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

March 9, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Anthony Avalos: Tortured, Murdered By Mom, Her Boyfriend; Death Penalty Off Table Under DA Gascón
Anthony Avalos was 10 years old when he was allegedly tortured and murdered by his mother and her boyfriend. Under the new directives of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, prosecutors will no longer be allowed to seek the death penalty. Heather Maxine Barron, 31, and her boyfriend, Kareem Ernesto Leiva, 35, were indicted on charges of murder and torture following the Lancaster boy's death in 2018. Both remain jailed without bond. Villanueva said that since being incarcerated, Leiva is accused of stabbing another inmate while awaiting trial. Prosecutors said Anthony was the victim of severe child abuse. They allege that the victim's mother and her boyfriend would repeatedly pour hot sauce on Anthony's face and mouth, torture him by making him kneel on rice, whip him with a belt and cords, hold him upside down and drop him on his head over and over. Court documents also stated that the couple would withhold food and water from Anthony and his siblings, and at times they were being forced to eat from the trash. In August 2019, the office of former Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that prosecutors would be seeking the death penalty against the mother and boyfriend, a decision that has been reversed under Gascón's new directives. Gascón has vowed that his office will no longer pursue the death penalty.
FOX 11

11-Month-Old Girl Recovered Safely After South Los Angeles Kidnapping
LAPD officers found and safely recovered an 11-month-old girl who was reported kidnapped from her South Los Angeles home Sunday night. The 39-year-old homeless man suspected in her kidnapping was also taken into custody. The baby, identified as Heather, was found in downtown Los Angeles near 52nd Street and Broadway Monday afternoon. Police say two women had been taking care of the child overnight to help the man they thought was her father, not realizing the child had been kidnapped from her parents. The child was taken Sunday around 6 p.m. from her home in the 8100 block of Western Avenue, and was reported missing Monday morning, the LAPD says. The girl was identified as Heather. The suspect has been identified as Delaneo Adams, 39. He is described as a local homeless man known to the family, but he is not related to the girl or her parents. He was at the home Sunday night and took the baby. "He came into the home," said LAPD Det. Liliana Preciado. "He is known to the parents. When one of the parents was out of the home and the other one was distracted, he took the baby."

Los Angeles:  18 Shootings In 47-Hours Digital Ad Highlights L.A. Rise In Shootings
Over 47 hours in L.A. (Feb 26-28) 18 people were shot, 4 of them murdered. All of them were either Black or Hispanic. The youngest was 19. Click the image to view the LAPPL's latest digital ad. Send a clear message that it's time to end the violence in our city by going to:
Video Shows Security Guard Being Assaulted After Trying To Break Up Crowd At Fairfax District Intersection
People gathered at a Fairfax District intersection assaulted a security guard who tried to break up the crowd Sunday afternoon, officials said. Video obtained by KTLA shows a person balled up on the ground with his arms protecting his head as people surround and kick him. Officers first responded to the area of Melrose and North Spalding avenues around 4:30 p.m., the Los Angeles Police Department said. Officers then blocked off traffic near a CVS store. That's when a Tesla driver became impatient and tried to drive through a crowd, nearly hitting an officer, LAPD said. The driver was stopped and arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon upon an officer, according to police. No officers were injured during the incident. It's unclear why the crowd was initially gathered on Melrose Avenue, or where the security guard is employed. LAPD didn't have an update Monday on the guard's condition and no further details were available.

Armed Man Arrested In South LA After Pursuit
An armed man was taken into custody early Tuesday morning in the Hyde Park neighborhood of South Los Angeles after leading officers on a pursuit. The chase began before 2:30 a.m. when Los Angeles police responded to a report of a man with a gun. During the chase, police believe the suspect may have tossed the gun out the window of the car. At around 3 a.m., the chase came to an end at Figueroa Street and West Gage Avenue. The suspect was taken into custody. He was not identified. The circumstances that lead up to the chase were not immediately confirmed. No one was hurt.

Authorities Find Silvia Ochoa De Hernandez, Woman Who Went Missing In South Gate
A 78-year-old woman with memory loss who went missing in the South Gate area has been found, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. Silvia Ochoa De Hernandez was last seen around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday at South Gate Park, 4900 Southern Ave., LASD said. “Her family has not seen or heard from her. They are very concerned and asking for the public's help,” the department said in its initial search for the woman. According to a sheriff's department statement, she suffers from memory loss and requires medication. It was not immediately disclosed where Ochoa De Hernandez was found. “Thank you to?the South Gate PD, LA Search Dogs, public, the media, and deputy personnel for?their tireless efforts in the search?for Mrs. Ochoa,” LASD said in a statement.

CHP Searching For Driver In Fatal Hit-and-Run On Topanga Canyon
Authorities continued their search Sunday for the hit-and-run driver accused in a fatal crash near a manufactured home community in Topanga Canyon. Officers were called about 7:40 p.m. Wednesday to the 4000 block of Topanga Canyon Boulevard, near the Woodland Park Estates, for a report of a pedestrian dead on the side of the road, according to the California Highway Patrol's West Valley station. “When CHP officers arrived on scene, evidence suggested the pedestrian was hit by a vehicle while walking southbound on the right shoulder,” the CHP said in a statement. The southbound vehicle fled in an unknown direction, according to CHP, which said the crash occurred about 6 p.m. The vehicle was described by the CHP as a sedan with damage to a front headlight. The victim, a woman in her 40s from Woodland Hills, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the CHP and the coroner's office. All lanes on northbound and southbound Topanga Canyon Boulevard near the scene were shut down for more than four hours before being reopened about 12:15 a.m. CHP asked anyone with information on the crash to call the West Valley Area Office at 818-888-0980.

Hate Crimes Against Asian-Americans Prompt LA County Crackdown
Pointing to a rise in hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since the start of the pandemic, a Los Angeles County supervisor called Monday for more funding to fight the problem. “Despite our efforts to combat hate, the situation has gotten worse,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said. “Amongst other things, let's lay the blame where it belongs. This deteriorating situation is partly due to the fact that the person with the loudest bullhorn in the country mocked and denigrated our API communities for the better part of a year.” Solis will present a motion at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting asking her colleagues to expand a Human Relations Commission program called LA vs Hate. The program helps victims report both hate crimes and non-criminal hate incidents and get help with counseling, medical costs and other support. Solis estimated that the program's rapid response network needs another $831,000 annually to more effectively serve the county through a series of community partners. Hate incidents have continued to climb, especially against seniors, Solis said, with more than 800 attacks ranging from verbal insults to physical violence reported via the county's 211 information line over the last year.

Compton Man, 81, Suffers From Dementia, High Blood Pressure, Missing
An 81-year-old man who suffers from dementia and high blood pressure and was last seen in Compton was reported missing Monday. Walter Lee Taylor was last seen about 11 a.m. Sunday near his home in the 200 block of North Mayo Avenue, north of Compton Boulevard, according to Deputy Eva Jimenez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Taylor is Black, 6 feet tall and weighs 240 pounds. He has brown eyes and short gray and brown hair. He was last seen wearing a black sweater with sweatpants or khaki pants, Jimenez said. Anyone with information on Taylor's whereabouts was asked to call the sheriff's Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at

San Gabriel Valley Men Charged With Rigging Admission To U.S. Colleges For Foreign Students
Federal prosecutors say two San Gabriel Valley men helped foreign students secure visas and admission to U.S. universities by falsifying their transcripts and paying people to write their application essays and take their standardized exams. Yi Chen, 33, and Yixin Li, 28, were charged with conspiracy, visa fraud and aggravated identity theft in an indictment made public Monday. The document describes how the two men ran what federal authorities contend is an illegal scheme out of a pair of educational consulting companies in Alhambra and Arcadia. Chen, of Monrovia, and Li, of San Gabriel, signed contracts with foreign students that guaranteed they would be admitted to a U.S. university of their choice, the indictment says. A spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office said the men charged fees in the thousands of dollars. Their clients paid a portion of the amount upfront with the understanding it would be returned if they weren't accepted to one of their preferred schools, the indictment says. Prosecutors say Chen and Li submitted applications on their clients' behalf to some of the country's premier universities, such as Columbia, USC, New York University and UC Berkeley, but also to smaller Southern California colleges such as Bethesda University in Anaheim and the Horizon Institute in Los Angeles. Once admitted to a U.S. university, their clients became eligible for an F-1 student visa, the indictment says.
Los Angeles Times

Murder Charges In Fentanyl Deaths? Riverside County Carves New Path In Southern California
Struggling to contain an 800% increase in fentanyl-related deaths in the past four years, Riverside County has joined a trend building elsewhere to pursue murder charges against those believed responsible for fatal overdoses. In the past two weeks, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office has charged three men with murder for supplying the cheap synthetic opiate to unwitting drug users. A fourth man was arrested Friday, March 5, on suspicion of murder in connection with a fatal overdose, but his case has not yet been presented to the district attorney. District Attorney Mike Hestrin said the proliferation of fentanyl on Riverside County streets and the staggering increase in deaths are driving his aggressive crackdown on alleged drug distributors. “In the last five years, the number of fentanyl deaths has doubled every year. We're trying to get ahead of this wave of poisonings,” Hestrin said, noting there were 25 fentanyl-related fatal overdoses in 2017, 55 in 2018, 117 in 2019 and 227 last year. 
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Judge Weighs Bail For Central California Woman Who Used Meth Before Stillbirth
A Central California woman charged with murder after delivering a stillborn baby who tested positive for methamphetamine may be released on reduced bail as her lawyers argue that the state's homicide law does not apply to pregnant women, a position backed by Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra. Chelsea Becker, 26, has been in a Kings County jail since her arrest in November 2019, unable to raise $2 million bail. A judge is expected to consider Tuesday whether to release her to an out-of-county treatment center pending trial. She has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say the case is about stopping a woman who has repeatedly abused narcotics while pregnant, resulting in two other babies who tested positive for meth at birth. The case has outraged advocates of pregnant women who say overzealous prosecutors are trying to punish someone who needs treatment, not prison time, and they hope the charges will soon be thrown out. There is no evidence that drug use results in stillbirths, they say, and allowing the charges would have a chilling effect on patients' willingness seeking needed prenatal care.
Los Angeles Times

Florida Police Officer Killed In Wrong-Way Crash On Interstate
A Florida police officer was killed early Tuesday by a wrong-way driver on a Tampa interstate highway. Tampa Police Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen, 45, died just before 1 a.m. on Interstate 275 near the Hillsborough and Sligh Avenue exits, Tampa police said. Police received a call before 1 a.m. about a white car traveling the wrong way on the interstate. As units responded, Tampa police received another call 1-minute later about a vehicle crash between a Tampa squad car and the white vehicle. The driver of the white car was a 25-year-old man who has not been identified. Authorities are still investigating the scene. Madsen was a highly decorated officer, a seven-time lifesaving award winner, a father of four children and a U.S. Marine, Tampa police said. Madsen is the 32nd Tampa police officer to die in the line of duty. 
Orlando Sentinel

Video: Suspect Bursts Through Door, Shoots NYPD Cops
Domestic violence suspect Rondell Goppy's final act was to open fire at a pair of cops in Queens — and the last 10 seconds of his life was captured by cameras worn by the men who shot him dead. Goppy, 41, wounded officers Christopher Wells and Joseph Murphy in the gunfight Nov. 24 at his home in Springfield Gardens. Wells and Murphy's actions are still under investigation, the NYPD said Friday — but the head of their union said the video leads to just one conclusion: the wounded cops had no choice but to shoot back. “This video is chilling and difficult to watch,” said Lynch. “But it makes one thing clear — police officers Wells and Murphy saved their lives. “They saved the lives of that domestic violence victim and her children, and they saved each other's lives — all because they had the training, skill and courage of New York City police officers,” Lynch said. The shooting was set in motion earlier in the morning when Sharon Goppy, also 41, walked into the 105th Precinct in Queens Village to report that her husband, a City College security officer, had choked her the night before during an argument over his suspected infidelity, police said.
New York Daily News

Public Safety News

Man Dies After 25-Foot Fall In Playa Del Rey
A 43-year-old man has died from severe trauma injuries after a 25-foot fall at the City of Los Angeles Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. It happened around 1:30 p.m. at 12000 S Vista Del Mar, according to LAFD. Firefighters say the man, who was identified as a worker, sustained severe trauma from an approximately 25' fall to the bottom of a 15' x 15' pit-like confined space at the City of Los Angeles Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant. A bystander nearby started CPR. 47 LAFD responders, including LAFD Paramedics and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) personnel specially trained, equipped and certified to perform confined space rescues worked to rescue the man. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Police and the Coroner's officer are investigating the death. 
Venice Current

LA County COVID-19 Hospitalizations Down More Than 85% From January Peak
Los Angeles County reported 1,313 new cases of COVID-19 and 22 additional deaths Sunday, bringing the county's totals to 1,203,152 cases and 22,029 fatalities since the pandemic began. The number of coronavirus patients in LA County hospitals continued to fall, dropping to 1,132, according to state health officials. That's a huge drop from the peak of the winter surge in early January, when the number was more than 8,000. Testing results were available for nearly 5.9 million people, with 19% testing positive, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. On Saturday, officials reported 16 additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, bringing the total cases of MIS-C in LA County to 116 children, including one child death. All 116 children with MIS-C were hospitalized, and 41% were treated in the ICU. Of the children with MIS-C, 29% were under the age of 5, 43% were between 5 and 11, and 28% were between 12 and 20. Latino/Latinx children account for 75% of the reported cases.

LA County Could Move To Less Restrictive Tier By Next Week; Additional Reopenings Possible
Thanks to decreased case numbers and changes implemented by the state in response to vaccination efforts, Los Angeles County officials said Monday they are preparing to advance to a less-restrictive tier of the state's COVID-19 economic reopening blueprint as early as next week. But whether the county will approve all the reopenings permitted in the "red" tier of that blueprint -- such as indoor dining -- remained unclear. Moving from the restrictive "purple" tier into the "red" tier will authorize the county to increase capacity limits at retail establishments and reopen indoor dining, fitness centers and movie theaters. However, the county is not bound by the state guidelines and could continue to impose stricter rules. For instance, while the county currently allows outdoor dining in the "purple" tier, it still forbids restaurants from turning on television sets on their patios, as a way of preventing gatherings of sports fans. The state has no such restriction on restaurants. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday that while the county is fully committed to implementing one key element of the "red" tier -- the reopening of in-person classes for students in grades 7 through 12 - - she would only say health officials are in discussions with the Board of Supervisors about other business reopenings.
FOX 11

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: