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

February 28, 2019
Law Enforcement News

Sheriff: South Carolina Deputy Pinned Down By Gunfire Bargained For Time  
A deputy in South Carolina who was pinned behind his SUV by gunfire for 17 minutes kept talking to the suspect to buy time for backup to arrive, Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis said Wednesday. Lewis said he can only thank God that the deputy and other officers fired on Tuesday afternoon were not wounded. Deputies killed the suspect, identified by the coroner's office as 51-year-old Joseph Hart. "The amount of rounds this guy was firing on deputies and police officers, it is a miracle no one was killed on our side," Lewis said at a news conference Wednesday. The confrontation started after a neighbor complained Hart was speeding down a street in Huger, about 25 miles northeast of Charleston, authorities said. Hart pulled a gun, the neighbor called 911, and when a Berkeley County deputy arrived, Hart hid where he could fire on the deputy and the officer couldn't safely retreat, Lewis said.
Associated Press

Assaults On Guards In L.A. County Juvenile Detention Increase Sharply

Violence at times erupts with little warning inside Los Angeles County's juvenile detention halls and camps. That's what happened one February night two years ago as Edgar Arrondo — then a senior guard at a sprawling facility in Sylmar — walked a teenage detainee to a mental health evaluation. A rival gang member charged at the teen, ignoring Arrondo's verbal warnings. The youths collided. A fight ensued. Without backup, Arrondo tried to break it up — without using pepper spray — because one juvenile might have been taking psychotropic medicine. He absorbed heavy punches. When a third youth joined the fracas, Arrondo's head got slammed into a wall and then the floor, landing him in the emergency room with a concussion. He ultimately retired early from Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Hall. “I loved going to work and working with the kids,” said Arrondo, who started with the county's Probation Department in 1990. “But no job is worth me losing the ability to work — and being so injured.”
Los Angeles Times

Boy, 17, Struck By Vehicle, Dies At Hospital

A 17-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles and later died at a hospital, authorities said Thursday. The boy was in a crosswalk at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Newell Street, just west of the Golden State (5) Freeway, at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when a 44-year-old woman driving a 2012 Toyota Camry southbound on Riverside Drive entered the intersection with what she said was a green light and collided with the pedestrian, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The boy landed on the hood of the car and was carried for approximately 100 feet before the vehicle came to a stop. Anyone with information about this incident was asked to call Detective Campos at (213) 486-0755 or Officer Ko at (213) 486-0764 or LAPD Central Traffic Division detectives at (213) 833-3713.

North Hollywood Man, Arrested In Azusa, Charged With Stabbing Wife To Death At Their Home

Authorities on Tuesday filed a murder charge against a man accused of fatally stabbing his wife in their North Hollywood apartment over the weekend. Nick Vedol Lopez, who is also known by the moniker Cheto, was covered in blood when police said they arrested him in Azusa after he walked off of the 210 Freeway. The criminal complaint says that Lopez, 49, was convicted of robbery in 1992 and in 2007, said Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. If convicted of the latest charge, Santiago said, Lopez faces a possible maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. Lopez and his wife, Tanya Elise Menchaca, 48, lived in an apartment on the 11300 block of Tiara Street with Menchaca's daughter and three grandchildren, Los Angeles police Detective Gabriel Bucknell said. The children were sleeping and their mother was out with friends when Menchaca was attacked and stabbed multiple times in the back, Bucknell said.
Los Angeles Daily News

LAPD Seek Robbery Suspects, Man Impersonating Officer In 3 Separate Incidents At Chinatown Jewelry Stores
Los Angeles police are looking for robbery suspects and a man who allegedly impersonated an officer during three separate incidents at two Chinatown jewelry stores Tuesday. The first incident occurred about 11:30 a.m. at a store in the 800 block of North Broadway. Two men entered the store and asked to look at pieces of jewelry. As one of the men was engaging the clerk, the other man ran out of the store with a gold chain after alerting the second man. The second man paused before also running out of the store, video of the incident shows. The first man, who was wearing a cap, sunglasses and a red polo shirt, was able to get away. He is described as being 6 feet tall and weighs about 190 pounds. The second man, seen wearing a black hoodie, was taken into custody by an LAPD officer who was heading to Elysian Park, Lt. Kenneth Scott said.

Woman Charged With Crashing Into LAPD Station
A 29-year-old woman is facing a half-dozen criminal charges for allegedly crashing her vehicle — with her 2-month-old baby inside — into the Los Angeles Police Department's Harbor Station in San Pedro earlier this month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday. Michelle Denise Betancourt pleaded not guilty Tuesday to one felony count each of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily injury or death, assault upon a peace officer, vandalism with more than $400 in damage, resisting an executive officer and battery with injury on a peace officer, along with one misdemeanor count of hit-and-run driving resulting in property damage.

Man Caught On Video Punching Women At DTLA Hot Dog Cart Is Charged With Battery
A 30-year-old Sylmar man who was caught on video punching two women in the face last month at a downtown Los Angeles hot dog stand has been charged with five counts of battery, authorities said. City Attorney Mike Feuer's office on Wednesday said Arka Sangbaran Oroojian was charged Friday and faces up to 30 months in jail and $10,000 in fines. Oroojian turned himself in to the Los Angeles Police Department last month as video spread of him punching the two women in the face after they came to the defense of a hot dog vendor Oroojian had been arguing with on Jan. 26 near 6th and Spring streets, police said. Oroojian punched the first woman after she told Oroojian to grab his hot dog and leave, police said. Following that punch, a second woman tripped Oroojian, causing him to fall to the ground, according to the city attorney's office.
Los Angeles Times

Lawsuit Against Uber Alleges Driver Found Phone, Uploaded Explicit Photos Online
A new lawsuit filed Wednesday against ride-share company Uber claims a passenger left her phone in an Uber vehicle, the driver found explicit photos of the passenger on the device and uploaded the photos onto the woman's social media accounts. The woman, identified as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, rode the Uber after a night out with friends in October of 2017, according to the lawsuit. "This Uber driver knowingly and intentionally hacked into my client's phone, searched through her photographs, and uploaded them to her Instagram account," John Kristensen, attorney for the woman, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. "The Uber driver's conduct was illegal, outrageous, completely intolerable and goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and reasonable behavior. This guy knew that posting these photos would cause severe emotional harm to my client, but he did it anyway with little or no thought to the consequences."

Bay Area Democrat's Gun Bill Passes House, But Faces GOP Obstacle In Senate
The House passed legislation by North Bay Rep. Mike Thompson to expand background checks for gun sales Wednesday, but key senators say the bill won't go any further. Just eight Republicans joined the Democratic majority in the 240-190 party-line vote. Two Democrats opposed the bill. House passage was itself a victory for Thompson, a lifelong hunter and gun owner from St. Helena who has worked for more than six years to pass legislation to curtail gun violence. The Democrat's bill would expand the requirement for background checks of gun purchasers to those buying firearms in private sales. Those would include gun shows and online sales.
San Francisco Chronicle

Public Safety News

91-Year-Old Man Killed In Pico-Robertson Duplex Fire
A 91-year-old man was killed in a duplex fire in the Pico-Robertson area Tuesday morning, officials said. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a blaze at 850 S. Bedford St. about 9:50 a.m. Smoke from the fire was so extensive, firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to get some of the heat and smoke out, Capt. Erik Scott said. During the firefight, officials found the victim unresponsive in the kitchen. He was pulled out of the home and taken to a hospital, where he was eventually pronounced dead, Scott said. He has not been identified. The blaze was knocked down in about 15 minutes, but "excessive storage" hampered firefighters' abilities to do so, according to Scott. He said officials have not found a working smoke alarm inside. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but it does not appear to be suspicious, Scott said.

Crews Battle Large Building Fire In Sawtelle Neighborhood, West L.A.
Dozens of firefighters battled a large two-story building fire in the 1500 block of S. Westgate Avenue in the Sawtelle area of West Los Angeles Wednesday night. Approximately, 77 firefighters were called to the scene and mounted an aggressive attack to get the fire under control, which broke out just before 8 p.m. Over a dozen fire trucks staged on Santa Monica Boulevard and S. Westgate Avenue heavily impacted traffic in the area. Los Angeles police assisted with traffic control. The building was abandoned but fire crews did their due diligence in making sure absolutely no one is inside that building. It took fire crews nearly two and a half hours to extinguish the bulk of the fire, according to Los Angeles Fire Department. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
FOX 11

Local Government News

LA City Council Wants FAA To Address Noise Complaints At Van Nuys Airport
In response to a huge spike in noise complaints, the Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday, Feb. 27, to call on the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a noise study at Van Nuys Airport. After authorizing a phase-out of the use of Stage 2 jet engines at Van Nuys Airport that resulted in significantly fewer noise complaints from residents and businesses, the FAA in 2017 unilaterally implemented a change to a longstanding “no early turns” instruction for take-offs that resulted in departing jets being unable to make turns until they were south of the Sepulveda Basin, according to the unanimously approved motion.
Los Angeles Daily News

L.A. Councilman Floats Idea Of Ballot Measure To Fund Child Care

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian said Wednesday that he wants the city to pursue a ballot measure to fund programs for young children — and could put the issue before voters as soon as next year. In a newly released proposal, the councilman is asking city staffers to report back on ways to expand licensed child care programs at the Department of Recreation and Parks. Krekorian said that before the last recession, the department offered licensed child care programs at 26 facilities. Now, he said, that number has plummeted to just two. Among his suggestions was a ballot measure like those pursued in San Francisco, where voters narrowly approved a tax increase to fund child care last year. Doing so, he said, could help protect programs for young children from the ups and downs of municipal budgeting.
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: