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

June 1, 2021
Law Enforcement News

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Sergeant Shot, Killed After Memorial Day Pursuit
A 17-year veteran of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department was shot when a pursuit with a motorcyclist took a dangerous turn in Yucca Valley on Monday afternoon. He was airlifted to a local hospital where he died, the department said. "It's my sad duty to report that despite the heroic lifesaving measures of the staff of the hospital, Sgt. Dominic Vaca, 43 years old, a 17-year veteran of the sheriff's department has succumbed to his injuries. The gunshot wound he sustained earlier today was too severe for him to overcome. Our prayers are with him and his family as we all mourn this difficult time," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon announced on social media. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department was attempting to get a motorcyclist to pull over in the Yucca Valley area. The motorcyclist refused to pull over and a pursuit followed. The motorcyclist eventually stopped and ditched their vehicle near Dumosa Avenue and Sunnyslope Drive. During the foot chase, the motorcyclist opened fire at the deputies, hitting one of them. The other deputies returned fire, killing the motorcyclist. The deputy had been airlifted to the hospital and was in serious condition. He died at the hospital just before midnight, the department said. The suspect was eventually found around 2 p.m.
FOX 11

LAPD After George Floyd: Fewer Officers, Fewer Arrests But Hardly Defunded
A year after protesters massed in the streets of Los Angeles chanting “Defund the police!” and “Abolish the LAPD!” the Los Angeles Police Department is a changed organization but hardly in the ways its critics wanted. Its operating budget was cut by $150 million last summer with much fanfare, to $1.71 billion, then more quietly increased this year by about 3% — to $1.76 billion, a huge chunk of the city's overall spending. Still, the protests — and the year of economic upheaval they occurred in — have forced major changes within the department, its daily operations and the way city officials see its role in public safety. In the last 12 months, the department has shrunk by nearly 500 officers. Police boosters suggest the city would be better served if all the scrutiny placed on cops in the past year was redirected toward criminals. They say police funding should be increased given the surges in gunfire and killings, not reduced. “The biggest takeaway for me is all the social media slogans — ‘Defund the police' — have been an absolute disaster,” said Craig Lally, president of the union that represents rank-and-file LAPD officers and a member of the department for 40 years. “If you defund the police, you have to replace it with something, but nobody had a plan to replace it. That really baffled me, that anyone could buy into that stuff.” 
Los Angeles Times

Judge Reinstates Enhancements For Baldwin Park Gang Member Accused Of Double Murder
In a reversal of some of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón's most controversial policies, a judge this week reinstated a special circumstance allegation and a gang enhancement for a Baldwin Park gang member accused of double murder. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rob B. Villeza said in an order issued Monday, May 24, that Gascón's policy preferences alone are not sufficient to warrant dismissal of the enhancements against Raymond “Danger” Gonzalez. With removal of the sentencing enhancements, Gonzalez would not have been eligible for life in prison without parole, meaning he could receive a parole hearing in 20 years even if convicted of both homicides. Gonzalez is charged with the shooting deaths of Bobby Ryan and Jacob Dominguez at his Baldwin Park home on Dec. 11, 2017. He allegedly killed the men while they slept to steal money one of them had collected in an insurance settlement, according to court records. He then allegedly used the gun to carjack a minivan to transport and bury the bodies in the desert near Victorville. To the dismay of the victims' families, Villeza decided during a Jan. 19 hearing to drop the enhancements against Gonzalez in accordance with Gascón's policies. However, the judge reversed himself after Kathy Cady, an attorney representing the families of Gonzalez's victims, filed a motion on behalf of her traumatized clients.
Los Angeles Daily News

Man Found Shot To Death In Boyle Heights
A man, about 20 to 30 years old, was found shot to death Saturday in Boyle Heights, police said. Officers dispatched at 2:26 a.m. to a call of a person down in the area of Grande Vista Avenue and Olympic Boulevard came upon a man suffering from at least one gunshot wound, the LAPD's Media Relations Section reported. Arriving paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. A motive for the homicide has yet to be established.

At Least 1 Dead, Another Injured In Shooting At Gathering In South L.A.
At least one person was killed and another was injured in a shooting at a gathering in South Los Angeles early Monday morning, officials said. Deputies first responded to the 6600 block of Makee Avenue in the unincorporated Florence-Firestone area around 1 a.m. after getting a call about gunshot victims. They arrived to find two victims, one of whom was a 39-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the upper torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene, sheriff's Homicide Bureau Lt. Charles Calderaro told KTLA. The second victim, a 21-year-old man, had been shot in the legs and was transferred to a nearby hospital, according to the department. His injuries were described as being not life-threatening. Later, sheriff's officials discovered that a third person, a 23-year-old man, died after turning up at a nearby hospital suffering from gunshot wounds. “We believe that individual is related to this incident,” Calderaro said. It appears a white sedan had pulled up at the location where more than 20 people were gathered, according to Calderaro. “There might have been some kind of argument or words exchanged, and then gunshots erupted,” the lieutenant said.

Police Arrest Scooter Rider For Driving Under The Influence After A Fatal Collision In Venice
Police arrested a man Saturday night for driving an electric scooter under the influence after a collision that killed an older man in Venice. Investigators said the driver and a female passenger doubled up on the one-person scooter and crashed into the victim, who was walking at about 9:20 p.m. near the corner of Marco Court and Lincoln Boulevard. Sidewalks around Marco court and Lincoln Boulevard are littered with electric scooters, proof of how much they're used in the area. California law requires electric scooters be ridden by one person only and not on sidewalks. The collision, police said, caused the pedestrian to hit his head on the sidewalk. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

'Not Safe Anymore:' Venice Resident Says Homeless Crisis Has Made It Unsafe For Grandkids To Visit
A Venice resident of 45 years is making an emotional plea in a now viral video for the city of Los Angeles to address the homeless crisis. "It's not safe anymore and my grandkids, who I adore, are afraid to come and visit me. Do you understand that? That is hell for me," the woman said in the video. That video in which she expressed her anger speaks to what Venice residents have been experiencing - not just on the boardwalk, but all over the community. "I go walk down to that water everyday and I have for over 40 years and you know what - it's scary to me now. I don't think it's fair. Please, please, please. We do not want tent people living here. It's gotta stop," the woman says in the video. Venice resident Christina T. is a caretaker for her mother. "My stress level is through the roof... We're locked inside," she told Eyewitness News. She says her niece and nephew can't visit either because it's too dangerous. She lives near a growing homeless encampment on Hampton Drive and on 3rd Avenue, off Sunset Avenue. She says there have been multiple stabbings, shootings and fires in the area, as well as drug-dealing and vandalism. All of this has happened within the Venice enforcement zone, just blocks from the Bridge Home facility that Christina says has been mismanaged by the city.

Man Fatally Shot In South Los Angeles, Second Man Wounded
One man was fatally shot Monday on a South Los Angeles Street and a second man was wounded. The shooting happened just after 3 p.m. in the 1300 block of Slauson Avenue, Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Eva Jimenez said. One man was transported to a hospital, where he later died, Jimenez said. His name will be withheld pending notification of next of kin. A second man was hospitalized for treatment of his gunshot wound, but his condition was unknown. It was unclear what initiated the shooting. It wasn't clear if the two men shot each other or if there was someone else involved. Another twist was that the investigation began as a call about a crash involving a vehicle and a pedestrian near the intersection of Hooper and Slauson avenues. However, arriving deputies then found the two men suffering from gunshot wounds. It appeared preliminarily that the reported crash had nothing to do with the shooting, Jimenez said. Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to call the LASD's homicide unit at 323-890-5500.

Venice Blvd. Hit-and-Run: LAPD Seeking Public's Help Finding Driver Who Injured Pedestrian
Los Angeles police are seeking the public's help finding a hit-and-run driver who mowed down a pedestrian on Venice Boulevard two weeks ago. The pedestrian was walking in the crosswalk at southbound Sepulveda around 1:25 a.m. Saturday May 15. A white Mercedes was driving quickly westbound on Venice Boulevard, and struck the pedestrian then kept going. The pedestrian ended up in the hospital with serious injuries. A city program offers a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to hit-run-drivers. Anyone with information is asked to contact West Traffic Division detectives at 213-473-0234 or 213-473-0222.

Driver Shot In Road Rage Incident On 101 In San Fernando Valley
A man in a red Lexus SC400 suffered a minor gunshot wound to his right arm during a shooting that escalated from road rage Monday morning on the Ventura (101) Freeway in Studio City, authorities said. The shooting was reported at 3:33 a.m., the California Highway Patrol reported. With details still sketchy, the shooting involved a black Lexus SC400, a red Lexus SC400 and a white, older sedan, the CHP said. “This incident culminated into a freeway shooting when the driver of the white sedan began shooting at the red Lexus and striking the victim in the right arm on the Laurel Canyon Boulevard on-ramp to the northbound US-101,” the CHP said in a press release. The victim was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with what the CHP said was a “minor gunshot injury.” CHP officers “contacted” the motorists in the two Lexus cars near Van Nuys Boulevard and Huston Street. The motorist driving the white older model sedan continued northbound from Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The driver and the number of occupants of the white sedan were not identified, CHP said, but the white sedan sustained damage to the left side, consisting of red paint transfer, driver's side door damage and sideswipe damage. The CHP's West Valley Area office urged anyone with any information regarding the shooting to call them at 818-888-0980.
Los Angeles Daily News

Man Caught On Camera Trying To Throw Concrete Block Through Century City Synagogue Windows
Police are investigating a new act of suspected anti-Semitism at a Century City synagogue, where surveillance video captured a man trying to throw a block of concrete through two windows. Southland Jewish leaders condemned the vandalism attempt that occurred early Friday morning. The windows of Young Israel of Century City are made of reinforced glass, and the concrete bounced away without causing significant damage. But the attempt -- on the heels of other high-profile anti-Semitic attacks of Jewish people in Southern California -- drew the ire of local leaders. The attempted vandalism occurred at about 1 a.m. Friday. Synagogue officials said the man first broke a window at a nearby restaurant called Pat's Next Door, then tried to do the same to the synagogue. The incident comes about two weeks after a pair of highly publicized attacks that were caught on video, showing assailants in caravans of vehicles waving Palestinian flags.

LASD Seeks Public's Help In Locating 29-Year-Old Woman Missing Since Tuesday
Authorities at the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department asked for the public's help Friday in locating 29-year-old Krista Marie Slater who was last seen in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of LA. Slater, who is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, also goes by the nickname “Kris-Kris.” She was last seen about 10 a.m. Tuesday in the 2000 block of West Century Boulevard, according to officials. Slater is Black, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs around 22o pounds. Anyone who might've seen Slater or has information regarding her whereabouts is asked to contact the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500.

American Flags Allegedly Stolen At Los Angeles National Cemetery
On a day dedicated to honoring our fallen heroes, police were investigating after American flags were allegedly stolen at the Los Angeles National Cemetery. On Memorial Day, officials said the Garrison flag, which measures 20 feet by 30 feet, was missing from the United States National Cemetery located in West LA. Officials say it usually takes four eople to stretch and fold the flag, given the large size. Authorities said that at some point Sunday night or early Monday morning, someone jumped the fence, broke in and took the Garrison flag, as well as other flags. Based on the size of the Garrison flag, it is believed it would have taken at least three people to carry out the crime. The volunteers who work at the ceremony noticed the flags were missing Monday morning and said it was a brutal discovery, especially given the timing. "Every single monument you see here is someone who signed up and spent some of their life in service to our country so we can enjoy everything that we enjoy today. And to hurt their final resting place is just unbelievable," said Rebekah Adams, President of the LA National Ceremony Support Foundation.
FOX 11

Police: Los Angeles County Trio Stole 6 Pickup Trucks In 1 Night From Throughout Oxnard
Two men and a woman from Los Angeles County face charges after a crime spree that included stealing pickup trucks and catalytic converters throughout Oxnard, according to police. Richard Perez, 26; Sharon Silva, 37; and Brian Mandujano, 28, all of Los Angeles County, were arrested Friday at the Casa Via Mar Inn in Port Hueneme as Oxnard police officers investigated the theft of six stolen Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks overnight. Two of the stolen trucks were spotted parked at the inn, and two others were later found nearby. Detectives Enrique Alvarez and Greg Utter linked three people – Perez, Silva, and Mandujano – inside a Nissan Altima at the inn to the stolen trucks and took them into custody, police said. Methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and battery-powered tools police say are commonly used to steal catalytic converters were found inside the Altima. The trio was arrested on drug and theft charges, including possession of stolen vehicles, burglary tools, and warrants. Perez is being held on $185,000 bail, and Silva on $130,000 bail. Both are scheduled to make their first court appearance on June 2. Bail and court information was not available for Mandujano, according to Ventura County jail records.

2 Killed, At Least 20 Wounded In Mass Shooting At Florida Concert
Two people were killed and up to 25 people wounded in a mass shooting at a concert early Sunday morning in Northwest Miami-Dade, officials say. One of those injured is in critical condition, according to police. The shooting started after midnight at a concert at a billiards hall in the 7600 block of Northwest 186th Street, an unincorporated area of the county west of Miami Gardens, Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez said. El Mula Banquet Hall had been rented out for the concert, police said. Some concert-goers were outside when a white Nissan Pathfinder pulled up, Ramirez said. Three unidentified people stepped out of the SUV with assault rifles and handguns and began shooting into the crowd. Two people were shot dead at the hall and 20 to 25 others suffered gunshot wounds. One of the injured is in critical condition. "We believe this is a targeted act of gun violence," Ramirez said.
The Miami Herald

Public Safety News

LAFD Knocks Down House Fire In West Hills, One Injured
Firefighters knocked down a house fire in West Hills that left one person hurt. The fire inside a 1,675-square-foot one-story home at 6531 N. Kentland Ave. was reported at 8:22 p.m., Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said. One person suffered unspecified injuries and was likely to be transported to a hospital for treatment, Humphrey said. There was no immediate word on the age or gender of the victim. The department dispatched 26 firefighters to the scene and extinguished the flames in 21 minutes, Humphrey said. The cause of the fire remained under investigation, he said.

Evicted From Echo Park, He Wanted To Bring A Homeless Camp To Griffith Park. Things Got Messy
Six weeks ago, Los Angeles city park rangers descended on a small group of tents in Griffith Park, arresting a homeless man and at least two community activists who had gone there to show their support. Park rangers said they took that step because camping poses a major fire risk in Griffith Park, and because the group refused to take down their tents, which are prohibited by law in city parks. The group was taken into custody even though an aide to Councilwoman Nithya Raman showed up and asked the rangers not to make arrests. The Griffith Park incident drew scant attention at the time, particularly when compared with the uproar that greeted the city's decision to clear a massive encampment at Echo Park Lake in March. But it has emerged as yet another source of conflict over the city's handling of its recreation areas during a huge homelessness crisis. Since the confrontation, homeowners in Los Feliz have contacted Raman's office to express their fears about the fire danger posed by encampments in Griffith Park, which had a massive blaze in 2007 that triggered evacuations and burned hundreds of acres.
Los Angeles Times

L.A. County Fire Officials Urge Against Fireworks Amid Elevated Fire Conditions
With Southern California expected to see elevated fire conditions this week, the Los Angeles County Fire Department is on high alert. The department is gearing up with pre-deployed strike teams as forecasters predict hot, dry and windy conditions in the interior valleys, mountains and deserts throughout the week. And on a holiday in which many people flock to the outdoors and host barbecues, fire officials are urging against any activities that can spark a fire. “We want to really, really impress on people. Please, no fireworks,” L.A. County Fire Department spokesman Jonathan Matheny said. “It is not legal to use fireworks of any kind. It is not advised for them to do any kind of lighting of anything outside, other than a grill they can be cooking on.” Brush fires can ignite easily and spread quickly in these fire conditions, and the Fire Department's crews are ready to quickly respond to any blazes that ignite. But if winds are strong, the firefight can be difficult. “The forces that combine to make the conditions for a potential brush fire are beginning to line up,” Matheny said.

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: