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

July 20, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Man Found Fatally Wounded In South Los Angeles
A man was found mortally wounded in the Vermont Square area of Los Angeles, authorities said Monday. Officers responded at 11:23 p.m. Sunday to a report of a shooting at 48th and Hoover streets, according to a desk officer at the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Center. Paramedics took the man to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the officer said. No suspect information was available.

Man Shoots, Kills Valley Glen Neighbor Over Loud Music, Police Say
A 66-year-old man shot his neighbor to death early Saturday morning in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Valley Glen because his music was too loud, authorities said. Onik Derhovansian has been arrested on suspicion of murder in the slaying of 35-year-old Eduard Avetisyan. According to the LAPD, the shooting occurred at 2:40 a.m. Saturday at an apartment complex in the 6800 block of Coldwater Canyon Avenue. The victim lived above Derhovansian and the two men had been in a “heated” dispute over loud music, police reported in a news release. Derhovansian told Avetisyan to come down to his apartment, and when Avetisyan did, Derhovansian shot him several times, police said. Officers arrived to find Avetisyan dead at the scene. Derhovansian remained on scene and was arrested. The exact details of the dispute which lead up to the killing were unclear.

Interview With LAPD's Chief Michel Moore On Recruitment Efforts And Issues Facing The Department
LAPD Chief Michel Moore discusses how the department's current recruitment process differs from years passed. 
NBC 4 Video

Public's Help Sought To ID Hit-and-Run Driver In ‘Speed Contest' That Resulted In Death Of 59-Year-Old Pedestrian
Police are asking for the public's help to find the driver of a Kia who fatally struck a pedestrian while allegedly racing at least two other cars in the Vermont Vista neighborhood of South Los Angeles on Sunday. The crash occurred around 8:25 a.m. when the driver of a 2021 dark gray Kia k5 was “engaged in a speed contest” with at least two other vehicles, the LAPD said in a news release. Police said the racing vehicles were traveling southbound on Figueroa Street at 89th Street when the driver of the Kia collided with a 59-year-old man who was walking eastbound in an unmarked crosswalk. The driver of the Kia k5 is accused of fleeing the scene without stopping to help the pedestrian. The drivers of the other two racing vehicles also fled the scene, police said. The man, whose name was not released pending notification to his family, was taken to Harbor UCLA Medical Center where he later died from his injuries. Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact Detective Keith Gonzales or Officer Carol Mitchell of the South Traffic Division at 323-421-2500.

LAPD Chief Says Weight Miscalculation Likely Led To Massive Fireworks Blast in South LA Los Angeles
Police Chief Michel Moore issued an apology Monday for a fireworks explosion in a South L.A. neighborhood last month which injured 17 people and damaged several homes. He also revealed that bomb squad technicians likely miscalculated the weight of the explosives that were placed in the truck. Moore gave the apology Monday morning outside LAPD headquarters at a news conference held with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “I want to personally express my apologies to every resident, business operator and customer that was traumatically impacted by this incident,” Moore said. The botched explosion occurred on the night of June 30 at East 27th and San Pedro streets. The LAPD had discovered about 32,000 pounds of illegal fireworks at a nearby home and arrested a 27-year-old man who lived there. Moore said the illegal fireworks included about 200 M-80 style explosives. Ten pounds of the illegal fireworks – which were deemed too dangerous to travel with — were placed in a specialized armored truck designed for controlled detonations. However, what was supposed to be a controlled detonation instead turned into a massive explosion. Ten LAPD officers, one ATF officer and six civilians were hurt.

Police Chase Suspect Takes Smoke Break Before Surrendering To LAPD
A chase suspect is in custody after leading police on a chase and a bizarre standoff in the Exposition Park area Monday night. The Los Angeles Police Department was chasing the suspect driver across Los Angeles before the pickup truck stopped at an intersection near USC. After a brief standoff, the driver was once again on the move, extending the police chase. The suspect eventually stopped the pickup truck for good in the Exposition Park area. But before surrendering himself to police, he took a quick smoke break with the driver's side door open. The pickup truck driver was initially wanted for robbery. Officials did not specify what robbery he was being connected to. 
FOX 11

Van Nuys Man Gets 8 Months In Prison For Counterfeiting Driver's Licenses, Passports And Other Documents
A San Fernando Valley man was sentenced Monday to eight months in federal prison for participating in a document-trafficking ring that created and sold counterfeit United States passport cards, Social Security cards, driver's licenses and other documents. Nestor Perez, 32, of Van Nuys, pleaded guilty in April to one count each of conspiracy to produce, transfer and possess false identification documents, and producing false identification documents. Two co-defendants were sentenced last week in the case.Carlos A. Hernandez, 44, of Granada Hills, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison and Miguel J. Guerrero, 23, of Van Nuys, was sentenced to a year and eight months behind bars, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The three men admitted their roles in the five-year scheme in which they worked to produce false identification documents that appeared to have been issued by the United States government, and driver's licenses purporting to be from multiple states, including California, Wyoming and Pennsylvania, according to prosecutors.
Los Angeles Daily News

Family Asks For Help In Finding Missing 24-Year-Old With Depression
The family of Jack Stein, a 24-year-old man from Minnesota, was asking for the public's help in finding him after he went missing on July 13 at about 7:45 p.m. Stein, who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder, was last seen on the 3700 block of Kanan Rd., in Agoura Hills. Stein was described by the authorities as a “male Caucasian, 6'03”, and 180 lbs with blue eyes and strawberry-blonde hair.” He was last seen wearing a navy blue hooded sweatshirt with the words “Tommy Hilfiger” down the arm, black shorts, and a gray t-shirt. According to the LA Sheriff's Department, he also has a sparrow bird tattoo on the right upper thigh and circle tattoos on his chest. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Missing Person Unit, Detective S. Rincon at (323) 890-5500.

Bodies Found In Wrecked Car In Angeles National Forest Identified As Missing Teenage Couple
Two bodies found earlier this month in the wreckage of an SUV that plunged hundreds of feet off a cliff in the Angeles National Forest have been identified as a missing teenage couple, officials say. A coroner's report identified the bodies as those of Ethan Manzano and Sophie Rayanne Edwards, both 19. The crash site is about 20 miles from where the young couple was last seen on July 1. Sheriff's officials said the vehicle was spotted at about 5:20 p.m. on July 6 near mile marker 72 of the Angeles Crest Highway, near Dawson Saddle Trail. Chad Keel, a Wrightwood resident who was helping search for the missing couple, told reporters he was operating the drone that spotted the wreckage and volunteers contacted the sheriff's department. The couple were in a silver 2007 Isuzu Ascender driven by Manzano, sheriff's Deputy Shawn Du Busky said. Some of the couple's belongings were also spotted near the crashed vehicle, which was found about 1,300 to 1,500 feet below the roadway, partially obscured by brush.

29 Women Say San Pedro Suspect In Kristin Smart's Death Abused Them
More than two dozen women described disturbing and dangerous encounters — including sexual assaults while they were semi-conscious and felt drugged — with the man charged with killing missing California college student Kristin Smart. Incidents with Paul Flores ranged from creepy stalking to unwanted touching to aggressive sexual behavior to, more recently, being drugged and raped after meeting him at bars, according to a document unsealed Wednesday in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court. Flores was referred to as “Chester the molester” and “psycho Paul,” former fellow college students said. The summary of the case by Deputy District Attorney Christopher Peuvrelle was part of a failed effort to add two rape counts to the criminal complaint charging Paul Flores, 44, with murder in Smart's death. His father, Ruben Flores, is charged as an accessory after murder over allegedly helping dispose of her body. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Los Angeles Daily News

Chicago Man, Jerome Terry Jr., Pleads Guilty In LA Sex Trafficking Scheme
A Chicago man pleaded guilty on Monday to federal sex trafficking that led to Los Angeles. 45-year-old Jerome Terry Jr. admitted to luring young women to L.A. and elsewhere, saying that they would be able to promote their modeling careers but instead making them victims of sex trafficking. The alleged incidents happened around 2014. Terry was operating under the purported modeling management company CanadianGirlzRock Inc. to lure the women. He is charged with one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Terry has been in federal custody since his extradition from Canada in 2019. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 25 in Los Angeles federal court. If convicted as charged, he faces between seven and 15 years in prison.

TikTok Tips Help Catch Compton Murder Suspect In Mexico Resort Town
Susana Salas is broken. Her daughter, 19-year old Daisy De La O, was stabbed to death outside the family's Compton apartment in February. Salas says Daisy had broken up with her ex-boyfriend, 25-year old Victor Sosa, about a month before her murder, at least in part due to some alleged physical abuse. Salas says Sosa texted Daisy that February night and convinced her to come outside. "I'll be back, OK, I won't take long, I promise," Salas remembers Daisy saying. "Those were her last words my baby girl told me. She left, she never came back." The next day Salas got a call from homicide detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. She rushed home. Daisy's body was still at the scene. Victor Sosa was the immediate suspect, but he was in the wind. LASD detectives tracked every lead. Meanwhile, friends of Daisy launched their own campaign to find Sosa on TikTok and Instagram. The tip that cracked the case? Someone recognized Sosa from the friends' social media campaign and spotted him working at the Rosarito bar and nightclub Papas & Beer. Sosa was arrested on July 2 and was returned to Los Angeles to face charges. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Colton Man Linked To Thefts Of Catalytic Converters In Los Angeles, San Bernardino, And Riverside Counties
San Bernardino County sheriff's investigators have arrested a man who they say went on a catalytic converter-stealing spree in San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties. The investigation began on May 26 when a woman came out of a store in Rancho Cucamonga and saw a man underneath her car attempting to cut off its catalytic converter. He fled in a green BMW X5, a sheriff's news release on Thursday said. Investigators got the license plate of the car and traced it to a motel in Colton, where on Wednesday they found Juan Carlos Espino Lopez, 38. Investigators found in his car a reciprocating saw and a jack, items often used to steal the converters, the release said. Investigators then linked Lopez to the additional thefts, including 10 in Rancho Cucamonga, the release said. He was arrested on suspicion of grand theft, attempted grand theft and possession of burglary tools. 
Los Angeles Daily News

SoCal Movie Producer Charged With Operating International Prostitution Service
A California movie producer was arrested Thursday on a New York indictment accusing him of using a movie production company to operate an international prostitution business. Dillon Jordan, 49, of Arrowhead Lake, California, was arrested in San Bernardino County, California. At an initial court appearance in Riverside, California, Jordan appeared by video and was ordered released on $150,000 bail. A message seeking comment was sent to his attorney, Peter Swarth. “For years, Dillon Jordan operated an extensive and far-reaching prostitution business through two front companies — a purported party and event planning company and an actual movie production company,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a release. “Now the party is over and the film is a wrap.” Jordan is listed among dozens of producers on films including the 2018 film “The Kindergarten Teacher,” which featured Maggie Gyllenhaal, and the 2019 movie “The Kid,” which starred Ethan Hawke.

2 Bay Area Men Charged With Plotting To Blow Up California Democratic Headquarters, Twitter Offices
Ian Benjamin Rogers had five illegal pipe bombs and nearly 50 weapons at his home and shop in California's wine country, a "ThreePercenters" bumper sticker on his vehicle, a "white privilege card" at his house, and text messages that led federal prosecutors to charge him with conspiring to firebomb the state Democratic Party headquarters in Sacramento. His attorney admits his client is in serious trouble, but said Friday that the alleged plot was nothing more than drunken talk between two buddies inflamed by the defeat of former president Donald Trump. "Firebombing your perceived political opponents is illegal and does not nurture the sort of open and vigorous debate that created and supports our constitutional democracy," U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds said in announcing the unsealing of an indictment Thursday in San Francisco federal court. Also charged is Jarrod Copeland, 37, of nearby Vallejo, who was arrested Wednesday and for whom no attorney is yet listed. Rogers, 45, has been in custody on related state charges since mid-January, when the FBI in an affidavit said he sent text messages that agents interpreted as threats against the offices of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and social media companies Facebook and Twitter.
FOX 11

Chicago Police Announces New Team
To Get Illegal Guns Off The Street Chicago police Superintendent David Brown on Monday announced the department has expanded its firearm investigation efforts, separate from a federal strategy unveiled by President Joe Biden's administration. The Police Department announced that a dedicated 50-person unit, which started work over the weekend and consists of already-existing teams of cops, will go after illegal gun traffickers. This includes straw purchasers — those who buy guns for people not allowed to own them — and “unscrupulous” licensed firearm dealers, according to Brown. The department will also focus on people who have guns even though their state-issued firearm owner's identification cards have been revoked, he said. Brown said the new effort, first organized in the spring, will “complement” the federal gun-trafficking strike forces announced last month by the Biden administration, which will include groups of agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and will work in several cities including Chicago.
Chicago Tribune

Public Safety News

Firefighter Suffers Minor Injury Battling 15-Acre Fire In Topanga Amid Summer Scorcher
A brush fire scorched about 15 acres in Topanga Monday, initially threatening some structures before fire crews got the upper hand on the blaze, but one firefighter suffered an unspecified minor injury. The fire was originally reported in about a half-acre of brush around 2:50 p.m. in the area of Tuna Canyon Road and Las Flores Heights Road, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The department deployed firefighting aircraft to douse the blaze, which grew to about seven acres by about 3:40 p.m., and 15 acres an hour later. Although structures were initially reported to be threatened, fire crews quickly erected lines around the blaze, diminishing the structural threat. By 5 p.m., forward progress of the fire had been stopped. Aside from the one firefighter, no other injuries were reported, and no structures were damaged. Tuna Canyon Road between Pacific Coast Highway and Saddle Peak Road was closed to accommodate the firefight. There was no immediate word on how long the stretch would remain blocked. 

Firefighters Extinguish ‘Greater-Alarm' Blaze In Vacant Downtown Church
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded Monday to a fire in a vacant two-story church located at 1742 S. Trinity St. downtown. Fire crews responded to reports of the blaze around 3:30 p.m. The fire was upgraded to “greater-alarm” status shortly after crews arrived due to two adjacent commercial buildings being threatened by the flames. LAFD was able to extinguish the fire in approximately one hour. Reporting from Sky9, CBSLA's Desmond Shaw said that firefighters had to take a defensive posture while fighting the blaze because of serious structural damage to the church. So far, no injuries have been reported.

L.A. County Seeing ‘Significant Increase' In COVID-19 Hospitalizations Each Day
Los Angeles County has seen a “significant increase” of COVID-19 hospitalizations each day, with test positivity up 10-fold since all sectors were allowed to fully reopen June 15, health officials reported Monday. There are currently 525 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the region, while a week ago, the number stood at 372, officials detailed. By comparison, there were just 218 people hospitalized with the illness the day of California's full reopening. Coronavirus cases have increased 700% since that date, and officials are beginning to see the corresponding increases in hospitalizations, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Test positivity went from 0.4% on June 15 to 4.1% reported Monday. The alarming and ongoing increase led officials last week to reinstate the mask mandate in the region, requiring residents wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. 

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: