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 20, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Man Shot To Death During Botched Drug Deal In Hollywood
A man was shot and killed in a car in a parking lot off Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood early Monday morning during a drug deal gone bad. Gunshots were reported at 12:50 a.m. in the 5900 block of Sunset Boulevard, near Gordon Street. Los Angeles police responded to find a man in a parked car with gunshot wounds to his chest. He died at the scene. The victim was not immediately identified. He was described as being in his 30s. Police learned that the suspect and victim were involved in some kind of drug deal when a dispute occurred, which prompted the shooting. The suspect, described as a Black man in his 30s, was seen running from the scene, police said. The shooting was not believed to be gang-related. As of 5 a.m., Sunset Boulevard was closed between Bronson Avenue and Gordon Street. CBS 2

Arrest Made In Stabbing Death Of 69-Year-Old Woman In Baldwin Hills
The Los Angeles Police Department made an arrest on Saturday in the stabbing death of a woman in a Baldwin Hills apartment complex on Thursday. Officers were called at approximately 1:29 p.m. to the 4000 block of Buckingham Road, near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Tony Im said. The neighborhood is still on edge with many unanswered questions after a 69-year-old woman was found stabbed to death in her apartment. The woman's caretaker found her body Thursday afternoon, LAPD said. Neighbors say the apartment complex is a secured building with limited access. As the investigation went into the evening, neighbors started to show up asking questions, worried about their own safety. As of now there is no threat to the public, LAPD said. Officers arrested a man Saturday morning, although they haven't said what his connection is to the woman. The woman was identified by the L.A. County coroner as Bonny Dodd. She was living alone in the building, which some neighbors worry made her an easy target. There is no information regarding what motivated the incident. The South Bureau Homicide is investigating this case. NBC 4

LAPD Seeks Public's Help To ID Hit-and-Run Driver Who Fatally Struck Pedestrian In Watts
Police are asking for the public's help to find the driver of a vehicle who fatally struck a pedestrian in Watts and fled the scene without rendering aid Friday night. A 62-year-old man was crossing Central Avenue, just south of 112th Street, at about 10:30 p.m. when an unidentified vehicle traveling northbound on Central Avenue struck him and fled the scene, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release. Police said a second vehicle that was also traveling northbound on Central Avenue struck the victim, but the driver remained at the scene. First responders pronounced the victim dead at the scene. Authorities have not identified the victim. A reward of up to $50,000 is available to members of the public that can provide information leading to the identification or arrest of the suspect. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Officer Gerald Chavarria at 323-421-2500, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Those calling after hours can reach the South Traffic Division's Watch Commander at 323-421-2570.  KTLA 5

Grieving Family Looking For Killer Of 22-Year-Old Alejandro Legaria Rangel In Huntington Park
A grieving family in South Los Angeles is on a mission to find a killer who shot a young man in a car before taking off. Around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, Alejandro Legaria Rangel, 22, was heading to pick up a friend for their early morning jobs as stockers at a local Home Depot, his family said. Police said he was almost there when he was fatally shot in his car near the intersection of Santa Fe and Saturn Avenues in Huntington Park. Until the shooter is arrested, Rangel's cousin said the family is desperate for answers. “How did nobody call the police?” asked Elena Vargas Sunday. “I know those shots were heard. How did his friend not call the police when he saw that he didn't get there after texting him, ‘I'm on my way?'” She is asking anyone who might have information about this incident to call the police. A motive for the shooting or suspect description has not yet been released. CBS 2

LAPD Responds To A Report Of Vandalism At The Home Of A Bonin Recall Backer
Police are looking into an incident in which someone shattered a glass front door at the home of an activist leading the effort to recall Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin. Officers responded last week to the Venice home of Katrina Schmitt, one of two people spearheading the signature-gathering drive against Bonin, who represents coastal neighborhoods. Schmitt said she was inside her condominium around 8:30 p.m. Thursday when her glass door was smashed. The incident took place nearly a week after Bonin's anti-recall committee released a campaign video that featured a document showing Schmitt's name and home address. Days later, the committee — which uses the Twitter handle “Stop The Right-Wing Recalls” — sent a tweet that also highlighted the document, which showed the name and home addresses of Schmitt and another recall proponent, Nico Ruderman. Schmitt called the anti-recall campaign's posting of home addresses “intentionally reckless.” She also said she and Ruderman are Democrats who voted against the recall targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom. “I think they're intentionally trying to intimidate us and putting us in danger,” she said in an interview.  Los Angeles Times

$20,000 Reward For Information About Tarzana Couple Who Fled After Fraud Conviction
The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a couple who fled their home after being convicted of a multi-million dollar COVID-19 loan scheme. Richard Ayvazyan, 42, and his wife Marietta Terabelian, 37, are suspected of cutting their tracking bracelets and leaving their Tarzana residence on or about Aug. 29, officials said. They have been federally charged with violation of pretrial release and a warrant has been issued for their arrest. The couple and two additional co-defendants were convicted earlier this year of scheming to fraudulently obtain various COVID-19 relief funds. The group used fake, stolen or synthetic identities to create and submit fraudulent applications to various COVID-19 relief programs, which they used as down payments on luxury homes in Tarzana, Glendale, and Palm Desert. They also bought various luxury items including jewelry, watches, handbags and a a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. They received more than $18 million in relief funds, officials said. The couple were awaiting their sentencing, set for Sept. 13, when they fled. Authorities believe the couple are traveling together. Los Angeles Daily News

35-Year-Old Man Arrested For Possession Of Machine Gun In Woodland Hills A 35-year-old man was arrested Friday after he was found to be in possession of a machine gun while officers were serving a search warrant at an illegal marijuana grow operation in Woodland Hills, police said. Los Angeles Police Department officers served the search warrant at about 10:10 a.m. at the residence in the 23000 block of Cass Avenue, near Mulholland Drive, police said. Several occupants were detained at the residence, and police found the man — later identified as John Abbott — in a bedroom, according to police. Officers conducted a search of the bedroom and found 11 ghost guns and 27 high-capacity magazines. One weapon was equipped with a “Glock switch,” which rendered the gun fully automatic. Police also found a small cannabis grow in the garage of the home, where they seized over 40 pounds of marijuana. Abbott was arrested for suspicion of possession of a fully automatic handgun and booked into the Van Nuys Community Police Station jail. His bail was set at $35,000. The occupants that were detained at the residence were cited and released for being present at an illegal cannabis location, according to police.

Three Men Arrested At Homeless Encampment In Van Nuys
Three men were arrested in Van Nuys Friday after police investigated an illegal power hookup at a homeless encampment. Los Angeles Police Department officers were sent at about 9 a.m. to the encampment in the area of Sepulveda Boulevard and Oxnard Street, just east of the San Diego (405) Freeway, and found the power hookup coming from a tent, police said. Officers searched the area and arrested 42-year-old Gregory Carlton Allan, Jr. for suspicion of trespassing, 47-year-old James Daniel Wilson for suspicion of theft of utilities and 45-year-old Jonathan Bedford for a misdemeanor arrest warrant. Police also found a .22 caliber bolt-action rifle in a tent, though it was not immediately known if it belonged to any of the three men.

FBI Says Fortune Seized In Beverly Hills Raid Was Criminals' Loot. Owners Say: Where's The Proof?
After the FBI seized Joseph Ruiz's life savings during a raid on a safe deposit box business in Beverly Hills, the unemployed chef went to court to retrieve his $57,000. A judge ordered the government to tell Ruiz why it was trying to confiscate the money. It came from drug trafficking, an FBI agent responded in court papers. Ruiz's income was too low for him to have that much money, and his side business selling bongs made from liquor bottles suggested he was an unlicensed pot dealer, the agent wrote. The FBI also said a dog had smelled unspecified drugs on Ruiz's cash. The FBI was wrong. When Ruiz produced records showing the source of his money was legitimate, the government dropped its false accusation and returned his money. Ruiz is one of roughly 800 people whose money and valuables the FBI seized from safe deposit boxes they rented at the U.S. Private Vaults store in a strip mall on Olympic Boulevard. Federal agents had suspected for years that criminals were stashing loot there, and they assert that's exactly what they found. The government is trying to confiscate $86 million in cash and a stockpile of jewelry, rare coins and precious metals taken from about half of the boxes. But six months after the raid, the FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles have produced no evidence of criminal wrongdoing by the vast majority of box holders whose belongings the government is trying to keep. Los Angeles Times

Man Shot, Stabbed During Altercation Inside Bakery In Glendale
A man was shot and stabbed during an altercation inside a bakery in Glendale. Police responded to the intersection of Irving and Glenoaks Blvd. around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon. According to police some sort of altercation broke out between two men inside the Paradise Pastry and Café and one man was shot and stabbed. He was transported to a nearby hospital; his condition is not known. The relationship between the two men are not known. Police say one man is in custody. "There is another party involved that's also being spoken with but it's very early in the investigation so we're not sure exactly what happened. But there is no outstanding suspects in the case," said Sgt. Christian Hauptmann.  FOX 11

2 Shot In Compton During Street Racing Event
Two men were shot in Compton overnight after what appears to be a street racing incident. It happened around 11:30 p.m. Saturday near Alondra Boulevard and Wilmington Avenue. One victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition. The other victim was also transported but is said to be in stable condition. Police say both victims are men in their 20s. The investigation is ongoing. ABC 7

Robert Durst Verdict: Real-Estate Heir Found Guilty In Murder Of Susan Berman
A Los Angeles jury convicted Robert Durst on Friday of murdering his best friend 20 years ago in a case that took on new life after the New York real estate heir participated in a documentary that connected him to the slaying linked to his wife's 1982 disappearance. Durst, 78, was convicted of the first-degree murder of Susan Berman, who was shot at point-blank range in the back of the head in her Los Angeles home in December 2000 as she was prepared to tell police how she helped cover up his wife's killing. He faces a likely maximum sentence of life in prison for first-degree murder. A prosecutor said the sentencing hearing next month would not be expected to take long because the mandatory sentence is spelled out in the law. Durst was not in the Inglewood courtroom when the verdict was read. He was being isolated because of a possible COVID-19 exposure. His attorneys said he wanted to be in the courtroom and asked for a delay in the reading of the verdict. Superior Court Judge Mark Windham declined to postpone the reading of the verdict for Durst to return, noting that during the pandemic, the court risks losing a juror to isolation for additional COVID exposures, and jurors are supposed to be in the courtroom to confirm the reading of the verdict. ABC 7

Poway Synagogue Shooter Enters Second Guilty Plea, This Time In Federal Court The federal prosecution against John T. Earnest, who opened fire on a Poway synagogue and tried to set an Escondido mosque ablaze, ended Friday with a guilty plea, mirroring the parallel state prosecution that will send him to prison for the rest of his life. Earnest, 22, pleaded guilty to all 113 charges against him. The resolution comes two months after Earnest entered a similar plea in San Diego Superior Court, where he is expected to appear again in two weeks to be sentenced. Earnest, a Rancho Peñasquitos resident and former nursing student at Cal State San Marcos, was able to avoid the possibility of capital punishment with both pleas. As in the state plea, Earnest on Friday admitted in San Diego federal court that he was driven by his hatred of Jewish and Muslim people when he unleashed violence on Chabad of Poway and Dar-ul-Arquam mosque in 2019. On April 27 — the last day of Passover — Earnest walked into the lobby of the synagogue and opened fire, killing congregant Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60. Founding Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, 8-year-old Noya Dahan and her uncle, Almog Peretz, 34, were injured. Los Angeles Times

Man Suspected Of Killing Girl, 10, In Car-to-Car Shooting In Southern California
An 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of killing a 10-year-old girl in a car-to-car shooting that left her father and brother wounded earlier this summer in Southern California, authorities said. Liliana Jimenez died at the scene of the shooting July 17 in the small city of Arvin, southeast of Bakersfield. Her 29-year-old father and 12-year-old brother suffered gunshot wounds and were hospitalized. Witnesses tried to chase the suspect's vehicle, but it sped away. Police and US Marshals arrested Jesus Everado Haros Rodriguez Thursday night in the Kern County community of Lamont, KBAK-TV reported. It wasn't immediately known if he has an attorney. Investigators didn't say what the motive for the shooting was. The suspect is also suspected of multiple assaults, according to Arvin police.  FOX 11

New Jersey Officer Catches Baby Dropped From Balcony; Suspect Charged
A police officer managed to catch a 1-month-old infant after a man dropped the child from a second-floor balcony, according to reports. Now the unidentified suspect has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and endangering the welfare of a child, according to . Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said the baby was not harmed. Officers were called to a residence Saturday morning after they received reports the suspect was dangling the baby from a balcony, NBC News reports. The man was threatening to drop the infant, PIX 11 reports. Police attempted to negotiate with the suspect, but he dropped the baby from the balcony. The child was caught by officer Eduardo Matute, reports. “Kudos to the JCPD and all the officers involved for their heroics and for bringing a safe conclusion to this dangerous situation,” the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement to NBC News.  PoliceOne

Drone Bound For Prison Drops Contraband At School Instead, Virginia Cops Say
A prison-bound drone dropped an illicit package at a neighboring school in Virginia this week. The Brunswick County Sheriff's Office said it got a call around 8:24 a.m. Monday from an employee at Brunswick Academy in Lawrenceville who said a "suspicious package" was found on the school's grounds. Brunswick Academy, which also has locations in North Carolina, is a "coeducational private school" that offers preschool and K-12 classes in a "Christian environment." Another witness told deputies they had seen a drone land on school grounds earlier that morning, around 5:40 a.m., according to the sheriff's office. The person also told deputies they later saw a "dark colored sedan" pull into the school parking lot and grab the drone. Deputies took the "suspicious package" and determined it was "obviously" meant to be dropped off at the Lawrenceville Correctional Center, which is privately operated by The GEO Group, the sheriff's office said. When deputies opened the package, the sheriff's office said they found several pounds of marijuana and tobacco, three cellphones and a "USB-C to lightning converter." "We have had numerous calls for service at the prison this year to include other drone sightings alleging the same criminal activity," the sheriff's office wrote Tuesday on Facebook. The sheriff's office said the investigation is ongoing, and no other information had been released as of Wednesday. The News & Observer

Public Safety News

LA County Reports First Death From West Nile Virus This Season
The first death from West Nile virus in the 2021 season has been reported in Los Angeles County. The victim, a resident of the eastern region of Los Angeles County, was hospitalized and died from WNV-associated neuro-invasive disease, the county's health department announced Friday. No information was released on the person's age or gender. "To the family and friends feeling the sorrow of losing this person due to WNV, we send you our deepest sympathies," Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said. "West Nile virus can be a serious health threat to people who get infected. People should regularly check for items that can hold water and breed mosquitoes, both inside and outside their homes, and to cover, clean or throw out those items. I encourage everyone to protect themselves from diseases spread by mosquitoes by using EPA-registered mosquito repellent products as directed, and wear clothing that covers your arms and legs." FOX 11

Coronavirus Hospitalizations Continue To Decline In Los Angeles County
The number of coronavirus patients in Los Angeles County hospitals fell again according to the latest data, dropping from 1,070 Saturday to 1,053 Sunday. Local health officials reported five additional deaths and 1,322 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The number of cases and deaths reported Sunday likely reflect reporting delays over the weekend, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Testing results were available for more than 8,450,000 individuals with 16% of people testing positive. Saturday's test positivity rate was 1.3%. “We can't afford to be complacent with an average of 2,000 new cases and dozens of deaths each day,"  Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. "In order to be better prepared for the fall and winter, typically seasons when many viruses thrive, we need to immediately reduce COVID transmission." WestSide Current

L.A. County's New Outdoor Event, Nightlife Venue Rules Seek To Drive Up Vaccination Rates
With increasing inoculation rates their highest priority in the continued battle against COVID-19, Los Angeles County health officials on Friday are unveiling a new health officer order that encourages people to get vaccinated to enter more public spaces. The new rules apply to outdoor events and venues with more than 10,000 attendees, as well as indoors at bars, nightclubs, wineries, breweries and lounges. “It is clear that our vaccination progress is stalling, and we need to move in a different direction to avoid future surges in cases,” county public health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a briefing Friday. Outdoor mega-events will need to start verifying attendees' vaccination status or obtaining proof of a negative test within 72 hours by Oct. 7. This rule applies to any ticketed gathering of at least 10,000 people, which includes theme parks as well as sports arenas and concert halls. Ferrer noted that the rules are similar to ones from the state that take effect Monday applying to all indoor events with more than 1,000 attendees. For nightclub venues, no negative tests will be accepted, only proof of vaccine. Patrons will need to have at least one dose by Oct. 7 and be fully vaccinated by Nov. 4, though children under 12 are exempt, Ferrer said.  KTLA 5

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: