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

October 26, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Assaults On Police Officers Up In 2020 — Much Of The Increase Tied To Clashes With Protesters
The number of assaults on police officers in the United States appeared to go up last year, according to recently released FBI data; but nearly half of that increase came from officers facing off with protesters during 2020's historic civil rights protests. However, data reflecting the rise also seemed to be, at best, incomplete: Hundreds fewer law enforcement agencies reported this data in 2019 than in 2020. Regardless, last year 2,444 assaults on officers occurred during incidents described as civil disorder, according to the FBI's report on law enforcement killings and assaults. In 2019, that number was just 488, a 400% increase. That rise would account for nearly half of the reported increase of 4,071 assaults on officers last year. Total assaults numbered 60,105, the first time since 2017 that assaults on officers rose above 60,000. Even with those numbers, however, the actual rate of assaults on officers barely budged, from 11.8 assaults per 100 officers in 2019 to 11.9 in 2020. Even fewer of those assaults actually resulted in injuries — the rate was just 3.7 assaults resulting in injury per 100 officers in 2020, up from 3.6 the year before. Los Angeles Daily News

18-Year-Old Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder After Fatal Crash In Van Nuys
The Los Angeles Police Department arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of murder after a vehicle crashed into a Van Nuys building Sunday night, killing one person and injuring several others. The crash occurred about 8 p.m. during a pop-up Halloween event at 7557 Woodley Ave. The LAPD alleged that Luis Carrillo-Castaneda of Los Angeles was driving an SUV at high speeds along Saticoy Street, lost control and crashed into the building. A female Woodland Hills resident was pronounced dead at the scene and has not been identified by authorities as of Monday evening. Several other people were evaluated for minor to moderate injuries, police said. Veronica Ascencio, co-owner of JV Espresso Bar, a vendor at the Halloween event, was cleaning up her space and preparing to leave the building with her husband and five children when the SUV slammed into the building. “We didn't even see anything. We just heard a loud noise and everyone yelling,” she said Monday. “There was dust everywhere.” At the time of the crash, Ascencio said, there were about 60 people left in the building, most of whom were food or beverage vendors cleaning up after the 3-to-8 p.m. event. Los Angeles Times

Man Shot To Death On Whitsett Avenue In Valley Glen
Authorities sought the public's help Monday in solving the killing of a man who was gunned down in Valley Glen. The shooting was reported on the 6200 block of Whitsett Avenue — between Erwin and Sylvan streets — about 3:30 a.m. Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Officers found Ramiro Apitaga, 25, of Pacoima, in the driver's seat of a vehicle, suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest, according to the LAPD. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. No arrests have been reported, and no suspect information was available. Anyone with information on the crime was urged to call the LAPD Valley Bureau homicide office at 818-374-9550; 877-LAPD-24-7; or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Los Angeles Daily News

Motorcyclist Identified In Fatal Crash; Police Searching For Driver Who Fled
A 53-year-old motorcyclist killed by a hit-and-run motorist in Pacoima was publicly identified Monday. He was Jose Silva, according to the coroner's office. The crash happened around 8:35 p.m. Oct. 16 on Laurel Canyon Boulevard at Judd Street, according to the LAPD. The motorcyclist riding a 2012 Kawasaki was northbound on Laurel Canyon when it merged into a two-way left turn lane and collided head-on with a 2015 Corolla and was ejected from his bike, police said. He was then hit by a white four-door sedan, which was southbound. That driver then fled the scene. The driver of the vehicle into which the motorcycle crashed remained at the scene and cooperated with police. The motorcyclist was taken to a hospital by paramedics where he was pronounced dead, police said. A reward of up to $50,000 is available to anyone who can provide information that leads to the identification of the hit-and-run driver, their arrest and conviction through the city's hit-and-run reward program trust fund. NBC 4

Man Killed Over Possible Drug Buy Identified By Authorities
A 32-year-old man who was fatally shot in a downtown retail/apartment building was identified Monday. The shooting was reported about 7:40 p.m. Saturday in an apartment at 818 S. Grand Ave., according to the Los Angeles Police Department. According to police, four suspects entered the building to possibly buy marijuana from the victim, who had participated in drug transactions before with at least one of the suspects. An argument broke out and a shooting ensued, police said. Murad Shatat was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. Two other men, ages 20 and 25, were taken by paramedics to a hospital and had stable vital signs. Of the four suspects who entered the building, three escaped after the shooting, according to the LAPD. One of the suspects was shot and collapsed outside the building. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of his gunshot wounds, police said.

Driver Slams Into BMW Dealership In Hancock Park
There were no serious injuries after a suspected drunk driver lost control of his car and crashed into a sidewalk in Hancock Park early Tuesday morning, damaging a BMW dealership in the process. The crash occurred just after 2:30 a.m. at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and South Mansfield Avenue. According to Los Angeles police, the driver was speeding when he lost control and careened into the sidewalk outside Beverly Hills BMW. The debris from the crash shattered the windows of the dealership. The crash also damaged a lamp post and traffic light signal. The driver, who was not seriously hurt, was taken to a hospital for treatment and later arrested on drunken driving charges. He was not identified. CBS 2

Authorities Investigating Report Of Vicious Sexual Assault On West LA High School Campus
Police are investigating a report of a sexual assault allegedly taking place at a high school within the Los Angeles Unified High School District. According to LAUSD, the district's police received a report of a female student that claimed she was a victim of sexual assault at Hamilton High School. The alleged incident took place inside the boy's bathroom possibly involving several students, LAUSD said in a statement. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the alleged incident. As of Monday night, no arrests have been announced in connection to the alleged incident.  FOX 11

Man With Schizophrenia Reported Missing In Downtown Los Angeles
Authorities sought the public's help Monday to locate a 31-year-old man who suffers from schizophrenia and was last seen in downtown Los Angeles. Timothy Evan Murphy, who also goes by the nickname “D,” was last seen in downtown Los Angeles at about noon May 1, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez. Murphy is biracial, 5-feet-10 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds, with brown eyes, curly brown hair, a tattoo of a palm tree near his right eye, a tattoo of the Playboy bunny logo near his left eye and the name “Lidia” tattooed over his heart. Anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to contact the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online. CBS 2

Watch: Dog Owner Reunited With 100-Pound Mastiff Named CharlieMurphy, Stolen In Car
A 100-pound dog named CharlieMurphy has been found and happily reunited with his owner after the pooch was stolen inside a car in Echo Park, police said Monday. The 3-year-old male Argentinian Mastiff was inside the family car when the victim was making a food delivery Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Police said the driver left the orange 2010 Honda Fit unlocked with the keys in the ignition while making the quick food run in the 1300 block of Douglas Street. The thief stole the car with the family dog in the back seat. It was not immediately clear whether the thieves realized the dog was int he car. LAPD officers later found the car, but no CharlieMurphy. At some point, the dog was apparently released or escaped from the car and left in the street by the thieves. As his owner was distributing ‘Lost Dog' flyers in the Echo Park area, she received a phone call from a man who had found the white 100-pound dog with a distinctive black patch on his eye. NBC 4

Former USC Dean Pleads Not Guilty In Ridley-Thomas Corruption Case
A former dean of the USC School of Social Work pleaded not guilty Monday to federal corruption charges in an alleged bribery scheme involving City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas that prosecutor say resulted in the university receiving lucrative county contracts. Marilyn Flynn, 83, entered the plea via Zoom in Los Angeles federal court to charges that she conspired with Ridley-Thomas when he was a member of the county Board of Supervisors. A tentative trial date of Dec. 21 was set, with a status conference on Nov. 8. Flynn remains out of custody on a $50,000 unsecured bond. Flynn's attorney, Vicki I. Podberesky, has said her client “has not committed any crime, and we believe that the evidence in this case will ultimately support this conclusion.” According to the 20-count indictment, Flynn agreed to provide Ridley-Thomas' son with graduate school admission, a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship at the university.

State Lawmaker Calls For Ban On Live Ammunition And Real Guns On California Movie Sets
A California state senator called for a ban on live ammunition on movie sets and in theatrical productions following the death Thursday of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins involving a prop gun fired by actor Alec Baldwin on a New Mexico movie set. Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), chair of the Senate Labor Committee, said he would introduce legislation that would ban live ammunition and firearms capable of shooting live ammunition from California movie sets and theatrical productions. With the Legislature now in recess, details of any bill are not likely to be available until January. “There is an urgent need to address alarming work abuses and safety violations occurring on the set of theatrical productions, including unnecessary high-risk conditions such as the use of live firearms,” Cortese said in a statement. “It is important that California establish new safety standards and best practices for all those who work in the industry and particularly in our own state,” he said. “Those working behind the scenes to entertain and bring joy to millions all over the world shouldn't go to set worrying if they will return home safely to their family. Our entertainment industry must do a better job of ensuring safe working conditions for our hardworking crews. Los Angeles Times

California's Unemployment Fraud Reaches
At Least $20 Billion California has given away at least $20 billion to criminals in the form of fraudulent unemployment benefits, state officials said Monday, confirming a number smaller than originally feared but one that still accounts for more than 11% of all benefits paid since the start of the pandemic. State officials blamed nearly all of that fraud on a hastily approved expansion of unemployment benefits by Congress that let people who were self-employed get weekly checks from the government with few safeguards to stop people from getting benefits who were not eligible to receive them. “I don't think people have captured in their mind the enormity of the amount of money has been issued errantly to undeserving people,” said Assemblyman Tom Lackey, a Republican from Palmdale, who brought along an illustration of 29 dump trucks filled to the brim with $100 bills representing just over half of that money lost to fraud. The pandemic ushered in widespread fraud at unemployment agencies across the country, with at least $87 billion in fraudulent payments approved by states, according to a June report from the inspector general's office at the U.S. Department of Labor. In Arizona alone, state officials said scammers pocketed nearly 30% of all its unemployment benefit payments. Associated Press

Police: ‘Kidnapped' Officer Shoots Suspect Who Took Off With Him Still In The Car
Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee says a suspect “literally kidnapped” an officer after driving away with the cop in the back seat. According to 14 News, officers were patrolling on foot when they came across 35-year-old Natango Robinson. Robinson, who had reportedly been chasing someone while holding a gun, ran from police. Robinson got into a car, along with an officer who was trying to stop him, Contee told 14 News. “The officer was actually, literally kidnapped, if you will, in the back seat of the vehicle while this guy is driving down two or three blocks from the initial point of the stop,” Contee said. According to the report, the officer commanded Robinson to stop before firing a shot that hit the suspect in the side. The officer then jumped out of the car while it was still moving, police said. Contee said two officers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and one officer sustained a minor injury.  PoliceOne

Watch: Florida Traffic Stop Leads To Grenade Detonation
Sheriff's deputies making a routine traffic stop in Florida found a grenade inside a pickup truck. The 65-year-old driver was initially pulled over for having expired tags, but Flagler County Sheriff's deputies also found that his driver's license had expired in 2019, the agency said in a Facebook post. Police searched his vehicle and found one glass pipe in the driver's side door, and another in a storage compartment. Then, they spotted the grenade. The man told deputies he had cleaned out a military veteran's home and found the grenade. He said he wasn't sure whether it was active or not. Deputies closed down a section of the roadway and asked the nearby St. Johns County Sheriff's Office for help with the grenade. It was removed from the truck and detonated. A records check turned up the man's criminal history in Florida and Georgia, including burglary, rape, armed robbery forgery, grand theft, battery and giving a false name to law enforcement. “Here's a prime example of how deputies never know what a traffic stop may turn into,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This idiot is lucky he did not blow himself or his truck up." Associated Press

How U.S. Guns Drive Cartel Violence In Mexico
For the last decade, the Mexican government has been locked in a brutal war with the country's drug cartels. The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives, displaced scores of residents, and cost both the Mexican and the United States governments billions in tax dollars. As the Mexican military ramped up its pursuit of cartels in the mid-aughts, criminal organizations were eager to match its firepower. They looked north of the border, where high-powered weaponry is readily available. American firearms quickly made their way to the heart of the bloodshed: Cartels have smuggled large numbers of weapons into Mexico, fueling record-breaking tallies of homicides, explosive conflicts with law enforcement, and raging inter-cartel violence. This August, Mexico opened up a new front in its war against the cartels. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court, Mexican authorities accused several major American gunmakers — including Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Ruger — of negligent business practices, alleging that their reckless sales and lax regulation of distribution channels have contributed to a surge of firearms into cartel hands.  The Trace

Public Safety News

Woman Rescued From Rain-Swollen L.A. River
A woman in her 40s was rescued from the Los Angeles River in the Boyle Heights area as heavy rain drenched the state Monday, according to fire officials. KTLA 5 Video

Unwanted Prescription Drugs? Officials Will Take Them Saturday
The 21st National Prescription Drug Take Back Day takes place Saturday, Oct. 23, when officials will accept medications that are no longer needed, without questions, at more than 4,000 sites across the country. Overseen by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, the event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Liquids, syringes and illegal drugs are not accepted. To see where you can drop off the drugs, go to . Otherwise, such drugs can be discarded at 13,000-plus pharmacies, hospitals, police departments, and businesses throughout the year. Those locations are also available at the DEA's website. Oftentimes, misuse of prescription drugs is by a relative or a friend. 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: