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 18, 2022
Law Enforcement News

3 Arrested In Death Of Man Who Was Stabbed While Trying To Break Up Fight In Koreatown
Three men were in custody Monday in connection with a fight near a 7-Eleven in Koreatown that left one man dead and another man hospitalized. Officers were dispatched at about 2 a.m. Saturday to Sixth Street and Alexandria Avenue on a report of a group fight, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. "Officers arrived and found the victim stabbed," police said in a statement "A dispute occurred, resulting in a fight. The victim tried to break up a fight when an unidentified male ... stabbed the victim. After the stabbing, two additional suspects hit and kicked the victim's companion causing injury." Both men were taken to a hospital, where one died and the other was treated for injuries described as not life-threatening, police said. The fatally wounded man's name was withheld, pending notification of his relatives. "Investigators identified a suspect vehicle and tracked the vehicle to an address in Echo Park," police said. On Saturday, police arrested the two men believed responsible for beating the man who survived, police said. Josue Alegria and Damian Dehorney, both 26, were booked on suspicion of attempted murder, and they were being held on $1 million bail each. On Sunday, the man suspected of fatally stabbing the man surrendered to homicide detectives, police said. Jose Garibay, 26, was booked on suspicion of murder, and he was being held on $2 million bail. ABC 7

Suspect Sought In Fatal Stabbing Of Worker In LA Furniture Store
Police were searching Monday for a suspect in the fatal stabbing of a 24-year-old employee of a Los Angeles furniture store. The woman was found dead by a customer at the store in the Hancock Park neighborhood on Thursday, police said. Investigators described the suspect as tall and thin, wearing all black clothing and a face mask. Police haven't identified a possible motive. Family members identified the victim as Brianna Kupfer of Pacific Palisades, a graduate student pursuing an architectural design degree at the University of California, Los Angeles. Relatives described Kupfer to CBSLA as a gifted artist who always had a positive attitude. Los Angeles Daily News

Homicide Detectives Investigate Death Of Homeless Man In Sherman Oaks
A 42-year-old homeless man was found dead in Sherman Oaks Monday, and authorities were investigating his death as a homicide. The man, who was “known to live on the streets in the Van Nuys area,” was found dead just before 8:40 a.m. in a parking structure located in the 5700 block of North Sepulveda Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. His name was not immediately released pending notification of his next of kin. Responding officers “believed there could have been foul play involved in the death,” according to the LAPD. Detectives were called to the scene, where they discovered the man suffered wounds “consistent with injuries caused by a vehicle,” according to a department statement. Anyone with information on the man's death was asked to contact LAPD Valley Bureau Homicide detectives at 818-374-9550. Calls made during non-business hours or on weekends can be directed to 877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at .

Authorities Investigating After Pedestrian Struck, Killed In Winnetka
Los Angeles Police Department officers were on the scene of a fatal crash involving a pedestrian that occurred in Winnetka on Monday evening, at around 6:20 p.m. Authorities were called to the scene on Winnetka Avenue near John A. Sutter Middle School, where they found the body of a pedestrian that was struck and killed by a vehicle. The person was pronounced dead at the scene, and an investigation is underway to determine whether or not the incident was a hit-and-run. According to a later report, one of the three drivers who hit the victim ended up returning to the scene, where they were arrested on charges of felony hit-and-run. They are still searching for potentially two additional drivers that were also involved in the incident. Their name was withheld pending notification of next of kin by LAPD. CBS 2

Man's Body Found On Hollywood Freeway Near Echo Park
The body of a man, approximately 60 years old, was found Sunday on the right shoulder of the southbound Hollywood (101) Freeway near Echo Park, authorities said. The body was discovered at about 8:10 a.m. on the southbound freeway, just north of the Pasadena (110) Freeway, the California Highway Patrol reported. A representative from the Los Angeles County coroner's office was called to the scene at 8:25 a.m. No further information was immediately available.  NBC 4

Union Pacific Urges Gascón To Reconsider 0-Bail Policy As Train Theft More Than Doubles In 2021
By now, many have seen the photos of the leftovers of stolen packages strewn across railroad tracks in Los Angeles. While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of the supply chain, railroad company Union Pacific is blaming its tough year in part due to repeat offenders, and by extension, the policies of LA County District Attorney George Gascón. According to statistics from Union Pacific, train container theft increased by 160% from 2020 to 2021 in LA County. More than 90 containers were broken into every day on average. In a letter to the DA's officer dated this past December, Union Pacific General Director Adrian Guerrero urged Gascón to reconsider one of his special directives, which they believe has aided the spike. Special Directive 20-07 was signed in December 2020, and dismisses certain misdemeanors like trespassing, before arraignment. These individuals are generally caught and released back onto the streets in less than 24 hours," Guerrero wrote. "Even with all the arrests made, the no-cash bail policy and extended timeframe for suspects to appear in court is causing re-victimization to UP by these same criminals. In fact, criminals boast to our officers that charges will be pled down to simple trespassing, which bears no serious consequence." The spike in container theft has cost UP an estimated $5 million, according to Guerrero's estimates. FOX 11

Victim Of Fatal Stabbing In Sun Valley Is Identified As A La Crescenta Resident
A 55-year-old man who was fatally stabbed in Sun Valley was identified Monday. Los Angeles Police Department officers responded around 7:55 a.m. Saturday to the intersection of Cleon Avenue and Stagg Street on reports of the stabbing and found Luis Garcia of La Crescenta suffering from multiple stab wounds at the scene, according to a department statement. Paramedics were called to the scene and pronounced Garcia dead. No suspect description was provided, and a possible motive for the stabbing was not immediately known. 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

Shots Fired In Studio City Neighborhood, No Injuries
Police are investigating after shots were fired in Studio City early Monday morning. The shots were reported before 3:45 a.m. in the area of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Landale Street. According to Los Angeles police, no one was hurt. The circumstances of the shooting were unclear. Investigators were on scene. CBS 2

City To Announce If Recall Bonin Campaign Has Enough Verified Signatures To Trigger Recall
Critics of Councilmember Mike Bonin will learn today if they met the city's threshold with enough validated signatures to force a recall election of the councilman sometime this summer. The recall efforts were driven by well-organized proponents who say they did their due diligence when gathering signatures and expect the verification to take place. Last December the City Clerk confirmed that enough ``raw signatures'' had been collected on the recall petition against Bonin to proceed to the verification stage. That verification stage started on December 3, 2021 with a deadline of today, January 18, 2022. The City Clerk did not specify the number of raw signatures, but the recall group submitted 39,188 signatures. It needed 27,317 signatures to qualify for the ballot. If the group has enough valid signatures of Council District 11 residents, the City Clerk will send a Certification of Sufficiency Report to the City Council, which will have 20 days to call for holding of a special recall election between 88 days and 125 days of the council's action. California is one of more than a dozen states that allow voters to hold recall elections. WestSide Current

Stolen WeHo French Bulldog Recovered In Philadelphia, Reunited With Owner
Jag, the French bulldog that was stolen in West Hollywood recently after slipping out of his collar during a walk, was safely reunited with his owner over the weekend. Rachel Avery and Jag were reunited at the airport in Philadelphia of all places. Surveillance video from a local business shows Jag running around the neighborhood before several man in a black SUV grabbed him off his front porch and drove away. Incredibly, days later, Avery received a call from someone in Philadelphia who had the dog, claimed not to have stolen it, and promised to hand it over if she did not press charges. "When I heard he was in Philadelphia, it was unbelievable," Avery said. "I was in shock that so quickly a dog can be taken and then transported to another state, but here he is, snoring behind me." Jag's owner says she is grateful to law enforcement, who took the theft of her dog very seriously, and to all the members of her community who rallied around her to help get Jag back. There has been a rash of thefts of French bulldogs in the area, a breed that can be sold at a high value. ABC 7

Police Find 3 Children Reported Missing After They Were Left Alone In Car
Three children reported missing after they were left alone in a car for hours have been found, police said. The children, ages 10, 7 and 3, were reported missing late Thursday near Adams Boulevard and Compton Avenue south of downtown Los Angeles. Police said the children were left alone in a car that they live in with their mother. When the mother returned, the children were missing, authorities said. At about 7 a.m. Friday, police said the children had been located at a relative's home. An estimated 16,500 people were living out of their cars in Los Angeles County in 2019, according to data from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. In a 2020 count, an estimated 10,300 people were living in vehicles in the city of Los Angeles. NBC 4

Antisemitic Fliers Found At Santa Monica Elementary And Middle Schools, Prompting Investigation
Antisemitic fliers that appear to link Jewish people with the anti-vaccine movement were discovered at several elementary and middle schools in Santa Monica on Thursday morning, the latest in a spate of similar incidents across Los Angeles County, authorities said. School staffers arriving before 8 a.m. found the posters attached to walls and signage, among other places, said Gail Pinsker, spokesperson for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. At one school, a flier was attached to a bin for book donations, and another one on an electrical unit, she said. By Thursday evening, district officials were aware of seven schools where the fliers were left, a number that grew from four earlier in the day. Five were elementary schools and two were middle schools, Pinsker said. The fliers feature what appears to be a red-and-green Star of David with the phrase “anti-vaxxer” written on it in white block letters. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified and the city of Santa Monica released a joint statement condemning the act. “Santa Monica rejects bigotry of any kind and antisemitic rhetoric, intolerance, harassment and violence have no place in our schools or in our community,” the statement said. “We are deeply offended by the antisemitic posters, falsely and nefariously representing pro-vaccine propaganda found at several of our schools.” Los Angeles Times

LASD Searching For Missing Lynwood Woman With Bipolar Disorder
Sheriff's detectives continued their search Sunday to find a 21-year-old woman with bipolar disorder last seen in Lynwood. Sheila Nicole Diciolli was last seen about 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 5 in the 7700 block of Elm Street, near the Long Beach (710) Freeway, according to Deputy Alejandra Parra of the Sheriff's Information Bureau. Diciolli is Hispanic. She stands 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 110 pounds. She has short blond hair, hazel eyes and a tattoo of a cat on her right thigh. She was last seen wearing a black sweater and blue jeans. Anyone with information on Diciolli's whereabouts was asked to call the Sheriff's Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500 or 911. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Arrests Made In I.E. Crackdown On Illegal Marijuana Grow Operations
Thirty people were arrested in San Bernardino County during a recent investigation that targeted illegal pot grow operations, with authorities seizing marijuana plants, guns and cash during raids. Shelby Nelson reports for the KTLA 5 News on Jan. 17, 2022. KTLA 5 Video

California Mother Of 3 Children Found Dead In Home Charged With Murder
The mother of three children found dead inside a central California home has been charged with murder, officials said Thursday. Deputies doing a welfare check found the children, ages 8, 5 and 3, Wednesday in a Merced County apartment. They also found their mother, Patricia Ortiz, with what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds, the Merced County Sheriff's Office said. Ortiz, 31, was taken to a hospital and was expected to be released Thursday and taken to jail, said Deputy Daryl Allen, agency spokesman. Allen said the children's official cause of death is pending and that he couldn't discuss it further, or describe Ortiz's injuries, due to the ongoing investigation. It wasn't immediately known if Ortiz has an attorney who could speak on her behalf. The children were identified as Anna Ortiz Lara, 8, Matteo Ortiz Lara, 5, and 3-year-old Alexa Ortiz Lara. FOX 11

29 Charged In Multi-State Shoplifting Ring That Hit Pharmacies
State and federal authorities announced Thursday that they arrested and charged more than two dozen people for taking part in a multistate shoplifting ring that made off with more than $10 million in stolen goods over the past few years, most of which was over-the-counter medications. U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson in Tulsa and Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor announced state and federal charges against 29 defendants. Johnson said 25 of those charged had been arrested and four others were still at large. Prosecutors said the defendants took part in a conspiracy to steal mostly over-the-counter medications from retailers such as Walmart, Costco, Walgreens, CVS and GNC in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. The ringleaders would then arrange for the sale of the items on websites such as Amazon and eBay. “Consumers and businesses incur a high price for thieves who commit larcenies and profit by selling their stolen goods to well-organized theft rings,” said Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin, whose department launched its investigation in 2019 after an organized crime investigator from a pharmacy retailer shared information about bulk thefts from its Tulsa-area locations. “Thieves should take notice. Tulsa is not going to capitulate and allow criminals to disrupt commerce in our city.” PoliceOne

Public Safety News

Man Found Dead Near Marina In Wilmington: LAFD
A man was found dead in the water near the Leeward Bay Marina in Wilmington Sunday evening, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. The man, who was about 60 years old, was found lifeless in the water near Berth 200 shortly before 5:30 p.m., according to Brian Humphrey of the LAFD. It's unclear who pulled the man's body out of the water, but he was seen alive and well about an hour before his body was discovered, Humphrey added. The incident remains under investigation, and no further details were available. KTLA 5

City To Nominate 1st Female Fire Chief At LAFD After Ralph Terrazas Announces Retirement
For the first time in its history, the Los Angeles Fire Department may soon have its first female fire chief. Kristin Crowley, who currently serves as LAFD's deputy chief and fire marshal, will be nominated to lead the department after Mayor Eric Garcetti along with City Council President Nury Martinez on Tuesday exclusively told ABC7 that LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas is planning to retire. If confirmed, Crowley would be the first female to ever lead LAFD. "We're living through an unprecedented moment that has called on our fire department not just to protect us - but to lead us in the fight to overcome public safety challenges we've never faced before," said Garcetti in a statement released to Eyewitness News on Tuesday. "Throughout her distinguished career, Kristin Crowley has proven her brilliance, determination and bravery on the job again and again. She's also shown this city her heart, with her tireless commitment to helping student's access life-changing educational opportunities. There is no one better equipped to lead the LAFD at this moment than Kristin. She's ready to make history, and I'm proud to nominate her as the Department's next Chief." ABC 7

Daily COVID Cases In LA County Have Gone Up By 10 Times In One Month
The COVID-19 omicron variant has caused a massive spike in new positive cases in Los Angeles County recently. With the newest positive cases announced by the LA County Department of Public Health Wednesday, daily new cases have increased by nearly 10 times in the last month. According to the latest data, there were 31,576 new cases confirmed in LA County Monday, according to Public Health. On Dec. 17, 2020, the department reported just 3,360 new cases. With Monday being a federal holiday, the department believes that Monday's totals are likely an undercount. "Our hearts and prayers are with all those mourning the loss of their loved ones from COVID," Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a press release. In addition to the more than 30,000 new cases reported Monday, 27 more people have died from the virus, and more than 4,500 are currently hospitalized, more than six times as many as one month ago. FOX 11

Amid Low COVID Vaccine Rates, More California Children Hospitalized In Omicron Surge
COVID-19 hospitalizations among California's children — especially those too young to go to school — are the highest they have been since the pandemic began. Chalk it up to the highly contagious omicron variant, kids exposed during in-person instruction at school and other public places, and infants and preschoolers being ineligible for vaccination. The state has tallied nearly 850,000 cases of COVID among kids 0 to 17 since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those, 44 have died — equivalent to an entire school bus filled with kids. “The wave of delta and wave of omicron challenged some assumptions we had that kids would not get it and got spared,” said Dr. Theodore Ruel, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Global Health at UCSF. “Now we know that kids absolutely do get infections, and even though they are small numbers they do get admitted and some die.” This peak in hospitalizations of kids across the state has surpassed records set during last winter's surge, said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly last week. The state reached a high of 90 pediatric admissions in one day on Jan. 4, according to the California Department of Public Health. The previous high of 41 pediatric admissions in one day occurred in January 2021, a record surpassed earlier during the omicron surge on Dec. 29 with 50 admissions. CalMatters

Local Government News

Kevin de León, Working To Clear Encampments, Wages An Escalating Fight With Activists For the last year, Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León has focused much of his energy on reducing the number of encampments in his Eastside district, working with city agencies to move people off the streets and into temporary housing or other forms of shelter. Last spring, he said, his office succeeded in moving 74 homeless people off a median strip in El Sereno and into two converted motels. Six months later, dozens more were relocated from a two-block section of Main Street in downtown. And since Thanksgiving, his team — working alongside outreach workers — moved about 90 people out of encampments that have long surrounded El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument and into temporary housing. Those efforts have put De León, a veteran politician known for his left-of-center challenge to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein in 2018, in direct conflict with some of the city's most outspoken homeless advocates, who say he is pursuing a policy of “banishment” for L.A.'s unhoused. 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: