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

January 3, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Gun Violence Hits 15-Year High In L.A., Taking Lives And Erasing Hard-Fought Gains
Sean Reynolds almost lost his life over a PlayStation. The 17-year-old high school senior had arranged to sell his gaming console through the app OfferUp, and agreed to meet the buyer — another teenager — near a public housing complex in Watts. He intended to save the cash he earned for college expenses that fall. Instead, one of two teens who met Reynolds at his car that hot day in May pulled out a gun and shot him, the bullet ricocheting off his hip and fragmenting through his abdomen. As he lay on the ground bleeding, he said, the second teen urged the first to fire again. “Finish him off,” he heard the boy say. “I was in shock,” Reynolds, now 18, recalled in a recent interview with The Times. “It was a lot to process.” Reynolds, who was badly wounded, is among more than 1,400 people who survived shootings in L.A. in 2021 — the second year in a row in which gun violence has increased in the city. Had things gone differently — and they easily could have, given his serious injuries — Reynolds would have been among the nearly 400 people killed in L.A. this year, whose deaths mark a more than 50% increase in homicides since 2019. “We've seen all different types of surgeons,” said Qiuana Williams, Reynolds' mother. “After reading his medical documents, they all look at him like he is a walking miracle.” Amid a pandemic that has ravaged people's financial and emotional reserves and undermined long-standing initiatives to stem violence, families like Reynolds' are persevering through surgeries, physical therapy and the emotional labor of trying to pull their lives back together after being blindsided by bullets. Los Angeles Times

Burlington Shooting: LAPD Union Says Officer In Fatal Shooting Of Teen Was Following Training
The police officer who inadvertently shot a 14- year-old girl to death while confronting a suspect at a Burlington store in North Hollywood had recently completed a course on how to handle an active shooter situation and was properly following his training, the officer's union told City News Service Sunday. Officer William Jones, 42, has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate the shooting, which occurred two days before Christmas as police responded to reports of a suspect randomly attacking customers in the store at 12121 Victory Blvd. Police fatally shot 24-year-old Daniel Elena Lopez -- who did not have a gun -- but a bullet fired by Jones pierced a wall and killed young Valentina Orellana-Peralta as she took shelter in a fitting room with her mother. The LAPPL's board of directors defended the officer: "We certainly empathize with the pain that Valentina Orellana- Peralta's family is experiencing following this accident, but to see the usual anti-police activists attempt to politicize this incident is truly disappointing," the union said. "These misguided activists forget the deadly lessons learned from massacres such as the Columbine High School tragedy; delay in responding to a potential active shooter could result in a mass casualty event. Officer Jones was responding to several 911 calls reporting an active shooter, he followed his training and a horrible accident occurred." FOX 11

At Least 6 Injured During Shooting At Grocery Store Shopping Center In South LA
Six people were injured during a shooting at a grocery store shopping center on Friday in South Los Angeles, according to authorities. It happened at a strip mall located at 10211 S. Avalon Blvd., just outside of a Superior Grocers store. The Los Angeles Fire Department said four people were rushed to the hospital in critical condition and the remaining two were treated at the scene. Several of the patients were shot while others suffered graze wounds, LAFD said. One suffered a glass injury, according to the fire department. A spokesperson told Eyewitness News one of the shooting victims is reportedly a 54-year-old woman who was shot in the back. According to police, the two suspects - who were described only as Black males - fled the scene in a Nissan Altima. The area surrounding the shopping center has been closed off as officers continue their investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact authorities. ABC 7

Fatal Shooting In Sun Valley A person was shot and killed Sunday in Sun Valley.
Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department responded to calls of an assault with a deadly weapon at around 11:12 a.m. near the intersections of Vineland Avenue and Strathern Street. When officers arrived, they found a deceased victim who had been struck by gunfire. No other information was immediately available. CBS 2

Male Dead In North Hollywood Stabbing
A male was stabbed to death early New Year's Day in North Hollywood. The stabbing was reported at 1:35 a.m. in the 11000 block of Sarah Street, according to a desk officer at the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Center. The victim was taken by paramedics to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, the officer said. Further information about the victim, including his age, and any suspects was not available.

