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

September 1, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Jury Reaches Verdict In Trial Of Man Charged In Police Officer's Killing
A jury's verdict will be read Wednesday in the trial of an alleged gang member accused of killing a family member in East Los Angeles in 2017 and then opening fire on two Whittier police officers, killing one and wounding the other. After less than two hours of deliberations, jurors reached a verdict Tuesday in the trial of Michael Christopher Mejia. That verdict is set to be read Wednesday morning in a Norwalk courtroom. Mejia, 30, is charged with murder for the Feb. 20, 2017, killings of Keith Boyer, a 53-year-old Whittier police officer who was the first officer in the city killed in the line of duty in 37 years, and Mejia's cousin, 47-year-old Roy Torres. The murder charges include the special circumstance allegations of murder of a peace officer in the performance of his duties, murder for the purpose of avoiding arrest and multiple murders. Mejia is also charged with one count each of attempted murder of a peace officer involving Whittier police Officer Patrick Hazell, who was shot in the abdomen, along with carjacking and possession of a firearm by a felon. The charges also include gang and gun allegations. In his closing argument Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Garrett Dameron urged jurors to “hold him accountable, hold him accountable for the ruthless, inhumane killer he is.”

Deputy Shot In Lynwood Shoot-Out Expected To Survive
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy was expected to survive after getting shot during a shoot-out with an armed robbery suspect in Lynwood on Monday evening, Aug. 30, the Sheriff's Department said. Several rounds of gunfire were exchanged between the robbery suspect and deputies, when one deputy was struck in the upper torso, the Sheriff's Department said Tuesday. The deputy underwent surgery to remove the bullet and was “alert” Monday night, said Deputy Michelle Sanchez, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department. Deputies were flagged down at around 7:10 p.m. Monday by a man who said he was robbed at gunpoint at Fernwood Avenue and Alameda Street. While the man was describing what the suspects looked like and a black Dodge Ram pickup truck that was used, deputies saw the same vehicle drive by, officials said. Deputies followed the truck but lost sight of it before finding it again at the end of a cul-de-sac near 112th and Lorraine streets. “The suspect vehicle subsequently made a U-turn and began driving towards the deputies,” the Sheriff's Department said. “As the suspect vehicle approached the deputies, they were met with a barrage of gunfire from the suspect.” Los Angeles Daily News

LAPD Motorcycle Officer Injured In Crash On Westbound 210 Freeway In Glendora; SigAlert Issued
An investigation is underway after a motorcycle officer was injured in a crash on the 210 Freeway in Glendora Wednesday morning. The incident was reported shortly before 5:30 a.m. on the westbound side of the freeway near Grand Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol's traffic incident log. The crash injured a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer, but the extent of the injuries were unknown, a CHP spokesperson said. A SigAlert was issued for the closure of two lanes on the westbound 210 Freeway through Glendora. It was unclear how long the closure would remain in place. Two vehicles believed to be involved in the incident were stopped on the freeway between Grand Avenue and North Sunflower Avenue, according to the CHP. It was unclear if the motorcycle officer was attempting to make a stop on a vehicle at the time of the crash. KTLA 5

Police Investigate Fatal Shooting Outside Super 98 Market In Jefferson Park
A shooting investigation was underway in Jefferson Park Tuesday night after one man was fatally shot in the head in a crowded strip mall parking lot. People in the parking lot where the shooting occurred scattered for safety once gunshots rang out. Bullet holes can be seen in the windshield of a vehicle in front of the Super 98 Market. Two women who drove that vehicle to the market said that as they exited the store, they heard gunshots and saw a man fall to the ground. The victim, who is believed to be in his 40's, was transported to the hospital where he later died of his injuries. Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department have yet to say whether or not they have a suspect in custody or if they are still searching for someone. The two female witnesses, whose vehicle is now being towed for evidence, said if they hadn't run inside the store, they could've been killed.  CBS 2

Notre Dame High School Teacher Arrested On Suspicion Of Molesting Child, LAPD Searching For Additional Victims
A teacher at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks was arrested last week after he was accused of molesting a child, police said. Jason Bissell, 52, was arrested on Thursday, Aug. 26 at around 9:30 a.m. after police said they received a report of “alleged ongoing inappropriate sexual conduct,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office “filed multiple felony charges” against Bissell, police said in their news release. They did not say what the charges were. A spokesman for the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. Detectives have not said whether the child was a student. Court documents show he was arraigned on Monday, but it wasn't clear if he entered a plea or if he had an attorney yet. He was still being held in jail in Downtown L.A. on $710,000 bail. School officials reached Tuesday declined to discuss the case. Notre Dame administrators said the teacher had worked at the private Catholic school for 15 years. Los Angeles Daily News

California Declares War On ‘Ghost Guns'
California is declaring war on "ghost guns" -- weapons kits sold on the internet without any system of control -- with Los Angeles on Tuesday becoming the latest city to move to outlaw them. City councilors in the metropolis -- the second largest in the United States -- voted unanimously to move to ban the sale or possession of the untraceable firearms whose use has exploded in recent years. "When we see an increase in homicides here, and when we see that the (police) report that 40 percent of the crime guns recovered are ghost guns, we know that we have a very urgent critical situation that needs to be addressed," said Paul Koretz, the councilmember who proposed the ordinance. Ghost guns first appeared around a decade ago, and became popular among weapons enthusiasts. Also called "80-percent guns," they are sold as parts, and must be assembled by the end user. Crucially, they have no serial number, and, because they are not classified as guns during the retail process, the kits do not require a license or a background check in many US states, including California. Readily available online, they quickly became the go-to solution for people barred from buying a weapon because of a criminal record or their age. The resulting proliferation is becoming a real problem for law enforcement, said Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher. "Ghost guns have been around for approximately nine years, however, they have surfaced as a major problem in 2020 with the confiscation of 814 ghost guns just last year alone in Los Angeles," he said.  Yahoo! News

LAPD Investigating South LA Shooting Tuesday Evening That Injured At Least 2 Men
The Los Angeles Fire Department was transporting three people to the hospital after a multi-victim shooting Tuesday night in South Los Angeles. The incident occurred in the 1000 block of West 64th Street. Two men were shot and were being transported to the hospital in critical condition. Another person who attempted to flee the scene broke their leg. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, three male suspects were seen running from the scene. The shooting is under investigation. CBS 2

Video Shows Westlake Fruit Stand Getting Vandalized; Vendor Alleges Assailants Yelled Racial Slurs, Brandished Gun
A 51-year-old woman was working at her fruit stand in Westlake on Monday when two women knocked it over, allegedly after a dispute regarding a parking a spot. The altercation took place Monday afternoon on Rampart Boulevard and 6th Street, where Sandra Quinonez has been a street vendor for more than 30 years, she told KTLA. The two women were caught on video knocking down the fruit stand, though what took place before was not captured on film. Quinonez said she kindly asked the women to back up their vehicle so she could park next to the fruit stand. They allegedly refused and took up two parking spots.  Before a table of bananas are seen getting tossed to the ground, Quinonez says the women yelled racial slurs and one even pulled out a gun. That's when she called police. Quinonez said she feels terrorized and is reluctant to return to work. The Los Angeles Police Department said they've talked to the women in the video and are investigating the incident as an assault with a deadly weapon. KTLA 5

Koreatown Burglary Suspect Still At Large
A burglary suspect was still at large Wednesday after he evaded a police perimeter and K-9 units for hours in Koreatown. Los Angeles Police Department officers responded just before 3 p.m. Tuesday to the 4500 block of West Second Street, near Western Avenue, on reports of a burglary after residents returned to their home and found several doors opened, according to Officer Tony Im. Officers from the department's SWAT team were also on scene and police established a perimeter in the area but the suspect was not found when they cleared the area at 8:37 p.m. Tuesday. Police were still searching for the suspect Wednesday morning, an LAPD spokeswoman told City News Service.

Tarzana Couple Convicted In $18-Million Pandemic Relief Fraud Flee And Are Fugitives, FBI Says
A Tarzana couple is on the run from federal authorities after they sliced off their monitoring bracelets and fled while awaiting sentencing for the theft of millions of dollars in coronavirus pandemic relief funds, the FBI said late Tuesday. Richard Ayvazyan, 43, and Marietta Terabelian, 37, were convicted in June of conspiring with family members to fraudulently secure at least $18 million in emergency relief money. They created an elaborate web of fictitious San Fernando Valley businesses to secure loans under the Paycheck Protection and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs. The FBI's Los Angeles office said on Twitter that the two are now considered fugitives. They were scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 4. “They have international ties as well as local ties but we're not ruling anything out as to where they may have fled,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. Federal authorities believe that the couple fled on Sunday afternoon from the $3.25-million house in Tarzana that they bought with the loan money they stole, she said. Los Angeles Times

Authorities Find Prisoner Who Walked Away From LA Facility
A prisoner who walked away from a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facility in the Los Angeles area over the weekend was back in custody Tuesday and facing possible escape charges. Derbert Pineda, 32, was discovered missing from the Male Community Reentry Program facility about 7 p.m. Sunday, according to the CDCR. Authorities found Pineda about 10:20 p.m. Monday in Los Angeles, according to the CDCR. Pineda was serving a four-year sentence for vehicle theft with prior vehicle-related theft convictions, a second strike, the CDCR reported. He was scheduled to be released in October. His case will be referred to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for consideration of escape charges. NBC 4

Man Missing For A Week In Los Angeles
Police sought the public's help Wednesday in locating a 63-year-old man who has been missing for a week. Jose Enrique Fuentes was last seen Aug. 24 in the area of West Washington Boulevard and Highland Avenue in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Fuentes is Latino, 5-feet-7 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about his whereabouts was asked to contact the LAPD Missing Persons Unit during business hours at 213-996-1800. After business hours or on weekends, call 877-527-3247.

Plastic Surgeon With Offices In Beverly Hills, Brea Charged With Sexually Assaulting Patients
A plastic surgeon with offices in Brea and Beverly Hills has been charged with sexually assaulting his patients. Frederic Corbin, 77, of Villa Park, has been charged with one felony count of sexual battery by fraud, one felony count of sexual exploitation by a physician, two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, and two misdemeanor counts of battery. Corbin is accused of sexually assaulting one of his female patients while he prepped her for a surgical procedure on September 17, 2020. He is also accused of sexually assaulting a different patient on May 14, 2021, during an examination for post-surgery treatment. Both alleged assaults took place at Corbin's Brea office, Corbin Plastic Surgery. The women reported the incident to the Brea Police Department and Corbin turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday, the District Attorney's office said. FOX 11

Los Angeles County To Pay $400,000 To Sun Valley Church That Defied COVID Rules
A Sun Valley church that repeatedly flouted health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic will be paid $800,000 to settle its legal battle with Los Angeles County and the state -- with the county Board of Supervisors voting Tuesday to pay half that cost. Los Angeles County has already spent more than $950,000 in attorneys fees and other costs in the case of Grace Community Church, according to a legal summary provided to the board. Led by Pastor John MacArthur, the church defied county health orders again and again over the past year, most notably by continuing to hold indoor services despite a ban on such gatherings, while also refusing to enforce mask-wearing and social-distancing requirements for church-goers. County health officials repeatedly cited the church, then took the matter to court to obtain an injunction requiring the church to adhere to health regulations, saying they were essential to control the spread of COVID- 19. The church, meanwhile, sued the state and the county, claiming the COVID rules amounted to constitutional violations of religious freedom.  FOX 11

Public Safety News

LA County Fire Department Helps Battle Wildfires Across California
The Los Angeles County Fire Department has joined other California fire agencies to help fight the multiple wildfires burning across the state. The department has dispatched six engine strike teams, two camp crew strike teams, a contracted Coulson Chinook helitanker, and 38 overhead personnel to the massive Dixie Fire (burning over five Northern California counties), the Caldor Fire near Lake Tahoe, the Monument Fire in the Trinity Wilderness, and the French Fire in Kern County, officials said Tuesday. “The 2021 wildfire season has proven to be challenging once again. As always, we continue to strategize and utilize our resources to collectively battle wildfires because every wildfire becomes a shared fight to protect residents and communities,” LACFD Chief Daryl Osby said. The department's annually leased SuperScoopers arrived on Monday and were expected to be placed into service Wednesday. Los Angeles Daily News

1 Rescued, 5 Unaccounted For After US Navy Helicopter Crashes Off Coast Of San Diego
One military member has been rescued and five are unaccounted for after an MH-60S helicopter embarked aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) crashed into the sea while conducting routine flight operations approximately 60 nautical miles off the coast of San Diego. It happened at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to military officials. Officials confirmed that one crew member has been located, though a condition was not reported. Five crew members are still unaccounted for as of 10:44 p.m. Search and rescue operations are ongoing with multiple Coast Guard and Navy air and surface assets, according to military officials. CBS 2

‘Momentous Occasion' As 80% Statewide Have Gotten At Least One Vaccine Dose
More than 80% of eligible Californians have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, a milestone Gov. Gavin Newsom characterized as a “momentous occasion” that nevertheless underscored that more needed to be done. That level of vaccine coverage among residents 12 and older ranks ninth out of all states, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California's partial-inoculation share of 80.6% outpaces the rates in Pennsylvania, at 80%; New York, 78%; Florida, 73.1%; and Texas, 68.6%, federal figures show. States with even higher rates are mostly in New England, as well as Hawaii and New Mexico. “Thank you to the people in the state of California for being mindful that this pandemic is not behind us, that, as we battle this Delta variant, this mutation ... we still have work to do,” Newsom said during a briefing Tuesday. For starters, the share of eligible Californians who are fully vaccinated — meaning they've either received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna — is smaller, at about 65%. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

L.A. City Council Moves To Limit Protests Outside Private Residences
For a year and a half, protesters on both the left and the right have targeted public officials at their homes in Los Angeles, demonstrating at all hours to express their grievances over mask mandates, rent forgiveness and other issues. Now, the City Council is seeking to tighten the rules around such protests. The council, on a 13-1 vote, ordered city attorneys on Tuesday to draft a law that would bar protesters from coming within 300 feet of a target's home. Council President Nury Martinez, who introduced the proposal, told her colleagues that protesters visited her home Sunday night and screamed obscenities into her daughter's bedroom window and used a bullhorn to make threats. “I'm just completely done,” said Martinez, whose Sun Valley home was also targeted earlier this year by individuals who vandalized her car, according to video of the incident. Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, whose home is regularly targeted by demonstrators, said his neighbors in Glassell Park have had to endure noisy protesters and profane language. Los Angeles Times

LA Considers Options For Homeless People To Store Their Personal Items On City Property
Los Angeles plans to consider options for homeless people to store personal items on city-owned properties. The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to pursue those options, which might include parking lots, vacant parcels and other properties. The motion directs the city administrative officer to identify sites that can be used for a citywide network of small-scale shipping-container storage facilities for homeless people to use. The CAO will report back to the City Council within 60 days with a plan for funding and the establishment of five initial facilities at key locations in the city. “A lack of storage options can create major obstacles for a person experiencing homelessness. The inability to secure or transport a large quantity of possessions can make it far more difficult to leave a tent or encampment -- creating obstacles to seeking work, making appointments to see case managers or moving elsewhere even if a location has become hazardous,'' the motion reads. “When people are connected to shelter, facilities limit the amount of belongings participants are allowed to bring in, often leaving people to choose between staying on the street so they can keep their possessions or sleeping in a bed while forfeiting items that will not fit in two suitcases, a common standard.” NBC 4

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: