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

March 15, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Robbery Motive Behind Murder Of Mid-City Man Shot In The Head While Walking His Dog: LAPD
Investigators revealed Monday robbery was the motive behind the senseless murder of 52-year-old Marcos Sandoval who was shot and killed over the weekend while walking his dog in Los Angeles' Mid-City neighborhood. Sandoval's death has left a community shocked and a family devastated. Now, authorities are searching for answers and are seeking the public's help to find Sandoval's killer. Sandoval was making his way back home with his dog, "Toro," when around 5:47 a.m Saturday, authorities said a dark-colored sedan pulled up next to him on the corner of Genesee Avenue and Saturn Street, located in a quiet neighborhood near West Pico Boulevard and South Fairfax Avenue. Los Angeles police investigators say the suspect got out of the vehicle, exchanged words with Sandoval, and opened fire. Sandoval was struck two times, while the suspect then got back into the vehicle and immediately left the scene, going northbound on Genesee Avenue. Heartbroken family members gathered at a vigil Sunday night to remember the husband and father. After the shooting, Toro was able to run from the gruesome scene and found his way back home. He was not injured in the incident, police said. It is unknown if Sandoval knew the suspect. LAPD said Sandoval's body was discovered around 6:15 a.m. by a passerby who called 911. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded and Sandoval was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. FOX 11

LAPD Devonshire PALS Bridges Gap Between Community And Police Officers With Their Youth Center
Playing soccer with an emu isn't an uncommon sight at the LAPD Devonshire PALS Youth Center in Northridge. The nonprofit provides kids and teens with a safe haven to participate in activities. "We pride ourselves in creating the narrative that really exemplifies what community policing is and bridging the gap between our youth, our community, and our police officers," said LAPD Devonshire PALS Executive Director Edgar Sedano. "You get to see a lot of people, you meet new people and you get to see officers," said LAPD Devonshire PALS participant Daniela Martinez. The youth center had to shut down for two months at the beginning of the year due to COVID restrictions. But even when the center was closed, the organization continued to give the community support. "We became a massive community center for this entire neighborhood and handed out over half a million meals to the kids. I am so proud of the work we did when we were shut down," said LAPD Devonshire PALS Board President Laine Caspi. The center recently opened back up to the public and officers and staff members say they are happy to welcome back the kids. "Our kids were extremely excited to be back. Some of them because they live in apartments or in apartment complexes, they don't have a yard or somewhere to play. This is their place to come and enjoy some recreational activities," said Sedano. ABC 7

Prosecutor Races Test California's Patience For Crime Policies
Californians are more anxious about crime than they've been in years, and their mood is threatening to undercut the state's leftward swing by pushing liberal prosecutors out of office. Left-leaning district attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles could both get ousted this year. But no liberal prosecutor's fate is more crucial than that of state Attorney General Rob Bonta, who was considered a rising progressive star a year ago when Gov. Gavin Newsom hand-picked him to be California's top law enforcement official. In a year when Newsom is on the ballot, Bonta's fight to stay in office could be the most consequential contest in the deep-blue state — a bellwether of Democratic voters' commitment to criminal justice reform. California conservatives seeing a rare path to a statewide office are amplifying a sense of lawlessness and pinning the state's crime problem on policies that reduced sentencing and incarceration. Meanwhile, as U.S. murders in 2020 rose at the greatest rate in decades and jumped again the next year, the national GOP has made the rise of violent crime a centerpiece of its case against President Joe Biden and vulnerable House Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections. “If you're an elected official or you want to be an elected official, you need to address the crime issue,” said Darry Sragow, a longtime Democratic strategist who recently conducted a series of Los Angeles focus groups that found stark voter malaise. “It reflects a sense among voters in this neck of the woods that society is just falling apart, and that their elected officials are unwilling or incapable of solving the problem.” Politico

$50K Reward Offered For Information On Fatal Shooting Of Michael McGarry In Nov. 2020
After months of investigation, Los Angeles Police Department officials are hopeful that the offer of a $50,000 reward for additional information on the fatal shooting of tow truck driver Michael McGarry in 2020 will bring an end to their search for a suspect. The reward, offered on the part of the city of Los Angeles, was announced Monday at LAPD headquarters. City officials offered the reward hoping that someone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect or suspects responsible for the killing would come forward in locating the man that relatives remembered as a “good son, a good father, a good brother. Just an exceptional person with a big heart.” Members of McGarry's family were in attendance, including his mother, Yvette Charpentier, who made a plea to the public. “This is extremely difficult,” she said. “My family does want justice for Michael. He deserves it. Nobody deserves to die this way.” On Nov. 15, 2020, Michael McGarry, 26, was gunned down at around 8:30 p.m. on Enterprise and Mateo Streets in the Fashion District. CBS 2

Pedestrian Fatally Struck By Toyota Camry In Venice
A pedestrian was fatally struck by a vehicle in Venice, authorities said today. The crash was reported at 6:20 a.m. Sunday at Lincoln Boulevard and Venice Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Police say Toyota Camry remains at the scene of the crash. It was not known whether the motorist driving the Prius was cited or arrested.  WestSide Current

13-Year-Old Maliyah Amber Lewis-Wilson Reported Missing From South LA Home
Police continued their search Sunday to find a 13- year-old girl who went missing from her South Los Angeles home. Maliyah Amber Lewis-Wilson was last seen around 10:30 p.m. Friday in Hyde Park area home in the 7100 block of 10th Avenue, according to a police press release. Her family is concerned for her safety. Lewis-Wilson is Black. She stands 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds, according to Los Angeles police. She was possibly wearing a black hooded sweater, black pants and black-and-white Vans shoes. Anyone with information on her whereabouts was asked to call the LAPD's 77th Street Division at 323-786-5077 or 911, Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. FOX 11

Man Attempts To Sexually Assault UCLA Student
A man in his 40s is accused of following a UCLA student while making “sexually explicit threatening statements.” According to the UCLA Police Department, the man is accused of committing an “assault with intent to commit sexual assault.” The incident happened at about 6:40 a.m. on Monday in the 700 block of Gayley Avenue. The suspect was also last seen at this location. Police said the victim was able to get safety and was not injured. Authorities described the suspect as a bald, thinly built man in his 40s wearing a dark sweater and pants with tattoos on his neck. CBS 2

Car Crashes During Dangerous Street Takeover In Compton
At least one car crashed before sheriff's deputies arrived to break up a dangerous street takeover in Compton. Dozens of people gathered overnight at Wilmington Avenue and Stockwell Street as cars swerved and spun out dangerously close to spectators. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was eventually called in to break up the event. It appears no one was seriously hurt and no one was arrested. ABC 7

262K Pounds Of Illegal Meat From China Seized At Port Of LA
More than 262,000 pounds of prohibited meat products have been seized from the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport so far this year. 262,237 pounds of pork, chicken, beef and duck have been seized so far by agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency reported Monday. It marks a 33% increase over the same period last year. CBP has seen a “staggering” increase in the amount of prohibited meat coming from China which has been intercepted at the L.A. seaport. In 2021, the CBP seized 786,000 pounds of prohibited animal products, an 80% increase from 2020. “Preventing the introduction of foreign contagious animal diseases and noxious pests at our nation's largest seaport is paramount and vital to our agriculture industry and the well-being of the communities we serve,” said CBP's Los Angeles director of field operations Carlos C. Martel in a statement. “We work closely with our USDA and private-sector partners to protect the nation from a variety of diverse agriculture threats.” CBS 2

Pomona Man Convicted In 1990 Kidnapping And Killing Of Boy, 11, In Inglewood
An ex-con has been convicted of the murder of an 11-year-old boy who was kidnapped more than three decades ago while walking home from school in Inglewood. A downtown Los Angeles jury deliberated about three hours Thursday before convicting Edward Donell Thomas, 53, of Pomona, of first-degree murder for the May 24, 1990, death of William Tillett. Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a kidnapping, but could not unanimously agree on a second special circumstance allegation — murder while lying in wait. The boy was kidnapped just before 3 p.m. that day in the area of Imperial Highway and Crenshaw Boulevard while walking home from Kew Elementary School. Authorities did not determine a motive for the crime. “We don't know if he was forcibly taken off the street or lured into the vehicle,” Deputy District Attorney Beth Silverman told jurors Wednesday in her closing argument. The boy was found unresponsive and not breathing just before 10 p.m. that night in a carport in a residential neighborhood in Hawthorne. He had been suffocated and his hands and feet were bound with duct tape, according to the deputy district attorney. Los Angeles Daily News

Woman, 73, Reported Missing In Pasadena
Authorities Monday sought the public's help to locate a 73-year-old woman who was last seen in Pasadena. Maria Banuelos was last seen Friday in the 3600 block of Colorado Boulevard, near the Foothill (210) Freeway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Banuelos is Hispanic, 5-feet-3 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds, with gray hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a black dress and a black jacket. Anyone with information on Banuelos' whereabouts was asked to contact the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at .

California Mom Of Missing 8-Year-Old Girl Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder, Police Say
The mother of an 8-year-old girl who was last seen by family in December but was reported missing only this week has been arrested on suspicion of murder, Merced, Calif., police said Saturday. Police found the body of an adolescent girl Friday while serving a search warrant at a home in Merced believed to be connected to the disappearance of the girl, Sophia Mason, according to authorities. Investigators don't yet know whether the body is Sophia's but hope to make an identification soon. The girl was believed to be with her mother, Samantha Johnson, 30, of Hayward, who was arrested Thursday by Hayward police and booked into Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County on suspicion of obstruction and child abuse, according to authorities and jail records. Merced police interviewed Johnson at the jail about the body found in the house and later arrested her on the murder charge, authorities said. She remains in custody there and will eventually be transferred to the Merced County Jail, police said. Police have also issued a murder warrant for Johnson's boyfriend, Dhante Jackson, 34, of Merced. He was living at the home where the body was found and he fled soon after news spread that the home was being searched. He is known to spend time in the Bay Area, police said. Los Angeles Times

‘Barrage Of Bullets': 2 Phoenix Cops Wounded In Ambush Shooting
Phoenix Police say two officers were ambushed with a “barrage of bullets” during a traffic stop on Sunday. One officer was shot in the wrist and the other was hurt by flying glass, reported FOX 10. Both are expected to recover. The incident began around 1:30 a.m. with an attempted traffic stop, according to the report. The driver fled, but the two officers spotted the same car again soon after and tried again to stop it. That's when a man standing beside the road opened fire at the patrol car. The driver of the traffic stop tried to run away but was later taken into custody, police said. The suspected gunman, 28-year-old Devonte Thornton, was arrested after a manhunt. Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams condemned the incident. "This is the 7th Phoenix officer shot and 12th injured in the line of duty in the past three months," said Williams in a statement obtained by FOX 10. "This kind of violence within our community and toward police officers cannot become the new normal."   PoliceOne

Video: Drunk Suspect Shoots Cop After Struggle, Steals Squad Car
Disturbing video released Friday by the Milwaukee Police Department shows the frantic struggle and shootout between a drunk suspect and a police officer. The violent incident began on Jan. 27 with a welfare check, reported the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Officer Herbert Davis, 26, responded and found Jetrin Rodthong, 22, slumped over in a parked vehicle. In the video, Davis speaks with Rodthong, who admits to having been drinking. Davis then asks Rodthong to step out of the vehicle. Rodthong starts to run and Davis tries to stop him by grabbing his arm, police told TMJ4 News. That's when Rodthong pulls out a gun and shoots Davis. The officer stumbles back, trying to take cover behind the suspect's car, and returns fire. At that point, Rodthong steals the officer's squad car. Dashcam video shows Rodthong running red lights while Davis is heard on the radio calling for help. The suspect ultimately crashes into an innocent driver and is taken into custody. Rodthong was charged with eight felonies related to the incident, according to the report. Davis was shot twice and discharged from the hospital a day later. PoliceOne

Denver Records Most Homicides Since 1981, Continuing Trend
Ninety-six people died in Denver homicides last year, the highest number recorded since 1981 and a toll that's left dozens more families devastated by the elevated level of violence that's ripped through the city over the past two years. The victims included a real estate agent, a teacher, a Coors Field concessionaire, an accountant, mothers, fathers and teenagers. The youngest victim, Atlas Grooms, was 1 month old when her father shot and killed her along wither her mother, a nurse. The oldest, William "Stu" Hoebel, was 77 years old when he was strangled in his basement by a man he knew. "He always did things his own way, without apology or protest, just a simple yet powerful inner fire that burned bright," Hoebel's obituary states. "People often described him as fearless, the kind of person who made things happen, and one of the few they had ever known who would do whatever he set his mind to." The deadly violence last year continued a sharp spike in the number of killings in the city that began in 2020, when the number of homicides rocketed to 95 from the 63 recorded in 2019. Non-fatal shootings, too, remained more frequent than average in Denver last year — though they did drop from 2020 levels, according to police data recently obtained by The Denver Post through a public records request. Denver Post

Public Safety News

LA County Firefighters Knock Down Second-Alarm Fire At Watts Pallet Yard
Firefighters on Sunday knocked down a second-alarm fire at a pallet yard in Watts. Firefighters dispatched at 4:42 a.m. to the 200-foot-by-200-foot pallet yard at 108th and Alameda streets had the blaze out at 9:18 a.m., according to a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation. NBC 4

Firefighters Contain Brush Fire In Hansen Dam Area
Firefighters stopped the spread of a brush fire that broke out in the Hansen Dam area Sunday night. The blaze, dubbed the Hansen Fire, was contained at 4 acres nearly two hours after being reported around 9:30 p.m. in the Hansen Dam Recreation Area at 10400 N, Glenoaks Boulevard. Fanned by 10 mph winds, the fire was slowly moving east. Crews of more than 120 firefighters converged on the blaze, attacking the flames from the ground and the air, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. By 11:12 p.m., LAFD said the fire had been contained thanks to a “a well coordinated air attack combined with a relentless ground-based offense.” The fire didn't threaten or damage any structures. No injuries were reported. Firefighters were expected to remain at the scene overnight, working the fire's perimeter with hose lines, hand tools and heavy equipment to extinguish any hot spots. KTLA 5

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: