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 9, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Teen Accused Of Shooting Nebraska Cop Charged With Murder
A teenager accused of shooting a police officer two weeks ago in a Nebraska city was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder one day after the officer died, authorities said. The charges were upgraded against Felipe Vazquez, 17, in the Aug. 26 shooting of Lincoln police investigator Luis “Mario” Herrera, who died on Monday. The teenager has already been charged with second-degree assault of a peace officer. Herrera, a plainclothes officer, was shot as he sought to serve an arrest warrant on Vazquez in the March stabbing death of 36-year-old Edward Varejcka. Authorities said they have tied at least three people to Varejcka’s death.

Georgia LEO Killed On Duty By Driver Suspected Of DUI
A law enforcement officer with Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources was killed in the line of duty Thursday night. According to WMAZ, Capt. Stan Elrod was struck by a vehicle while out running as part of his physical training. The 49-year-old had been with the department for 27 years. The driver, 31-year-old Arvil Hamons, was arrested and charged with first degree vehicular homicide. Hamons is also charged with driving under the influence of drugs, according to WDUN. Elrod is survived by his wife and two sons, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Man Killed In Car-To-Car Shooting In South Los Angeles
A man was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon in a car-to-car shooting in South Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the shooting happened at about 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Vermont and Gage avenues in the Vermont-Slauson area. The intersection was closed during the investigation. The victim, who was not immediately identified, crashed his vehicle into a pole as a result of the shooting. He died while en route to a local hospital, officials said. Police did not immediately release a description of the suspect or the suspect’s vehicle.

Man Lying On Street Fatally Struck By Hit-and-Run Driver In El Sereno: LAPD
A man who was lying on the street in El Sereno was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver, LAPD officials said Tuesday. The crash occurred about 10:10 p.m. Monday near the intersection of Valley Boulevard and Boca Avenue, according to a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department. An investigation found that the victim was lying on the roadway when a black vehicle traveling west on Valley struck him. The driver did not stop at the scene to help, police said. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was only described as being in his 20s. Police did not have additional information about the vehicle or driver. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information that leads to the identity, arrest and conviction of the driver.

LAPD Homicide Detectives Investigating Dead Body Found After Sepulveda Basin Fire, But No Foul Play Suspected
Police were trying to determine how a dead body ended up in an area of the Sepulveda Basin that was scorched by a wildfire over the weekend. Special investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery Homicide Division were looking into the death along with arson investigators from the city’s fire department, said Officer Drake Madison, a police spokesman. Detectives don’t know how the person died. Homicide wasn’t suspected, Madison said. But an intentional killing also hadn’t been ruled out. “This could have just been a horrible accident,” Madison said. “But we don’t know. It’s still being investigated.” The body was discovered Sunday afternoon as firefighters mopped up the fire that broke out in a patch of dry brush near the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve, located on the northeast side of the recreation area.

Man Sentenced For Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed Woman In Echo Park
A man was sentenced to four years in state prison Tuesday for a hit-and-run crash that killed a woman in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. Ilya Foks, 40, pleaded no contest Aug. 12 to one felony count of hit-and-run driving causing death and one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in connection with the Jan. 24 crash that left Rosa Lydia Garcia dead, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Foks was driving a 2019 BMW M4 westbound on Sunset Boulevard near Douglas Street and Dodger Stadium when he veered into the eastbound lanes of Sunset and crashed head-on into a 2004 Toyota Corolla, then fled on foot without rendering aid, Los Angeles police said. Garcia, 61, of Los Angeles, was taken to a hospital, where she died from her injuries.

Uber, Lyft Driver Sentenced To 6 Years In Prison After Admitting To Raping Passenger In Van Nuys
A 39-year-old Uber and Lyft driver has been sentenced to six years in prison after pleading no contest to raping a woman he picked up in Van Nuys in 2018, officials said Tuesday. Octavio Gomez, of Canoga Park, pleaded to one felony count of rape of an unconscious person, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. The incident occurred on Oct. 2, 2018, when Gomez picked up the victim from a pub to take her home, officials said. Instead, Gomez kept driving to a secluded area where he stopped the vehicle and raped the victim, according to prosecutors. The victim reported the crime to the Los Angeles Police Department and detectives eventually took him into custody while he was driving for Lyft, officials said at the time.

62-Year-Old Man Attacked Twice In Same Day By Suspect In South LA
Police are investigating after a 62-year-old man was attacked twice by the same suspect on Wednesday in South L.A. Alfredo Rogel said he was taking a walk around his apartment building on 93rd St. and Figueroa when a man jumped out between two parked cars and confronted him. “He asked for money… [He said] ‘money money money, or I’m gonna beat you up.’ Then he decided to throw me a punch and I knew I couldn’t fight him,” Rogel said, adding that he got on the ground to avoid a barrage of punches. “He just reached me with three punches in my face…” The suspect stole Rogel’s wallet and keys. Later that day, Rogel returned to his apartment to find the suspect inside his living room with a gun, threatening to kill him. Rogel was able to reach the door and yell for help, and the suspect ran away with his phone and laptop. Rogel said he realized the suspect came back because he had his address from his ID. 

Deputies Arrest 17 And Recover Knives, Poles, Fireworks At Dijon Kizzee Protest
A protest outside the South Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station that was declared an unlawful assembly ended with 17 people being arrested, authorities said Wednesday morning. The unlawful assembly order was issued about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. What the arrests were for and suspect information were not immediately available, Deputy James Nagao said. Deputies told Fox11 they have recovered knives, poles and fireworks from protesters. This was the fourth consecutive night demonstrators gathered outside the station, located at 1310 W. Imperial Highway, to protest the Aug. 31 shooting of Dijon Kizzee during a confrontation with deputies near West 109th Place and South Budlong Avenue.

Man And Juvenile Arrested For Alleged Possession Of Drugs For Sale In Glendale
A 22-year-old man and a juvenile were arrested in Glendale for allegedly carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm and possessing marijuana and other drugs for sale, police reported Tuesday. Officers pulled over a vehicle on Saturday about 11 p.m. for a lighting equipment violation near Glendale Avenue and Lexington Drive, according to Sgt. Christian Hauptmann. The officer smelled “a heavy odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle” while approaching and saw “an open backpack with what appeared to be marijuana in a large plastic bag” inside the car, Hauptmann said. The vehicle was searched, and the officer found a loaded unregistered firearm, the large plastic bag of marijuana, along with additional marijuana, several small plastic baggies, a large quantity of what appeared to be Ecstasy, Xanax and Tramadol tablets, a scale and a large amount of cash, according to Hauptmann.

12 Arrested For Halloween Party Shooting That Left 3 Dead, 9 Wounded In Long Beach
Authorities Tuesday announced a dozen arrests in connection with a gang-related shooting at a Long Beach party last fall that left three men dead and nine other people wounded. The shooting occurred about 10:40 p.m. last Oct. 29 at a Halloween-themed party in the 2700 block of East 7th Street in the Rose Park area. Maurice Poe Jr., 25, of Long Beach; Melvin Williams II, 35, of Gardena; and Ricardo Torres, 28, of Inglewood, died at the scene. Long Beach police Chief Robert Luna said authorities from various law enforcement jurisdictions served 15 search warrants, seven in Long Beach and eight in various other cities, and made arrests from Sept. 2-5. He said two of the 12 suspects were already in custody on unrelated crimes. About 25-30 people were in the backyard of the home when suspects opened fire into the crowd from the alley, the chief said. “Ballistics confirmed that the shots were fired from three different handguns,'' Luna said during a morning briefing on the case.

LA Courts Offering Remote Appearances For Traffic, Non-Traffic Infractions
People with scheduled hearings on or after Sept. 14 involving traffic and non-traffic infraction citations in Los Angeles County may be eligible to appear remotely by telephone, officials announced Tuesday. The remote appearances can be scheduled within the next 30 days by going to the court’s website to start the registration process for LACourtConnect. The last opportunity to schedule a remote appearance is two hours before the hearing’s start time. Those who schedule a remote appearance will receive an email confirmation that will be needed to connect to their hearing.

7 Shot To Death At Illegal Marijuana Grow In Rural SoCal Community 
Detectives on Tuesday investigated what prompted the Labor Day killings of seven people at an illegal marijuana growing operation in a small, rural Southern California community known for its horse ranches and nurseries along dirt roads. The fatal shootings in Aguanga, north of San Diego, represent the latest flashpoint in the violence that often permeates California’s illegal marijuana market. The state broadly legalized recreational marijuana sales in January 2018 but the illicit market is thriving — in part because hefty legal marijuana taxes send consumers looking for better deals in the illegal economy. Before dawn Monday, Riverside County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon at an Aguanga home. They found a woman suffering from gunshot wounds who later died at a hospital, according to a sheriff’s department statement. The deputies also discovered six more dead people at the house that “was being used to manufacture and harvest an illicit marijuana operation,” the statement said.

New Jersey Cop Dies Hours After Trying To Rescue Burglary Suspect From River
A Bridgeton Police Department officer died Sunday at home hours after he jumped into the Cohansey River in an attempt to rescue a woman who went into the water during a chase, authorities said. Sean Peek, 49, of Millville, was a 15-year veteran of the department, according to Police Chief Michael Gaimari, who said an official cause of death is pending an autopsy. Peek, who was assigned to the patrol bureau and working the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift over the weekend, was dispatched to the Bridgeton Fire Department’s EMT satellite station on Mayor Aitken Drive around 1:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of someone striking an ambulance with an unknown object as it was leaving the facility. Peek spotted a woman running near the Washington Street bridge over the Cohansey River and saw her either fall or jump into the water, Gaimari said. “Sean made a decision as would any officer and entered to water in attempt to pull the person from the running waters no matter what the circumstances,” the chief said in a statement.

Public Safety News

Forecasters Warn Of High Fire Danger In Southern California
Much of Southern California remains under threat of wildfire Wednesday amid strong Santa Ana winds and low humidity. Santa Ana winds, which were largely confined to the mountains and deserts Tuesday, are expected to strengthen and become more widespread Wednesday morning, “when critical fire weather conditions are expected across many portions of Los Angeles and Ventura counties,” warned the National Weather Service. One factor exacerbating the threat is the dryness of the vegetation following a weekend heat wave of unprecedented severity. A red flag warning denoting a high risk of wildfire will be in effect until 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains, the Angeles National Forest and the adjoining mountains and forests in Ventura County, the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, so-called coastal areas of LA County, including beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, and the Hollywood Hills, and Orange County’s Santa Ana Mountains and inland cities.

More California Counties Can Loosen COVID-19 Rules As Statewide Numbers Improve
The continuing statewide decline in new coronavirus cases will allow five additional California counties to accelerate the reopening of their economies, putting them a step closer to possible in-classroom learning at schools, under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s retooled effort for easing restrictions on communities. The Newsom administration on Tuesday announced that COVID-19 conditions have improved enough in Orange, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Placer and Amador counties to move them to the second tier of California’s four-tier reopening plan. The change would allow many businesses and services to partially reopen, including restaurants to serve customers indoors, places of worship to hold in-person services and movie theaters to operate — but only at 25% capacity.

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: