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 13, 2022
Law Enforcement News

4 arrested in killing of off-duty LAPD officer shot while house-hunting in South Los Angeles
Four people have been arrested in connection with the killing of an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer who was shot while house-hunting in South L.A. with his girlfriend, authorities said Wednesday. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced the arrests during a livestream of his weekly informational update. He did not disclose the suspects' names or additional details about the case. ABC 7

Emotional Vigil Held For 27-Year-Old Fernando Arroyos, LAPD Officer Slain During Monday Robbery
Dozens of officers from the Los Angeles Police Department gathered tonight to pay tribute to Officer Fernando Arroyos, shot to death Monday while protecting his girlfriend during an armed robbery. From Arroyos police academy classmates to the colleagues he worked with on the streets of LA, the men and women of LAPD stood side by side outside the Olympic Station to mourn the loss of a bright young officer who was stationed here for three years. “When you work side by side with someone and suddenly they're not there, it hits close to home,” the 27-year-old Arroyos' training officer, Luis Interiano, said. Many of the officers present at the vigil said they see a little piece of themselves in Arroyos, whose lifelong dream was to make the community he was raised in just a little bit safer. “We grew up in LA, like I went to school two blocks from here. So, we do our jobs with pride,” Iteriano said. Arroyos wanted to have the pride of ownership as well. While off duty Monday, he was house hunting with his girlfriend when investigators said three men in a pickup truck attempted to rob the couple. Arroyos died in an exchange of gunfire. “We'll never forget. We'll carry him in our work and it just reaffirms to us that this work matters,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. CBS 2

'Over What? A $200 Chain?' Mom Of Slain LAPD Officer In Disbelief After South LA Shooting
"Why, why?" is the question Claudia Membreno keeps asking. The mother of LAPD Officer Fernando Arroyos was supposed to be with her son while he was off duty, checking out a house for sale with his girlfriend. She was waiting for him to call her and tell her about the house. Instead, she was summoned to the hospital where her son was taken, fatally shot by suspects in what seems to be a robbery gone bad. "Over what, a $200 chain?" Membreno asked, referring to the gold chain her son won wore around his neck. Her only child, Arroyos showed plenty of promise, even before he became an officer three years ago. He graduated with honors from UC Berkeley, says the obviously proud mother adding, "Harvard wanted him, too!" The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department announced Wednesday that four people had been arrested in connection with Arroyos' murder. Ever since Arroyos was a little boy, he wanted to be a police officer, Membreno explains. "I tried to talk him out of it because of the dangers," she adds, tearing up as she mumbles "and he wasn't even working!" FOX 11

Drive-Thru Shooting: LA Man Charged With Murdering Taco Bell Worker Who Died In Front Of His Son
A 39-year-old man was charged Wednesday with murdering an employee at a Taco Bell restaurant in South Los Angeles. Jonathan Madden pleaded not guilty to one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. Alejandro Garcia-Galicia, 41, was working with his 19-year-old son at the fast-food restaurant near the intersection of Century and Avalon boulevards Saturday night when he was shot and killed. Investigators said the shooting stemmed from an argument that started when Garcia's son allegedly refused to accept what appeared to be a counterfeit $20 bill from a customer at the drive-thru. Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore announced at a vigil held Tuesday evening that a suspect had been arrested. Madden was taken into custody Monday at his home in South L.A. by members of the LAPD Gang and Narcotics Division, police said. He has remained behind bars since then, jail records show. Madden -- who was ordered to be held in lieu of $4.15 million bail -- is due back in a Compton courtroom Feb. 9. A date is scheduled to be set then for a hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to allow the case against him to proceed to trial. ABC 7

Three Dead Of Suspected Overdoses In Woodland Hills Apartment
Authorities are investigating the deaths of three men whose bodies were found in a Woodland Hills apartment Wednesday night. Firefighters responded around 7:45 p.m. to an apartment complex in the 22100 block of Victory Boulevard and found the men, who were in their 20s, said Officer Mike Lopez, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman. Officers were called to the complex. LAPD homicide detectives will handle the investigation, Lopez said. Exact causes of death were not available Wednesday night, but the spokesman said investigators were treating the case as a possible drug overdose situation.  Los Angeles Times

Man Fatally Shot In Panorama City
Police are asking for the public's help in finding the person who fatally shot a 24-year-old man in Panorama City Tuesday night. The shooting was reported about 7:20 p.m. at the intersection of Parthenia Street and Kester Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Responding officers found the victim, Ramon Contreras, laying on the sidewalk and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, police said in a news release. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics. A man was seen running away from the scene with a woman, and the shooting appeared to be gang related, LAPD Officer Mike Lopez told KTLA. No further details about the incident have been released. Anyone with information about the shooting can call LAPD Valley bureau homicide detectives at 818-374 -9550. KTLA 5

1 Seriously Injured In Winnetka Crash
One person was seriously injured after a multi-vehicle crash in Winnetka Wednesday afternoon. The crash occurred about 2:10 p.m. at 20500 Saticoy St., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Four vehicles were involved in the crash, with one vehicle left wrapped around a pole at the intersection, aerial video from Sky5 showed. The vehicles sustained major damage, and debris was strewn on the roadway, the video showed. One person was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries after the crash, fire officials said. The Los Angeles Police Department later said a pregnant woman was transported after the crash. Streets in the immediate area remained closed hours after the crash. No further details about the incident were released. KTLA 5

Double Shooting Near South Los Angeles Leaves One Man Dead And Another Injured
Sheriffs Homicide Bureau detectives today are investigating a double shooting in an unincorporated area bordering South Los Angeles that left one man dead and another wounded. The shooting was reported about 9 p.m. Tuesday in a commercial parking lot in the 11400 block of Vermont Avenue, near Imperial Highway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. A man in his 30s died at a hospital, the sheriff's department reported. His name was withheld, pending notification of his relatives. A man in his 20s was hospitalized in stable condition. "Investigators learned the victims were standing in the parking lot of the retail center when a dark colored sedan parked on the west curb line of South Vermont Avenue," sheriff's Deputy Trina Schrader said in a statement. "Four male suspects, unknown race, exited the car and walked into the parking lot," Schrader said. "At least two of the suspects opened fire on the victims before the four suspects ran to and entered the black sedan before speeding away southbound South Vermont Avenue." NBC 4

Villanueva Says LA County Homicides, Auto Thefts Spiked During Pandemic
Homicides and auto thefts spiked from 2019 to 2021 in areas policed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Wednesday during a virtual town hall meeting. Villanueva presented year-end statistics for 2021 but said it was too early to draw any conclusions about trends in the first 12 days of 2022. “Because we're only two weeks into the first year, statistically it's going to be all over the map,” the sheriff said. Department data for the year ending Dec. 31, 2021 showed “a two-year jump — this is comparing 2019 to 2021 — that was a 94.24% increase in homicides, huge number,” Villanueva said. “A 64.88% increase in grand theft auto. That's the bad news. In 2019, there were 145 homicides recorded in the county, while there were 199 in 2020, according sheriff's department's website. While Villanueva did not specify the number of 2021 homicides recorded, his math would put the total at around 281. There was also a 14% increase in aggravated assaults, though rapes and robberies dropped 11.7% and 24.1%, respectively, according to the sheriff. As a result, overall violent crimes were up roughly 1%, he said. “A lot of these have to do definitely with the pandemic and just the changing societal patterns of behavior, and who's at home and who's not,” Villanueva said.

Fugitive Accused Of Killing His Mother, Grandfather Could Be Headed To LA County, Authorities Say
A man accused of killing his own mother and grandfather inside a home in Fresno is on the run and could be making his way down to Los Angeles County, according to authorities. The Fresno County Sheriff's Office issued an update on Wednesday, asking the public's help in finding 25-year-old Rahmad Kerel Parke. He allegedly killed his 58-year-old mother, Melba Abdelaziz, and her 90-year-old father, Mel Abdelaziz. Investigators say the woman was providing her father with medical care. He had served 70 years as a church pastor prior to his death, according to investigators. Authorities say Parke may be homeless and is known to frequent the city of Fresno and L.A. County, specifically Santa Monica, Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks. Parke is described as Black, 5 feet 10 inches tall, with brown eyes and black hair. Authorities say he could possibly have facial hair. Investigators ask the public not to approach Parke if he is spotted. Anyone with information is asked to contact local authorities. ABC 7

LA County Sheriff Says Super Bowl Draws Human Traffickers
As Los Angeles prepares to host the Super Bowl, Sheriff Alex Villanueva Wednesday, Jan. 12, reminded residents that the event is a magnet for human trafficking. Villanueva also highlighted January as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. “This is … always a lead-up to the Super Bowl, which ends up being one of the major events that draws human traffickers to the region,” the sheriff said. “Sadly, millions of people worldwide are forced to endure this form of modern-day slavery. And they prey on the most vulnerable — those looking for opportunities in the U.S., those that have come without families and unsuspecting people that may be lured online.” “Anyone can become a victim of human trafficking,” Villanueva said. He urged residents, “if you see something, say something,” asking them to report human trafficking to their local law enforcement agency, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tip line at 866-347-2423 or Crime Stoppers, 800-222-TIPS (8477). Los Angeles Daily News

FBI, Authorities From LA And OC Announce Gang-Related Arrests And Federal Charges
Law enforcement officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with local authorities from Los Angeles and Orange Counties, announced several gang-related arrests and federal weapons charges in those counties. A news conference was held outside the FBI Resident Agency building in Orange at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Representatives from the Los Angeles County & Orange County Violent Crime and Gang task forces spoke about a recent investigation that led to the arrests. In one case, sixteen people associated with the Brownwood street gang, which mostly operates in Anaheim, were charged on Wednesday morning. Charges include: Felon in Possession of Ammunition, Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, Possession of Unregistered Firearms and a Destructive Device, Possession of Firearms Not Identified by a Serial Number, and Transporting Unregistered Firearms and a Destructive Device in Interstate Commerce. Ten of those people were arrested, according to the FBI. Three of those individuals were already in custody before Wednesday morning, and the other three are fugitives.  NBC 4

‘Enough Is Enough': Riverside And Orange County D.A.s, Victims' Families Call For Action Against Fentanyl Poisoning
Loved ones of fentanyl poisoning victims were in attendance at a news conference Wednesday held by the Riverside and Orange county district attorneys, who called for lawmakers to take action against fentanyl poisonings. “Enough is enough,” Orange County D.A. Todd Spitzer said at the briefing. “We are literally fighting to protect our streets.” Spitzer had announced in November that his office would now be able to charge convicted drug dealers with murder if they manufacture or sell drugs — including fentanyl — and someone dies as a result. Fentanyl deaths have skyrocketed across the nation over the last few years, with drug overdose deaths fueled by fentanyl hitting a record high in late 2021. Chris Wolfe reports for the KTLA 5 News at 3 on Jan. 12, 2022. KTLA 5

2 Georgia Deputies Shot; Officials Seek Convicted Felon
A Georgia man is accused of trying to kill three sheriff's deputies, two of whom ended up in a hospital, according to the Thomas County Sheriff's Office. Details of the confrontation were not released, but WCTV reports Tyler Keith Henderson “allegedly got a hold of a deputy's gun and used it to shoot the two deputies.” It happened around 12 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11 in the south Georgia town of Ochlocknee, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Ochlocknee is about 225 miles south of Atlanta. A $5,000 reward is offered for information leading to Henderson's arrest. “Henderson is wanted for attempting to murder three of your deputies. Two ... were shot, both are stable and are going to be okay,” the Thomas County Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook. “Henderson is a convicted felon and is no stranger to the law. ... We will find Henderson and bring him to justice.” The department did not say what happened to the third deputy. Henderson is on probation on charges of robbery, aggravated assault and burglary, the sheriff's office told WCTV. He is white, 5-foot-10, 212 pounds, with hazel eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing dark jogging pants, a white T-shirt and light-colored tennis shoes, officials said. The Charlotte Observer

‘A Miracle': Phoenix Officer Shot 8 Times Makes Progress, Remains On Ventilator
Officer Tyler Moldovan, 22, has shown signs of progress after a December shooting left him “fighting for his life,” police said. Moldovan was shot eight times, including in the head. On Tuesday, the Phoenix Police Department shared an update from Moldovan's wife, Chelsea. In a statement posted to Twitter, Chelsea thanked the medical staff and support from fellow officers. “Without going into details about the severity of Tyler's condition, we can say that he endured extensive neurological injuries,” she wrote. “The doctors consider his current condition to be stable, and he remains on ventilator.” “We have been praying for a miracle and see glimpses of one every day,” she continued. “When no one thought he would, he opened his eyes. We hold onto our faith that Tyler will continue to make progress.” The shooting suspect, 22-year-old Essa Williams, is scheduled for trial in April. PoliceOne

Man Arrested After Dismembered Body Found In New Orleans Freezer
Authorities investigating the disappearance of a woman who was reported missing found a headless human torso in a freezer inside an old bus parked beside a New Orleans home. A man who lived at the house was arrested on an obstruction charge after the remains were found, news outlets reported, but no charges were filed in the death itself. WDSU-TV reported that residents said police were in the neighborhood Sunday asking if the smelled anything. Officers returned Tuesday with a search warrant for a house where a bus covered in graffiti was parked. Officers, who were investigating the whereabouts of a woman last seen in November, found dismembered remains in a freezer that was inside the bus, news outlets reported. Neither the identity of the person nor the cause of death were immediately determined. Benjamin Beale, 34, was arrested on multiple charges, including obstruction of justice of a death investigation. Beale also charged with offenses including operating a drug laboratory and distributing methamphetamine.  FOX 11

Public Safety News

LA County COVID Hospitalizations Push Near 4,000
The number of COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals crept closer to 4,000 Wednesday, as health officials continue to urge residents to avoid non-essential activities in the coming weeks amid the surge in cases fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant. There are 3,912 people with the coronavirus in county hospitals, according to the latest state figures released Wednesday. Perhaps more alarming is a recent spike in the number of those patients in intensive care, which rose from 513 Tuesday to 536. That's an increase of over 200 people in the last eight days. However, Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county's health services director, has said that despite rising patient numbers, the Omicron-fueled surge is playing out differently in hospitals than earlier surges. She said last fall, about one-third of COVID patients wound up in ICU care, but that number is only about 10% to 15% this time around, at least in the four county-operated hospitals, which likely reflect conditions in other medical centers. FOX 11

No Burn Order In Effect Through Thursday For Many Parts Of Southland
The South Coast Air Quality Management District extended a no-burn order for much of the Southland through Thursday night due to a forecast of high air pollution in the area. Residents in the South Coast Air Basin are prohibited from burning wood, both indoors and outdoors through 11:59 p.m. Thursday. The South Coast Air Basin includes the non-desert portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and all of Orange County. The order does not apply to mountain communities above 3,000 feet, the Coachella Valley or the high desert. Homes that rely on wood as a sole source of heat are also exempt from the requirement. Fine particles in wood smoke, also known as particulate matter or PM2.5, can get deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems such as asthma. Residents can receive no-burn day notifications by signing up for Air Alerts via email or text at . CBS 2

Omicron Variant Is Causing Less Severe Illness In SoCal Patients, Study Suggests
New data from Southern California are providing further evidence that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is causing less severe illness than its Delta cousin, the culprit behind last summer's wave. A preliminary study based on medical records from nearly 70,000 Kaiser Permanente Southern California patients “noted substantially reduced risk of severe clinical outcomes in patients who are infected with the Omicron variant compared with Delta,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study — which included more than 52,000 Omicron cases and nearly 17,000 Delta cases within the Kaiser system from Nov. 30 to Jan. 1 — found that, compared with patients infected with Delta, those who had Omicron were 53% less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, 74% less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit, and 91% less likely to die of the disease. Among patients who were hospitalized, the median length of stay was 1.5 days for patients infected with Omicron and five days for those who had Delta. KTLA 5

Local Government News

City Council Enforces LA's Anti-Camping Law At 58 Locations
The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday voted to enforce its anti-camping law at 58 new locations, including MacArthur Park, with two council members voting against the resolutions. The five resolutions passed on Thursday will allow enforcement at MacArthur Park's north and south side, as well as 27 other locations in Councilman Gil Cedillo's district, 22 locations in Councilman Joe Buscaino's district and seven locations in Councilman Kevin de Leon's district. The law, which went into effect Sept. 3, prohibits sleeping, sitting, camping and obstructing the public right of way within 500 feet of "sensitive" facilities, including schools, day care facilities, parks and libraries. It can be enforced once the council passes a resolution to designate a specific area for enforcement, posts signage and gives notice of the date that the ordinance will be enforced for the area. The ordinance is also supposed to go hand-in-hand with street engagement and offers of shelter to people living in the location selected for enforcement. FOX 11

LA City Council Votes To Close Historic Beachwood Stairs For Repairs
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to temporarily close the historic Beachwood Stairs which city officials say need more than $100,000 in repairs. The staircase, at 3020 and 3030 Beachwood Drive, north of Franklin Avenue, are part an urban hiking loop that includes a series of staircases in the Hollywoodland area. They have been blocked off to the public since at least Christmas Eve. Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman says the stairs require more than $100,000 worth of repairs and funds haven't been identified for the project yet. “Right now, the stairs pose a significant public safety hazard,” Nithya wrote on Twitter last week. “This closure is intended to protect users from any physical harm while our team works to secure funding for the repairs.” Raman said her office is working with the Board of Public Works to create a scope of work for the repair project. CBS 2

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: