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 17, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Hit-and-Run Suspect Out Of Jail After Killing Mother, Injuring Son Near Dockweiler State Beach
A suspect has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run collision that killed a young mother and injured her 3-year-old son. Police arrested Darwin Jamal Dantzler, of Inglewood, Wednesday morning. According to LAPD, Dantzler is out on bail. On Saturday, 33-year-old Wendy Galdamez Palma and her family were visiting Dockweiler State Beach for a bonfire. She and her son crossed the street to get to her car when an approaching vehicle struck them. The vehicle drove off from the scene. Wendy was pronounced dead at the scene, her 3-year-old son suffered minor injuries. Her family says Wendy was hit while cradling her son. They are devastated knowing this young mother died trying to protect her son.   FOX 11

Woman Found Stabbed To Death In Her Baldwin Hills Apartment, Police Say
A woman in her 60s was found stabbed to death inside her apartment unit in Baldwin Hills Thursday afternoon, according to police. The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. in the 4000 block of Buckingham Road at a senior apartment complex, prompting a response from the Los Angeles Fire Department and homicide detectives, according to LAPD. Police said a caretaker for the victim made the grisly discovery. The victim was found with multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. No suspect information was available. Homicide detectives were at the scene investigating. Anyone with information about this crime was asked to call 877-LAPD-247. ABC 7

Two Charged With Murder In Illegal Butt Lift Operation
In a chilling video posted to social media, 26-year-old Karissa Rajpaul starts on a selfie and soon reveals the buttocks augmentation happening behind her as she laid on a table in Encino in September of 2020. It was the second of three procedures within a month of each other. Immediately after the third, she would be dead. The LA Police Department says Rajpaul, an LA transplant from South Africa who came to Southern California to pursue a career in the adult film industry, recorded the video to share on social media for the woman performing the procedure, known as La Tia. "That's how she would advertise it, everyone knows her as La Tia," says LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide Detective Bob Dinlocker. He arrested Libby Adame and her daughter, Alicia Gomez, both now charged with murder, after allegedly injecting Rajpaul – and he believes many more victims – with a liquid silicon mix. "The internet is filled with stories where they cut the medical-grade silicon with the stuff you would caulk your windows with," he says. "It hits the blood stream, attacks the heart, the brain and the kidneys." The LAPD believes this might be just the beginning of a larger string of illegal butt lifts across LA County. NBC 4

Convicted Rapist Scott Breckenridge Denied Early Release After DA Shifts Original Position
A man who was convicted on multiple counts of rape three decades ago will stay in prison after a judge denied his bid at early release. At one point Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon's Office told the court they would not oppose Scott Breckenridge's petition for release after he served 30 years of a 73-year sentence. Prosecutors later said they had misinterpreted a new office policy and they no longer support Breckenridge's release. On Wednesday, Breckenridge still made his case to a judge to become a free man, as one of his victims listened to the proceedings by telephone. It has been 30 years since Breckenridge raped the woman, identified only as Lori R. She was on her way to a bus stop in January 1991 when Breckenridge forced her into a stairwell and raped her. "This is something that stays with me, especially in the darkness of the morning when the time changes because that's when my incident happened, around 6-6:30 in the morning," Lori R. told the court via telephone. "That's a fear that stays with you." Breckenridge was found guilty later that year, on nine counts involving several victims. ABC 7

Caught On Video: Police Seek Suspect In Melrose Store Robbery
Businesses along Melrose Avenue continue to be targeted by perpetrators as a disturbing trend of armed robberies has struck the area. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating after one of the latest robberies in the Fairfax District was caught on video. On Sept. 14 around 12:30 p.m., LAPD officers were called to Zero's located near the intersection of Melrose and Fairfax avenues. Zero's is a high-end clothing store that specializes in luxury streetwear and limited-edition sneakers. The Zero's employee told authorities that he approached the suspect whom he initially thought was a customer to assist him. Shortly after, the suspect threw a few trash bags at him, demanded that the employee fill the bags with clothing, shoes and money, while the suspect also pointed a black handgun at the employee, the LAPD said. The employee complied and the suspect left the store on foot. The suspect was described as Black male, between the ages of 25 to 30, 5 feet 7 inches tall, and weighing an estimated 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black beanie and a Los Angeles Rams sweatshirt. Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD's Wilshire Division.  FOX 11

Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Three People Near Homeless Encampments
An ex-con pleaded guilty today to murdering two men and a woman in separate attacks near homeless encampments in the Rancho Dominguez area over an eight-month span. Tracy Walker, 56, is facing 110 years to life in state prison in connection with his guilty plea to three counts of murder for the slayings of Patricia Loeza, Kenneth Edward Jones and Cesar Mazariegos, according to Deputy District Attorney Hilary Williams. Walker also admitted he had a prior strike from 1993 for voluntary manslaughter, the prosecutor said. He is set to be sentenced Oct. 18 in a Compton courtroom. Loeza, 26, was found dead with stab wounds to her upper body in the 19000 block of South Susana Road on June 7, 2020. Jones, 26, had suffered blunt force trauma and been stabbed in the upper body and was discovered dead Jan. 15 in the 20000 block of South Santa Fe Avenue. Mazariegos' body was discovered Feb. 9 on the east side of the Compton Creek near Del Amo Boulevard, on a dirt embankment near the location where the earlier two victims had been found, according to the sheriff's department. Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the attacks. KFI AM 640

Snap's Venice Beach Office Building Almost Burned To The Ground. Now The Landlord Wants The Company To Pay Millions.
A fire in Venice Beach that nearly burned down a vacant office building early this year should cost Snap Inc. several million dollars, a new lawsuit says. The building, on Ocean Front Walk in Los Angeles' Venice neighborhood, caught fire in January and nearly burned to the ground. Firefighters said no one was hurt, as the building was vacant. It's been that way since 2018, when Snap moved out of Venice to Santa Monica. But the suit filed by the owner of the building, Benjamin Schonbrun, says Snap retained responsibility for the space. "In September 2018, Snap vacated the premises and ceased maintaining the premises, as it was obligated to do under the lease agreement, thus abandoning both the premises and their legal duties and responsibilities under the terms of the lease contract," the lawsuit says. Schonbrun said Snap signed a lease for the premises through March 2022 that made the company responsible for its upkeep and security, adding that it failed to maintain both since moving. A Snap spokesperson declined to comment. After the company left Venice, an encampment of people without homes formed around the building, tying up tents to the property's barred windows. The encampment was said at the time of the fire to be its cause. The Los Angeles Fire Department didn't respond to a request for an update on the investigation. The lawsuit includes Snap's insurers, alleging they knowingly maintained a policy of less than what the building was worth. It also names as defendants Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Mike Bonin, the city-council member representing Venice Beach, alleging they had a role in allowing the encampment to remain. Neither responded to requests for comment.  Business Insider

Opinion: Ten Reasons Why The Venice Boardwalk Got Cleaned Up
After years of neglect and outright incompetence when it came to the maintenance of Venice's Oceanfront Walk by the City of Los Angeles, we see this drastic change in public policy as one of California's great tourist destinations received this necessary face lift from a “slum by the sea” to this a once again functional destination for locals and tourists alike. After allowing hundreds of make-shift encampments, tent structures and alike that littered the boardwalk like the bubonic plague, suddenly the City of Los Angeles took notice and like magic, a great majority of these crime and drug infested dens of inequity have miraculously disappeared! While much damage has been done to the landscape of the boardwalk in terms of where these encampments formerly existed, this destination that was the delight of millions is finally rising off the canvas after this self-inflicted destruction that was allowed to occur for nearly three years! And while the controversial and unpopular Councilman Mike Bonin, who created the crisis he seemingly wants to take credit for cleaning up, there are at least ten factors why the Venice Boardwalk finally got the maintenance attention it deserved and will continue to demand. With killings, muggings and the drug trade out of control to say nothing of the destruction of a 6,000 square foot commercial structure, what really moved those in charge to finally do something?  Yo! Venice

Suspected DUI Driver Of Tesla Reportedly On Autopilot Taken Into Custody In Glendale
A DUI suspect was taken into custody after her Tesla vehicle that was reportedly on Autopilot stopped on a freeway overpass in the Glendale area Thursday night. According to a California Highway Patrol incident log, the vehicle hit a roadside wall shortly after 11 p.m. and kept traveling as the driver was reportedly unconscious. AIR7 HD was over the end of the incident around 11:20 p.m. as the Tesla vehicle was traveling at slow speeds and eventually came to a standstill after a CHP vehicle stopped directly in front of the car. CHP units had been following the Tesla prior to getting it to stop. Although it appeared authorities were in pursuit of the car, CHP later said it did not classify the incident as a chase. Aerial footage captured authorities taking the driver into custody after the Tesla stopped at the 134 Freeway transition to the 5 Freeway. CHP confirmed the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. ABC 7

Viral Trend On TikTok Encourages Students To Damage School Property, Steal
A new trend on the social media platform, TikTok, is encouraging students to steal from their schools and damage property on campus. Now, two local school districts have sent out memos deterring kids from doing it. The destructive stunt, known as the “bathroom challenge” encourages students to trash school bathrooms, film it, and put it on TikTok for likes and follows. Students have been seen in some videos stealing bathroom sinks and putting them in their backpacks. The trend has been catching on at Hart High School in Santa Clarita. “They've taken soap dispensers,” said Anthony Sosa, a student. “And now the bathrooms are closed.” The principal of the school sent an email to parents asking them to speak to students about how dangerous and costly the trend is. At Foothill High School in Santa Ana, school administrators are asking parents to discourage this type of behavior and even asking them to return any items students might have stolen. CBS 2

12-Year-Old Boy Fatally Shot Himself With Ghost Gun In Chula Vista, Police Say
Chula Vista police say the firearm a 12-year-old boy fatally shot himself with in July was an unregistered ghost gun, making it difficult for investigators to determine how it ended up in the hands of a teen who took the gun to the boy's home. Max Mendoza died July 3 after he got his hands on the gun and unintentionally shot himself during a sleepover, police said. Family members told The San Diego Union-Tribune that they heard a gunshot, then found Max bleeding in their home. They carried him outside, where his mother said she held him in her arms. When paramedics arrived, they took him to a hospital, where he died. Investigators questioned the 15-year-old boy who had the gun and later released him to his family. Police at the time said they were trying to determine how the teen got the gun and to whom it belonged. “The story behind how the 15-year-old obtained the gun is not clear,” Chula Vista police Lt. Dan Peak said recently in an email. He said detectives were working with an attorney representing the teen to obtain additional statements from him. The lieutenant said the weapon is a ghost gun — a type of firearm assembled by hand with parts from prepackaged kits. Authorities say ghost guns are untraceable because the parts lack serial numbers and the guns, once assembled, are not registered as required under state law. Peak said the investigation into the shooting at the Woodland Hills condos on Telegraph Canyon Road was “active” and ongoing. San Diego Union Tribune

A Water Scooter, An AR-15 Rifle And A Bag Of Heroin: Two Arrested At Napa County Lake
A routine police call at Napa County's Lake Berryessa on Wednesday turned up an incongruous haul for a recreational area: a bag of heroin, $8,500 cash and a water scooter with an AR-15 rifle tucked in its storage compartment, the Napa County Sheriff's Office said. Deputies initially responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at the lake, located in the northeastern part of the county, about 7:50 a.m., sheriff's spokesman Henry Wofford said. The car was blocking the Putah Creek launch ramp. When they arrived at the scene, they found Nathan Norfolk, 37, of Winters standing next to the car. Officials said Norfolk had warrants out for his arrest. They found about 3 ounces of heroin and more than $8,500 in cash inside the vehicle. The car's owner, 69-year-old John Duran of Fairfield, was floating on a water scooter about 50 yards from the launch ramp, officials said in a post on Facebook on Thursday. Wofford confirmed that a scope appears to have been added to the rifle hidden in the watercraft, but could not say whether any additional modifications had been made. The rifle was loaded, he said. Duran told officials the water scooter had stalled, so he paddled into shore, said Wofford, noting that he had few other options given multiple patrol boats on the lake. Wofford said Duran is a felon. Los Angeles Times

Missouri Police Officer Dies After Being Shot Responding To Call
Blaize Madrid-Evans, the 22-year-old Independence officer shot and critically wounded during an armed encounter with a Gladstone man late Wednesday morning, has died of his injuries, according to police. "It is with heavy hearts that we announce that this evening, Officer Blaize Madrid-Evans succumbed to his injuries and passed away," the department said in a statement on Twitter late Wednesday night, adding that further information would be released later to provide his family and "his family in blue privacy in this difficult time." Madrid-Evans was wounded during an exchange of gunfire involving the suspect, who was also killed. Officers responded to the shooting around noon in the 2400 block of South Northern Boulevard. Madrid-Evans was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. Madrid-Evans was a rookie officer with only two months on the street. Independence police say Madrid-Evans began his career with the force as a cadet with the Kansas City Regional Police Academy in January 2021. He graduated from the academy in July and was still in the police department's field training program when he was killed, police said. Kansas City Star

Public Safety News

L.A. County To Require Theme Park Guests To Show COVID Vaccination Proof Or Virus Test Results
Large Los Angeles County theme parks like Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain will have to ask guests for proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative coronavirus test starting next month under a planned health officer order, officials said. On Wednesday, L.A. County's health department announced a that a new order will come later this week requiring vaccine verification in select high-risk settings by Oct. 7. Outdoor mega-events like concerts and sports games with crowds of more than 10,000 people are among the places that will be listed in the new order. Guests will have to show proof of vaccine or negative coronavirus tests taken within the previous 72 hours. That rule will also apply to theme parks, which the state recently began including under the outdoor event venue definition, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said during a county Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday. Ferrer said many large outdoor event venues have already had experience with vaccine verification, and have the resources to do it. Local theme park representatives told KTLA they're still reviewing county guidance.  KTLA 5

More Than 80,000 Aftershocks And Counting: Ridgecrest Earthquakes Keep Shaking
More than 80,000 earthquakes have been recorded in the Ridgecrest area since July 4 — the aftermath from two of the biggest temblors to hit California in nearly a decade. Experts said the two major quakes — the first measuring magnitude 6.4, the second 7.1 — led to a particularly energetic aftershock sequence before slowing down. The calculation, conducted by Zachary Ross, Caltech assistant professor of geophysics, comes as the earthquake sequence has continued to lessen rapidly. The U.S. Geological Survey says the chance of an earthquake of magnitude 7 or higher resulting from the Ridgecrest quakes is 1 in 300 — possible, but with a low probability. This activity is common in areas where there's a high heat flow in the earth, Ross said. Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson said earlier this month that aftershock sequences in areas of Earth's crust that is relatively warm can be initially quite intense but also fade more quickly, as has been seen in relatively hotter rock in the Imperial Valley. The Ridgecrest earthquakes are relatively close to the Coso Volcanic Field of Inyo County, which is mainly within the borders of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the sprawling military installation where much of the earthquake rupture occurred underneath. Coso is one of the nation's largest producers of geothermal power. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA Council President Nury Martinez Will Not Run For Mayor In 2022
Los Angeles Council President Nury Martinez will not be running for mayor in June 2022, issuing a statement Thursday, Sept. 16, saying she is committed to her current role. She said that with what still needs to be done to recover from the pandemic, “L.A. needs stability and steady leadership.” “I am not worried about what's next,” she said. “I'm focused on right now and I know I can best serve our city's hardworking people and families as their Council President.” Although the statement did not mention specifically that Martinez had decided against entering the mayoral race, a council aide confirmed that the statement signifies she won't run. It has been past practice that if someone were to decide to run for mayor, she or he should give up their role as council president. In May, Martinez's political consultant stated that the council president was giving “serious thought” to joining the race. City Attorney Mike Feuer, Councilman Joe Buscaino and businessman Mel Wosk are among the candidates that have begun seriously fundraising for the mayoral race. Councilman Kevin de Leon has also been considering a run. Los Angeles Daily News

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: