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

April 6, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Protest organizer charged with attempted murder after violent protests last year
An Indiana man is facing the most serious charges yet related to last summer's violent protests in Portland. Malik Muhammad, 24, is charged with two counts of attempted aggravated murder and other crimes, according to court records. Records indicate Muhammad was booked into jail in Marion County, Indiana on Friday. He is awaiting extradition to Oregon, where he will face felony charges. According to a law enforcement source, the attempted aggravated murder charges stem from two separate incidents in which Muhammad is suspected of throwing lit Molotov cocktails at police officers. In a second incident two nights later, prosecutors say Muhammad threw a flaming Molotov cocktail that briefly lit a police officer's pants on fire. Prosecutors say they have multiple videos showing a man who resembles Muhammad throwing it. 
KGW News

2 Killed, 1 Critically Injured In Fiery Two-Vehicle Crash In Jefferson Park
Two people were killed and another person was critically injured in a fiery car crash in Jefferson Park early Saturday morning. Firefighters responded to the two-vehicle collision around 3:40 a.m., near Arlington Avenue and Exposition Boulevard, and found three people trapped in the wreckage, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene and a third was freed from the wreckage and taken to a hospital in critical condition, Stewart said. The identities of the victims have not been released and the cause of the crash is under investigation. 

Transient held in fatal West Los Angeles vehicle assault
A transient used a vehicle to assault two other transients, killing one, in the West Los Angeles area, authorities said. One of the victims struck around 12:05 a.m. Sunday was dragged more than 200 yards (182.8 meters), causing fatal injuries, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. The other victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening. Los Angeles police spotted the suspect in his vehicle a few blocks away and took him into custody after a pursuit. The department said all three of the men involved in the incident lived at a homeless encampment near the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus.
Associated Press

Both sides want to put off Jose Huizar corruption trial until 2022
Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the federal corruption case involving ex-Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar say they want to put off the trial until next year, according to court papers obtained Monday. Citing concerns over COVID-19, attorney schedules and voluminous materials in the case, attorneys filed a stipulated agreement to set the Huizar trial on May 24, 2022. The proposed date requires the judge's approval. Also, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter has rejected a defense bid to examine grand jury records used to indict the former councilman.
City News Service

Suspected Car Thief In Custody After Brief Pursuit Ends With Crash, Standoff In Beverly Hills
A brief pursuit of a suspected stolen vehicle Monday turned into an hours-long standoff in Beverly Hills after the driver crashed into another vehicle and refused to get out. According to the Beverly Hills Police Department, the pursuit ended at about 4:45 p.m. after less than a minute when the driver crashed into another vehicle at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Doheny Drive. Two people in the other vehicle and a pedestrian were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, police said. The driver of the suspected stolen vehicle then barricaded in the car and refused to come out, prompting police to bring a SWAT team out to negotiate with the driver. The driver was not immediately identified. Police were urging people to use an alternate route and stay clear of the scene. The suspect was taken into custody around 8:30 p.m. after SWAT teams surrounded the car and shot pepper and tear gas into the vehicle. 

Body Found In Huntington Park Trash Receptacle Believed To Be 75-Year-Old Missing Woman
A body found in a Huntington Park trash receptacle Monday is believed to be a 75-year-old woman who had been reported missing, officials said. About 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies responded to the 2500 block of Santa Ana Street in Huntington Park for a report of a stolen vehicle. The resident told the deputies that their vehicle was missing, along with a 75-year-old family member. “Preliminary information revealed foul play at the location and a stolen vehicle/missing persons investigation was initiated,” officials said in a news release without elaborating. The stolen vehicle was found in Rosemead about 1 a.m. Monday, and the missing woman's son was inside. He was then detained as a person of interest in the investigation and remains in custody, officials said. About 6:30 a.m. the body of a woman was found in a trash receptacle “within a close proximity” to where the vehicle was first reported stolen in Huntington Park, officials said. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene and is believed to be the missing woman.

Man Killed In Third Fatal Shooting In Compton In Five Days
Two men were gunned down in Compton over the weekend, one fatally, in the third shooting where a life was lost in that city in five days, authorities said Monday. The latest shooting was reported about 10 p.m. Sunday in the 700 block of Matthisen Avenue. A man in his 20s died at the scene, and another man was taken to a hospital in unknown condition. The name of the fatally wounded man was withheld, pending notification of his relatives. Deputies were summoned to the scene on an assault with a deadly weapon call and found the wounded men, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported. About 12:05 a.m. last Thursday, Ewell Jones, 53, was found shot to death in the 1500 block of Kay Street, and about 8:15 p.m. last Wednesday, Jonathan Cabrera, 35, of Compton was found shot to death in the 600 block of West Corregidor Street. It was not immediately known if the crimes were related to one another. Anyone with information on any of the shootings was urged to call detectives at 323-890-5500.

Authorities Search For Missing Man Last Seen In Lynwood
Authorities Monday are seeking the public's assistance to locate a missing 20-year-old man who was last seen in Lynwood and is described as mentally delayed and suffering from schizophrenia. William Frederick Vogel — also known as “Buddy” — was last seen at about 2:30 p.m. on March 19 in the area of Imperial Highway and Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Vogel is white, 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 150 pounds, has short brown hair and blue eyes. He has the word “Doubted” tattooed on his stomach and “Jazzy” tattooed on his left hand. Vogel was last seen wearing a red T-shirt, gray sweatpants and read and white shoes. Anyone with information on Vogel's whereabouts should contact the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted at .

Man To Stand Trial In Reseda And San Bernardino County Cold Case Killings
A Bakersfield man was ordered Monday to stand trial in the slayings of two young women in the 1980s, including a Reseda resident whose body was found in the trunk of her car in a Burbank parking lot. Following a three-day hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen found sufficient evidence to allow the case against Horace Van Vaultz, now 65, to proceed to trial on murder charges stemming from the June 9, 1986, asphyxiation of 22-year-old Mary Duggan of Reseda, whose body was found in the trunk of her car in an empty parking lot in Burbank, and the July 16, 1981, strangulation of Selena Keough, a 20-year-old mother who was killed in San Bernardino County and dumped under bushes in Montclair. Both women had been sexually assaulted and bound, authorities said. The case marked the first criminal prosecution in L.A. County involving investigative genetic genealogy, in which detectives access commercial DNA databases, load DNA material from the crime and find a relative's match that can point toward a suspect and collect their DNA.
Los Angeles Daily News

Three Teens Arrested In Shooting Of Man At Bell Gardens Park
Three male juveniles were arrested in connection with the shooting of a man at John Anson Ford Park in Bell Gardens, a police lieutenant said Sunday. Police dispatched a little before 8 p.m. Saturday to the park at 8000 Park Lane in response to a shooting call, and found a 39-year-old man suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest, Bell Gardens Police Lt. Ruben Musquiz said. The victim's condition was not immediately known. Dispatchers also noted during the initial shooting call that there was a traffic crash several blocks away involving a vehicle that matched the suspect vehicle description from the park shooting, Musquiz said. Witnesses told police that several people were seen running from the vehicle involved in the crash. Detectives responded to the scene of the crash and detained three male juveniles seated in a vehicle near the crash site, he said. “One of the juveniles was in possession of a loaded handgun that matched the evidence recovered at the scene of the shooting,” he said. All three were placed under arrest and booked at the Bell Gardens Police Department.

Ex-EDD Worker Charged With Fraud After Allegedly Funneling Over $200K In Disability Payments To Herself
A former employee for California's Employment Development Department has been charged with funneling about $215,000 in disability payments to herself from people she was tasked with helping, Los Angeles officials announced Friday. “People were relying on these payments and they were unwittingly taken advantage of by someone who was supposed to help them,” L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón said in a news release. Prosecutors said Karina Maria Valdez manipulated the accounts of people seeking disability benefits beginning in 2014 while she worked as an EDD disability insurance program representative. She allegedly routed debit cards with fraudulent information to herself and withdrew money over a five-year period. Valdez is facing one felony count each of embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds, perjury, identity theft and grand theft, according to the DA's office. She is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

Arraignment Delayed Again For Accused Gunman In Deadly Orange Mass Shooting As He Remains Hospitalized
The case against the man accused in the deadly Orange mass shooting is facing yet another delay. Officials say 44-year-old suspect Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez, who was shot by police during the attack, is still not able to participate in court proceedings from his hospital bed due to his medical condition. The Fullerton man has been charged with four counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. Many mourners stopped by the scene to pay their respects to the people who were killed in the shooting. The shooting occurred around 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April on the second floor of the office building at 202 West Lincoln Avenue. Gonzalez was armed with a semi-automatic handgun, prosecutors said. The victims were identified as 50-year-old Luis Tovar, 28-year-old Jenevieve Raygoza, 9-year-old Matthew Farias, and Leticia Solis. A woman, identified by family as Farais' mother, was also critically injured in the rampage.

Yemeni Nationals On Terror Watch List Arrested At California-Mexico Border
U.S. Border Patrol agents say they have arrested two Yemeni men since the start of 2021 that were identified on a terrorism watch list. Agents assigned to the El Centro Station said the first arrest came on January 29, at approximately 1:10 a.m., when they arrested a man for illegally entering the United States. Agents apprehended the man approximately three miles west of the Calexico Port of Entry and transported him to the El Centro Processing Center for immigration and criminal history screening. Agents conducted records checks, which revealed that the man, a 33-year-old illegal alien from Yemen, was on the FBI's Terrorism Watch List as well as on the No-Fly list, according to officials. A cellular phone sim card hidden underneath the insole of his shoe was also found, agents said. He was later transferred into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Authorities say the second incident occurred on March 30, at approximately 11:30 p.m., when agents assigned to the El Centro Station arrested a man for illegally entering the United States. The man was apprehended approximately two miles west of the Calexico Port of Entry and transported to the El Centro Processing Center for immigration and criminal history screening, according to Border Patrol.

Boulder Suspect Showed Warning Signs Common In Mass Shooters, Experts Say
Four years before authorities believe Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa killed 10 people inside a Boulder grocery store, he attacked a high school classmate in a fit of rage. Alissa, then 18, had a "look of pure anger" on his face when he rushed a classmate at Arvada West High School in 2017 and punched the teen over and over again, his teacher told police at the time, according to an investigative report. The unprovoked attack was one of a few outbursts of anger from Alissa during high school that, when coupled with signs of mental illness and a threat Alissa made to kill people, follow a pattern often seen among perpetrators of mass shootings, three experts said. "There is often a lifetime of concerning behavior," said Jason Silva, an assistant professor at William Paterson University who specializes in mass shootings. "...We are finding a lot of times there is about a 10-year period where (mass shooters) are having these school problems and work problems, and it's sort of a culmination of events that ultimately builds toward engaging in these attacks." That years-long buildup presents an opportunity for authorities and family members to intervene and prevent an attack, he said, and there are some key warning signs — some of which Alissa exhibited — that should raise alarm and prompt action.
The Denver Post

‘Burned Out': Portland Cops Leave Scathing Exit Interviews
They trashed police management. They mocked city leaders. They bemoaned the lack of true community-based policing. And they were all Portland officers and supervisors who chose to leave the state's largest police force in the last year. In 31 exit interview statements, the employees who turned in their badges or retired were brutally frank about their reasons for getting out. “The community shows zero support. The city council are raging idiots, in addition to being stupid. Additionally, the mayor and council ignore actual facts on crime and policing in favor of radical leftist and anarchists fantasy. What's worse is ppb command (lt. and above) is arrogantly incompetent and cowardly,” one retiring detective wrote. “The only differences between the Titanic and PPB?” he continued. “Deck chairs and a band.” Since July 1, 115 officers have left the Police Bureau, including 74 who retired and 41 who resigned. Two more will resign by the end of this month and one more is retiring. They make up one of the biggest waves of departures in recent memory.

Georgia Lawmakers Pass Bill To Set ‘Defund Police' Limits: 'Putting Families In Those Communities At Risk'
Georgia lawmakers have passed legislation that places limits on the amount by which local governments can cut police department budgets, with the bill's lead sponsor arguing Friday that "defund the police" efforts are putting communities and families in danger. The Georgia General Assembly on Wednesday passed House Bill 286, which was spearheaded by State Rep. Houston Gaines, a Republican representing Athens, and will bar local governments from cutting police department budgets beyond a certain percentage. The bill passed by a 100 to 73 vote and is now awaiting Gov. Brian Kemp's signature or veto. The law would take effect on July 1 if signed by Kemp, a Republican. "Then we would have something on the books in Georgia to make sure that local governments, that they're not able to defund the police," Gaines told Fox News on Friday. "I support local control, but when you have local governments that are out of control and they're putting their communities and families in those communities at risk, that's where I believe we have to step in." If signed, the law would prohibit county governments from decreasing a police department's annual budget by more than 5% of the previous fiscal year's funding. But it would also carry certain parameters as to when such limits might no longer apply. For instance, it would not apply if the county's revenue that year decreased by more than 5%.
Yahoo! News

Public Safety News

LA City-Run COVID-19 Vaccination Sites Offering 106,000 Vaccine Doses This Week
Los Angeles' city-run COVID-19 vaccination sites -- including its newest site at Los Angeles Southwest College -- will offer over 106,000 vaccine doses this week, including about 60,000 first doses and 46,000 second doses. Last week, the city-run sites offered over 90,000 doses, and the week before it offered more than 70,000. "With eligibility expanding and our vaccine supply growing, our city continues to work around the clock to get Angelenos vaccinated as swiftly and safely as possible," Mayor Eric Garcetti said. "Every time an Angeleno does their part and gets vaccinated, that's a step forward for their health and for the lives of their loved ones -- and a critical step toward ending this pandemic, returning to the embrace of family and friends, and revitalizing our economy." The city expects to receive 50,000 Moderna doses, 36,000 Johnson & Johnson doses and 20,000 Pfizer doses this week, according to Garcetti's office.
FOX 11

With A 97% Drop In Daily New COVID-19 Cases Since January, L.A. County Relaxes Rules For Fully Vaccinated Travelers
Public health officials touted “tremendous progress” in the fight against COVID-19 and loosened travel guidance as Los Angeles County advanced into the orange tier of the state reopening plan Monday. The changes come amid a 97% drop in the number of new coronavirus cases reported each day. The seven-day average of new cases is now slightly under 400 per day, compared to 14,200 daily new cases on Jan. 5, county public health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a news briefing. “This is similar to daily case numbers reported one year ago at the end of March, at the very beginning of the pandemic,” she said. Hospitalizations are also down 92% from the beginning of this year, and the number of daily fatalities has decreased 92%, from 252 deaths per day to just nine, according to Ferrer. On Monday, officials reported 366 new cases and one death, noting the numbers were likely appear lower than they are due to the usual lag in weekend reporting. The changes announced Monday to the county's travel advisory are meant to bring it in line with new guidance released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Local Government News

L.A. To Fund $1.1-Million City Youth Department
After waging a campaign for more than seven years, young activists celebrated a victory on Thursday when Los Angeles officials announced they would set aside $1.1 million for the creation of a centralized resource center for youth. On the City Hall steps, Council Member Monica Rodriguez, who has been pushing for the formation of a youth-centric department since 2018, and Mayor Eric Garcetti told dozens of young activists the funding would be set aside in the mayor's budget for the new Youth Development Department. Los Angeles is one of the few major cities without a youth-focused department — New York, Oakland and San Francisco already have citywide departments, said Lou Calanche, the executive director of Legacy L.A., which offers academic and mentoring support to at-risk young people in East L.A. Calanche also serves on the Los Angeles Police Commission. Youth isolation brought on by the pandemic and unrest over racial injustice have illuminated the disparities faced by young people of color in the city, Calanche said.

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