1 Shot In Downtown Los Angeles: LAPD
One person is in unknown condition after they were shot in downtown Los Angeles Saturday night, officials said. The person, whose name, age and gender were not released, was shot near Washington Boulevard and Long Beach Avenue at about 9:10 p.m., according to the Los Angeles Police Department. They were taken by ambulance to a local hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound, according to the LAPD and Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The victim's condition was not released. KTLA 5

Disabled Man, Caretakers Zip-Tied During Studio City Home Invasion: LAPD
A disabled man, his child, and their caretakers were terrorized by a group of criminals during what authorities described as a home invasion in Studio City, police said. The Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call from a home on Alta View Drive, near Mulholland Drive, around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. According to LAPD, one of the victims went outside to take out the trash. While performing the routine task, the victim was confronted outside by a group of suspects, LAPD told FOX 11's Gina Silva. The victim said he was held at gunpoint before the suspects beat him up. The suspects then went inside the Studio City home and proceeded to zip-tie the first victim and three others who also happened to be inside. Those assaulted include the first victim's bedridden child and their two caretakers. The first victim was taken to the hospital and is expected to be OK, officials said. LAPD does not have the description of the suspects, other than the fact that there were between four and five males. The group of suspects ransacked the home and left the scene from the backdoor of the house. FOX 11

Hollywood Assault Suspect In Custody After Standoff With LAPD In East Hollywood
An assault with a deadly weapon suspect barricaded inside a car in East Hollywood Friday following a short police pursuit was taken into custody. Officers were called just before 9 p.m. to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon around Lexington and Kenmore avenues, according to a dispatcher at the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Center. Details about the assault were not immediately available. A short pursuit to North Kenmore Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard ended with officers surrounding the car while the suspect refused to get out. People who knew the suspect convinced him to give up around midnight, City News Service reported, citing a desk officer at the Los Angeles Police Department's Operations Center. NBC 4

Missing Sun Valley Parents Found, Children Placed With DCFS
A Sun Valley couple being investigated for alleged neglect of their three children related to possible narcotics abuse were found today along with the children, who were placed in the custody of social workers, authorities said. “Today the family was located and the three children are safe with U.S. Border Patrol agents. DCFS has taken custody of the children and will find appropriate placement while they continue their investigation,” according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Police said neither parent was arrested, and no criminal charges are pending at this time. Police did not say where the family was found. The Los Angeles County Department Children and Family Services had sought a court order to place the children of Luis Avalos and Arely Anaya in protective custody. The parents, Arely Anaya and Luis Avalos were under investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services for drug use after both their three-week-old baby and Anaya tested positive for cocaine. Authorities said earlier this week that the couple's youngest child tested positive for cocaine along with the baby's mother when the child was born on Dec. 2. CBS 2

Two People In Custody After Pursuit And Search In San Fernando Valley Hills
Two people are in custody after leading police on a pursuit in the San Fernando Valley Saturday night. LAPD was chasing a black Jeep through the freeways in the Los Angeles area and then reaching the San Fernando Valley. While on the southbound 5 freeway, a driver and a passenger abandoned the vehicle and fled the scene. They headed towards the dark foothills, jumping over barriers and calmly walking across the highway. The pair, who appeared to be a man and a woman, made their way to the dark hills where they hid from police. LAPD searched the area for about 30 minutes, trying not to lose sight of them by using the night sun from their helicopter. The two were finally located and taken into custody. No further details were immediately available. NBC 4

Stolen French Bulldog Back Home 2 Days After Brutal Attack, Robbery In West Hollywood
A French bulldog that was stolen in a violent attack on a man in West Hollywood has been found and safely returned to his owner, Eyewitness News has learned. The dog, Luca, was stolen from Robert Marinelli as they were out for a walk early Tuesday morning. Marinelli was attacked and then dragged some 200 feet as his clothing was caught in the getaway car. "I'm just completely distraught," Marinelli said at the time. "Someone has just ripped my heart out." Thursday night, Eyewitness News learned that Luca has been returned to Marinelli and is safe at home. Details on how he was found were not immediately available. There were no immediate indications of a suspect in custody. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the case, as Marineilli was dragged into the city of Los Angeles in the attack. Marinelli was walking Luca around 7:30 a.m. near Sunset Boulevard and Doheny Drive on Tuesday. He spotted a black sedan waiting on the street. As a man jumped out and moved toward him, Marinelli tried to pick up Luca and run. But the suspect knocked him to the ground and took Luca. Marinelli's clothing got caught in the car. "He pushed me down and slammed the door," he said. "And slamming the door must've caught part of me or my coat in it. They sped away and dragged me with them almost 200 feet down a gravel road." ABC 7

New Sketch Shows Person Of Interest In 41-Year-Old Cold Case In Orange County
Four decades ago, 15-year-old Kerry Patterson went to get ice cream with friends on a sunny summer day. After moving to Fullerton two weeks earlier, she slipped away on the afternoon of June 26, 1980, to grab a treat at the Ice Cream Castle with a boy she knew from her old Cerritos neighborhood and two other male friends. When it was time to head back, she rode on the handlebars of one of the boys' bicycles as far as Parks Junior High School and then set out to walk the few short blocks the rest of the way home. She never made it. Six months later, Kerry's partial remains — a chunk of her skull, two leg bones and part of an arm bone — were found by an oil field worker near the 57 Freeway and Tonner Canyon in Brea. The site was 12 miles from where she was last seen. “The only remains that were found were a portion of her skull and three long bones,” Bob Taft, the Orange County Sheriff's Department's cold case detective, said Thursday when reached by phone, noting there was very little to go on. But authorities are now hoping new information may lead to a break in the case. Earlier this week, the Sheriff's Department released a composite sketch of a person of interest in Kerry's disappearance and death. Los Angeles Times

Are Apple AirTags Being Used To Track People And Steal Cars?
On a Sunday night in September, Ashley Estrada was at a friend's home in Los Angeles when she received a strange notification on her iPhone: “AirTag Detected Near You.” An AirTag is a 1.26-inch disc with location-tracking capabilities that Apple started selling earlier this year as a way “to keep track of your stuff.” Estrada, 24, didn't own one, nor did the friends she was with. The notification on her phone said the AirTag had first been spotted with her four hours earlier. A map of the AirTag's history showed the zigzag path Estrada had driven across the city while running errands. “I felt so violated,” she said. “I just felt like, who's tracking me? What was their intent with me? It was scary.” Estrada is not alone in her experience. In recent months, people have posted on TikTok, Reddit and Twitter about finding AirTags on their cars and in their belongings. There is growing concern that the devices may be abetting a new form of stalking, which privacy groups predicted could happen when Apple introduced the devices in April. The New York Times spoke with seven women who believe they were tracked with AirTags, including a 17-year-old whose mother surreptitiously placed one on her car to stay apprised of her whereabouts. Some authorities have begun to take a closer look at the threat posed by AirTags. Yahoo! News

Woman In Custody In Killing Of Illinois Officer, Wounding Of 2nd
A woman wanted in the fatal shooting of one police officer and the wounding of another at a northern Illinois hotel surrendered to police hours after a man also suspected in the shooting was arrested in Indiana, police said. Xandria Harris, 26, of Bradley, Illinois, turned herself in Friday afternoon at the Bradley Police Department while accompanied by her attorney, Illinois State Police said. She was being held at a detention facility in Kankakee. Harris' attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. Illinois State Police did not identify her attorney in their news release and the case was not yet reflected in Kankakee County court records. The Associated Press left a message Saturday with state police requesting the attorney's name. Hours earlier, a man who is suspected in late Wednesday's shooting that killed Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic, a 49-year-old Bradley police officer, and critically wounded her partner, Officer Tyler Bailey, 27, was arrested Friday morning at a home in North Manchester, Indiana, police said. Associated Press

'Heroic' LEO Who Was Shot Before Killing Denver-Area Gunman Is Identified
A Lakewood police agent who was shot in an exchange of gunfire with the suspect who allegedly killed five people in Denver and Lakewood on Monday was identified Wednesday night. Police Agent Ashley Ferris, who was shot in the abdomen, remains in the hospital with family by her side, police said in a news release. Ferris on Monday encountered 47-year-old Lyndon McLeod, the shooting spree suspect, in the area of South Vance Street and West Alaska Drive, in the Belmar area, and ordered McLeod to drop his weapon as he approached her, police said. McLeod instead shot Ferris, according to police. Wounded and on the ground, Ferris returned gunfire. McLeod died at the scene. "If not for the heroic efforts of Agent Ferris and other law enforcement, this incredibly violent tragedy could have been even worse," police said. Prior to the exchange, McLeod had just shot 28-year-old Sarah Steck, an employee at the nearby Hyatt House hotel. Steck later died Tuesday. McLeod allegedly killed four other victims Monday. The Denver Post

2021 Ends As Chicago's Deadliest Year In A Quarter-Century
The year of 2021 ended as one of the most violent on record in Chicago, as a rise in the number of shootings left more people dead than in any single year in a quarter-century, according to statistics released by the police department on Saturday. According to the department, 2021 ended with 797 homicides. That is 25 more than were recorded 2020, 299 more than in 2019 and the most since 1996. And there were 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021, which is just over 300 more than were recorded in 2020 and a staggering 1,415 more shooting incidents than were recorded in the city in 2019. Other cities have also seen an increase in the number of homicides. But Chicago, as it has in previous years, ended 2021 with more homicides than any other city in the United States, including New York and  Los Angeles,  both of which had recorded at least 300 fewer homicides than Chicago for the year as of late December, according to police data from those cities. “We all know this has been a challenging year here in the city of Chicago,” Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters at a news conference earlier this week. “Too many families are reeling from the loss of (loved) ones due to senseless gun violence.” Associated Press

Public Safety News

Firefighters Save Two-Thirds Of Jefferson Park Building
What may have been an arson-caused fire damaged one unit of a three-unit commercial building in the Jefferson Park area of Los Angeles Saturday morning but firefighters saved the other two units. The fire was reported at 4:48 a.m. at 4367 W. Adams Blvd., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department's Margaret Stewart. Fire was showing from the burning unit when firefighters arrived, Stewart said. The 31 firefighters put out the flames in 27 minutes, she said. While the flames did not spread beyond the single unit, the extent of smoke and water damage was not known. “LAPD has one male (age unknown) in custody as a potential arson suspect,” Stewart said. Paramedics were checking him to see if he had any injuries.

LAFD Rescues Person From Car Stranded In High Water Near LAX
The Los Angeles Fire Department helped a person whose car was caught in high water near LAX Thursday night. The LAFD responded to reports of a person stranded in their car west of the airport's runway shortly before 9 p.m., according to Brian Humphrey of the Fire Department. The trapped person, believed to be an airport employee, was safely rescued by the LAFD, Humphrey added. Heath Montgomery with the airport said the car was stuck in about 3 feet of water, and airport officials are barricading the area so no one else gets stranded. KTLA 5

LA County's COVID Year Concludes On Grim Note: 27,091 New Cases And 12 Deaths
With coronavirus cases almost doubling in just two days, Los Angeles County reported 27,091 new cases on the final day of a COVID-19-blasted 2021. The caseload eclipsed the county's daily record — and was accompanied by 12 new deaths. With New Year's Eve celebrations mere hours away, public health officials on Friday, Dec. 31, urged residents to minimize the risk of transmitting the mega-transmissible omicron variant by not hosting or attending large gatherings — especially indoors — over the holiday weekend. Friday's daily positivity rate ticked up nearly a full point overnight to 22.4%. Last month, the rate was less than 1%. The dramatic surge in virus transmission is continuing to drive up hospitalization numbers and raise fears that a higher death count will soon follow. Evidence indicates that the variant may be less virulent than its predecessors, but healthcare officials fear a mammoth wave of new patients that could swamp their already COVID-battered teams. Hospitalizations increased by another 99 patients on Friday, according to the state's dashboard, to 1,464 — with 218 of them in intensive-care units. The new cases lifted the county's overall total since the pandemic began to 1,696,582, with the death toll climbing to 27,637. Los Angeles Daily News

LA County Reports Nearly 45,000 New COVID Cases Over The New Year Weekend
Los Angeles County reported nearly 45,000 new cases of COVID-19 this weekend, an alarmingly high number in light of the typical delays in weekend reporting. Officials reported 23,553 new cases for Saturday, and another 21,200 positive tests Sunday, after a one-day record of 27,091 new infections were reported Friday. Four additional deaths related to the coronavirus were also logged this weekend, two each on Saturday and Sunday. The latest numbers bring the county's cumulative totals to 1,741,292 cases and 27,640 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Meanwhile, the county's COVID hospitalizations continued to rise, jumping by more than 150 for the second consecutive day. The number of COVID patients in county hospitals rose to 1,792, up from 1,628 on Saturday, according to the latest state figures. Of those patients, 263 were in intensive care, up from 246 the previous day. The daily test positivity rate was 21.8% as of Sunday. Health officials continued to urge residents to curtail higher-risk activities, including indoor activities where individuals are unmasked for long periods of time, as well as crowded outdoor events. FOX 11

Younger Adults Driving Coronavirus Surge In Southern California
Southern California entered 2022 in the midst of a rapid upswing in coronavirus cases from the Omicron variant, with adults ages 18 to 49 transmitting the virus at a high rate and officials urging the public to curtail holiday weekend gatherings to help slow the surge. Los Angeles County recorded more than 27,000 new cases on the final day of 2021, far above last winter's peak average of 16,000 cases a day. Nearly 1 in 4 people who are being tested are positive for a coronavirus infection, officials said. The daily totals of new coronavirus cases are doubling every two days. On Tuesday, 9,473 cases were reported; Wednesday, 16,510; Thursday, 20,198; and Friday, 27,091. The positive test rate for the most recent seven-day period was 22.4%, double what it was for the week that ended on Christmas, when it was 11.4%. More than 70% of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County from Dec. 22 to Dec. 28 were among adults younger than 50. During last winter's surge, adults in that age range made up 55% of coronavirus cases. Case rates per 100,000 people have increased the fastest in that age group. Rates among the youngest adults — those 18 to 29 — are more than eight times higher than they were one month ago. And among adults in their 30s and 40s, cases are six times as high. Los Angeles Times

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: