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

January 29, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Woman Found Fatally Shot Inside South L.A. Tent: Police
A woman was found fatally shot inside a tent in the South Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles Tuesday morning, officials said. Los Angeles Police Department officers were called to the scene near the intersection of 55th Street and Central Avenue about 7:20 a.m. for a suspicious death investigation. The victim was found suffering from a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene, LAPD Lt. Ryan Rabbett told KTLA. She is believed to be in her 30s or 40s. Investigators were at the scene late in the morning, talking to witnesses and reviewing video. The elaborate tent appeared to have a door installed, as well as a table set up outside, video from the scene showed. Police did not have any information about possible suspects, and no further details about the incident have been released.

1 Dead After Motorcycle Pursuit Ends In Crash In South LA
A chase involving a stolen motorcycle ended in a crash in South Los Angeles that killed one person and sent another to a local hospital Tuesday night, authorities say. California Highway Patrol officers first began following the motorcycle on the 605 Freeway near the 60 Freeway going at a high rate of speed, according to authorities. After a short pursuit involving LAPD, the suspects crashed in the area of 62nd Street and St. Andrews Place. One person was pronounced dead at the scene. Los Angeles Fire Department crews transported the second person to the hospital in unknown condition. The age and gender of the suspects were not immediately known. The investigation is ongoing.
FOX 11

BMW Driver Arrested In Echo Park Hit-and-Run That Left 61-Year-Old Woman Dead: LAPD

A man accused in a hit-and-run crash that left a 61-year-old woman dead in Echo Park last week was arrested before dawn Tuesday, officials said. Ilya Foks, 39, was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter after officers spotted him around 1:30 a.m. on Sepulveda Boulevard in Westchester, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release. Investigators believe Foks was behind the wheel of a BMW sedan that collided with Rosa Garcia's car after veering into the wrong lane of traffic. The crash occurred on Sunset Boulevard around 7:45 a.m. last Thursday. The 2019 BMW M4 was headed west when it slammed head-on into Garcia's 2004 Toyota Corolla in the eastbound lanes near Douglas Street, officers said. First responders took Garcia to a nearby hospital, where she later died. Police say she was surrounded by family when she succumbed to her injuries. Foks left the scene on foot without stopping to render aid, according to LAPD.

Domestic Violence Murder Suspect Surrenders In Santa Cruz, Brought To LA
A domestic violence murder suspect was brought back to Los Angeles Tuesday after surrendering to police in Santa Cruz. Joseph Chung, 50, was wanted on suspicion of killing his 48-year-old ex-wife, whose name has not been released, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Officers responded Wednesday about 2:30 p.m. to a call of a possible dead body in an apartment near the 400 block of Berendo Street near Fourth Street in Koreatown. They discovered a woman's body inside the apartment and determined that the death was suspicious in nature, according to police. The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office ruled the case a homicide, and police identified Chung as a suspect, police reported. “There was a history of domestic violence,” police reported. Authorities believed that Chung had fled the area, and Chung surrendered himself at a Santa Cruz police station about 5 p.m. Monday. He was brought back to Los Angeles Tuesday for booking and arraignment, according to police.

Illegal L.A. Pot Shops Were Selling Vapes Tainted With Additives: State Regulators
California officials announced Monday that marijuana vape cartridges seized in illegal shops in Los Angeles contained potentially dangerous additives, including a thickening agent blamed for a national outbreak of deadly lung illnesses tied to vaping. Officials also found that the illegal vapes confiscated in the December raids typically were not as potent as advertised, and sometimes contained just a fraction of the THC claimed on the labels, according to state testing results. THC is the chemical in marijuana that makes users feel high. The findings highlight the risk for consumers at underground shops and delivery services that are common in Los Angeles and elsewhere around California, officials said. “The prevalence of dirty and dangerous vape pens at unlicensed cannabis stores demonstrate how important it is for consumers to purchase cannabis goods from licensed retailers, which are required to sell products that meet state testing and labeling standards,” said Lori Ajax, who heads California's Bureau of Cannabis Control.

Inglewood Man Convicted Of Murdering Wife As She Held Their Infant Son
A jury convicted a 38-year-old Inglewood man on Tuesday of murdering his wife in front of their four young children, shooting her as she held their 11-month-old son, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Andy Steve Valadez was found guilty of second-degree murder, criminal threats and child abuse in the Nov. 11, 2015, killing of his wife, Sandra Valadez, 32. Prosecutors said they had been married for about 11 years. He shot her twice in the head while they were inside the same room as their children, who at the time ranged from 8-years-old to 11-months-old, according to DA's office spokesman Ricardo Santiago. Since the family lived in a converted garage behind Sandra's family's house, her 63-year-old aunt heard the gunfire and came running over, according to prosecutors.

L.A. County Offers $10,000 Reward In Shooting Death Of 28-Year-Old

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $10,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to whoever killed a 28-year-old Whittier man last spring. Supervisor Janice Hahn recommended a reward to help find the man who gunned down Freddy Rosas just before 2 a.m. on May 24. Investigators obtained video surveillance showing Rosas walking out of a 7-Eleven parking lot in the 14100 block of Mulberry Drive in an unincorporated area of Whittier. A white Toyota Prius can be seen driving by and pulling into a nearby alley. As Rosas approached, the Prius pulled out of the alley and parked in his path. The driver jumped out, ran up to Rosas and shot him. Rosas — who was just a half-mile from his home — ran about 100 yards before he collapsed. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

California Man Pleads Guilty To Railroad Spike Killings Targeting Homeless
A man with a criminal record and history of mental illness pleaded guilty on Monday to four counts of murder in a string of deadly attacks on sleeping homeless men in San Diego, two of whom were set on fire. Jon David Guerrero, 42, agreed to be sentenced May 1 to four consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole and an additional 143 years to life in prison, according to Fox News based on a report from the Union-Tribune. Guerrero also pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted murder, five counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of arson for setting fire to two of four victims who died. The charges involved 12 men and one woman who were targeted over six months in 2016, the newspaper said. Court records show Guerrero is diagnosed with schizophrenia and has a history of arrests and mental competency hearings, including one judge's order that sent him to a state hospital for treatment.

Offenders Under 21 Would Be Automatically Tried As Juveniles Under New California Bill
California lawmakers will consider expanding the reach of the state's juvenile justice system so that those under age 21 are automatically tried as minors — an idea backed by some state probation officers, who say teenagers aren't mature enough to be held responsible in the same way as older offenders. Though few details are included in the legislation introduced at the state Capitol on Tuesday, Senate Bill 889 was proposed in “recognition that people under 21 still need guidance,” said its author, state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley). Skinner pointed to other laws, such as restrictions on purchasing tobacco, cannabis and alcohol, that require a person to be 21 as the “adult or responsible age,” she said. “The science says [those] between 18 and 24 have less than fully developed prefrontal cortexes,” said Brian Richart, president of the Chief Probation Officers of California, the trade association that represents probation officials across the state. “Their decision making is inhibited. They act impulsively and we know this, yet we treat them as if they are fully developed.”
Los Angeles Times

Public Safety News

‘Major Emergency' Fire Engulfs Commercial Building In Downtown L.A.
An investigation is underway after flames engulfed a large commercial building in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday morning. The “major emergency” fire was reported about 2:45 a.m. at the one-story building located in the 1400 block of East 15th Street, a Los Angeles Fire Department news release stated. Firefighters arrived to find the flames burning through the roof of the 50 foot by 100-foot structure. The was unoccupied when the fire broke out, LAFD spokesperson David Ortiz said. The large flames forced firefighters to initially take a defensive mode. It took 135 firefighters to eventually knock down the blaze just before 4 a.m.

Health Official Says Coronavirus Is No Need For Panic In Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County's top public health official said on Tuesday residents should not be alarmed about the coronavirus, despite the spread of the disease in China and the growing number of deaths attributed to it. "At this moment, (there is) absolutely nothing to be afraid of, "Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Kathryn Barger asked for the update to counter misinformation as many Chinese communities prepare for Lunar New Year celebrations. "There is no need to panic and there is no need for people to cancel their activities" Ferrer said. "There's nothing that indicates that there's human-to-human transmission in L.A. County." The first case of coronavirus in Los Angeles County was confirmed Sunday. The patient was a traveler returning through Los Angeles International Airport home to Wuhan City, China, which is the epicenter of the deadly disease.
FOX 11

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Pays Respects To Kobe Bryant, Helicopter Crash Victims
There was a somber adjournment to the Los Angeles City Council meeting Tuesday, as council members paid their respects to Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant following his death in a Sunday morning helicopter crash that also killed his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people. Councilman Herb Wesson said city leaders should try to live their lives like Bryant — by trying to be their best every day. “I dare each and every one of us to be as great as we can be,” Wesson said. “You want to celebrate the life of an individual that was the heart and soul of this city for 20 years? Then let us be the best that we can be. Let us not settle. Let us do more.” Council President Pro Tem Joe Buscaino and Councilman John Lee wore Kobe Bryant jerseys during the meeting. Councilman Curren Price wore a Lakers hat, and Councilman Paul Koretz wore a Lakers tie. Almost all of the council members wore either purple or gold.

L.A. Could Thwart Westside Evictions Under Plan Approved At City Hall

Los Angeles officials are pressing forward with a new strategy that could thwart plans to turn Westside apartments into condominiums, in an effort to protect renters from eviction. Tenant activists have complained that the Ellis Act has led to tens of thousands of evictions in Los Angeles. The California law allows people to be ejected from rent-stabilized apartments if the landlord is getting out of the rental business, which can include turning the building into condos. Now L.A. is trying out a new strategy to prevent such evictions. Under the Municipal Code, the city can refuse to take a key step toward converting a residential building into condos if two conditions are met: that the rental market in the area has seen a “significant” cumulative effect from such building conversions, and the vacancy rate in the area is 5% or less.
Los Angeles Times

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: