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

September 4, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Cleveland Officer Killed By Gunman; Suspects Sought
A shooting killed a Cleveland police officer and another person, and authorities on Friday sought the person or people responsible, officials said. Detective James Skernivitz, 53, was shot around 10 p.m. Thursday on the west side. Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters that Skernivitz was with the department for 25 years, saying: “Cleveland lost one of its finest.” Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Jeff Follmer said a second person, who was not an officer but was in Skernivitz's car, also died. Details about that person weren't immediately released by police. Investigators appealed to the public for help in finding a suspect or suspects. The FBI in Cleveland offered a cash reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Police Union Guilty of Ruining the City's Economy, says Mike Bonin, Blaming the Union for His Own Covid-related Policy Mistakes
With righteous passion and verbal sleight-of-hand, Bonin attempted to heap on the hapless police union all of the policy mistakes made by himself and other city, county, and state officials that led to the current budget crisis. Beginning March 19 - more than 5 months ago - the County of Los Angeles closed nearly every business in the region for fear of the spread of the COVID-19 illness. Millions of Californians lost their jobs. Untold billions were lost in tax revenue. Only a limited number of businesses have been allowed to reopen since then, with the result that many are still without jobs and the state (and city and county) are still hemorrhaging tax income. But it's the police union's fault that Los Angeles had to declare a fiscal emergency today. Uh-huh.

LAPD Searching For Hit-Run Driver Who Injured Woman In Montecito Heights
Police Thursday sought public help to identify a hit-and-run driver who struck and seriously injured a woman who was standing in the middle of a Montecito Heights street. The woman was struck by a Toyota Camry that was heading east on Avenue 43, just west of Carlota Boulevard, about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to Detective Juan Campos of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Traffic Division. Witnesses told police the white four-door sedan has a California license plate that begins with 8CH. The woman, whose name and age were not released, was taken to a hospital with severe injuries. She’s currently in stable condition, but will have to remain hospitalized for a long time, Campos said. Anyone who provides information that leads to a hit-and-run driver’s arrest and conviction is eligible to receive up to $25,000 from the city, Campos said. Anyone with information on the driver’s identity or whereabouts was asked to call Central Traffic Division Officer G. Diaz at 213-833-3713 or the watch commander at 213-833-3746.

LAPD Raises Concern About The High Number Of Paintball Shootings
The LAPD raised concern about the number of paintball shootings that have occurred this year, mostly in South Los Angeles, leading to injuries. The department reported 80 paintball shootings this year, with 75 of those in South Los Angeles. The LAPD wants to get the message out... if you shoot at people with paint guns you could be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Police say the shooters are often recording themselves and sharing the attacks on social media. At first 18-year-old Ashtann Lewis didn’t know what hit her, but it turned out she was blasted by paintballs that have now left marks on her body. Apparently cruising down the streets and firing paintballs at unsuspecting people is now a thing. But why? “I hate to blame things on COVID but let’s just be honest. People have been cooped up in their homes for a long time without an outlet for entertainment or to get energy out and this is something people decided to do,” said LAPD Capt. Scott Williams. What’s even more frightening is the danger of an officer mistaking a paintball gun for a real weapon.

Officers Raid Illegal Gambling Operation In North Hills
The Los Angeles Police Department is on scene conducting a raid at a suspected illegal gambling operation at a home in North Hills. Officers responded to the 16000 block of Napa Street, near Gloria Avenue, after receiving numerous complaints from neighbors. When officers entered the home they located a card table, pool table, alcohol, narcotics and other evidence of an illegal gambling operation. Twelve people have been detained and are being questioned by officers. Police say neighbors reported seeing suspicious activities and noticed people coming and going at all hours of the day and night.

Artwork Stolen From LA Gallery 25 Years Ago Recovered By LAPD Detectives In Pennsylvania Museum
Detectives from the LAPD’s Commercial Crimes Division have recovered one of four high-value paintings stolen from a Los Angeles art gallery 25 years ago, authorities announced Thursday. The painting “Canal” by Robert Spencer, painted sometime between 1879 and 1931, was stolen in January 1995, the LAPD reported. On November 9, LAPD’s Commercial Crimes Division received information that a citizen reported the painting was being exhibited at a museum in Buckingham Township, Pennsylvania. Detectives identified the person in possession of the stolen painting in New Jersey and contacted the local authorities. CCD detectives and Pennsylvania agents met with the person and determined he or she didn’t know the painting was stolen and voluntarily released it. At this time there are no leads to the suspect or suspects involved.

Man Pleads Not Guilty To Attack On Three Transgender Women
One of two Compton men charged with an Aug. 17 attack on YouTube performer Eden the Doll and two other transgender women in Hollywood pleaded not guilty Thursday to assault and other charges. Carlton Alexander Callaway, 29, is charged with one felony count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury, second-degree robbery, attempted second-degree robbery, criminal threats and grand theft from the person of another, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He could face up to 13 years and four months in state prison if convicted as charged. Co-defendant Davion Anthony Williams, 22, is charged with one felony count each of assault with a deadly weapon — a rideshare scooter — and grand theft. An arraignment date has not been set for Williams, who could face a maximum of eight years and four months in state prison if convicted.

Los Angeles Child-Kidnap Suspect Nabbed In Escondido
A man suspected of trying to kidnap a 6-year-old girl in Huntington Park is behind bars Thursday after being arrested in Escondido, where he was allegedly caught following another child. Elijah Lopez, 24, was taken into custody in an Escondido commercial area east of the Interstate 15-state Route 78 interchange on Wednesday, San Diego County sheriff’s Detective Jonathan Arevalo said. The deputy who arrested Lopez recognized him from a be-on-the-lookout flier issued by the Los Angeles Police Department following the attempted abduction on Tuesday of a 6-year-old girl who was grabbed by a stranger while walking with her blind father in Huntington Park, according to Arevalo. Further information about the incident was not immediately available from the LAPD or Huntington Park Police Department.

2 Admit To Giving Homeless In L.A. Money, Cigarettes To Sign Voter Registration Forms, Ballot Petitions
A man and woman pleaded guilty Tuesday for their roles in a scheme that involved offering money and cigarettes to homeless people to get them to sign ballot petitions and voter registration forms in Los Angeles, officials said. Harold Bennett, 55, and Rose Sweeney, 44, were part of a group of nine charged in the plan to solicit hundreds of false and forged signatures the voter fraud scheme during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. They would offer homeless people $1 or cigarettes for their signatures, officials said. Bennett pleaded to one felony count each of circulating an initiative or petition containing false, forged or fictitious names and registering a fictitious person. He was sentenced to a suspended sentence of 16 months in state prison and placed on formal probation for three years, the DA’s office said.

Glendale Man Sentenced To 11 Years For Attacking And Seriously Injuring A Covina Bar Patron With A Beer Mug
A Glendale man was sentenced to 11 years in state prison for smashing a fellow patron in the head with a beer mug in the men’s restroom of a Covina sports bar, leaving him unconscious, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. Vidal Larios Jr., 42, was sentenced immediately after entering a no contest plea Tuesday to one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon — a glass mug — and admitted causing great bodily injury to the victim during the Aug. 17, 2018, attack. Larios armed himself with the mug, followed the man into the bathroom and attacked him because he thought the man had checked out his girlfriend, according to Deputy District Attorney Judith M. Donovan. Covina police Sgt. Ray Marquez said shortly after the attack that the victim, whose name was withheld, “sustained a major head injury from the assault.”

Man Accused Of Sexually Assaulting His Stepdaughters, 1 Of Whom Gave Birth To 2 Of His Children: LASD
A man wanted on a warrant for sex crimes against his underage stepdaughters was arrested this week in Oxnard, officials said Wednesday. Abraham Guy Williams, 39, is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting the two girls in the family’s home, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a news release. Detectives began investigating Williams in July 2019, when one of the victims — now 18 — reported the sex abuse against her and her sister. She said the crimes occurred when she was between 9 and 17 years old. One of the victims gave birth to two of Williams’ daughters, authorities said. The family lived in multiple locations during that time, including Granada Hills, Palmdale and Salt Lake City, Utah, deputies said. When the family confronted Williams about the crimes, he fled and had not been heard from for about two years, according to the Sheriff’s Department. A Ventura County vehicle theft task force located Williams in Oxnard Monday night, on the 3000 block of South E Street, the California Highway Patrol said.

More Women Come Forward With Allegations Against Former USC Gynecologist George Tyndall
Another 25 women have filed suit against the University of Southern California alleging sexual abuse by George Tyndall, a former longtime campus gynecologist. The plaintiffs, identified only as Jane Does 138-162 in the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, are all former undergraduate and graduate students who attended USC from the 1980s through 2017 — with allegations dating back to the late 1980s. The new complaint alleges that Tyndall used his position as a trusted and credentialed medical professional to commit a series of abusive acts toward his patients, including forcing them to undress while he watched, groping their breasts and making racist, misogynistic and sexually harassing comments to them. The lawsuit also alleges that the university was aware of the abuse for decades and continued to grant him access to the young students in his and USC’s care.

Public Safety News

Firefighters Free Woman Trapped In Sun Valley Rollover Crash
Los Angeles firefighters freed a woman trapped Thursday afternoon in an SUV after a rollover crash in Sun Valley. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded about 12:27 p.m. to the scene of a two-vehicle crash on the 11700 block of Runnymede Street at Lankershim Boulevard in Sun Valley, said spokesman Nicholas Prange. They found a Saturn Vue SUV, which rolled over and struck a parked vehicle, leaving a woman trapped inside the Saturn, Prange said. Firefighters used power tools to quickly extricate the woman from the SUV and transported her to an area hospital in fair condition, he said. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time, Prange added.

LA County Reports 61 New COVID-19 Deaths, Highlights Importance Of Worker Protections Ahead Of Labor Day
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Thursday reported 1,193 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 61 new deaths, bringing countywide totals to 244,999 cases and 5,932 deaths. Of the new deaths reported Thursday, 23 were people over the age of 80, 17 were between the ages of 65 and 79, eight were between the ages of 50 and 64, two were between the ages of 30 and 49 and one was between the ages of 18 and 29. Thirty-six of those who died had underlying health conditions. As of Thursday, there were 1,062 confirmed coronavirus patients hospitalized, with 30% being treated in intensive care units. The health department also highlighted the importance of reporting workplace outbreaks in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the health of wider communities.

L.A. County Is Easing COVID-19 Restrictions Again: What You Need To Know
Los Angeles County on Wednesday began allowing additional reopenings as coronavirus cases continue to stabilize. But the news came with a warning that COVID-19 remains a major threat and people must exercise caution. “The virus is widespread in our community,” L.A. County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said. “The improvements we see do not mean victory. It is still easy to transmit, and often people who are contagious don’t have symptoms.” Hair salons: Hair salons and barbershops will be allowed to operate indoors at 25% capacity if they practice social distancing, and if employees wear masks and follow other health-related mandates. Barbershop and salon owners welcomed the reopening news, but some worried the 25% capacity rule was still too strict. “Landlords won’t be reducing their leases by 75%,” said Fred Jones, the legal counsel for the Professional Beauty Federation of California.

California Wildfire Season On Track To Break Records, National Guard Says
California is on track to exceed its worst fire season on record and there’s little relief in sight, the new chief of the National Guard Bureau said. About 1,300 National Guard members from five states including California are currently assisting Cal Fire fight the fires, which have already consumed more than 1.6 million acres, or an area roughly the size of Delaware, said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson. About 2 million acres burned in 2018, the California’s deadliest fire year on record, when the Camp Fire consumed much of the city of Paradise in Butte County. Worse, this is just the beginning of fire season, said Army Maj. Gen. Matthew P. Beevers, the California National Guard’s assistant Adjutant General. “There’s fundamentally no real-term end state to the current fire situation we have,” Beevers said. “I’m thinking weeks into months before these things are fully contained.”

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: