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

April 1, 2022
Law Enforcement News

One Dead Following Shooting Near Skid Row
Los Angeles Police Department officers were dispatched to the scene of a reported shooting Thursday evening near Skid Row. The shooting was first reported at 9:10 p.m. on 5th Street and Wall Street. According to an LAPD incident report, the victim suffered multiple gunshot wounds, including one to the neck. He was reported dead at the scene. A potential suspect was reportedly seen fleeing from the scene in a four-door sedan. Witnesses detailed a man, standing 5 feet, 10 inches tall in the area where the shooting occurred, whom authorities believe may be related to the shooting.  CBS 2

Person-of-Interest Sought In Fatal Echo Park Hit-and-Run
Authorities are looking for a woman who has been identified as a person-of-interest in a hit-and-run crash that left two people dead. Angelique Teresa Chaidez is wanted for questioning in the Feb. 24, 2020 crash that resulted in the death of Morena Del Carmen Alvarado Lopez, 58, and Juan Monroy Bahena, 71, the Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday. “Detectives have received information that could lead to the identification of the driver who crashed into them,” police said in a news release. Chaidez currently has an arrest warrant for a failure-to-appear felony. She is described as 46-year-old Hispanic woman, who stands about 5 feet and 8 inches tall, weighs about 175 pounds, with red or blonde hair and blue eyes. Her prior home addresses are in the cities of Whittier, Bell, Covina and Commerce, police said. Alvarado-Lopez and Bahena were walking northbound on Sunset Boulevard at White Knoll Drive just before 1 a.m., when they were struck by a red or burgundy 4-door sedan before reaching the north curb of Sunset Boulevard, LAPD said. They were dragged about 50 feet before being dislodged, police said. Police released graphic video of the incident shortly after it occured in hopes of finding the person responsible, and offered a $50,000 reward for information about the driver. KTLA 5

Campaign To Recall Gascón Reaches 200,000 Signatures
The effort to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has reached a new milestone. Campaign organizers announced Thursday the effort has collected over 200,000 signatures and raised $4 million. In order to make it on the November 2022 ballot, recall organizers need to collect a total of 566,857 signatures by July 6 from registered voters in Los Angeles County. The 200,000 signatures show a notable increase from the 125,000 the campaign announced two weeks ago. The campaign also announced several new tools for volunteer participation, including "The Recall DA George Gascón" app and a Permanent Signing Locations and Events Calendar. Over 33 cities in Los Angeles County have issued votes of no confidence in Gascón. FOX 11

DA Gascon Gets Sued by His Own Staff; The reform-minded district attorney no longer holds a plurality of voters in his camp  
A poll commissioned by the Los Angeles Police Protective League shows a plurality of voters would vote to recall controversial LA County District Attorney George Gascon. The same poll conducted last year showed an opposite result, with a strong plurality supporting the district attorney. Over the last year, more voters grew undecided and sentiment against Gascon shifted by 18 points. Gascon was elected to the county's highest law enforcement office in the November 2020 election and took control of the office in December of that year. He immediately instituted a number of policies he said were driven by the evidence of data to reduce crime and make neighborhoods safer. These included eliminating cash bail for nearly all crimes, refusing to prosecute most misdemeanors including resisting arrest and trespassing, forbidding filing sentencing enhancements, treating repeat offenders as first-time offenders, trying all youth offenders as juveniles no matter their age or the severity of the crime, and forbidding his deputies from attending parole hearings. Culver City Observer

Boyle Heights Shooting Leads To Car Crash: Officials
A man was shot in Boyle Heights Thursday afternoon, causing a crash, officials said. The man, whose age and name were not released, was reportedly shot shortly after 4:30 p.m. in the 100 block of South Savannah Street, near the intersection with East Second Street, according to Officer Cruz of the Los Angeles Police Department. Responding officers requested ambulance for the victim, Cruz said. An ambulance responded to the scene, as did a fire truck and engine, said Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department, who added that the collision was a result of the shooting. The man's condition was not available, nor was any information about the shooter. KTLA 5

Reports Of Shots Fired Prompt Perimeter, Possible Standoff In South LA
Los Angeles Police Department officers responded to reports of shots fired Thursday afternoon at around 2 p.m. on East 53rd Street in South Los Angeles. At around 6:15 p.m., authorities revealed that a K-9 unit had been called to the scene for further investigation to sweep the area, though they weren't sure if the suspect was even in the area any longer. The type of firearm involved was not immediately known. CBS 2

4 Wanted In Grand Theft At Westlake Village Costco
Authorities are looking for four suspects wanted in connection with a grand theft at Costco in Westlake Village. According to officials, it happened on March 24 when the pictured suspects followed the victim to the clothing section of Costco. That's when two suspects began to distract her as another suspect reached into her purse and stole her cell phone, handing it to another suspect. The victim reported to police her debit card information stored on her cell phone was used shortly afterward at a Best Buy in Thousand Oaks. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS. FOX 11

Multiple Luxury Watches Stolen In L.A. Crime Spree
A string of recent high-end watch robberies and attempted robberies have Los Angeles authorities searching for those responsible for the crimes. The incidents resulted in several watches stolen from a West Los Angeles area man's home, as well as a Rolex being taken from a man who thought he was meeting up with a potential buyer in West Hollywood. Incidents reported in the past week include: Attempted robbery in the 1000 block of Larrabee Street in West Hollywood on March 25, attempted robbery in the 8800 block of Ashcroft Avenue in West Hollywood on March 28, home invasion robbery on Butler Avenue and Mississippi Avenue in the West Los Angeles area at 11:15 p.m. on March 29, attempted break-in and shooting on Burton Way and Willaman Drive in the Beverly Grove neighborhood at 1:20 a.m. on March 30, and a rolex watch stolen in 8400 block of Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood at 12 p.m. on March 30. The victim in the West Los Angeles area home invasion robbery said he was closing the garage door when three armed men in masks approached and demanded high-end watches. The victim said thieves used zip ties to bind his wife and held him at gunpoint while they collected about 20 watches. KTLA 5

Authorities ID Woman Fatally Stabbed In Harbor City
A woman who was fatally stabbed at a Harbor City motel being used as transitional housing for the homeless was identified Thursday, and the investigation was continuing into her death. Julee Casanova, 59, of Harbor City, died at the scene of the crime, which occurred about 3:20 a.m. Wednesday at a motel in the 800 block of Sepulveda Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Deputies went to the location on a domestic violence call, the sheriff's department reported. “They arrived and located the victim … suffering from stab wounds to the upper torso,” a sheriff's department statement said. “A male … approximately 60 years old, who is believed to be the suspect was detained by deputies.” Authorities have not released the man's name or information on his relationship with the woman. The motel is one of many utilized in recent years as transitional housing for the homeless under the state's Project Homekey.

Inglewood Officer Shot While Off Duty; Gunman Remains At Large
An off-duty Inglewood police officer was shot Thursday morning in an unincorporated area just south of the city, and the gunman remains at large, according to authorities. The plainclothes officer was shot about 10:15 a.m. in a residential alley near Lennox and Osage avenues, authorities said. He was hit in the leg and arm, according to law enforcement sources. It was not clear what prompted the shooting. The officer was taken by ambulance to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, according to KCBS-TV Channel 2 news. Law enforcement sources said the officer underwent surgery and that his injuries are not life-threatening. The shooting occurred in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department jurisdiction, and Hawthorne police are helping search for the gunman. The Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau is investigating the attack. This is the second time in recent months that an off-duty officer has been shot. In January, off-duty Los Angeles Police Officer Fernando Arroyos was shot and killed in the unincorporated Florence-Firestone neighborhood near Watts.  Los Angeles Times

2 Suspects Arrested For Grand Theft At Louis Vuitton Store In Beverly Hills, Police Say
Two men are now in custody after they apparently attempted to steal several items from the Louis Vuitton store in Beverly Hills, according to police. It happened just after 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the store located in the 200 block of North Rodeo Drive. Police told Eyewitness News the two suspects reportedly shoved a security guard as they attempted to rush out of the store. They were seen carrying a large amount of merchandise, according to police. Police say the security guard suffered a minor injury to his arm. The two suspects have since been detained and are facing grand theft charges. No other injuries were reported. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Beverly Hills Police Department at (310) 285-2125. Anonymous reports can be made by texting "TIP BEVHILLSPD" followed by tip information to 888777. ABC 7

Police Arrest Last Of Three Suspects Who Robbed Gas Station In Culver City
Culver City police Thursday arrested the last of three suspects who allegedly robbed a Shell gas station at gunpoint. The boy, whose age was not disclosed, was arrested Thursday morning in Whittier and booked for robbery, according to the Culver City Police Department. The other two suspects were “arrested recently” by other law enforcement agencies, but no further details were released. Culver City Police Department officers were called just after 11:45 a.m. on March 18 to the gas station at 3801 Sepulveda Blvd., near Venice Boulevard, and made contact with two employees who said three suspects entered the gas station and “began to engage the victims in conversation” before all three produced handguns and demanded money, according to the CCPD. The employees handed over $438 from the cash register, and the suspects fled the scene in a vehicle. No injuries were reported. The three suspects — whose names were not released — have “extensive criminal arrest” histories and are suspected by the CCPD to have been involved in similar robberies throughout Los Angeles County.

Man Who Tried To Drug Woman's Drink At Santa Monica Bar Pleads Guilty To Drugging, Raping Victim
A Los Angeles man who tried to spike a woman's drink at a bar in Santa Monica in 2016 before three women thwarted the attempt, has pleaded guilty to drugging and raping the victim. Michael Roe Chien Hsu pleaded guilty to an act of sexual penetration where the victim was prevented from resisting because of a controlled substance. Hsu also admitted factors in aggravation. According to investigators, three women saw Hsu allegedly trying to spike the drink of his female companion while she was in a restroom at the Fig restaurant inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard, one of the three wrote in a Facebook posting. "He pulled her glass toward him, kind of awkwardly, then he took out a little black vial,'' according to her account on Facebook. "He opened it up and dropped something in. Then he tried to play it cool, like checking his phone and hiding the vial in his hand and then trying to bring it back down slyly.” One witness got up to go tell security and warn the victim in the restroom of what occurred. When the victim returned to her table, Hsu tried to get her to take a drink of her wine. The victim waited until police arrived. The incident was captured via surveillance footage. FOX 11

Compton Man Charged With Kidnapping, Assault
A Compton man has been charged with kidnapping and assault after he was identified on surveillance footage near the scene of the crime, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Daniel Fernandez, 37, is accused of kidnapping a woman near thhe Compton PAX on March 5. On that day, officers responded to a call for an injured person at the 200 block of South Matthisen Avenue, where they found a woman lying near a dirt trail next to the Compton wash. She had head and face injuries, and was partially undressed. The woman told deputies a man had assaulted her, forced her into a white compact car, and drove her to near where she was found, where she says he physically and sexually assaulted her. She was transported to the hospital. During the course of LASD's investigation, detectives found surveillance footage which they believed to show the man for whom they were looking.  FOX 11

Driver Tackled After Leading Chase In LA County
A driver wanted in connection with an assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer was tackled after leading a chase on LA freeways Thursday afternoon. The driver, behind the wheel of a dark-colored Honda, began the chase in the Whittier area, after deputies say he used his car as a weapon. The driver was seen heading northbound on the 605 Freeway near the 60 Freeway. The driver continued, heading up the 605 toward the 10 Freeway in the Monrovia area. CHP and the LA County Sheriff's Department were pursuing the driver. The driver was ultimately taken into custody in Pasadena after pulling over, and being tackled by deputies. NBC 4

Sports Gambling Ring That Drew Bets From Professional Athletes Busted
Five men have agreed to plead guilty to federal crimes for their roles in an illegal Southern California sports betting operation that took wagers from professional athletes, authorities said Thursday. The ring was led by Wayne Nix, 45, a former pitcher for the Oakland Athletics minor league baseball team who lives in Newport Beach. Around 2001, Nix started using his professional sports contacts to build a gambling business, developing a client list that included unnamed professional athletes, the former ballplayer admitted in court papers. It eventually expanded into a major enterprise that employed three former Major League Baseball players as agents who recruited bettors. Password-protected accounts were set up for clients to place bets on a website run by Sand Island Sports, a company based in Costa Rica. Betting on the outcome of sporting events is legal in some states, but not California. Nix acknowledged receiving $245,000 from a professional football player and $4,000 from a Major League Baseball coach, in both cases to cover gambling losses in 2016. Both were unnamed in the court records. Los Angeles Times

1 Officer Killed, 2 Others Hurt In Pennsylvania Shooting
A Pennsylvania police officer was killed and two others injured Thursday during a shooting that occurred while responding to a domestic disturbance call, Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello said. Police officers went to a home in the city at about 3:30 p.m. for the disturbance call. Nearly an hour later gunfire broke out and officers radioed in they were hit, Capello said at a brief news conference. All three officers were taken to hospitals. One of them has been pronounced dead. A second was in critical condition, but stable, and a third was in stable condition, Capello said. “This is an extremely difficult moment for everyone,” Capello said. The suspect, a 34-year-old man from Lebanon, was killed in the shooting, Lebanon Police Chief Todd Breiner said. “As one can imagine, it's clearly a traumatic event,” Breiner said. “Our guys are strong, but we're human and we have families.” The slain officer's name is being withheld pending notification of extended family members. Police did not release further details. Associated Press

Ohio Officer Killed Trying To Stop Fleeing Car On Highway
A police officer in Ohio was struck and killed by a fleeing car on Interstate 75 during a high-speed chase through multiple counties Wednesday, authorities said. The officer, Dominic Francis of the Bluffton police department, was struck around 2:30 a.m. while he was setting up stop sticks, which flatten tires, said Sgt. Brice Nihiser of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. The chase had reached speeds up to 120 mph (193 kph). Three suspects inside the car drove away for a short distance before they jumped out and ran. One was found nearby while a second one was arrested in a stolen car in Elyria, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) northeast of Bluffton, Nihiser said. Authorities were continuing to look for the third suspect. The search caused schools in the nearby village of Bluffton to cancel classes, and Bluffton University told students to stay in their rooms and advised employees to stay home. I-75 also was shut down while authorities looked through barns, farm fields and around houses. The chase first began near Marion when authorities saw the car going more than 100 mph and continued across several counties, Nihiser said. Associated Press

Car Thief Who Crippled NYPD Detective Gets 5 Years For Fleeing Cops Yet Again
A Brooklyn man who got a light sentence for dragging and crippling an NYPD detective will be sentenced to five years behind bars for a separate car chase. Justin Murrell, 20, was promised the half-decade jail stint by the judge in his Brooklyn Supreme Court case Monday after pleading guilty to assault for fleeing police trying to pull him over for speeding in May 2021. Murrell slammed into three parked cars during the ensuing chase. After entering his plea, Murrell walked out of court only to be immediately arrested for leading Port Authority cops on a February car chase in a stolen car while out on bail for the 2021 case. The two chases are eerily similar to the 2017 pursuit that left Detective Dalsh Veve paralyzed and unable to speak. Veve was responding to a shots-fired call when he questioned Murrell near E. 53rd St. and Tilden Ave. on June 3, 2017. Murrell, then 15 years old, hit the gas, reaching up to 60 mph as he dragged Veve for two blocks. Murrell was acquitted of attempted murder in that case, and was sentenced to no more than four years for an assault conviction. He was released in 2020. New York Daily News

Public Safety News

Fire Breaks Out In Reseda Apartment Complex
A fire broke out a large apartment building in Reseda early Friday morning. The blaze was reported at 3:15 a.m. at the three-story Kingswood Village Apartments located in the 17800 block of Sherman Way. Several residents were evacuated, while others sheltered in place. Ninety-six firefighters were dispatched. The bulk of the fire was extinguished within about one hour, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Three apartments were damaged. The fire started on the first floor and spread to the top floor. "I was asleep and I heard somebody bang on our door and say, 'fire, fire, get out', and we just rushed out, we threw anything on, me and my husband," tenant Phylicia Hartfield-Mickens told CBSLA. One person was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries, the fire department said. The cause is under investigation.   CBS 2

BA.2 Subvariant Of COVID Increases Grip In LA
The BA.2 subvariant of COVID-19 is continuing to strengthen its presence in Los Angeles County, now accounting for nearly one-third of all virus cases that are screened for variants, the public health director said Thursday. The spread of the highly infectious variant, however, has not translated into a rise in virus-related hospitalizations, likely attributable to relatively high numbers of people who are vaccinated. For the week that ended March 12, 32% of COVID infections that underwent laboratory sequencing turned out to be the result of BA.2, which is an offshoot of the Omicron variant that fueled a surge in cases over the winter months. Omicron is still the dominate variant found in the testing, but the percentage of BA.2 cases has been steadily increasing. During the week ending March 5, 16.7% of sequenced cases were found to be BA.2. The percentage was only 6.3% the previous week. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Thursday noted that since the testing reflects cases from two weeks ago, BA.2 most likely now accounts for an even higher percentage of COVID infections.

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: