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 14, 2022
Law Enforcement News

16-Year-Old Boy Arrested In Connection With Fatal North Hollywood Shooting
A 16-year-old boy was arrested Tuesday in connection with a fatal shooting that took place over the weekend in North Hollywood. The shooting occurred around 11:15 a.m. Sunday on the 12000 block of Saticoy Street. The victim has been identified as 41-year-old Efrain Garcia. Police originally said the victim got into some type of verbal dispute with a 25-year-old man, who then pulled out a weapon and shot the victim before fleeing the scene on foot. Police did not say whether they are still looking for the 25-year-old or any other suspects. The 16-year-old juvenile, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, was arrested shortly after midnight on Tuesday morning on East Avenue R4 in Palmdale. The teen was in possession of three firearms. The minor was booked into Sylmar Juvenile Hall. Detectives believe the shooting was gang-related. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Valley Bureau Homicide at 818-374-9550.  KTLA 5

Authorities ID Woman Hit By Vehicle And Killed In South LA Area
Authorities Wednesday identified a woman who was hit by a vehicle and killed in the South Los Angeles area. Lorrenee Berry Oshodin, 75, of Los Angeles, was struck at about 5:50 a.m. Tuesday at Florence Avenue and Figueroa Street and died at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office and the Los Angeles Police Department. The circumstances of her death were under investigation. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.

Fed Up With Crime, Men Steal Back Elderly Neighbor's Stolen Car
Michael says he's had enough of the crime in his Playa Del Rey neighborhood. He says he's moving his family to Texas. "The number of instances that have happened in the year and a half that I've lived here has been in the half dozen range, and I'm tired of it," he said. "I'm tired of losing our property." Unfazed by security cameras, a security gate and a security guard, brazen criminals have struck a secure Playa del Rey condo complex over and over again. The latest robbery was Michael's last straw. His elderly neighbor's car was stolen out of her locked garage last week. But 12 hours later, another neighbor spotted her car about a mile down the road at the homeless RV encampment on Jefferson Boulevard. Michael and his neighbor Josh grabbed the Prius' spare key and jumped in another car on a mission to get it back. "[I] tried to figure out how to start a Prius because I've never driven a Prius before and simply put it in gear and drove off," Michael said. "It was nice to get the car back for the owner," Josh said. "Win one for the good guys." In the past few months, thieves have stolen several bikes pad-locked in the same secure garage. Michael's Tesla alerted him of one intruder, and when he wouldn't surrender, he tackled the bad guy. The thief came back the next two days for more, this time, spray-painting the security cameras. He also stole Josh's e-bikes, but they had Apple AirTags on them. Josh tracked one down to Marina del Rey, the other to the same homeless encampment by the Ballona Wetlands. FOX 11

Man Wanted For Assault On Santa Monica Mail Carrier Arrested In January: Police
One man believed to be responsible for at least one assault on a mail carrier in one Santa Monica neighborhood was arrested back in January, according to police. Residents in on Santa Monica neighborhood received a letter from the US Postal Service earlier this month, saying that mail delivery had been paused due to multiple assaults on carriers in the area. "Multiple carriers have been subjected to assaults and threats of assault from an individual who has not been located or apprehended," the letter dated April 7, 2022, read, in part. "The safety of our employees and of the mail they deliver to you is our highest concern. Until we can ensure the safety of both, delivery services will remain suspended." In a statement to FOX 11, the Santa Monica Police Department said that when the department was made aware of the letter over the weekend, the identified one assault case back on Jan. 19. In that case, one man was arrested in late January for assault with a deadly weapon, in this case a broomstick. The mail carrier refused to press charges, according to SMPD. Aside from that January assault, SMPD says they've received no other crime reports involving mail carriers. While police did not identify the man arrested for that January assault, they did say that he was arrested again on April 6 for vandalism and possession of drug paraphernalia, but has since been released due to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón's policies on bail orders. He is also under investigation for two other crimes back in March.  FOX 11

Driver Reaches Speeds Of 110 MPH In Police Chase From San Fernando Valley To Agua Dulce Area
The driver of an SUV on Wednesday led authorities on a high-speed chase from the San Fernando Valley to the Palmdale area and back to Agua Dulce, at times reaching speeds of more than 110 mph before ultimately being apprehended. The Los Angeles Police Department initiated the pursuit, which made its way from the intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Vanowen Street to the northbound 170 Freeway. From there the suspect headed toward the Newhall area before transitioning to the 5 Freeway and then the 14 Freeway. LAPD units disengaged from the chase, and for a time the SUV sped toward Palmdale followed mostly by news media helicopters overhead. In a bizarre moment, the suspect pulled over to the side of a dusty intersection and stuck his head out of the driver's side window, staring up at the choppers. He then sped away when a California Highway Patrol unit approached. Re-entering the 14 Freeway, the driver raced southbound before abruptly pulling over in the Agua Dulce area and exiting the vehicle. CHP officers pulled up right behind him and gave chase as he tried to escape on foot. The man ran into nearby brush but was soon apprehended by the officers, handcuffed and escorted to a patrol vehicle. ABC 7

Train Engineer Gets 3 Years For Intentional Derailment In Los Angeles
A train engineer who intentionally derailed a locomotive near a U.S. Navy hospital ship that was deployed in Los Angeles harbor to help during the COVID-19 pandemic was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison, prosecutors said. Eduardo Moreno was also ordered to pay more than $755,000 in restitution, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement. Moreno, 46, pleaded guilty in December 2021 to one count of committing a terrorist attack. Moreno, who worked at the Port of Los Angeles, acknowledged in his plea agreement that on March 31, 2020, he drove a locomotive at full speed off the end of the tracks near where the Mercy was docked because he believed it might be involved in a sinister conspiracy, prosecutors said. Nobody was hurt, but the derailment caused about $755,880 in damages. The train also spilled fuel that required a hazardous-materials cleanup. Moreno told port police that he was suspicious of the Mercy "and believed it had an alternate purpose related to COVID-19 or a government takeover," the U.S. attorney's office said, citing court documents. Moreno said he knew the derailment would bring media attention, and he wanted to "wake people up," according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint. CBS 2

DWP, Mired In Scandal, Has Its First Inspector General. He Vows To Bring A ‘Zeal For Independence'
Weeks after FBI agents raided the headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in the summer of 2019, Mayor Eric Garcetti touted the creation of an inspector general's office to launch internal investigations, oversee audits and bolster the sagging ethics at the nation's largest municipal utility. On Monday, Garcetti's office announced that the department had tapped civil rights attorney Sergio Perez as the inaugural internal watchdog. Perez, 37, starts in the role May 9. The job had remained unfilled even as the agency became mired in a sprawling corruption scandal that also involves the city attorney's office, stemming from a faulty billing system that overcharged tens of thousands of customers. Federal prosecutors say city lawyers helped engineer a class-action lawsuit against L.A. over the errant charges in an attempt to control the terms of the settlement. A string of plea deals involving former DWP executives and city lawyers have revealed malfeasance at the highest levels. Former general manager David Wright admitted in court papers to soliciting bribes, destroying evidence and otherwise joining in several “corrupt schemes” at the utility. Asked about the 30 months it took to fill the job, Harrison Wollman, a spokesman for Garcetti, said the position “was created from scratch” and “required an exhaustive and national search.” Los Angeles Times

Armed Robbers Forced Victims To Disrobe, Pistol-Whipped Them Before Stealing French Bulldog
Police in Culver City are still searching for three armed robbery suspects and a stolen French Bulldog that was dognapper last Tuesday. Just before 10 p.m. on April 5, Culver City Police responded to the Astro Motel, located at 3850 Sepulveda Blvd., following a call about an armed robbery. The three victims told officers that four suspects entered their motel room displaying handguns. The suspects forced the victims to disrobe, and then "pistol-whipped" the victims with their handguns in the head and face. The suspects then made off with multiple pieces of the victim's property, including cell phones and one of the victim's two-month-old French Bulldog, police said. The suspects fled on foot through the east alley of Sepulveda Blvd. No detailed description of the suspects was available, but police said they were all in their 20s to 30s, and they were wearing dark clothing and blue surgical gloves at the time of the attack. The victims sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries as a result of being struck by the suspects and were treated at a local hospital. FOX 11

Seven Charged With Gun Trafficking In Inland Empire
Seven men accused of illegally possessing, manufacturing or selling guns in Riverside and San Bernardino counties are federally charged with felonies stemming from an investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the agency said Tuesday. Miguel Avila, 26, of El Monte, Ruben Delafuente, 27, of Ontario, Damien Martinez, 22, of San Bernardino, Damon Moore, 27, of Bellflower, Jesse Nava, 28, of La Puente, Pablo Sandoval, 40, of San Bernardino and Jose Urbina, 35, of El Monte were arrested during a firearms trafficking investigation that resulted in the seizure of guns and drugs, according to the ATF. The agency said that more than 30 firearms were confiscated, several of them converted to fully automatic. “The majority were privately made firearms, bearing no serial numbers or identifying marks, commonly referred to as `ghost guns,”' according to an ATF statement. Some of the guns were AR-15-style sport rifles, and at least one of them had a sawed-off barrel, agents alleged. Methamphetamine was also seized during the crackdown, according to the agency.

FDA Warns Of Websites Selling Adderall Without Prescriptions
The Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration have issued warning letters to two websites for illegally selling Schedule II stimulants, such as Adderall, without prescriptions, the FDA said Tuesday. The warning letters were issued to and on March 30, KTLA sister station WFLA reported. The companies have 15 business days to respond to the warning. Adderall is a prescription drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. The drug is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, two central nervous stimulants that improve attention span and focus. Adderall was approved by the FDA in 1996. The FDA says consumers who buy prescription drugs from unsafe online pharmacies may put their health at risk because the products may be counterfeit, contaminated, expired or otherwise harmful. “This action underscores the FDA's commitment to use all available regulatory and compliance tools to stop online businesses illegally selling potentially harmful drug products to consumers,” said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf, M.D. “The illegal sale of prescription drug stimulants online puts Americans at risk and contributes to potential abuse, misuse and overdose. KTLA 5

Both Sacramento Shooting Suspects Had A History Of Domestic Violence. It's A Warning Sign
The two brothers suspected of involvement in the recent deadly shooting in Sacramento, Dandrae and Smiley Martin, share something in common besides blood. They both beat women — a warning sign for gun violence, according to researchers. In 7 of 10 mass shootings, the perpetrator (let's be real, usually a man) either had a history of domestic violence or was targeting someone he had a relationship with. About 1 in 4 homicides in the United States are related to domestic violence, and too often include bystanders. Those statistics come from the new Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, and from Lisa Geller, a researcher who has studied the issue for years. She told me she wouldn't be shocked if all the shooters in the Sacramento attack (police think there may be at least five) were found to have domestic violence in their backgrounds. Robert Spitzer, a recently retired professor from the State University of New York in Cortland and the author of seven books on gun violence, told me the connection between gun violence and domestic violence was “clear as a bell, really.” Examples are depressingly easy to find.  Los Angeles Times

Texas Deputy Back On Job After Being Shot In Deadly Ambush
A Harris County Precinct 4 constable deputy is back on the job months after surviving an ambush that left one officer dead, Fox26 reports. During a ceremony on Monday, Constable Mark Herman welcomed Deputy Jaquim Barthen's return to full duty. "He is ready to hit the streets," he said, "and do God's service for us in fighting crime." It's been a long journey back for Barthen, who has endured months of medical procedures and physical therapy after being shot with an AR-15 rifle back in October. He was working an off-duty security job at a local nightclub with two other deputies when the three were ambushed, according to KTRK. Deputy Darryl Garret is still recovering in the hospital; Deputy Kareem Atkins was killed. "I hate what happened to Atkins. I hate what happened to Garrett. I hate what happened to myself," Barthen said. But he also says that the support from the community has made him stronger. "It has been a long road for this man," Constable Herman said before a crowd of Barthen's colleagues, family members and supporters. "To do what he has done and make it back, most people wouldn't do it." PoliceOne

Brooklyn Subway Attack: Suspect Frank James Arrested, Charged With Terror
Frank R. James, the suspect in Tuesday's subway shooting in Brooklyn, who has ties to Philadelphia, was arrested on Wednesday without incident, police officials say. Officials announced in a Wednesday afternoon briefing that James, 62, faces a federal charge that pertains to terrorist or other violent attacks against mass transit systems and carries a sentence of up to life in prison. Authorities say he has nine priors and previous arrests in New Jersey in 1991, 1992 and 2007. During a Wednesday afternoon press conference, police said a person called in a Crime Stoppers tip reporting James at a McDonald's on the Lower East Side. Law enforcement officials later confirmed that it was James himself who called police and told them his location. Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said James was gone by the time officers got to the eatery, but they soon spotted him on a corner nearby. Federal investigators determined the gun used in the shooting was purchased by James at a pawn shop — a licensed firearms dealer — in the Columbus, Ohio, area in 2011. James has addresses in both Philadelphia and Wisconsin, according to investigators.  FOX 11

NYPD: Officer Shoots Out Tires Of Porsche Thief Who Was Barreling At Cops
An NYPD officer fired a shot at a suspected Porsche thief on the Belt Parkway on Sunday after the driver tried to mow down a cop on the highway. The drama started about 6:40 a.m. after police got a report of someone stealing a catalytic converter from a vehicle on Knapp St. near Avenue V in Sheepshead Bay. Officers from the 61st Precinct tried to stop a white Porsche sedan that fit a description from the crime scene, but the driver fled onto the Belt Parkway, cops said. Those officers didn't pursue the car, but others from the 60th Precinct blocked westbound traffic on the highway to corner the driver. The runaway Porshe driver, however, barreled toward the officers, squeezing through traffic and hitting other vehicles in the process, cops said. That's when one of the cops fired a single shot, apparently hitting the fleeing car's tire, a police source said. Cops found the Porsche abandoned with a flat tire on Cropsey Ave., a few blocks from Exit 4 on the highway, police said. NYPD policy forbids officers from shooting at moving vehicles unless something other than the vehicle is used as a weapon, but a “carveout” allows the department to review those shootings on a case-by-case basis, Chief of Department Kenneth Corey told reporters last month after police shot and critically wounded a teenage driver heading toward a police officer on March 7. New York Daily News

Public Safety News

Car Plunges 300 Feet Off Cliff In Griffith Park, Prompting Rescue Operation For 68-Year-Old Driver
A car plunged about 300 feet over the side of a cliff in Griffith Park on Wednesday morning, prompting firefighters to launch a rescue operation for a 68-year-old driver, officials said. The crash was reported by a 911 caller shortly before 7 a.m. in the 2800 block of West Observatory Drive, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Park rangers made their way down to the car and found the female driver alert and talking. The extent of her possible injuries was not immediately known. "Firefighters are on scene and making their way down with equipment, to assess the situation to determine the safest method of bringing the patient up to the road for treatment/transport as required," the LAFD said in a statement. The Fire Department's Air Operations unit was also summoned to the scene. Video from AIR7 HD showed first responders extricating the woman from the vehicle and securing her onto a rescue litter. She was then hoisted up to a hovering helicopter and transported to a hospital. The cause of the crash was under investigation. ABC 7

L.A. Firefighters Rescue Owlet That Fell Off Roof In Woodland Hills
Los Angeles city firefighters on Monday rescued an owlet that had fallen out of a nest on the roof of a Woodland Hills home, officials said. A resident called the Los Angeles Fire Department to report that the owlet had fallen. The homeowner had already contacted Animal Services and the Humane Society, but had not heard back from either agency. Firefighters responded and placed a ladder on a stairwell so they could reach the nest. “Probationary Firefighter Hayley Denny donned personal protective equipment and carefully picked up the owlet. She climbed the ladder and successfully placed it back into the nest,” Margaret Stewart, a Fire Department spokesperson told KTLA in an email. The homeowners had been using the back entrance of the home to avoid disturbing the rest of the owls in the nest by their front entrance. “Doing everything they could to protect the owls!” Stewart said in the email. KTLA 5

Coronavirus Cases On The Rise In L.A. County, Prompting Calls For Spring Break Caution
Coronavirus cases are once again on the rise in Los Angeles County, according to data released Monday, prompting officials to urge residents to keep up safety protocols as the spring break holiday season arrives. Data show that for the seven-day period that ended Monday, an average of 960 new cases were reported daily countywide, which equates to 67 cases a week for every 100,000 residents. That's up 23% from the previous week, when L.A. County reported an average of 783 cases a day. Caseloads of this magnitude remain a far cry from the tens of thousands of new daily infections during the height of the Omicron surge. In mid-January, L.A. County was reporting 42,000 new coronavirus cases a day. Nevertheless, the trendline is the source of some concern, especially given the proliferation of BA.2 — an Omicron subvariant estimated to be 30% to 60% more contagious than the earlier version that swept the globe last fall and winter. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA City Council Seeks To Increase Sanitation Staff To Address Illegal Dumping
As part of a plan to address illegal street dumping across Los Angeles, the City Council took steps Wednesday to have the Bureau of Sanitation double the number of staff that responds to calls about the issue. The council's motion, which passed 14-0, instructs the Bureau of Sanitation to expedite a plan to address illegal dumping, including through the hiring of 61 positions, with some of the new hires being added to the teams that keep city sidewalks and public areas clean, sanitary, safe and accessible by removing abandoned waste. The plan will be considered during budget talks in coming weeks for fiscal year 2022-23, which will need to allocate $4.46 million for salaries and expenses and $10.7 million for a fleet of 25 collection vehicles to expand the bulky item pickup program. Councilman Kevin de León -- who is on the Budget and Finance Committee and was one of the leaders of the effort -- said that the council's approval of the plan Wednesday signifies that it will be included in the budget. CBS 2

LA Business Council Urges Policy Reforms For LA To Meet Housing Goals
The Los Angeles Business Council called Wednesday for the city to make sweeping reforms to meet its goal of creating nearly 500,000 new residential units by 2029. The City Council unanimously approved the Housing Element Update 2021-29 last year as a guide that lays the groundwork for creating 456,643 new units, with at least 184,721 being affordable for low-income households. During its 20th Annual Mayoral Housing, Transportation and Jobs Summit on Wednesday, the LABC urged officials to make major policy changes in order to meet that goal. “The City Council deserves great credit for setting an ambitious goal to bridge the housing shortage and related affordability gap that is widening by the day, but without significant reform and a blueprint, that goal will not be met,” LABC President Mary Leslie said. Los Angeles will need to produce 57,000 units per year to meet the goal, but since 2014, it has been producing only about 16,700 units per year, according to the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, a process required by the state that aims to ensure cities and counties plan for enough housing.

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: