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 11, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Off-Duty LAPD Officer Shot, Killed In Attempted Armed Robbery In South LA
An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was shot and killed during an attempted armed robbery in South L.A. Monday night. At about 9:15 p.m., L.A. County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call of a shooting in an alley near the 8700 block of Beach Street in South L.A. Deputies arrived on scene to find an off-duty officer with gunshot wounds. The deputies loaded him into one of their patrol cars and rushed him to St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, where he died. His name was not immediately released. According to the sheriff's department, investigators learned that a black pickup truck had approached the off-duty officer while he was with a companion. Three suspects, at least one of whom was armed, exited the truck. Following an argument, there was an exchange of gunfire and the officer was struck. The suspects then jumped back into the pickup and sped away. Two guns were recovered at the scene. One is believed to belong to the officer, and the other to one of the three suspects. No arrests had yet been made. There was no word on whether there was any security video of the slaying. The union which represents LAPD officers also released a statement about the shooting. “Tonight, we mourn the loss of one of our officers who was shot & killed in an armed robbery attempt,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League tweeted early Tuesday morning. “The officer was off-duty. We pray for the officer's family, and their fellow officers, during this time of pain and sorrow. This is an active investigation. More info to follow.” CBS 2

LAPD Officers Recount Rescue Of Pilot From Damaged Plane Seconds Before Train Crash
The pilot of a small airplane was lucky to avoid death twice on Sunday — first when he crash-landed onto railroad tracks in Pacoima, then when Los Angeles police yanked him out of the aircraft just seconds before an oncoming commuter train smashed into the plane. An LAPD officer's body camera footage captured the dramatic sequence of events, showing police working to free the pilot from the wreckage as an oncoming Metrolink train's horn blares. “Go, go, go, go, go!” a man can be heard shouting as the train came heading toward the group. Right after the officers pull the man clear of the plane, the train can be seen barreling through the aircraft, cutting its fuselage in half. The incident unfolded shortly after 2 p.m. on the Metrolink Antelope Valley line train tracks near the Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, the LAFD said in a pair of alerts. The single-engine plane — its tail number of N8056L identifies it as a 1967 Cessna 172H, according to the FlightAware website — had lost power and crash-landed near the intersection of San Fernando Road and Osborne Street, according to the LAPD's Valley Bureau. “I saw the plane come down,” said Sgt. Joseph Cavestany, one of the officers who helped rescue the pilot, told reporters during a press conference. “It had looked like he was sideways… I made a request to our communications to stop all rail activity.” KTLA 5

2021 Homicides In City Of Los Angeles Reflect Deadliest Total Since 2007
A total of 395 homicides were committed in Los Angeles last year, making it the deadliest year since 2007, according to data released by a nonprofit news organization Monday. According to Crosstown at USC, a nonprofit news organization based at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, the unusually high death toll was fueled by the last four months of the year, during which 122 people were killed. There were only two other quarters in the last decade when the homicide rate exceeded 100, both of which occurred after the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to Crosstown. The bloodiest month of the year was July, with 48 homicides, the highest total seen since at least 2010, according to Crosstown's preliminary analysis. The news agency pointed out that all totals are subject to revision depending on changes in the data provided by the Los Angeles Police Department. The totals reflect crimes reported to the LAPD. The number of homicides committed in 2021 represents a 12.5% increase over 2020 and a 53.1% jump in killings relative to the pre-pandemic year of 2019. The report noted that LAPD Chief Michel Moore has pointed to a rise in gun violence as the reason for the increase. Reports of shots fired in 2021 were up more than 58% over 2019 levels and the number of gun-related arrests was up 300% over the same time period, according to Crosstown.

Three Charged In New Year's Eve South LA Grocery Store Shooting
Three people have been charged in relation to a shooting that happened at a South Los Angeles grocery store on New Year's Eve, according to LA County District Attorney George Gascón. The three individuals, 28-year-old Beverly Surratt, 18-year-old Juwann Keaire and 20-year-old Marquae Yoakum have each been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Six people were injured on New Year's Eve when shots were fired into and outside the Superior Grocers on the 10200 block of South Avalon Boulevard. According to Gascón's office, Surrat allegedly got into an argument with another shopper in line at a register in the grocery store. She then left the store and met up with the other two defendants, who allegedly came back to the store, firing a dozen times into the supermarket. None of the victims in that shooting were gravely injured.  FOX 11

Driver Taken Into Custody In Hollywood After Leading Pursuit In Stolen Truck
The driver of a stolen vehicle was taken into custody in Hollywood Monday after leading authorities on a pursuit through the San Fernando Valley. The chase started at Ventura Boulevard and Vineland Avenue, with the Los Angeles Police Department initiating the pursuit around 2:35 p.m. It was then handed over to the California Highway Patrol at 2:55 p.m. Sky5 was overhead around 3:20 p.m. as the white Chevrolet Silverado was on the 101 Freeway, heading into Calabasas, Woodland Hills and then Tarzana, Sherman Oaks and Studio City. By about 3:45 p.m., the driver was in Hollywood, exiting the freeway at Sunset Boulevard and nearly hitting a Metro bus. The vehicle headed westbound on Hollywood Boulevard. Officers unsuccessfully attempted to deploy a spike strip at 4 p.m. But the driver stopped the vehicle minutes later, got out of the truck and surrendered to authorities. No further details were immediately available. KTLA 5

Woman's Cries For Help Alarm San Pedro Neighbors
A woman's cries for help not only alarmed neighbors in San Pedro, but many are now wondering: is the woman OK? FOX 11 Video

Man Dies In Drive-By Shooting In Carson
A man was shot to death Tuesday in Carson. Deputies from the Carson Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department responded at 8:16 p.m. to 16929 E. Abbottson St., where they found the victim inside a car suffering from gunshot wounds, said Deputy Tracer Koerner of the Sheriff's Information Bureau. Investigators learned another vehicle at some point pulled up alongside the victim and shot him before speeding away. The suspect vehicle was described as a light colored van but there is no suspect description at this time, Koerner said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unknown if the shooting is gang-related. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at .

CHP Issues Silver Alert For 74-Year-Old Melody Hudgins, Last Seen December 15 In Carson
Sheriff's detectives asked for the public's help Saturday to find a 74-year-old woman who went missing in Carson. Melody Hudgins was last seen on Dec. 15, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Hudgins is white, 5-feet-6 inches tall and weighs about 146 pounds. She has gray hair and hazel eyes, the LASD reported. She was reportedly on foot and last seen wearing a green hat, white sweater, blue jeans and red shoes. A silver alert was issued by the California Highway Patrol on behalf of the LASD. The silver alert program was established by the CHP to issue and coordinate alerts involving the unexplained or suspicious disappearance of elderly, developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired individuals. Anyone with information on Hudgins' whereabouts was asked to call the LASD's Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500 or 911. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. CBS 2

Former LA City Attorney's Official To Plead Guilty In DWP Billing Case
A former senior official at the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office has agreed to plead guilty to a federal extortion charge and is cooperating in the ongoing probe of the city's handling of the botched launch of a DWP billing system, prosecutors announced on Monday, Jan. 10. Thomas H. Peters, 55, of Pacific Palisades, threatened to fire a plaintiffs' attorney from a lucrative special counsel job with the city unless the lawyer paid an $800,000 extortion demand from a former employee who was threatening to expose the city's collusive litigation over its faulty billing system, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said that Peters did not have “direct authority” to fire the attorney form the special counsel job — that would be up to senior leadership. They wrote in a filing that Peters spoke with other “senior members” of the City Attorney's Office about the extortion demand, and “understood from senior leadership at the City Attorney's Office that they wanted the matter resolved quietly and the Sensitive Documents returned.” Los Angeles Daily News

LA County Man Gets 33 Years In Prison For Providing Fentanyl To Woman Who Fatally Overdosed
A Montebello man has been sentenced to more than 33 years in prison for supplying a woman with a fatal dose of fentanyl, officials announced Friday. Edwin Oliva, 30, was sentenced after pleading guilty last September to one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California. He had been in federal custody since March 2019. Oliva gave the victim a line of drugs to snort on Feb. 28, 2019, but didn't tell her the substance was fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. “Believing the substance to be cocaine, the victim ingested the drug, which resulted in a fatal overdose,” officials said in a news release. Oliva texted a friend that the victim was not breathing, but didn't call 911 for six hours. After alerting authorities, he cleaned his apartment, removing the fentanyl and other evidence of drug sales, officials said. He then placed the items in his car and drove away from the apartment in an attempt to hide evidence from law enforcement. KTLA 5

Virginia Police Identify 2 Victims Of ‘Shopping Cart' Serial Killer
Authorities in Virginia have positively identified the remains of two women they say were killed by a man they believe is a serial killer who used a shopping cart to transport his victims' bodies after meeting them on dating sites. Multiple news outlets report that police said DNA analysis confirmed that remains found in a container in Fairfax County on Dec. 15 belong to 29-year-old Cheyenne Brown, of Washington, D.C., and 48-year-old Stephanie Harrison, of Redding, Calif. WHSV-TV reports that Fairfax County Police Chief Keven Davis and Major Ed O'Carroll made the announcement during a news conference Friday evening. Police believe Anthony Robinson, 35, of Washington, D.C., is responsible for the deaths of four women found at two different locations in Virginia. Police arrested Robinson in November and charged him with two counts of murder after finding two bodies in a vacant lot in Harrisonburg. Evidence uncovered after Robinson's arrest led police to search an area near the Moon Inn in Fairfax County. During the search, detectives noticed a shopping cart and recalled that a cart had been used to transport the bodies in the Harrisonburg cases. Near the shopping cart was a large plastic container that held the remains of two women. Associated Press

Maryland Governor Pushes For Police ‘Re-Funding,' Crime Bills With $500M Proposal
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is renewing a push for more funding for police, tougher penalties for certain criminal offenders and more information about sentences handed down by judges. “There is nothing more important than addressing the violent crime crisis in our state,” the Republican governor said Monday during a State House news conference. Lawmakers in the Democrat-dominated legislature have shown little interest in the Republican governor's initiatives, though there are signs that they may give at least some of the measures more consideration when they return to Annapolis Wednesday for their annual legislative session. Hogan has regularly blasted Democratic leaders — particularly those in Baltimore — for being ineffective at preventing violent crime. Baltimore City experienced 337 homicides last year, the continuation of a jump in violence that dates back to 2015. More than 700 people were shot and survived last year. Hogan said that there are “no more excuses” for lawmakers not to support his initiatives. “The time for action is now,” Hogan said.  Baltimore Sun

Public Safety News

Hundreds Attend Candlelight Vigil For LA County Firefighter Killed In RPV Blaze
A candlelight vigil was held in San Clemente Monday night in memory of Los Angeles County firefighter Jonathan Flagler, who died while battling a house fire in Rancho Palos Verdes. Flagler, 47, died Thursday after being overcome by smoke and flames inside the home. A resident of San Clemente, Flagler was a married father of two boys, aged 15 and 13. Members of Firefighters Local 1014, as well as family members, friends and community members were among the hundreds of people to take part in the Monday night vigil at the Ole Hanson Beach Club, 105 W. Avenida Pico, in San Clemente. "Words cannot convey how devastating this loss has been for Jon's family, friends and extended fire service community," according to the firefighters' union. "Jon was an amazing husband, father, son, uncle and friend. He will be deeply missed." The union has also established a memorial fund to benefit the family. Donations can be sent to the Flagler Memorial Fund at F&A FCU, attention: Aymee Yanesa, 2625 Corporate Place, Monterey Park, 91754. NBC 4

LIST: LA County Offering Free PCR COVID Test Kits At Following Popup Sites
Los Angeles County has announced a testing program that would help Angelenos get a hold of the elusive COVID-19 test kits. The County announced on its site that it is offering PCR test kits to residents who have COVID-19 symptoms or believe they may have been exposed to the virus. Folks who pick up the kits can either take the tests either at home or in their car and then return the completed tests to the designated popup sites for processing. Residents who take these tests will find out about their results within 24 to 48 hours. Below is a list of sites offering the free pickup testing kits: Obregon Park; 4021 East 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90063; Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Memorial Park North Recreation Center; 320 N. Orange Ave., Azusa, CA 91702; Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. San Gabriel Valley Airport; 4015 Santa Anita Ave., El Monte, CA 91731; Monday to Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wingate Park; 735 North Glendora, Covina, CA 91724; Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MLK Medical Campus; 12021 S. Wilmington Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90059; Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ted Watkins Park; 1335 East 103rd Street, LA, CA 90002; Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. FOX 11

LA County Surpasses 2 Million Mark In COVID-19 Cases
Los Angeles County has surpassed the 2 million mark in total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed throughout the pandemic, with 43,582 new infections reported on Monday, Jan. 10. Another 13 deaths were also reported. The new cases pushed the county's total to 2,010,964 while the death toll climbed to 27,798. Health officials have said previously that about 90% of people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions. Of the 13 deaths reported Monday, nine had underlying conditions, according to the county Department of Public Health. The number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals also continued an unnerving rise, reaching 3,472, according to state figures. That was up from 3,364 on Sunday. The number of hospitalized patients being treated in intensive care was 482 as of Monday, up from 435 a day earlier. The number of hospitalized COVID-positive patients has not been this high since February of last year, during a severe winter surge that at one point pushed the patient number above 8,000. Los Angeles Daily News

LA County Launches Take-Home COVID-19 Test Program As Way To Expand Testing During Surge
Los Angeles County has introduced a take-home program for COVID-19 test kits as a way to expand testing during the rapid surge in infections. On Monday, the county Department of Health Services said the program is designed for residents unable to get appointments as the demand for tests increases during a dramatic upswing in infections due to the Omicron variant. Residents will be able to pick up a PCR test kit at one of 13 testing sites without an appointment, complete the test on their own and return the completed kit to one of several designated locations for processing. Residents are expected to be notified of test results -- which cover both COVID-19 and the flu -- within 24-48 hours. A test kit-by-mail program that was suspended last week due to lack of supplies is also expected to be restarted this week. "We look forward to reducing the waiting time to get tested for individuals unable to book an appointment,'' said Paula Siler, director of Community Mobile Testing Operations at DHS. ABC 7

COVID-19 Home Tests Will Soon Be Covered By Health Insurers; Here's What To Know
Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for people on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday as it looks to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations. Under the new policy, first detailed to the AP, Americans will be able to either purchase home testing kits for free under their insurance or submit receipts for the tests for reimbursement, up to the monthly per-person limit. A family of four, for instance, could be reimbursed for up to 32 tests per month. PCR tests and rapid tests ordered or administered by a health provider will continue to be fully covered by insurance with no limit. President Joe Biden faced criticism over the holiday season for a shortage of at-home rapid tests as Americans traveled to see family amid the surge in cases from the more transmissible omicron variant. Now the administration is working to make COVID-19 home tests more accessible, both by increasing supply and bringing down costs. KTLA 5

California Surpasses Astonishing 6 Million COVID Infections As Omicron Wave Expands
More than 6 million cumulative coronavirus cases have now been reported in California, according to data compiled by The Times, as the Omicron variant continues its staggering spread. The record-setting pace of infections is putting pressure on hospitals, schools and other institutions, which are struggling to maintain full services even as some employees take time off to deal with COVID-19. On Monday, the state reported 308,820 new infections, a colossal figure that includes data from Saturday and Sunday. State officials said more than 600,000 COVID tests are being reported daily. Los Angeles County hit its own milestone Monday, topping 2 million cases. “When we look at what is happening as regards to COVID, we know hundreds of thousands of Californians [are] becoming infected,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, the California health and human services secretary, said Monday. “Thankfully, because of the high level of immunity and vaccination protection, the rate of hospitalization is lower, but that's with that sheer number of cases. Even with a lower percentage being hospitalized, it still means quite a bit of work, quite a bit of pressure on our healthcare delivery system.” Los Angeles Times

California Expects A Record Number Of COVID Hospitalizations Next Month
As Omicron Spreads California health officials expect to reach a record-high number of COVID-19 hospitalizations early next month, Gov. Gavin Newsom said, raising concerns about the strain on hospitals and health care workers. The number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 reached a total of 11,048 in California as of Monday. That number has been steadily climbing since late November, when the highly-transmissible omicron variant first made an appearance in the U.S. Newsom said hospitalizations are projected to increase to 23,000 COVID-19 patients by Feb. 2, surpassing the current record of 21,938 hospitalizations set during January 2021. “It's manageable, but it's challenging,” Newsom said. By mid-January, the governor said the total number of people in California hospitals is expected to be greater than it was at the peak of last year's surge, meaning the total number of people hospitalized, including for both COVID-19 and non-COVID reasons, is likely to reach more than 53,000 people in a matter of days. Sacramento Bee

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: