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

August 30, 2021
Law Enforcement News

L.A. Cut The Police Budget, Then Put $47 Million In Overtime On The City's ‘Credit Card'
Faced with massive demonstrations over the murder of George Floyd, the Los Angeles City Council took a dramatic and symbolic step last year, cutting $150 million from the Police Department's budget and promising to put that money into other social services. Council members found much of the savings by slashing the funding available for LAPD overtime. But before they did, they received a warning: Many officers would end up working overtime anyway, and if there wasn't enough money to pay them, those hours would wind up on the city's so-called credit card. The predictions, as it turned out, were spot on. During the budget year that ended June 30, LAPD officers worked more than 680,000 overtime hours for which they have not yet been compensated, according to figures provided to The Times by the LAPD and the city's financial analysts. Those hours, currently valued at $47.3 million, represent nearly a third of last year's cut to the LAPD. When those officers get paid, potentially years in the future, the cost will almost certainly be more expensive, said Dustin DeRollo, spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents rank-and-file LAPD officers. That's because that delayed overtime must be paid at an officer's most recent salary, which is typically higher than when they worked the hours, because of pay increases or other factors. “There's an increased cost to taxpayers, because they'll be paying out those overtime hours at a higher rate later on,” DeRollo said. Los Angeles Times

Between Defund And Defend, L.A. Tries New Tactics, Bigger Budget For Cops
Movie night was about to start at a park on the city's south side when four police officers approached Tyrice Cagle. “Just let us know what you need,” a cop told him. After running afoul of authorities as a gang member in his youth, Cagle has dedicated himself to discouraging crime as a community intervention worker. On this night, as the smell of pork ribs and salmon wafted from a nearby grill, he directed the officers to stand guard at the park's perimeter and act as a backstop for him and his civilian colleagues, who would serve as the first line of defense if trouble arose. It was a quick, friendly exchange, and one that embodies recent efforts by the city to invest in new strategies when it comes to urban policing. In the days after George Floyd's death last year at the hands of Minneapolis police, thousands here rallied in the streets calling for change in a department scarred by a history of police brutality. At one point, protesters chanted “defund police” outside Mayor Eric Garcetti's home, prompting him to backtrack from a planned increase in the police budget. Instead, he cut department funding by $150 million and invested much of the money in communities of color, including the intervention program in which Cagle participates. Yet more than a year after Floyd's killing, Los Angeles' commitment to that reform is being tested. Amid a budget crisis late last year, the city considered laying off nearly 1,000 officers. But as crime rose and federal pandemic relief funds came in, the mayor increased the Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD) budget 3% in April. And the new head of the civilian oversight board said last month that the city needed more officers amid a surge in homicides. The LAPD argues otherwise. It says it's down more than 500 sworn, deployed officers — from 9,958 to 9,401 — since Floyd's death, a staffing level that union spokesman Tom Saggau called “wholly inadequate.” PBS

Man Killed In Drive-By Shooting
A man was killed Saturday in a drive-by shooting in the Central-Alameda area of Los Angeles. The shooting was reported at 4:14 p.m. in front of 1742 E. 41st Place, according to Officer D. Orris of the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Center. The 20-year-old man was standing in front of the residence when shots were fired from a vehicle that drove up to him, Orris said. More than one suspect was believed inside the vehicle. Paramedics took the victim to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, the officer said. The shooting was believed gang related, he said. About 30 minutes earlier, another suspected gang-related homicide of a 20-year-old occurred, but was roughly 50 blocks away, in Watts, and there was no indication that the two were related.

Widows Of LAPD Employees Killed By COVID-19 Encourage Vaccinations In Department Video
Even after her spouse and fellow Los Angeles Police Department employee Raymond Guerrero died of COVID-19 in January, Debra Guerrero wasn't quite sure about getting the vaccine. She'd had the virus, too, and been pretty sick, but she wanted to see further testing of the vaccine before getting the jab. Then their two daughters, who had just lost their 51-year-old father, changed her mind. “Every time I would cough or get a cold, my children would worry that I was going to get sick and die,” said Guerrero, a police service representative for the last 20 years. “When your daughter looks you in the face and tells you, ‘You're the only parent I have left,' it's very gut-wrenching.” Guerrero said she now encourages everyone in the department to consider getting vaccinated. “I would just encourage people to think it over if you have not received it, because we're going through another wave of COVID, and if there's something that you're able to do that's going to help you pull through and maybe not have to experience something like this — there's something you can do to help you survive this because this is such a new illness and virus — then I would suggest trying to get the vaccine,” Guerrero said through tears. Guerrero's account was one of three featured in a “Vaccine Update” video that the LAPD issued to the entire department, urging members to carefully consider getting vaccinated. Los Angeles Times

Sexual Predator Wanted For Breaking Into Westwood Home, Groping Sleeping Woman
Police are asking for the public's help in finding a sexual predator accused of breaking into a woman's home and then groping the woman in her sleep. The Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call of a bed intruder in the 11000 block of Strathmore Drive in Westwood around 4 a.m. Friday. The woman told police she woke up to a man – described as a white man in his mid-to-late 20s – standing over her. The man then groped the woman over her clothes before she jumped up and pushed him out of the apartment, the victim told LAPD. The suspect is also described as having brown hair and short facial hair. He is listed at 5-foot-10 with a medium-heavy build, LAPD was told. LAPD is asking anyone with evidence or tips on the suspect's identity to come forward as soon as possible. Anyone with information on the alleged sexual predator is asked to call 213-473-0447. FOX 11

Man Arrested In South L.A. Fireworks Explosion Is Set To Plead Guilty, Feds Say
The man whose fireworks the LAPD blew up two months ago in a massive South L.A. explosion that injured 17 people is expected to plead guilty Monday to unlicensed transport of explosives from Nevada to California, authorities say. Arturo Ceja III, 26, was storing about 16 tons of fireworks in the backyard of his family's house on East 27th Street near San Pedro Street when Los Angeles police discovered the arsenal June 30 after getting a tip about suspected illegal sales, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. An LAPD bomb squad deemed some of the fireworks unsafe for transport, so officers detonated some of them in an armored black containment vehicle. But they underestimated the fireworks' weight and potency and set off an explosion that destroyed 22 residential properties, 13 businesses and 37 vehicles, including the containment truck, according to police. Ceja told ATF he had bought the fireworks at a dealership called Area 51 in Pahrump, Nev., and had taken them to L.A. in rented vans and trucks over six or seven trips, according to the government. Federal authorities charged Ceja on July 2 with one count of unlicensed transport of explosives. Los Angeles Times

Suspect Surrenders Following Early Morning Pursuit In South LA
Authorities were in pursuit of a stolen vehicle in South Los Angeles early Monday morning. The four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry, was seen traveling at high speeds through neighborhoods as the suspect drove erratically through the area. The pursuit came to an end once the suspect lost control of the vehicle and hit a curb outside a home located on East 106th Street in Watts just after 5:15 a.m. He then jumped over a fence and hid from officers with the Los Angeles Police Department. After hiding beneath a truck at the property, the suspect surrendered to authorities by 5:30 p.m. where he was taken into custody. No further information was immediately released.  FOX 11

Man Arrested For Boarding Parked Plane At LAX After Breaching Airfield, Airport Police Say
A man was arrested Sunday morning at Los Angeles International Airport for boarding a parked American Airlines plane after he breached the airfield by using a pipe to pry open a fence, according to airport police. Police said the man walked into the aircraft around 4:45 a.m. as a crew was cleaning it. When the crew saw him, they held him down until officers arrived to make an arrest. The suspect allegedly used a pipe to open the bottom of a perimeter fence and squeezed underneath it to trespass onto the airfield. The man, who police described as homeless, was arrested for trespassing and was taken in for a psychiatric evaluation. American Airlines said in a statement the plane has since been re-inspected by security teams. Airport officials say operations were not impacted by the incident.  ABC 7

Columbian Woman, 35, Reported Missing Near The Grove While Visiting LA
Police Friday were searching for a 35-year-old Colombian woman who went missing while visiting Los Angeles. Karen Mendoza Ruiz was last seen on Sunday evening near The Grove, in the Fairfax District, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement. Ruiz is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds, with hazel eyes and blonde hair with brown roots. She was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt, blue jeans, black shoes and a black scarf with floral print. Ruiz speaks only Spanish and was last seen on foot without a phone, ID or money. Anyone with information on her whereabouts was asked to contact the LAPD Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800. Calls made during non-business hours or on weekends can be directed to 877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at .

Push To Make South LA Streets Safer
The streets of South LA have long had high numbers of car crashes, but during the pandemic, traffic collisions and DUI related collisions are up, all at a time when traffic itself decreased. From the porch of her South LA church, Mt. Salem New Wave Christian Fellowship Church, Pastor Patricia Strong-Fargas has a front row seat to something she doesn't want to see. “We have a serious issue here, we have people dying here, we have people seriously injured here,” she said. During the pandemic, traffic collisions have increased more than 40% and DUI related collisions are up 56%. Damian Kevitt has been an advocate for safer streets since 2013, when he lost a leg as the result of a hit-and-run. He is the founder of Streets Are For Everyone (SAFE.) “South LA is not designed for the needs of the community, in terms of the streets and engineering. It's designed for speed,” he said. “Re-engineering streets and doing things to make the streets safer and protect lives, it requires community support and political will.” He has the support of Pastor Patricia who worked for 10 years to make this street safer for her congregation and those of two other churches on this intersection. “Four people in the past two years have been killed on Central Ave,” she said. They finally got the city to put up pedestrian crossing signs just before the pandemic hit, but even with them, there've been several accidents at this intersection, including Thursday night. NBC 4

Missing 15-Year-Old Mission Viejo Girl With Cerebral Palsy Found With Texas Man In LA Motel
Authorities located a 15-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who had gone missing after communicating with a man on the messaging application Discord. Phoebe Carreon went missing from Mission Viejo High School at about noon Thursday, after getting into a rideshare vehicle with a 22-year-old Nathan Williams whom she met online, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Investigators discovered she had been communicating via Discord with the Williams, who traveled from Texas just to meet her. Phoebe has cerebral palsy and walks with a distinctive gait that authorities described as pigeon-toe from left to right. Orange County sheriff's investigators located Carreon in a Los Angeles motel with Williams. CBS 2

Criminal Case Involving Dodgers' Trevor Bauer Sex Assault Allegations With The LA County District Attorney's Office The Pasadena Police Department provided the results of their 14-week investigation into Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher Trevor Bauer to the L.A. County District Attorney's office on Friday. The investigation presented to the D.A. is the first step in what could lead to potential criminal charges against Bauer. The evidence from the investigation is now in the hands of the District Attorney's office, and they will now determine whether or not to file charges against Bauer. Bauer is accused of assaulting a San Diego woman during two different sexual encounters on April 21 and May 16, at the pitcher's home in Pasadena. The accuser says Bauer choked her until she lost consciousness, and then began punching her in the face, buttocks, and genital area during sexual intercourse. According to the woman's declaration attached to the request for the protection order, she suffered injuries as a result of the second encounter, including two black eyes, a bloodied swollen lip, significant bruising and scratching to one side of her face. Bauer has said through representatives that everything that happened between him and the woman was consensual, noting two text messages reportedly from the accuser where she asked for "all the pain," and confirms she wanted to be choked into unconsciousness. NBC 4

Man Arrested After Running Into Someone's Glendale Home And Strangling Police K-9: Police
A man was arrested after he ran into a stranger's Glendale home and then strangled a police K-9 that was sent in after him earlier this week, police said Friday. It all started just after 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, when Glendale officers noticed a man looking into the windows of parked vehicles in the 1500 block of E. Colorado Street then enter a restricted motel area, Glendale Police Department officials said in a news release. Officers made contact with the man, later identified as 29-year-old Rodrigo Calderon of Glendale. They found that he could have warrants out for his arrest, and while they were working to confirm his identity, he took off running, according to police. Police chased Calderon on foot until he ran into a house on the 1500 block of Orange Grove Avenue. A resident then emerged from the home and told officers that a strange man had just ran into the house. Officers evacuated a second resident who was inside, leaving Calderon alone in the home. They tried ordering the man to come out, but he refused, police said. The K-9 Unit then released a police dog into the residence, followed by a search team. Officers then heard barking and yelling coming from one of the rooms inside the house. “Officers entered the room and saw that Calderon was on top of the K-9 with his arm around the K-9's neck, actively strangling the dog,” the Police Department said. “Officers gave Calderon orders to release the K-9, but he refused to comply. A taser was subsequently deployed and Calderon was taken into custody,” police said. KTLA 5

Compton Man Arrested In Connection With String Of Jewelry Store Robberies
A 32-year-old Compton man suspected of stealing more than $170,000 worth of jewelry in a string of robberies in downtown Los Angeles's Jewelry District was arrested Friday. Traquan Lavon Bell is suspected of robbing at least four jewelry stores in the 600 block of South Hill Street beginning on March 23 when he allegedly entered a store and snatched $31,075 worth of jewelry from the owner's hand, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement. Bell allegedly entered another jewelry store on the same block on June 23 and took a designer watch valued at $22,000 from the owner's hand. Police allege Bell entered two other stores on the same block on July 8 and Aug. 2 and stole jewelry valued at $40,000 and $77,170 respectively. Bell was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department units in Costa Mesa Friday and jailed without bail, according to a department statement. Police said they believe there may be additional robbery victims and asked for anyone with information to call LAPD Central Robbery Detectives at 213-996-1875. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

California LEO Dies Days After Head-On Crash
A Galt police officer who was involved in a vehicle crash last weekend as he and a partner were traveling to assist with the Caldor Fire has died, the department announced Friday morning. Officer Harminder Grewal died Thursday evening following a head-on collision Sunday morning on Highway 99, the Galt Police Department said in a social media post. Grewal had been hospitalized in intensive care since the incident, which also killed the driver of the other involved vehicle, identified as Manjot Singh Thind, 25, of Manteca. Grewal's partner, Officer Kapri Herrera, also suffered serious injuries and was in an ICU in "critical, but stable condition," the department said in an update earlier this week. Grewal, a 2 1/2-year department veteran, is survived by his mother, father and brother, the Police Department said. "He made the ultimate sacrifice while performing his duties as a public servant, responding to danger," the department wrote in a statement. "Officer Grewal took pride in serving his community and his work ethic was contagious to all who worked with him. His service to our community will never be forgotten." Sacramento Bee

2 Arrested In Fatal Shooting Of New Orleans Officer In Texas
Two men have been arrested in the fatal shooting of an off-duty New Orleans police officer during a holdup while he was dining at a Houston restaurant, police said Friday. Frederick D. Jackson, 19, and Anthony Rayshard Jenkins, 21, each has been charged with capital murder and attempted capital murder, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. Jail records do not list attorneys for them. New Orleans police Detective Everett Briscoe, 41, was killed in the Saturday shooting and his friend, Dyrin “DJ” Riculfy, 43, was shot and wounded. Houston police said Friday that Riculfy remained hospitalized in critical condition. “We are very pleased and thankful for the quick arrests made by the Houston Police Department in connection with the murder of Everett Briscoe," New Orleans Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said in a statement. "I want to thank Chief Troy Finner and this team for keeping us informed the whole way. As a man who dedicated his life to justice, Everett Briscoe will hopefully rest easier knowing individuals involved in his death will face theirs.” Briscoe and Riculfy were dining on the patio of the Grotto Ristorante when two men wearing hoodies approached them and tried to rob them, police said. One or more of the suspects then fired at the victims, striking them both. Associated Press

Public Safety News

Firefighter Injured While Battling Pallet Fire In Downtown Los Angeles
Firefighters Saturday battled an intense blaze consisting of wooden pallets in downtown Los Angeles. Fire crews responded at 3:15 a.m. to 1220 S. Mateo St. where they encountered a 100-foot x 100-foot outside area of stored wooden pallets on fire, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. It took 81 firefighters to extinguish the fire in 55 minutes, Humphrey said. A fire captain suffered an ankle injury during the firefight and was taken to a local hospital in fair condition, Humphrey said. No other injuries were reported. A section of Caltrans railing serving the nearby westbound Santa Monica (10) Freeway was disfigured by the fire but no other structures were damaged, authorities said. The cause of the fire is under investigation. CBS 2

One Person Found Dead Inside Brentwood Home That Burned
One person was found dead inside a Brentwood home that caught fire Sunday evening. The house fire in the home at 13325 W. Westcove Drive was reported at 7:04 p.m., said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. While conducting a search inside the home, firefighters discovered on person deceased, Stewart said. The age and gender of the person was not immediately available. The department sent 26 firefighters to the scene and extinguished the flames in under 20 minutes, Stewart said. The LAFD's Arson and Counter-Terrorism unit also responded to the scene, Stewart said. No other injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remained under investigation.

LA County Records 2,232 New COVID-19 Cases; 5 Additional Deaths
Authorities on Sunday reported an additional 2,232 new COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County. The confirmed cases were part of a continuing surge of coronavirus cases as a result of the high transmissible Delta variant. Of those infected, 1,692 people were currently hospitalized with COVID-19. An additional five new deaths were reported. Of particular concern, public health officials last week said they were seeing a trend in rising case rates among children who aren't eligible yet to receive the vaccine. “Case, hospitalization and death rates are higher among unvaccinated members of all groups than they are among those vaccinated,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “Vaccinated people continue to have rates for all outcomes that are many-fold lower than those unvaccinated — they are four to eight times less likely to be hospitalized, and five to seven times less likely to die from an infection. CBS 2

Fire At 118-Year-Old DTLA Church Extinguished After More Than Two Hours
A fire at a vacant, two-story, 118-year-old church in downtown Los Angeles burned for more than two hours Friday night before being extinguished. The fire was reported just after 7:45 p.m. at the Christian Light Missionary Baptist Church at 1376 E. 18th St., near the Santa Monica (10) Freeway, according to Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. It took 116 firefighters two hours and 16 minutes to extinguish the blaze at the 7,151 square-foot structure amid heavy flames and arching, fallen high-voltage power lines, Humphrey said. The building did not appear to be actively serving as a house of worship at the time of fire. LAFD firefighters remained on scene into Saturday morning to abate hazards and extinguish smoldering debris, Humphrey said. The cause of the fire was not immediately known and is under investigation. There were no injuries, Humphrey reported. All Metro Los Angeles A Line train service was shut down along Washington Boulevard between Central Avenue and Hooper Avenue until firefighters finished operations in the area. NBC 4

L.A. County Hospitals Seeing More Unvaccinated People With COVID Who Are Younger, Healthier
Hospitals are seeing a greater number of unvaccinated people who are younger and healthier fill up their beds, according to new data released by Los Angeles County. Among adults and the oldest teenagers who are hospitalized with COVID-19, the median age of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated patients was 51. That's notably younger than the median age of fully vaccinated patients in the hospital with COVID-19, which was 66. Fully vaccinated people were also less likely to need admission into the intensive care unit or to have such difficulty breathing that they need to be sedated and have a breathing tube inserted into their mouth and into the windpipe. “These findings suggest that vaccination contributes to a less severe course of hospitalization among people who end up infected with COVID,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “And it also lets us know that the majority of people who are fully vaccinated — and end up hospitalized with COVID — are likely to be much older than people who are unvaccinated.” KTLA 5

Three SoCal Marines Among American Service Members Killed In Afghanistan Suicide Bombing
Three U.S. Marines from Southern California were among the American service members killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan. Lance Corporal Kareem Nikoui, a Norco High School graduate, Corporal Hunter Lopez, 22, of Riverside, and Lance Corporal Dylan R. Merola, from Rancho Cucamonga were killed in a suicide bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. Lopez is the son of a Riverside Deputy Sheriff. "With a heavy heart, we announce the passing of a beloved member of the Riverside Sheriff's family, United States Marine Corps Corporal Hunter Lopez, one of 13 United States service members killed at the Kabul airport during the U.S. led evacuation effort," said the Riverside Sheriff's Association in a statement. "We are heartbroken to hear this sad news about Hunter, who chose to follow a life of service, selflessness, courage and sacrifice, like his parents." Lopez was a Riverside Sheriff's Explorer Scout with the Palm Desert Station from 2014 to 2017, the statement said. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines. He planned to be a Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy after returning from his current deployment, they said. "Today the entire law enforcement community stands with the Lopez family, friends, fellow Marines, and all who loved him, praying for comfort, peace." The Lopez family requests that all donations be made to the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff Relief Foundation in the name of the Lopez Family. The address is 21810 Cactus Avenue, Riverside, CA 92518. NBC 4

Local Government News

New Round Of Rent Relief Starting In Los Angeles
Starting Sept. 1, Los Angeles families will again be able to apply for rent relief, local officials said Friday. The Housing is Key program is a partnership with the city and the California Department of Housing to expedite checks to qualified applicants. About $260 million will be allocated by the city for this second round of relief funding. Officials say they are also expanding eligibility to allow more people stay in their homes. In the meantime, California's eviction moratorium remains in effect until Sept. 30. Locally, protections against evictions will remain in place long after that. "The eviction moratorium is not going to end," said City Councilman Kevin de Leon. "It will continue, at least for another year, when we terminate the emergency rule for the city of L.A." ABC 7

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: