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 28, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Four Indicted In Connection With Fatal Shooting Of Off-Duty LAPD Officer
A federal grand jury Thursday returned an indictment against three gang members and one associate for the fatal shooting of an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer. The three men and the 18-year-old girlfriend of one defendant were charged with violating a federal racketeering statute for their roles in the robbery and fatal shooting of Los Angeles Police Department Officer Fernando Arroyos on Jan. 10, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The charge of violent crime in aid of racketeering carries a potential death penalty and a minimum sentence of life in federal prison without the possibility of parole because the fatal shooting occurred during a robbery, prosecutors said. Charged with violent crime in aid of racketeering to increase and maintain position within the Latino gang based in South Los Angeles were: Luis Alfredo De La Rosa “Lil J” Rios, 29; Ernesto “Gonzo” Cisneros, 22; Jesse “Skinny Jack” Contreras, 34; and Haylee Marie Grisham, 18, Rios' girlfriend. Rios and Contreras are set to be arraigned on Feb. 3, Grisham on Feb. 7, and Cisneros on Feb. 10 in Los Angeles federal court.

Recent Los Angeles Murders Put Spotlight On ‘Equitable' Approach To Fighting Crime
Enough is enough. Crime is not usually something I think much about, but two murders in the last two months hit too close to home. Most recent was the senseless murder of 24-year-old Brianna Kupfer from my town of Pacific Palisades. Before that was the equally senseless murder of Jacqueline Avant, the mother of my friend's childhood friend. Both were women allegedly killed by black males with long rap sheets. I would normally never note the race of the individuals involved, because it is typically not relevant. But when our leaders embark on crime policies designed to be more “equitable,” race is at the center. Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón has been clear that he is “committed to making our communities more safe and more equitable.” Put simply, “more equitable” means finding ways to prosecute fewer minorities. To the left, these minority groups are the true victims, of so-called systemic racism. Mayor Eric Garcetti subscribes to the same line of thinking. In response to the 2020 George Floyd protests and absurd calls from Black Lives Matter to defund the police, Garcetti and the city council cut $150 million from the LAPD budget, handing the money instead over to leftist experiments like guaranteed income handed out to residents via a lottery. Thanks to the defunding, Los Angeles now has 500 fewer officers than in 2019. It also has a demoralized police force which clearly does not have the support of City Hall. To city leaders, the criminal is the victim and the police are the culprits. The response of many officers has been to retreat from crime fighting. This is only natural since the more aggressively they fight crime, the more likely they are to be accused of brutality or being racist. Epoch Times

'DA's Office Failed': Barger Criticizes Lenient Sentence For Confessed Child Molester
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger criticized District Attorney George Gascón on Thursday over the lenient sentence given to a confessed child molester, who is now 26 years old. "The outcome of the Tubbs case is unsatisfactory," said Barger. James Tubbs, now 26, was just a few days shy of his 18th birthday when he sexually molested a 10-year-old girl in 2014. LA County District Attorney George Gascón has a policy of not charging anyone under 18 as an adult. "Judge Barrera's hands were tied today – due to the fact that the DA's office failed to file a motion to transfer Tubbs to adult criminal court, which is where he rightly belongs," said Barger. "Instead, we're left with a 26-year-old individual sentenced to two years in a juvenile facility in isolation, separated by sight and sound from the other juveniles." The assault itself happened on New Year's Day 2014. Tubbs walked into a woman's restroom at Denny's in Palmdale and hid in a stall. When a 10-year-old girl walked in by herself, he grabbed her and sexually molested her. "The assault went on until someone walked into the restroom and scared him off. He fled from the restaurant, and he went unidentified for several years until a cold DNA hit identified him as someone who was arrested in the state of Idaho," LA County Deputy District Attorney John McKinney previously told FOX 11. FOX 11

LAPD Chief Moore: LAPD Will Cover Funeral Expenses For Off-Duty Officer Killed During Robbery
As the family of a young Los Angeles police officer who was killed earlier this month continues to grieve, Chief Michel Moore said Thursday the department plans on covering the cost of funeral expenses. Fernando Arroyos, 27, was shot and killed during an attempted robbery in Walnut Park on Jan. 10. Police say he was off-duty at the time and was house-hunting with his girlfriend when the suspects pulled up in a pickup truck. There was some sort of argument and shots were fired. Arroyos was shot and was later rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Four people have since been arrested in connection with his death. On Wednesday, organizers held a day-long barbecue outside of the LAPD Olympic Station on Vermont Avenue, where Arroyos was assigned, to help raise money for his family. It drew a large crowd which consisted mainly of Arroyos' colleagues. "He was a great guy," said Ofc. Nayeli Medina. "He's going to always be remembered. He's one of us ... he's family, and we want his family to know that we love them as well." ABC 7

LA, NYC Killings Spark Anger, Raise Risk For Homeless People
Three random killings — a woman pushed in front of a train, another punched at a bus stop and a third stabbed to death while working alone in a store, all allegedly committed by homeless men — have reignited anger, fear and frustration with the intractable issue of homelessness in New York and Los Angeles. Advocates fear public outrage about the crimes has left a vulnerable population even more endangered. Heidi Marston, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, called the killings tragedies. But she said it's important not to blame the entire homeless community for the violence or conflate the homelessness epidemic with the attacks. The Associated Press contacted police departments in LA and New York, as well as agencies in six other major cities with significant homeless populations: Chicago, Honolulu, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., to see if they track the housing status of homicide victims and suspects. All except the Los Angeles Police Department either said they do not collect the data or required a formal records request to make it public or determine if it even exists. In LA, the homeless population is estimated to be 40,000, or 1% of the city's 4 million residents. Last year, homeless people were suspects in 43 of the city's 397 homicides, nearly 11%. They were victims more than twice as often — 90 fatalities, nearly 23%. In 27 of the killings, homeless people were the victim and the alleged perpetrator. In the last five years, the percentage of LA homicides in which a homeless person was the suspect has ranged from 6.5% to 12.9%, according to an AP analysis of LAPD data. Yet the frequency of cases where a homeless person was killed was 10% in 2017 and has risen every year since. Associated Press

LAPD Searching For Gunman Who Shot Woman As She Drove In Harbor Gateway Area
Police on Wednesday released new surveillance images of a vehicle and gunman sought in the killing of of a woman who was shot while driving in the Harbor Gateway area. The shooting happened around 11:15 a.m. Jan. 18 in the area of Ainsworth Street and Redondo Beach Boulevard. The woman and a passenger were driving when someone got out of an oncoming black Honda Accord and fired one round at victim as she drove by, the Los Angeles Police Department said. She was struck by gunfire but she and the passenger managed to get to the area of Vermont and Redondo Beach Boulevard, where they flagged down an officer for help. Meanwhile, the gunman got back into his vehicle and fled eastbound on Redondo Beach Boulevard. The woman later died at the scene. She was identified as 30-year-old Serenity Gershon of Venice by the L.A. County Coroner's office. LAPD shared new surveillance images and asked the public for help identifying the gunman. Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD detectives at 323-786-5140 or 323-786-5138. KTLA 5

Police Capture Murder Suspect Who Took Off After Leading Officers On Chase In North Hollywood
After an hours-long search Thursday, police arrested a murder suspect who fled on foot in North Hollywood after leading officers on a pursuit. The large-scale search focused on the area near Agnes Avenue and Sylvan Street. At one point, Laurel Canyon Boulevard was shut down in both directions as investigators continued their search. Police said the suspect ran through the neighborhood, jumped fences and confronted homeowners. AIR7 HD captured the arrest shortly before 7 p.m. SWAT officers found the man hiding out in a small building behind a home as a family was locked inside their residence. Tear gas was used to force the suspect to surrender. Police say the man is wanted in connection with a murder in Los Angeles that happened last year, and that further details will be released in the coming days. ABC 7

Arson Suspect Arrested For Setting Multiple Fires On Venice Boardwalk
A man suspected of setting multiple fires on the Venice Boardwalk was arrested Thursday by the Los Angeles Police Department Beach Patrol along with the Los Angeles Fire Department's Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section. The fires occurred early Tuesday, January 25, 2022, on Ocean Front Walk near Westminster Avenue. In canvassing the community in the hours that followed, plainclothes LAFD Investigators - working closely with Patrol Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Community Police Station, received helpful tips from neighbors, including surveillance video that allowed them to quickly apprehend a suspect and obtain imagery of his suspected accomplice. Suspect Jonathan Michael Noriega, age 32, is currently in custody and expected to be charged with the crime of arson. His suspected accomplice remains at large. "Protecting our community from the scourge of firesetting takes teamwork, and in this case, that teamwork paid off with the timely arrest of a suspected arsonist," said Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Roy Paige, Commander of the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section. WestSide Current

Woman, 77, And Intellectually Disabled Daughter Reported Missing In Koreatown
Police Thursday sought the public's help to locate a 77-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease and her intellectually disabled 53-year-old daughter who were last seen in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles. Gavellar Henning and her daughter Greta Henning were last seen about 3 p.m. Wednesday when they left their residence in the 500 block of South Mariposa Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Gavellar is Black, 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She also suffers from high blood pressure. Greta is Black, 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She is nonverbal. Anyone with information on their whereabouts was asked to contact the LAPD Olympic Community Police Station at 213-382-9102. 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 .

Inmate Who ‘Walked Away' From Los Angeles Facility Back In Custody
An inmate who ‘walked away' from a Male Community Reentry Program facility in Los Angeles is back in custody, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced Thursday night. According to the CDCR, Antonio Diaz walked away from the Male Community Reentry Program facility in Los Angeles shortly before 9 p.m. on Jan. 26. Officials did not provide any explanation other than Diaz just walked away from the facility. Diaz was later located and arrested Thursday evening in LA without incident. He was then transported to California Institution for Men in Chino. Diaz was transferred to state custody from LA County in July 2017. He had just over three months left on a six-year, eight-month sentence for assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest while driving recklessly. The reentry program he was participating in is meant to give men with less than two years on their sentences the resources needed to reenter society. Diaz transferred to the program in September 2021. He was scheduled to be released from state custody on May 1, 2022.  FOX 11

CHP Searching For At Risk Missing Los Angeles Woman California Highway
Patrol officers are seeking public assistance in locating a missing Los Angeles woman who is considered to be at risk. Muriel Vallejo-Flores, 46-years-old, was last seen near South Harvard Boulevard and West Olympic Boulevard in the Harvard Heights area of Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon. Authorities report that Vallejo-Flores is developmentally disabled. She is 5-foot, 3-inches tall and weighs 147 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black hooded-sweatshirt and gray sweatpants. She is believed to be on foot. CHP has issued the Missing Persons Report on behalf of the Los Angeles Police Department. Authorities urged anyone with information on Vallejo-Flores' whereabouts to call 9-1-1. CBS 2

Exclusive: 21-Year-Old Homeless Man Charged In Yet Another Metro Bus Stop Attack, Victim Speaks Out
The victim of a violent attack in Glendale earlier this week is out of the hospital, while her suspected attacker is behind bars. After the recent killing of 70-year-old emergency room nurse Sandra Shells earlier this month by a homeless man, identified as 48-year-old Kerry Bell, who was later arrested and charged with murder, another woman has been attacked by a homeless man. Both incidents occurred at a Metro bus stop, this latest one in Glendale. “It was horrible. I almost lost my life,” the female victim, who did not want to be identified on camera, told CBSLA. Along with bandages on her fingers, which cover rows of stitches, she also had to get staples in the back of her as a result of the attack. “He hit my head with something really hard, and then I felt he was pulling my purse,” she said. The pulling caused her to fall to the concrete and hit her head. Then the attacker decided to drag her, bleeding, 15 feet away until her purse strap finally broke. He then ran away. She was then able to manage to get to a nearby liquor store for some help. “We wanted to find the suspect as quickly as possible,” Glendale Police Department Sgt. Christian Hauptmann said. Police were able to track 21-year-old Mario Gonzalez down and he has since been charged with robbery, as well as a felony probation violation. CBS 2

Authorities Offer $20,000 Reward In Lancaster Shooting Of Man Who Was On Phone With 911
Officials are asking for the public's help identifying a man responsible for a shooting in Lancaster last month in which the gunman followed his injured victim and shot him again while he was calling 911, leaving him critically wounded. Lancaster city officials and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors are offering a combined $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man responsible for shooting Jason Castillo. The shooting occurred around 3:10 a.m. on Dec. 3, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. Castillo was in a vehicle at Challenger Way and Avenue K when the suspect shot at him. Although injured, Castillo made his way to a gas station and called 911, deputies said. As he laid on the ground speaking with a dispatcher, the suspect came up and shot Castillo point-blank in the head. The suspect was wearing a green shirt, black baseball hat that possibly had an “LA” logo, black shorts, white socks and black shoes, deputies said. He was driving a white, four-door BMW, thought to be a 3 Series, with tinted windows and gray rims. The BMW had major damage to its driver's side headlight and front passenger fender, deputies said. Los Angeles Times

Police Recover 70 Pounds Of Meth, Weapons In Westminster Traffic Stop
The Westminster Police Department seized 70 pounds of methamphetamine and two guns in a Tuesday evening traffic stop. When police first pulled over the driver at about 8:15 p.m., they saw him throw a duffel bag out of the car, police said in a news release. “The duffle bag contained approximately 40 lbs. of methamphetamine,” the release added. With the assistance of a police dog named Pako, officers detected “the scent of drugs” in the car. “Later in the investigation, an additional amount of approximately 30 lbs. of methamphetamine was discovered, along with a non-serialized [assault-style rifle and] pistol,” the release said. Police also found magazines for the so-called “ghost guns,” photos of the seized drugs and weapons show. “This is an outstanding example of the excellent work of our patrol division and in particular, our police K9, Pako. Pako's ‘nose knows' and we are grateful for the support we have from our City Council and community for the continued success of our Canine Program. Pako and Dragon [our other K9] play a vital role in keeping our community safe as well as our officers,” Deputy Chief Cameron Knauerhaze said in the release. KTLA 5

Recent Jaw-Dropping California Gun Smuggling Case Is A Sign Of A Bigger Issue
A troubling gun-smuggling case in California is a symptom of the bigger issue of weapons from the U.S. ending up in Mexico. A Southern California man has been charged with directing a conspiracy to ship weapons to a drug trafficking group that law enforcement officials describe as one of the most powerful in Mexico. Federal authorities charged Marco Antonio Santillan Valencia, 51, of Whittier and three other alleged members of the operation (including his son, Marco Santillan Jr.) with conspiring to evade restrictions on the export of firearms, conspiring to launder money and possessing ammunition as a felon. The details in the case are eye-opening. Stopped by law enforcement in San Bernardino County, Santillan Jr. and two others were found to be transporting 64,400 rounds of ammunition, 20 50-round ammunition belts, rifle scopes, $52,471 in cash and $10,000 in money orders, according to an indictment unsealed recently. The guns and ammunition were said to be bound for members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, known by its Spanish initials, CJNG, according to law enforcement. Prosecutors cited a Facebook message in which Santillan Jr. allegedly said that “Mencho's cartel” was “buying everything.” Santillan has pleaded not guilty. His attorney didn't immediately return a Times request for comment. Los Angeles Times

Man Sought In Fatal Shooting Of Texas Deputy Arrested In Mexico
A 51-year-old man who had been on the run after being accused of fatally shooting a Houston-area deputy during a traffic stop this past weekend has been arrested in Mexico, authorities announced Wednesday. Oscar Rosales was taken into custody by Mexican law enforcement early Wednesday morning, Houston police said on Twitter. “We are working with our law enforcement partners to begin the process of returning Rosales to Harris County,” Houston police said. Rosales was found in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, located across the U.S.-Mexico border from Del Rio, Texas, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. A reward of $60,000 had been offered for information leading to his arrest. Harris County Precinct 5 Cpl. Charles Galloway, 47, was shot and killed around 12:45 a.m. on Sunday after pulling over a Toyota Avalon. Authorities allege Rosales got out of his vehicle, fired multiple shots at Galloway with some type of assault rifle and then got back in his car and drove away. Harris County Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap said Galloway had no time to respond or defend himself. Associated Press

Suspect In Custody After Shooting 3 Houston Police Officers
A suspect led Houston police on a chase Thursday that ended with him wounding three officers in a shootout, stealing a car and barricading himself inside a home for hours before officers took him into custody, authorities said. The incident began about 2:40 p.m. as officers responded to a family disturbance call at a home in northeast Houston, Police Chief Troy Finner said at a news conference. All three injured officers were in stable condition after being taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital. Two officers were transported by another patrol officer's vehicle while the Houston Fire Department took the third. One of the officers was shot in the arm, another was shot in the leg and the third was shot in the foot, said Doug Griffith, president of the Houston Police Officers' Union. “We are just grateful to God they are all right,” Finner said. Police had responded to a report of a shooting at the home of the suspect's girlfriend, according to Griffith. When officers arrived, the suspect, whose name had not been released by authorities, fled in a vehicle and led police on a chase for several miles. Associated Press

Public Safety News

As Cases Of Omicron Plateau, Officials Express Some Concern Over New Sub-Variant Detected In LA
Los Angeles County Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer believes that the Southland is now past the peak of the Omicron surge, but that comes with warnings of new sub-variant of Omicron recently detected in the county. Health officials said they are still trying to determine if the new sub-variant, known as BA.2, will be any kind of significant threat. “Very little of it seems to be circulating right now here in LA County,” Dr. Ferrer said. According to the health director, LA County has four reported cases of the Omicron sub-variant that is currently driving new outbreaks in the UK. “We're now seeing a variant that is going to be much more contagious than Omicron and will likely take over the space occupied by the original variant,” she said. University of California, Los Angeles, Epidemiologist Dr. Anne Rimoin, however, said it's still too early to sound the alarm when it comes to predicting whether BA.2 could cause another surge. CBS 2

Wildfire Burning Near Big Sur 70% Contained; Drier Conditions Expected Overnight
A wind-driven wildfire that burned right up to the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge on the Big Sur coast last week is now 70% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Colorado fire has burned 700 acres since it first ignited Friday evening in Monterey County near Palo Colorado Canyon and the Big Sur coast, officials said. About 500 people were forced to flee their homes as strong offshore winds whipped through the area. Gusts reached up to 35 mph and spread the blaze that Cal Fire investigators says was started by hot embers from a runaway pile burning operation, where trees and brush were gathered in a pile and intentionally set on fire. The agency did not specify who started the pile burn, because the investigation is ongoing. “The wind got behind the escaped pile burn and blew those embers on to some nearby vegetation,” Cal Fire spokesperson Cecile Juliette said. Previously, the fire was estimated to have burned 1,500 acres, but more accurate mapping cut that figure down to 700 acres by Monday. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA Metro Board Advances Light Rail Between Artesia, Slauson Station
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors Thursday advanced a 14.8-mile segment of a planned light rail train line to connect South Gate communities with Slauson Station and eventually Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. The Board voted to advance the first phase of the West Santa Ana Branch Project segment to connect the future Pioneer Station, at Pioneer Boulevard in Artesia, with Slauson Station, in the Florence area near South Los Angeles. The second phase of the project would connect Slauson Station with Union Station. "This is really an important moment for the West Santa Ana Branch, which will someday deliver this high-quality transit to our southeast L.A. and our gateway cities," said Supervisor Janice Hahn, who is a member of the Los Angeles Board of Directors. The timeline for the first phase of the project, according to Metro staff, is for the Final Environmental Impact Report to be certified in winter 2022, construction to begin in 2023 and the segment to be complete in 2033 to 2035. The final segment from Slauson Station to Union Station segment could take decades to open. FOX 11

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: