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

May 21, 2019
Law Enforcement News

Man Convicted In Ambush Killings Of Two Palm Springs Police Officers
A man was convicted Monday of killing two police officers and trying to kill six others in an ambush-style attack. After just hours of deliberation, a Riverside County jury found John Hernandez Felix guilty of multiple charges including two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder, KESQ-TV reported. Palm Springs Officers Lesley Zerebny and Jose “Gil” Vega were killed responding to a call about domestic violence at Felix's mother's house on Oct. 8, 2016. Prosecutors said Felix opened fire on the officers with an AR-15 rifle. Six other officers were injured as police and Felix exchanged gunfire. Felix was arrested after a lengthy standoff. David Kling, Zerebney's father, said he was overjoyed by the guilty verdict. “The jury was presented with the facts, and we're very happy about it,” Kling told the Desert Sun newspaper. Felix, 28, an admitted gang member, could face the death penalty. Prosecutor Michelle Paradise said several officers who survived the shooting will testify during the sentencing phase of the trial that begins Tuesday.
Los Angeles Times

Arizona K-9 Recovering After Being Stabbed In The Neck By Suspect

A K-9 is recovering after being stabbed by a robbery suspect last week. According to local news station KGUN, Blitz the K-9 was pursuing suspected bank robber, Frank Garcia, who had been on the run for four days. Blitz was wounded when Garcia attempted to fight the K-9 off when he was found. “I lost sight of Blitz around a corner of a trailer. I could see he was being punched, but I couldn't see what I learned later on, which was once we apprehended him, there was a knife on the ground,” said Officer Mike Doyle. Veterinarians say Blitz suffered two puncture wounds at the back of his neck that almost reached his jugular. He's expected to recover in a few weeks and be back on the job. Garcia is charged with armed robbery and aggravated assault on a peace officer.

29-Year-Old Man Fatally Shot In The Head In Venice; 4 Sought: LAPD
Four suspects were at large after a man was fatally shot in the head on the street in Venice Monday afternoon, police said. As many as 11 people called authorities reporting shots fired in the area of Fifth Avenue and Broadway Street at about 3:30 p.m., Los Angeles Police Lt. John Radtke said. The victim, later identified as 29-year-old Lavell Harris of Los Angeles, was walking along Fifth Avenue when two people approached him on foot and chased him north, the lieutenant said said. The assailants fired numerous shots, and Harris suffered several wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Radtke said. One of the bullets struck Harris in the head, LAPD Officer Jeff Lee told KTLA. The two suspects got into a car with two other men inside and fled north on Fifth Avenue, according to Radtke. Investigators describe the car as a dark-colored, four-door sedan. Officials had earlier described the suspect vehicle as a 1996 or 1997 silver Acura, but Radtke said there were conflicting descriptions of the car.

Downtown L.A. Standoff Ends With 2 In Custody In Possible Domestic Violence Case
A domestic violence suspect and a second suspect who were barricaded inside an apartment in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday morning were taken into custody after an hours-long standoff. Los Angeles police officers responded to the high-rise building in the 900 block of South Olive Street around 7 a.m. after reports of a man being forced out of a room by someone with a gun during an overnight party. SWAT was called after people in the room refused to leave, according to police. A female was taken into custody. Police did not provide information about her connection to the incident. The man was taken into custody after a three- to four-hour standoff with police. During that time, nearby streets were blocked off. Streets were reopened around 11:15 a.m., according to LAPD Commander Marc Reina. The man was charged with domestic violence, and other charges are pending. 

Driver Shot By LAPD Officers After Getting Out Of Car With A Gun During Traffic Stop
A man who police say got out of his car during a traffic stop in South LA with a gun was shot several times in an officer-involved shooting. A driver was pulled over in an alley between 108th and 109th streets at about 11 p.m. Monday and allegedly got out of his vehicle with a gun. That's when LAPD officials say an officer-involved shooting occurred. Police say the driver was hit several times and tried to ran off before being caught. He was taken to a hospital in unknown condition. “A traffic stop can go really, really bad, very, very quickly,” LAPD Sgt. Barry Montgomery said. “Any time officers are pulling someone over, they simply don't know who they're stopping.” Detectives did not release any further details about the moments that led up to the shooting. It's not clear if the suspect fired at any officers, but police say they recovered a gun at the scene. No officers were injured. Investigators remain at the scene.

Sean Dinse Wants To Go Beyond LAPD Experience To Bring Leadership
As a senior lead officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, Sean Dinse does not respond to individual emergency calls, but is tasked with solving recurring problems in the community. “Where I come in is on the back end,” he said. “Sometimes you get the same person doing the same behaviors over and over again. So now, I have to figure out a solution for solving those behaviors, such as a neighbor dispute they just can't solve overnight. They just need consistent follow-up.” Dinse said he is able to spend the additional time and come up with city resources or local nonprofits he can reach out to assist. The West-Hills resident said this can translate to a job representing the northwest San Fernando Valley on the Los Angeles City Council that he said he is seeking because he wants to protect “our children, school safety and changing social norms through our children.” During his two decades with the LAPD, Dinse has been a patrol officer, gang investigator and training officer. He has spent 10 years as a senior lead officer, and is now working out of the Topanga division in the southwest Valley, where homelessness is a top issue.
Los Angeles Daily News

Have You Seen This 71-Year-Old Dementia Victim Missing In East Hollywood?
A 71-year-old man with dementia was missing Saturday morning from the East Hollywood adult care facility where he lives. Fernando Cruz Chavez was last seen at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the facility in the 5100 block of Sunset Boulevard, near Normandie Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Chavez is Hispanic, 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds with gray hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black San Francisco baseball cap, a black jacket with a bear logo, a white shirt, black pants and black shoes, police said. Anyone with information on Chavez's whereabouts was asked to call the LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1880 or the department's 24-hour line at 877-527-3247.

10 Arrested In SoCal Scam That Left Victims Liable For Vehicles Bought With Stolen Identities
Ten people have been arrested for their roles in a scam that used stolen identities to buy vehicles at Southern California dealerships that were then re-sold to victims unaware of unpaid loans left on the cars, the California Attorney General's Office said Friday. The scheme targeted two sets of victims — individuals whose identities were stolen to purchase the vehicles and those who later bought them after they had been fraudulently disguised as having “clean titles,” according to prosecutors. “In many instances, innocent individuals were contacted by banks and finance companies when they failed to make payments on loans that had been fraudulently opened in their name,” the Attorney General's Office said in a news release. Victims were left having to navigate “an arduous process to clear their names with banks, finance companies and credit reporting agencies,” the office said.

500 Pounds Of Meth Seized During Cartel Investigation In Southern California
A joint two-month investigation into the Sinaloa drug cartel led to the arrest of two men and the seizure of 500 pounds of methamphetamine, 40 grams of fentanyl, six handguns and five rifles, authorities said. Manuel Gallardo of Apple Valley and Daniel Gonzalez of Ontario were arrested and charged last week with possession of a controlled substance while armed, possession of a controlled substance for sale and transportation of a controlled substance, according to court documents. Gallardo also was charged with three counts of possession of an assault weapon, the San Bernardino County district attorney's office said. The arrests come after a multi-jurisdictional investigation by the Alhambra Police Department, the West Covina Police Department, the California Highway Patrol and the Drug Enforcement Administration, police said. The drugs and weapons were seized at a business in Apple Valley in San Bernardino County, police said.
Los Angeles Times

Ghost Guns Are Everywhere In California
For the better part of a year, Kevin Savangsy allegedly sold caches of weapons to federal agents out of parking lots and garages in Sacramento. The 29-year-old told his customers that he could get “hella shit,” including guns that police would never trace. Court documents suggest he lived up to that promise. At first, Savangsy's offerings were conventional: handguns, AK-47s, and AR-15s. Then, on the morning of October 23, 2018, he unveiled his newest product: a homemade, unserialized pistol modeled after a Glock. Over the next three months, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives bought a dozen more unserialized weapons, including AR-15s modified to shoot fully automatic. A raid on Savangsy's home in late January turned up thousands of dollars of cash, pounds of drugs, and 24 machine guns.
The Trace

Public Safety News

LA River Residents Told To Brace For 100-Year Flood
The Atwater Village Neighborhood Council is warning thousands of residents living along the LA River that they may be at risk for flooding—and might be required to obtain flood insurance in the next two years. A 13-mile stretch of the river, from Barham Boulevard to First Street, is in danger of experiencing what experts call a 100-year flood, meaning there's a 1 percent chance of a major flood every year, according to a 2016 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study. The Army Corps has recommended that stretch for FEMA flood insurance remapping, potentially affecting 3,075 parcels on both sides of the river, including 2,574 properties in the city of Los Angeles, with the remaining properties in Glendale and Burbank.
Curbed LA

Local Government News

LA City Council Election: For West San Fernando Valley Voters, The Time Is Near To Pick A Leader
If there's a theme that emerges again and again in the race to represent LA City Council District 12, it's the struggle to maintain quality of life in the northwest San Fernando Valley. But running through it all is a sense that things are changing — that the area of the vast 818 that includes proud communities like Granada Hills, Porter Ranch, Northridge and Chatsworth isn't what it used to be in a place where as one candidate said recently you could once live that “California dream.” Things are changing, for sure, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. And it's taken 15 candidates who have emerged as hopefuls to represent the area on the L.A. City Council to shed more light on how to deal with that change, not just locally but in the larger context of the city of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Daily News

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: