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 29, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Body Of LAPD Officer Who Died From COVID-19 Escorted To Forest Lawn
The body of a veteran LAPD officer who died last week from COVID-19 has arrived at his final resting place. The flag-draped casket, carrying the body of 45-year-old Valentin Martinez was taken from Saint John's hospital in Santa Monica to Forest Lawn Memorial park in the Hollywood Hills. The van was flanked by fellow first responders along the 23-mile route, as they paid their respects. Officer Martinez was a 13-year veteran of the force. He worked patrol with the Mission division in the San Fernando Valley. He was the Los Angeles Police Department's LAPD's first sworn officer and second employee overall to die from COVID-19. The department has had more than 450 employees test positive for the virus. The department says he likely contracted the virus while on patrol. He tested positive in May, was hospitalized in June and died on July 24.

COVID-19: Law Enforcement Deaths
As COVID-19 continues to spread around the country, the first responders on the front lines are increasingly vulnerable to contracting the virus. As was feared, the death toll now includes a growing number of law enforcement personnel. What follows is a compilation of the reports, by state, of U.S. law enforcement personnel who have died of coronavirus-related complications. For cities with multiple diagnoses, the links are ordered chronologically, with the top being the most recent.

An Additional 4 LAPD Employees Test Positive For COVID-19 Bringing Total To 458
The Los Angeles Police Department reported Monday an additional four employees have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the department’s total to 458. Of the employees, 237 are at home recovering or self-isolating due to possible exposure, and 279 employees have returned to work.

Texas Man Charged With Murder In Hollywood Street Race Shooting That Left Teen Girl Dead
A Texas man was charged with murder Tuesday in connection with a shooting at a street racing scene that left a teenage girl dead in the heart of Hollywood, prosecutors said. Ramon Roque Monreal, 33, of El Paso was also charged with attempted murder after he allegedly sprayed bullets during a dispute near Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue early Sunday, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Alejandra Estrada, 17, of Huntington Park was killed during the altercation. A second victim was wounded, prosecutors said. Monreal was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday afternoon, but his hearing was continued and he has not entered a plea. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney. Monreal was armed with a handgun when he was arrested Sunday morning, Los Angeles police said.

LAPD Seeks Additional Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse Suspect Who Worked As Electrician Across California
A man who worked as an electrician throughout California was arrested on suspicion of sexual abuse of a child last week, and police are looking for more victims. Alejandro Solano-Romero, 51, was taken into custody Thursday for the “continuous sexual abuse of a child and numerous related charges with two identified victims,” between 1998 and 2019, the Los Angeles Police Department said Tuesday in a news release. Solano-Romero is known to have frequented the city of Fresno and parts of Northern California, police said. Solano-Romero was being held on $7 million bail. Anyone with information is urged to call LAPD Topanga Sex Detective Padilla at 818-756-3376. Anonymous tipsters can call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Police Chase Of White Pickup Truck Ends In Violent Crash In South LA Area
A police chase on the 110 Freeway heading north from the 405 Freeway ended in a violent crash on surface streets in South Los Angeles Tuesday night. Newschopper4 Alpha was over the chase around 8:50 p.m. with the pickup truck speeding on the 110 Freeway before taking the Manchester Avenue exit. Moments later, the pickup truck appeared to ignore the traffic light and crashed into a dark colored van. The front of the van was badly damaged, with airbags deployed. The white pickup truck also deployed its airbags. A female driver exited the vehicle and made a run for it, but police caught up to the suspect and took her into custody. At least two other people were also in the pursuit vehicle, and it was not immediately clear if all people in the pursuit pickup truck were accounted for by law enforcement. It was not immediately clear what led to the pursuit.

Police Seeking Witnesses To January Killing In Balboa Park
Authorities are hoping that a $50,000 reward will prompt witnesses to call with information that might help prosecute a man in custody in the January shooting death of another man in Balboa Park, police said Tuesday. Bryan Woodson, 35, who was homeless, was walking along a dirt path adjacent to the Los Angeles River at about 10 p.m. on Jan. 28 when he was confronted by the suspect, according to the LAPD. "After a verbal argument, the suspect produced a handgun and shot the victim twice in the upper torso area,'' an LAPD statement said. "The victim collapsed and died in the park.'' On Feb. 4, detectives arrested 48-year-old Lazaro Alberto Echevarria, also homeless, on an unrelated narcotics offense, said LAPD Detective Chris Campagna of the Valley Bureau homicide office. On June 10, Echevarria was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office with murder and being a convicted felon in possession of a gun, Campagna said.

Man Sentenced To 32 Years To Life For Fatally Stabbing Security Guard In Sylmar
A Sylmar man was sentenced Tuesday to 32 years to life in prison for the stabbing death of a security guard at a neighborhood shopping center in 2017. Santiago Madrigal, 27, was convicted Jan. 31 of killing 28-year-old Joe Lopez on Aug. 6, 2017, when the security guard tried to detain him for shoplifting. In addition to the first-degree murder count, Madrigal was convicted of second-degree robbery. Lopez suspected Madrigal of stealing beer from the Food 4 Less supermarket on Glenoaks Boulevard near Hubbard Street, part of the Sylmar Towne Shopping Center where Lopez was employed. The security guard, a Pacoima resident, died at a hospital. “It was a vicious assault (by an) opportunistic thief that turned homicidal,” Los Angeles Police Detective Efren Gutierrez told the Daily News. “The poor guy (Lopez) is just doing his job and ends up getting killed over what appears to be essentially a few cans of beer.”

Woman, 80, Suffers From Dementia, Missing
An 80-year-old woman who suffers from dementia was reported missing Tuesday evening after last being seen in the unincorporated View Park-Windsor Hills area. Bernice Vann Allen was last seen near West 48th Street and South Victoria Avenue about 3 p.m., according to Deputy James Nagao of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Allen is Black, 4 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. She was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, khaki pants and a brown hat, Nagao said. Anyone with information on Allen’s location was asked to call the Sheriff’s Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at

L.A. County District Attorney Refiles Public Corruption Charges Against Former Assessor John Noguez, Others
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office has refiled charges against former county tax assessor John Noguez, reviving the long-running bribery and public corruption case after an appellate court ordered its dismissal on a technical violation. In a criminal complaint filed Monday, prosecutors accused Noguez along with Mark McNeil, a top official in the assessor’s office, and Arizona tax consultant Ramin Salari of participating in a scheme in which Noguez would accept bribes to lower the valuations of a slew of properties across greater L.A. Noguez was first arrested in 2012 and accused of accepting a $185,000 bribe, but the case was hobbled by delays owing in part to the tens of thousands of pages of evidence in the case. At a preliminary hearing in the summer of 2018, a judge found sufficient evidence for the trio to stand trial.

L.A. Man Arrested In Riverside Shooting
A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of shooting another man in front of the Sands Motel in Riverside on Tuesday morning. The shooting occurred at 2:05 a.m. in front of the motel, at 10625 Magnolia Ave., near Polk Street, according to Officer Ryan J. Railsback of the Riverside Police Department. Investigators believe the suspect, Rodney Meredith, of Los Angeles, was arguing with several people and fired his gun, striking the victim in his leg, Railsback said. The victim was taken to a hospital in serious condition, but his vitals were reported to be stable, according to Railsback. An officer and his K-9 partner “Maxx” found the suspect down the street, near the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Skofstad Street, according to Railsback. Meredith was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center.

Public Safety News

3 In Grave Condition After ‘Apparent Overdose Scenario’ In Studio City: LAFD
Three adults are in grave condition after being found unresponsive following possible overdoses in Studio City Tuesday, fire officials said. They were discovered below a freeway underpass in the 11100 block of Moorpark Street shortly before 1:30 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The patients weren’t breathing nor did any of them have a pulse, an LAFD alert stated. Paramedics transported all three to local hospitals. LAFD described the incident as an “apparent overdose scenario,” but did not released additional details. Firefighters searched the area, including a nearby homeless encampment, but did not find any other victims, officials said.

LA County Reports 2,708 Newly Confirmed Coronavirus Cases, 51 Deaths
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 51 new deaths and 2,708 newly confirmed cases of the novel coronavirusTuesday, bringing countywide totals to 4,426 deaths and 178,642 cases. Of the 51 newly reported deaths, 21 were over the age of 80 years old, 12 were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 11 were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, five were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and two were between the ages of 18 and 29. Forty-four of those who died had underlying health conditions, including 20 people over the age of 80 years old, 10 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, nine people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, three people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and two between the ages of 18 and 29 years old. The department also reported 2,051 confirmed COVID-19 patients were hospitalized with 29% being treated in intensive care units. There were a total of 2,621 suspected cases currently hospitalized, with 18% on ventilators.

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: