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

February 28, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Fact Check: Mayor's Race Facts matter.
Campaigns are full of nonsensical finger-pointing and some campaigns will grasp at any straw within reach. Rick Caruso and the recall of George Gascon is a prime example. Watch Caruso answer a direct question on the topic and click the image showing his contribution supporting Jackie Lacey for DA. Watch Video

LAPPL President Discusses Caruson Endorsement on John & Ken
LAPPL President Craig Lally joins the John & Ken show to discuss the endorsement of LA Mayoral candidate Rick Caruso. KFI Radio

$50,000 Reward Offered For Information Leading To Slaying Of Mother Of Three
On June 21, 2020, in the middle of the afternoon and on Father's Day, at the corner of 49th and Figueroa in South LA, a 28-year-old mother of three was shot and killed. LAPD detectives have yet to find out who did it and why. “It's still hard to accept not seeing her physically,” says Terina Nelson. Her daughter, Tajanae Nelson is the victim of that Father's Day murder. “She was loved, truly loved and she's truly missed,” she says. LAPD South Bureau Homicide Detective Thomas Callian is the lead detective in the unsolved case. “Initially we had a lot of leads but we can't figure out the link between our suspect and Tajanae,” he says. Surveillance video appears to show the suspect – a woman – walking behind the victim and closing in on her at a faster pace. “She's followed by a female and once Tajanae gets to the corner, the female appears to say something to her and fires a couple rounds at Tajanae and then the suspect runs across Figueroa and out of view.” Callian says his team has multiple angles from different surveillance cameras showing the suspect in full view, but they've been unable to identify her. He also says there were multiple vehicles in a coin laundry parking lot at the time of the shooting – and they've been unable to find the people who he believes witnessed the shooting. “Twenty to 30 feet away from where the shooting happened, sitting in their car and we still don't know who those people are,” he says. LAPD has issued a $50,000 reward for information in the case, hoping it could be an incentive for someone to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD South Bureau Homicide at 323-786-5080. NBC 4

Van Nuys Man Killed In Hit-And-Run Sunday; Authorities Seeking Suspect
A pedestrian struck by a vehicle on a major thoroughfare in Van Nuys died early Sunday, Feb. 27. The driver fled the scene, police said. The man was crossing Sepulveda Boulevard, north of Victory Boulevard, said Officer Lizeth Lemoli, a Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman. He was not in a crosswalk when he was hit by a vehicle traveling south at about 4:10 a.m. Paramedics pronounced the pedestrian dead at the scene. He was described as in his 50s, and his identity was withheld pending the notification of relatives. A description of the vehicle and its driver were not available as of Sunday afternoon. Officers were canvassing the area in hopes of finding anyone who might have seen what happened. Police were also looking for the owner of a Jeep Wrangler that was stopped at the intersection of Sepulveda and Victory while facing north at the time of the crash. That person may have witnessed the collision. Authorities asked anyone with information about the crash to contact Officers Reyes or Officer Martinez of the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division at (818) 644-8114.  Los Angeles Daily News

Man Charged In Two Sexual Assaults In L.A. And West Hollywood, Other Victims Sought
A man accused of sexually assaulting two women within half an hour in Los Angeles and West Hollywood last week was arrested and charged with kidnapping, assault and other charges, police said Friday. The assaults took place between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Feb. 15, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, and detectives are investigating whether there were other victims. Gabriel Hodges, 27, originally from New York, was arrested Feb. 17, and the L.A. County district attorney's office on Tuesday charged him with aggravated kidnapping, residential burglary with intent to commit a sexual assault, and assault with intent to commit rape. Hodges was being held on $2.1-million bail. The first incident was reported in the 800 block of Vista Street in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles, and the second was reported in the 7600 block of Hampton Avenue in West Hollywood, police said. Investigators with the LAPD and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department used home security cameras to identify the suspect, and the footage was circulated by a neighborhood watch group. Video of the first incident shows a man forcing a woman down the sidewalk in the 800 block of Vista Street and then entering a parking garage. Investigators said he attempted to rape the woman, who escaped. In the second incident, the suspect attempted to force his way into a woman's apartment on Hampton Avenue after reportedly following her home. The suspect fled after the struggle attracted the attention of neighbors, authorities said. Los Angeles Times

Authorities Respond To Scene Of Central LA Shooting That Leaves One Critically Injured
One man was critically injured in a shooting that occurred in Central Los Angeles Saturday evening. Authorities were dispatched to the scene on East 36th Street at around 6:40 p.m., where they found a 29-year-old male suffering from at least one gunshot wound. He was transported to a nearby medical center for treatment, and was said to be in critical condition. The scene reportedly unfolded when the suspect, whom is currently unknown at this point in the investigation, walked up to the victim and shot him. Investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department were searching for both a motive and the suspect. CBS 2

Recent Hate Crimes Are A Wake-Up Call. What To Do If You Think You're Being Followed
The gruesome killing of Christina Yuna Lee in New York City this month rattled many women who could imagine themselves in the same situation. Lee was followed home after a night out with friends and stabbed to death in her Chinatown apartment. Asian American women have been on especially high alert with reports of anti-Asian harassment rising in the last two years. “It was a wake-up call,” said Riffat Rahman, the program coordinator of the South Asian Network‘s gender-based violence prevention unit based in Artesia. Rahman does safety planning with survivors of domestic violence and helps them come out of an unsafe environment. But in the last week, she found herself thinking about how she should advise her clients, family and friends to prepare for situations that are random and unexpected. Those who work with sexual assault and domestics violence survivors — like Rahman and Jong-Ling Wu, the community services program manager for the Los Angeles-based Center for the Pacific Asian Family — are quick to remind people that the majority of these violent incidents come from someone you know. Los Angeles Times

Driver In Florence-Firestone Crash Had Been Shot In Upper Torso: LASD
The driver of a car that crashed into a parked vehicle in Florence-Firestone early Sunday morning had been fatally shot, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The driver, a man whose identity was not released, crashed into another car just before 1 a.m. near the intersection of East 77th Street and Crockett Boulevard, the LASD said in a release. When deputies arrived, they found that the man had been shot in his upper torso, and he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. A woman who was also in the car was uninjured, the Sheriff's Department added. Anyone with information is asked to call the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. To provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or visit . KTLA 5

Suspects Attack, Attempt To Rob Man Of His Watch In Beverly Hills, Police Say
Two suspects are sought after they apparently ambushed and tried to rob the driver of a Ferrari of his watch during an attack in Beverly Hills Friday afternoon. Beverly Hills police said officers responded to a report of a fight involving three men in the 200 block of S. Beverly Drive at around 3:09 p.m. Police initially believed an attempted carjacking had occurred, but later determined the suspects had tried to rob the victim. One of the suspects was allegedly armed with a gun. Video that has gone viral and which is part of a police investigation shows the two suspects punch and pistol-whip the man. The suspects ran away, leaving the victim lying in the road. The suspects were able to escape capture, despite police setting up a perimeter around the area. "I want to reassure the community that all measures are being taken to keep our community safe. This evening, we have a full complement of police officers on high alert," Beverly Hills Police Chief Mark Stainbrook said in a statement after the robbery attempt happened. The victim, who was attacked right beside his Ferrari sports car, appeared to have suffered minor injuries. ABC 7

Beverly Hills Police Impound Car They Believe Was Involved In Feb. 18 Vehicle Takeover
A car involved in a “large scale sideshow” in Beverly Hills on Feb. 18 was seized and impounded Friday night, the Beverly Hills Police Department announced. The so-called vehicle takeover at Canon Drive and Lomitas Avenue already resulted in “several arrests and vehicle impounds,” but the BHPD said in a news release they “will continue to investigate this case and seek criminal charges for the crimes that occurred in Beverly Hills last weekend.” As part of that investigation, police reviewing video footage identified a license plate “associated with one of the primary vehicles,” which was then shared with other law-enforcement agencies in the area, police said. Friday night, the California Highway Patrol found the car in South Los Angeles. “The driver of the vehicle was arrested by CHP for additional violations committed during their enforcement stop. The vehicle was impounded by BHPD officers,” the release said. Under California law, the car can be stored for up to 30 days as a deterrent for “this type of driving behavior,” police said. KTLA 5

California Officer Fatally Shot During Traffic Stop; Suspect Arrested
Salinas Police Officer Jorge David Alvarado was fatally shot while conducting a traffic stop late Friday, reported ABC 10. According to the report, Alvarado had pulled over a driver for a traffic violation before an exchange of gunfire. Police said Alvarado's actions helped them arrest the suspect. “The officer stayed in the fight all the way to the end. Ultimately, he paid the price for it. He gave his life for it,” said Roberto Filice, the Salinas Chief of Police. “The police department lost a son but the community lost a hero.” Alvarado, 30, was a five-year veteran of the department, according to ABC 10. The incident remains under investigation.  PoliceOne

Meth Disguised As Onions Seized At San Diego Border Crossing, CBP Officials Say
Officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection say their officers found meth that was disguised as onions during a drug bust at a California border crossing. According to a statement released on Feb. 25, the bust was made on the afternoon of Feb. 20, when CBP officers encountered a tractor trailer driver with an onion shipment. That driver was referred for a more intensive examination, and during that examination, a detector dog was alerted to the shipment. "CBP officers searched the shipment and discovered 1,197 packages of methamphetamine mixed with the onions in sacks," the statement, read, in part. "The packages of methamphetamine were shaped into small globes with a white covering, designed to blend into the onions they were hidden with." The meth seized, according to CBP officials, have an estimated street value of about $2.9 million. "This was not only a clever attempt to try and smuggle in narcotics, one I haven't seen before, but also time consuming to wrap narcotics into these small packages, designed to look like onions," said Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego, in the statement. FOX 11

Watch: Houston PD Releases Video Of Shootout That Wounded 3 Cops
The Houston Police Department released new bodycam video this week of a shooting in January that left three officers wounded. The January 27 incident began with a disturbance call that led to a shootout, police pursuit and standoff. The suspect, 31-year-old Roland Caballero, was ultimately taken into custody, KHOU 11 reported. Cellphone video shared on social media last month showed officers exchanging fire with the suspect in the street. The bodycam video also shows officers running down the street while exchanging gunfire. At one point in the video, Officer N. Gadson dives out of his cruiser to avoid gunshots. Gadson then runs after Caballero while returning fire as the suspect steals a car. More bodycam footage from the SWAT team shows a standoff after the suspect barricaded himself at home. In the video, SWAT officers surround the home and exchange fire. Caballero surrendered after several hours, KHOU 11 reported. PoliceOne

16-Year-Old Charged In Detroit Triple Murder That Left 5-Year-Old Boy Dead
A 16-year-old Detroit male has been charged as an adult for the murders of a 5-year-old boy and two others. Malcolm Ray Hardy will be arraigned on the charges on March 1. They include three felony murder charges, first-degree premeditated murder, two counts of armed robbery, and eight counts of felony firearm for the gruesome killings of Aaron Benson, LaShon Marshall, and her son Caleb Harris. Sources tell FOX 2 that the circumstances were a robbery gone wrong and that the suspect was known by the victims. A second teen male was also arrested following Detroit police's investigation. However, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office denied a warrant request for him due to insufficient evidence to charge him. The bodies of Benson, Marshall, and Harris were discovered last Sunday during a welfare check issued by police after a relative of the adult male victim had not heard from him for several days. All three victims had been shot multiple times and died from gunshot wounds the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office determined. "This case is a jarring reminder of why there should always be options for prosecutors when the facts allege unspeakable premeditated violence by a juvenile. The allegations in this case warrant charging the defendant as an adult," said Prosecutor Kym Worthy. "This case is truly disturbing, especially as it relates to young Caleb. For many reasons it is disheartening to know that a juvenile is alleged to have committed these acts."  FOX 11

Public Safety News

Pancake Benefit In Honor Of Fallen Firefighter Draws Hundreds To Downtown San Pedro
Pancakes flipped and flew Sunday morning, Feb. 27. And it was all in honor of Los Angeles County Firefighter Jonathan Flagler, of San Clemente, who died battling a house fire in Rancho Palos Verdes in early January. The pancakes were the main attraction — and feast — of the drive-up “Grab & Go” benefit, which took place at Sirens Java & Tea in downtown San Pedro. The event was meant to raise money for both the L.A. County Firefighters Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firefighter's Fund, and the John Flagler Memorial Fund. L.A. County Fire Station 83, which was Flagler's unit, and local first responders sponsored the event, which drew hundreds of people — and featured firefighters and culinary students from Los Angeles Harbor College flipping pancakes from a grill hauled in by a fire rig. The event, including all the food, was paid for by the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who also was on hand. Los Angeles Daily News

1 Dead After Fire In Sylmar Motel
One person was found dead in a Sylmar motel room early Friday after firefighters extinguished a fire in the building, authorities said. The fire was first reported about 6:15 a.m. at the single-story motel in the 12000 block of North San Fernando Road, according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Capt. Erik Scott. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found intense flames shooting out of the window and door of one room, Scott said. About two dozen firefighters were on scene and extinguished the blaze in minutes, he said. “One adult was found in the room beyond medical help and determined dead,” he said. KTLA 5

Man, Woman Injured In Fire At Apartment In Echo Park
A man and a woman were seriously injured during a fire Sunday at a two-story apartment building in Echo Park, where two units were "significantly" damaged, authorities said. "Firefighters found two patients and evaluated and transported both to the hospital," said Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The 100 firefighters dispatched at 4:54 a.m. to 1072 N. Kensington Road had the blaze out within 32 minutes, Prange said. Five people were displaced as a result of the fire. "While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, the origin appears to be in a living room, in which there was no smoke alarm that could have provided earlier notification," fire officials said.  NBC 4

Firefighters Knock Down Residential Fire In Panorama City
Los Angeles Fire Department crews were engaged with a single-story structure fire in Panorama City on Sunday evening. Several firefighters could be seen battling the blaze of what appeared to be a residence, as billowing smoke and flames escaped through the roofs. The crews were engaged in an offensive attack on the flames as they worked to contain them within the structure and avoid damage to surrounding homes. LAFD reported that the fire was knocked down just before 6:09 p.m., taking 29 firefighters just over 30 minutes to contain. No injuries were reported. CBS 2

Los Angeles County's COVID Hospitalizations Fall Below 1,000
The number of COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals has fallen below 1,000 for the first time since December, according to the latest state figures out Sunday. There are 975 people with COVID-19 in county hospitals, down from 1,071 on Saturday. Of those patients, 188 are in intensive care, down from 220 the previous day. The county's number of hospitalized COVID patients has been as high as 8,098 and as low as 213 during the two-year pandemic. It quickly shot up to over 4,800 in January amid a winter surge in cases fueled by the Omicron variant, and has been steadily declining since then. Officials also say that some patients enter the hospital for other reasons and discover they have COVID after a mandated test. The latest numbers come one day after local health officials reported 64 additional deaths associated with COVID-19 and 2,275 new positive tests, bringing the county's totals to 2,793,776 cases and 30,650 deaths since the pandemic began. The rolling average daily rate of people testing for the virus was 1.4% as of Saturday, down from 1.6% on Friday, and 2% last Sunday, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. NBC 4

CDC Relaxes Guidelines For Masks But Still Recommends Them In L.A. County
Americans are no longer advised to wear masks in public indoor settings in many parts of the country under new federal health guidance unveiled Friday — but the same can't immediately be said for Los Angeles County. The new guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ease general masking recommendations on a county-by-county basis based on local coronavirus case and hospitalization rates, as well as the share of a region's inpatient beds that are occupied by COVID-19 patients. Using those metrics, counties are sorted into one of three COVID-19 Community Levels: low, medium or high. As of Friday, L.A. County officially remains in the high category, the only one for which the CDC continues to recommend universal indoor masking. But L.A. County is on the knife's edge of leaving the high level and entering the medium category, a transition that could occur as soon as next week. In fact, according to data elsewhere on the CDC's website, the county's metrics may have already improved to a point to qualify for medium. 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: