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 17, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Investigation Underway Into Possible Shooting On 10 Freeway In Downtown L.A.
An investigation is underway into a possible shooting on the 10 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday morning. A caller reported a shooting on the freeway near Crenshaw Boulevard shortly before 4:45 a.m., a California Highway Patrol spokesperson said. The vehicle involved in the incident then crashed into a light pole just off the freeway, the spokesperson said. Aerial video from Sky5 showed a damaged white sedan at the bottom of the San Pedro Street offramp. Crime scene tape surrounded the vehicle as authorities were investigating the incident. It was unclear if anyone was injured or if any shots were fired. No suspect description was immediately available. The 10 Freeway remained open during the early part of the investigation.

Police Pursue Reported Stolen Mercedes Utility Van Through West Los Angeles; Suspect In Custody
The Los Angeles Police Department was in pursuit of a reported stolen white Mercedes utility van driving erratically through the Westside of Los Angeles on Tuesday evening. The pursuit began in the 5900 block of La Tijera Boulevard, near Slauson Avenue, said Officer William Cooper with the Los Angeles Police Department. The driver weaved through surface streets, cutting through several narrow alleys. Shortly after, the LAPD shifted to tracking mode stopping officers from following the vehicle but continuing monitoring it from a helicopter. The department shifts to tracking mode when the pursuit is deemed unsafe to continue, Cooper said. The reported stolen van entered the 405 Freeway going northbound and dodged traffic at high speeds. The driver exited the freeway and drove onto Sunset Boulevard heading back towards West Los Angeles near UCLA. Shortly after 6 p.m., the driver exited the vehicle at a cul-de-sac in the Del Rey area and was running through a grassy area just north of the Marina (90) Freeway. At about 6:20 p.m. police caught up to the suspect and was taken into custody.

Hit-and-Run Driver Sought In South L.A. Crash That Sent Vehicle Into Nearby Home
Police are searching for a hit-and-run driver who fled the scene after two vehicles collided, sending one of them into a home in the Vermont-Slauson neighborhood of South Los Angeles Monday night. The incident was reported before midnight near the intersection of West 68th Street and Denver Avenue. Two vehicles were reported to be involved in the initial crash, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department said. One of those vehicles ended up careening through a nearby fence and into a home. Martha Salazar, whose home was damaged in the incident, thought the driver may have been driving recklessly and doing donuts in the street. Investigators later determined that the drivers were not doing donuts prior to the crash, Officer Chavez said. Police have also ruled out street racing as a factor in the incident. A neighbor of Salazar’s says she heard a car spin out before it crashed through Salazar’s gate. Video showed one person being treated at the scene and loaded into an ambulance after the crash.

City Targeting Pacoima Home Linked With Multiple Shootings, Feuer Says
As the city of Los Angeles sees an alarming rise in violent crime, officials are targeting certain homes and areas that seem to contributing disproportionately to the problem. In January the city saw a 40% increase in homicides compared to January 2020 - and a 119% increase compared to January 2019. The Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program targets properties that appear to be a source of gun violence, drug sales and gang activity, City Attorney Mike Feuer said in an interview. The program uses tools such as injunctions against property owners and gang members, evicting tenants who participate in drug or gang crimes and pressing for the rehabilitation of abandoned buildings. For example, the city is targeting one home in Pacoima that has been associated with at least five shootings in recent years. "Imagine if you lived on that block," he said. "If your family lived on that block you'd have to rearrange your entire lives. You wouldn't let your kids play outside."

Is Melrose Going ‘Downhill’? Store Owners Say Area Has Seen Less Shopping Amid Spike In Robberies
Some store owners along Melrose Avenue in L.A.’s Fairfax District said Tuesday there’s been less foot traffic and more crime in the area as police search for suspects in a series of recent robberies. The coronavirus pandemic has led to the temporary, recurring closures of many restaurants and retail stores throughout Los Angeles and the rest of the country. Along Melrose, known for its high-end streetwear shops, many stores remained shuttered while others are welcoming customers. On Monday, the Los Angeles Police Department warned of an increase in the number of people being robbed at gunpoint in the trendy shopping area. Over the last few weeks, seven robberies have involved Rolex watches, police said. “In the past six months, the street has gone downhill,” said a local store owner who has been in the area for about 20 years. He spoke on-camera but asked to remain anonymous. “Honestly, like people used to come here and shop, enjoy themselves. No longer are you seeing that.” On Jan. 30, a shopper was assaulted by a pair of men who jumped out of car and started tackling him to the ground as he walked along a sidewalk after leaving a nearby store. Video released by LAPD shows the robbers attack him just around 4 p.m.

Man Arrested In Three Killings Near Homeless Encampments In Compton Area
A 56-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly stabbing two men and a woman to death in separate crimes since last year near homeless encampments in the Compton area, authorities said Tuesday. Tracy Walker was arrested Thursday after detectives located him at a homeless encampment next to the Compton Creek bed, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported. He was booked on suspicion of murder, and was being held on $2 million bail. The latest victim, 30-year-old Cesar Mazariegos, was discovered on Feb. 9 on the east side of the Compton Creek near Del Amo Boulevard, on a dirt embankment near where the earlier two victims had been found, the sheriff's department reported. On June 7, 2020, Patrica Loeza, 26, was found suffering from stab wounds to her upper body, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. And on Jan. 15 of this year, Kenneth Jones, 26, was found with stab wounds to his upper body, along with blunt force trauma to his head, and was pronounced dead at the scene. "All three of the victims were killed in close proximity to each other, and all three victims appeared to have been homeless, possibly staying (at) homeless encampments at or near the Compton Creek bed,'' a sheriff's statement said.

Woman Shot, Killed At Willowbrook Apartment Complex
A woman was killed after gunfire erupted at a Willowbrook apartment complex late Tuesday night. The shooting occurred at around 11 p.m. at an apartment complex in the 13100 block of South San Pedro Street, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies arrived to find that a woman had been shot in the chest. She died at the scene. Her name was not immediately released. A family member told CBSLA that she was shot during a family gathering. The circumstances of the shooting were not confirmed. There was no word on a motive or any suspect information. No arrests have been made.

3 Arrested On Suspicion Of Beating Man To Death In West Hollywood
A man and two women were arrested in connection with the beating death of a Long Beach man in West Hollywood last week, LASD said Tuesday, Feb. 16. The three people were accused of attacking Luis Enrique Vega, 49, in the street in front of onlookers at around 12:26 a.m. on Friday, after a restaurant both parties were at earlier had closed, Sheriff’s Department Lt. Derrick Alfred said. The suspects confronted Vega, and his friend, near the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Melrose Avenue. “The victims were talking amongst themselves and laughing,” Alfred said evidence showed. “The male suspect interpreted that as them laughing at another individual not related to either parties or groups. The suspect runs up and says, ‘What are you laughing at? Who are you talking to?’” “From there it just devolved,” he said. Vega’s friend was attacked first and had a superficial injury to the head, Alfred said. All three suspects took part in attacking Vega, he said. Vega was pronounced dead inside of the ambulance.

LASD Searching For Possibly Suicidal Man, 20, Missing In ELA
Sheriff’s detectives asked for the public’s help Sunday to find a 20-year-old man who is possibly suicidal and went missing in East Los Angeles. Christopher Brian Lopez was last seen in the 3900 block of Sixth Street in East Los Angels at about 11 p.m. Saturday, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department reported. Lopez is 5-feet-5 inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds. He has long black hair that’s in a ponytail. He also has brown eyes and a mustache. Lopez was last seen wearing a black jacket with security patches and khaki pants. Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to call the LASD at 323-890-5500 or 911. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

Police Searching For 56-Year-Old Woman Who Walked Away From South Gate Assisted Living Facility
Authorities are searching for a 56-year-old woman who walked away from the South Gate assisted living facility she lives at, officials reported Tuesday. Maria Tintore was last seen at about 1:30 p.m. near the entrance of the facility in the 8400 block of State Street, the South Gate Police Department said. According to authorities, Tinore requires medication and appears to have wandered off. Tintore is described as 5-feet, 3-inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. Tintore, who uses a walker, was wearing a black beanie, brown jacket and brown pants when she was last seen. Anyone with information on Tintore's whereabouts is asked to call the South Gate Police Department at 323-563-5436.

California police unions back bill that aims to diversify PDs, add training
California's largest law enforcement union on Thursday announced its support for a bill that seeks to modernize training for officers and diversify police departments by creating new recruitment channels. The bill's author state Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, said Senate Bill 387, known as the Law Enforcement Academic and Recruitment Next Act, would lead to increased recruitment of potential peace officers from under-represented populations.

Union: 92% of Capitol Police officers give vote of no confidence
Capitol Police officers have expressed their displeasure with agency leaders in an “overwhelming” vote of no confidence, CBS News reported Tuesday. The vote comes after dozens of officers were injured in the Jan. 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol. One officer was killed and two more died by suicide in the weeks after. According to CBS, the union representing rank-and-file officers announced that 92% of officers voted that they had no confidence in Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman. Pittman’s predecessor, Steven Sund, resigned after the attack. 

Public Safety News

Fire Rips Through 2 Luxury Yachts In San Pedro
A fire ripped through two luxury yachts in San Pedro before firefighters were able to extinguish the flames Tuesday evening. The 70-foot yachts were docked in adjoining berths in the harbor. Both suffered extensive damage to the upper decks. More than 40 firefighters responded to the scene around 8:47 p.m. and were able to douse the fire on both yachts in under 30 minutes, according to LAFD. AIR7 HD caught the aftermath of the charred ships as crews were putting out the last hotspots. Arson investigators were called to take a closer look at what may have ignited the blaze. LAFD says no other boats were damaged by the fire and no injuries have been reported. Firefighters says the boats did not suffer damage at the water line and are not in danger of sinking.

Coronavirus Tracker: California Reports 4,194 New Cases, 64 Deaths On Feb. 15
The end-of-day totals from California public health websites continue to report significant drops in cases, deaths and hospitalizations from their previous highs. Reports for Monday, Feb. 15, indicated a 75.6% drop in the 14-day total of 10,325 new cases from a Jan. 1 high of 42,268. And the 14-day average of 413.1 new deaths represents a 23.9% decline since its Feb. 1 high of 543.1. The state also saw a 60.3% drop in the number of people needing hospital care from a Jan. 6 high of 22,853. The President’s Day holiday may have affected the reporting of numbers out of some counties. There were 258 fewer hospitalizations on Monday than there were the previous day, lowering the total number of hospitalizations to 9,075. California communities reported 4,194 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total number of cases to 3,467,343.

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: