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 22, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Police Union Blasts District Attorney... You Put A Target On Cops' Backs
A huge LAPD police union is going scorched earth on the Los Angeles District Attorney after he decided NOT to charge Jaxson Hayes with a felony, following the arrest of the New Orleans Pelicans star in July. "George Gascon's latest criminal's first airball puts a target on the back of every police officer in Los Angeles," the Los Angeles Police Protective League tells TMZ Sports. The LAPPL -- which reps over 9,000 cops in L.A. -- continued, "Gascon's refusal to prosecute Jaxson Hayes for violently attacking and injuring an officer during his n-word laced tirade is nothing more than a declaration that it's open season to attack cops and it's shameful." The union is livid that Gascon's office decided against charging Hayes with any felonies ... despite the fact he seemingly pushed an officer on video. FYI, Gascon is a polarizing figure. His critics have accused him of being soft on crime ... and failing to protect law enforcement officers. The LAPD launched an investigation to determine if excessive force was used. That investigation is still ongoing. As for the LAPPL, they weren't done ... they also went in on the NBA for failing to discipline Hayes, or condemn his actions. "As for the NBA, their silence is deafening when it comes to one of their players assaulting an officer and thwarting a domestic violence investigation. Apparently, their policy on preventing domestic violence was created more for SportsCenter than it is to actually hold its players accountable. Real classy." TMZ

LAPD Says Armed Robberies Have Become An Alarming Trend
Armed robberies, stretching from Hollywood to Mid-Wilshire, West Los Angeles and the beaches, are part of an alarming trend the LAPD revealed Tuesday. “West Bureau, we have nearly a 23% increase in the number of robberies in that command that involve a firearm,” Chief Michael Moore said in a Tuesday Police Commission briefing. Residents in the Melrose Corridor say they are desperate for help. Dominic Deluca, who owns the popular skate shop Brooklyn Projects, watched a shootout live from his security cameras. “People live here 30, 40 years and they've never seen anything like it,” Deluca said. Peter Nichols, a board member on Melrose Action said the neighborhood has seen everything from brazen daytime robberies to shootouts and murder. Chief Moore reported to the commission that a lot of the times, two or three suspects will swarm an individual, stealing items like loose jewelry and high-end watches in these street robberies. “People are scared that one of us is going to be the next victim. I think that that seems to be the common chatter,” Nichols said. The trend isn't limited to the Melrose area. Community organizers in other neighborhoods say they're also worried about violent crime. A member of the Venice Neighborhood Council, Soledad Ursua, said that Venice is really the epicenter for crime and lawlessness and that no one is really safe. According to LAPD, they're stepping up patrols and educating business owners, but Deluca insists that there needs to be harsher penalties for offenders before anything changes. CBS 2

Man Charged With Murder In Fatal Stabbing Of Woman At Baldwin Hills Senior Apartments
A man accused of fatally stabbing a woman at a senior housing community in Baldwin Hills has been charged with murder, LAPD officials announced Tuesday. The incident was reported about 1:15 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Buckingham Senior Apartments in the 4000 block of Buckingham Road. The victim, 69-year-old Bonny Dodd, was initially found by her caretaker, who called the fire department. First responders treated the victim for multiple stab wounds, but she died from her injuries. The suspect, 63-year-old Vincent Kennedy, was arrested at the scene. On Monday, the case against Kennedy was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, which charged him with murder, police said. Authorities have not released information about a possible motive, and the relationship between the victim and suspect is unclear. Anyone with additional information about the case can call the LAPD's South Bureau Homicide Division at 323-786-5111. KTLA 5

LAPD Seeks Help Finding Suspect Who Allegedly Ran Over, Severely Injured Pedestrian While Fleeing Downtown L.A. In Stolen Truck
Police are searching for a man suspected of running over and injuring a pedestrian while flee ing downtown Los Angeles with a stolen vehicle earlier this year, officials said Tuesday. The hit-and-run collision happened around 8:35 p.m. Feb. 20, after a man stole a 2001 Toyota Tundra from the area of Seventh and Figueroa streets and was driving away from the scene, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The pickup truck ran over the pedestrian, who was was crossing the street at the intersection. The driver kept going, not stopping to render aid to the badly injured woman, LAPD officials said. He later ditched the truck a short distance away in the area of Bixel and Ingraham streets. Paramedics responded to the scene of the collision and took the woman to a hospital, where she was admitted with severe injuries. She has since been discharged from the hospital, but still faces a long road to recovery, police said. LAPD shared photos of the victim in her hospital bed, where she was lying with a broken arm and visible injuries to her face. Using DNA evidence left in the truck, detectives identified the driver as 30-year-old Tajon Wright Freeman, according to LAPD. KTLA 5

Suspect In Venice Shooting Arrested
A man suspected of shooting someone he was arguing with near a homeless encampment in Venice Tuesday was arrested. The shooting occurred at 12:55 p.m. near Venice Boulevard and Electric Avenue after the suspect and a victim were engaged in an argument that escalated. The suspect shot the victim in the leg and ran away, police said. The victim was taken to a hospital where he was treated for his gunshot wound. After interviewing witnesses, detectives and officers identified a Los Angeles resident, Orlando Moreno, 36, as a suspect and members of the Pacific Division Violent Crime Task Force arrested him at 5:10 p.m. near Venice and Abbot Kinney boulevards, police said. At the time of his arrest, Moreno was in possession of a loaded semi-automatic handgun, police said. Anyone with additional information about this shooting is asked to call the Pacific Division station at 310-482-6402.

Two Men Charged With Hate Crime In Attack Outside Beverly Grove Restaurant
Two men were charged in an assault on Jewish diners earlier this year outside a Beverly Grove restaurant, the Los Angeles County District Attorney said Tuesday. Xavier Pabon, 30, and Samer Jayylusi, 36, were each charged with two felony counts of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury. The criminal complaint also includes a hate crime allegation. Jayylusi is expected to be arraigned Tuesday at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Pabon's arraignment is scheduled for Thursday in the same courtroom. It was not immediately clear whether they have attorneys. The incident occurred on May 18, when the two suspects were allegedly part of a vehicle caravan waving Palestinian flags that confronted the victims outside Sushi Fumi in the 300 block of North La Cienega Boulevard. They are accused of approaching two men outside of a restaurant and attacking them because of their religion, according to the District Attorney's Office. Cell phone video showed a group of men exit a car and begin to attack the diners while yelling racial slurs. LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the attack at the restaurant "appeared to spring from a roving band of vehicles that were seen flying flags within the Jewish-populated areas of Hollywood, West L.A., Mid-Wilshire, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills." NBC 4

Burglars Ram U-Haul Truck Into Tarzana Cell Phone Repair Shop
Police said Wednesday a group of burglars used a moving truck to smash their way into a family-owned business in Tarzana overnight. The burglary was reported around 3 a.m. at the A2Z Wireless iPhone Repair shop that repairs cell phones and also sells merchandise. The shop is located near the intersection of Tampa Avenue and Ventura Boulevard. According to witnesses, two men driving a 20-foot U-Haul truck arrived at the cell phone repair shop and backed the truck right into the store. The two suspects then proceeded to steal many of the items in the store before leaving the scene. The owner told FOX 11's Gigi Graciette some of the items stolen from the store include phones, iPads, accessories, and MacBooks. Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD's West Valley Division.  FOX 11

Student Hospitalized And Two Others Facing Felony Charges After Beating In School
Two high school students from Los Angeles are facing felony charges for a beating caught on camera, which sent the injured classmate to the hospital. School police say it's unclear what prompted the fight, but that there was a longstanding dispute between the girls involved. The disturbing video shows students gathered in a girl's locker room at Miguel Contreras Learning Complex's School of Social Justice. Two high school girls in red and yellow hoodies push each other to the ground, at which point a third girl in black joins the fight. As the video continues, the girls in red and in black begin stomping on the student in the yellow hoodie, throwing punches and picking her up by her hair while she is defenseless and on the ground. Other students surround the fighting girls in the video, some filming the incident, without intervening. The incident happened Monday at 11 a.m., with the girl in yellow the only victim in the fight, according to LA School Police. She was taken to the hospital for her injuries.  NBC 4

Motorcyclist Taken Into Custody Following Brief Pursuit In Reseda Area
Authorities were in pursuit of a motorcycle in the Reseda area Tuesday morning. Ground units were called off, but authorities remained in tracking mode. The male driver was wanted for reckless driving. He was taken into custody a short time later in the Tarzana area. Additional details were not immediately available. FOX 11

Trial Set For Former Weight-Loss Doctor In Alleged Bogus Billing Scheme
Opening statements are scheduled Wednesday in the federal trial of a former weight-loss doctor and a Beverly Hills physician charged with taking part in a $250 million bogus billing scheme involving 1-800-GET-THIN Lap-Band surgeries. Julian Omidi, 53, of West Hollywood, and Mirali Zarrabi, 59, of Beverly Hills, face multiple federal counts alleging mail and wire fraud, false statements, money laundering and aggravated identity theft stemming from GET THIN's Lap-Band surgery and sleep study programs between May 2010 and March 2016, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Surgery Center Management, a corporation controlled by Omidi, together with his brother and mother, is also named in the indictment. The Lap-Band is a silicone ring that is surgically implanted around the stomach to discourage overeating. Prosecutors allege that patients were harmed as a result of the charged fraud scheme when they were subjected to unnecessary medical procedures, and that insurance providers were conned out of tens of millions of dollars after receiving fraudulent bills.

Divide Between LA, First Responders Becomes A Front In Battle Over Vaccine Mandates
A legal fight in Los Angeles has exposed a bitter and widening divide between public servants like teachers, police officers and firefighters, as COVID-19 mandates become increasingly common — and first responders push back. Earlier this month, more than 500 Los Angeles firefighters filed a lawsuit against the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The suit is one of several challenges among police and EMS personnel across California and in other major cities, some of whom have threatened resignations in response to the new rules. Meanwhile, six LAPD employees have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the city's vaccination requirement, claiming the mandate violates the employees' constitutional rights to privacy and due process. The complaint also says that officials have threatened to lay off thousands of officers who refuse to get the jab. This lawsuit comes amid increasingly fraught debates over employer vaccination mandates across the country. The issue escalated after President Joe Biden announced a mandate for federal government workers, and requirements that private employers with more than 100 employees to be vaccinated against the virus, or be tested weekly. However, the LAPD suit, which was brought against the city, the police chief, and several other government officials, claims that weekly testing itself is “highly intrusive.”  Yahoo! News

Woman Found Safe After Video Shows Possible Abduction In Bell Gardens
A man and woman seen struggling with each other in what appeared to be a possible abduction in Bell Gardens have been located and are safe, police said Tuesday. Video showed what appeared to be a woman exiting a car that was stopped in the middle of the street and trying to run away. A man in a hoodie gets out of the car and grabs the struggling woman around the waist as she resists, then puts her back into the car and drives off. The surveillance video led to an investigation and a request for the public's help by the Bell Gardens police department. The department said it was unclear if the video was depicting a crime or perhaps a domestic dispute but they wanted to contact the individuals seen in the footage. The incident happened Saturday shortly before 11 p.m. in the 6500 block of Toler Avenue. Tuesday evening, the department said the two had been located. "Both female & male in the video have been contacted, both are safe and the investigation is ongoing. The Bell Gardens Police Department would like to thank the public and the media for helping us with this matter." ABC 7

Police Arrest Knife-Wielding Men Who Tried To Break Into Santa Monica Home
The Santa Monica Police Department arrested two men they say tried to break into a home at a residence on 4th Street. It happened Monday, Sept. 20, at 2:40 a.m. at the 2300 Block of 4th Street, according to police. Officer say they responded to a call of a male who broke into a side gate and approached the rear door of a home while holding a knife. The resident yelled at the unknown male, according to the SMDP. Police say the suspect dropped the knife and was seen fleeing the area with another male. Responding officers took two males into custody who they say matched the descriptions provided by the resident, a short distance away. Officers identified the individuals as Taylor Kale Pacheco a 30-year-old male and Robert Sam Chandler a 32-year-old male of Los Angeles, according to police. Officers reviewed the security camera and say they were able to identify the subjects as being the suspects of the prowling. The knife was recovered on scene and officers also recovered bolt cutters that Chandler had in his possession, according to SMDP. Both suspects were in possession of methamphetamine. They were taken into custody and charged. WestSide Current

Colorado Police Officer Shot Multiple Times; Manhunt For Suspect
A Littleton police officer remained hospitalized Tuesday morning after being shot multiple times overnight in the area of South Bannock Street and West Powers Avenue, authorities said. A search is now underway for the suspect, Littleton police Chief Doug Stephens said during a morning news conference. Two officers responded to a call of shots being fired from a vehicle in that area shortly after midnight, Stephens said. They contacted "what they thought was a possible suspect vehicle," and two suspects fled on foot, he said. As one of the suspects entered an apartment building at 183 West Powers Avenue, he turned and fired multiple shots, striking one of the officers repeatedly, Stephens said. The officer, who was wearing what Stephens described as body armor, was shot "more than three" times. "We believe he received a few shots to his torso, which were absorbed by the body armor, and he received wounds to his extremities, his legs and arm, and possibly one up above his vest, on his chest," Stephens said. Both officers returned fire, Stephens said. "At this point, we don't know if the suspect was struck," he said. The injured officer — who has not been publicly identified — was transported to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery and is now in the intensive care unit, Stephens said. The officer was described as being in serious but stable condition. The Denver Post

Coroner Confirms Remains Found Are Gabby Petito's, Says Manner Of Death Is A Homicide
As Search Resumes For Brian Laundrie Officials have confirmed that the body found in Grand Teton National Park is Gabby Petito. According to the FBI, the manner of death is considered a homicide. The actual cause of death has not been determined. As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, there are now teal ribbons for as far as the eye can see in Blue Point, Long Island. The gesture was originally intended to help bring Petito home. Now it's a sign of community grief. Organizers have ordered hundreds for surrounding communities. The color — teal — is to reflect the lost 22-year-old's eyes. “Seeing that beautiful, beautiful girl is just heartbreaking. I hope they find him and I hope he gets justice for that family,” one person said. The FBI and police agencies fanned out again across the vast Carlton Reserve in Florida searching by land, air and with K9 units for fiancé Brian Laundrie, who is still missing after returning from a cross country van trip without Petito. Officials call the 25,000 acre terrain near his parents house unforgiving. Much of it is waist-deep gator-and-snake-infested swamp.  CBS New York

Public Safety News

California's Firefighters Keep Getting Injured While Training. And Some Have Died
Even as he lay dying on the side of a Southern California mountain – his lips blue, the color gone from his face – wildland firefighter Yaroslav Katkov wanted to push on. “We're getting to the top. We're finishing,” his captain recalled Katkov saying after collapsing atop a ridge during a training hike in hot weather, according to state records. Katkov's speech was garbled. He tried to stand, but couldn't find his footing. His body temperature was reaching dangerous levels. He was suffering from heat illness. What happened on that sun-soaked July day in 2019 is one thread in a larger story about firefighter training in an era of intensifying heat. Over the past 18 months, more than 150 firefighters were sickened by heat exposure while working for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection — known as Cal Fire. More than a quarter of heat-related incidents — the largest category — involve firefighters who fell ill during routine training exercises, Columbia Journalism Investigations, KPCC and the LAist found. Capital Public Radio

Local Government News

LA Councilman Kevin de Leon Announces Much-Anticipated Mayoral Run
After months of speculation, Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de Leon announced on Tuesday, Sept. 21, that he is indeed running for mayor of Los Angeles. De Leon, 54, instantly stands among the more high-profile names to vie for the city's highest elected post — and is instantly the race's most visible Latinx leader. And it was his deep roots in the city that he returned to again and again. “I believe in the power and the future of this great city,” he said as he framed his goals in the context of the city's deepest problems — homelessness and affordable housing. “As a young person, I simply did not know if we'd have enough money to make it to the next month,” he said, recalling his single, immigrant mother, who paid the bills with the money she made as a housekeeper. De Leon told an early morning gathering of supporters on the Paseo De La Plaza in the El Pueblo de Los Angeles: “The people of Los Angeles deserve to know they are not alone. That their next mayor knows what housing insecurity feels like. That their next mayor knows what it feels like to sleep in a car for weeks.” De Leon enters after much speculation, realizing a hope among many L.A. observers to see a widely recognized Latinx leader jump into the race. Los Angeles Daily News

Los Angeles City Council Finalizing Banning Protests Within 300 Feet Of Target's Home
The Los Angeles City Council finalized an ordinance Tuesday that will prohibit protests within 300 feet of the target's residence, a policy developed after activists protesting the city's COVID-19 vaccine mandate showed up at two council members' homes last month. The ordinance received 13 yes votes, with Councilwoman Nithya Raman and Councilman Mike Bonin casting dissenting votes. The ordinance required unanimous approval on its first reading, and was held for a final vote Tuesday, when it required 12 yes votes to pass. Ordinances typically require a simple majority upon the second reading, but this ordinance includes an urgency clause to go into effect immediately upon publication. When urgency clauses are included, the ordinance requires approval from three-fourths of the City Council. The motion to request the ordinance was introduced by Council President Nury Martinez and Councilman Mitch O'Farrell on Aug. 31. Two days earlier, an anti-vaccine mandate protester at a Santa Monica rally shared the addresses of council members and encouraged people to go to their homes if they voted for an ordinance to require at least partial proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering most indoor public spaces in the city.  FOX 11

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: