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

October 20, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Report: Homicides In LA Increased By 20% In First 9 Months Of 2020
While overall crime has decreased in L.A. during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of homicides increased by 20% this year compared to 2019, according to a report released Monday. Though the city has seen a drop of 9.7% in overall crime this year as compared to last year, the number of homicides has increased by 20% with 239 people killed between January and September 2020 — up from 199 people during the same period last year, according to the Crosstown report. July had the most killings in at least a decade with 40 reported homicides, followed by September with 36 reported killings. The highest number of reported homicides in one month in 2019 was 27, according to the report. The Vermont Square area of South Los Angeles saw the biggest increase, with 12 homicide victims in the first nine months of 2020, compared to three during the same period of 2019. Boyle Heights and Downtown have each had 15 reported homicides this year.

Woman Arrested In Deadly Stabbing Of L.A. Metro Employee At Downtown Rail Station
Police have arrested a woman on suspicion of fatally stabbing a transit employee at the Seventh Street/Metro Center station in downtown Los Angeles. The incident occurred on the Red Line train around 10:45 p.m. Friday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Irma Monroy, 25, of Los Angeles, allegedly stabbed the victim to death after an argument between them broke out and escalated, authorities said. The victim suffered critical injuries to his chest and was pronounced dead later that night after he was taken to the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, KTLA reported. Security cameras over the weekend captured an image of the woman identified as Monroy, who was seen exiting the train at the Seventh Street/Metro Center station pushing a green bike Friday night. Police confiscated a knife and a green bike at the time of Monroy’s arrest, officials said.

Riverside County Sheriff's Sergeant Dies During Training Exercise
A Riverside County sheriff's sergeant suffered a fatal heart attack while on duty training with the K-9 team, Sheriff Chad Bianco announced Monday. Sgt. Harry Cohen, 48, died Sunday night. He was a 24-year veteran of the department, and is survived by his wife and two children, according to sheriff's officials. "Last night our department lost a man of God, husband, father, best friend, and deputy," Bianco wrote on his Facebook Page. "Sergeant Harry Cohen will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him." Cohen was assigned to the department's K-9 Unit at the time of his death, although his career stretches back to 1996. As a deputy, Cohen worked assignments at the Banning, Lake Elsinore and Southwest stations and the Ben Clark Training Center. He was promoted to corporal in 2003, and to sergeant in 2010.

Colorado LEO Killed In Head-On Crash By Suspected Drunk Driver
A three-vehicle crash Friday evening in Commerce City left two people dead and one with life-threatening injuries. According to the State Patrol, the incident happened as follows: A Ford F350 headed south on Colorado 2 traveled off the right side of the road and onto the shoulder before returning to the roadway. Then it collided with an unmarked Commerce City Police Department Ford Explorer and a Kia Soul that were northbound. The F350 struck the Explorer head-on and collided with with the driver's side of the Kia. Officer Curt Holland, 37, and Francesca Dominguez, 31, the Kia driver, were killed. Fructoso Rosales-Cano, 45, the driver of the F350 was transported to the University of Colorado Hospital with life-threatening injuries. Alcohol and excessive speed are being investigated as contributing factors in the crash.

LAPD Nabs Downtown Carjacking Suspect Who Drove Off With Grandmother And Baby In Car
Los Angeles police rescued an elderly woman and her infant grandson from a carjacking suspect after a chase downtown Saturday afternoon, authorities said. The victims — an 81-year-old woman and her 9-month-old grandchild — were seated in a vehicle that had its engine running around 2:45 p.m. near 9th Street and Maple Avenue when the suspect jumped into the car and drove off, authorities said. LAPD Central Division Capt. T. Scott Harrelson said the suspect took the car quickly after the baby’s mother stopped to run an errand. A helicopter was dispatched to search for the vehicle, and officers discovered the car was still in the downtown area around 4 p.m., according to an LAPD news release. The suspect led officers on a “slow-speed pursuit” that ended when police deployed a spike strip. None of the three was injured, and the suspect was arrested without further incident, the department said in its statement.

LA Sentencing Delayed For Man Who Used Online `Bait Ads’ To Extort $250K
Monday’s scheduled sentencing hearing was delayed until Nov. 18 for a man who used the internet to extort at least $250,000 from men in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and elsewhere who responded to internet “bait ads” offering gay sex services. Over a period of six years, Tyler Buchanan purchased ads on Craigslist, Backpage and other websites that appeared to offer sex services for hire, primarily targeting gay men in multiple cities and states, including numerous locations in Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors are recommending a five-year prison sentence. Buchanan’s sentencing position was filed under seal. He could get as much as 10 years behind bars, three years on supervised release, a fine of $750,000 and restitution to be determined.

SoCal Woman Accused Of Stealing Several Identities To Fraudulently Obtain EDD Unemployment Benefits
A woman was arrested at a Riverside courthouse last week for allegedly stealing several identities to fraudulently obtain EDD unemployment benefits, authorities said Monday. Jazmin Ugalde, 21, was arrested Thursday at Riverside Superior Court before her appearance in an unrelated identity theft and fraud case. Riverside Police had obtained and served a search warrant at a home in the 4900 block of La Sierra Avenue where Ugalde was believed to be staying. They discovered personal information for several additional victims, authorities said. Investigators determined the identities were also being used to obtain EDD unemployment benefits. Ugalde was not home when detectives served the search warrant, but they learned she had an upcoming court date for a separate case involving theft and fraud charges. As she arrived for her hearing, detectives placed her under arrest. When arrested, police say Ugalde was found in possession of another EDD benefits card for one of the victims in this investigation. 

Illegal Gun Dealers Making A Killing By Preying On Vulnerable Communities
Deflated balloons, wilted flowers and burned-out candles mark the spot: Someone died here. The shrines can be seen around East Oakland neighborhoods plagued by gun violence. Two people were killed and one was wounded in a shootout Wednesday, the second shooting incident with multiple victims in less than 24 hours. On Thursday night, one person was killed and others injured in a shooting at 89th Avenue and International Boulevard. It was the 79th homicide of the year, already surpassing the 72 homicides in 2019. And it’s not just happening in Oakland. After years of plunging homicide numbers, the Bay Area is witnessing a dramatic spike. In San Francisco, the 45 homicides this year have already surpassed the 41 killings of 2019, which was a 56-year low for the city. In Vallejo, there have been 23 homicides so far this year after 12 in 2019.

Public Safety News

Younger Residents Continue Driving LA County COVID Cases, Gatherings Remain Trouble
Pointing again to younger residents as driving forces behind coronavirus case numbers, Los Angeles County's public health director warned Monday that large and small gatherings are a continued major source of COVID-19 transmission. And with the Thanksgiving holiday and cooler weather on the horizon, Barbara Ferrer warned that indoor get-togethers present an even higher risk of transmission that will continue to push case numbers higher and prolong economic shutdowns. Ferrer noted that people between 18 and 49 now account for 58% of all new COVID-19 cases in the county. The 12-50 age group represents 68% of all new cases. Ferrer also noted increasing percentages among younger people hospitalized due to the virus. She said in mid-May, people aged 18-29 represented 5% of hospitalized virus patients, but now, "that's doubled to about 10% of all hospitalizations."  

L.A. County Reports 358 New Coronavirus Cases, 13 Deaths
Los Angeles County public health officials on Sunday reported 358 new coronavirus cases and 13 related deaths. The COVID-19 data released on Sundays are often lower because of laboratory reporting delays and problems with the state’s data feed. The number of confirmed infections in Los Angeles County is doubling every 190.6 days. Hospitalizations have grown in recent days, with 751 COVID-19 patients in county medical centers as of Sunday. But hospitalizations remain far short of the more than 2,200 reported at the peak of the crisis in mid-July. State and local officials are closely watching the latest figures as they weigh when and how to reopen businesses and public facilities. L.A. County remains in the strictest tier of the state’s four-tier reopening system — Tier 1, or purple — because it continues to report more than 7 cases per 100,000 residents each day. That means that schools are shut, and many nonessential businesses remain closed for indoor operations.

Local Government News

Journalist Yashar Ali accuses Garcetti advisor Rick Jacobs of sexual misconduct
A second person has come forward to accuse a top advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti of sexual misconduct. Freelance journalist Yashar Ali alleged in a first-person article published Monday night that Garcetti advisor Rick Jacobs forcibly kissed him on the lips and hugged him over the course of a decade. Ali’s allegations, published on the forum Substack, follow a lawsuit filed against the city in July by Los Angeles Police Officer Matthew Garza, who worked on the mayor’s security detail.

LA City Council Considers Making Al Fresco Dining Program Permanent
The Los Angeles City Council Transportation Committee Monday voted in favor of having a report created to look into the possibility of making the Al Fresco program permanent. “With around 2,000 restaurants currently participating in Al Fresco, its popularity is undeniable,” Councilman David Ryu, who introduced the motion, said. “Los Angeles has an opportunity to reimagine the ways that we use our city streets and support our local businesses. Now is the time to think about how we want our city to emerge from this pandemic, and this is one way we can emerge better than before.” The Al Fresco program, which enables restaurants to provide unconventional outdoor dining in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, has received positive feedback from restaurants, diners and restaurant-adjacent neighborhoods, Ryu said. The program has also allowed the city to support the hard-hit restaurant industry by allowing outdoor service.

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: