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 21, 2019
Law Enforcement News

Video Shows Moment Before Woman Fatally Struck By Hit-and-Run Driver In South LA
Surveillance video shows the moment before a woman was struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash in South Los Angeles. The crash occurred Tuesday at about 11 p.m. near the intersection of 98th Street and S. Vermont Avenue. Video shows the woman getting off a Metro bus and then start walking on the crosswalk as a vehicle approaches and hits her. The force of the crash apparently sent the victim flying. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The California Highway Patrol said the car did not stop. The victim has not been identified. She is described as someone in her mid-to-late 50s. The suspect vehicle was described as a white sedan.

Man Seeking Employment At Watts Recycling Company Shoots Owner In Arm After Being Told They Weren't Hiring: LAPD

A man who was seeking employment at a Watts recycling company allegedly shot the owner in the arm after being told they weren't hiring, Los Angeles Police Department officials said Tuesday. The incident was reported about 5:10 a.m. Aug. 12 along the 1700 block of East 111th Street. A preliminary investigation revealed that a man walked into the business asking for employment and wanted to speak to the owner, LAPD officials said in a news release. Employees told the man they were not hiring and to come back another time. The man “eventually located and contacted” the owner, who reiterated that they were not hiring, police said. The man then allegedly took out a handgun and shot the owner multiple times, hitting him in the arm, police said. The man ran away and was last seen heading west on East 111th Street toward Compton Avenue. Paramedics with the Los Angeles Fire Department responded and took the victim to a local hospital where he was treated and was in stable condition, police said. The gunman remains at large. He was described as being between 25 and 35 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 180 pounds.

Police Commission Elects New Board President, Vice President

The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners Tuesday unanimously elected Eileen Decker to serve as the board president, while Shane Murphy Goldsmith was chosen as vice president. “Since the end of October of last year, I've had the great privilege of serving on this commission,” Decker said. “I've greatly appreciated the insights Angelenos have shared with me about what they expect … from their police department. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for this commission and the women and men of the LAPD.” Decker served as a deputy mayor for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, overseeing public safety and homeland security issues, according to her online biography. Goldsmith is president and CEO of the Liberty Hill Foundation, which provides funding and leadership training for community-based organizations within Los Angeles County.

Police Arrest 24-Year-Old ‘Prolific Identity Theft Suspect' Who Became Wanted Fugitive
A 24-year-old woman who police called a “prolific identity theft suspect” was arrested over a year and a half after LAPD detectives began an investigation that ultimately led to her becoming a wanted fugitive. Suppatra Tansuvit was arrested outside her residence in the 1000 block of Wilshire Boulevard in downtown L.A. on Aug. 14, LAPD said in a news release. In December 2017, detectives investigating a complex identity theft case involving multiple incidents and victims identified Tansuvit as the suspect. After being booked on multiple felony counts of identity theft, Tansuvit was released on bail. She later failed to appear in court for her jury trial and a felony bench warrant was issued for her arrest. The District Attorney's Office filed additional charges, making Tansuvit a wanted fugitive. In July, Tansuvit and her boyfriend, Robert Carrasquillo, engaged in a high-speed chase with police. During the pursuit, officers pulled back from Carrasquillo's high-end sports car, and went into tracking mode for the public's safety. Tansuvit was then able to get out of the vehicle and flee on foot, police said.

Sanity Phase Of Trial Set To Begin For 'Hollywood Ripper'
The sanity phase of trial for the so-called "Hollywood Ripper" -- who repeatedly stabbed and mutilated two Southern California women, including one who was killed and nearly decapitated hours before she was set to go out with actor Ashton Kutcher -- is set to begin Tuesday. Michael Gargiulo, 43, was convicted last week of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder in an attack on a Santa Monica woman and an attempted escape. Jurors also found true special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and multiple murder, opening Gargiulo to a possible death sentence. Now the jury panel will be asked to determine whether the defendant was sane at the time of the crimes. During closing arguments, one of Gargiulo's defense attorneys cited an expert's conclusion that Gargiulo suffered from dissociative identity disorder, arguing that it could have caused him to go into an "amnesiac" or fugue state during the Santa Monica attack. Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon called the notion a "complete fabrication." If jurors find Gargiulo was sane at the time of the crimes, the trial will next move to a penalty phase, in which they will recommend either a death sentence or life in prison without parole.

L.A. Trial Date Set For Man Charged With Illegal Exports To Iran
An Oct. 15 trial date is scheduled for an Iranian man charged in Los Angeles with shipping prohibited items from the United States to Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and U.S. sanctions imposed on the nation. Mehdi “Eddie” Hashemi, a dual citizen of the United States and Iran who previously resided in Los Angeles, is charged in a 21-count indictment that was unsealed Monday afternoon in Los Angeles federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Hashemi, 46, allegedly participated in a conspiracy to illegally export computer numerical control machines, which are used to process raw materials, such as metals, to precise standards, to Iran. The CNC machines at issue in this case are export-controlled for nuclear non-proliferation and anti-terrorism reasons, federal prosecutors said. Hashemi was taken into custody on Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport upon his arrival on a flight from Turkey and was arraigned on the indictment late Monday afternoon.

7 Face Federal Charges In Series Of Armed Drug Robberies At SoCal Pharmacies
Seven people are facing federal charges in connection with 15 armed robberies of pharmacies across Southern California, including a 24-year-old Lynwood man believed to be the ringleader, authorities said Friday. Tyrome Lewis, a.k.a. “Boobie,” has been described by federal prosecutors as the leader of a robbery crew that stole prescription medications from mom-and-pop shops, particularly oxycodone, to sell on the black market. The robbers would allegedly threaten employees at gunpoint and take away their phones to keep them from calling 911. A federal grand jury returned an eight-count superseding indictment Friday outlining the charges against Lewis, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. He is being held without bond as he was previously arrested and charged, and he is expected to be arraigned on Aug. 22. According to federal prosecutors, he led robberies of pharmacies in 13 cities across Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties over an 18-month span. The crimes ended just a few weeks ago and other suspects in the case have already been charged, authorities said.

California Man Arrested 27 Years After Mother Of Two Goes Missing
The former boyfriend of a young mother who disappeared 27 years ago in Northern California has been arrested in connection with the cold case, authorities said. Richard Pyle, 55, who was described by deputies as a transient, was taken into custody in Stockton on Thursday, according to a news release from the Butte County Sheriff's Office. Pyle lived with Tracy Zandstra in November 1991, when the then-29-year-old disappeared from the home they shared in Stirling City, authorities said. Zandstra's body was never found, but detectives have uncovered evidence indicating she had been killed and her body disposed of, sheriff's officials said. A Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, however, declined to say what that evidence was. Dist. Atty. Michael Ramsey said Tuesday that Pyle was considered a suspect in the case “right from the beginning.” After Zandstra went missing, he said, investigators recovered DNA evidence from the couple's residence and preserved it. “When we had advances in DNA science, we were able to reexamine that evidence and it gave us a better idea of what occurred,” Ramsey said. The DNA was found to belong to Zandstra, he said, though he declined to provide further specifics.
Los Angeles Times

Hundreds Of Guns Come In To California From Nevada. Lawmakers Want To Stop It
Alarmed that the gun used in a mass shooting in Gilroy was bought legally in Nevada, two dozen California legislators on Wednesday asked their counterparts in the neighboring state to meet this fall to discuss strengthening restrictions on firearms. The unusual proposal was made in a letter to Nevada State Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, who is a Democrat, and the Democrat-controlled Legislature just weeks after a 19-year-old resident of that state opened fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California, killing three people and wounding 13. “While California has enacted numerous gun safety measures, this tragedy underscores the need for California to work closely with neighboring states to close loopholes and advance common sense gun safety measures,” said the letter signed by 27 Democratic legislators including Assembly members Jesse Gabriel of Encino, Reginald Jones-Sawyer of Los Angeles and Buffy Wicks of Oakland. Gunman Santino William Legan bought the semiautomatic rifle legally in Nevada less than three weeks before the July 28 attack. The weapon, which authorities describe as a military-style AK-47, cannot be legally purchased in California or imported into the state, according to California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra.
Los Angeles Times

Public Safety News

Wildfire Acreage Way Down In California This Year — So Far California is not burning. At least not as much as it has in recent years.
Acreage burned through Sunday is down 90% compared to the average over the past five years and down 95% from last year, according to statistics from the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The stats are good news for a state that has seen terrifyingly destructive and deadly blazes the past two years, but the worst of those fires occurred in the fall. The precipitous drop could be due to the amount of precipitation the state received during a winter of near-record snowfall and cooler-than-average temperatures — so far. Scott McLean, a spokesman for CalFire, said the state hasn't dried out as quickly this year and the temperatures haven't been as consistently hot. Hot spells have been followed by cooler weather and winds haven't been strong. "It's a roller coaster with temperatures this year," McLean said. "There have been very little winds so far. We're crossing all fingers and appendages." The most current U.S. Drought Monitor map released last week shows only a tiny portion of California listed as abnormally dry. A year ago, almost the entire state was listed in a range from abnormally dry to extreme drought.

Local Government News

City Council Committee Looking Into Hiring Homeless For City Cleanups
A Los Angeles City Council committee Tuesday requested a report on what resources would be needed to create a pilot program that would hire homeless people for cleanup efforts around the city. The program, called the Loose Litter Cleanup, could cost millions, based on reports from 2018. "I think we need to roll out a wider net to find other approaches, other programs that may be able to come in at a cheaper-per-person cost to ensure the best result," City Councilman Paul Krekorian said during a meeting of the council's Energy, Climate Change and Environmental Justice Committee. "Especially with homelessness, we launch our pilot programs and that's the last thing anyone hears about it. Are there ways we can serve people for less money? We don't (ask) that very often as a city." City Councilwoman Nury Martinez, who chairs the committee, directed city officials to report on an ``an appropriate'' framework for the cleanup pilot program and to make recommendations on a funding strategy.

‘Great Streets' Ideas Wanted For San Fernando Road Bike And Pedestrian Path Near Sylmar Metrolink
Northeast San Fernando Valley residents will get an opportunity Wednesday to weigh in on a proposal to spruce up a well-used, but neglected bike and pedestrian path that follows the Metrolink route through Sylmar. Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore recently won an initial $15,000 Great Streets Challenge grant to do outreach and develop a plan for a nearly one-mile stretch of San Fernando Road, between Polk and Hubbard streets. The Sylmar-based nonprofit will then submit the proposal to the city to compete for a $500,000 grant to carry it out. Michael Centeno, executive director of Tia Chucha's, said they are working with community members to come up with ideas for the Great Streets proposal aimed at making the path “more welcoming and safe.” The road was chosen because it is a frequently used route by residents, but is in need of better lighting at night, repairs to the fencing, landscaping work and traffic safety improvements, he said. Centeno said there are opportunities to put in public art to make the path more inviting, reflective of and appropriate for the surrounding neighborhood.
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: