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

April 26, 2019
Law Enforcement News

New York Trooper's Murderer Sentenced To Life In Prison
On Tuesday, Justin Walters was sentenced in Jefferson County Court to life in prison without parole for the 2017 murders in front of the Walters' county Route 46 home in Theresa. Walters, 33, was found guilty by a jury on March 20 of intentionally killing his wife, Nichole V., and state police Trooper Joel R. Davis on July 9. A third person, Rebecca Finkle, was shot in the back while hiding in a shed on the couple's property. Walters was found guilty on 52 counts that included two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and multiple counts of weapon possession. The victims' families and a large contingent of law enforcement officers filled the courtroom as it took Judge Kim H. Martusewicz several moments to go through the sentences on each of the 52 counts, including two consecutive terms of life without parole for first-degree murder in the two killings.
Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.

Ex-Con Accused Of Killing 2 Officers Had 26 Live Rounds When Arrested
A man accused of killing two Palm Springs police officers who responded to his family's home on a domestic disturbance call was wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying 26 live rounds when he was taken into custody by SWAT officers, an investigator testified Wednesday. Riverside County sheriff's investigator Dan Moody said John Hernandez Felix had 11 bullets in the pockets of his camouflage shorts, and 15 more that were loaded into magazines. Investigators also found a methamphetamine pipe, a red lighter and wallet that included Felix's identification, Moody said. Felix is accused of firing an AR-15 rifle at officers from inside the Felix family home in the 2700 block of Cypress Avenue on Oct. 8, 2016. Veteran officer Gilbert Vega, 63, was fatally shot, along with rookie Officer Lesley Zerebny, 27.

Mid-City: Man Sought After Attempting To Kidnap Young Girl Walking To School, LAPD Says
Los Angeles police have released a composite sketch of a man that investigators say tried to kidnap a young girl while she was walking to school in the Mid-City area. According to authorities, the incident occurred about 7:45 a.m. Thursday in the 1700 block of Vineyard Avenue. "The suspect stood directly behind the victim, causing her to turn," the LAPD said in a statement. "The victim then attempted to continue on her way to school, at which point, the suspect grabbed her backpack and said, 'Let's go.'" The girl, a student at Alta Loma Elementary School, managed to slip out of her backpack and ran onto the campus, the news release said. She saw the suspect running south on Vineyard. When notified of the incident, school staff searched the area but were unable to find the man. He is described as black, 30-35 years old, standing between 6 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 4 inches, with a medium build. He is said to have curly black hair with red tips, and was wearing a blue shirt and black pants.

LA Officials Crack Down On Unsecured Guns
Los Angeles city officials are cracking down on gun owners whose weapons end up in the hands of children. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, 2019.
NBC 4 Video

A 9th-Grader Threatened To Shoot A Classmate, Police Say. Now His Dad Faces Gun Charges
A Pacoima man was charged with illegally storing a gun after his teenage son threatened to shoot one of his classmates at school, the Los Angeles city attorney's office announced Thursday. Albert Sanchez, 48, was charged with two criminal counts of unlawful storage of a firearm and, if convicted, faces up to a year in jail and $2,000 in fines, City Atty. Mike Feuer said at a news conference. The charges come after the principal of Chavez Academy in San Fernando reported to Los Angeles School Police that a ninth-grader threatened to bring a gun to school to shoot a classmate in November. Police said a parent went to the principal after learning that her child had been threatened. A student was identified in connection with the threat, and his locker and backpack were searched but no weapons were found. School police then received information that there were weapons in the home of the teen's father, identified as Sanchez.
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Man Faces 7 Felony Counts After Accused Of Assaulting, Robbing Woman In San Pedro
A 27-year-old Los Angeles man faces seven felony counts after he allegedly raped and robbed a San Pedro woman at her home in March, authorities announced Thursday, April 25. Davon Thomas was charged with two counts of sexual penetration by use of force and one count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, criminal threats, first-degree burglary and first-degree residential robbery, prosecutors said. The charges include allegations of causing great bodily injury and having two prior robbery convictions, in 2018. The victim, a 61-year-old woman, was opening the front door to her residence near 11th and Centre streets when Thomas allegedly grabbed her, pushed her into the home and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said. During the attack, Thomas allegedly threatened to kill the woman and demanded money. The suspect fled, and Los Angeles police released a composite sketch in hopes of locating him. He was arrested Friday, April 19, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
Los Angeles Daily News

Ex-Con Pleads No Contest To Charges Stemming From Chase
An ex-con from North Hollywood is facing four years and eight months in state prison in connection with his no contest plea to charges stemming from a high-speed police pursuit in January. Karapet Kirpichyan, 46, pleaded no contest Wednesday to one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon — a vehicle — and driving or taking a vehicle without consent, according to Deputy District Attorney Ani Artsvelyan. Kirpichyan also admitted an allegation that he had a 2017 conviction for driving or taking a vehicle without consent, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. He fled from police officers in Van Nuys on Jan. 9 in a stolen work van and collided with several vehicles during the pursuit before coming to a stop on a curb in Hollywood, prosecutors said. Kirpichyan has remained jailed since he was arrested that day by Los Angeles police.

Gov. Newsom Denies Parole For Ex-Mexican Mafia Hitman Rene ‘Boxer' Enriquez
For the fourth time since 2014, the California governor's office has stepped in to prevent a former Mexican Mafia leader who has renounced his past from seeing the light of day. In a three-page letter issued April 12, Gov. Gavin Newsom denied parole for Rene “Boxer” Enriquez, 56, overturning a decision by the state's parole board in December. Enriquez has been granted parole four times since 2014, but each time the governor's office has blocked his release. Newsom's letter notes Enriquez's cooperation with law enforcement and involvement in rehabilitation programs but says he still considers Enriquez “dangerous.” “I encourage him to continue down this path of self-development and insight,” Newsom wrote. “However, given his current risk to public safety, I am not prepared to approve his release.”
Los Angeles Daily News

Public Safety News

Bracelets For Missing Seniors: Los Angeles County Launches Tracking Bracelet Program For Missing People
A new Los Angeles County program that uses electronic bracelets to find missing people with dementia or autism was launched partly in response to the death of Nancy Paulikas, a 55-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease who wandered away from her husband during a visit to a museum. During the desperate search for his wife that began in late 2016, Kirk Moody grew increasingly frustrated by the lack of communication between law enforcement and other agencies. "I called every county office there is," Moody recalled Wednesday. "And I found myself explaining things over and over because it was clear they weren't talking to each other." With Moody's input, the county started LA Found with the goal of establishing procedures to help police, sheriffs, fire departments, nursing homes and hospitals coordinate during a search. 

Fleeing Wildfires Common In California; Evacuation Plans Aren't
Wildfire surrounded Darrel Wilken and the three hospital patients in his car. But instead of evacuating Paradise, they were stuck in traffic along with thousands of others. Cars burned in front of them. Trees, homes and buildings exploded into flames as the gusting firestorm destroyed nearly everything around them. Wilken, a nurse, knew about Paradise's evacuation plan, which includes route maps and zones. But the speed and intensity of the fire forced him to improvise, he said. Despite the tragic outcome of that day in November 2018 and the confusion faced by people like Wilken, the city's careful planning made a difference, Paradise Mayor Jody Jones insists.

Local Government News

Metro Board Moves Forward With Gondola To Dodger Stadium
A gondola between Union Station and Dodger Stadium continues to take shape, as the Metro Board of Directors agreed Thursday to move forward with the environmental review process. The unanimous vote by the board approved a staff report where Metro would agree to be the lead agency for the project's California Environmental Quality Act review. According to the staff report, cities and counties are the CEQA lead agencies for private real estate developments, but this is the first time Metro is proposing to be a CEQA lead agency for a private transit developer. As lead agency, the Metro board would determine whether to approve the project, which will be funded completely by Aerial Rapid Transit Technologies, the report says, adding that no Metro funds will be used in the design, construction or operation of the project and that ARTT will pay for Metro staff's time.

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: