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 14, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Man Found Guilty Of First-Degree Murder In 2016 Shooting Of San Diego Police Officer
A 60-year-old man was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder in the 2016 shooting death of San Diego police Officer Jonathan “JD” De Guzman, and attempted murder for shooting De Guzman's partner in the throat. A San Diego Superior Court jury found Jesse Michael Gomez guilty on all counts, along with a special-circumstance allegation of murder of a peace officer. Gomez's trial will now move to a second phase during which the same jury will hear additional evidence, then weigh whether to recommend that Gomez be executed for the killing or sentenced to life in prison without parole. That phase will start Thursday. After the verdict, the president of the San Diego Police Officers Assn. issued a statement expressing gratitude for the conviction and sending respect to De Guzman's family. “We are pleased that justice has been served,” Jack Schaeffer said. He added that De Guzman “continues to be remembered as a noble officer who was passionate about keeping his community safe.” De Guzman and Officer Wade Irwin were members of the San Diego Police Department's gang suppression team and doing one final patrol for the night when a gunman opened fire on them on Acacia Grove Way shortly before 11 p.m. July 28, 2016. De Guzman, 43, was killed. Irwin was hospitalized for nearly a month. Los Angeles Times

LAPD Arrest Man Suspected In Boardwalk Shooting
The Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Area Detectives made an arrest in connection with the shooting of a man on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. The shooting took place on Wednesday, September 8, at the 1700 block of Ocean Front Walk, according to the LAPD. Police say the victim and the suspect got into a verbal argument when the suspect took out a semi-automatic handgun from his waistband and shot at the victim hitting him in the arm and leg. Officers say after the shooting, the suspect, two male and one female companions drove away in a 2018 Nissan Altima eastbound on Windward Avenue towards Pacific Avenue. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and hospitalized for his gunshot wounds, according to the LAPD. Pacific Robbery and Gang Detectives investigated the shooting and located key evidence that helped identify the 2018 Nissan Altima. On September 11, 2021, Central Division Patrol Officers located the 2018 Nissan Altima near the Historic South Central neighborhood,and detained James Feaster of New York and the female companion, according to police. WestSide Current

Woman Riding Skateboard On Street Killed In Tarzana Hit-and-Run
A woman who was riding a skateboard in Tarzana was killed early Tuesday when she was hit by a car that fled the scene, the LAPD reported. The woman, who was described as being in her 40s, was on her skateboard riding in the street when she was hit by a silver Toyota Avalon at 6043 N. Tampa Ave. just after 12:30 a.m., according to LAPD. The car was possibly a 2013 – 2018 model and was identified by police by debris left at the scene. Police said the car would have heavy front end damage. Tampa was temporarily closed from Topham to Oxnard Street while investigators were on scene. KTLA 5

Man Fatally Shot In Canoga Park Identified, Suspect Sought
Officials identified a man Monday, Sept. 13, who was shot and killed in an apartment in Canoga Park over the weekend. Charles Tingzon, 28, was identified by Los Angeles County Coroner's officials as the man shot about 8:45 p.m. Saturday in the 7000 block of Vassar Avenue, near Sherman Way. Patrol officers responding to reports of an “assault with a deadly weapon” and “shots fired” found him in an apartment suffering two gunshot wounds, police said. Tingzon was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, police said. A motive for the shooting or a description of any possible suspect was not immediately released. Police asked anyone with information about the killing to call the LAPD's Valley Bureau Homicide detectives at 818-374-9550. Tips can also be left with Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. Los Angeles Daily News

LAPD Arrest Suspect In Mar Vista Vehicle Shooting
The Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Area Detectives arrested a suspect they say was part of a shooting that took place in the Mar Vista Area. Police say on Friday, September 3, 2021, at approximately 7:25 p.m., a family of three were traveling in their vehicle westbound on Venice Boulevard from Sawtelle Avenue, when police say a Black Toyota Tacoma rear-ended the family's vehicle. The driver failed to stop so police say the family followed the Tacoma over half of a mile to the 3700 block of Coolidge Avenue, according to police. At that point, the Tacoma made a U-turn and officers say the passenger pointed a revolver out of the window and fired two rounds at the family's vehicle. Immediately after the shooting, the Tacoma sped off northbound on Coolidge Avenue, according the the LAPD. Pacific Robbery Detectives, with the community's help, located video footage that assisted them in identifying the shooting suspect as Victor Manuel Espino. Pacific patrol officers located and arrested Espino. A follow-up was conducted at Espino's home where police say they recovered the gun believed to have been used in the shooting. On Tuesday, September 14, 2021, the investigation will be submitted to the District Attorney's Office for review and felony filing consideration.  WestSide Current

Comedian Who Survived Overdose That Killed Fuquan Johnson, 2 Others Speaks Out
Comedian Kate Quigley, who barely survived a house-party overdose that killed three friends a week ago, says she is “changed forever” by the tragedy. “All I can say is: Tell your people that you love them every day. Stay safe. And please don't take life for granted. I did, and I never will again,” she wrote in an Instagram post. Quigley was with Fuquan Johnson, 42; Enrico Colangeli, 48; and Natalie Williamson, 33, in Venice Beach on Sept. 4 when they reportedly used cocaine that may have been laced with the painkiller fentanyl. Only Quigley could be saved. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition. A day later, her mother said in a Facebook post that she could not stay “lucid for more than a moment at a time.” On Thursday, the stand-up comic and actress posted a brief update, thanking her friends and fans for support. The LAPD has not said whether it has opened a criminal case into the overdoses. Yahoo! News

Thousands Of LAPD Employees Plan To Seek Exemptions To COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
Thousands of Los Angeles Police Department employees plan to seek exemptions to rules requiring city employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to preliminary figures obtained Monday by The Times. More than 2,600 LAPD employees have indicated that they plan to pursue religious exemptioobtainedns, while more than 350 plan to seek medical ones, according to a source in city government who was not authorized to share the preliminary data. Under the ordinance, city employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 5 unless they are granted a religious or medical exemption. Employees who receive exemptions will be subject to regular testing for the coronavirus, according to the ordinance. City officials pushed back a deadline last week for employees to seek an exemption to the vaccination requirement, instead giving workers until the end of Monday to indicate that they plan to pursue an exemption. As of early evening on Monday, nearly 3,000 of 12,311 LAPD employees had done so, and the number could grow before a midnight cutoff. Preliminary figures were not available for other city departments. The Los Angeles Police Protective League has argued that the city should allow weekly testing as an alternative to getting vaccinated, regardless of whether an employee has a medical or religious exemption. In a written proposal, the police union argued that doing so “strikes an appropriate balance.” Los Angeles Times

British Actress Tanya Fear Found Safe After Going Missing For Several Days In Los Angeles, LAPD Says
A British actress who had been missing in Los Angeles for several days has been found, police said Monday. Tanyaradzwa "Tanya" Fear, 31, was found safe and her family has been notified, according to the LAPD. Additional details were not immediately available. She has appeared in the British TV series "Doctor Who" and the film "Kick-Ass 2" among other projects and recently launched a standup comedy career. Friends said  Fear,  who lives near the Hollywood Bowl, had last been seen four days ago at the Trader Joe's on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. The LAPD confirmed a missing-persons report was filed on Sept. 9. Before she was found, Fear's manager told Eyewitness News he spoke with her just over a week ago and she was fine. "Since she's been here, she's had a great career and this is just the beginning," said manager Alex Cole. "We're obviously concerned and (hope) we find out this is a simple mistake and we find her." ABC 7
Robert Durst's Defense Makes Closing Argument In His Murder Trial; L.A. Jury To Begin Deliberating Tuesday
Lawyers for Robert Durst, a real estate heir charged with silencing his best friend with a bullet to the back of her head, argued to a jury that prosecutors had failed to prove a point essential to their case: that Durst had killed his wife four decades ago, the alleged crime to which Durst's friend was believed to be a witness. Los Angeles County prosecutors have made the case that Durst killed his best friend, Susan Berman, because she had helped cover up the death of his wife, Kathie Durst, who vanished in 1982 and has never been seen since. After Kathie was killed, Berman impersonated her in a call to the medical school that she was attending, telling a dean she was too ill to go to class, according to the prosecution's theory. Two decades later, when authorities revived the investigation into his wife's disappearance, Durst killed Berman to keep her from telling the police what she knew, prosecutors say. They have charged Durst with murdering Berman, 55, in her Benedict Canyon home with a single shot to the back of the head. The 78-year-old also faces special circumstance allegations of killing a witness and lying in wait.  KTLA 5

Northridge Man To Be Sentenced For $655,000 COVID Relief Fraud
A San Fernando Valley man faces sentencing Tuesday morning for obtaining $655,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans by submitting fake tax documents and false employee information. Steven R. Goldstein, 37, of Northridge, pleaded guilty in December 2020 to a single federal count of fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Goldstein admitted to fraudulently obtaining $655,000 in PPP loans. Goldstein's business partner, Raymond Magana, 40, of Santa Clarita, pleaded guilty in January to fraudulently obtaining PPP loans and is expected to be sentenced next month. Prosecutors say Goldstein applied for four different PPP loans to Bank of America totaling more than $1.2 million on behalf of various companies while using fake tax documents and false employee information. Two of those PPP loans ultimately were approved, and Goldstein's companies received a total of $655,000 in PPP loan funds. On the same day that the funds were issued to Goldstein's companies, he transferred more than half the money into his personal bank accounts. Los Angeles Daily News

San Bernardino Man Gets 6 Years In Prison For Five-Month Robbery Spree In Southern California
A San Bernardino man was sentenced to six years in federal prison after a five-month heist spree in which he robbed 28 fast food and retail establishments throughout Southern California, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday, Sept. 13. David Sanchez, 41, was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to two counts of interference with commerce by robbery on June 21, the DOJ said in a news release. Between November 2020 and April, Sanchez robbed various businesses while brandishing a BB gun that looked like a firearm and demanded money from cash registers, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles said. Sanchez stole a total of at least $3,853, authorities said. Sanchez admitted to robbing businesses in the areas of Lynwood, Long Beach, South Gate, San Bernardino, Palmdale, Compton, Whittier, Fontana and Bellflower, the DOJ said. Businesses targeted included Walgreens, Circle K, Little Caesars, Subway, El Rey Supermarket, Lynwood Farmer's Market, Family Dollar Store, Starbucks, Domino's Pizza and Dollar Tree outlets. Los Angeles Daily News

Jury: California Mom Who Dropped 7-Month-Old Son To His Death From Parking Garage Was Sane At The Time
A woman who dropped her 7-month-old son to his death from a Children's Hospital of Orange County parking structure a decade ago was legally sane at the time of the crime, a jury found Monday. Sonia Hermosillo, 41, was convicted Aug. 11 of first-degree murder and child assault causing death. She had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, so the trial entered a sanity phase for jurors to determine her mental stability at the time of the crime. With jurors finding she was sane, Hermosillo faces 25 years to life in prison, with sentencing scheduled for Oct. 29. If she had been found insane, she would have been diverted to a treatment program. In the first phase of the trial, jurors considered incriminating statements Hermosillo made to police in Orange following the Aug. 22, 2011, death of her son, Noe Medina Jr. In an interview, Hermosillo told police, "No, I would rather he died," and said she killed him "because he's sick," and "that's why I don't love him," according to Deputy District Attorney Mena Guirguis.  FOX 11

Mexican Man Sentenced To More Than 5 Years Over Meth Airdrop Into California Desert
A Mexican man was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison Monday for trying to distribute methamphetamine that was dropped into the California desert by an airplane, authorities said. Juan Carlos Iturriaga-Centeno, 34, had pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. He is a Mexican national who was living in Mecca in Riverside County, authorities said. According to prosecutors, in December 2019, Iturriaga-Centeno and three other men took off-road vehicles into the desert near the Salton Sea and waited for an ultralight airplane that had crossed into the United States from Mexico. The plane dropped a parachute carrying GPS-tagged packages containing 116 pounds of methamphetamine, the U.S. attorney's office said. The men then used a cell phone to track and pick up the packages. However, U.S. authorities had tracked the plane and the U.S. Border Patrol later stopped the off-road vehicle carrying Iturriago-Centeno and his brother, authorities said. A second off-road vehicle sped off but went into a canal and the Border Patrol rescued two men. Leonardo Iturriago-Centeno, 30, and Juan Favela-Paredez, 26, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy and were sentenced to 57 months in federal prison while Victor Efren Bugarin-Perez, 30, of Mecca, is a fugitive after fleeing while on bond in the case, authorities said. KTLA 5

2 Florida K-9s Shot, Carjacking Suspect Injured
Two Volusia County sheriff K-9s were shot by a fleeing carjacking suspect early Saturday morning in DeLand, a spokesman said. Deputies returned fire and shot the suspect, 21-year-old Shedrick Singleton Jr., said spokesman Andrew Gant. A Lyft driver reported a carjacking around 11:30 p.m. Friday after picking up a passenger in Sanford and taking him to a remote area of Reed Ellis Road in the Osteen area. The suspect put a gun to his head and stole the minivan, Gant said. Deputies spotted the minivan off Lake Helen Osteen Road and Capri Circle near the Deltona Gardens Apartments and Lowe's and the driver got out and ran into a wooded area, Gant said. K-9 Ax was shot in the face shortly after midnight while K-9 Endo was shot in the paw and chin around 2:20 a.m., according to Gant. The incident was captured on  video . The dogs survived and are receiving “great veterinary care,” Gant said. No one else was hurt in the shooting. Endo is a previous recipient of the VSO Medal of Valor and Purple Heart after he was shot in the neck while responding to a domestic violence call on Nov. 4, 2015, Gant said. Orlando Sentinel

‘The Next Parkland': 2 Florida Middle Schoolers Arrested In Mass Shooting Plot
Two boys, 13 and 14, were arrested last week after police said the pair had been "involved in a plot to carry out a school shooting,” according to ABC News. Both boys have been charged with conspiracy to commit a mass shooting. The incident unfolded after fellow students at Harns Marsh Middle School tipped off a teacher about a possible concealed weapon. The teacher then alerted school administrators and a school resource officer, according to the report. In a press briefing Thursday, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno described the alleged plot as “the next Parkland massacre.” "This could have turned disastrous," Marceno said. "We were one second away from a Columbine here." According to Marceno, the two students had been “extensively studying” the 1999 Columbine school shooting and were trying to learn to make pipe bombs. The two boys were already known to police, having been the subject of nearly 80 home visits combined. Searches of their homes found “disturbing evidence, including a gun and several knives,” according to Marceno. PoliceOne

Public Safety News

LA County COVID Hospitalizations Tick Up Slightly, But Are Still Dramatically Lower Over 2 Weeks
After 13 straight days of drops, Los Angeles County saw a slight increase in the number of COVID-19-positive patients in hospitals on Monday, Sept. 13, but the number is still dramatically lower than it was just two weeks ago. According to state figures, there were 1,224 patients with COVID in county hospitals as of Monday, up from 1,218 on Sunday. The number of people in intensive care was 368, up from 360. County Department of Public Health officials noted that the number of hospitalized patients has dropped by roughly 260 over the past week, and is down by nearly 470 over the past two weeks. The agency reported that unvaccinated people aged 50 and older are more than 17 times more likely to wind up hospitalized due to COVID than vaccinated people. Hospitalizations among unvaccinated people aged 18-49 are 23 times higher than their vaccinated counterparts, according to health officials. Los Angeles Daily News

California Fires Are Burning At Higher Elevations Than Ever, Creating New Dangers
Just hours before the Caldor fire threatened to level the resort town of South Lake Tahoe, the massive blaze performed a staggering feat: burning from one side of the Sierra to the other. It seared through crests and valleys, over foothills and ridges — and also at elevations of 8,000 feet or higher. Ash and smoke rained down on the Tahoe basin and sent thousands fleeing from its soot-darkened shores as the fire skirted a towering granite ridge many believed would be a buffer from the flames. But the fire kept climbing higher, jumping from tree to tree and spewing wind-whipped embers that landed, in some cases, more than a mile away. Experts said the fire's extreme behavior is part of a worrisome trend driven by the state's warming climate, in which rapid snowmelt and critical dryness are propelling wildfires to ever-higher elevations, scorching terrain that previously was too wet to burn and threatening countless residents. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA County Opens Dozens Of Voting Centers For Tuesday's Recall Election
Los Angeles County election officials have opened 253 vote centers for people to vote in Tuesday's gubernatorial recall election. The centers will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. until polls close at 8 p.m. for in-person voting, or to return a completed vote-by-mail ballot. Registered voters should have received a vote-by-mail ballot, which can also be returned by mail or at one of 400 official drop boxes. According to Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan, all vote centers will follow current public health and safety guidelines. To find a vote center, dropbox, sample ballot, or to find the status of a ballot that has already been submitted, visit . The L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is also offering free rides on its trains and bike-share system to ensure people can get to a polling place. Voters are being asked two questions on their recall ballots. The first is whether Gov. Gavin Newsom should be recalled, and the second is who should succeed him in the event he is. If over 50% of voters approve the recall, then the new governor would be selected from the candidate who receives the highest number of votes on question two. CBS 2

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: