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 27, 2021
Law Enforcement News

A California Sheriff's Deputy Has Died And Another Is Injured After They Were Shot During
A Standoff A sheriff's deputy was shot and killed and a second deputy was wounded during a standoff at a California home Sunday afternoon, authorities said. “While reporting to a standoff here in Wasco, one of our brave Kern County Sheriff's Deputies was killed-in-action and one other was shot and wounded,” Wasco Mayor Alex Garcia said in a statement. Deputies responded to a home after receiving calls of a possible shooting and potentially people wounded in the residence at around 1 p.m. PT, Lt. Joel Swanson with the Kern County Sheriff's Office said during a press briefing following the shooting. The suspect began shooting from inside the home as soon as police arrived, but the deputies took cover and were not struck at that time, according to Swanson. A SWAT team was called and the neighborhood was put on lockdown as law enforcement attempted to approach the house just before 3 p.m., Swanson said. As they approached, the suspect again opened fire and struck the two deputies, the lieutenant said.
Mercury News

Suspect accused in murder of Rite Aid employee in Glassell Heights in custody
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the alleged shooter accused in the murder of Miguel Peñaloza, 36, turned himself into the LAPD Central Community Police Station on Monday night. The alleged suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was booked into Metropolitan Detention Center on $2 million bail.
Fox 11

Man Wounded In Watts Drive-By Shooting A 47-year-old man was wounded Saturday evening in a drive-by shooting in the Watts area of Los Angeles. The shooting was reported just after 7 p.m. at 115th Street and Mona Boulevard, according to a desk officer at the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Center. The man was walking down the street when a man in a car drove up and fired multiple rounds from a gun, striking him. Paramedics took the wounded man to a hospital, where his vital signs were stable, the desk officer said. Further information was not immediately available, he said.

Panorama City Man Convicted Of Murdering Wife With Machete
A Panorama City man was convicted Friday of murdering his wife with a machete in an attack caught on surveillance video. Jurors deliberated about two hours before finding David Ernesto Rodriguez, now 38, guilty of first-degree murder for the June 22, 2019, attack on his 32-year-old wife, Karla, in the courtyard of the apartment complex, according to Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer. “You can see the whole murder on video,” the prosecutor said. Rodriguez then forced his way into the neighbors' apartment and attacked the man, who lost an eye and suffered injuries to his nose and arm, Kramer said. The man's wife and then 17-year-old son were also injured when they tried to intervene. Along with the murder, Rodriguez was convicted of one count each of attempted murder, mayhem and burglary and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Jurors acquitted the defendant of a second mayhem charge — this one involving the teenager. The prosecutor said there was no evidence presented to support Rodriguez's claim that he believed his wife was having some form of relationship with the adult male neighbor.
Los Angeles Daily News

Homeless Advocate Arrested On Suspicion Of Selling Meth, PCP In Venice
A self-proclaimed homeless advocate has been arrested on suspicion of dealing drugs to the local Venice homeless population in close proximity to the Venice Bridge Home, authorities said Saturday. Investigators from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Narcotics Bureau served two search warrants Thursday at a tent near Third and Rose avenues and a home in the Venice area and arrested 65-year-old Gary Featherstone on suspicion of possession of PCP for sale and possession of methamphetamine for sale. The LASD said more than $15,000 in cash was also recovered. Authorities said Featherstone operated a tent on Third Avenue, where he sold sodas, candy, beverages and other snacks to the local homeless population. His “Homeless Enterprise” is registered with city of Los Angeles' Finance Department. “Investigators conducted hours of surveillance of Featherstone and saw him complete several hand-to-hand narcotics transactions,” sheriff's officials said in a statement. “Featherstone masquerades as a homeless outreach advocate while supplying homeless individuals with narcotics.” Featherstone was released later Thursday. He is due in court Monday.
Los Angeles Daily News

Police Shoot, Kill Man Holding Woman At Knife-Point In West Los Angeles Area: LAPD
Police fatally shot someone who they say was threatening a woman with a large kitchen knife in a West Los Angeles-area apartment Monday morning, according to authorities. The incident unfolded after officers were called out to a report of a burglary suspect inside an apartment with someone screaming in distress shortly after dawn in the Sawtelle neighborhood, Los Angeles Police Department officials said in a series of tweets. Officers responded around 5:55 a.m. to the 3700 block of Barry Avenue, where they encountered a man who “had an elderly female at knife point,” according to LAPD. Police at some point opened fire on the knife-wielding man, who was pronounced dead at the scene. It was not immediately clear how many times he was struck by the gunfire. Authorities have not released the assailant's name, but said he was somehow related to the woman. The knife was recovered at the scene, officials added. Investigators believe the man was trying to force the woman to drive him somewhere else. She was not injured during the incident, nor were responding officers. An investigation is underway into the deadly police shooting and no additional details about the incident have been released.

Dashcam Captures Man Throwing Metal Rod At Driver On Los Angeles Freeway
Dramatic dashcam video showed a man on the side of the road tossing a metal rod into oncoming traffic over the weekend. A woman and her mother were inside the car when they were trying to merge in the northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway from the eastbound 10 Freeway in East Los Angeles Saturday. The man, seen in the bottom-left corner of the video threw the object, cracking the windshield. No one was hurt in the scary incident.
FOX 11

Woman, 52, Reported Missing In Lynwood
Authorities Monday circulated a photo of a woman with schizophrenia, seizures and multiple sclerosis who went missing in Lynwood over the weekend. Emelda Bejorano, 52, was last seen about 3 p.m. Saturday near the 3500 block of Imperial Highway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Bejorano is Hispanic, 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds, with short gray hair and green eyes. She was wearing a dark-colored shirt and khaki pants. Anyone with information on her whereabouts was asked to contact the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at .

Kristin Smart Murder Suspect ‘Hunted Her,' Unsealed Documents Allege
Unsealed court documents in the 1996 Kristin Smart murder case include allegations of a discovery of human blood and witnesses who claim to have seen suspicious activity at the family home of the suspects including the fact that her alleged killer had been "hunting" her. On the night of the Cal Poly student's disappearance 25 years ago, a "hyperactive" Paul Flores, who also attended the university, spent the evening at an off-campus party hitting on the 19-year-old Smart and other women to the point one attendee warned her to "stay away from that guy," according to detailed witness accounts included in recently unsealed court documents, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reported. In addition to the account of that evening, the District Attorney's Office document notes that one of Smart's friends said it seemed Flores was "hunting" Smart and would lurk around her residence hall in the months leading up to her disappearance.
FOX 11

Alabama Officer Killed In Ambush Outside His Home; Woman Wounded
An Alabama police officer was shot to death early Tuesday and a woman was wounded in what a prosecutor described as an ambush. Selma Police Officer Marquis Moorer was on duty and went home to get a bite to eat when he was fatally shot at the apartment complex where he lived, Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson said. A woman believed to be his wife or girlfriend was wounded, he said. The officer was approached by someone outside and "ambushed," according to Jackson, who didn't provide additional details. Moorer was “an upstanding officer who took his job seriously,” Jackson said. He was credited with making the city's first heroin arrest in a decade in 2019, shortly after he joined the police force as a patrol officer. Authorities did not release the name of the woman who was shot. No arrests were made immediately, but state and Selma police were investigating, along with members of a drug task force.
Associated Press

Michigan K-9 Dies After Fiery Crash With DUI Suspect, Police Say
A suspected drunk driver slammed into a Michigan police SUV at high speed early Sunday before the car burst into flames, and the accident also resulted in the death of a K-9 officer. According to Michigan State Police, an officer used his vehicle, a Chevrolet Tahoe, to block all lanes of a freeway ramp to stop people from driving into a section of flooded roadway that had “been closed for several hours.” But at around 1:05 a.m., a sedan “traveling at freeway speed” crashed into the Tahoe, causing serious damage to the back side of the vehicle, MSP photos show. The black sedan, now a mangled mess, caught on fire, the trooper told dispatch in a call for help. Moments later, Detroit firefighters were at the scene and rescued the driver and two passengers in the sedan, according to MSP. All three occupants were taken to an area hospital, with injuries ranging from “serious” to “critical.” The K-9 handler had non-life threatening injuries to his legs, MSP said.
The Charlotte Observer

Watch: New York Cops, Passersby Lift Car Off Baby Pinned Beneath Drunk Driver's Car
This death-defying rescue was part miracle, part muscle. An 8-month-old infant, pinned beneath a drunken driver's car Friday after a horrifying 8:30 a.m. crash, escaped with her life when a pair of Yonkers police officers and bystanders dramatically lifted the damaged vehicle and rescued the crying baby, said Yonkers Police Commissioner John Mueller. A video showed accused drunken driver David Poncurak smashing into a parked car seconds before veering into the child's unsuspecting mom as she crossed the Yonkers street with the baby in her arms. The 2005 Hyundai Elantra, with the mother and daughter now on the hood of the car, plowed into a barber shop before screeching to a stop. Officers Paul Samoyedny and Rocco Fusco rushed inside from a neighboring bagel shop to lead the rescue effort before discovering the bawling infant was underneath the car and getting to work. The officers' body cameras showed Fusco leading the brigade lifting the car while his partner cleared debris off the ground and grabbed the baby during the dramatic rescue inside the Lake Ave. business.
New York Daily News

Public Safety News

Crews Battle Massive House Fire In East Hollywood
Crews are working to take down a massive house fire in East Hollywood Monday night. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call in the 1300 block of North Normandie Avenue a little after 8:30 p.m. The fire not only fully engulfed the home but is also threatening two nearby buildings, according to LAFD. As of Monday night, no injuries were reported in the large blaze. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
FOX 11

Coronavirus Hospitalizations Soar To More Than 800 In LA County; Another 1,966 Cases Posted
COVID-19 hospitalization numbers continued an unsettling upward climb in Los Angeles County on Monday, July 26, with state figures showing more than 800 people now being treated for the virus, more than double the number from just two weeks ago. According to the state, there were 825 people hospitalized due to COVID in the county, up from 745 the day prior. On July 12, there were only 372 people hospitalized in the county. There were 182 people in intensive care, up from 161 on Sunday, according to the state. The numbers, while increasing, are still well below the more than 8,000 people hospitalized during the winter surge. The county also reported another 1,966 COVID cases on Monday, a day on which numbers are traditionally lower due to reporting lags from the weekend. The new cases lifted the cumulative county total from throughout the pandemic to 1,285,771. Another four deaths due to COVID were also reported, raising the county's death toll to 24,631. Health officials have repeatedly blamed the recent surge in cases on the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Los Angeles Daily News

LA County COVID Hospitalizations Nearly Double In 2 Weeks, Health Officials Continue To Urge Vaccination
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Monday reported a near doubling of COVID-related hospitalizations in the past two weeks. There were currently 745 people with COVID-19 hospitalized — up from the 372 reported July 12 — an increase health officials said was driven by the Delta variant, low vaccination rates in certain communities and intermingling of unmasked individuals. Public Health said almost all of the COVID-19 patients hospitalized in L.A. County were unvaccinated, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that more than 97% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients since January have not been fully vaccinated. L.A. County also reported 1,966 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths, bringing the countywide total to 1,285,771 positive cases and 24,631 deaths. The numbers are often lower on Mondays due to reporting lags from the weekend. The daily test positivity rate was 5.2%. 

Delta Variant Viral Load 1,000 Times Higher Than Original Coronavirus Strain
The fast-spreading delta variant of the novel coronavirus has been gaining traction worldwide since it was first detected in India, and now researchers may have an idea of why: Its viral load is 1,000 times higher than the original strain of the virus. The delta variant is a mutated version of the novel coronavirus that spreads more easily than other strains. It now accounts for an estimated 83% of COVID-19 cases in the United States as it continues to surge largely among unvaccinated populations, officials said. Viruses constantly mutate, and most changes aren't concerning. But there is a worry that some variants might evolve enough to be more contagious, cause more severe illness or evade the protection that vaccines provide. A recent  study  published on July 7 and led by Chinese epidemiologist Jing Lu at the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Guangzhou, China shed light on why the delta variant is of grave concern to the world's health care system and why it is more transmissible than other mutations. 
FOX 11

Local Government News

‘Well Past Time': L.A. Politicians Want COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate For City Workers
A growing number of Los Angeles politicians want to require city workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as infection numbers have resurged, a step already announced in New York, San Francisco and Pasadena. “It is well past time that we act,” Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district stretches from Crenshaw to Koreatown, said Monday. The pandemic “is not retreating,” Ridley-Thomas said, “and the best defense to date are the vaccinations. So why wouldn't we do all that we can to avoid the calamity that we were confronted with no more than five months ago?” Ridley-Thomas said he planned to introduce a motion Wednesday directing city staffers to draw up a policy requiring all city employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Council President Nury Martinez said she had called for a special meeting this week of a council committee focused on employee relations to discuss a vaccine mandate for all L.A. city employees. “I support having all city workers vaccinated,” said Martinez, whose district includes the San Fernando Valley neighborhoods of Arleta, Sun Valley and Panorama City.
Los Angeles Times

LA County Board Of Supervisors To Vote On Guaranteed Income Pilot Program For Young People
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is slated to vote on a motion Tuesday that would launch a guaranteed income pilot program for young people ages 18 to 24. The three-year program would provide 150 people with $1,204 a month. The money would be broken down into $1,000 in general income and $204 in CalFresh, the state program that provides low-income California residents money to purchase food. “We have the blueprint to launch a guaranteed basic income program among a sample population that has not only been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but has historically faced economic and social inequities,” L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, who co-authored the motion, said in a statement Monday. Participants will be selected from those who are already receive General Relief benefits through the L.A. County Department of Public Social Services and are part of the department's TAYportunity 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: