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

November 19, 2020
Law Enforcement News

Suspect Sought In Shooting Death Of Pregnant Woman, Unborn Baby
A 24-year-old woman was shot and killed along with her unborn baby while sitting in a parked vehicle in the Wilmington neighborhood, authorities said Monday. Arlene Leonor Rodriguez, who was seven months pregnant, was in the1100 block of North Neptune Avenue at about 11:25 a.m. Sunday while a man she was with worked on the vehicle's engine, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. A suspect walked up and shot multiple rounds into the vehicle, striking Rodriguez and the man, police said. The suspect fled, and paramedics took Rodriguez and the male victim to a hospital, where Rodriguez was pronounced dead, according to police. Her baby did not survive. Her family believes she was the unintended target of gang violence. Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD. You can call the Crimestoppers Hotline at 800 222-TIPS.

FBI And LAPD Arrest 14 In Alleged Storefront Drug Ring Run By South L.A. Gang
FBI agents and Los Angeles police arrested 14 suspects with alleged ties to the Hoover Criminals gang in South Los Angeles on federal drug charges Tuesday night and Wednesday. A three-year investigation, dubbed Operation Hoover Dam, culminated in three indictments detailing narcotics sales from a South L.A. market and smoke shop and inside a state prison. The indictments charge a total of 15 defendants. One of them, Ricky Blue, 51, remained at large as of Wednesday afternoon. The indictments allege that the defendants — all members or associates of the street gang, or alleged drug dealers who operated in gang territory — sold methamphetamine, crack cocaine, cocaine and phencyclidine (PCP). One indictment also alleges weapons violations, including carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

Rapper Tory Lanez Pleads Not Guilty In Shooting Of Megan Thee Stallion
Canadian rapper Tory Lanez pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he shot fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion back in July while the two were driving through the Hollywood Hills. An attorney for the 28-year-old Lanez appeared in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom and entered not guilty pleas on Lanez’s behalf for one felony count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. Lanez also faces allegations that he personally used a firearm and inflicted great bodily injury. He remains free on $190,000 bail. The next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 20. The alleged shooting occurred in the early morning hours of July 12 after Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Pete, got into an argument while riding in an SUV in the Hollywood Hills, according to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.

Robin Graham’s L.A. Disappearance Continues To Haunt Her Family 50 Years Later
Fifty years after 18-year-old Robin Graham disappeared in Los Angeles, her family continues to hold out hope that the mystery of the cold case will be solved. Graham was last seen by California Highway Patrol officers on Nov. 15, 1970, standing by her car. Now, her family says they want to enter locks of her hair into DNA databases that didn’t exist when she went missing.

$50,000 Reward Offered After Van Nuys USPS Mail Carrier Robbed At Gunpoint
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced a $50,000 reward Wednesday for information regarding two people who tried to rob a letter carrier using a firearm on Oct. 31. The carrier was delivering mail in the area of 14420 Vose Street around 11 a.m. on Halloween, when one person attempted a robbery with a firearm, while another person remained in a vehicle nearby, the USPS said in a news release. The agency is offering the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects. The suspect vehicle is a black BMW sedan and is believed to be a 5 series, 2010 model, according to the agency. The license plate contains the letter “Y” and the number “7”. The back left window has a star on it. The first suspect, who brandished a firearm during the attempted robbery, is a white male possibly in his early 20s, approximately 5’8″ and 150 pounds, last seen wearing a black bandanna with white print.

Singer Bobby Brown’s Son Dead At 28, LAPD Says
Bobby Brown Jr., the 28-year-old son of singer Bobby Brown, was found dead at a Los Angeles home on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The LAPD gave few details about the circumstances surrounding the death. Officer Jeff Lee, a spokesman for the police department, said officers responded to a medical emergency at about 1:50 p.m. on the 5200 block of White Oak Avenue in Encino. “Upon officers’ arrival, there was a person down at the location,” Lee said. Brown was pronounced dead at the scene, and investigators don’t believe foul play was involved, police said. The death is the latest in a string of tragedies for Brown. Bobbi Kristina Brown, a daughter he had with legendary singer Whitney Houston, died in 2015 after being found unresponsive in a bathtub. 

‘It's Senseless': 19-Year-Old Rising Star Athlete From Compton Shot And Killed
Authorities are searching for the gunman who shot and killed a 19-year-old man who was sitting in his car, the sheriff's department said. The victim, identified as Carl Lewis, was known as a rising star athlete from Compton. His former coach and the director of the Real Run Basketball Program, DeAnthony Langston, said the teenager was on track to fulfilling his dreams, but all of his talent and hopes of a promising NBA career are now gone. "We had so many people that were rooting for Carl," Langston said. Friends and neighbors say they're overwhelmed with grief after learning that Lewis has been shot and killed Tuesday morning while sitting in his car parked along Alondra Boulevard. Investigators say they have no suspect description, but they are hoping anyone who may have heard or seen the gunman will come forward. The sheriff's department said the incident appears to be gang related.

Brothers, Wives From Encino Charged With Loan Scheme
Two brothers and their wives – all from Encino – have been charged in a federal grand jury indictment alleging a scheme to submit at least 35 fraudulent applications seeking more than $5.6 million in federal COVID-19 relief loans, authorities said on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Charged in a 12-count indictment, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, were: Richard Ayvazyan, 42; his wife, Marietta Terabelian, 36; his brother, Artur Ayvazyan, 40; and Ayvazyan’s wife, Tamara Dadyan, 39. The indictment charges all four with one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, four counts of bank fraud, and six counts of wire fraud. Richard Ayvazyan was also charged with one count of aggravated identity theft. According to the indictment, the defendants used fake, stolen or synthetic identities to submit fraudulent applications for loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration through the Economic Injury Disaster Relief Program and the Paycheck Protection Program.

Police Arrest Suspect Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Female Employee At Bell Gardens Petco
A man was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting an employee in the women's bathroom of the Petco in Bell Gardens, authorities announced Wednesday. The suspect, who was armed with scissors, allegedly followed the victim to the restroom where he forced entry into the bathroom and sexually assaulted the victim. The Bell Gardens Police Department received a call from the pet supply store located near the intersection of Eastern and Florence avenues just before 4 p.m. on Monday. Investigators said surveillance video footage revealed that the suspect entered the store about 15 minutes before the attack. The sexual assault appears to be premeditated due to the fact that he was seen on video repeatedly going into the bathrooms and studying how the door handles and locks operate, police said. Moments after the suspect was seen studying the locks, a female employee entered the restroom when she heard the suspect fiddling with the handle. According to police, the suspect managed to use a pair of scissors to unlock the door when he proceeded to sexually assault her. 

Man Convicted Of 9 ‘NorCal Rapist’ Attacks From 1991 To 2006
A man dubbed the “NorCal Rapist” was convicted Wednesday of raping nine women in their homes between 1991 and 2006 after investigators used DNA technology to identify him. A jury in Sacramento found Roy Charles Waller, 60, guilty on all 46 counts after 2½ hours of deliberations a day earlier. Waller showed no emotion and looked down at the defendant’s table when the jury’s decision was read, the Sacramento Bee reported. He faces life in prison when sentenced Dec. 18. Waller raped women in six Northern California counties, from Sacramento to Chico. Sometimes he would kidnap the women and force them to withdraw money from ATMs and steal their personal items. Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn called the crimes “horrific,” saying the victims were terrorized for hours at a time. Prosecutors said they used the same DNA and genealogy websites to zero in on Waller that they used to arrest former police officer Joseph DeAngelo in the Golden State Killer case.

Slain Houston Police Sergeant Remembered For His Dedication
Funeral services for HPD Sgt. Sean Rios were being held Wednesday, with hundreds of mourners filling a church to remember the 25-year veteran of the police force. "There's no doubt in my mind that he was proud to be a Houston police officer," Chaplain Vincent Johnson said, lauding Rios for the arrests he had made and the criminal acts he had prevented. "He will always be honored amongst our ranks." Mayor Sylvester Turner that more than 125 of Rios' family members attended service at Grace Community Church in southeast Houston. The sergeant was shot and killed Nov. 9 in a gun battle on Stuebner Airline near the northbound Interstate 45 frontage road. The suspected shooter, Robert Soliz, has been arrested and charged with murder. A person of interest, identified Tuesday as Jason Frank Vazquez, remains at large.

Public Safety News

Local Company Donates E-Bikes To LAFD’s Bike Medic Team
Medics with the Los Angeles Fire Department took a spin on new, donated e-bikes that will allow them to get into areas not easily accessible by ambulance. The state-of-the-art e-bikes are capable of going nearly 30 mph, and can go nearly 60 miles on one charge. The fleet was donated by Southern Callifornia-based Aventon. LAFD’s bike medic team regularly patrols LAX, as well as Dodgers and USC football games, when those venues are open to the public. The team aims to fill the gap between those on foot patrol and medics in ambulances. “These e-bikes are a great asset to our current fleet of bikes and will enhance our capabilities to better serve the community,” Shawn Lenski, a spokesman for the LAFD, said in a statement. Aventon says the donation is their way of thanking the medics who do heroic work.

County Unveils Mobile COVID Contact-Tracing Effort To Speed Notifications
Hoping to speed the process of coronavirus contact-tracing, Los Angeles County announced a feature Wednesday that will allow people who receive a positive COVID-19 test to quickly — and anonymously — use their cell phones to notify others they may have exposed. The county already partners with Healthvana, a company that uses text messages or emails to deliver result notifications to people who are tested for COVID-19 at county-operated sites. That notification will now include an extra link the patient can click and enter contact information for anyone the person believes may have been exposed to the virus. Those contacts then receive a notification from Healthvana alerting them that they may have been exposed, and also providing information about testing locations and other resources.

LA County Could Re-Issue Safer-At-Home Order If Surge In COVID-19 Cases Continues
Warning that the county is facing "one of the most dangerous moments in this pandemic," Los Angeles County health officials said Wednesday that additional restrictions, and even the possibility of another safer-at-home order, are possible if COVID-19 cases and positivity rates continue to surge. County Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer said the county would re-issue a safer-at-home order if the five-day average of COVID-19 cases exceeds 4,500 or if hospitalizations exceed 2,000 per day. If that happened, the order would remain in effect for at least three weeks. It would also result in a mandatory 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, with the exception of essential and emergency workers, Ferrer explained. If the county exceeds a five-day average of 4,000 new COVID-19 cases or exceeds 1,750 daily hospitalizations, the county would implement a full reclosure of dine-in services at restaurants, breweries, wineries, and bars. They would only be permitted to serve customers for pickup and delivery.

L.A. Officials Remain Unsure Why, How COVID-19 Is Surging
Los Angeles officials in recent days have pleaded with residents to cancel social gatherings and announced limited hours for businesses in an effort to counteract a swift rise in coronavirus cases. But the clear messaging belies a murkier reality: They don’t fully understand why so many people are becoming infected. For months, Angelenos have been prohibited from exercising inside gyms, watching movies in theaters and dining indoors at restaurants. It was with these restrictions in place that L.A. County in early October recorded its fewest cases since the spring. “The irony about right now is we are approaching our worst numbers with the same things open as [when] we … had our best numbers” a few weeks ago, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said this week. The virus itself hasn’t changed, and there has been little relaxation of the rules.

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: