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

February 1, 2021
Law Enforcement News

LAPD sergeant dies of COVID-19
A Los Angeles police sergeant who worked nearly 23 years for the department has died of COVID-19. Sgt. Patricia Guillen, who was assigned to the 77th Division, died Thursday, according to the department, which made the announcement in a post on social media. “Our thoughts & prayers are with her loved ones,” the LAPD said Friday. “Patricia, we thank you for your service.” Guillen was the fifth LAPD officer and seventh department employee to die from the coronavirus.

Man Shot In Back In Vermont Square, Shooter At Large 
A man was shot in the back in the Vermont Square area of Los Angeles. The shooter is still at large. The shooting was reported at 12:46 p.m. Saturday at 48th Street and Vermont Avenue, according to the LAPD's Operations Center. The man, about 30-years-old, was taken to another location, where paramedics responded and took him to a hospital, the officer said. His vital signs were stable. No information on the shooter was available. Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD.

Business Owner On Venice Boardwalk Shutting Down Shop After Rise In Crime And Drugs In Area
A business owner on the Venice Beach Boardwalk is closing his ice cream store after a rise in crime, drugs and encampments during the pandemic. Klaus Moeller, the co-owner of Ben & Jerry's at Venice Beach, said the ice cream shop opened three years ago in the area. "It was doing really well and Venice always had homeless people, but it's never been a problem and we've always taken care of the homeless. Our security guard is a homeless guy who lives in a tent and has been working as our security guard for two and half years and is phenomenal," he said. Moeller said he always had a good relationship with the homeless community in Venice Beach, and would allow them to sleep in front of his store before the pandemic. However, when the pandemic hit, the area changed drastically, according to Moeller. "When COVID hit, they [city officials] decided to turn the boardwalk into a shelter for the homeless. And then in March, they closed us down and as soon as the boardwalk was completely closed, everybody came in. Word spreads because everybody has an iPhone nowadays, and literally they closed the boardwalk down and in two weeks, it was a sea of encampments and it never recovered from that," said Moeller. Moeller said the area has seen a rise in drugs and crimes. "People are like there have always been drugs in Venice. And yeah, people would smoke pot, skateboard and sell dreamcatchers. Now, it's meth and heroin that people are doing and dealing. We've had two people shot dead outside of Ben & Jerry's. We've had -- I don't even know -- how many people that have accosted staff and stolen things. We've had someone on meth jump over the counters and hit the kids in the face with a gas can saying they're going to torch the building to the point where it's just not safe," he said.

LAPD Shoot Man After He Allegedly Threatened His Wife And Family, Pulled Gun On Officers
Los Angeles police officers on Friday shot a man after he allegedly threatened his estranged wife and her family and then brandished a handgun when confronted by police. The man, whom authorities did not identify, suffered at least one gunshot wound. He was being treated at a local hospital and is in serious but stable condition, police said. No one else was injured. Details of the shooting, which occurred in a parking lot between a beauty supply store and a Food 4 Less near the Van Nuys Airport, were under investigation, police said. “What exactly he did with that handgun that led to the officer-involved shooting is part of the investigation,” said Det. Meghan Aguilar, a LAPD spokeswoman. “Detectives here will be looking at body-worn video, and of course interviewing the officer, talking to any witnesses they can locate and identify, and looking for surveillance footage.” Hours after the shooting, detectives at the scene were looking into whether a security camera on a food truck that was parked at the edge of the parking lot had captured the confrontation.

Dodger Stadium mass COVID-19 vaccination site temporarily shuts down after protesters block entrance
One of the largest vaccination sites in the country temporarily shut down Saturday because dozens of protesters blocked the entrance, stalling hundreds of motorists who had been waiting in line for hours, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Los Angeles Fire Department shut the entrance to the vaccination center at Dodger Stadium about 2 p.m. as a precaution, officials told the newspaper. The protesters had members of anti-vaccine and far-right groups, the Times reported. Some of them carried signs decrying the COVID-19 vaccine and shouting for people not to get the shots.

New safety measure coming to Dodger Stadium inoculation site after anti-vaccine protesters force temporary closure
A new safety change will be implemented at the Dodger Stadium inoculation center after anti-vaccination protesters forced the temporary shutdown of the site over the weekend. There will soon be a designated zone for protesters to gather near the vaccination site, one of the nation's largest. The move comes after the Los Angeles Fire Department shut the entrance to the stadium as a precaution at about 2 p.m. Saturday after it was blocked by a few dozen demonstrators.

Former Professional Baseball Player, Scott Erickson, Charged In Connection With Hit-And-Run That Killed Two Young Brothers
A former major league baseball pitcher has been charged in connection with a deadly hit-and-run that killed two young brothers in Westlake Village, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. Investigators believe Scott Erickson, 52, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005, was the second of two drivers in a deadly crash. He is facing one count of misdemeanor reckless driving. Investigators said last September, six members of the Iskander family were walking in a crosswalk when they realized two cars were speeding. The mother of the family grabbed one of the children off of a scooter and yanked away a stroller with another child in it. But officers said 11-year-old Mark Iskander and his eight-year-old brother, Jacob, were tragically struck and killed. Rebecca Grossman, 57, allegedly fled the scene and was arrested a quarter-mile away, police said. Officers believe she was driving under the influence. She has been charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter. Locals in Westlake Village were shocked to hear about the incident Saturday.

Metro Train Operator Shot In Boyle Heights; $35K Reward Offered For Info Leading To Arrest
Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were investigating after a Metro train operator was shot in Boyle Heights on Friday morning. The shooting happened at the Indiana Station platform Friday just after 4:10 a.m. The train operator was taken to a local hospital in serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries. Later, officials upgraded his condition to stable. A $35,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the identification, apprehension and conviction of the suspect. Investigators said a suspect walked up to the operator's cab window as the train came to a stop and fired twice through the glass. The operator ran through the train and the suspect fired two or three more shots before running off the platform and west onto Gleason Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The male suspect was wearing a white hat, gray hoodie, jeans and holding a black umbrella, according to the sheriff's department. The victim, whose name was not released, was struck twice in what Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington called "a brazen act of violence against a defenseless Metro operator.'' 

Man Found Shot Dead At South Los Angeles Home
A man in his 20s was found shot dead at a home in the Westmont community of unincorporated Los Angeles County, but authorities do not believe it was a gang-related homicide, officials said Sunday. Deputies responding at 7:53 p.m. Saturday to a medical rescue/gunshot victim call in the 1200 block of West 90th Place reported that the victim was suffering from apparent gunshot wounds, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Arriving paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. His name will be released pending notification of next of kin, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office. A man in his 30s was seen fleeing from the home on foot, the department said. Sheriff's Homicide Bureau detectives urged anyone with information regarding the homicide to call them at 323-890-5500.

Inglewood Man Arrested On Federal Narcotics Trafficking Charge After Authorities Find PCP In His Home: DOJ
An Inglewood man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly ordered bulk quantities of at least one chemical used to make PCP leading federal authorities to find over four pounds of the hallucinogenic drug in his possession, officials announced Friday. On Friday, federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against William Cless Hubbard Jr., 63, charging him with possession with intent to distribute phencyclidine, or PCP, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release. During a search of Hubbard’s residence Thursday, authorities found a one-gallon jug containing “amber liquid which tested presumptively positive for PCP,” the DOJ said. And, during a search of a business owned by Hubbard, officials found 55-gallon drums containing precursor chemicals that can be used to manufacture PCP and are regulated under the Controlled Substances Act.

Officer Who Died After DC Riot To Lie In Honor In Capitol
Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died at the hands of the mob that besieged the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, will lie in honor next week in the building's Rotunda, congressional leaders said Friday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement saying: "The heroism of Officer Sicknick and the Capitol Police force during the violent insurrection against our Capitol helped save lives, defend the temple of our democracy and ensure that the Congress was not diverted from our duty to the Constitution. His sacrifice reminds us every day of our obligation to our country and to the people we serve.” Congress will hold a ceremonial arrival for Sicknick on Tuesday night, after which a viewing period will be held overnight for members of the Capitol Police. Lawmakers will pay tribute Wednesday morning before a ceremonial departure for Arlington National Cemetery, where Sicknick will be interred. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ceremonies will be open to invited guests only.

Man Charged With Vandalizing Former President Trumpís Star On Walk Of Fame To Be Arraigned Monday
 A man accused of vandalizing Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame twice within a 28-day span in October 2016 is set to be arraigned Monday on felony vandalism charges. James Lambert Otis, 57, previously pleaded no contest to felony vandalism for using a pickaxe and a sledgehammer to damage Trump’s star. Otis was sentenced in January 2017 to three years probation, 20 days of community service and agreed to pay $4,400 for the damage. In the latest case filed this week, he is charged with two counts of vandalism with $400 or more in damage or destruction of property involving October arrests. Los Angeles police allege that Otis used a pickaxe on Oct. 2 to “destroy” the former president’s star — with damage estimated at more than $3,000 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce — and that he surrendered Oct. 5 at the LAPD’s Hollywood Station after detectives contacted his publicity team. He was freed on bond, subsequently arrested again Oct. 30 and released on bond, jail records show.

Public Safety News

One Person Dies In Harbor City House Fire 
Authorities Sunday were attempting to determine the cause of death of a person who died in a house fire. The fire ignited about 8:30 p.m. Friday at a home in the 26300 block of South Western Avenue in Harbor City, according to firefighters from the Los Angeles county and city fire departments. The victim’s cause of death has not yet been determined, nor had the person’s name been released. The person was removed from the home by firefighters, transported to a hospital, and later died there. The house and garage were cluttered inside, fire authorities said.

LA County Reports 5,925 New Coronavirus Cases, 124 Deaths On Sunday
Los Angeles County reported 5,925 new cases of COVID-19 and 124 additional deaths on Sunday, Jan. 31, bringing the county’s totals to 1,116,892 cases and 16,770 fatalities. The county’s daily report did not include updated figures for Long Beach and Pasadena, which operate independent health departments. As of 4:30 p.m. Saturday, neither city had updated its dashboard. Pasadena on Sunday reported 56 new cases, bringing its total since the pandemic began to 10,212; the city’s death toll remained 253. Long Beach did not update its totals over the weekend; as of Friday, the city had reported 663 deaths and 47,844 cases. The latest numbers came one day after health officials confirmed the second local case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 first discovered in the United Kingdom, and four additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). The B.1.1.7 specimen, submitted by a clinical facility, was sequenced as part of routine surveillance by the county’s Public Health Laboratory. The first confirmed case of B.1.1.7 was logged on Jan. 16, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Second Case Of COVID-19 Variant Reported In LA County
Los Angeles County reported 6,918 new cases of COVID-19 and 316 additional deaths on Saturday, as health officials also confirmed the second local case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 which was first discovered in the United Kingdom. The B.1.1.7 specimen, submitted by a clinical facility, was sequenced as part of routine surveillance by the county's Public Health Laboratory. The first confirmed case of B.1.1.7 was logged on January 16, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Officials believes the B.1.1.7 and other variants are already spreading in the county, and they are continuing to test samples. B.1.1.7 is considered more contagious, but not necessarily more deadly, than the original strain of COVID-19. Officials also confirmed four additional cases of MIS-C, bringing the total number in the county to 66 children, including one child death. All 66 children with MIS-C in L.A. County were hospitalized and 44% of the children were treated in the ICU. Of the 66, 32% were under the age of 5, 38% were between the ages of 5 and 11, and 30% were between the ages of 12 and 20.  

California COVID-19 Deaths Top 40,000 ó Or 1 Out Of Every 1,000 Residents
One out of every 1,000 Californians has now died of COVID-19. California on Friday exceeded 40,000 coronavirus deaths, another milestone that comes as the state is coming out of a winter surge. More than half — at least 22,500 Californians — have died of COVID-19 since Nov. 1, out of a cumulative death toll of more than 40,100. Only New York has suffered more total coronavirus-related deaths than California. California — the nation’s most populous state — has recorded roughly 101 deaths per 100,000 residents, the 36th-highest COVID-19 cumulative death rate among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Many other large states have higher per capita deaths including New York, New Jersey, Texas and Florida, according to The Times tracker. New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, South Dakota and Rhode Island have double the death rate of California. Still, the loss of life is hard to fully take in.

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: