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 7, 2019
Law Enforcement News

California Man Sentenced For Fatally Punching Deputy
A driver who was videotaped fatally punching a 70-year-old San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy after a New Year's Eve traffic accident was sentenced to 10 years in prison, a newspaper reported Wednesday. Alonzo Leron Smith, 31, pleaded no contest in December to voluntary manslaughter and other felonies in the off-duty death of Lawrence Falce. Surveillance video from a nearby store captured the encounter, which lasted about a minute on Dec. 31, 2017. After a fender-bender, Falce and Smith got out of their cars, exchanged words and motioned at each other. Smith then delivered a single punch Falce's face and he fell backward, his head hitting the pavement. Falce never regained consciousness and died two days later at a hospital. Falce worked 36 years as a deputy sheriff. He also coordinated search-and-rescue volunteers.

Man Charged For Death Of Texas LEO Responding To Burglar Alarm
A West Texas man is charged with second-degree manslaughter after authorities say he admitted shooting at a police officer who had come to his home to investigate a home security alarm. An arrest affidavit says David Charles Wilson told an investigator that he was inside his Midland home early Tuesday when he fired toward Officer Nathan Heidelberg. Heidelberg, a five-year police veteran, was shot just above his protective vest. He later died at a hospital. Wilson was taken to the Midland County jail and later released after posting bond. Authorities say other officers heard Heidelberg loudly announce that police were at the home before the shot was fired.
Associated Press

Woman Found Dead Inside Burning RV In Sun Valley
Police and fire officials launched an investigation after a woman's body was found inside a burning recreational vehicle parked on a street along the 5 Freeway in Sun Valley on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. The RV fire was first reported about 5:35 p.m. in the 11400 block of Tuxford Street, just north of the 5 Freeway, Los Angeles Police Department officials said. Officers and firefighters initially responses to a report of an RV on fire with a person trapped inside, police said. Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters extinguished the flames and discovered the victim, police said. The victim was initially described only as a female adult, Fire Department spokeswoman Amy Bastman said. An Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section investigator was summoned to the scene, fire officials added. Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner's officials will conduct an investigation to determine the woman's cause of death.

Man In Custody After Standoff In Valley Village
A suspect who barricaded himself in a home in Valley Village on Wednesday afternoon after police responded to the location to investigate a shots-fired call was taken into custody after a more than four-hour standoff. The standoff began about 5:30 p.m. in the 12300 block of Burbank Boulevard, between Whitsett Avenue and Laurel Canyon Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A SWAT team was called in to try to bring the matter to a peaceful conclusion, police said. The man was taken into custody about 9:45 p.m., NBC4 reported. The suspect was believed to be intoxicated and officers waited for him to sober up before taking him into custody, NBC4 said.
Los Angeles Daily News

LAPD Pursuit With Stolen Car Ends In Wreck In Northridge
A stolen vehicle being pursued by Los Angeles police crashed into another car in Northridge early Thursday morning, sending at least two people to the hospital. The pursuit with the vehicle carrying three people began just before 4 a.m. and came to an end sometime before 4:30 a.m. when it collided into another car at the intersection of Reseda Boulevard and Vincennes Street, according to police. At least two of the three suspects were seen being handcuffed and then placed in ambulances be transported to a local hospital. The condition of the driver of the car that was struck was not immediately clear. No LAPD patrol vehicles were involved in the collision. The exact details and circumstances of the chase and crash were not immediately confirmed.

'Jugging' Thieves Target Customers Leaving Banks With Cash; Some Suspects Even Coming From Texas, LAPD Says
A new kind of robbery is on the rise called jugging and instead of thieves stealing from a bank, they're targeting the customers. A trip to the bank can be a simple chore on a busy day, but investigators said adding a stop or two could be costly. "They wait until the person exits the vehicle, leaves the cash unattended, they break in and they're in and out really quick," LAPD Lt. Carlos Solano said. In one jugging case, two men were arrested last week in an LAPD and FBI sting operation. They are suspected of waiting in the parking lot of a Bank of American in Encino and then following a Rolls Royce. When the driver stopped at a doctor's office, the two suspects made a move. "The suspects smashed the front passenger window and pried the door of the Rolls Royce to gain entry. A search of the suspects and the vehicle produced over $21,000 in cash," Solano said. 

L.A. Man Arrested After Officials Foil His Plan To Take Underage Girl To Santa Monica Hotel: Police
Officers were able to intercept a child molestation suspect before he could meet up with a teen girl in Simi Valley after one of the minor's friends alerted authorities, police said. Officials were called around 1:30 a.m. Monday by someone who knows the 16-year-old victim, Simi Valley police said in a news release. The reporting party told officials her friend was going to sneak out of her house to meet up with a 25-year-old man she'd been exchanging sexual messages with online. Investigators determined the two had arranged to meet at the 7-Eleven at 5820 E. Los Angeles Ave. in Simi Valley and responded to the location. Officers at the scene found Peter Corso, of Los Angeles, and determined he was the suspect. Police said Corso is 25, but booking records list his age as 24 with a March 15 birthday.

DEA Arrest 6 In Drug Operation Involving MS-13
Police have arrested six people in connection with an Arizona drug investigation. The Scottsdale Police Department worked with the Drug Enforcement Agency to investigate drug activity by an organization last year, local news station ABC 15 reports. The investigation led police to search four homes on March 1, collectively finding two kilograms of cocaine, 1,000 suspected fentanyl pills, 16 weapons, some that were reported stolen, and $28,000 in cash. Police also found thousands of rounds of ammunition and body armor. All arrested will face various weapons and state drug charges. One of the suspects admitted to being a member of the MS-13 gang.

NYPD: All Uniform Patrol Officers Now Equipped With BWCs
The NYPD reached a benchmark Wednesday as officials announced that about 20,000 cops have been outfitted with body-worn cameras, which have captured over 3.5 million videos over the course of two years At a briefing with reporters to discuss the news of the latest rollout, first deputy commissioner Benjamin Tucker said all NYPD officers are now wearing body cameras, including sergeants and lieutenants in every precinct, transit district and public housing police area. Over the coming months, the NYPD will also be providing cameras to some 4,000 officers in specialized units, such as the Critical Response Command, Highway Patrol, Emergency Services units and Strategic Response Command, said Jessica Tisch, deputy commissioner for information technology.

A New Method of DNA Testing Could Solve More Shootings
Police found 19 spent shell casings scattered in the San Diego street where Gregory Benton was murdered on April 12, 2014. Benton and his cousin had gone to buy cigarettes, a witness later said. As they returned to a family party, two men pulled up in a car behind them. They got out, and at least one of them opened fire. Witnesses didn't get a good look at the men or the car, so when police sat down to review their leads, the shell casings were the best evidence they had. They sent the casings to the San Diego Police Crime Lab, which just happened to be trying out a new DNA testing technique. Previously, to get DNA off of shell casings, the lab would moisten a cotton swab and rub it over the metal. But their success rate was less than 1 percent. This was proving to be a problem for many cities across the country struggling to solve shootings and homicides. 
The Trace

Public Safety News

US Judge Eases Wildfire Safety Plan For California Utility
A U.S. judge overseeing a criminal case against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. called the California utility's efforts to prevent trees from hitting its power lines and starting wildfires “dismal” but scaled back his proposals to prevent its equipment from causing more blazes. Judge William Alsup said in an order late Tuesday that he's now considering making PG&E comply with targets in a wildfire mitigation plan that the company submitted to California regulators. He also proposed that a court-appointed monitor oversee the utility's efforts to clear trees and branches. The judge previously considered ordering PG&E to reinspect its entire electric grid, remove or trim all trees that could fall on its power lines and cut off power during certain wind conditions. PG&E pushed back against those proposals, saying in court documents that they would endanger lives, could cost as much as $150 billion and would interfere with the work of federal and state regulators.
Associated Press

Local Government News

L.A. Settles Homeless Rights Case, Likely Limiting Ability To Clear Skid Row Streets
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday agreed to settle a pivotal and contentious case on the property rights of homeless people — a decision that is likely to limit the seizure and destruction of encampments on skid row. The 10-2 vote authorizes City Attorney Mike Feuer to settle a 2016 lawsuit, Carl Mitchell v. Los Angeles, brought by civil rights lawyers on behalf of homeless people and two skid row anti-poverty groups. Downtown business groups had opposed such a deal, arguing that settling the case would deter redevelopment, and leave skid row and the people who live on its sidewalks mired in squalor. The city has wrestled with the property rights issue for years, losing or settling a string of civil rights lawsuits related to cleaning up tent encampments downtown.
Los Angeles Times

L.A. City Council Approves Diane Middleton As Harbor Commissioner

The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday unanimously approved attorney Diane Middleton's appointment to the Board of Harbor Commissioners. Middleton's appointment was also a topic of discussion at the Tuesday meeting of the Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee, where Councilman Mike Bonin fought back tears as he noted that Middleton would be replacing his late father-in-law, who died in January after a battle with thyroid cancer. David Arian, who was 72, was an International Longshore and Warehouse Union leader and a prominent figure in the Los Angeles Harbor community. Bonin said he believed that Arian would have approved of Middleton as his replacement.

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: