal setbacks
California's efforts to strengthen what already are some of the nation's strictest gun laws took two blows this week, the latest coming when a federal judge blocked a law set to take effect Saturday that would have barred gun owners from possessing high-capacity ammunition magazines. The judge ruled Thursday that the ban approved by the Legislature and California voters last year takes away gun owners' Second Amendment rights and amounts to the government seizing people's private property without compensation. California law has prohibited buying or selling the magazines since 2000, but until now allowed those who already owned them to keep them.
Associated Press

Is it OK for marijuana businesses to advertise on their merchandise?
Call it the “Joe Camel” effect on marijuana. A California Senate bill would ban state-licensed businesses from offering T-shirts, hats and other merchandise that advertise marijuana products. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Ben Allen, builds on provisions under Proposition 64 aimed at cracking down on weed marketing that appeals to kids. It also brings marijuana laws in line with similar California rules that prohibit tobacco companies from selling or distributing apparel and merchandise with product names. Senate Bill 162 brings up a recurring question in an era of legal weed consumption: Should we regulate pot as strictly as tobacco? The answer likely varies based on your place on the stoner spectrum.  Nate Bradley , a lobbyist for the California Cannabis Industry Association, says the legislation treats marijuana like tobacco without acknowledging its medical benefits for people of all ages. 
Sacramento Bee

Local Government News

$290 Million LA Streetcar Project Delayed Again, Funding To Blame
The debut of the downtown Los Angeles Streetcar has been pushed back by seven months to July 2021, and the project also lacks all the available funding needed to meet the new deadline, according to a report approved Wednesday by the City Council's Transportation Committee. The project has been long in the works, and this is not the first delay, as it was estimated in 2013 that the streetcar would be ready to open for business in 2016. The planned streetcar would run in a loop from the Civic Center area where City Hall and other major government centers are located to the Convention Center, traveling through the Financial District and other downtown neighborhoods. Funding is still an issue for the project, as the report from the Office of the City Administrative Officer, the Bureau of Engineering and the Department of Transportation outlines.

LHomeless cleanups in L.A. have surged, costing millions. What has been gained?
Los Angeles public works crews have cleaned 16,500 homeless encampments since 2015, removing more than 3,000 tons of trash. But the $14-million citywide cleanup effort — increasing dramatically since it was launched — has made only a marginal difference in the number of encampments across the city's sidewalks, alleys and riverbanks, a Los Angeles Times review found. Inspectors for the city's CleanStat program recorded 365 blocks with encampments at the end of last year, a 12% decline from the beginning of 2016. But other records suggested that after being cleaned, hundreds of encampments simply re-formed elsewhere, usually nearby. Meanwhile, the city reported an  18% increase  this year in those living on the streets.
Los Angeles Times


About the LAPPL Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents the more than 9,900 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education. The LAPPL can be found on the Web at: