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 17, 2022
Law Enforcement News

LA police union rips Gascon: 'Doesn't have the courage or conviction' to hold murders accountable
Los Angeles Police Protective League President Craig Lally says the district attorney has created a 'moral destroyer' for law enforcement with his liberal crime policies.

2 Appear In Federal Court In Fatal Shooting Of Off-Duty LAPD Officer
Two reputed gang members facing federal racketeering charges stemming from the fatal shooting of a 27-year-old off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer appeared in federal court Friday and were ordered to remain jailed without bond. Jesse "Skinny Jack" Contreras, 34, and Luis Alfredo "Lil J" De La Rosa Rios, 29, were scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 3, with a very tentative Jan. 28 date set for a preliminary hearing. Two other defendants in the case — reputed gang member Ernesto "Gonzo" Cisneros, 22, and Rios' 18-year-old girlfriend Haylee Marie Grisham — did not appear in court Friday. Grisham is expected to make an initial appearance Tuesday, but an appearance date has not been set for Cisneros, who is believed to have been wounded in an exchange of gunfire in the Monday night confrontation that killed Officer Fernando Arroyos. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Thursday night he directed detectives to take the case to the U.S. Attorney's Office because of his opposition to District Attorney George Gascon's decision to no longer pursue sentencing enhancements in gang cases. The Los Angeles Police Protective League issued a statement Friday applauding the sheriff's decision to seek federal prosecution, calling the U.S. Attorney's actions "a complete repudiation of the dangerous policies and heartless treatment of crime victims exhibited by" the district attorney. Craig Lally, president of the LAPPL, said that during a time when Los Angeles is experiencing a 15-year high in homicides and 54% increase in shootings since 2019, Gascon "should be prosecuting these murderers to the fullest extent of the law. (He) simply doesn't have the courage or conviction to hold soulless murdering thugs accountable." Spectrum News

Sexual Assault Of 10-Year-Old Sparks Latest Criticism Of L.A. District Attorney's Policies
A 26-year-old woman who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in Palmdale might be sentenced to a short stay in juvenile hall or granted probation at a court hearing this month, sparking another round of outrage over Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón's all-or-nothing criminal justice reform platform. The complicated case of Hannah Tubbs has drawn increasing frustration from law enforcement officials and politicians in recent weeks, who say the situation once again highlights the problem with Gascón's blanket ban on trying juveniles as adults. Tubbs, who identifies as female, was two weeks shy of her 18th birthday when prosecutors say she walked into the women's restroom of a Denny's restaurant in 2014, grabbed a 10-year-old girl by the throat and locked her in a stall, court records show. Tubbs then shoved her hand down the girl's pants and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors say, stopping only after someone else entered the restroom. The case drew widespread attention at the time, and the L.A. County Board of Supervisors issued a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. But Tubbs was not linked to the crime until 2019, when her DNA was entered into a database after she was arrested on suspicion of battery in Idaho, said Lt. Richard Ruiz of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department's Special Victims Bureau. “It's useless to catch criminals like [Tubbs] if we don't follow through and seek justice for victims such as the 10-year-old girl [she] sexually assaulted. She bears the burden of a lifetime of trauma,” L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose district includes Palmdale, said in a statement. "[She] will be offered therapeutic interventions under the auspices of ‘restorative justice' ... and possibly granted only probation or parole. Where is the justice for [her] young victim and her family?” Los Angeles Times

1 Dead, 1 Wounded After Koreatown Knife Attack: LAPD
One person died and another was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries after a group of knife-wielding men attacked them in Koreatown early Saturday morning, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The assault was reported at about 2 a.m. at South Alexandria Avenue and West Sixth Street, the LAPD said in a release. The man who died tried to break up a fight when a man in dark clothing stabbed him, police said. “After the stabbing two additional suspects hit and kicked the victim's companion causing injury,” the release added. Both victims were taken by the Los Angeles Fire Department to a local hospital, where the man who was stabbed died. The assailants fled the scene, and the investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call 213-382-9470. To submit information anonymously, call 800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit . KTLA 5

Nurse Dies Days After Being Assaulted By Man At Downtown Los Angeles Bus Stop
A nurse who was left in critical condition after being assaulted at a bus stop in downtown Los Angeles has died, officials announced Sunday. The woman, identified as LAC+USC Medical Center nurse Sandra Shells, was attacked Thursday morning at the bus stop located near the corner of Cesar E Chavez Avenue and Vignes Street. In a statement Sunday, the hospital confirmed that Shells succumbed to her injuries. The suspect, later identified as Kerry Bell, had struck 70-year-old Shells in the face "without provocation and for no reason," causing her to fall to the ground and sustain fractured skull, police said. A short time after the assault, he was found sleeping near the site of the incident and was taken into custody. Authorities described him as a transient, with one prior arrest in L.A. and multiple others in other states. He is now facing an updated charge of suspicion of murder.  ABC 7

Man Fatally Stabbed In Sun Valley
A 40-year-old man was stabbed to death Saturday in Sun Valley and Los Angeles police were searching for his killer. Responding officers responded around 7:55 a.m. to the intersection of Cleon Aveune and Stagg Street, according to the LAPD. The victim was suffering from multiple stab wounds, the LAPD reported. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was withheld pending notification of next of kin. Anyone with information on the stabbing was asked to call LAPD's Valley Bureau homicide detectives at 818-374-9550 or the LAPD's 24-hour tipline at 877-527-3247. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. Los Angeles Daily News

2 British Tourists Targeted In Brazen Armed Robbery Caught On Video In Los Angeles
Two British tourists were targeted in a brazen armed robbery in Los Angeles that was caught on video by a bystander early Friday morning, authorities said. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department initially said the incident occurred in the area of La Cienega and Santa Monica boulevards about 2:45 a.m. The Los Angeles Police Department later said the crime took place at La Cienega Boulevard and Romaine Street. The victims said they were leaving a nightclub when the robbers approached them and stole a bag and their high-end watches, worth tens of thousands of dollars, before fleeing. "Personally, I would not come back here again after that," William Saunders said, recounting the incident. "I've never even seen a gun before -- let alone have one at my head." A witness recorded part of the chaotic encounter on video, which transpired in the middle of a street. "I honestly thought I was going to lose my life at one point, because he said: 'Give me your stuff, otherwise I'll shoot you,'" Saunders said. The two victims were not seriously injured. Detailed descriptions of the robbers were not available. ABC 7

One Injured During Attempted Jewelry Store Robbery At Topanga Mall
One person was injured Friday during an attempted robbery at a jewelry store inside a Canoga Park mall. A group of four to five suspects entered The Ice Brothers store in the Westfield Topanga mall about 5:35 p.m. and attempted to steal items, said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Drake Madison. The group fled the scene not long after entering the store, though it was not immediately known if they took any items. Multiple callers in the area reported a shot was fired during the attempted robbery, though investigators were still working to determine the events of the crime, Madison said. One person was injured during the robbery, though they did not suffer a gunshot wound. The victim's condition was not immediately known. Los Angeles Daily News

Police Searching For Suspects Who Brandished Gun Near Sherman Oaks Ralphs
The Los Angeles Police Department is looking for two additional suspects who brandished a firearm near or inside the Ralphs in Sherman Oaks Friday afternoon. According to police, a man, who was accompanied by another man and a woman, pointed a gun at someone near the 14500 block of Ventura Boulevard around 2 p.m. Friday. The Ralphs was evacuated as authorities searched the premises. When police got to the scene the suspects went into a parking structure of a business. The female suspect was detained shortly after 4 p.m. SkyFOX on the scene shows multiple LAPD cars centered around the parking garage entrance on Hazeltine Avenue. No injuries were reported. Police have not yet released a detailed description of the two outstanding suspects. FOX 11

Suspect In Hollywood Hills Barricade That Lasted More Than 6 Hours In Custody
A man barricaded inside a Hollywood Hills home for over six hours was taken into custody Friday. Los Angeles Police Department officers were called about 11 a.m. to the 1700 block of Sunset Plaza Drive after receiving a report from a caller who said they discovered the man squatting in the building with his dog before the man brandished a shotgun and ran into the house, according to a department statement. SWAT units were called to the scene as authorities attempted to negotiate a surrender with the man. The man was taken into custody about 5:30 p.m., said LAPD Officer Drake Madison. No further details were immediately released. CBS 2

Increased Police Patrols Near Beverly Hills, LA Synagogues In Response To Texas Hostages
Local authorities are stepping up patrols around Southern California synagogues on Saturday, in response to a hostage situation at a synagogue near Fort Worth, Texas. The City of Beverly Hills announced on Twitter that the Beverly Hills Police Department would increase patrols "around our Jewish houses of worship." The increase is "out of an abundance of caution," and there have been no threats made to the Beverly Hills community, the city said. The watch commander for the Beverly Hills Police Department confirmed there would be extra patrols, but did not say what specific times in the day they would occur. The Los Angeles Police Department also said on Twitter that it would increase patrols around LA-area synagogues. "We're closely following a hostage situation that is taking place at a synagogue in Colleyville, TX," the statement read. "We're working with our federal partners, increasing patrols around synagogues in LA as a precautionary measure, and conducting community outreach to ensure the safety of Angelenos." NBC 4

Cargo Thieves Stealing Packages From Trains In Downtown LA
It's a shocking sight... thousands of torn up packages and boxes stretching for an eternity along the Union Pacific rail lines east of Downtown Los Angeles. Cargo thieves break into the containers, as the trains slow down or stop in the area, go through packages and take what they can. It's a problem that it getting worse. "Over 160% increase in cargo thefts in LA County" says UP spokesperson Lupe Valdez. That's about 90 containers a day. She explains the problem exploded when bail was suspended, as was the prosecution of misdemeanors. "We've made arrests, but we have yet to hear back on a single prosecution," Valdez adding, explaining that they've worked closely with LAPD and LASD to target criminals in open areas. But there are no repercussions, she adds, so they are back the next day. In December, Union Pacific sent a letter to LA County DA George Gascón asking for help. FOX 11 reached out to Gascón's office asking about the letter and why UP has not heard back. FOX 11

LA Man Arrested In Connection With Shooting Death In Victorville
An 18-year-old Los Angeles resident was arrested in connection with the shooting death of a 20-year-old man in San Bernardino County's Victorville, authorities said Sunday. Kody Lee McDufienunnery and Victorville resident Christine Kathleen Proffitt, 19, were located and arrested Saturday in connection with the shooting death of Hesperia resident Deven Dalton, 20, in Victorville, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department reported. Deputies responding on Thursday to reports of shots fired in the 13700 block of Bear Valley Road located Dalton, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. “Investigators with Sheriff's Specialized Investigations Division, Homicide Detail responded and assumed the investigation,” officials said. “During the course of the investigation, the suspects were identified as Kody Lee McDufienunnery and Christine Proffitt.” McDufienunnery was arrested on suspicion of murder and Proffitt was arrested on suspicion of accessory after the fact.

Woman Fatally Shot While Riding Dirt Bike In Compton: Sheriff's Department
Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting of a woman who was found dead in a Compton street Friday afternoon. Just before 2 p.m., deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department were called to a report of a person down in the 1400 block of West 155th Street, Lt. Charles Calderaro said. The deputies found a 34-year-old Latina woman lying in the street, shot once in the upper torso. Paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene. Detectives believe that the woman was riding a dirt bike when she was shot near the corner of 154th Street and Nestor Avenue, Calderaro said. She continued forward on the dirt bike after being shot, then collapsed in the area where deputies found her. KTLA 5

Glendale Police Look To The Sky To Curb Street Racing
Glendale has a zero-tolerance policy on street racing, and to help enforce the city's laws, the Glendale Police Department uses a MD 520N helicopter that it shares with its counterparts in Burbank. The helicopter is outfitted with a high-tech computer-linked camera system that can measure how fast a car is going and track its location, allowing that information to be relayed to ground units and making it all but impossible for racers to get away. “If someone were trying to evade us, going onto a dark street under a tree and get out of the car in complete darkness, we would see them clear as day with the infrared camera,” said pilot Steve Conaway. More than 100 arrests were made for street racing in Glendale last year, police said. “We mean zero tolerance. If we catch anyone participating in those activities, they will be arrested and their vehicles will be impounded,” Sgt. Christian Hauptmann said. KTLA 5

Man Suspected Of Advertising Fentanyl Online Is Arrested After ‘Customers' Turn Out To Be Cops
A man arrested on suspicion of selling narcotics to Costa Mesa police detectives, who were responding to an online ad offering fentanyl for sale, pleaded not guilty last week to multiple felony counts of drug and gun possession, court records show. The Costa Mesa Police Department shared news of the arrest Wednesday in a Facebook post , describing how the suspect had advertised fentanyl on an unnamed online marketplace. He further told the officers he had access to guns. Detectives agreed to meet the seller at a motel in the Fullerton area, where they purchased 2 ounces of fentanyl, police said. Shortly after the purchase, the officers arrested the suspect — identified as Christopher John Ricci, 34, of Berkeley — on suspicion of possession of narcotics with intent to sell. Ricci was also found in possession of a large amount of cash and a key to a motel room, according to the Facebook post. Officers conducting a record check determined Ricci was on post-release community supervision, a form of probation meant to assist offenders with their rehabilitation and reentry to society, and had two outstanding warrants. Los Angeles Times

Suspect Who Shot 2 Georgia Deputies Is Caught After 5-Day Manhunt
The manhunt for a man suspected of shooting two Thomas County sheriff's deputies came to an end Sunday afternoon, according to the GBI. Tyler Keith Henderson, 25, of Ochlocknee, was taken into custody by authorities in the southwest Georgia county, the GBI said. Despite the intensive search that included helicopters, Henderson eluded capture for five days. “He will now be a resident of the Thomas County Jail and will be held accountable for trying to take the life of three of our Deputies,” the Thomas County Sheriff's Office wrote in a Facebook post Sunday. Henderson is accused of firing on three deputies Tuesday morning, the sheriff's office said at the time. Two of the deputies were struck by the gunfire. One of them was protected by a ballistic vest while the other was hit under the vest and sustained a gunshot wound. Both deputies were in stable condition following the shooting. “Our efforts will now shift to getting our Deputies back to 100%,” the sheriff's office wrote in a post. The incident took place in Ochlocknee, a small town of 672 people located 12 miles away from Thomasville. Deputies had been trying to serve Henderson with a warrant when Henderson got control of one of the deputies' guns and fired at them before escaping. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hostages Safe After Texas Synagogue Standoff; Captor Dead
Four hostages are safe and their captor is dead after an hourslong standoff that began when the man took over services at a Texas synagogue where he could be heard ranting on a livestream and demanding the release of a Pakistani neuroscientist who was convicted of trying to kill U.S. Army officers in Afghanistan. One hostage held Saturday at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville was released during the standoff; three others got out about 9 p.m. when an FBI SWAT team entered the building, authorities said. The hostage taker was killed and FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt DeSarno said a team would investigate “the shooting incident.” Video from Dallas TV station WFAA shows people running out a door of the synagogue, and then a man holding a gun opening the same door just seconds later, before he turns around and closes the door. Moments later, several rounds of gunfire can be heard, followed by the sound of an explosion. FBI and police spokeswomen declined to answer questions about who shot the man. DeSarno said the hostage taker was specifically focused on an issue not directly connected to the Jewish community, and there was no immediate indication that the man was part of any broader plan. But DeSarno said the agency's investigation “will have global reach.” Associated Press

Public Safety News

Memorial To Be Held In Los Alamitos For Firefighter Who Died In Rancho Palos Verdes House Fire
A memorial service will be held on Friday, Jan. 21 for a Los Angeles County firefighter who died battling a house fire in Rancho Palos Verdes. The Los Angeles County Fire Department will host the service for Firefighter Jonathan Flagler of San Clemente at the Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos. Flagler was among the crew members from Fire Station 83 who responded to the blaze on Jan. 6. He was overcome with smoke and fire while inside and issued a Mayday alert, authorities said. He succumbed to his injuries at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Flagler was a 21-year veteran in firefighting, serving 19 years with the Vernon Fire Department before transitioning to LA County Fire in October 2020. He is survived by his wife Jenny and their two sons, Brody and Jack. Flagler was a “devoted husband, father, uncle, friend, and hero. He was a highly respected and esteemed LACoFD firefighter who truly embodied our core values of courage, caring, commitment, community, integrity, and teamwork while on- and off-the job,” the Los Angeles County Fire Department said in a statement. “(He) will be tremendously missed by all of us – and we will never forget him.” Los Angeles Daily News

Man Severely Burned In North Hollywood Fire
One person was severely injured in a house fire in North Hollywood on Sunday evening. Los Angeles Fire Department crews were on the scene of the one-story house fire on Agnes Avenue, that began outside, before quickly spreading to the garage of the home, and again back outside. The fire was extinguished within 15 minutes, and over 20 firefighters were sent to battle the blaze. While they were fighting the flames, firefighters encountered a man who had second-degree burns to his hands and legs. He was transported to a nearby hospital in serious condition. CBS 2

L.A. County Sees 10-Month High In COVID Death Rate
Los Angeles County saw an average of 40 coronavirus deaths a day over the past week, the highest such rate in nearly 10 months, a sign that the prolific Omicron variant may be deadlier than many initially believed. The county's daily COVID-19 death rate has doubled in just a week, officials said. According to a Times analysis, the last time average daily deaths has been this high was for the seven-day period that ended on March 28, 2021. The daily death tally in the county has climbed dramatically in recent days. On Tuesday, 15 deaths were reported; Wednesday, 39; Thursday, 45; Friday, 48; Saturday, 66, the highest number in more than nine months; and Sunday, 53. “As deaths often lag behind surges in cases and hospitalizations, sadly, the increase in deaths does not come as a surprise, and tragically, we are prepared for even higher number of deaths in the coming weeks,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. The latest average daily death figure remains well below that of the peak of last winter, when very few people were vaccinated because of limited supply. At that time, L.A. County was averaging about 240 COVID-19 deaths a day. Los Angeles Times

Health Officials Describe Winter COVID Surge At ‘Near Crisis Level'
Southern California experienced yet another weekend in the winter COVID-19 surge driven by the Omicron variant. In LA County this week, on average, the health department reported more than 40,000 new infections each day, with 1,000 more people hospitalized over the course of the last seven days. “One person who gets Omicron right now is easily infecting two and the rate of that speed is so fast. The individual is very contagious two days before the onset of symptoms,” said Dr. Jose Mayorga, the executive director of the UCI Health Family Health Center. Dr. Mayorga says an increase in testing is resulting in a rise of positive cases at his centers. “The drive-thru testing sites, we're at about 63 percent positivity of the people who are coming to get tested,” he said. Elsewhere, in Ventura County, a record number of infections were reported with a positivity rate nearing 25 percent.  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: