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 14, 2019
Law Enforcement News

‘No Routine Stops': Officials Sort Out Gun Battle That Claimed Valued CHP Officer In Riverside California
Highway Patrol Officer Andre Moye Jr. had “a service heart” — a man who wanted to give to his community. Aaron Luther, with a record of violence that once included a charge of assault on a peace officer, was perhaps a man ready to die. Luther fatally shot Moye early Monday evening during what started as a routine traffic stop, authorities said, then he died in a “horrific” shootout with officers and sheriff's deputies who responded to the dying Moye's call for help. Tuesday, Moye's fellow officers, and Luther's family, were left to sort things out. Moye's law enforcement comrades and the community struggled with grief — his death was second for an Inland CHP officer in the line of duty in recent months. CHP Sgt. Steve Licon was killed April 6 when he was struck by a vehicle on the 15 Freeway in Lake Elsinore. Two CHP officers were wounded in the Monday shootout, one critically, CHP Inland Division Chief Bill Dance said Tuesday. Both suffered leg wounds. Dance said a six-year veteran had minor wounds, while a four-year veteran was in critical condition. The shootout between Luther and Riverside County Sheriff's deputies, Riverside police officers and CHP officers was described as “long and horrific” by Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz.
Los Angeles Daily News

Man Who Shot And Killed CHP Officer Had Lengthy Criminal Record
Aaron Luther, the man who shot a CHP officer to death in Riverside on Monday and was killed by return fire, was no stranger to law enforcement or the state prison and parole systems. Public records reviewed by the NBC Investigates teams in Los Angeles and San Diego outline the 49-year-old suspect's history of violent crime dating back at least 25 years to his conviction for second-degree murder. Luther, who died in Monday's highway shootout, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for that 1994 killing and a burglary, but was paroled after 10 years. After just three years on parole, court records show Luther was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon. He was also found guilty of domestic violence in 2013. Luther's record also includes convictions for stalking, unlawful possession of a firearm, assault and battery, and additional domestic violence cases. In the 1990s, he was sent to prison for trying to smuggle a deadly weapon into a California jail.
NBC San Diego

Man Found Fatally Shot Along L.A. River In South Gate
Authorities are searching for leads after a man was found fatally shot along the Los Angeles River in South Gate on Monday. The shooting was reported around 4:40 p.m. in an area north of Imperial Highway, according to a news release from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, which is assisting South Gate police in the investigation. Responding officers found the victim in the riverbed suffering from a gunshot wound, officials said. The man died at the scene. Authorities have not released his name but said he was a 34-year-old Latino man. Investigators are now working to piece together a motive and suspect description. Anyone with information on the shooting can contact the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips may be submitted via 800-222-8477 or

Apartment Building Surrounded In East Hollywood As Authorities Look For Suspect
Authorities Tuesday surrounded an apartment building in the East Hollywood area where a man wanted in a domestic violence incident in East Los Angeles was believed to be barricaded. The incident began about 2:15 a.m., when deputies went to a residence in the East Los Angeles after a woman reported that she was the victim of domestic violence, according to the sheriff's department. When deputies arrived, they saw a man matching the description of the suspect driving away, and they began chasing him. The chase led to an apartment building in the 4300 block of Lockwood Avenue, where the suspect was believed to be hiding. Deputies and Los Angeles police officers went to the scene, and a perimeter was established. The standoff was continuing after 8:30 a.m., the sheriff's department reported. 
Los Angeles Daily News

Jury Deliberations Continue In Alleged 'Hollywood Ripper'

Trial Jurors deliberated for a second day Tuesday in the trial of a man charged with killing two women in their homes, including a Hollywood woman who was set to go out that night with actor Ashton Kutcher, and attacking a woman who survived being stabbed eight times in her Santa Monica apartment. Michael Gargiulo, 43, is accused in the Feb. 22, 2001, killing of 22-year-old Ashley Ellerin in her Hollywood home and the Dec. 1, 2005, slaying of 32-year-old Maria Bruno in her El Monte apartment. The murder charges include special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder while lying in wait. Gargiulo also is facing an attempted murder charge stemming from an April 2008 attack on 26-year-old Michelle Murphy, who survived being stabbed eight times, along with an attempted escape charge. He could face the death penalty if he is convicted of the killings and found to have been sane at the time of the crimes.

Mira Loma Man Released After Arrest In Sex Assaults Of 2 Children In L.A., Riverside And San Bernardino Counties
A Mira Loma man arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting two children across three Southern California counties was released Wednesday, authorities said. Francisco Javier Oseguera Cervantes is accused of recently assaulting a child at a home in Highland and abusing another underage victim at multiple locations across Los Angeles and Riverside counties over a span of 10 years, according to the Highland Police Department. Oseguera Cervantes, 34, was arrested Tuesday after deputies followed up on a report of sexual abuse at 12:18 p.m. that day, police said. The San Bernardino County Department of Children and Family Services had told Highland police an underage girl was being abused. He was booked into the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino on suspicion of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 and released on bail a day later. The sexual abuse believed to have continued for 10 years allegedly ended in 2016. Police did not say exactly when Cervantes is accused of assaulting the more recent victim.

Felon Pleads Guilty To Stealing Mail To Perpetrate Identity Theft
A convicted felon who stole mail belonging to dozens of people in Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego counties as part of an identity theft scheme pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of ID theft. Laura Leigh Maynard, 47, of Hemet, admitted the felony charges under a plea agreement with the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. In exchange for her admissions, prosecutors agreed to drop two related felony and misdemeanor allegations. Maynard entered the plea deal just as her case was set for a preliminary hearing, which would have determined whether there was sufficient evidence to justify a trial. Superior Court Judge Becky Dugan scheduled a sentencing hearing for Sept. 17 at the Banning Justice Center. Maynard is expected to receive a three-year jail term.

Border Patrol Agents Seize $90K In Heroin, Arrest Convicted Sex Offender Over Weekend
Border Patrol agents in the San Diego County communities of Pine Valley, San Ysidro and Tecate over the weekend seized more than eight pounds of heroin, arrested three people in a fleeing SUV and detained a convicted sex offender who had illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, officials said. Officials discussed the three incidents, which occurred between Friday and Sunday, in a news release that noted it had been an “eventful weekend” of enforcement. In a separate news release Tuesday, Border Patrol officials said they also detained 25 unauthorized immigrants Sunday in three alleged ocean-smuggling incidents off the coast of San Diego County. As many as 17 suspected unauthorized immigrants may have escaped capture in one of the incidents in Mission Bay. In the first land-based incident, a 23-year-old man driving on Interstate 8 at the checkpoint near Pine Valley around noon Friday was told to go to secondary inspection after a drug-sniffing dog indicated his Cadillac might be carrying narcotics. Agents searched the vehicle and found four packages of heroin inside a fake battery. The driver and the drugs, with an estimated street value of $89,700, were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The vehicle was seized.
Los Angeles Times

Public Safety News

Firefighters Battle Brush Fire Above Multimillion-Dollar Homes In Pacific Palisades
Firefighters on Tuesday battled a brush fire that burned at least 5 acres of a densely vegetated hillside near several multimillion-dollar homes in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. The fire was reported at about 2:16 p.m. in the area of 17793 West Calle De Palermo, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. By 3:30 p.m., LAFD said firefighters had stopped the fire from spreading at about 5 acres. The flames were 75% contained Tuesday evening, and crews would remain on scene overnight to ensure there aren't any flare ups, LAFD Capt. Erik Scott said in a video message. Officials said the terrain-driven fire was burning uphill in medium to heavy brush. "Air and ground crews have knocked down most of the active flames in the brush fire that burned uphill and away from the nearby homes," LAFD said at about 3:25 p.m.

L.A. County Fair Invests $200,000 Into New Command Center, Upgraded Security 
More than 1 million people visit the Los Angeles County Fair every year. A crude reality is that in light of ongoing mass shootings, many people have a fear of large crowds. The Pomona Fairplex invested $200,000 into this new command center to have a broader view and approach to public safety, said Miguel Santana, the president and CEO of Fairplex. "We made a decision to really strengthen our overall command response, not just in the event of a mass shooting, but in any situation that may occur," said Santana. During a large event, this command center is filled with people from several different agencies working together to monitor everything from traffic, parking and cameras on the fairgrounds. "We increased the number of cameras we had before," said Santana. "We can see traffic patterns in the surrounding neighborhoods, a lot of the major freeways. We can actually see people coming in and the number of admissions that are happening at any given time." Barry Gillies, the director of property operations at Fairplex, said they also have the ability to notify attendees in the event of an emergency.

Local Government News

Republican John Lee Claims Victory In Valley Council Race
Former City Hall aide John Lee claimed victory early Wednesday in a closely watched race against astrophysicist and college educator Loraine Lundquist to represent Chatsworth, Granada Hills and other parts of the northwest San Fernando Valley on the Los Angeles City Council. The results, although not yet certified, showed Lee with a sizable lead over Lundquist with all election precincts reporting. Although the race was nonpartisan — no “R” or “D” appeared next to candidate names on the ballot — the special election mobilized Democrats eager to flip a seat long held by Republicans. Lee is registered as a Republican, but as he declared victory at his Porter Ranch headquarters, he vowed to embody “bipartisan representation.” “Too much in this campaign it was about red versus blue,” Lee told his supporters to cheers. “And it just shouldn't be. It should be about community.” In recent years, the Valley seat has been the sole one held by a Republican on a City Council dominated by Democrats. But rising numbers of Democrats and nonpartisan voters in the district, along with thinning numbers of registered Republicans, generated excitement on the left about the Valley race.
Los Angeles Times

LA County Supervisors Scrap $1.7 Billion Contract To Replace Jail: ‘It's Time To Do The Right Thing'
Criminal justice advocates celebrated Tuesday, and Sheriff Alex Villanueva warned of potentially deadly consequences, as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to cancel a $1.7 billion contract for a downtown mental health treatment center to replace Men's Central Jail. The vote was 4-1, with Supervisor Kathryn Barger dissenting. Activists and Supervisor Hilda Solis assembled on the steps of the Kenneth Hall of Administration and more than 200 people signed up to speak to the board during a hearing that continued well into the afternoon. Many speakers wore orange T-shirts with the logo for JusticeLA, an umbrella coalition that has brought together advocates from a host of different nonprofits in a years-long campaign to divert funding from jail construction to community-based resources and services. “We're about to make history today,” Eunisses Hernandez of JusticeLA told the crowd outside. “Generations of our people have actually been at this fight for nearly a decade.”
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: