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

June 10, 2019
Law Enforcement News

Texas LEO Fatally Struck While Running Radar On Highway
A Grand Prairie, Texas police officer who was standing outside of his vehicle running radar was hit and killed by a car Friday morning, according to police. Grand Prairie Officer Albert “A.J.” Castaneda, 38, died shortly before 11 a.m. at an Arlington hospital. Castaneda was standing near his vehicle on the inside shoulder of President George Bush Turnpike when the driver of a Nissan 300ZX lost control of the car and hit the Grand Prairie Police Department Tahoe, police said. The officer was thrown from the elevated highway to the ground below, police said. Troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety are investigating the accident, and no charges have been filed against the driver at this time, Grand Prairie police said. The driver of the Nissan was not injured, and no one else was in the car.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

2 Wounded In Sylmar Shooting
Gunfire in Sylmar left two people wounded on Friday, police said. The attack took place about 7:45 p.m. at Dronfield Avenue and Sayre Street, Los Angeles Police Department Capt. Natalie Cortez said. Officers responding to reports of a shooting encountered two victim, described as male and female, she said. Their ages were not available. Both victims were hospitalized in stable condition, the captain said. The shooter or shooters remained at large. No suspect description was available, and the motive in the shooting was not yet clear, Cortez said. Anyone with information was asked to contact the LAPD's Mission Station at 818-838-9800.

Bodycam Video Shows Deadly LAPD Shooting In Southeast L.A.
New body camera video shows Los Angeles police officers' deadly confrontation with an armed man in southeast Los Angeles. The man, later identified as David Flores, 36, can be seen firing at responding officers as they pull up to the intersection where he is standing. Officers shooting back, striking him. He goes down and is later pronounced dead at the scene. The incident happened April 22 in the area of Figueroa Street and Gardena Boulevard around 6:45 a.m. Officers were called to the area on a report of a family disturbance and a man with a gun. As they pull up to the intersection, the man can be seen immediately firing once in their direction, putting a bullet in the police cruiser's passenger side door. The officers returned fire and Flores fell to the ground, though he did not immediately drop the gun. The officers can be heard repeatedly yelling at him to drop the weapon and he eventually complies. Paramedics are there in minutes, but it's too late - Flores is pronounced dead at the scene.

LAPD Debuts Youth Mentoring Program Using Minibikes
Police have a new tool in their efforts to mentor Los Angeles youth: minibikes. The Los Angeles Police Department demonstrated its new program "National Youth Project Using Minibikes'' Saturday at the off-road training course of the LAPD Davis Training Academy in Granada Hills, officials said. Officers at the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division plan to mentor youth ages 10 through 17 by teaching them to ride minibikes as a way of teaching them to overcome their daily challenges, LAPD officials said. It is seen as a way to help youth develop self-confidence, decision making, teamwork, risk management and other valuable life skills. "This is a tremendous opportunity for LAPD to further strengthen our relationships with our communities and provide a positive experience for our youth," Captain Andrew Neiman of the Valley Traffic Division said.

Motorcyclist In San Pedro Struck By Hit-and-Run Driver, Then Gets Hit Again
A motorcyclist was hurt in a hit-and-run crash Saturday night in San Pedro. The incident occurred on 17th Street and Pacific Avenue. Police say the motorcyclist was headed southbound on Pacific Avenue when the person was hit by a car headed eastbound on 17th Street at about 9:35 p.m. The driver of the car left the scene, and another car came and hit the motorcyclist. That driver stayed at the scene. A pair of cousins say they heard a crash while playing soccer. When they went to the scene, they found the motorcyclist underneath the car. The motorcyclist was taken to a hospital in unknown condition.

Autopsy Pending In ‘Suspicious' LA Death Of 4-Year-Old
An autopsy was pending Friday on a 4-year-old boy who died after being brought to LA's County-USC Medical Center and whose death was classified as suspicious by authorities. Justin Sontay-Oxlaj died at the hospital after being brought there about 3 a.m. Thursday from a residence in the 4600 block of Honduras Street in the southeast Los Angeles area, according to the coroner's office and the Los Angeles Police Department. An LAPD detective told reporters the boy's body showed evidence of physical trauma and investigators had “some questions about the injuries.” LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman, a department spokeswoman, would say only that the death was preliminarily classified as having occurred under “suspicious circumstances.” The boy's parents were at the hospital with their son and were said to be cooperating with investigators.
Los Angeles Daily News

Help Sought Identifying 3 Gunmen In South L.A. Shooting
Authorities asked the public for help Friday in identifying three people who opened fire on a man in the Florence-Firestone area of South Los Angeles late last year. The incident occurred near the intersection of Compton Avenue and 91st Street on Dec. 19 just before 9 p.m., the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department stated in a Facebook post. Video posted by the Sheriff's Department shows three people quickly exiting a vehicle and then running out of view of the camera. The trio, who were all armed with guns, then opened fire a man who was walking on Compton Avenue, the post read. The victim was struck several times by the gunfire but still survived. The gunmen were all wearing hooded sweatshirts or jackets and were traveling in a 2008 to 2012 Honda Accord. Anyone with information was asked to call the Sheriff's Department at 323-568-4800. Those who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Former Nursing Assistant At Tarzana Hospital Pleads No Contest To Sex-Related Charges
A former nursing assistant who was a fugitive for more than a decade pleaded no contest Friday to sex-related charges involving five female patients at a Tarzana hospital. Ramon Eduardo Rodas Gaspar, 50, is facing seven years in state prison and lifetime sex offender registration in connection with his plea to four felony counts of sexual battery by fraud and one felony count of sexual penetration of an unconscious person, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The crimes occurred between February 2005 and April 2006. Former patients reported being sexually assaulted by Gaspar after undergoing surgery, some while still under the effects of anesthesia, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, which launched an investigation in June 2006. Gaspar — who worked for two years at what was known at the time as Tarzana Hospital — failed to show up for a July 2006 court hearing, resulting in a bench warrant being issued for him nearly a month after a $150,000 bond was posted on his behalf.
Los Angeles Daily News

'Most Prolific Serial Killer' In America Confesses To Murdering 5 More Women In Ohio
A man considered by federal law enforcement to be perhaps the deadliest serial killer in U.S. history was charged on Friday over the strangling deaths of two women in Ohio, charges that come after he admitted last week to killing three others in the state. The five new victims of Samuel Little, 79, originally from Lorain, in northeastern Ohio, are believed to be among the more than 90 women he has confessed to killing. Little is already serving three life sentences for killings in Los Angeles in the 1980s. The latest charges filed by prosecutors in Cincinnati are part of what authorities say was Little's murderous rampage, killing women across 19 states over nearly half a century ending around 2005. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters told reporters that serial killers like Little are difficult for most people to comprehend. "The reality is, they have a compulsion to kill people. They're not insane," Deters said. "They're nothing but evil." 

Public Safety News

LA County Health Officials Warn Of Possible Measles Exposure At LAX
A person infected with measles passed through Los Angeles International Airport twice in late May and public health officials are urging anyone who may have been exposed to check their immunization records and report any possible symptoms. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the infected person -- who does not live in the area -- passed through LAX twice during the Memorial Day weekend. Possibly exposure may have occurred: between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. May 26 at LAX Terminal 4 at Gate 48B; and between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. May 28 at the Tom Bradley International Terminal Remote Gate. Health officials noted that anyone who may have been in those areas may be at risk of developing measles for up to 21 days following exposure.

Southern California's Extreme Heat Raises Concerns Over Wildfire Season
The sweltering heat that roasted most of Southern California over the weekend will peak well past 100 degrees in some places by Tuesday, June 11, raising concerns about the risk of wildfires in the coming months. Hot and dry winds driven by a ridge of high pressure traveling north from Mexico caused temperatures Sunday to reach or exceed 90 degrees in Riverside, San Bernardino and inland areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties, the National Weather Service said. A warming trend should continue until Tuesday or Wednesday. “People should definitely limit the amount of time they are out and about in the sun and drink plenty of water, especially children and the elderly,” NWS meteorologist Adam Roser said. “Also, don't leave pets, children or anything inside of a hot car.” Weekend temperatures reached 90 degrees in Santa Ana, 97 in Chino and Temecula, and 100 degrees in Van Nuys, exceeding some NWS predictions.
Los Angeles Daily News

Local Government News

L.A. Officials Debate Building Restrooms For Homeless, Each Estimated To Cost More Than $300K A Year
It seems like an obvious fix to the squalor and stench as homelessness surges on Los Angeles streets: more restrooms. But L.A. has estimated that staffing and operating a mobile bathroom can cost more than $300,000 annually — a price tag that has galled some politicians. During budget talks this spring, city officials estimated that providing toilets and showers for every homeless encampment in need would cost more than $57 million a year. “How many single-family homes could you build for that much money?” Councilman Paul Krekorian asked at a hearing at City Hall last month, saying that L.A. had to find a cheaper solution. The heartburn over the price of bathrooms comes as the number of people living on the streets has surged. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority recently reported that the homeless population grew by 16% in the city this year, reaching more than 36,000.

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: