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 17, 2020
Law Enforcement News

1 Of 2 Deputies Wounded In Compton Ambush Is Released From The Hospital
One of the two Los Angeles County deputies shot in an ambush attack last weekend was released from the hospital Wednesday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. The 24-year-old male deputy had been in intensive care for a time before his release. Both he and a 31-year-old female deputy wounded underwent surgery after the shooting Saturday evening in Compton. The female deputy remained hospitalized Wednesday. Both are expected to fully recover. “We at @LASDHQ appreciate the outpouring of prayers and support you have shown for our ambushed deputies,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva tweeted Wednesday. “Great news, one of those deputies was released from the hospital today. He has a long road ahead for recovery. But he’s not alone. We, as a community, are in this together.”

Missing Mother Found Dead In Trunk Of Car In South LA
The search for a missing woman came to an end after officers found her body in the trunk of a parked car in South LA. A murder investigation is now underway to find the person responsible for her death. 23-year-old Mikeona Laticia Johnson had been missing for a week, but that search ended Wednesday when a body was found in a vehicle in the Gramercy Park area of South Los Angeles. Detectives were sent to the 1800 block of West 95th Street, near Jesse Owens Park, around 12:15 p.m. after receiving a call about a strange odor coming from a car. Her family says that is about two blocks away from her apartment building. Family members told FOX 11 Johnson was a mother of two. Officials say their investigation is ongoing.

Man Fatally Shot In Vehicle That Crashed In South LA Area
Authorities Wednesday said a man who died at the scene where his vehicle crashed in South Los Angeles had been shot, and they were investigating the death as a homicide. Sam Patterson of Los Angeles, 44, died at about 3:20 a.m. Friday at 41st Street and Western Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office and the LAPD. Patterson was heading southbound on Western when his vehicle went out of control and hit a power pole, the LAPD reported. An autopsy determined that Patterson had been shot in the upper body, and the case was classified as a homicide, according to the coroner’s office. No arrests have been reported, and no suspect description was available. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.

LAPD Seeks Additional Sexual Assault Victims Of Man Who Allegedly Preyed On Teens He Met Online
The Los Angeles Police Department on Wednesday asked for the public's help finding additional sexual assault victims of a man who was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting teens he met online. Princeton Bloome, 22, was arrested June 25 on suspicion of sexual assault, and faces possible felony charges, the LAPD reported. "Bloome would seek out minor children online and pose as a 17-year-old," an LAPD statement said. "He used false identities and fabricated stories about his lifestyle. After forming an online relationship with victims, he would meet them in person and sexually assault them." The LAPD said Bloom did this to a 13-year-old in 2018 in Topanga. "After meeting the victim online, he lured the victim to a location where the sexual assault occurred," police said. "Bloome met with the victim several times during a one-month period. During that month, Bloome used threats of harm to the victim and the victim's family to continue seeing the victim." In January of this year, police said Bloom sexually assaulted a 13-year-old in North Hollywood.

Suspect In Custody After Possible Shots Fired From Balcony In Watts
A suspect has been detained in connection with a possible shooting in Watts. At around 10:20 a.m., Los Angeles police responded to reports of a man firing eight or nine gunshots from a balcony in the 2300 block of Santa Ana Boulevard. Aerial footage from Sky2 showed the suspect being taken into custody a little before 11 a.m. It’s unclear if anyone was hurt or any shots were actually fired. The circumstances of the incident were under investigation.

Police Chase Through Sylmar Ends With Crash, Two In Custody
The driver of a stolen vehicle who led police on a chase was arrested in Sylmar Wednesday evening after crashing the vehicle into a parked vehicle and attempting to run away. It was unclear when or where the chase began, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The driver crashed into the parked vehicle near Glenoaks Boulevard and Roxford Street around 8:30 p.m. Video from the scene showed the driver running away from the crash scene through nearby properties and jumping a wall before surrendering as officers moved in on him. At one point, a passenger in the vehicle got out of the vehicle and was quickly detained by police.

Victims Sought After East L.A. Clown Performer Is Accused Of Child Sex Assault
Detectives are searching for additional victims after a man who performs as a clown in East Los Angeles was accused of sexually assaulting a child. An investigation was launched into 51-year-old Florentino Gonzalez Penaloza after a 10-year-old girl reported he sexually molested her between 2016 and 2020, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. Penaloza performs part-time under the name Ponponio for a store called Payasos Party Supplies, officials said. The suspect is friends with the family of the alleged victim, according to investigators. Penaloza was arrested Sept. 6 on suspicion of committing a sex act with a child under 10 years old. He remained in custody Wednesday on $950,000 bail, the department said.

Grammy Award-Winning Producer Detail Pleads Not Guilty To Alleged Sexual Assaults
The Grammy Award-winning producer known as Detail pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he raped five women and sexually assaulted a sixth woman. Noel Christopher Fisher, 41, was charged July 30 with 11 counts of forcible rape, three counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and two counts each of forcible oral copulation, sodomy by use of force and false imprisonment by violence, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. The alleged crimes occurred mostly at Fisher's home between 2010 and 2018, involving women who were between 18 and 31 years old at the time, according to the District Attorney's Office. One of the women was allegedly raped several times between 2015 and 2017, and another was allegedly raped twice in 2018, prosecutors said. He was arrested Aug. 5 by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and has remained behind bars since then in lieu of $6.29 million bail, according to jail records.

Man Pleads No Contest In Sherman Oaks Stabbing Of His Two Adoptive Fathers
A young man is facing more than 15 years in state prison for stabbing his two adoptive fathers at their home in Sherman Oaks just over two years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday. Matthew Boulet — who was 21 at the time and is now 23 — pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of attempted murder and admitted allegations that he caused great bodily injury in the July 24, 2018 attack, according to Deputy District Attorney Manuel Almada. Boulet stabbed one of his fathers multiple times in the neck, face, ears, arms and body, and stabbed his other father multiple times in the face, arms and body when he tried to intervene, the prosecutor said. A pocket knife was recovered, according to authorities. Boulet was arrested early that morning by Los Angeles police and has remained behind bars since then.

Man Charged With Sexually Assaulting Elderly Patients At Santa Monica Care Facility
A man charged with sexually assaulting elderly patients at a Santa Monica care facility may be responsible for more crimes in the Los Angeles area, according to police. Juan Victor Mendoza, 55, has been charged with four felony counts of sexual assault and is being held on $300,000, according to the Los Angeles County sheriff’s jail records. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 5. Police say Mendoza was first arrested for one sexual assault allegation on an elderly victim in 2019, but was shortly freed on bail. As the case proceeded through the courts, detectives learned of three more elderly victims who all claimed Mendoza had performed similar sexual acts with them, according to Santa Monica police.

44 People Arrested, 129 Fraudulent EDD Credit Cards Seized As Beverly Hills Police Crack Down On Fraud
The Beverly Hills police are cracking down on fraud and identity theft. The police department says since September 3rd, officers have arrested 44 individuals within the City of Beverly Hills responsible for EDD fraud and identity theft. A total of 129 fraudulent EDD credit cards valuing over $2.5 million have been recovered. Over $289,000 in U.S. currency has also been seized. In addition to cash, officers located seven handguns carried on the suspects or found within their vehicles. “Earlier this month, the Beverly Hills Police Department learned criminals were fraudulently obtaining EDD benefits loaded onto EDD debit cards using stolen identities. The monetary value placed on the cards by EDD can be as high as $20,000. Cardholders are able to withdraw up to $1,000 per day, per card,” the police department wrote in a statement online.

Customs Officers Find $3.9 Million Worth Of Meth And Cocaine Cemented Inside Boulders
Customs officers found 560 pounds of methamphetamine and cocaine, worth nearly $4 million, cemented inside several quartz boulders Monday morning at a cargo crossing at the Tecate Port of Entry in San Diego’s East County, authorities said. Officers broke open the boulders around 10:45 a.m. Monday after becoming suspicious of a big rig hauling what its manifest listed as “multiple tons of beach pebbles and stones,” according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. Cemented inside the quartz boulders, officers found 229 packages wrapped in black electrical tape, officials said. That included 104 packages of methamphetamine weighing 337 pounds, and 125 packages of cocaine weighing 223 pounds. Combined, the drugs had an estimated street value of roughly $3.9 million, officials said.

Grocery Stores Are Pushing California To Be Tougher On Crime. Here’s Why
In 2003, Brian Beinlich stood before a judge in an Orange County courtroom, barely comprehending what had happened. The judge had just told Beinlich he was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences in prison. He would not be eligible for parole for 81 years. His crime? Stealing two bottles of Hennessy from a Costco in Fountain Valley, Calif., and waving a box cutter at the security guards who chased him down. A wave of criminal justice reforms in California in recent years sought to ease thousands of harsh sentences like the one Beinlich received, reduce the state’s bloated prison populations and create more opportunities for parole and rehabilitation. But if several large grocery store chains have their way, a measure on the ballot this fall will roll back some of these reforms, increasing penalties for shoplifting and making it harder for those convicted of certain non-violent property and drug crimes to get early parole. While Proposition 20 was launched and financed primarily by law enforcement groups, grocery outlets served as early partners in the effort. They are taking a controversial stance at a sensitive time for corporate America, when companies of every stripe have taken pains to demonstrate support for the Black Lives Matter movement and its goals of tearing down racist systems of policing and mass incarceration.

Fearing COVID Chaos, Her Abuser Bought a Gun. Now She’s the One Who Is Terrified.
All Michelle Jankowski could think of as her ex-boyfriend pinned her to the brown sofa and pointed a gun at both of their heads was her daughter, watching from a few feet away. If he pulled the trigger, 3-year-old Gwendolyn would see her parents’ blood sprayed across the cream-colored walls and onto the ceiling. Michelle sternly told the girl to run to the neighbors’ house. Gwendolyn took a few steps toward the sliding glass doors before her father’s voice warned: “No baby, stay here,” according to the police report, which Michelle corroborated. “Yes, Gwendolyn, go outside and go to the neighbors’ house,” Michelle repeated. The child ran to the back door. Her father leapt from the couch and grabbed her by the armpit. Finally out from under his weight, Michelle bolted down the front stairs and out a different door, running across the yard in her nightgown. “He has a gun!” she screamed at a young boy walking his dog. Months after Charles Dickson bought a gun because he feared national chaos stemming from the pandemic, he sits in an Oshkosh, Wisconsin, jail. But he’s been charged only with misdemeanors in connection with the June 6 incident, and Michelle lives in fear that authorities will release him. “However long he’s in jail is the length I have left to live,” she has told the prosecutor.

Public Safety News

2 Separate Fires In LA Damage Housing Complex For Veterans, Dry Cleaner And Historic Theater
Raging flames and thick smoke reached into the morning sky across parts of Los Angeles Wednesday as firefighters battled two massive structure fires. The first blaze erupted around 1 a.m. as about 150 firefighters responded to the area of Rowan Avenue and First Street where they encountered heavy flames coming from a five-story housing complex under construction in East Los Angeles. Video from the scene showed the entire the 62-unit complex.engulfed in flames, and some firefighters were forced to scramble to safety as the apartment building partially collapsed. The complex was slated to house veterans. The fire was largely extinguished by daybreak, but firefighters were still inspecting the scene after 9 a.m. to determine if there were any smoldering embers, and an official knockdown would not be declared until the inspection was completed, officials said.

L.A. County Could Move Into Next Reopening Stage In October If There Is No Surge In COVID-19 Cases: Officials
Los Angeles County could move into the next reopening stage as early as October if there is no new surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations associated with Labor Day weekend, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Wednesday. She explained that while the region’s case positivity rate — now only at slightly higher than 3% — meets standards to move into less restrictive Tier 2, the current daily case of rate of 8.1 cases per 100,000, does not. “If we don’t see a surge in cases and hospitalizations associated with activities over Labor Day, and we continue to reduce our rate of community transmission over the weeks ahead, we could enter Tier 2 sometime in October,” Ferrer said. She emphasized that the test positivity rate is the lowest the county has seen to date. “This means that almost 97% of the tests that people took for COVID-19 ended up being negative,” she said.

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: