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 18, 2019
Law Enforcement News

Fugitive Who Fatally Shot NYPD Officer Caught 20 Years Later In Florida
The New York City police commissioner is praising Jacksonville and federal law enforcement authorities following their arrest of a fugitive accused of killing an off-duty police officer 20 years ago. Lester Wellington Pearson, 43, was taken into custody without incident by deputy U.S. marshals and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on Friday morning at a home on Broad Creek Lane on the city's Northwest side. Officers also recovered a handgun when Pearson was arrested. Pearson is a suspect in the December 1999 shooting death of NYPD Officer Vincent Ling stemming from a dispute. Ling was paralyzed in the shooting and subsequently died, according to New York news media reports at the time.
The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville

Woman sentenced to 25 years in Okla. officer's death

A woman convicted of second-degree murder in the 2017 shooting death of an Oklahoma police officer has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Pottawatomie County court records indicate that 24-year-old Brooklyn Danielle Williams was found guilty on Feb. 1 in the March 26, 2017, death of 22-year-old Tecumseh Police Officer Justin Terney. Williams was convicted by a jury that recommended she serve 25 years in prison. She was formally sentenced on Friday. Williams was driving a car carrying 37-year-old Byron James Shepard when Terney stopped her for a traffic violation. Authorities say Shepard ran when Terney learned of an arrest warrant against him, and they shot each other. Terney died the following day.

Vermont State Trooper Revived After Apparent Drug Exposure
A Vermont State Police trooper who collapsed after apparently being exposed to an opioid-like drug during a traffic stop was revived by fellow troopers who administered the overdose-reversal drug Narcan, state police said Saturday. Detectives are launching a full investigation into the incident and testing is underway to determine what substance made acting Sgt. Brett Flansburg ill. "Now there is a new threat that we're seeing up close: the risk of exposure to powerful drugs that can kill in even tiny amounts," Col. Matthew Birmingham, the head of the state police, said Saturday. "This is so troubling and disconcerting, and it places members of law enforcement at unnecessary risk of possibly losing their lives." 
Associated Press

Salinas police call for more gun removal resources
There is a call for action to get guns out of the hands of criminals and those who are mentally ill in California. On Thursday at a news conference, the Salinas Police Officers Association and Protect California urged the state to put more funds toward getting guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous people. Currently, only 50 agents in the entire state of California are assigned to contact the over 23,200 criminals and severely mentally ill identified in APPS to confiscate weapons they are prohibited from possessing. According to The Washington Post, 25 percent of all fatal officer-involved shootings involve people in mental distress. “We have a crisis here in the state of California," Dustin DeRollo, with Protect California, said. "We are not providing services and treatment for those who are mentally ill, and we're asking police officers to be first responders for when that person is in crisis."
KION 5/46

Man Stabbed To Death In Panorama City
A man stabbed his neighbor to death during a dispute at their apartment complex, authorities said Monday. The stabbing was reported at about 8 p.m. Sunday at 8519 Willis Avenue, Los Angeles police Officer D. Orris said. The two men, both 37-years-old, were arguing when “one guy went into his apartment and got a knife and stabbed the other,” he said. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said. The suspect fled the scene but police located him and took him into custody, Orris said.

2 Suspects Sought After Victim Shot In Face In South LA
Police are investigating a shooting at a strip mall after a victim was shot in the face Sunday afternoon in South Los Angeles. The shooting occurred at approximately 1:05 p.m. on the 1300 block of W. Manchester Boulevard. The victim was transported to be treated, but the condition of the victim was not immediately known. Police are searching for two suspects. 

LAPD Holds Active Shooter Response Drill
The LAPD held an active shooter response drill at City Hall on Saturday, all to help the department and other agencies prepare for a worst-case scenario. Officers with guns drawn surrounded City Hall as victims were helped out of the building during the drill. "Victims of gunshots. There was a search for the suspect, which they requested SWAT, for example, to come in to do methodical search of the building," an officer explained. Though it was only training, authorities know it could happen for real at a moment's notice. The LAPD organized the multi-agency training before the deadly attacks in New Zealand, acts of violence that serves as a reminder of the risks the country could and has faced. "We hope and pray it doesn't happen but we know it has happened. We've seen it in San Bernardino, we've seen it in places here, in the city of Los Angeles, in our own government, and we have threats all the time," said L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. 

Suspected Gunman Who Caused Panic At Century City Mall Has Been Arrested, Police Say
A suspected gunman who caused a panic among shoppers and forced the closure of the Westfield Century City Mall on Friday has been arrested, police said. Nicholas K. Oates, 25, was arrested Saturday night after officers saw him at the Venice Beach boardwalk, Los Angeles police said. He was taken into custody without incident. The handgun he is believed to have used in Friday's incident has not been found, police said. Police released a surveillance camera photo on social media of the suspect early Saturday, which helped in their search, officials said. The flier said he was wanted on suspicion of arson and assault charges and was considered armed and dangerous. Police responded to initial reports of a man with a gun inside the mall's Amazon store about 12:40 p.m., LAPD Officer Jeff Lee said. Chaos broke out as some shoppers ran outside while others sheltered inside stores, some believing there was an active shooter in the mall.
Los Angeles Times

Caught On Camera: Man Steals Teacup Yorkie From Porch Of Reseda Home
A video posted Tuesday on Facebook shows a man stealing a teacup Yorkie from the front porch of a home in Reseda before taking off on a bike.  Home surveillance video shows a man ride up on a bicycle, scoop up the dog from the porch within seconds and ride away southbound on Corbin Avenue. The alleged thief was seen hours later at a convenience store with Coco the dog. The pooch is 10 years old and weighs about 8 pounds. The West Valley Police Department is still searching for the man wanted for grand theft of an animal. The dognapper is described as a thin, white male with brown hair and brown eyes. He's around 5 feet, 10 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, a gray shirt and pants. Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD West Valley Patrol front desk at 818-374-7611 or call 911.

Palos Verdes Teen Cameron Terrell, Who Was Acquitted Of Gang Murder, Pleads Not Guilty To New Charges
Cameron Terrell, a 19-year-old from Palos Verdes who beat murder charges last year, is now in lockup for a separate series of crimes. According to court records and sources close to the investigation, Terrell was allegedly an accomplice in a San Pedro carjacking that happened five months before the fatal shooting that led to his trial last year. A carjacking suspect told investigators that he was helped by someone named, "Cam" who had a "W" tattooed on his chest. Throughout last year's trial, prosecutors displayed pictures of Terrell which included the inked "W" on his chest. In that trial, Terrell confessed that he drove the getaway car for two younger friends in October of 2017, but was unaware that they were packing a weapon or had plans to gun down a stranger. Justin Holmes was killed. A companion was wounded. 

Los Angeles Man Sentenced To Prison For Wounding, Kidnapping Ex-Girlfriend, Killing Man She Was Dating
A Los Angeles man who stabbed and kidnapped his ex-girlfriend from her Santa Ana home after killing the man she was dating was sentenced Friday to 28 years and eight months in state prison. A jury in January found Teodoro Bernal Nunez, 39, guilty of second degree murder, kidnapping, domestic battery and violating a domestic order. On June 18, 2016, Nunez drove over to the Santa Ana residence, stabbed 27-year-old Omar Castillo to death with a 12-inch knife and stabbed his former girlfriend in the abdomen. He forced the woman into his SUV and drove off, but was stopped about 20 minutes later for a broken tail-light by a Brea police officer who spotted blood on the girlfriend. According to court filings, Nunez, who was twice convicted of domestic violence, and his girlfriend had a tumultuous relationship. 
Los Angeles Daily News

Southern California Thieves Are Targeting Cars For Parts Like Seats And Catalytic Converters — But There Are Ways To Deter Them

One or more thieves crawled under Andrew Olewicz's Prius as he was fast asleep on the evening of Sept. 26. It was parked on the street in front of his house in Costa Mesa, so he didn't hear a thing as someone used a saw to cut out his car's catalytic converter. However, the god-awful noise made by the typically silent-running vehicle the next morning didn't go unnoticed as he began an hour-long commute to San Diego. The same goes for the $500 insurance deductible he paid to get the car fixed, as well as the extra gas and hassle spent as the family rented a less fuel-efficient vehicle for about a week so he could get to work. “For us, that's our kids' Christmas presents,” said Olewicz. About three weeks later, the catalytic converter was stolen from his brother-in-law's Prius, which was parked in nearby Newport Beach.
Los Angeles Daily News

‘Virtual Kidnapping' Scammers Seek Ransom From Affluent Southern California Families
Two Laguna Beach families were the recent targets of a “virtual kidnapping” scam in which they were told one of their children had been abducted and would be killed unless they paid a ransom, police said. As implausible as the scenario may seem on its face, Laguna Beach police said in one of the two instances it worked with a parent sending the culprit thousands of dollars. But police warned that such scams were not new and that they had been successful before. “This type of activity is called ‘virtual kidnapping' and we believe the suspect was able to learn personal information of the victim through unsecured social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.),” Laguna Beach police said in a prepared statement. On March 7 and then again on March 8, police said, a scammer called two separate families in Laguna Beach and used the same deception.
Los Angeles Times

News of a death penalty moratorium elicits a muted reaction at San Quentin
Douglas “Chief” Stankewitz got up Wednesday in the early morning darkness. That's when he meditates and exercises and reads. He turned on the television and caught the Channel 7 news. It was around 5:30. And he heard. Gov. Gavin Newsom planned  t o declare a moratorium on the death penalty that day, dismantle the death chamber. Because capital punishment, Newsom said, is immoral and expensive. Kills the innocent along with the guilty. Targets the black, the brown, the poor. As the news about Newsom rippled through San Quentin, Stankewitz said in a telephone interview Thursday, there were no celebrations, no cheers among the 737 condemned men on the largest death row in the United States.
Los Angeles Times

Public Safety News

Two Injured In Gas Explosion From Tanker Leak In South Los Angeles
A leak from a 9,000-gallon gasoline tanker caused the vehicle to catch fire, which spread to one nearby home, and ignited the atmosphere in storm drains, injuring two people and sending a huge plume of smoke into the sky over South Los Angeles Sunday morning. Firefighters responded to a call at 7:45 a.m. about the smell of gas in the air at 216 W. Slauson Ave. Arriving units found the leaking tanker, and when fumes came into contact with an unknown ignition source the tanker exploded into flames, forcing firefighters back. A manhole cover was displaced when fumes in the storm drain ignited and created underground pressure, according to Capt. Cody Weireter of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Nearby structures were struck by flames, including a two-story single-family home that was damaged by fire and displaced a family, Weireter said.
FOX 11

Emergency Crews Rescue Couple From Fast-Moving Waters In Pacoima Wash
A man and a woman were rescued from the fast-moving waters of the Pacoima Wash Monday morning. The couple, identified only as a 21-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman, entered the wash near Foothill Boulevard and were swept several miles downriver, the Los Angeles Fire Department stated. While being swept away the 20 mph waters, one of the two managed to call 911 and speak with dispatchers. Eventually the man and woman managed to grab onto a wall just before passing under Telfair Avenue and were rescued by firefighters. Both patients were treated at the scene and taken to a local hospital with only minor injuries. It was unclear why the couple entered the wash to begin with.

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: