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

May 11, 2021
Law Enforcement News

1 California Officer Killed, 1 Wounded While Serving Warrant; Gunman Dead
A police officer was killed and another wounded in California while serving a search warrant before officers shot and killed the gunman on Monday, authorities said. Shots were fired shortly before 5:30 p.m. as officers served the warrant at an apartment in the Central Coast city of San Luis Obispo. “This is a tragedy beyond measure for all of those who serve and care about our community,” City Manager Derek Johnson said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to the family. We are devastated by this loss.” The wounded officer was hospitalized in stable condition, the city reported. Other details, including the names of the San Luis Obispo officers and the gunman, weren't immediately released. 
Associated Press

Sylmar Crash Kills Woman, 57, Injures Two Men
A 57-year-old woman died when she was struck by a driver who crossed over double yellow lines, hitting her head-on, authorities said. The crash, which sent two men to hospitals, was reported at 9:30 p.m. Sunday at 16637 Foothill Blvd., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department's Brian Humphrey. A 50-year-old man was northbound at a high rate of speed when he crossed over the double yellow lines and hit the woman's vehicle head-on, according to a dispatcher at the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Center. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, Humphrey said. Firefighters used hydraulic equipment to free two trapped patients, he said. The 50-year-old driver was transported by paramedics to a hospital, the dispatcher said. Another man was also taken to a hospital, Humphrey said. Their conditions were not available.
Los Angeles Daily News

Authorities In Pursuit Of Stolen U-Haul On 60 Freeway In Downtown Los Angeles Area
Authorities were in pursuit of a stolen U-Haul truck that was pulling a trailer on the 605 Freeway in Whittier Tuesday morning. Authorities believe the 26-foot U-Haul Super Mover is being driven by a single male occupant. The Super Mover is the largest truck U-Haul offers to the public for moving. The driver was being followed by California Highway Patrol units as it transitioned to the westbound 60 Freeway in El Monte about 5:15 a.m. Aerial video from Sky5 showed the trailer sparking behind the truck, which appeared to be traveling at about 60 or 70 mph. Shortly before 5:30 a.m., the driver transitioned the truck to the northbound 5 Freeway on the East L.A. interchange.

SUV Driver Plows Into Home In South LA
Authorities are searching for the driver of an SUV that crashed into a home and then ran away from the scene. The crash happened Sunday just before midnight in the 300 block of West Manchester Avenue in the Florence area of South LA. According to authorities, the residents of the house were abruptly awakened when the vehicle slammed into the front of the house. Emergency crews that arrived at the scene found a white van in the middle of the house, in what appeared to be a bedroom. Although no one was injured inside the house, the police do not know if the driver was injured. Firefighters requested building and safety inspectors on site to assess the integrity of the home.

Homicide Suspect In South L.A. Shootout With Ontario Police Is Identified
Ontario police on Monday named the homicide suspect who got into a shootout with officers attempting to apprehend him in South Los Angeles. The suspect is 34-year-old Antonio Valdez of Ontario, police said. Valdez was arrested on Tuesday, May 4, in the 100 block of East 66th Street in Los Angeles. Valdez is alleged to have fatally shot his roommate just after midnight on May 1 after a verbal dispute turned violent in the 2500 block of Riverside Drive, according to Officer Bill Lee, spokesman for the Ontario Police Department. His roommate was identified as a 32-year-old man, however, police hadn't released his identity as of Monday evening. When police responded, the suspect had fled the scene, Lee said. However, Valdez was positively identified as the suspect and an arrest warrant was put out for his capture.
Los Angeles Daily News

Women In Law Enforcement Reflect On 'Busting The Brass Ceiling'
She first spent 24 in the LAPD. Her success, and that of high-ranking women in law enforcement, may in part be credited to landmark legal action by a female officer who joined the LAPD in 1948. As women couldn't promote past Sergeant, Fanchon Blake took a discrimination case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The story of Blake is the subject of a new book titled: Busting The Brass Ceiling: How a heroic female cop changed the face of policing. Linden Gross co-authored the book with Blake who passed away and is part of a panel on women in policing being held Saturday, May 15. It would have been Blake's 100th birthday. As for officers, Burke is on that panel, along with three other women who've made their mark in policing. Peggy York was the LAPD's first female Deputy Chief before retiring. Ruby Flores is a current Commander. Recognizing women in law enforcement comes at a time when there's an effort to raise the national ranks to 30% women by the year 2030. In an era faced with powerful calls for social change and reform, retired LAPD Captain Ann Young continues to be a voice on policing as a college professor and is on the board of the Police Museum. She says there is "opportunity in everything." York says law enforcement is a fabulous job, especially now for women because the opportunities are so great. Burke is especially proud, as she is a first-generation Angeleno and grew up in Santa Ana. Her parents came to the U.S. from Mexico. 
FOX 11

Watch: BMW Driver Speeds Off With Flowers Stolen From Street Vendor
A flower vendor was robbed by a person in a BMW who grabbed a bouquet as the driver sped away from a corner in the Harbor City area. The incident occurred on Sunday, at the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, and was captured by the camera of another car. The images show the moment when a white sedan stops at the intersection and a person traveling as a passenger asks the vendor for four bouquets of flowers. The street vendor gives them to him through the window, but it's at that point where the driver speeds away before the vendor can charge them for the flowers. According to the vendor, the person driving the vehicle was a woman and authorities confirmed that they are investigating the case.

Police: Large-Scale Search In Santa Monica Neighborhood Was For Stabbing Suspect, Not Shooting At Virginia Park
A 29-year-old man is in custody Monday for attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend in an incident that many believed was a shooting at Virginia Park in Santa Monica. There were several inquiries about a shooting by Virginia Park Sunday night, according to Santa Monica police spokesman Lt. Rudy Flores. However, the incident actually involved a woman who reported her boyfriend, Jeremy Gonzalez, had tried to stab her with a large knife. The woman was not injured. Officers were called to the attempted stabbing at about 8:44 p.m. in the 1900 block of Cloverfield Boulevard, but when they arrived, the suspect had run from the area on foot. Gonzalez was later found inside a car in the 2200 block of Virginia Avenue, but when officers tried to take him into custody, he ran off again, Flores said. Police set up a search perimeter and deployed a K-9 officer, while a LAPD helicopter searched the area. Gonzalez was eventually found and taken into custody. Gonzalez was treated at a hospital for a cut to his hand he sustained while jumping over a fence, police said. He was booked on suspicion of attempted murder, domestic violence and making criminal threats, and is being held on $1 million bail.

Two People Shot, Two Others Wounded During Shooting In Compton
Two people, described as males between the ages of 15 and 20, were shot dead in Compton during a shooting that left one person in critical condition and another person in stable condition at area hospital, the Sheriff's Department said Sunday. The shooting was reported just before 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the 15100 block of South Lime Avenue, according to Deputy Eric Ortiz of the Sheriff's Information Bureau. Both males, between the ages of 15 and 20 were pronounced dead at the scene, Ortiz said. Shortly afterward, deputies received information of two additional gunshot victims at an area hospital. One of the victims was in critical condition, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso and the other victim, with a gunshot wound to the upper torso, was listed in stable condition, the Sheriff's Information Bureau reported. “There is no suspect or vehicle information at this time and murder weapon remains outstanding,” according to a news statement. “The investigation is in the preliminary stages and it is unknown if this shooting is gang related.” Anyone with information was asked to call homicide detectives at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Porter Ranch Doctor Charged With Collecting $6M In False Medicare Claims
A physician from Porter Ranch is facing criminal health care fraud charges arising from her alleged false home health certifications and related $6 million in fraudulent billings to Medicare, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday. Lilit Gagikovna Baltaian, 58, was arrested Thursday and charged with four federal counts of health care fraud, according to the DOJ. Prosecutors said Baltaian operated two medical clinics in Tujunga and Reseda. From about January 2012 to July 2018, she falsely certified patients to receive home health care from at least four area home health agencies, the DOJ alleges. Baltaian's alleged false certifications were used by the home health agencies to fraudulently bill Medicare for unnecessary home health care. Baltaian received a cash benefit related to these referrals and also submitted claims to Medicare for signing the fraudulent certifications and for patient visits and injections that were not needed and/or provided, the DOJ alleges. As further alleged in court documents, between January 2012 and July 2018, four home health agencies used Baltaian's false certifications to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare, resulting in a total of over $6 million paid on those claims. If convicted, Baltaian faces up to 10 years in prison on each count, according to the DOJ.

Watch: NYPD Cop Sprints Through Times Square With 4-Year-Old Shooting Victim
A 4-year-old girl who was shot in the leg in Times Square barely cried on the way to the hospital, the police officer who carried the child to safety said. “This little girl was so strong,” Officer Alyssa Vogel told the New York Post. “She didn't even cry once except when we were putting the tourniquet on. She screamed because it's very painful.” The 4-year-old Brooklyn girl was one of three people hit by stray bullets when someone opened fire during a dispute in Times Square at about 5 p.m. Saturday. Wendy Magrinat, 23, from Rhode Island, was shot in the leg, and a 43-year-old woman from New Jersey was shot in the foot. All are expected to recover. Police released a video of a person of interest in the shooting, but no arrests had been made as of Monday. New York Police Department officials posted a video of Vogel sprinting toward an ambulance with the wounded girl. “As a mom, I think my motherly instincts just went to, you know, I need to help her,” the officer told ABC News on Monday.
Associated Press

Public Safety News

5 L.A. County Sheriff's Deputies Hospitalized After Firefighters Respond To Hazmat Situation In Pico Rivera
Five deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department were hospitalized following a reported hazardous materials situation in Pico Rivera Monday afternoon, officials said. The incident was reported about 12:50 p.m. along the 8000 block of Kellam Lane, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The patients were being assessed for “various medical complaints,” according to initial information from the Fire Department. Later, officials said the five individuals were taken to a hospital with minor injuries. Preliminary information from the Sheriff's Department indicated the deputies were exposed to carbon monoxide. However, fire officials later indicated no hazardous materials were found at the location. Residents in the area were advised stay inside their homes and remain clear of the incident. After a search, the home where the situation was first reported was safe for re-entry, fire officials said. No other injuries were reported.

L.A. County Expected To Hit COVID-19 Herd Immunity
By End Of July Los Angeles County could reach herd immunity from the coronavirus among adults and the oldest teenagers by mid- to late July, another milestone that underscores the region's rapid recovery from the pandemic. Herd immunity, sometimes referred to as community immunity, occurs when enough people have been inoculated or have obtained natural immunity to protect the larger population against the virus. Experts had previously expressed concern that waning demand for the COVID-19 vaccines and uneven vaccination rates could make it hard to reach that goal. With about 400,000 shots administered weekly, the county has about 2 million first doses to go before 80% of all residents 16 and older will have received at least one shot, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a news briefing Monday.
Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA City Council To Resume In-Person Meetings On June 15
The Los Angeles City Council will resume in-person meetings on June 15, but members of the public will still be able to virtually participate, a spokesperson for Council President Nury Martinez confirmed Monday. City Council's in-person meetings have been held virtually since Gov Gavin Newsom's COVID-19 executive order on March 17, 2020. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the City Attorney's Office, the Los Angeles Emergency Management Department and other offices are working together to plan the return of in-person meetings. During the pandemic, Friday meetings were suspended. They are set to resume after June 15. Council members will be allowed inside the chambers with one staff member, and all attendees must be vaccinated. The return to in-person meetings is set for the same day that California officials are set to scrap the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, lifting all of its restrictions and eliminating the tier system.

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: