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 4, 2022
Law Enforcement News

LAPD Bike Officer Hit By Car In Koreatown
A Los Angeles Police Department bicycle officer was injured Friday in a collision in Koreatown involving a motorist who was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while impaired, authorities said. Paramedics sent to the 900 block of South Ardmore Avenue about 8 a.m. took the officer to a hospital for treatment of non-serious injuries, according to the Los Angeles fire and police departments. The motorist's name was not immediately released. The circumstances of the crash were under investigation. FOX 11

Shooting Victim Found Dead On Silver Lake Sidewalk
A man was shot and killed early Friday in Silver Lake. Officers responded at about 4 a.m. to Glendale Boulevard and Allesandro Street where they found a man with a gunshot wound to the head, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The victim died at the scene. Police are investigating the shooting as a homicide. No information about the shooter was available. NBC 4

Man Who Walked Away After Being Struck By Hit-and-Run Driver Found Dead Hours Later, LAPD Says
A man struck by a hit-and-run driver was found dead near an apartment complex in Van Nuys Friday morning, according to police. LAPD said in a news release that the man refused help from others right after he was struck by the hit-and-run driver near Victory Boulevard and Kester Avenue around 10:15 p.m. Thursday. The man then got up and walked through an alley, and responding officers were unable to find a victim from the crash, police said. Hours later, around 6:45 a.m., police were called to a report of a man not breathing and laying out in front of an apartment complex near Victory and Nobel Avenue. Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene. Police said he matched the description of the hit-and-run victim from the night before. Detectives searched the area looking for surveillance video. A description of the suspect vehicle was not immediately available. Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD. ABC 7

Man Killed By Hit-and-Run Driver In Boyle Heights: LAPD
A man was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he walked in a crosswalk Saturday night, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The man, estimated to be in his 40s or 50s, was crossing Whittier Boulevard at the intersection with Esperanza Street just after 10 p.m. when he was struck by a car, which then did not stop to help, police said. The Los Angeles Fire Department declared the man dead at the scene, and police did not have a description of the hit-and-run vehicle to release. KTLA 5

Body Of Missing Man Found In Griffith Park With His Dog By His Side
A hiker who went missing two weeks ago was found dead in Griffith Park with his dog by his side, authorities said. Oscar Alejandro Hernandez, 29, was reported missing on March 16. His body was found Thursday night in a remote area of the sprawling urban park. His dog, King, was alive but emaciated. The Golden Retriever faithfully stayed by his owner's side. Search and Rescue used a helicopter to hoist Hernandez's body up from a steep hillside. Police say Hernandez was last seen in the Griffith Park area at about 2:30 a.m. driving a red 2004 Ford Explorer. According to a missing person flier posted by his family, Hernandez was last seen near the park merry-go-round's hiking trails. Hernandez was described as having brown hair and brown eyes, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing approximately 150 pounds. It is not clear who discovered the body or the circumstances surrounding Hernandez's death. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Los Angeles Police Department. ABC 7

LAPD Investigating Shooting Near Sylmar Metro Station
Authorities were dispatched to the scene of a shooting that occurred near a Sylmar Metro Station Friday evening. It was unclear what prompted the shooting, which occurred near Hubbard and Truman Streets at around 11:00 p.m. According to early reports, one person was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment and a second person may have been shot but did not require medical attention. When authorities arrived, the suspects were no longer on the scene. No additional information was immediately available.  CBS 2

Sylmar Woman Killed, Another Injured In Mission Hills Freeway Crash
A 20-year-old Sylmar woman driving a Toyota was killed and another woman was injured when their cars collided on a transition road in Mission Hills, authorities said Saturday. The woman was identified as Janet Corona, according to the coroner's office. The crash was reported about 7:15 a.m. Friday on the transition from the westbound Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway to the southbound San Diego (405) Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol, which updated its account of the crash. “The initial investigation indicates that the driver of the 2003 Toyota lost control of her vehicle while she was traveling on the Westbound SR- 118 transition to Southbound I-405,” CHP Officer F. Vargas said in a press release. “As a result, the Toyota traveled out of control across the median and directly into the path of the 2014 Lexus, which was traveling on the main portion of Westbound SR-118. The Toyota was subsequently broadsided by the Lexus causing major driver-side impact damage to the Toyota.” The driver identified as Corona was taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Thief Targets Studio City Apartment Over And Over
An alleged crime spree in Studio City is prompting people to move out of an apartment complex. The owner says a thief appears to be repeatedly targeting his building despite security upgrades and contacting the police. "The MO is the same — the way he comes in is insane," said the owner who asked to remain anonymous, for security concerns. "He is so comfortable." He says the thief has stolen and caused $65,000 worth of damage since last summer in at least five separate incidents at the 3000 block of Riverton Ave. "The arrogance of the guy is what got me," he added. The landlord says they did not file police reports for the first three robberies last year because they didn't think what was stolen was large enough to warrant the police's attention. However, Thursday morning's break-in has him and his tenants concerned. Surveillance video shows a man break into the building at approximately 3:45 a.m., calmly navigating through the building before breaking into a BMW. "He knows the building better than my tenants," said the owner. "This is a large building and there are so many doors." The owner filed a police report for an incident last month, when a similar-looking man broke into every single mailbox in the garage, causing tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. FOX 11

Man, 37, Suffering From Mental Illness Goes Missing In Sylmar
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is circulating a photo of a 37-year-old man suffering from mental illness who went missing in Sylmar. Marino Banuelos was last seen at about 11:24 a.m. Friday in the 14000 block of Olive View Drive, the Sheriff's Information Bureau reported. Banuelos was described as a 5-foot-7-inch tall Latino man with black eyes, black hair and short facial hair. He has a tattoo on his face and a laceration above his right eye. He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark pants. The sheriff's missing persons unit urged anyone with information regarding Banuelos' whereabouts to call them at 323-890-5500. CBS 2

2 Injured In Early Morning Hit-and-Run In WeHo
A hit-and-run collision in West Hollywood early Saturday morning left two men hurt, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department looking for the driver. Surveillance footage from about 2 a.m. shows two men standing in the street near a parked car in the 9200 block of Sunset Boulevard when another vehicle, possibly a pickup truck, strikes them before continuing down the street out of frame. The two men were hurt, but they are expected to survive. Anyone with information is asked to contact the West Hollywood Sheriff's Station at 310-855-8850. KTLA 5

Male Victim Shot In Head At Compton Car Wash
A male victim was wounded Saturday evening in a shooting at the Compton Car Wash. The shooting was reported at 6:43 p.m. at the car wash at North Bradfield and Rosecrans avenues, according to Ronald Rodil of the Sheriff's Information Bureau. The victim was shot in the head and driven to a hospital in unknown condition, Rodil said, adding that an investigation was underway.

Los Angeles Woman, 23, Reported Missing
Authorities Friday sought the public's help to locate a 23-year-old Los Angeles woman who was last contacted weeks ago. Cignet Yliana Miller was last contacted about 4 p.m. on March 10, but her whereabouts at the time are unknown, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Miller is Black, 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 118 pounds. She has brown eyes, curly brown hair and four scars on her left wrist. She also "suffers from an unknown mental illness," according to the LASD. Anyone with information on Miller's 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. CBS 2

LA Paralegal Admits Role In Visa Fraud Scheme
A Los Angeles paralegal has agreed to plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy to violate U.S. immigration laws by preparing and filing bogus documents that sought permanent residency and citizenship for members of a Philippines-based church, prosecutors announced. Maria De Leon, 73, a resident of the Koreatown neighborhood and the owner of a legal document service, agreed to plead guilty to participating in a scheme with administrators of the church, which is known as the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, according to the Department of Justice. The church has a compound in Van Nuys. In addition to pleading guilty, De Leon agreed to cooperate in the government's case. De Leon admitted in the plea agreement to participating for about eight years in the conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and visa fraud with the leaders of the KOJC. De Leon is one of nine defendants who were charged in November 2021 in a 42-count superseding indictment that alleges a labor trafficking scheme that used fraudulently obtained visas to bring KOJC members to the United States, where they were forced to solicit donations for a bogus charity. Los Angeles Daily News

Self-Proclaimed ‘M30 King Of Fresno,' 17 Others Charged In Alleged Fentanyl Trafficking Ring
After an investigation spurred by dozens of fentanyl overdoses in the Fresno area, the alleged leader of a drug trafficking ring and 17 others were arrested and charged by federal authorities, prosecutors said Friday. Horacio Torrecillas Urias Jr., the self-proclaimed “M30 King of Fresno,” and the others were charged last month with trafficking fentanyl powder and pills, cocaine and methamphetamine, according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of California. The investigation into the ring began after a series of overdoses last fall involving counterfeit oxycodone tablets, commonly labeled “M30,” which were found to contain fentanyl. “Similar to authentic oxycodone M30 tablets, they are small, round, and light blue or green in color with ‘M' stamped on one side and ‘30' on the other,” the U.S. attorney's office said. According to the criminal complaint, Torrecillas obtained tens of thousands of counterfeit M30 pills and large quantities of other drugs from sources in Mexico, then distributed them along with his co-defendants to dealers in California and elsewhere. Local, state and federal agencies including the Fresno Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Department of Homeland Security participated in the investigation. Los Angeles Times

Sacramento Police Seek Multiple Gunmen In Mass Shooting That Killed 6, Wounded 12
Sacramento police are searching for multiple suspects in a mass shooting in the city's downtown early Sunday that killed six people and wounded 12 others. Police Chief Katherine Lester said the shooting occurred around 2 a.m. after a large fight broke out in a popular entertainment district. She said officers heard gunfire and arrived at the scene at 10th and K streets, roughly two blocks northwest of the state Capitol, where they found multiple shooting victims. Authorities offered few details as to what happened except to say that just after 2 a.m. an unidentified person in a car drove up 10th Street and unleashed a sustained barrage of bullets into a crowd of people before fleeing. A second person also fired a gun, although it was not yet clear whether that person was also in the car or in the crowd. Authorities said cameras in the downtown area captured footage of a portion of the shooting. “This is a really complex and complicated scene,” Lester said. “And there is a process and what we want to do is make sure that this investigation is completed thoroughly and accurately. because we do want to see the perpetrators of this crime brought to justice.” Police confirmed a stolen handgun was recovered from the scene. However, authorities suspect at least two different weapons were fired, according to a law enforcement source. Los Angeles Times

Police: Texas Deputy Killed By Suspected Drunk Driver
Deputy Jennifer Chavis was killed in the line of duty on Saturday by a suspected drunk driver, police said. Chavis was responding to a report of a hit-and-run by an intoxicated driver, according to Click 2 Houston. Chavis was in her squad car, on standby to apprehend the driver, when the suspect slammed into the back of her vehicle, ABC 13 reported. The patrol car caught fire with Chavis inside. Chavis died at the scene and the suspect, 36-year-old Adolfo Serrano, was taken into custody, the report said. “Our hearts are once again broken at the news of another senseless death of a Harris County LEO,” said the Harris County Deputy Constables Association. PoliceOne

Police: Student Fatally Shoots Peer At South Carolina Middle School
A 12-year-old student was shot and killed Thursday by another 12-year-old student inside their South Carolina middle school, authorities said. The shooter was found hiding under a deck at a home not far from Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville about an hour after the shooting and was still armed, Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said. The boy is charged with murder, possession of a firearm at a school and possession of a weapon by someone under 18. He was taken to a juvenile prison in Columbia, Lewis said. “He was hiding. He's a young man, probably didn't understand the consequences of what had just happened,” the sheriff said at a news conference. “I don't think he knew what to do, honestly, except for to leave the school.” The boys knew each other, but the sheriff said investigators are still trying to figure out what led to the shooting in a front part of the school and how the boy got the gun. No one else was injured in the shooting. The family of the boy killed released a statement saying he was Jamari Cortez Bonaparte Jackson and asking people to respect their privacy as they grieve. Associated Press

Public Safety News

Fire Damages Unit At Apartment Building In Van Nuys
Fire damaged a second-floor unit at a two-story apartment building in Van Nuys Sunday. The Los Angeles Fire Department sent 20 firefighters to 15803 W. Saticoy St. at 9:10 a.m., and the fire was put out within 10 minutes of their arrival, according to the department's Nicholas Prange. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

LA County Sees Miniscule Uptick In COVID Hospitalizations
The number of COVID-positive patients at Los Angeles County hospitals showed a miniscule uptick Saturday, increasing by three people to 290, according to the latest state figures. The number of those patients in intensive care was 44, down from 47 on Friday. The hospitalization number has come down significantly from over 4,800 in mid-January at the height of the Omicron-fueled winter surge, and is generally at its lowest levels since last summer. The latest numbers come one day after LA County and the state marked another milestone in the pandemic by officially lifting the requirement that attendees at indoor mega-events such as sporting events or concerts show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test. It's the latest pandemic-era mandate to be lifted, following the recent scrapping of rules requiring people to wear masks indoors at most locations. Masks are also no longer required at outdoor mega-events or on school campuses. The Los Angeles City Council agreed this week to drop its requirement that people show proof of vaccination to enter many indoor businesses. Health officials have noted, however, that private businesses are entitled to enact their own virus-control measures if they desire, such as requiring masks or checking for vaccinations or negative tests. NBC 4

Coronavirus Cases Are Spiking Elsewhere. Will L.A. County Be Hit Hard Or Be Spared?
After dramatic declines in coronavirus cases, Los Angeles County has hit another plateau this week that comes amid the spread of the highly infectious BA.2 Omicron subvariant. BA.2 has led to new increases in cases in other areas, from a significant surge in Britain that has resulted in an increase in hospitalizations and deaths, and the apparent beginning of a wave in New York and Massachusetts. Similar trends have not yet been seen in Los Angeles County or in California overall, and officials can't say with certainty what will come next. Although it is possible that California could see an echo of what Britain is seeing, some experts have also said that the state's winter Omicron surge — which brought many hospitals under pressure in Southern California and the Central Valley — could help provide some protection against a possible BA.2-fueled surge. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA City Officials Will Scrutinize Effectiveness Of County Contract For Homeless Healthcare
The Los Angeles City Council has asked for a review of healthcare services delivered to unhoused people under the city's contract with Los Angeles County. The motion was introduced by Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who said that when he was chair of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee he saw “firsthand, how our contractual relationship with the county for public health and mental health service delivery is outdated and drastically in need of an update.” “When I say outdated, I meant it. The contract is literally from 1964. It's one-sided and profoundly out of step with our city's needs,” O'Farrell added. The motion approved Friday instructs the city administrative officer and chief legislative analyst to report back on the city's contractual relationship with Los Angeles County, the delivery of health services in its existing contract and specific recommendations on how to improve the current system. The motion seeks specific recommendations on renegotiating the contract to better serve the city's residents, with a focus on its unhoused population. Los Angeles Daily News

LA Will Spend $3 Billion Over Next 5 Years To Battle Homelessness
The city of Los Angeles will spend up to $3 billion over the next five years to develop as many as 16,000 beds or housing units for the homeless, enough to accommodate 60% of the homeless population in each of the 15 City Council districts, under terms a settlement announced Friday of a long-running lawsuit demanding solutions to the local homeless crisis. The settlement with the LA Alliance for Human Rights does not include Los Angeles County, which is also a defendant in the lawsuit, but city officials said the county will be responsible for providing services and housing for homeless individuals with serious mental illness, substance-use issues or chronic physical illnesses. The actual number of housing units and beds the city will be required to build under the settlement remains uncertain, pending the results of the recently conducted "point-in-time" countywide homeless count. But city officials estimate that meeting the terms of the settlement will require the addition of 14,000 to 16,000 beds, costing between $2.4 billion and $3 billion. FOX 11

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