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

March 31, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Florida Deputy, K-9 Stabbed During Arrest
A Polk County Sheriff's Office deputy and his K-9 are recovering from stab wounds they received Saturday night while arresting a 31-year-old Lakeland man during a home-invasion burglary. Deputy Scott Cronin was cut in his hand while wrestling a knife from Carl McHargh Jr., who was barricaded in a bedroom closet after forcing his way into a home on Grand Pines Boulevard in Lakeland. His K-9, Vise, was stabbed nine times around his head and face, and underwent emergency surgery Saturday night to treat his wounds. He's expected to make a full recovery, according to PCSO spokeswoman Carrie Horstman. After he was taken into custody, McHargh experienced a seizure and was revived at the scene by emergency medical teams, Horstman said. He's been hospitalized in intensive care and is listed in critical condition, she said.

State Police: 700 New Jersey LEOs Tested Positive For COVID-19
About 700 New Jersey police officers have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Saturday. “There’s more than 700 police officers quarantined at home, and there’s about the same ... number that have tested positive from all 21 counties,” Col. Patrick Callahan, acting superintendent of the State Police, said in Trenton during the state’s daily coronavirus press briefing. He did not give more detailed numbers or name affected departments, and the State Police did not immediately respond to a request for more information. But that amount is far higher than previously known. Newark, Jersey City, NJ Transit, the Port Authority, Fanwood, Hazlet and the State Police have all reported cases. Two officers that were in “serious condition” are now stable, Callahan said.

5 More LAPD Employees Test Positive For Coronavirus, LAFD Reports 1 New Case
Five more Los Angeles Police Department employees and one more Los Angeles Fire Department employee have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The news comes just days after LAPD reported seven new cases and the LAFD reported three more cases. “The Department has strict protocols for any employee who experiences symptoms of the virus,” LAPD said in a previous release. “They are instructed to go home and their workspaces are sanitized.” In total, LAPD now has 27 employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and LAFD has six employees.

Four LA Sheriff’s Employees, First Jail Inmate Test Positive for Coronavirus
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed Monday four of his department's employees have tested positive for coronavirus, while one inmate has also been diagnosed. Of the employees who tested positive, one was assigned to the court services division, one was an east patrol deputy and two were assigned to the custody division, Villanueva said. Villanueva and county health officials both confirmed that an inmate has tested positive, the first confirmed case of coronavirus among the jail's inmate population. Chase said 191 inmates are currently in temporary quarantine and awaiting test results. Villanueva said his office has set up a system for county employees to be tested for the illness. He said health officials will come to an employee's home location to test them if they volunteer for the testing program.

LAPD Officers Getting Their Temperatures Checked Before Each Shift
The Los Angeles Police Department is taking the temperatures of its officers as they arrive for their shifts to try to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus inside the department, which has seen 26 employees test positive. Anyone with a temperature will be sent home immediately and directed to get medical treatment. “We are taking every step to ensure officers’ health,” Assistant Chief Horace Frank said. Department roll calls are now conducted with officers spaced far apart to ensure social distancing as part of efforts to get as many officers as possible working. Those with even slight signs of illness have been ordered to stay home, Frank said. Workspaces are now frequently sanitized, and officers are equipped with N-95 masks and gloves and goggles to use in the field if needed. The LAPD continues to test more of its 13,000 employees, and 26 have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. Four are department leaders.

Authorities ID Man Fatally Shot During Fight In South LA; Suspect Sought
Authorities Monday identified a man who was fatally shot during a fight with another man, who remains at large. Clifford Ross, 32, was shot about 11 p.m. Friday in the 3200 block of East 111th Street and died at the scene, according to the coroner’s office and the Los Angeles Police Department. His home town was not known. The suspect, described only as a man in his 30s, shot the victim with a handgun and fled in a silver car, according to LAPD Officer Mike Lopez. Anyone with information on the crime was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.

Three Killed In Horrific Two-Car Crash During A Hancock Park Street Race
Three people were killed in a two-car crash early Monday in Los Angeles' Hancock Park area that scattered debris across the road and knocked down a palm tree. The crash was reported at around 2 a.m. in the 600 block of North Highland Avenue. At least one of the BMWs struck and knocked down a palm tree in the roadway median. Video from the scene showed an engine was dislodged from one of the cars. Firefighters cut the top from at least one car in an attempt to rescue occupants. The drivers, all about 30 years old, died at the scene, said LAPD Detective James Dickson of the West Traffic Division. A man about the same age, who was riding in one vehicle, died at a hospital, Dickson said. A female passenger riding in the other vehicle suffered an injury described as non-life-threatening.

Hundreds Gather At LA Street Takeovers, Drag Races During COVID-19 Lockdown
Not even a global pandemic has been enough to stop street takeovers and street racing on L.A.'s roads despite strict stay at home orders across the state and the county. Hundreds continue to flood into the streets to watch the dangerous and illegal behavior risking further spread of the coronavirus. As if street takeovers weren't dangerous enough already these scenes will make any health official cringe. Dozens and sometimes hundreds of people gathered close-up with each other. To watch these spectacles without any concern. These videos posted to social media in the Los Angeles area over the past several days as a statewide stay at home order is in effect and officials plead with the public to socially distance. Instead, many have decided to take to the streets to witness a problem that has plagued LA’s streets long before the coronavirus. Police do what they can to break them up, but its a game of whack a mole.

Sherman Oaks Man’s Conviction Upheld For Wife’s Killing
A state appeals court panel Thursday upheld a Sherman Oaks man’s conviction for fatally stabbing his wife. The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that instructions given in Aurelio Teran’s trial misled jurors about the applicable test for provocation. Teran was convicted last April of first-degree murder for the Aug. 27, 2017, slaying of his 32-year-old wife, Viridiana Gonzalez. Jurors also convicted Teran of one count each of making criminal threats, injuring a spouse and attempting to dissuade a witness from reporting a crime, along with finding true an allegation that he used a knife in the commission of the murder. 

Robert Durst’s Trial Delayed Until Late May Due to Pandemic
A Los Angeles judge delayed the resumption of millionaire New York real estate scion Robert Durst's murder trial for about a month and a half Saturday, marking the second postponement in the case as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Superior Court Judge Mark Windham instructed the 12 jurors and 11 alternates hearing the case against Durst to return to court May 26. In a statement, Superior Court officials said they are continuing to monitor the pandemic and are observing the recommendations of public health authorities. The Durst trial had been underway for less than a week when it was suspended March 16, along with all other jury trials in Los Angeles County, as part of an effort to reduce the chances for the virus to spread. It had been set to resume as early as April 6. Durst is charged with murdering Susan Berman, a longtime friend, at her home in the Benedict Canyon area of Los Angeles just before Christmas in 2000.

Delays For Key Court Hearings OK’d For Coronavirus Pandemic
An emergency order giving California’s superior courts more time to hold key hearings for criminal defendants has been approved by state court officials for the coronavirus pandemic. The Judicial Council of California, during an emergency meeting on Saturday, agreed to temporary measures that will extend from 48 hours to seven days the deadline for arraignments, when defendants are informed of the charges they are facing and given the chance to enter a plea. And the deadline will go from from 10 to 30 court days for preliminary hearings, during which a judge decides whether there is enough evidence for a criminal case to proceed to trial. The clock starts ticking when a charge is filed against a defendant, who can request a delay of the arraignment or the preliminary hearing. The Judicial Council, which unanimously approved the order, serves as the rule-making body for the California court system, setting policy guidance for local courts across the state.

Public Safety News

Woman Rescued After Falling Off San Pedro Cliff
Los Angeles Fire Department officials rescued a woman who fell off a cliff Monday. Firefighters responded to the scene in the 4100 block of South Gaffey Street, near Paseo Del Mar, about 2:15 p.m., according to officials. Officials only identified the victim as a 22-year-old. It’s unclear how far she fell down but her injuries were described as non-life threatening.

Coronavirus Hospitalizations Have Doubled In California Over Last Three Days
Hospitalizations continued to spike in California as the coronavirus spreads, officials said Monday. Between Friday and Monday, the number of California patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in intensive-care beds nearly tripled to 597 from 200. The number of hospitalizations has nearly doubled, from 746 to 1,432. Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s secretary of health and human services, said the state’s modeling suggests California will need 50,000 new hospital beds by mid-May. “We project that we will need that toward the second half of the month of May,” Ghaly said. “So we are very busy trying to build toward that.” Gov. Gavin Newsom declined to say how many people his administration believes are infected with the virus based on the state’s existing models.

Social Distancing May Have Helped California Slow The Virus And Avoid New York’s Fate
For California and Washington, the coronavirus triggers came early. They pushed the two Western states to social distancing measures earlier than the rest of the country. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the warning came while the Grand Princess cruise ship, carrying infected crew and passengers, lurked outside the Golden Gate. As the coronavirus cases spread in Silicon Valley, health officers as early as March 5 urged employers to consider allowing more employees to work from home, and companies to cancel large gatherings and nonessential travel. By the time the ship docked in Oakland on March 9, the BART transit system had seen a 24% drop in ridership compared with a typical Monday in February. Ridership was down 75% a week later, the same day the Bay Area issued the nation’s first coronavirus shelter-in-place order.

Local Government News

L.A. Extends Renter Protections, Suspends Farmers Markets As Virus Cases Continue To Climb
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave renters leeway on making payments and temporarily shut down farmers markets across the city due overcrowding concerns in his Monday coronavirus briefing. Garcetti amended the rules under the city’s eviction freeze, giving residential tenants 12 months and commercial tenants three months to pay back what they owe, which he said he believes are the most generous terms for renters anywhere in the country. The order also suspended rent increases on units covered by the city’s rent control measure, which applies to more than 624,000 units. “Rent will stay the same,” the mayor. “This is a common sense action on top of the eviction moratorium that will help folks stay in their homes and make ends meet.” But some say jurisdictions need to go farther, especially in areas like L.A. where many can barely afford rent as it is.

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: