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 27, 2019
Law Enforcement News

LAPD Officer Struck By Vehicle In South L.A.; Hit-and-Run Driver Sought
Authorities are searching for the driver who struck a police officer and then drove off in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles Monday night. The incident occurred about 10:40 p.m. as Los Angeles Police Department Officer Mike Martinez was making a traffic stop on a suspected stolen vehicle near the intersection of East 61st Street and San Pedro Street. As he was outside of his vehicle a van came traveling in the opposite direction and struck him, Martinez said. “Either didn't see me or didn't care,” he said. Martinez was carried on the hood of the vehicle into the intersection. Once he came off the hood, the driver sped off. The driver, who "definitely knew that the 200-pound Hispanic policeman on top of his hood didn't belong there,” is being sought for a hit-and-run, Martinez said. The officer suffered injuries to his elbow, wrist and knee but decided not to go to the hospital. Martinez said he would have his doctor check him out later. This is not the first time a driver struck Martinez, who said a drunk driver hit him earlier in his career.

California LEO Dies After Losing Consciousness 6 Years Ago During SWAT Tryout

An Orange County, Calif., sheriff's deputy who collapsed and lost consciousness six years ago during tryouts for the SWAT team has died, officials said. Carlos Cammon, 35, died Friday night after succumbing to his injuries, Sheriff Don Barnes announced Saturday on his Twitter page. He collapsed during the tryout session July 18, 2013, and never regained consciousness, the sheriff said. Cammon distinguished himself during his six years on the department, he said. “In 2010, Deputy Cammon received the Medal of Courage after he and three other off-duty deputies subdued a man with a knife assaulting a woman at a restaurant in Orange,” Barnes said. “Our department family joins the Cammon family in grieving the loss of this brave young man.”
Los Angeles Times

Suspect Sought In Fatal Skid Row Attack On Homeless Man
Police on Monday released images of one of three suspects being sought in an attack on a 59-year-old homeless man, who was beaten with a metal pipe in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles and died of his injuries 10 days later. A warrant has been issued for the arrest of 32-year-old Bernard "Midnight" Myers, who's accused in the death of Gustavo Zeledon. The other two suspects -- James "Genuine" Brown, 38, and Thomas "Biggie" Williams, 35 -- are in custody. Williams was arrested on Aug. 10 and is being held in lieu of $70,000 bail, and Brown was taken into custodyon Aug. 22, with bail set at $52,500, jail records show. The victim was standing next to his van in the 800 block of East Fifth Street about 4:25 p.m. Aug. 7 when he was approached by three men, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. "One suspect approached him from behind and struck him in the head with a metal bar several times," according to an LAPD statement. "Mr. Zeledon fell to the ground, hitting his head on the pavement. The other two suspects went through his pockets and removed his property."
FOX 11

$25,000 Reward For Information On Driver In Boyle Heights Hit-and-Run
Los Angeles police are searching for a driver who sped away last week after crossing into oncoming traffic and slamming into a bicyclist riding in Boyle Heights. The victim was riding his bike about 10:20 p.m. Thursday on Whittier Boulevard near Calzona Street when the driver, believed to be in a 2011-18 Chevrolet/GMC full-sized white truck, traveling west crossed the center divider. After striking the bicyclist, who flew over the truck's hood, the driver didn't stop to help or identify themselves, instead driving away. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded and took the bicyclist, who suffered severe injuries, to a hospital. The truck is believed to have a red front bumper, a lower valance air deflector, black rims and a black bed cover. The truck might have a custom white rear bumper, and possibly has aftermarket head and taillights, according to the LAPD. There is no suspect description. A reward of up to $25,000 is available to community members who provide information leading to the offender's identification, apprehension and conviction or resolution through a civil compromise.
Los Angeles Times

Realtor, Alleged Accomplice Charged With Burglarizing Celebrity Homes In L.A.
Two Beverly Hills men, including a realtor, face 50 felony charges in connection with an alleged scheme to burglarize celebrities' homes in the Los Angeles area, primarily by taking advantage of real estate open houses, authorities said Thursday. The string of burglaries targeted at least 14 homes between 2016 and 2018, including those of musicians Usher and Adam Lambert, as well as former professional football player Shaun Phillips, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a written statement. Realtor Jason Emil Yaselli, 32, and Benjamin Eitan Ackerman are each charged with 32 counts of money laundering, 12 counts of residential burglary, two counts of burglary with a person present, two counts of identity theft, one count of conspiracy to commit burglary and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. "The charges include an allegation of taking more than $500,000 through fraud and embezzlement," according to the district attorney's office statement. Prosecutors filed the case on Aug. 15, officials said. Ackerman was arrested the following day, and Yaselli was taken into custody Wednesday.

2 Women Get Life In Robbery Killing Of LA Liquor Store Clerk
Prosecutors say two women have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the killing of a Los Angeles liquor store clerk during an attempted robbery three years ago. The LA County District Attorney's Office says 26-year-old Rosa Manuela Barrientos and 28-year-old Maria Michelle Inzunza were convicted in Aug. 2018 of murder and robbery. They were sentenced last week. Investigators said 61-year-old Mohammed Kalam was shot in the head by Barrientos as the two women tried to rob the store in North Hollywood in Sept. 2016.

2 Gang Members Sentenced In 2016 Killing Of Marine On Leave In South LA
Two gang members who shot and killed a 19-year-old Marine in his car in South Los Angeles have been sentenced to potential life terms in prison. Twenty-eight-year-old Oscar Aguilar was given 100 years to life on Monday and 31-year-old Esau Rios received 50 years to life. Prosecutors say Aguilar shot Lance Cpl. Carlos Segovia Lopez in the head in 2016. "This is the clothes that Carlos was wearing the day that he was shot," said an emotional Sandra Lopez, the mother of the Marine who was killed, as she addressed the court. Segovia Lopez was on leave Sept. 16, 2016 when he reportedly confronted the two men in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, believing they were tampering with vehicles. He was shot in the head. He died three days later at the hospital. Sandra Lopez spoke of her son's dedication to community service, helping the homeless and at-risk youth to prevent crimes. "He told me, 'Mom, I need to change the world,'" she said.

Former Los Angeles Church Chairman Charged With Stealing Over $11 Million In Church Funds
The former board chairman for the Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, Los Angeles, was arrested Monday on suspicion of stealing more than $11 million in church money and using it to purchase a home, a membership at Disneyland's exclusive dining club and pay other personal expenses. Charles Thomas Sebesta, 54, of Huntington Beach, is charged in a federal indictment with six counts of wire fraud, five counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He pleaded not guilty Monday to the charges in the indictment. Trial was set for Oct. 22 and a detention hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles. According to the indictment, Sebesta was hired in 2001 as the church's facilities manager and ultimately joined the church in 2005 and served as its local chairman. In that capacity, he controlled the church's financial assets and operations, including at least five of its bank accounts, according to the indictment.
Los Angeles Daily News

Public Safety News

West Nile Mosquitoes Found In West San Fernando Valley, La Mirada, Cerritos
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District said Friday it has confirmed seven additional mosquito samples positive for West Nile virus. This brings the total number of samples positive for the virus within the district's service area to 13 this year, according to a statement. The new positive samples were collected from six new areas: Winnetka, West Hills, Canoga Park, Granada Hills, La Mirada and Cerritos. West Nile virus is endemic in Los Angeles County, and the summer heat can increase virus activity and mosquito populations. So far this year, 10 human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in California, two of which were identified by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for West Nile virus. One in five persons infected with the virus will exhibit symptoms, which can include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, or a skin rash. These symptoms can last for several days to months. One in 150 people infected with the virus will require hospitalization. Severe symptoms include high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, coma, paralysis and possibly death.
Los Angeles Daily News

Local Government News

Mayor Eric Garcetti Pledges More Outreach, Resources Amid LA Homeless Crisis
There are 36,000 people living in Los Angeles without a home. Mayor Eric Garcetti was inside the city's Emergency Operations Center Monday discussing the growing homeless crisis in L.A. When the center is not being used during devastating earthquakes, floods, or fires, a permanent sign in big letters faces the room calling it the Unified Homelessness Response Center. The mayor offered an accounting Monday of all of the areas his administration is involved in to try and turn the tide of the homeless crisis. He first mentioned the streets, stating that “clean teams” are fanning out throughout the city, cleaning up garbage and hazardous waste. In many cases, they've identified businesses as the source of the trash. City Fire is using fast response units that carry paramedics to the homeless to deal with emergency medical issues. More beds are being added to provide temporary housing in the Bridge to Home program. More than 20 new homeless shelters are under construction along with 10,000 new permanent housing units. Mayor Garcetti is calling on state legislators to pass a bill that would put a cap on rent hikes and provide eviction protection.

With ‘Topanga Apartments,' The Northwest San Fernando Valley Could Get Its First Homeless Housing Project
Despite a pledge made by Los Angeles City Council members last year to support new homeless supportive housing projects in each of their districts, there were zero approved in the northwest San Fernando Valley — otherwise known as Council District 12 — until last week. Just days after the district's residents elected John Lee as their representative in City Council, a Prop HHH-funded supportive housing project was approved by the city's Housing and Community Investment Department, slated for potential development on Topanga Boulevard in Chatsworth. The project is proposed as a supportive housing development for homeless individuals with 63 affordable studio apartment units and a unit for an on-site manager. The site is 10243 N. Topanga Canyon Boulevard, currently a car sales lot and garage. If approved by City Council, Affirmed Housing Group, Inc. would develop the property and receive $8.3 million in money from Prop HHH, the $1.2-billion bond measure to build housing for the chronically homeless passed by voters in 2016.
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: