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 20, 2021
Law Enforcement News

One Man Killed, Another Wounded In Highland Park Shooting; Suspects At Large
One man was killed and a second man was critically injured in a shooting in the Highland Park neighborhood of Northeast Los Angeles early Thursday morning. Gunshots were reported at 2:53 a.m. in the 200 block of South Avenue 50. Los Angeles police officers responded to find one man dead at the scene. A second man was rushed to a hospital in critical condition, police said. The victim was not immediately identified. The exact circumstances that lead up to the shooting were unclear. No arrests have been made and there was no word on a motive. A black-colored suspect vehicle carrying three people was last seen traveling west on Avenue 50, police said.

LAPD Says Random, Violent Attacks By Unhoused Residents Are On The Rise
As the population of unhoused people continues to grow across the Southland, so too is the number of violent crimes. “He was just tired of being asked to leave, so he came randomly one day, charging at me with a, I don't know, a six-foot hard plastic guitar,” Jeffrey Hicks, a victim, said. It was an attack Hicks, who owns a laundromat in Valley Village, said he saw coming. “I was so intent on making sure he didn't hit me over the head that my first reaction was to defend myself,” he said. Hicks was able to fight back with a stool and was unharmed, but several others who live and work in the North Hollywood area have not been so lucky. “The most alarming thing I'm seeing, it's just the random nature of it,” Det. Daniel Fournier said. “These are people that are just walking down the street, the victims, just minding their own business and they get attacked for absolutely no reason.” According to a Los Angeles Police Department crime analysis from the North Hollywood area, transient robberies jumped 40% and transient aggravated assaults were up 30% in just one year. And while those stats are concerning, detectives said they were even more alarmed by the fact that in the past month, almost 70% of the crimes were random in nature.

LAPD Searching For Man Captured On Video Stabbing Homeless Woman In The Head As She Slept
Los Angeles police are searching for the man captured on video stabbing a homeless woman in the head as she was sleeping on the sidewalk. The violent attack happened at 12:02 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of 25th and San Pedro streets in South L.A., according to LAPD. The suspect fled after attacking the woman with a steel kitchen knife. LAFD paramedics transported the woman in critical condition to a hospital after she pulled the knife out of her wound. Residents say the homeless woman is known in the neighborhood and that she always kept to herself. They say she often would feed two stray dogs. Police described the suspect as a Black or Hispanic male, about 30 to 40 years old, approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 185 pounds. He was last seen wearing a face mask, a black long sleeve hooded sweatshirt, dark blue pants, black shoes and one glove on his right hand. In the surveillance video, a steel kitchen knife in the suspect's hand is visible as he walks down the street. Residents and detectives hope the video will help in identifying the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to contact Newton Area Detective Galvan or Officer Fuentes at (323) 846-6566.

Man Suffers Minor Injuries In Car-To-Car Shooting On Downtown LA Freeway
A driver suffered minor injuries in a car-to-car shooting on the 110 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday night. The shooting occurred at about 7:45 p.m. on the southbound 110 Freeway, near where it intersects with the 10 Freeway. The victim, a man in his mid-20s, suffered minor injuries from debris, but did not suffer any gunshot wounds, California Highway Patrol reports. The suspect vehicle was described as a dark blue 4×4 model-type vehicle. It's unclear if the shooting was targeted or random in nature. Anyone with information was asked to call CHP at 213-744-2331.

LAPD Looking For Hit-and-Run Driver Who Struck Two Children
The Los Angeles Police Department's South Traffic Division detectives are searching for a hit-and-run driver who struck two children, critically injuring them. The incident occurred May 9 around 2:47 p.m. on Compton Avenue. Police say a vehicle described as a black or maroon Chevrolet Cruze was traveling southbound on Compton Avenue when it collided with two 8-year-old kids who were crossing westbound across Compton Avenue south of 92nd Street. Police say after the collision the suspect vehicle continued driving southbound on Compton Avenue and fled at a high rate of speed. The kids were taken to a local hospital in critical condition. The LAPD is asking for the public's help in locating the suspect and has released two images of the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run. A reward of up to $25,000 is available to community members who provide information leading to the offender's identification, apprehension, and conviction.
FOX 11

Police probe sidewalk brawl involving Palestinian supporters
A brawl involving pro-Palestinians who attacked Jewish diners at a Los Angeles restaurant will be investigated as a hate crime, the city's mayor said. Witnesses said members of a car caravan flying Palestinian flags attacked outdoor diners just before 10 p.m. Tuesday at a sushi restaurant in the Beverly Grove area as violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip intensified.
ABC News

Police Search For Man Suspected Of Groping Several Women Near CSUN Campus
Cal State Northridge police Wednesday were searching for a man suspected of groping several women in the area of the campus. The most recent incident occurred about 5:10 p.m. Monday when the man, riding a Fixie bicycle, rode past a woman walking near Zelzah Avenue and Lassen Street and touched her buttocks, according to a statement from the CSUN Department of Police Services. The man then fled the area traveling eastbound on Lassen Street and southbound on Zelzah Avenue. The woman reported the encounter the next morning. Campus police said they are investigating the matter as a sexual battery that appears connected to incidents involving two other women that occurred in the same area on Feb. 6 and Feb. 18. The suspect was described as a man with a medium to heavy build who was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, grey pants, a dark-colored face mask, purple gloves and red shoes. Anyone with information about his identity or whereabouts was asked to contact the CSUN Department of Police Services at 818-677-2111.

3 L.A. County DMV Employees Admit To Accepting Cash Bribes In Exchange For Licenses
At least three California Department of Motor Vehicles employees in the South Bay and Los Angeles have admitted to accepting cash in exchange for giving driver's licenses to people who could not pass the written test, driving test, or both, federal court records showed Wednesday, May 19. The employees accepted tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for the licenses for about two years until they resigned in 2017, prosecutors said in court documents. A broker would negotiate between people who sought the licenses and the employees, who would falsely enter passing scores, records showed. The payments ranged from $400 to $1,400 and investigators believe at least 100 driver's licenses were given as a result, the U.S. Justice Department said. Jovana Nettles, a manager at the Lincoln Park office in Los Angeles; and Atanacio Villegas, a license registration examiner at the Torrance and Gardena offices, were charged with mail fraud in April. Nettles pleaded guilty to wire fraud on Monday and Villegas was expected to plead guilty next month, according to his plea agreement.
Los Angeles Daily News

L.A. Ex-Drug-Smuggler-Turned-Entrepreneur Arrested In Thailand Kidnapping Case
Police in Thailand said Thursday they were pursuing more suspects in the kidnapping of a Taiwanese businessman in which an L.A. ex-convict-turned-entrepreneur and two other men have been arrested. The case involves a business dispute over the purchase of nitrile gloves — critical personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Louis William Ziskin, 51, the CEO of a Los Angeles-based tech company who was convicted of drug-smuggling in 2001, was arrested Saturday along with Jeremy Hughes Manchester, identified as a former U.S. Marine, and a Thai man. Five additional suspects in the case are from the U.S. and Israel, said police Col. Netiwit Thanasithnitikul of Thailand's Crime Suppression Division. Ziskin and Manchester have denied the charges, which include kidnapping, attempted murder, assault and being part of a criminal gang. Both are free on bail but must wear tracking devices at all times and cannot leave Thailand. Attempts to contact Ziskin by phone and email Wednesday were unsuccessful, and it is not known if he has retained a lawyer. Netiwit said the case resulted from a business deal gone sour between Ziskin and the company for which the Taiwanese man worked. Ziskin accused the company of cheating by selling him substandard nitrile gloves for almost $3 million.
Los Angeles Times

Illinois Police Officer, Suspect Dead After Exchange Of Gunfire
A gunman killed one central Illinois police officer and wounded another before he was fatally shot during a shootout at an apartment complex early Wednesday, authorities said. The officers went to the complex in Champaign shortly after 3 a.m. in response to a report about a domestic disturbance and encountered the armed suspect, police said. An exchange of gunfire followed in which both officers and the suspect were shot. Officer Chris Oberheim, 44, died of his wounds, the city's police chief, Anthony Cobb, said in a statement. The wounded officer was hospitalized in stable condition, the department said. The suspect killed in the shootout, Darion Marquise Lafayette, 24, of Champaign, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Champaign County coroner said. Autopsies on Oberheim and Lafayette are scheduled for Thursday. Champaign County court records show Lafayette had previous arrests for domestic violence and drug possession, The (Champaign) News-Gazette reported. Police have not released the name of the wounded officer.
Associated Press

South Carolina Officer Survives Bullet In Windshield As Pursuit Hits 100 Mph
A passenger in a car fleeing police fired at officers during a high-speed chase that went on for 30 minutes over many narrow South Carolina roads, and officers kept trailing the car even after a bullet lodged in the windshield of a cruiser, just above the steering wheel, authorities said. The fleeing car reached speeds of more than 100 mph (160 kph), drove mostly on two-lane rural roads and ended in a crash with the driver arrested, but the man who fired at deputies escaped, Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey said. The deputies fired back at the car and the State Law Enforcement Division is investigating, authorities said. No one was hurt in the chase, but Chester County students who were closest to the manhunt were switched to online learning Tuesday as dozens of officers continued to look for the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Tyler Terry of Chester County, authorities said. He remained free Tuesday more than 12 hours after the crash. Warrants have been issued for two counts of attempted murder for Terry. The driver of the car, Adrienne Simpson, 34, of Myrtle Beach, was charged with failure to stop for a blue light. Jail records didn't indicate if she had a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.
Associated Press

Ordered Online, Assembled At Home: The Deadly Toll Of California's ‘Ghost Guns'
When Brian Muhammad, a program manager at a gun violence prevention group in California, asked a 16-year-old boy in 2018 how young people were getting guns, he assumed the answer would be Nevada, the neighboring state with looser gun laws. “Who would waste time going to Nevada when you can just get them in the mail and put it together?” the Stockton teen nonchalantly replied. Three years later, homemade weapons known as “ghost guns” have risen to the top of the Biden administration's policy agenda. When the president announced executive actions targeting gun violence after the mass shootings in Georgia, California and Colorado, they included steps to regulate the sale of the devices – the first time the federal government took up such efforts. Warnings about do-it-yourself guns have steadily grown in recent years, spurred by ominous news stories describing the weapons' use in a slew of mass shootings, domestic terrorism cases and gun trafficking busts. In California alone, homemade guns were used in a 2013 mass shooting in Santa Monica, a 2014 bank robbery in Stockton and a shooting spree in rural Tehama county that killed six in 2017. In 2019, a 16 year old killed two students and injured three others before killing himself with a ghost gun at a school in Santa Clarita. The next year, as protests over police violence filled city streets, Steven Carrillo used a homemade machine gun to shoot two security guards at a federal building in Oakland and a sheriff's deputy in an ambush in Santa Cruz.
The Guradian

Public Safety News

L.A. County Will Wait For State To Lift Mask Mandate On June 15
Los Angeles County will adhere to California guidelines and wait until June 15 to lift the requirement for face coverings in indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, officials said Monday. The June date is when state officials are expected to lift most virus- related restrictions across California if the current positive trends continue. County officials also encouraged people to continue to practice social distancing. Currently, face coverings are not required outdoors except at crowded events, and -- for unvaccinated people -- when physical distancing cannot be maintained. In indoor settings outside the home including public transportation and schools, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control revised its guidance last week, saying fully vaccinated people can largely stop wearing a mask in most indoor and outdoor situations. That guidance does not automatically apply to individual states and local jurisdictions, however. Some national supermarket chains including Trader Joe's, Costco and Walmart have dropped the mask requirement for fully vaccinated customers, though store officials said they will not be asking for proof of vaccination.
Venice Current

State Will Play Catchup This Year With Fire Season Expected To Be Brutal
Pointing to the past week's Pacific Palisades blaze as a sign that another brutal wildfire season may lie ahead, officials cautioned that the state's increasingly aggressive prevention efforts still leave California behind the curve in addressing the worsening infernos. Fire experts and lawmakers also emphasized the effectiveness of clearing vegetation from homes and making homes more fireproof, and outlined steps toward better forest management as well as efforts to make fire insurance fair and affordable to those in high-risk areas. “Unfortunately, we're way behind on prevention mitigation and we have to continue to catch up,” GOP Assemblyman Kelly Seyarto, a veteran firefighter from Murrieta, said during an online discussion hosted Wednesday, May 19, by the Public Policy Institute of California. “We have to do the work before (fires erupt) so we aren't in the situation we're in now.” Wildfire seasons in California have been growing longer and more intense, with five of state's six largest wildfires on record occurring in 2020. With the state emerging from one of the driest winters in history, this year's conditions are primed for more such blazes. Climate-change is contributing to more extreme weather that can increase fire vulnerability, but the threat is further exacerbated by decades of poor forest management and homes being built ever deeper into high-risk areas.
Los Angeles Daily News

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: