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

September 3, 2019
Law Enforcement News

Man Who Killed Palm Springs Police Officers Sentenced To Death
A man who fired an AR-15 rifle from inside his family's home, gunning down two Palm Springs police officers who had responded to a domestic-disturbance call at the residence, was sentenced to death Friday. John Hernandez Felix, 29, was convicted May 20 of murder and other charges for the killings of veteran Officer Jose Gilbert “Gil” Vega, 63, and rookie Officer Lesley Zerebny, 27. The officers were killed Oct. 8, 2016, as they stood outside the Felix family home in the 2700 block of Cypress Avenue in Palm Springs. A jury in May recommended the death penalty for Felix after less than two hours of deliberation, and Friday Riverside County Superior Court Judge Anthony Villalobos took the jury's recommendation.

Death, Made In Mexico: Traffickers Embrace Fentanyl
Melissa and Daryl McKinsey first heard about “Mexican Oxy” last year when their 19-year-old son Parker called in tears. “I need to go to rehab,” he said. Several months earlier, a friend had given Parker a baby-blue pill that was stamped on one side with the letter M. It resembled a well-known brand of oxycodone, the prescription painkiller that sparked the American opioid epidemic. But the pill was actually a far more powerful and more addictive opioid: fentanyl. Within weeks, Parker was crushing and freebasing up to eight pills a day. Developed decades ago as a painkiller of last resort, fentanyl has surpassed heroin and prescription pills to become the leading driver of the opioid crisis and is now the top cause of U.S. overdose deaths. Last year, more than 31,000 people in the United States died after taking fentanyl or one of its close chemical relatives, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No other drug in modern history has killed more people in a year. Fentanyl started appearing on U.S. streets in significant quantities in 2013, most of it produced in China and shipped in the mail. Today, officials say the majority is smuggled from Mexico, where it is remaking the drug trade as traffickers embrace it over heroin, which is more difficult and expensive to produce.
Los Angeles Times

2 Fathers Found Shot Dead Inside Car Riddled With Bullets In South LA
Two men were found shot dead Sunday morning inside a car in South Los Angeles. The victims were found at around 8:05 a.m. in a green Mitsubishi in the area of 89th Street and Grand Avenue, said Officer Drake Madison of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section. Family told NBCLA that one of the victims was a popular barber in the area and father to four children, while the other man killed had a son. "I've been crying all day," Jimmy John, who identified himself as one of the victim's cousins, said. "It's messed up--super messed up. They don't have any enemies like that...they were taking care of their kids." Family identified the victims as Eric Allen Jones and Billy Blunt. Police did not release any further information.

LAPD Investigating Fatal El Sereno Hit-And-Run
Authorities are investigating a fatal hit-and-run in El Sereno. LAPD officials say a 62-year-old male pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle traveling eastbound on Huntington Drive near Topaz Street shortly before 10 p.m. Monday night. The driver fled the scene. Police say the victim died after being transported to a local hospital. They did not have a suspect description at the time of this report.

Shooting In Harbor Gateway Leaves Man And Woman Hospitalized
A man and woman were hospitalized Saturday morning with gunshot wounds suffered in a drive-by shooting in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles. Officers responded to the 1500 block of West 207th Street near Denker Avenue about 10:40 p.m. Friday where they found the injured 30-year-old man and 30-year-old woman, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A preliminary investigation determined the victims were standing outside a home in the area when a person in a vehicle pulled up and fired multiple shots at them, police said. The suspect was last seen driving away westbound on 207th Street, the LAPD said. Both victims were taken to a hospital in stable condition. A detailed description of the suspect and suspect's vehicle were not available. The shooting was not gang related, police said.

2 People Stabbed At Koreatown Ralphs, Both In Critical Condition
Two people were stabbed at a Koreatown Ralph's grocery store Sunday, authorities said. The stabbings occurred around 9:15 p.m. in the 3400 block of West Third Street, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. A 25-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were stabbed and both were in critical condition, the LAFD said. No other details were immediately available.

One Person Wounded In Shooting In Palms Neighborhood Of L.A.
One person was wounded in a shooting that took place in the Palms neighborhood of Los Angeles on Monday. The suspects are still at large. The shooting took place shortly before 7 p.m. near Regent Street and Cardiff Avenue, Capt. Vic Davalos with LAPD said. Davalos said the victim was struck several times. He was taken to a local hospital where he is said to be in stable condition. The suspects, described as one white male and one black male, were in a vehicle described as a white 4-door BMW. Police are canvassing the neighborhood and seeking potential witnesses, Davalos said. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact LAPD's Pacific Communtiy Police Station at 310-482-6338.

Police: Driver Accused In Hit-and-Run Is Found In Later Crash, Ejected From His Car
A motorist is expected to be arrested on suspicion of felony and hit and run when he recovers from a single-vehicle crash in Pacoima a few minutes later that left him with serious injuries, a police officer said Saturday. At about 10:15 p.m. Friday, a motorist was going eastbound on Osborne Place from Osborne Street when he hit a woman who was “legally” in the roadway, leaving her with severe injuries, said Officer Jason Lee, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department. “The driver stopped briefly, but then fled the scene without giving aid or identifying himself,” Lee said. The motorist reached speeds of up to 100 miles per hour as he fled, according to witnesses. About five minutes later, police received a radio call of a traffic crash in the area of San Fernando Road and Montague Street, where a motorist was ejected from his vehicle, Lee said. “His vehicle went airborne and over the flood channel,” he said. “He was not DUI. He will be ultimately charged with felony hit and run.”
Los Angeles Daily News

Vandals Tag Nearly A Dozen San Pedro Homes With Swastikas

Nearly a dozen properties were hit by vandals overnight, and now local leaders want to send a message. “We're all working class, and you know the last thing you want to do is come home from a 10 hour shift to find your place all messed up,” Lion Lyons, a community activist said. Los Angeles police are investigating after at least nine area homes were tagged with swastikas. “Police woke me up last night and told me it was on my house,” Emil Mohan, said. This was the first time his home on Grand and 13th in San Pedro has been vandalized in the 13 years he's lived here. He spent Monday afternoon painting over the hateful symbols. “I'm very upset,” he said. “Look, they damaged my house.” Lyons shared images of other homes in the neighborhood that had been vandalized overnight. Those properties are now sporting fresh coats of paint to cover the taggers' work.

L.A. Man Pleads Guilty To South Bay Bank Robberies
A Los Angeles man pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges of bank robbery and attempted bank robbery linked to four South Bay financial institutions. Trayvon McNutt, 32, admitted in Los Angeles federal court that between June 2018 and last September he used “intimidation” to rob three credit unions, including two of them twice, and attempted to rob a Wells Fargo Bank branch. “That's quite a crime spree,” U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. said after a prosecutor detailed the crimes. McNutt faces up to 120 years in federal prison and could be ordered to pay restitution of nearly $25,000 at sentencing on Dec. 13, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Lucy B. Jennings. The attempted robbery took place at a Wells Fargo branch in Lynwood, court papers show. McNutt also admitted robbing a Kinecta Federal Credit Union in Gardena in June 2018 and last September, and a California Credit Union in Carson in July 2018 and again in September, according to his plea agreement.

SoCal Babysitter Accused Of Sexually Assaulting 12 Boys After Previous Molestation Charges
A 30-year-old man who was previously accused of molesting two young boys while they were under his care as a Southern California nanny is now being accused of victimizing 12 boys, officials announced Friday. Matthew Antonio Zakrzewski, of Costa Mesa, was originally charged with three felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14 and one felony count of oral copulation of a child under the age of 10. He was also charged with one felony count of possession of child pornography. Zakrzewski pleaded not guilty to those charges in May. Now he is facing a total of 25 felony counts, including 19 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14. The lengthy roster of charges also includes felony possession of child pornography, using a minor for sex acts and distributing pornography to a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office. The crimes were committed on boys ranging from four to 10 years old, between January 2016 and May 2019, prosecutors said. He's facing 490 years to life if convicted on all charges.

Public Safety News

Help Support LA Firefighters With LAFD Gear
A new clothing line is giving people the chance to gear up like a Los Angeles firefighter while supporting the los Angeles Fire Department. The clothing line includes items such as hats, T-shirts and hoodies with designs inspired by the LAFD's uniform. With the wildfire season approaching, all of the proceeds from the clothing line will help cover the cost of fighting fires and gear. Liz Lin of the LAFD Foundation says they are trying to fund gear bags for the LAFD, those are the bags that they put all of their protective gear in to limit the exposure of carcinogens. You can get your hands on the LAFD merch and help support the department on the LAFD Foundation website.
Coast Guard: 25 Bodies Found After California Boat Fire
A middle-of-the-night fire swept a boat carrying recreational scuba divers anchored near an island off the Southern California coast early Monday, leaving at least 25 dead and nine others missing. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr Matthew Kroll said Monday night that 25 people had died. Five of six crew members on the Conception escaped by jumping into an inflatable boat they steered to a nearby vessel. Rescuers initially recovered four bodies about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles just off Santa Cruz Island, and 16 others were pulled from the water later in the day. The Coast Guard says five others have been found but not recovered due to unsafe conditions under the boat, which sank about 20 yards (18 meters) from shore. Authorities will search for the nine people still unaccounted for through the night. “We should all be prepared to move into the worst outcome,” Coast Guard Capt. Monica Rochester said at a news conference. The four bodies recovered initially had injuries consistent with drowning, Kroll said. It wasn't immediately clear when the bodies on the ocean floor might be retrieved or when divers could search the boat for others.
Associated Press

Local Government News

Council President Emphasizes Need To Help Homeless Following Skid Row Death
Spurred by the recent killing of a musician on skid row, City Council President Herb Wesson made an impassioned plea Friday for increased efforts to move the homeless off the streets of Los Angeles. Darrell Fields, 62, a longtime musician, was set ablaze in his tent Monday and died the next morning. Fields used to play his blues guitar at the office of the Los Angeles Community Action Network and around the skid row area. “We need to do more to get people off the street and somewhere safe,” Wesson said. “When I talked to Pete White, the leader of LA CAN, and when he told me the story, I said, `What kind of animal would set another human being on fire?' And he said, `An animal that needs to be separated from good people.”' Wesson said there needs to be a measure of discretion in efforts to help the homeless — getting those who are making efforts to better their situations into housing sooner.

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: