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 8, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Gascón To Disband LA County DA Hardcore Gangs Unit
Three weeks after FOX 11 reported on major changes possibly coming to the way Los Angeles prosecutes gang-related crimes, FOX 11 has obtained an internal memo indicating that George Gascón is disbanding the County DA Office's Hardcore Gangs unit. The latest comes as sources in the LA County DA Office's Hardcore Gangs told Melugin last week that they were informed by the office's upper management that their unit will be downsized. On top of the downsize, the unit will be renamed because "administration doesn't like it," Melugin reports. According to the internal memo obtained by Melugin on April 7, the Hardcore Gangs unit will be replaced with the "Community Violence Reduction Division." "So there isn't going to be a hardcore gang unit anymore, because I guess the DA, George Gascon, finds that term offensive to the community," a prosecutor in Gascón's office told FOX 11 under the condition of anonymity. The prosecutor was one of the members of the unit who were called to the meeting to learn that the Hardcore Gangs unit was going to be downsized. Heading into Wednesday's development, the Hardcore Gangs unit has about 700 active cases and sources told Melugin that management admits the rollout of the change will be a "nightmare." "The gang unit was pretty much decimated," the prosecutor told FOX 11. The Hardcore Gangs unit is one of the oldest units in the office and it's responsible for prosecuting the most heinous and complex gang-related crimes in the country. In Melugin's report from two weeks ago, prosecutors had said they feel they've already been hamstrung by Gascón's decision to ban them from using gang and gun enhancements. With that in mind, prosecutors told Melugin earlier in the month that disbanding the Hardcore Gangs unit will be a disaster waiting to happen, given the surge in violent crimes across Los Angeles.
FOX 11

LA Driver Asks If Anyone Wants To Die While Pointing Gun, Opening Fire During Rush Hour: TMZ
It was a chaotic scene in Los Angeles during rush hour late Tuesday afternoon when a woman who was waiting to merge onto a busy intersection lost her patience, pointed a gun through her vehicle's window, threatened to kill people, and even opened fire, TMZ reported. The incident occurred at 5:30 p.m. at the busy intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Olympia Boulevard. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department received multiple radio calls regarding a woman firing a gun in the air. The impatient driver was seen on video, obtained by TMZ,  at a stop sign where she starts yelling at someone off-camera. Moments later, she was seen loading a gun and proceeded to yell "Anybody want to die now? Anybody?" The video then shows the woman pointing the gun, which appeared to be a revolver, through the sunroof of the white vehicle. Sarah Kurtz, who lives in the area, said her neighbor shot the video of the tense incident and kept the footage rolling after Greenwade allegedly opened fire. LASD deputies eventually caught up with the suspect and she was arrested for felony negligent discharge of a firearm. The department said a firearm was recovered at the scene. The suspect was identified by the sheriff's office as 34-year-old Ashley Tamika Greenwade. 
FOX 11

Charges Filed Against 17-Year-Old Driver In Fatal West L.A. Lamborghini Crash
Prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against a teenage driver involved in a high-speed crash that killed a woman in West L.A. in February. In a statement, Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney, said his office could not release more information because the case involves juvenile proceedings. An arraignment is scheduled for April 23. Monique Munoz, 32, was killed when a speeding Lamborghini slammed into her vehicle in the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Overland Avenue shortly after 5 p.m. on Feb. 17, according to LAPD Capt. Brian Wendling. Her vehicle was almost split in half. The 17-year-old driver of the Lamborghini, who was hospitalized with injuries that were not life threatening, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter on Feb. 23, according to the LAPD. Police did not disclose his identity because of his age. Wendling said the teen had a valid driver's license at the time and alcohol or drugs did not appear to play a role in the crash. He said police do not believe the teen was street racing.
Los Angeles Times

Man Charged In Connection With Killing Mother Who Was Found In Huntington Park Dumpster
A 32-year-old man has been charged in connection with the death of his mother, who was found in a Huntington Park dumpster earlier this week, officials said Wednesday. Cristian Torres faces one count of murder and one count of taking a vehicle without owner's consent, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in an updated news release. He is being held on $2,000,000 bail. Torres was arrested Monday after his 66-year-old mother Teresa Pasillas Iniguez was found in a dumpster near where a relative had reported her missing the previous night. He had been taken into custody for questioning after being found in Rosemead with a vehicle the relative had reported stolen, officials said. It is unclear how Iniguez died and how long she had been in the dumpster before she was found. “There is no known motive at this time and the murder weapon has not been identified,” officials said in the news release. No further details about the incident have been released.

Police Pursuit Ends With Crash, Lengthy Standoff At Busy Beverly Hills Intersection
The heart of Beverly Hills was brought to a standstill Wednesday night by a driver who refused to get out of a suspected stolen car he crashed in a police pursuit. Beverly Hills police and SWAT crews inserted non-lethal rounds into the wrecked Toyota. A resident with a clear view of the standoff recorded images that were posted on the Citizen App. Tremendous resources were deployed to get a wanted driver out of the car at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and North Doheny Drive. “The vehicle, unfortunately, struck three, not one pedestrian, as well as two other vehicles," Lt Max Subin of the Beverly Hills Police Department said. "Two occupants were also transported to local hospital. Suspect did get out. Then, jumped back in the vehicle.” The man refused to leave the car for more than three hours, before police say they deployed 40 mm non-lethal rounds and three volleys of CS gas, a chemical agent. The suspect was identified as Daniel Allen, 29, of Santa Clarita, and police said he's facing charges of felony evading and resisting arrest. Allen is expected to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Police Seek Suspects In Culver City Drive-By Shooting
Authorities Tuesday released video footage in hopes of tracking down four suspects in a drive-by shooting that occurred in Culver City last weekend. Culver City Police Department officers, who went to the area of Sepulveda Boulevard and Green Valley Circle about 4:10 p.m. Saturday on reports of a shooting and traffic collision, contacted several witnesses and learned all the parties had left the scene. The investigation revealed that someone in a black SUV fired several rounds from a handgun at a white pickup truck as both vehicles were traveling on Green Valley Circle, causing the truck to crash into an uninvolved vehicle whose occupants escaped injury, according to a police statement. The shooting was related to a dispute between the four male occupants of the SUV — believed to range from 15 to 22 years old — and the truck that occurred at the nearby Westfield Culver City mall in the 6000 block of Sepulveda Boulevard, according to police. Several shell casings were recovered from the scene.

$10,000 Reward For Information Offered To Help Find Attacker Who Set Fire To 73-Year-Old Leonard Taylor Of Paramount
A Paramount man remains hospitalized with severe burns after being set on fire more than a month ago, and a $10,000 reward for information is now being offered to help catch his attacker. Leonard Taylor, 73, was in front of his home near Indiana Avenue and 70th Street, near the walkway to his front door, on the afternoon of March 5 when someone approached him from behind, hit him in the back of the head, then ignited his clothes, according to a motion from Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn. Investigators say a flammable liquid or aerosol was used to ignite the flames. Taylor suffered severe burns to his back, head, face, left torso and right hand, and remains hospitalized in the ICU, according to his daughter. He did not see his attacker and was not able to give police a description, according to the motion. Deputies also hit a dead end in their search for witnesses. The $10,000 reward for information was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday in the hopes that a witness might come forward. Anyone with information about the attack can call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's arson/explosives detective bureau at (323) 881-7500.

Glendale Barber Arrested For Sexual Battery; Investigators Believe There May Be More Victims
A Glendale barber was arrested for sexual battery after he allegedly made sexual advances toward a longtime client during his haircut appointment last month. Now, police are asking more victims to come forward. The Glendale Police Department said they were contacted by a victim just after 9 p.m. on March 2. Investigators said that evening, the victim went to his longtime barber for an appointment that was scheduled for 5 p.m. During his appointment, the male victim alleges his barber offered him a massage, which is something he had not offered before. During the massage, the victim says the barber touched his client's groin area. The man rejected his barber's advances, paid for his haircut, and left the salon. The suspect, 61-year-old Rey Domingo, made a confession to a Glendale PD detective during the investigation, officials said. On April 1, Domingo was arrested on a sexual battery charge. The department believes there may be other victims.
FOX 11

Man With Ties To Santa Monica Charged In Suspected Stock Fraud Scheme
A former Santa Monica and Orange County resident was charged in federal court Wednesday with ripping off about 100 investors to the tune of $14 million in an alleged stock fraud scheme. Ronald Shane Flynn, who is the founder of Vuuzle Media Corp., an online streaming and entertainment company, is charged in a federal grand jury indictment with 15 counts of wire fraud. According to prosecutors, Flynn, 57, hired high-pressure sales representatives to solicit investments starting in September 2016. He's accused of telling investors the money would pay for the business and to take his company public, which would yield high dividends. Flynn, however, never intended to conduct an initial public offering, and pocketed millions of dollars to buy luxury items for himself at resorts and from jewelers, prosecutors allege. Flynn is also facing a lawsuit filed in January by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleges he misappropriated $4.9 million of the investments to take luxury flights and for hotel stays, subscriptions to dating websites and nightclub revelry.
Los Angeles Daily News

Suspect In Monterey Park Double Killing Found At The Border
A Monterey Park man suspected of gunning down his wife and another man at a Monterey Park restaurant was caught Tuesday, April 6, at the Mexican border, sheriff's officials said. Jing Yixin, also known as Yixin Jing, was being held Wednesday at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles in lieu of $2 million bail. Detectives believe the suspect is the husband of one of the victims, 36-year-old Ling Ling Wang, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department statement. They have two daughters, ages 9 and 12. Authorities didn't say how detectives found out where the 38-year-old suspect was heading. Investigators, with help from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and the FBI/LAPD Fugitive Task Force, detained the suspect at the border on Tuesday, the statement said. Detectives took him to the Monterey Park Police Department, where he was arrested and booked Wednesday, April 7, on suspicion of killing Wang and Zhaiming Lee, 37, of Pomona. Detectives are still looking for the weapon used in the shooting. Investigators don't know yet what led to the double slaying Monday night at 0410 Music BBQ Bar in the 500 block of West Garvey Avenue. Authorities asked that anyone with information about the shooting to call the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tipsters can contact Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
Los Angeles Daily News

Police Seek Help To Locate Car Involved In Pasadena Double Homicide
The Pasadena Police Department Wednesday announced the description of the car involved in a double homicide in December. Officers responded to the 300 block of Parke Street, near Orange Grove Boulevard and Los Robles Avenue, on Dec. 1, 2020, on reports of a shooting, police said. Officers located three people suffering from gunshot wounds in the northeast section of Villa Parke. One victim was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The other two were taken to a hospital, where one died from his injuries and the other survived. The victims' names were not released. Detectives determined through an investigation that a newer model white Mercedes-Benz with black rims was involved in the shooting, according to police. No descriptions of possible suspects were provided. Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to call the Pasadena Police Department at 626-744-4241 or its homicide investigators at 626-744-4511. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Public Safety News

LAFD: Homeless Encampment Likely Cause Of Fire At Ballona Wetlands
A fire that destroyed five acres of wetlands in Playa del Rey on March 23 was most likely caused by a nearby homeless encampment, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. It took nearly two hours and 54 firefighters to stop the brush fire at the Ballona Wetlands near Bluff Creek Drive, fire officials said. Fire officials on Wednesday said the fire appears to have started near an area where several RV's were lined up. Officials at the wetlands said they were unable to access a fire hydrant on Jefferson Boulevard during the emergency due to a camper parked near it. Residents in the area say the encampments have been a growing concern. "There have been reports of homeless entering the wetlands in this area. They are pitching tents illegally.” 
Venice Current

LA County Confirms First Case Of South African COVID-19 Variant, First 3 Cases Of Brazilian Variant
Los Angeles County confirmed its first case of the South African COVID-19 variant Tuesday as well as the first three cases of the Brazilian variant. During the county's afternoon news conference, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said there are likely many more cases of the variants in the county but they are not reported due to the limited testing done for variants. “We still have moderate transmission, that's why we are in the orange tier,” Ferrer said. “It would be lovely to get to the yellow tier, which really means you have minimal transmission going on in the community because your case rate has dropped to less than two new cases per 100,000 people.” “So yes, I would like to see our case rate drop more,” she said. “We'll have to continue to work really hard for that to happen.” On Tuesday, the state released its updated COVID statistics, showing L.A. County's average daily rate of new cases held steady at 3.1 per 100,000 residents, ending a weeks-long downward trend. Based on the update, the county will remain in the orange tier of the state's reopening blueprint as the case rate remained the same as last week, which health officials say shows that the county is not continuing to see a decline in cases.

California Tracking At Least Six COVID-19 Variants As Health Experts Urge Precautions
Health officials in the state of California are tracking at least six COVID-19 variants, according to Governor Gavin Newsom. "851 UK variants we have sequenced in the state, 10 South African variants, 35 Brazilian variants, close to 9,400 West Coast variants and we're also tracking a number of other variants including a new one from India and also mindful of variants coming from the east coast including a New York variant," Newsom said. In Los Angeles County, the Department of Public Health identified one case of the South African variant and three cases of the Brazilian variant, both variants of concern. The CDC classified both as variants of concern because they are associated with more transmissibility and reduced susceptibility to certain therapeutics. Dr. Barbara Ferrer also reported the percent of weekly hospitalizations for younger people, between the age groups of 18-29 and 30-49 rose. Health officials believe the rise in cases for younger people could be attributed to a number of factors including that older people are increasingly vaccinated and therefore well protected against the virus while some younger people have not yet met the eligibility requirements. Another reason could be young people are getting infected with the UK variant which is more transmissible.
FOX 11

Local Government News

LA County Offers Mortgage Relief Program To Help Property Owners
If you fell behind on your mortgage, or are one of the homeowners who did not receive renters' assistance during the pandemic you might be able to benefit from the Foreclosure Prevention and Mortgage Relief Program, a grant for those families who are in danger of losing their home, or owners of rental units who are behind their payments in LA County. One of the most serious economic impacts of the pandemic is foreclosure, as thousands of families could end up homeless, and rental unit owners could lose their investment. To avoid that, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, through the Department of Consumer and Business Services and the Center for Economic Recovery created the Foreclosure Prevention and Mortgage Relief program. "The program is part of the measures the county is taking to provide relief to local homeowners, it is an investment of $5 million in net county costs that advance our effort to avoid another crisis where thousands lost their homes," said Rafael Carbajal, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Business and Consumer Services. The program excludes the City of Los Angeles because it has its own assistance program.

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: