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

August 9, 2019
Law Enforcement News

Police Sergeant Shot And Wounded In Baltimore
Authorities are investigating a shooting in Baltimore that left a police sergeant wounded. Baltimore police say the officer was taken to R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center after being shot Thursday afternoon in northeast Baltimore. Police did not immediately release any other details. Gov. Larry Hogan issued a tweet asking people to keep the officer in their prayers as he fights for his life. Hogan added that thoughts and prayers alone are not enough, and that state and local leaders must join together to get violent shooters off the streets. A woman who claimed to witness the shooting told local media outlets that the officer was in plain clothes and that it appeared he was targeted in a robbery attempt.
Associated Press

Inmate Charged With Attempted Murder Of Pennsylvania Troopers During Transport
An inmate at Indiana County's Pine Grove state prison is charged with attempting to kill two state troopers when he seized a gun from one of the troopers and fired it twice as they were driving him back to the prison from a district court hearing. In addition to two counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, Simere Maurice Alford, 20, of Philadelphia, is charged by state police with two counts each of aggravated assault, assault of a law enforcement officer, reckless endangerment and assault and aggravated harassment by a prisoner during the June 24 incident that happened as the police vehicle approached the entrance to the prison in White Township. Other charges include escape, resisting arrest, disarming a law enforcement officer, discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and other firearms offenses.
Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.

Shooting Death Of Man, 35, In North Hills Was Likely Gang-Related, Police Say
A man was found dead Thursday, the apparent victim of a gang-related gunshot wound. The man, 35, and described as Hispanic, was found unresponsive on a sidewalk by police officers, following a report of a man down in the area of Parthenia Street and Aqueduct Avenue at 6:55 a.m., said LAPD Officer Jeff Lee. Firefighters pronounced the unidentified man dead at the scene. No arrests were reported, and no suspect description was available. But police believe the shooting was gang-related.
Los Angeles Daily News

Man Sentenced To Life In Fatal Stabbing At South L.A. Hamburger Joint That Led To Barricade In Santa Monica
A man was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years to life in state prison for the 2015 killing of a man he met in a substance abuse program outside a fast-food restaurant in South Los Angeles, prosecutors said. David Carrillo, a 33-year-old L.A. man, was on the run for weeks after the fatal stabbing before authorities tracked him to an apartment complex in Santa Monica, where they used tear gas to coax him out in an hourslong standoff, the L.A. County District Attorney's Office said in a news release. The ordeal began Feb. 10, when a fight broke out between Carrillo and 30-year-old Wesley Morejon outside a hamburger eatery on the 8900 block of Vermont Avenue, in the Vermont Vista neighborhood. Carrillo was convicted of pulling out a folding knife and using it to fatally stab Morejon. About two weeks later, on Feb. 21, a SWAT team responded when Carrillo refused to come out of an apartment on the 800 block of Ocean Park Boulevard. Although he tried reenter the gassed residence he'd been forced from, the suspect was detained after a K-9 grabbed hold of him, officials said at the time.

Jury To Deliberate Monday In California Serial-Killing Case
A jury has received the case of a man charged with fatally stabbing two women in their Southern California homes and attempting to kill a third. Jurors were given the case of 43-year-old Michael Gargiulo on Thursday and are scheduled to begin deliberating Monday. Earlier Thursday in the prosecution's rebuttal to the defense's closing arguments, Deputy District Attorney Daniel Akemon said Gargiulo had "the mind of a serial killer" as he reviewed the evidence of attacks he said were chillingly similar. Akemon dismissed a defense argument that another man had killed 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin in 2001 out of jealousy when he learned she was about to go on a date with actor Ashton Kutcher, who testified during the trial. Akemon said the defense's alternate suspect had been thoroughly investigated and cleared. 

LA County Detectives Investigating Disappearance Of Monrovia Woman
As Homicide Detectives revealed more details Thursday, Aug. 8, on where a Monrovia man suspected of assaulting and kidnapping his girlfriend had been seen, while the father of the victim made a plea for information that will help find his daughter. Robert Camou, 27, was spotted placing the lifeless body of Amanda Custer, 31, in the cargo area of a Prius the morning of July 29, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Lt. Scott Hoglund, before driving away from his Monrovia neighborhood. He said investigators later found blood and a “digging tool” in the vehicles's cargo area. Camou is the prime suspect in what is now a homicide case, he said. Camou hasn't yet been arrested or charged in this case. During a news conference Thursday at the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau in Monterey Park, Rick Custer said he told his daughter she needed to get away from Camou. He said she was leaving for a job. “She was trying to get away from him,” Rick Custer said. Authorities using dogs and a helicopter have been searching the areas of Azusa Canyon, Mt. Baldy and Lytle Creek since Amanda Custer disappeared.
Los Angeles Daily News

UCLA, Former Gynecologist Accused Of Sexual Assault Facing Class-Action Lawsuit
Two women who claim they were sexually assaulted by a former University of California, Los Angeles gynecologist have filed a federal class-action lawsuit. The suit alleges that the university failed to protect Dr. James Heaps' patients and acted negligently. Heaps was charged in June with the sexual battery and exploitation of two patients who he treated at UCLA in 2017 and 2018, but he has pleaded not guilty. Heaps worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist at the student health center from 1983 to 2010 and then was hired by UCLA Health in 2014. He also held medical staff privileges at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center from 1988 to 2018. The university has paid more than $3.5 million in settlements over allegations against Heaps. When allegations first came forward last year, the school says it investigated and reported Heaps to law enforcement and the state medical board. He decided to retire as the school was moving to fire him. Heaps is scheduled to return to court Aug. 29.

Records: Festival Gunman Had Passport, Survival Guide In Car
The gunman in the deadly California food festival shooting had a passport, clown mask, wilderness survival guide and bottle rockets in his car at the time of the attack, court documents released Thursday show. Authorities said they found the items in Santino William Legan's parked Honda Accord. Investigators also searched his family's home in Gilroy, California, as well as his apartment in a remote area of Nevada. Legan, 19, killed three people, including two children, on July 28 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. He took his own life during a shootout with police. Funeral services for one of the victims, 25-year-old Trevor Irby , were held Thursday in Romulus, New York. The search warrant records also show Legan had a pamphlet from the garlic festival in his car. Gilroy police referred questions to the FBI, which declined to comment. Authorities say his motive isn't known but he had been interested in conflicting violent ideologies.
Associated Press

California Man Pleads Guilty In Florida To $1.3B Fraud Scam
A California man pleaded guilty in Florida to orchestrating a $1.3 billion real estate fraud scheme that stole money from thousands of investors nationwide and agreed to forfeit valuable jewelry, wine and paintings by artists such as Picasso and Renoir. Court records show 61-year-old Robert Shapiro, of Sherman Oaks, California, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Miami federal court to mail and wire fraud and tax evasion. He faces up to 25 years in prison at sentencing in October before U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. At least 9,000 people, many of them elderly who invested their retirement savings, suffered losses in the scheme, Miami federal prosecutors say. Prosecutors say Shapiro's Woodbridge Group had offices employing 130 people in California, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado and Connecticut. The pitch to investors was that Woodbridge held real estate loans that would pay them rates of interest between 5% and 10%. In fact, the real estate was also owned by Shapiro through 270 shell companies and did not generate the necessary money for investors. Sometimes, the properties didn't even exist. It became a Ponzi scheme that paid older investors with money from newer ones, court records show. 
Associated Press

Public Safety News

Man Killed Attempting To Save Neighbors; 3 Hospitalized After House Fire In Sunland
A 65-year-old man died rushing to save his neighbors and three remain hospitalized after a house fire in Sunland late Wednesday night, said officials. The victim, identified by neighbors as Mike Reinhart, went into cardiac arrest after his neighbor's home caught fire. He was in grave condition and treated at the scene by pracademics. Reinhart died at a hospital Thursday morning, said authorities. A total of 31 firefighters responded about 9:50 p.m. to the 10700 block of North Big Bend Avenue, near Oro Vista Avenue, and were able to contain the fire to an attached garage. Knockdown was declared at 10:09 p.m., according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Two people who live in the home, a 49-year-old woman and an 89-year-old woman, were taken to a hospital, the younger woman in fair condition, the older woman in serious condition, Stewart said. 
FOX 11

Man Hospitalized Since Camp Fire Dies, Bringing Toll In California's Deadliest Blaze To 86

A man who had been hospitalized since the deadliest wildfire in California history incinerated a town in November has died, raising the number of people killed to 86, authorities said Thursday. The Butte County Sheriff's Office said 72-year-old Paul Ernest of Paradise succumbed to his wounds, but gave no other information. Ernest's son, Jessee Ernest, said his father died Monday of complications from burns on one-third of his body. “He had a hard time keeping his lungs functioning,” Jessee Ernest said. “He put up a really good fight.” Paul Ernest had been hospitalized since Nov. 8, when the fast-moving fire raced across the Sierra Nevada foothills, destroying nearly 15,000 homes in the city of 27,000 and surrounding hamlets. That day he had to be flown to a Sacramento-area hospital, Jessee Ernest said. Jessee Ernest said that on the day of the fire, his father and mother, Suzie Ernest, tried to flee in their car but abandoned vehicles and fallen power lines blocked their path and they returned home and jumped on their all-terrain vehicles along with a neighbor to try and escape the inferno. The road was impassable and soon they were flanked by flames and had to take shelter behind a boulder, Ernest said.

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Considering Motion To Ban The Possession Of Assault Weapons
The Los Angeles City Council is considering a motion to prohibit the possession of all assault weapons within the city, following a pair of mass shootings over the weekend that left 31 people dead in Texas and Ohio. Councilman Paul Koretz introduced the motion Wednesday, saying assault weapons "are clearly one of the things that make it easiest to do these massive shootings." Two other council members, Greig Smith from the West Valley and Council President Herb Wesson, introduced separate motions that would push for laws at the state and federal level. In addition to an assault weapons ban, they would like to see universal background checks for firearms and ammunition, a ban on high capacity magazines and harsher penalties for offenders. "Now, I want to see all those off the streets. There's no reason for any American (to) own a weapon who shoots a lot of rounds or rapidly shoots rounds," said Smith. Koretz expects there will be a lawsuit by pro-gun groups, but he says he fought a similar battle when he was in the city of West Hollywood.

Warner Center Arena Approval Elicits 2 Very Different Appeals From Residents And Developer Of Woodland Hills Project
About two weeks after Los Angeles planning officials approved a fully enclosed arena as part of a megadevelopment proposed for Warner Center, a group of Woodland Hills residents along with a developer, have filed an appeal against the project. If approved, the 34-acre proposed site developed by global firm Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield will turn a largely vacant Promenade mall into a district with 5,610 on-site parking spaces along with a mixed-use district with about 1,400 multi-family residential units, roughly 244,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, about 630,000 square feet of office space, with a hotel with up to 570 hotel rooms. In a 13-page appeal, Gina K. Thornburg, a Woodland Hills resident, community organizer and founder of Coalition for Valley Neighborhoods, wrote that she was concerned that the city didn't require the developer to build affordable units.
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: