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

November 2, 2021
Law Enforcement News

Three Men Killed In Separate Shootings In Los Angeles
Three men were killed in separate shootings in Los Angeles in less than a 24-hour period. The first took place shortly after 7:30 p.m. Friday in the 8900 block of Orion Avenue in North Hills, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release. Officers responded to find a man with multiple gunshot wounds, police said. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. Authorities identified him as Ryan Castellanos, 18. Investigators received preliminary information that a compact sedan was seen fleeing the area, police said. Anyone with information was asked to call the LAPD's Valley Bureau Homicide detectives at (818) 374-9550. The second shooting took place in the 1300 block of 97th Street near Normandie Avenue in unincorporated L.A. County near South Los Angeles, according to investigators. Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies responded shortly after 12:30 a.m. and found a wounded man lying on the sidewalk. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The Los Angeles County coroner's office identified him as Glenn Burton, 34, of Los Angeles. The third shooting occurred Saturday on the 200 block of North Bowen Avenue in Compton, the Sheriff's Department said in a news release. The wounded man was taken by paramedics to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:25 p.m., authorities said. L.A.'s homicide count has been on the rise over the past 18 months, increasing far faster than it did for a decade prior. Los Angeles Times

Pedestrian Fatally Struck In Sun Valley Hit-and-Run Crash: LAPD
A pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Sun Valley on Halloween night, police said Monday. The crash occurred about 10:35 p.m. as a silver vehicle was traveling north on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, north of Strathern Street. The vehicle crashed into a pedestrian who was crossing Laurel Canyon outside a marked crosswalk, Los Angeles Police Department officials said in a news release. The driver took off heading north on Laurel Canyon without stopping to help the victim. Paramedics responded and transported the unidentified victim to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. No further details about the incident or the driver have been released. A reward of up to $50,000 is being offered for information leading to the offender's identification, arrest and conviction. Anyone with additional information about the crash can call Valley traffic division Detective Wade at 818-644-8036. KTLA 5

Compton Mother Killed In 2019 Street Takeover Remembered By Community In Push To End Illegal Street Racing
Family, friends, community leaders and law enforcement came together on Friday to remember the life of a woman who was killed during a street takeover crash in South Los Angeles in 2019.An SUV leaving the scene of the takeover slammed into a pop-up Halloween store, killing Bethany Holguin, and injuring seven others on May 11, 2019. “She had the biggest heart and she was really the strength of our family. She kept us all going, she kept us all together,” said Holguin's aunt Lori Argumedo. “They were driving about 80 to 100 mph, ran the stop sign and hit my niece, pretty much crushing every bone in Bethany's body.” Argumedo says the 23-year-old mother was in the car with her younger brother, who was left in critical condition. Determined to identify the racers who took off, Argumedo went door-to-door in that neighborhood and found a video of the crash. There were two drivers allegedly involved in the street takeover crash that killed Holguin, and Argumedo tells CBSLA only one of those drivers was found and is now behind bars. Holguin's story is one a growing number of innocent bystanders killed here in the Southland. Police shared that they want the community to reach out to authorities when they hear word of street takeovers or witness the dangerous gatherings. “We call on the public to give us information, to give us suspect descriptions, to call that in as they're gathering so we can go from a prevention standpoint. We'd rather prevent this than apprehend after the fact,” said LAPD Capt. Brian Wendling. CBS 2

LAPD, Villanueva To Attend Town Hall On CD11 Encampment Cleanups November 3
Westside residents and stakeholders are invited to a town hall to learn more about recent work regarding the San Vicente Encampment cleanup in Brentwood as well as other encampment cleanups in the district from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department (LASD) along with other city entities. The San Vicente encampment outside of the VA will be dismantled November 1, with almost all residents placed in transitional housing options. But will that mean the end to encampments on the Westside? Will those without housing move to other neighborhoods? What is the role of LAPD? What can we do? Are crime and homelessness related? What is the future outlook for crime and safety in CD11? These questions, and more, will be answered by LAPD Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala (Office of Operations), Sheriff Alex Villanueva, members of LAHSA and LA Sanitation at a special Town Hall sponsored by Brentwood Homeowners Association on Wednesday, November 3, at 6:00pm. WestSide Current

Arson Suspected In Fire That Damaged Restaurant In Pacoima; 1 Detained
Authorities have detained one person in connection with a suspected arson fire that burned through a Pacoima restaurant early Tuesday morning. The fire broke out about 2 a.m. at the El Huarache Veloz restaurant in the 11600 block of Glenoaks Boulevard. Police were called to the scene after Los Angeles City Fire Department officials advised them of a possible arson suspect, LAPD Officer Lizeth Lomeli said. Police detained one person related to the investigation, but no arrests have been made, Lomeli said. The cause of the fire is still being determined. KTLA 5

The FBI Says They Cut Tracking Bracelets Off And Fled. Their Family Says They've Been Abducted
Family members of a San Fernando Valley couple whom the FBI believes cut their tracking bracelets and went on the run while awaiting sentencing for their roles in an $18 million COVID-19 relief fraud case contend the pair was kidnapped -- apparently to prevent them from disclosing the identities of unindicted co-conspirators, court papers obtained Friday show. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 in exchange for information leading to the arrest of Richard Ayvazyan, 43, and his wife and co-defendant Marietta Terabelian, 37. Federal authorities believe that the couple, facing the possibility of years behind bars, removed their location monitoring devices and absconded from pretrial supervision together on Aug. 29. The following day, a Los Angeles federal judge signed bench warrants for the couple's arrest. Defense lawyers wrote in recent filings obtained by City News Service that family members of the couple believe Ayvazyan and Terabelian were abducted and did not voluntarily abscond from their Encino home. Based on such concerns, attorneys for the missing couple are asking the government to permit inspection of a purported video which could show Ayvazyan and Terabelian voluntarily returning to the home on Sept. 2, several days after they disappeared from supervision. NBC 4

Reseda Veteran Gets 25-Year Sentence For Trying To Bomb A Long Beach Political Rally
An Army veteran from Reseda was sentenced Monday to 25 years behind bars for attempting to bomb a Long Beach political rally. Mark Domingo, 28, was found guilty in August in Los Angeles federal court of providing material support to terrorism and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson sentenced Domingo to 15 years imprisonment on the providing material support count and 25 years in federal prison for the attempted use count — both sentences to be served concurrently. The court also ordered Domingo to be placed on supervised release for a term of 20 years once he completes his prison sentence. Domingo has been in federal custody since his arrest in April 2019. The investigation into Domingo was prompted by his online posts and conversations in an online forum in which he expressed support for violent jihad, a desire to seek retribution for attacks against Muslims and a willingness to become a martyr. After considering various attacks — including targeting Jewish people, churches and police officers — Domingo decided to bomb a rally scheduled to take place in Long Beach in April 2019. Los Angeles Daily News

Lake Balboa Man Charged With Posing As Licensed Attorney, Charging Clients
A Lake Balboa man with a prior conviction for unlawful practice of law is set to be arraigned Monday on nine felony counts for allegedly falsely claiming to be a licensed attorney and offering legal services in family law and personal injury cases, along with other legal matters. Efferin Deans, 55, is charged with three felony counts each of grand theft and practicing law without being a member of the State Bar after a prior conviction, two felony counts of preparing false documentary evidence and one felony count of perjury by declaration, according to the District Attorney's Office. Deans allegedly claimed to own The Law Offices of Deans & Associates in Canoga Park between January 2019 and September 2021 and allegedly filed court documents and appeared on the record as a licensed attorney, according to the District Attorney's Office. He is also accused of providing clients and court staff with business cards and other indications of his standing as an attorney in an effort to get retainers and fees paid, according to the District Attorney's Office. FOX 11

Shirley Duong Disappearance: Friends Ask For Help Finding Missing Woman Last Seen In Echo Park
A missing woman's friends on Friday posted hundreds of flyers in the Echo Park area, hoping to enlist the public's help in finding her. Shirley Duong, a 34-year-old resident of Monterey Park, has not been seen since Monday. Her car was found abandoned Wednesday near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Sutherland Street in Echo Park. "We've seen some footage of her walking up and down this street, so we're led to believe that she's in this area," Duong's friend Jake Bachman told ABC7. "She is not mentally in a great state of mind." Friends say Duong suffers from depression. They have been canvassing the area north of downtown Los Angeles, posting flyers and searching for her. Duong left home without a cellphone or her wallet. She was last wearing a bright blue hoodie and jeans. Duong's is described as 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing about 105 pounds, with wavy, dark brown hair. She wears glasses with dark frames. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the Monterey Park Police Department at (626) 573-1311. ABC 7

Man Wounded, Hospitalized Following Shooting In Burbank
A man is in the hospital after being shot in Burbank and police Friday believe they have located a vehicle used to drive the suspect away from the scene. In addition, a family member has been arrested on suspicion of aiding the suspect in his escape. Officers from the Burbank Police Department responded to multiple 911 calls of shots fired at approximately 10 p.m. Thursday near Chandler Boulevard and Frederic Street where they discovered a male victim with a gunshot wound to the arm, said Lt. Derek Green. Police established a perimeter near the scene of the shooting and began a search for the suspect. Green said police believe the victim knew his assailant. ``This was not a random attack. We have a good idea who the shooter is and we are actively looking for them,`` Green told City News Service. Police searched the residence where the suspect was known to reside but did not find anyone. He is still a large. The victim was taken to a hospital and was in surgery late Thursday evening, Green said. The shooting closed traffic in the area for several hours. FOX 11

California Man Charged With Attacking Flight Attendant During Flight To Orange County
A 20-year-old Irvine man was arrested Monday on federal charges of attacking a flight attendant during a trip from New York bound for Santa Ana that had to be diverted to Denver. Brian Hsu was charged with interference with a flight crew and assault, according to federal prosecutors in Colorado. Hsu is accused of assaulting the flight attendant Wednesday aboard an American Airlines flight, which took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport and was bound for John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana before it had to be diverted to Denver International Airport, prosecutors said. The alleged attack happened about halfway through the flight when the plane was over Ohio, one passenger said. Several witnesses initially told reporters that the attack erupted over a dispute about wearing a mask. According to witnesses, the man was sitting in the business class of the cabin. A passenger who was seated nearby told NBC Los Angeles that they heard the flight attendant say, "Sir, get back," before she was assaulted about halfway through the trip. The assault comes amid a surge in unruly airline passengers this year, who sometimes become violent. Federal Aviation Administration data shows the agency has received nearly 5,000 reports of unruly behavior by passengers so far this year, the vast majority — 3,580 reports — involve disputes over masks. NBC 4

Violent Crime Increased In San Diego In Pandemic Year — But Not As Much As National Trend
 It was a mild May evening in 2020, still in the grim early weeks of San Diego's pandemic year, when gunshots broke the late-night quiet on Winona Street. A group of men — up to seven, witnesses would later tell police — had gotten into an argument. The gunfire had prompted three 911 calls to police around 10:30 p.m., and when officers arrived, evidence of the crime was spread out over several blocks. One victim was found on Winona Street near the spot of the shooting between University Avenue and Wightman Street. A second was found at the intersection of 50th Street and University Avenue, and a third a short distance away on 49th south of University. The injuries were not life-threatening, the men shot either in an arm, leg or, in one case, both. A quartet of men believed to be the assailants fled. No arrests were made. The shooting on Winona would not be the last violent incident for this neighborhood, wedged between Chollas Parkway, University Avenue and Euclid. It was one piece of a startling increase in violent crime in this diverse neighborhood of 2,700 people during the pandemic year. An analysis by The San Diego Union-Tribune of crime data in the city of San Diego from 2019 through 2020 showed the Chollas Creek neighborhood had 20 violent crimes in 2020 — a 300 percent increase from 2019, when the area had a total of five violent crimes. San Diego Union Tribune

Robert Durst Indicted In New York In Death Of His First Wife, Kathie
A New York grand jury returned an indictment Monday against real estate heir Robert Durst charging him with murder in the death of his first wife, Kathie McCormack. Durst — who was sentenced to life in prison last month for the 2000 murder of his close friend, Susan Berman, in Los Angeles — could now face a second trial in the same place where his bizarre legal odyssey began when McCormack vanished in 1982. “For nearly four decades there has been a great deal of speculation about this case, much of it fueled by Robert Durst's own highly publicized statements,” Westchester County Dist. Atty. Miriam Rocah said in a statement. “An indictment is a crucial step in the process of holding wrongdoers accountable for their actions.” A criminal complaint charging Durst with McCormack's death was filed on Oct. 19, less than a week after Durst was sentenced to life in prison for Berman's murder in California. A grand jury was convened in early October to explore murder charges against Durst in New York, and several of McCormack's relatives testified during those hearings, according to a person with knowledge of the case who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case with the media. Los Angeles Times

2 Connecticut Cops Targeted By Gunfire Reacted Like Pros, Police Leaders Say
Law enforcement leaders praised Hartford and Norwich police officers for their vigilance and professionalism after the two cops escaped targeted gunfire and helped arrest suspects in separate incidents Monday and Tuesday. “What shouldn't be lost here,” Brian Foley, an aide to public safety Commissioner James Rovella, said Wednesday, “is that both armed, violent suspects were taken into custody safely by police. This speaks volumes of the professionalism of police officers in Connecticut and the heroism of these officers who were trying to help.” “The vigilance that's required by police officers always is in play, and is a large part of why these officers were able to survive,” East Hartford police spokesman Lt. Josh Litwin said. “It's a reminder to everyone of the dangers of this job.” Law enforcement across the nation has become more dangerous. This year through September, 59 officers have been killed in the line of duty, a 51% increase over the same period last year, according to the FBI. Last year, 60,105 law enforcement officers were assaulted on duty, 4,071 more than the previous year, the agency reported. Hartford Courant

Public Safety News

Unvaccinated Teens In L.A. Are More Likely To Test Positive For Coronavirus Than Adults
Unvaccinated teenagers have been more likely to test positive for the coronavirus than unvaccinated adults in Los Angeles County, officials said. The trend illustrates how a group less likely to have been vaccinated in the nation's most populous county is playing an outsize role in continuing transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant. “The highest case rates have been among unvaccinated teens, who were eight times more likely than vaccinated teens to test positive for COVID and are important drivers of transmission across our communities,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a recent briefing. Previously, health officials had noted that it was younger adults who were most likely to contract the coronavirus. But the possibilities for contracting the coronavirus have climbed as social gatherings and extracurricular activities for teenagers have resumed. L.A. County's unvaccinated youths ages 12 to 17 have a monthly coronavirus case rate 32% worse than that of unvaccinated residents younger than 50, according to data collected between Sept. 16 and Oct. 15. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

Councilman De Leon Named New Chair Of Homelessness And Poverty Committee
Councilman Kevin de Leon has been named chair of the Los Angeles City Council's Homelessness and Poverty Committee, which had been headed by Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas before his suspension from office following his indictment on federal corruption charges. De Leon, who has served in the City Council since October 2020, represents Skid Row as part of his district, which also encompasses Eagle Rock, Boyle Heights and Highland Park. Soon after entering the L.A. City Council, de Leon launched his ``A Way Home'' initiative aimed at creating 25,000 new homeless housing units by 2025. He also recently opened the largest Tiny Home Village in the U.S., with 117 units and 224 beds to provide transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness in the Highland Park community. Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who was already a member of the committee, is now serving as vice chair, Council President Nury Martinez' office said. Councilman Bob Blumenfield was appointed to the committee to fill the vacant seat, joining de Leon, Raman, Councilman Joe Buscaino and Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.  The committee has not met since before Ridley-Thomas was indicted on Oct. 13. He was suspended by the council on Oct. 20 by an 11-3 vote. WestSide Current

L.A. City Attorney Backs Ballot Plan To Double The Size Of The City Council In 2022
Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer announced Monday that he will speed up his timetable for doubling the size of the City Council, saying he wants voters to take up the proposal next year instead of 2024. Feuer, who is running for mayor, said he decided to move more aggressively on his proposal in the wake of complaints about the city's controversial effort to redraw boundaries for its council's 15 districts. A 21-member citizens commission made up of political appointees submitted its proposed redistricting map to the City Council on Friday. As part of its report , the panel called for an increase in the number of council districts in future years, saying such a move would better serve the city's neighborhoods. Feuer said his effort to amend the City Charter and increase the council's size would require about 320,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. Those signatures would need to be submitted in mid-June, he said. “It's going to take an army across the city of Los Angeles of volunteers to change the status quo,” he said. “But that's the key theme — the status quo isn't working for us in the city of Los Angeles.” Los Angeles Times

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