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

July 24, 2020
Law Enforcement News

1st LAPD Sworn Officer Dies From COVID-19 Complications, Marking Agency's 2nd Death From Virus
A sworn police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department has passed away from complications due to COVID-19, marking the agency's second coronavirus-related death, officials confirmed Friday. Officer Valentin Martinez "lost his courageous battle with coronavirus this morning," according to an LAPD statement. Martinez is survived by his domestic partner, who is 20 weeks pregnant with his twins, his mother and siblings. "He was a hero lost way too early in life. All of our officers have placed themselves, and their families, at increased risk throughout the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We honor their sacrifice today," read a statement from the Los Angeles Police Protective League Board of Directors.

Suspect In Custody In Fatal Stabbing In Van Nuys
A man was in custody Thursday on suspicion of stabbing his father-and-son neighbors at an apartment complex in Van Nuys in an attack that left the older victim dead, police said. The double stabbing occurred about 10:50 p.m. Wednesday in the 15000 block of Vanowen Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Martin Quinonez, 24, of Van Nuys was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held on $2 million bail, police said. Jesus Delatorre, 51, died at a hospital, and his 31-year-old son, whose name was not released, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition, police said. “Officers … discovered that the suspect, without provocation, approached his neighbors’ apartment and attempted to force entry,” an LAPD statement alleges. “The suspect, armed with a large knife, attempted to force his way into the victims’ apartment (and) the (younger) victim sustained life-threatening sharp-force injuries during the struggle.

LAPD Cracking Down On Illegal Break-In Parties That Pose Health Risk During Pandemic
The Los Angeles Police Department is cracking down on illegal break-in parties that have been causing an uproar throughout the San Fernando Valley the past several months. Not only do young partygoers break into vacant homes that are usually up for sale and trespass, but LAPD says the parties pose a significant health hazard during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Exclusive FOX 11 video of the parties along with video that has even been posted online, show partygoers crammed into the house turned party scene, most not wearing face masks or social distancing. Investigators say the crowd, mostly teenagers, pay an admission price of $10 to gain entry for an out of control party. LAPD officers says drugs, alcohol and underage drinking are all part of the party scene. And undercover video also appears to show partygoers “huffing,” inhaling from balloons filled with nitrous oxide. These break-in parties have targeted several vacant homes in areas such as North Hills, Granada Hills and Studio City.

Authorities Identify Woman Whose Body Washed Ashore In Venice Beach
Authorities were investigating after a woman's body washed ashore in Venice Beach on Tuesday morning. The sheriff's department dispatched officers to the 1800 block of Ocean Front Walk around 7 a.m. after receiving reports of a body found at the jetty in Venice. Authorities determined that the body is that of a female, believed to be approximately 30 to 35 years old. The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Coroner's office were assisting at the scene. The circumstances surrounding the death were not immediately available. On Thursday morning, the coroner's office identified her as 48-year-old Miriam Montufar. She was 48.

Cat Found Duct Taped In Box In Highland Park
A cat was found taped up in a box in Highland Park. A couple adopted the cat, named Gaia, after someone posted a photo of her on the Nextdoor app. The couple has spent about $1,200 so far on vet bills and they’ve established a GoFundMe page for donations to help with Gaia’s recovery. They’re hoping to find the person who left the cat. Anyone with information on the driver or the incident is asked to contact the LAPD Animal Cruelty Task Force at the 24-hour notification hotline at 213-486-0450 or email

Hate Crime Investigation Underway After 3 Injured During Protests At Azerbaijani Consulate In West L.A.
Three people were injured when protesters clashed at the Azerbaijani consulate earlier this week and police are investigating the assaults as hate crimes, officials said Thursday. The alleged assaults took place about 2 p.m. Tuesday at the consulate in Sawtelle. Demonstrators were protesting acts of aggression toward Armenia by Azerbaijan, when a counter-protest began and an altercation occurred, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Woman Arrested For Providing Aid To Man Charged With Long Beach Murder
A 23-year-old Long Beach woman was arrested for allegedly providing aid to a man who has been charged with murder in an apparent gang-related shooting, authorities said Thursday. Maria Urieta, who police say was aware of the murder, was arrested Wednesday about 6:55 p.m. in the 400 block of West Broadway, between Magnolia and Chestnut avenues, according to the Long Beach Police Department. Urieta “provided aid to Juan Lopez to protect him from trial, conviction or sentencing,” police alleged. Lopez, 20, was charged in the June 29 killing of 33-year-old Soktear Phuy. He is also facing three counts of attempted murder stemming from an incident that occurred two days prior to the fatal attack, as well as an allegation that he used a gun. Two other men — Brandon Conrad Garcia, 23, of Hawaiian Gardens, and Andrew Miranda, 29 — are charged alongside Lopez in the three attempted murders on June 27 and are also facing gun allegations.

Man Possibly Attempting To Stop Crime In Progress Killed In Long Beach Hit-And-Run
A pedestrian was struck and killed in a hit-and-run in Long Beach late Thursday night, and the two drivers involved remain at large. The collision occurred at about 10:40 p.m. at Magnolia Avenue and West Anaheim Street, according to Long Beach police. Police told CBSLA that the victim may have worked as a security guard for a nearby business and was hanging on the hood of an SUV, possibly attempting to stop a crime in progress, when he was struck by an oncoming van. The man died at the scene. He was not immediately identified. Both vehicles fled, police said. The exact circumstances of the collision remain under investigation. Its unclear if there is any surveillance video of the crash. There was no immediate description of the two suspect vehicles.

DNA Solves Orange County’s Oldest Cold Case, Identifying Jane Doe And Suspected Killer
Fifty-two years after the body of a woman was found near a Huntington Beach farm field, Jane Doe and the man who authorities say beat and raped her and slashed her throat have been identified. The cold case from 1968 was Orange County’s oldest unsolved homicide. Three boys found the body of a young woman in a drainage ditch near Newland Street and Yorktown Avenue on the afternoon of March 14, 1968. She was wearing a floral-print blouse, purple pants, loafers and a costume ring with a large blue stone set in a silver band. No one knew who she was, and the only clue to her presumed killer was a cigarette butt found nearby. The woman, estimated to be in her mid-20s, ultimately was buried in Newport Beach in an unmarked grave. A search for her identity went nowhere. Now, five decades later, the woman and the man police say killed her have been identified through investigative genetic genealogy — a method increasingly used in recent years to identify long-dead victims and assailants.

California Attorney General Announces Arrests In Alleged $10 Million Ponzi Scheme
The California Attorney General’s office announced the arrests of two people in connection with an alleged $10 million international scheme in which prosecutors say the victims were tricked into making bogus investments. Christopher Mancuso, John Black, and Jospeh Tufo have been charged with operating a fraud scheme that promised low-risk, high-return investments. In actuality, prosecutors say, the group simply pocketed the money. Black is currently a fugitive, believed to be in the Sacramento area, prosecutors said. Mancuso was arrested Thursday in Orange County and Tufo was arrested in Contra Costa County. All in all, prosecutors say there were more than 70 victims, who resided in Canada, Germany, England, and Italy, and throughout the United States. In a written statement, Attorney General Xavier Becerra offered this reminder for people being solicited to invest in rosy-sounding operations: “If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.”

Florida City FFs, Medics Question Plan To Replace Cops With Social Workers
City leaders announced this month that noncriminal and nonviolent calls will be handled by social workers, not uniformed officers. The proposed program is a response to the demands for police reform from Black Lives Matter protesters. “Our citizens are asking for change,” St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway told the media during the July 9 announcement. “The city of St. Petersburg and our police department are ready for change.” But one constituency is not ready: the city’s firefighters and paramedics. St. Petersburg Fire Rescue firefighter Richard Pauley Jr., president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 747, said the union had “no forewarning” of the city’s plans. When an emergency is reported to 911, police officers usually arrive at the scene first. They make sure the area is safe for firefighters and paramedics to do their jobs. But if officers start going to less calls, that could raise the risks faced by other first-responders — such as paramedics encountering a hostile patient who needs medical attention.

Public Safety News

Crews Battling Brush Fire In Palos Verdes Estates
Fire crews were working to put out a brush fire in Palos Verdes Estates Thursday night. The blaze was burning just below Punta Place by Paseo La Cresta, according to the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department. Officials were attempting to evacuate residents, police said. Sky5 was overhead around 10:45 p.m. as firefighters were taking control of the flames.

LA County Reports 49 New Deaths, 2,014 Additional Cases; Will Start Citing Business Violating Health Orders
Starting at the end of August, businesses that fail to comply with local health orders to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus will face fines of up to $500, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Thursday. “I’m pleased that we’re seeing great compliance in some areas and we want to continue to see that,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said. “But we need to plan for the long-term reopening of our economic sectors while ensuring the public health and safety of our residents and our workforce.” Businesses cited for noncompliance will face a $100 fine for the first offense and up to a $500 fine and 30-day permit suspension for multiple offenses, the department said. All businesses in Los Angeles County, including those not licensed and permitted by the department, are subject to enforcement.

California Coronavirus Deaths Top 8,000 After Record-High Day
California recorded the most coronavirus-related deaths in a single day amid a spike in infections that has pushed the state’s cumulative case count to the highest in the nation. Wednesday’s 157 fatalities — the state’s highest one-day toll yet, according to The Times’ coronavirus tracker — pushed California’s fatalities above 8,000. The sobering death toll continues what’s been an unprecedented week in California in terms of the COVID-19 outbreak. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday afternoon that 12,807 new coronavirus infections had been reported statewide in the past 24 hours, a record high. More than 421,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported statewide over the course of the pandemic. That means roughly 1 in every 94 Californians has had a confirmed infection at some point. Statewide, 7,170 confirmed COVID-19 patients were hospitalized as of Tuesday — also a new high and an increase of 18% from two weeks ago — with 2,058 people in intensive care, according to the state Department of Public Health.

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: