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 28, 2022
Law Enforcement News

1 Shot Near Park In San Pedro: Officials
A person was shot near White Point Park in San Pedro Saturday night, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The victim sustained one gunshot wound at about 6:20 p.m., according to Sgt. Aguirre of the LAPD, and bullet casings were found in the area of the park. The victim was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment, Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed. Their condition is unknown. No information about a suspect was available, Aguirre said. KTLA 5

Man Who Allegedly Shot Witness To Dog Abuse Is Arrested
A 21-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at two people, striking one, after the pair saw him beating a dog in the Hollywood area, authorities said Saturday. Saalih Mousa was arrested Wednesday. His girlfriend, 20-year-old Athena Mansour, was also arrested on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact and was initially held in lieu of $500,000 bail, but prosecutors opted not to pursue criminal charges against her and she was given a citation and released Thursday, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Mousa was being held in lieu of $1 million bail. The two shooting victims were walking in the area of La Brea and Willoughby avenues, near Poinsettia Recreation Center, at about 7:30 p.m. Monday when they saw a man on an apartment balcony beating a dog, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. "The witnesses yelled at the suspect to let go of the dog," according to the LAPD. "The suspect argued back, then produced an unknown type firearm and shot at the witnesses, striking one." The victim who was shot was taken to a hospital and listed in stable condition. The suspect ran from the scene following the shooting. NBC 4

Man Hospitalized After Getting Shot While Sitting In Vehicle In Boyle Heights
Los Angeles Police Department officers are investigating a shooting that occurred in Boyle Heights Saturday, wounding one. The shooting was reported at 2:50 p.m. on Eighth Street and Evergreen Avenue, when a man sitting in a stopped vehicle was approached by a gunman who opened fire through his window. Authorities disclosed that the suspect fled from the scene in a car. The victim, a 27-year-old man, was taken to a hospital for treatment and was said to be in stable condition.  CBS 2

Police: Knife-Wielding, Drunk Wrong-Way Driver Held In Palos Verdes Estates
Police arrested a wrong-way motorist in Palos Verdes Estates who had brandished a knife and had a blood alcohol content three times over the legal limit, authorities said Sunday. The arrest came in response to several calls at about 8 p.m. Saturday of a wrong-way driver on Palos Verdes Drive West, the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department reported. Officers quickly located the vehicle, and the driver was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving and a weapons violation.

L.A. Hands Out 100,000 Doses Of Naloxone To Fight Opioid Surge His friend was barely breathing when Manny Placeres saw him being dragged out of a tent near a freeway onramp. At first he thought someone nearby was shouting "Freeze." "What I was really hearing was 'breathe,'" Placeres recounted. Placeres jumped off his bicycle and tried everything he could think of to revive the man. Nothing worked. As others panicked and shouted, Placeres pulled the man onto his lap and held him as his lips went blue. It was a fentanyl overdose, Placeres learned. His friend died in his arms. Placeres, 58, was wrestling with that memory when a nurse approached him one day at his RV in a Studio City encampment, offering him a white box of a medicine that could undo an opioid overdose. Now, Placeres said, he has rescued people again and again with that medicine in hand. "What a change of mentality that is," Placeres said, "to be able to do that." Deaths from drug overdoses have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, to roughly 100,000 lives lost across the country over a year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly three-quarters of those deaths were tied to opioids, the bulk of them synthetic ones such as fentanyl. Los Angeles Times

35 Stolen Luxury Cars Valued At $2.3 Million Recovered In San Fernando Valley, CHP Says
California Highway Patrol detectives have seized about 35 luxury vehicles that were stolen from car dealerships in Southern California, officials said. The vehicles, with an estimated value of $2.3 million, were found on a lot somewhere in the San Fernando Valley on March 24. The CHP did not give the actual location. From photos provided by the CHP, the cars — all sports cars or other luxury sedans, including Aston Martins, Bentleys, BMWs, Jaguars, Land Rovers and Porsches — appeared to have been left on a grassy lot behind a chain-link fence in the backyard of a home. CHP seized the cars after a two-month investigation, the agency said in a statement. They said the suspect “fraudulently purchased” the vehicles “from unsuspecting local dealerships.” They did not say how the deals were completed or when the dealerships reported the vehicles stolen. Nor did CHP say where the dealerships were located. The agency said the suspect was arrested, but they did not name the person. They said detectives also seized a firearm and about 400 marijuana plants also found at the residence. Officials from the CHP's investigations unit were not immediately available for comment on Sunday. Los Angeles Daily News

South LA Meetup Turns Deadly: Dad Shopping For Son's Car Fatally Hit By Car Trying To Run Away From Robbers
A car sale meetup took a deadly turn in South Los Angeles after a man got hit by a car trying to run away from a group of suspected robbers. Lieutenant Derrick Alfred from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide said the initial call was reported as a pedestrian crash Friday afternoon. "Our investigators got there, started reviewing video along with the deputies and we learned from interviews that we conducted that the victim, who is a Hispanic male in his 50s had taken his family, essentially, which included his wife and his daughter to that area for the purpose of purchasing a vehicle," said Alfred. The vehicle was a red Nissan Altima that was reported stolen by a different law enforcement agency. However, the victim arranged a meet up with a man who told him he was selling the car. Alfred said the victim was dropped off by his family while they circled the block to look for a parking spot. The family arrived back to the meet-up spot in time to witness the assault. "The man [posing as the car seller] began to assault him [the victim], and we believe his [suspect] intent was to rob him [victim] of the cash he brought for the purpose of purchasing that vehicle," said Alfred. During the altercation between the victim and the suspect, two more suspects approached the victim and assaulted him.  FOX 11

$100K Worth Of Equipment Stolen From Santa Monica Catholic Church Police are looking for the suspects who stole $100,000 worth of electrical equipment from a Santa Monica church. Surveillance video caught a man wondering around the church and walking up to the alter to glance at the equipment. Camera and audio equipment along with a candle box was taken. Church leaders at St. Monica's Catholic Church said all the equipment that was stolen was part of their livestreaming services. It was used to livestream their services during the COVID-19 pandemic. "They attempted to breach the tabernacle and it was damaged, but it held strong and protected the Blessed Sacrament," the church wrote online. The equipment was valued at $100,000. Police are looking for the suspect(s) responsible.  FOX 11

Bell Gardens Police Search For Man Suspected Of Raping 14-Year-Old At Knifepoint
Bell Gardens police are asking for public help Saturday to find a transient they've publicly identified as a suspect in the rape of a 14-year-old girl at knifepoint. The alleged kidnapping and rape occurred early Thursday morning at an undisclosed location, said Bell Gardens police Lt. Dano Neslen, who described the crime as "horrific." The girl told police she was coerced into a garage by a suspect later identified as Bell Gardens-area transient Robert Nunez, according to a police press release. Nunez and a second suspect tied her up, then Nunez raped the girl at knifepoint, Neslen alleged. Officers and investigators tracked down and arrested the second suspect Thursday afternoon, he said. That man was identified as 41-year-old Jaomir Perez, the lieutenant said. Perez was incarcerated in the Inmate Reception Center on $50,000 bail, according to sheriff's inmate records. Police asked the public for help locating Nunez, described as Hispanic, 5 feet 7 inches tall, 150 pounds, with brown hair, brown eyes and a dark complexion. They warn he is considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached. Anyone with information on Nunez's whereabouts should call 911. ABC 7

Nine Accused Of Targeting California Retailers In Organized Theft Ring Arrested
A California Highway Patrol task force investigating an organized retail theft operation announced Friday the arrests of nine people and the combined recovery of nearly $200,000 in stolen merchandise and cash. The arrests were the result of a three-month investigation by members of the CHP's Organized Retail Crime Task Force into a criminal operation known as the South American Theft Group, according to the CHP. The criminal operation had been targeting several well-known retailers throughout California since March of 2021, the CHP reported. On Monday, investigators from the CHP's Southern Division, with the assistance of investigators from CHP's Border Division, served search and arrest warrants at multiple locations throughout Southern California. The investigators arrested the suspects and recovered merchandise estimated at nearly $135,000 in value, along with $62,000 in cash, the CHP reported. Investigators also seized other items of evidence that may lead to other potential arrests, according to the CHP. NBC 4

Five Charged With Trafficking Hundreds Of Guns From Georgia To California Black Market
Five people were charged Thursday with conspiring to traffic more than 500 guns into California from Georgia to sell them on the black market, federal prosecutors said. Jerrell Lawson, 31, and Aisha Hoggatt, 29, both of Sacramento; Malek Williams, 28, of Atlanta; Terrence Phillips, 39, of Union City; and James Gordley, 32, of Modesto were arrested March 11. They were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to unlawfully deal in firearms and unlawful dealing in firearms, according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of California. In addition, Lawson, Hoggatt, Williams and Phillips were charged with transferring a firearm to an out-of-state resident and illegally mailing a firearm. Lawson also faces a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The indictment comes after investigators traced a firearm that had been used in a Sacramento shooting back to a sale by a federally licensed gun dealer in Georgia. “A subsequent sale of the firearm led to Lawson's organization,” the U.S. attorney's office said in a release. Los Angeles Times

2 Pennsylvania Troopers Killed In Crash Had Stopped Suspect Moments Earlier
In a sick twist of fate, two Pennsylvania troopers who were fatally struck by a DUI suspect this week had pulled over that same driver just minutes earlier, FOX 29 has learned. According to the report, Troopers Martin Mack and Branden Sisca stopped Jayana Webb for speeding early Monday. But the stop lasted less than a minute. During the stop, the troopers received a priority call about a man walking on the highway. The troopers took down Webb's information and warned her to slow down before leaving for the other call. Webb is accused of fatally striking the two troopers and a third man, described as a pedestrian, minutes later. Sources told FOX 29 that Webb drove at a high rate of speed after the stop and had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit. Webb is charged with three counts of third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle and DUI-related charges for her role in the three deaths, state police said in an earlier report. Sisca, 29, joined the Pennsylvania State Police last year and served as a volunteer fire chief. Mack, 33, was an eight-year veteran of the agency and leaves behind a wife and two children, according to the report. PoliceOne

Police: Officer Killed, Suspect Arrested North Of Seattle
A Washington state police officer was fatally shot Friday afternoon and a suspect in his death was arrested north of Seattle in Everett, authorities said. Everett police in a news release identified the slain officer as 41-year-old Dan Rocha. Rocha was shot and killed after an altercation with a 50-year-old man who was acting suspicious in a Starbucks parking lot, Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Courtney O'Keefe said in a news release. George LaBauve, who lives in a nearby apartment, said he heard gunshots around 2:15 p.m, the Daily Herald reported. LaBauve saw a uniformed officer's body on the ground in the Starbucks parking lot, the newspaper reported. LaBauve said he saw someone tuck a gun away and flee in a car. Police located the suspect vehicle and pursued it, according to O'Keefe. The pursuit ended in the collision and the suspect was taken into custody without incident, O'Keefe said. The suspect was transported to the hospital for a medical evaluation and when he is released he will be booked into the Snohomish County Jail, police said. There were brief lockdowns during the incident at Everett Community College and at Washington State University Everett. Associated Press

Police Dog Finds $10.5 Million Worth Of Cocaine Hidden In Produce Truck
A police dog working with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department alerted officers to $10.5 million worth of cocaine hidden in a truckload of produce, the department said Friday. Police initially stopped the truck for erratic driving at 2:30 a.m. on Friday morning. “The nervous driver had a story that didn't add up,” the department wrote in a Facebook post. Las Vegas Metro called in K9 Officer Nuggetz, who alerted officers to the presence of drugs. A search uncovered 230 pounds of narcotics in a “load of tomatoes,” police said. Two men, identified as Nanak Singh and Chandra Prakash, were arrested on charges of trafficking a controlled substance. Nuggetz, meanwhile, is being celebrated as a hero on Facebook. KTLA 5

Public Safety News

One Person Suffered Serious Burn Injuries In An Encino House Fire
One person suffered serious burn injuries Sunday in a house fire in Encino. The fire in a home behind another house at 17642 Miranda St. was reported at 4:54 p.m., according to Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames, and the cause of the blaze was under investigation. LAFD's arson team was sent to the location.

LAFD Rescues Two Patients Stranded In Vehicle After Going Into Wash In Mission Hills
Los Angeles Fire Department crews were working to rescue a pair of stranded motorists in Mission Hills Saturday evening, after their vehicle reportedly drove over the side of the road and into a wash near West San Fernando Mission Boulevard. They detailed that both of the patients were considered to be in at least serious condition. Crews also disclosed that one of the patients required extrication via a litter basket operation. The other patient was extricated after crews utilized hydraulic tools to free them from the wreckage. There was no information available on what caused the vehicle to drive into the wash. The incident occurred nearly an hour after another vehicle drove over a bridge and into a wash in Canoga Park.  CBS 2

First Female Fire Chief Sworn In To Lead Los Angeles Fire Department
Kristin Crowley is being sworn in as chief of the LA Fire Department Friday, marking the first time a woman and openly gay person has led the department. Crowley was sworn in at 3 p.m. at City Hall alongside Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council President Nury Martinez and Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who chairs the City Council's Public Safety Committee. Garcetti nominated Crowley on Jan. 18, and her appointment was unanimously confirmed by the City Council on March 1. "Our city's fire department has gone 136 years without a woman in its highest office and today we're going to finally be able to turn the page,'' Martinez said before the vote. Martinez added that Crowley "made a name for herself in the department as a strong leader, a hard worker and someone who does not shy away from a challenge.'' Before being appointed fire chief, Crowley had already made history within the LAFD when she became the city's first female fire marshal in 2016. NBC 4

COVID Hospitalizations Decline To 341 In Los Angeles County On Sunday
The number of COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals has declined by 32 people to 341, according to the latest state figures released Sunday. The number of those patients in intensive care was 59, up from 56 on Saturday. The hospitalization total had increased by 23 people in Saturday's numbers, a departure from the trend that has seen the total fall from over 4,800 in mid-January amid the Omicron-fueled winter surge in cases. Also Saturday, the county reported 789 new positive COVID tests and 22 additional deaths associated with the virus, bringing its cumulative totals to 2,830,048 cases and 31,594 deaths. The county does not report COVID data on Sundays. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has said that the vast majority of people who die of COVID complications have underlying conditions, mainly hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 0.7% as of Saturday, roughly the same as it has been for the past two weeks. On Thursday, the department reported an uptick in COVID infections attributed to the BA.2, an offshoot of the Omicron variant that spurred a winter surge in cases and hospitalizations. NBC 4

Local Government News

LA City Council Looks To Make Kyiv Sister City, Send Ukraine Resources
The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to begin the process to adopt Kyiv, Ukraine as a Los Angeles sister city, which would allow L.A. to send Kyiv retired goods such as fire trucks and ambulances. The motion, presented by Councilman Joe Buscaino, acknowledges that it is "literally the last thing on the minds of the leaders of Kyiv" — but it calls for initiating the sister city process now as a sign of support for the Ukrainian capital amid Russia's invasion. Buscaino added that the designation has the potential to bring benefits to Kyiv, noting that Los Angeles sent surplus Los Angeles Fire Department engines and street services vehicles to its sister city Beirut, Lebanon, after the Aug. 4, 2020 explosion at its port. The motion seeks to expedite the process, which typically takes about a year and includes a formal ceremony with both sister city governments. A timeline for a potentially expedited process was not immediately available, but the motion states that moving forward with the designation "means the city (of L.A.) can more easily provide aid to Ukraine in the months ahead." FOX 11

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