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

February 12, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Alabama Deputy Critically Injured In Crash
Cullman County Sheriff's Office K-9 Deputy Adam Clark was injured Tuesday morning after his patrol car wrecked on Highway 69 South near Bremen. He was found unconscious, with his K-9 Partner Figo also injured. Clark was transported to Huntsville hospital where he remains in critical condition. Figo is in stable condition at a local veterinarian's office. According to a CCSO statement, dispatch “lost contact with a deputy during the heavy rain” while the deputy was on patrol. “CCSO deputies located the injured deputy a short time later” on Alabama Highway 69 South, where he was unconscious.

2 Men Shot, Killed Outside Van Nuys Home  
Two men were shot and killed outside a home in Van Nuys, and police are searching for the shooter. The shooting happened at about 11:30 p.m. outside a home on Wyandotte near Sepulveda Boulevard. The two men were standing outside a house when they were hit by gunfire. Police are looking into reports of a silver sedan leaving the area immediately after the shooting. It's not clear why the two men had been standing in the driveway of the home, or if there was a connection between them. Police say they have no motive for the shooting at this time. “We do not know the particulars, whether they were coming and going or whether the suspects were here if they arrived or at the same time,” LAPD Commander Alan Hamilton said.

Man Fatally Shot Near Church In Highland Park; 4 Suspects Outstanding: LAPD
A man was fatally shot Tuesday evening near a church in Highland Park, and four suspects were outstanding, the Los Angeles Police Department told KTLA. The shooting was reported at 4:57 p.m. in the area of Avenue 56 and Ash Street, LAPD Officer Tony Im said. The scene is near All Saints Episcopal Church. Police found the victim on the sidewalk and tried to render aid but ultimately pronounced him dead at the scene. Although investigators have not yet identified the victim, police said he was about 30 years old. Two men and two Hispanic women were suspects in the shooting, according to police. No other information was immediately released.

Pacoima Man Killed In Hit-and-Run; Good Samaritan Aids In Arrest
A 44-year-old Pacoima man died after he was struck by a vehicle whose driver fled the scene but was arrested shortly afterward because of a good Samaritan, police said. At around 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, Luis Sosa was crossing Glenoaks Boulevard in an unmarked crosswalk near Desmond Street in Pacoima, when a maroon-colored vehicle traveling southbound struck him, officials said. Sosa died at the scene. The driver fled the scene, but a witness who saw the crash followed the hit-and-run vehicle, Los Angeles Police spokesman Tony Im said. “The witness was able to obtain the license plate and provided the information to responding officers,” police said. “Officers immediately broadcasted the information and conducted a follow-up to the vehicle registered owner's address and subsequently took the suspect into custody.”
Los Angeles Daily News

2 People In Stolen Car Seriously Hurt In Crash After Police Pursuit In North Hollywood
Two people traveling in a stolen car being pursued by police were seriously injured Tuesday in a two-vehicle crash in North Hollywood. The collision happened about 12:40 p.m. at the intersection of North Tujunga Avenue and Erwin Street, according to Officer Ricardo Alvarez of the Los Angeles Police Department's Valley Traffic Division. Police tried to pull over the stolen vehicle, but the driver accelerated and crashed into a truck soon afterward, he said. Two of the three people in the stolen car had to be freed from the wreckage by Los Angeles Fire Department personnel. They were hospitalized in critical but stable condition, according to Alvarez, and were not immediately identified. 
Los Angeles Daily News

LAPD Detectives Seek Additional Victims Of Serial Sexual Assault Suspect

Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department believe more children may have been victimized by a serial sexual assault suspect and are asking those additional victims to come forward. LAPD's North Hollywood Division says Simon Ruiz Hernandez is a suspect in multiple sexual assault cases involving minors. Hernandez was arrested for the sexual assault of a minor on July 23, 2019. The crime was allegedly committed in 2004 and the investigation revealed Hernandez may have assaulted others, according to LAPD. Police believe Hernandez assaulted minors that lived in the same area, as he commonly “would befriend children and their families.” One of the victims is an adult who said they were victimized by Hernandez as a young child. On Monday, Hernandez was held in court on multiple felony counts for sexually abusing minors between the ages of 11 and 15. His bail has been set at $2.8 million. If convicted, he faces life in prison. 
FOX 11

LAPD Seeks Help ID'ing 3 Robbers Who Targeted 2 Convenience Stores
Los Angeles Police Department detectives released surveillance video on Tuesday in an effort to help identify three suspects wanted for robberies at local convenience stores. The three robbers robbed two stores on Jan. 13, between 3:10 and 3:45 a.m, according to an LAPD news release. The first store targeted is located in the 5000 block of West Sunset Boulevard, and the second store located in the 4600 block of Franklin Avenue. Police said the three suspects stole food and other items from the convenience stores. The suspects can be seen on video walking around the store grabbing a variety of items. After the robberies, the suspects fled on foot and no vehicle was seen, police said. The same suspects have committed thefts at the Sunset Boulevard location many times in the past, police said, and detectives believe they live in the area.

Woman Charged With Fleeing Scene Of Hollywood Road Rage Incident That Left Friend Dead

A woman who allegedly fled after running over her friend in Hollywood when the pair stopped to argue with a motorcyclist pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of hit-and-run driving resulting in death. Samantha Cunha, 27, of Pearl Beach, Florida, was charged Monday with running from the area where her friend, 27-year-old Sophia Ardalan, of Los Angeles, died on Jan. 20. Police said Ardalan was driving a gray Mercedes-Benz and Cunha was in the passenger seat when the car was involved in a minor crash with a motorcyclist. Ardalan pulled over in the 1300 block of North Martel Avenue, near Sunset Boulevard, and both women got out of the car to argue with the motorcyclist, police said. Prosecutors said Cunha returned to the passenger side of the Mercedes, which began rolling and knocked Ardalan down. Cunha allegedly moved the car's gear shift, causing the Mercedes to run over Ardalan, killing her. Prosecutors said Cunha then ran from the scene.

Bank Robber Pleads Guilty To Her Role In San Fernando Valley Heists
A woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to taking part in bank stickups in the San Fernando Valley. Demnia Hawkins – whose personal information is under a court seal – entered her plea to a single federal count of aiding and abetting armed bank robbery, carrying a possible penalty of 25 years behind bars. However, prosecutors agreed to recommend between 57 and 78 months when she is sentenced May 4, according to the plea agreement filed in Los Angeles federal court. One of four defendants, Hawkins admitted working with crew leader Robert Michael St. John and Michelle Edwards in the heists of a Citibank branch in Granada Hills on June 15, 2017, and a Chase bank branch in North Hills the following month. In the first robbery, Hawkins acknowledged waiting in the getaway car while St. John held up the bank.
Los Angeles Daily News

Public Safety News

Man Jumps From Second-Story To Escape Westlake Fire; Firefighter Injured in Fall
A man sustained minor injuries Tuesday night when he jumped from the second story of an apartment in the Westlake district to escape a fire, and a firefighter was also injured during post-fire operations. The fire was reported about 6:30 p.m. near the intersection of Witmer and Second streets, near Beverly Boulevard, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Forty-two firefighters extinguished the fire in a second-floor unit and the attic of the two-story residential fourplex in about 30 minutes, Humphrey said. A firefighter sustained moderate, non-life threatening injuries, including some bruising, in a fall during operations after the fire was extinguished, Humphrey said. The firefighter will be taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment. The injured civilian who jumped from the second floor sustained minor injuries and was also being taken to a hospital for further evaluation, according to Humphrey.

LAFD Incidents Involving The Homeless Disproportionately High, Data Shows

Los Angeles Fire Department Station 9 in Skid Row is one of the busiest in the nation. It serves the smallest response area in the city, but has the highest call load. The station sees 80 to 100 runs a day and the vast majority of the patients are homeless. One homeless man, Maurice Russell, said the only way he and his friends can get help is to call 911. Another formerly homeless man, William Smith, feels like "People are dropping dead down here." The growing crisis on the streets of downtown L.A. and across the city is creating serious challenges not only for the homeless, but for the first responders responsible for the health and safety of the city's most vulnerable. An Eyewitness News analysis of data obtained from LAFD shows that 43% of all fire incidents citywide that resulted in a report involved a homeless person. That's 3,267 incidents last year alone. Also, 14% of LAFD's ambulance transports citywide in 2019 were for the homeless. But homeless people account for less than 1% of the city's population.

LAFD's Order For Electric Hybrid Fire Engine Will Help Reduce Noise, Harmful Diesel Emissions
A century ago, the Los Angeles Fire Department made a historic switch from horse-drawn fire engines to motorized vehicles. This week, the department took the first step in a new phase of firefighting when it ordered an electric hybrid fire engine. The vehicle will be the first of its kind in the country, officials said. “I am excited that we are the first department in North America to order this cutting-edge fire engine,” LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas said in a news release. “The electric fire engine is an innovative tool that will help reduce noise and harmful diesel emissions while providing a flexible tool for firefighting and rescue operations from a technologically advanced platform.” The department is spending $1.2 million on the Rosenbauer Concept Fire Truck, or CFT, the equivalent price of an LAFD aerial ladder truck, spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

Local Government News

Metro Secures $1.3 Billion To Finish The Purple Line Subway To West L.A.
The long-awaited Los Angeles County subway line that will whisk commuters between downtown and the Westside has secured the last major piece of funding needed to finish the project, officials said Tuesday. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority expects to formally accept a $1.3-billion federal grant for the Purple Line in about a month, following a mandatory 30-day review period in Congress, officials said. After the congressional review period ends, Metro can “redouble our work to establish a fast and effective rail line,” said Inglewood Mayor James Butts, the chair of the Metro board, in a statement. The funding agreement was announced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who said in a statement that connecting downtown with the Westside is “crucial to modernizing the city's transit system.”
Los Angeles Times

L.A. County OKs $200,000 In Funding For Youth Home
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved $200,000 in funding to help acquire a single-family home in the Antelope Valley to house at-risk and transition-age youth 12 to 18 years old. The young people — who might otherwise find themselves homeless — will be able to stay housed in their community and receive services and treatment, including mental health support and crisis intervention. “Through this partnership, we look forward to helping young adults set themselves up for the future, rather than worrying about where they are going to live tomorrow,” said Emilio Salas, acting executive director of the Los Angeles County Development Authority. “The board's support of these endeavors helps us inch closer to ending homelessness in Los Angeles County.”

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: