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 23, 2021
Law Enforcement News

LAPD Works To Address Concerns In Wake Of Recent Melrose Corridor Crimes
The Los Angeles Police Department began mounted unit patrols along Melrose Avenue Wednesday as area business owners and residents voiced concerns about a string of recent crimes. LAPD hosted a virtual town hall Wednesday via Zoom, and a second virtual community meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Attendees can prereigster by going to . The meetings were called in response to a series of armed robberies and other crimes taking place in the Melrose and Fairfax shopping areas in recent months. Police Chief Michel Moore says that the overall number of robberies in the city is about the same as last year, but they are seeing a rising number of robberies involving guns, the Los Angeles Times reported. The department has put more officers on foot patrols in the area and directed officers in cars to drive along the shopping corridor when not responding to calls for help, Deputy Chief Blake Chow told the Times. KTLA 5

Melrose Residents, Business Owners Hold Town Hall To Address Rising Crime
Residents and business owners within the popular Melrose District held a town hall meeting Wednesday to discuss the rise in crime in the area. According to statistics from the Los Angeles Police Department's Wilshire and Hollywood divisions, robberies with a handgun jumped 75% within the last year. Data also shows street robberies have increased by 40% from 2019 to 2021, while business robberies have declined 43% from the same time period. Residents at the town hall meeting asked officers what they were doing to prevent crime and discussed the problems they've been experiencing. LAPD plans to be more visible along the corridor with officers on horseback, officers on bicycles, more foot patrols, motor units and a mobile command post. Business owners also voiced their complaints to officers during the town hall meeting, and officers plan to work with business owners to provide resources to them such as recommendations for private security companies. Violent crime has increased nationwide, but officers said the Melrose area is outpacing other parts of the city.  FOX 11

Suspect Sought In Fatal South LA Hit-And-Run In October 2020
Authorities Wednesday were hoping that a reward of up to $50,000 would help generate tips leading to the arrest of the hit-and-run motorist responsible for the death of a 21-year-old woman nearly a year ago in the South Los Angeles area. Isabella Stier was injured at about 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 20, 2020, as she crossed Avalon Boulevard north of 108th Street outside of a crosswalk. She died at the scene, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Police circulated a security image of the vehicle, described as a white or gray older-model car that had black moldings on the doors. No description of the driver was available. A standing reward of up to $50,000 has been offered by the city of Los Angeles for information leading to the identity, arrest and prosecution of a suspect in a fatal hit and run. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the LAPD South Traffic Division at 323-421-2500 or 323-421-2577, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

Trial Date Set For Man Charged With Rapper Nipsey Hussle's Killing
A Jan. 5 trial date was set Wednesday for a man charged with murdering Nipsey Hussle outsider the rapper's clothing store in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles about 2 1/2 years ago. Eric Holder Jr., now 31, was indicted in May 2019 on one count each of murder and possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a firearm. Deputy District Attorney John McKinney told the grand jury that Holder used two guns on March 31, 2019, to fire multiple shots shortly after a conversation that included allegations of “snitching.” The prosecutor told the grand jury that the defendant walked up to a group including Hussle — whose real name was Ermias Joseph Asghedom — and the ensuing discussion “had something to do with Mr. Asghedom accusing Mr. Holder of snitching, which, in the gang world, is a very serious offense.” “Apparently the conversation had something to do with Mr. Asghedom telling Mr. Holder that word on the street was that Mr. Holder was snitching.

5 Sought In Possible Hate Crime Attack On Hollywood Walk Of Fame: LAPD
The Los Angeles Police Department is searching for five people who are shown on video attacking a man about 10 p.m. Saturday night near the intersection of Highland Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard. The attack was precipitated by a disagreement between the victim and a street preacher, police said. The attackers, who were not part of the disagreement, then interjected themselves into the confrontation, using racial epithets in what police said could be a hate crime.  KTLA 5

Additional Victims Sought In ‘Back Alley Butt Lifts' Performed By Suspect Known As ‘La Tia'
Police are seeking additional victims of a suspected mother-daughter duo accused of performing illegal butt injection augmentations that led to the death of an aspiring adult actress. Karissa Rajpaul, 26, died after a series of injections performed by a woman known as La Tia. She is accused along with her daughter of performing these operations even though they were unlicensed and recruited their patients on Instagram, authorities said. "That's how she would advertise it, everyone knows her as La Tia," says LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide Detective Bob Dinlocker. Two arrests have been made in the case. Libby Adame and her daughter, Alicia Gomez, are accused of performing the operation on Rajpaul, police said. And police believe many more victims were treated with a liquid silicon mix that when it hits the blood stream, attacks the heart, the brain and the kidneys, police said. "These are very dangerous, unlicensed medical practices that are propagating themselves through social media," says LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton, adding that he believes victims are afraid to come forward because of embarrassment. "We need these victims to come forward because we need to find out if there are other victims out there that are permanently disfigured or may have passed away as a result of some of these procedures and may have been a victim of a criminal act," he says. NBC 4

‘You Can't Just Move People's Cars': Video Shows Stranger Moving North Hills Woman's Car Before It Got Towed
A North Hills woman called police to report her car had been stolen Saturday, and was confused to learn that it had been towed for being parked in front of a fire hydrant — because that's not where she left it. Surveillance video shows a big rig driver attempting to make a tight turn into a nearby home. Then the driver can be seen going into the woman's car, and steering the unlocked vehicle while another person pushes it from behind. The pair left the car right in front of the hydrant. A few hours later, the city came, ticketed it and towed it away. “You can't just move peoples cars,” Alma Ordonez said. “This is L.A. There's parking issues everywhere. I mean if you can do that, can you imagine, in the city, everybody just moving people's cars to park?” LAPD said the crime could end in a misdemeanor charge if they can catch the people who moved the vehicle. As for Ordonez, the city waived the fee for the ticket, but to get the $400 towing fee back, she would have to go to small claims court. KTLA 5

Hollywood Burbank Airport: Flights Briefly Suspended After Man Runs Into Plane's Path On Runway
A person ran onto a runway and into the path of an airplane Wednesday morning at Hollywood Burbank Airport, prompting the temporary shutdown of the facility and suspension of all flights, authorities said. The incident was reported shortly after 11:30 a.m., an official in the airport's flight tower told ABC7. Aerial video from AIR7 HD showed the man standing along on the tarmac as an officer in an SUV approached him. The officer exited his vehicle and took the man into custody without incident. The airport was subsequently reopened and all flights were resuming as scheduled, an official said. It was not immediately clear how the man was able to breach security and gain access to the restricted area. ABC 7

She Once Solved Murders. Then She Was Found Dead In Her Freezer
Miriam Travis was familiar with gruesome deaths. As a homicide detective for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, she investigated how people's lives ended. According to a former colleague, she was the first woman to work murders in a unit known as “The Bulldogs,” retiring in 1990 to live a quiet life in Riverside. This week, her house was swarmed by detectives, in a ritual she would have been all too familiar with, after she was found dead in a freezer at age 87. It is not yet clear whether she was the victim of a homicide or died a natural death. Police are trying to figure out who put her body in the freezer — and why. Her daughter, Carol, who lived with her, gave inconsistent answers to police who came to the home on New Ridge Drive Sunday morning after another relative reported that she hadn't been heard from in months. That led the officers to search the 2,600-square foot home, which smelled foul and had trash randomly piled everywhere, said Officer Javier Cabrera, spokesman for the Riverside Police Department. As they sifted through the debris, officers noticed a large freezer in the garage. Inside was Travis' body, intact and frozen solid. Los Angeles Times

Man Wounded In Santa Monica Shooting, Suspects At Large
A man was wounded in a shooting in Santa Monica today and police were searching for two suspects. Officers were called to the area of Ocean Avenue and Pacific Street at about 3 a.m. by a man who said he had been shot in the face during a possible carjacking, according to a Santa Monica Police Department statement. They found the man, who said he was asleep in his car when two suspects approached his vehicle and demanded he give them the keys. The suspects then shot the man and possibly fled the area in a vehicle traveling in an unknown direction. The victim was taken by paramedics to a hospital where he was listed in stable condition, police said. An investigation into the shooting was underway and anyone with information was asked to contact SMPD Criminal Investigations Division Detective Nicole Murphy at 310-458-8941. WestSide Current

Judge Rules Paul Flores And Father To Stand Trial In 1996 Kristin Smart Killing
A San Luis Obispo County judge ruled that Paul Flores will be tried for murder in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart and that his father must also answer to charges that he was an accessory to the crime. Judge Craig B. Van Rooyen on Wednesday morning made the decision there was probable cause to try both father and son after hearing 22 days of testimony in which the prosecutor laid out a circumstantial case against Paul Flores, who was the last person seen with the fellow Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student near the residence halls on May 25, 1996. Paul Flores was arrested in April at his San Pedro home, nearly 25 years after Smart, 19, vanished after being last seen walking with him toward the dormitories. While Smart's body has never been found, she was legally declared dead in 2002. “We continue to support the family of Kristin Smart as we work toward justice,” San Luis Obispo County Dist. Atty Dan Dow said after Wednesday's ruling. During the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor solicited testimony from witness Jennifer Hudson that the now 44-year-old Flores admitted to the crime to her in 1996. Los Angeles Times

Bodycam Shows Ohio Officer Shot In Head, Return Fire
A Dayton police officer shot in the left side of his face Tuesday night who returned fire, striking the suspect multiple times, was able to request help for himself and the wounded suspect as well as direct bystanders to safety. The officer shot was identified as Thadeu Holloway, an eight-year veteran of the Dayton Police Department, said Matt Carper, interim director and chief, during a Wednesday afternoon news briefing. The officer-involved shooting began with an investigation into a fake bill passed at a Dollar General store, Carper said. Holloway responded around 6:45 p.m. to Dollar General at 888 S. Gettysburg Ave. for a fraud complaint after a customer passed a counterfeit bill earlier in the day, Carper said. Holloway arrived at 7:26 p.m. at the rear of 609 Ingram St. and approached 39-year-old Antwyane Deon Lowe, who matched the description of the suspect in the Dollar General fraud call, Carper said. As Holloway approached and addressed Lowe, he ignored the officer and began to walk away. As Holloway got closer to Lowe, he turned and punched Holloway in the face without warning, Carper said. Dayton Daily News, Ohio

Chicago PD's Firearms Laboratory Working Furiously To Combat Violence
Each year, the Chicago Police Department's firearms laboratory receives thousands of guns that police officers confiscate and take off the streets. Handguns arrive at the lab's intake desk in brown paper envelopes. Rifles get there in gun boxes. Ballistics evidence such as bullets and shell casings are sealed in plastic bags. “Every day, we get guns dropped off, and it could be as few as 15 to 20 guns and there's days, on busy days, we get over 200 guns,” said Sgt. Norman Kwong, a supervisor in the firearms lab at the Homan Square Chicago police facility on the West Side. In a cramped office just past the intake area, firearm technicians sit at their desks with some of those guns in front of their computers, logging in their makes, models, serial numbers and other pertinent identifiers. Some officers examine casings and bullets under microscopes. The technicians may thumb through the office's robust reference collection of gun books — “Rifles of the World,” or “Antique Firearms,” among many others — if they're unfamiliar with some of the more obscure weapons that come through the door. Chicago Tribune

No Signs Of Gabby Petito's Boyfriend After Days Of Searching
Search teams found nothing of note Wednesday at a Florida wilderness park where they have spent days looking for the boyfriend of Gabby Petito, the young woman who authorities say was killed while on a cross-country trip with him. The search resumed Wednesday morning at the 24,000-acre (9,700-hectare) Carlton Reserve park and ended just before dark, North Port police spokesperson Joshua Taylor said. Investigators say Brian Laundrie's parents told them he had gone there after returning home without Petito on Sept. 1. It marked the fourth day of searching in the Carlton Reserve, with operations suspended Monday while the FBI searched the nearby Laundrie home for evidence. The search of the reserve was set to resume Thursday morning, Taylor said in an email. The outdoors search includes thousands of acres of forbidding, swampy subtropical terrain replete with alligators, snakes, bobcats, coyotes, turkey, deer and many other wild creatures. There are more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) of hiking and horseback riding trails, plus numerous camping areas and rivers. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office brought in a diver unit called SURF, or Sheriff's Underwater Recovery Force, to perform a more specialized search for evidence. Los Angeles Daily News

Public Safety News

Small Brush Fire In Chatsworth 50% Contained; No Evacuations Needed: LAFD
Los Angeles firefighters were able to halt forward progress on a blaze that broke out in rocky hiking terrain near a Chatsworth neighborhood Wednesday, officials said. Dubbed the Jeffrey Fire, flames were reported just before 4 p.m. in the 22500 block of West Jeffrey Mark Court, near Chatsworth Park South, the L.A. Fire Department said in an  alert . As of about 6 p.m., the fire covered less than 9 acres and was 50% contained. Fanned by light winds with gusts up to 14 mph, the blaze had spread uphill toward the east in light-to-medium brush. Although as many as 100 homes were in the fire's path, no structures were threatened and no evacuations were necessary, the fire department said. No injuries were reported. Firefighters said they “relentlessly pursued one vague report of a person in the wilderness who may have been in peril,” but no one was found. Motorists were still advised to avoid the area of Chatsworth Park South and the hills to the north to make room for firefighting vehicles. LAFD said Los Angeles County and Ventura County firefighters were assisting in the battle. KTLA 5

COVID Hospitalizations Fall Below 1,000 In LA County, But Daily Deaths Remain High
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Los Angeles County fell below the 1,000 mark Wednesday for the first time since late July, continuing a steady decline from a summer peak of nearly 1,800 in mid-August. According to state figures, there were 991 COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles county hospitals as of Wednesday, a drop from 1,018 on Tuesday. There were 305 patients in intensive care, down from 312 a day ago. The number of COVID-positive hospital patients in Los Angeles County has dropped for nine consecutive days and 22 of the past 23 days. While hospitalizations have declined, fatalities due to the virus have remained elevated, with the county on Tuesday reporting another 32 COVID deaths. Those deaths lifted the county's overall pandemic death toll to 25,870. The county Department of Public Health also reported another 1,238 infections on Tuesday, for a cumulative pandemic total of 1,446,348. NBC 4

LAX, Metrolink Test Earthquake Early Warning Systems To Shut Down Fuel, Stop Trains Before Shaking Starts
Did you feel that? If you're at LAX in the event of an earthquake, a new early warning system should give travelers a few seconds of warning before the shaking even starts. The early warning system at one of the world's busiest airports will monitor for earthquake activity through the U.S. Geological Survey's ShakeAlert, which is linked to seismic sensors. When it comes online sometime in 2022, the system will automatically trigger emergency notifications to terminals, where passengers will be alerted. The pilot project will also explore the possibility of automatically shut down LAX's airport fuel hydrant system to help prevent jet fuel from flowing during an earthquake. “We know it's not a question of if, but rather when, the next earthquake will hit, and the ability to offer even a few precious seconds of warning can make a difference in helping to save lives and property,” LAWA CEO Justin Erbacci said in a statement. The system will be tested at one of LAX's terminals using $150,000 from the city's Innovation and Performance Commission. CBS 2

LA County Provides List Of Acceptable Vaccine Records For Entry To Indoor Events Over 1,000 People
A new Los Angeles County Health Officer Order issued Friday will require proof of vaccination for all customers and employees at indoor bars, breweries, nightclubs, wineries and distilleries. All patrons and employees will need at least one dose of vaccine by Oct. 7, and a second dose by Nov. 4. The order will recommend, but not require, vaccinations for people at indoor restaurants. The new order will also require all attendees and employees at outdoor mega-events with 10,000 people or more to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours. That requirement, which will take effect Oct. 7, will affect all major outdoor sporting events, and will also impact large theme parks, such as Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain. FOX 11

Local Government News

LA City Council Seeks Flexible Rental Subsidies To Quickly House Homeless
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to seek funding to increase rental subsidies for the homeless in partnership with the county Department of Health Services -- particularly for those with health problems and mental health needs. The motion was co-introduced by Councilman Mike Bonin with Councilmen Mark Ridley-Thomas and Curren Price. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services' rental subsidy program was launched in 2014 and provides move-in assistance, rental subsidy disbursement and case management to participants. The department works with participating landlords to house people in single-family homes, individual apartments, blocks of units and entire buildings. Along with ongoing financial assistance, residents are given housing retention services in an effort to keep them housed. “Ongoing subsidized rental assistance ... is a necessary and cost- effective strategy to help end not just an episode of homelessness, but chronic homelessness for many living on the streets of Los Angeles,'' the motion stated.  The motion notes that the county's program has housed 9,000 Angelenos and provided them with intensive case management services. WestSide Current

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: