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 21, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Angelenos Concerned As LA Follow-Home Robberies Trend Upward
In what has become an increasingly disturbing pattern, criminals followed a group of tourists celebrating a birthday from a nice restaurant in the Beverly Glen area, to the Coldwater Canyon Airbnb they were staying at and robbed them at gunpoint. The four victims tell investigators they actually noticed a luxury vehicle following them, and took a different route, even adding U-turns to lose them. Still, the moment they parked in the driveway, the vehicle appeared, with three armed men jumping out. They took all their belongings and forced them to take them inside the house, where one ended up being pistol whipped before the suspects ransacked the house and left. Investigators with LAPD's Robbery Homicide say they are looking into at least 250 of these. Just last week, LAPD Chief Michel Moore spoke about the explosion in this type of crime, which they have linked to at least a dozen LA area gangs. These are well planned and professionally executed, says one detective. In the first three months of 2022, there have been almost half s many as in all of last year, according to LAPD numbers, and while the department has a special task force dealing with the problem, and they have made some arrests, the problem continues. Neighbors we talked to are afraid, and upset. They are avoiding wearing flashy jewelry, or clothing. Some are even avoiding shopping at luxury stores in person, or going to expensive restaurants. Still, asks one resident, where is the accountability? Why aren't these criminals going to, and staying in, prison?  FOX 11

Garcetti Calls For 780 Police, 260 Firefighters And $1.2 Billion To Fight Homelessness
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is proposing an $11.8 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes $10.5 million for a climate equity program, an 8.5% increase for LAPD's operations, and funding to hire more firefighters and sanitation workers. He told reporters at a City Hall press conference, “We've made an incredibly strong economic recovery. This is good news. Better than good. It's great news. Our finances are in a very different place than just two years ago when we faced down the toughest economic moment of our lives.” The city is estimating $7.4 billion in revenue, 6.6% more than last year. The mayor is calling for aggressive hiring at LAPD, which is expected to lose more than 500 officers through attrition. His plan allows for training and hiring 780 officers, to increase LAPD's ranks from just under 9,500 to more than 9,700 police officers. Garcetti is also calling for $7.3 million to carry out recommendations from an after-action report that looked at the city's response to the 2020 racial justice protests. The city's handling of the protests led to a lawsuit from demonstrators who experienced brutal treatment by law enforcement. His total LAPD budget is set at $3.2 billion, which includes pensions, healthcare and other costs. Los Angeles Daily News

Man Accused Of Killing Griffith Park Cyclist Charged With Murder
A driver accused of hitting a cyclist in Griffith Park over the weekend has been charged with murder, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón said Wednesday. Andrew Jelmert was near the end of a 67-mile training ride when Jairo Martinez allegedly hit him from behind while trying to pass another car, according to investigators. Jelmert, 77, died at the scene, renewing calls among cyclists for more bike protections inside the 4,200-acre park. In addition to murder, prosecutors charged Martinez, 37, with fatal hit-and-run and driving with a suspended or revoked license after being convicted of driving under the influence. He was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. Jelmert was pedaling northbound on Crystal Spring Drive not far from the merry-go-round when he was struck on Saturday around 3:45 p.m. He died at the scene. Police say Martinez abandoned the gray BMW he was driving and ran down a nearby embankment but was caught by park rangers after hikers identified him. He appeared to have been drinking, according to police. A real estate agent at Deasy Penner Podley, Jelmert was one of hundreds of cyclists on the training run in preparation for a seven-day, 545-mile ride to benefit the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Los Angeles LGBT Center. Los Angeles Times

Family Of Man Critically Injured In Shooting On Sunset Strip Seeking Public's Help In Finding Gunman
The family of a young musician who was shot in the head while trying to stop a robbery on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood over the weekend is asking the public for help in finding the person responsible. "For someone to want to take his light and put it out ... absolutely it angers me," said Donna Martin, the mother of 27-year-old Chris Martin. She spoke with Eyewitness News on Wednesday and said her son remains hospitalized in grave condition. "It saddens me that my child's life, or any human being's life, doesn't mean anything to a person who can pick up a gun and attempt to take my child's life," said the mother. The shooting broke out in the 8200 block of W. Sunset Boulevard, near Roxbury Road, at around 3 a.m. Saturday. The Los Angeles Police Department said the suspect was committing a robbery when Martin yelled at him to stop. That's when the suspect shot Martin and then took off, according to investigators. Donna Martin said her son, who is from San Diego, was in town for a friend's birthday. He was trying to help his friend, who was apparently the one who was being robbed. ABC 7

LAPD Seeks Metro Robbery, Stabbing Suspect
Detectives are looking for a man accused of robbing and stabbing a passenger on a Metro train platform. Around 5 p.m. Feb. 12, patrol officers responded to a radio call of an assault with a deadly weapon on the 11600 block of Avalon Boulevard at the Metro Green Line, the Los Angeles Police Department said Wednesday. When officers arrived, they were told that a victim was transported to a local hospital by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics. Detectives then obtained surveillance video that captured the stabbing. Prior to the robbery, the victim and the suspect were inside the train. When the train stopped at the Avalon platform, the suspect snatched the victim's cell phone out of his hand and exited the train, police said. The victim chased the suspect onto the platform and engaged in a physical struggle over the cellphone. The suspect then stabbed the victim and fled in an unknown direction, according to LAPD. The suspect is described as a 14-to-20-year-old Black man with black hair who is about 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs between 120-150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a light-colored blue shirt with an anime graphic design on the front, blue jeans and two-tone colored shoes.   KTLA 5

3 Men Kidnap 4 Northern California Tourists, Steal Roughly $70,000 Worth Of Property, LAPD Says
The Los Angeles Police Department is now calling a follow-home robbery in the Beverly Crest area a kidnapping. Investigators say three armed men followed four Northern California tourists from a restaurant in the Beverly Grove area to their Airbnb on Coldwater Canyon early Wednesday morning. The suspects stole about $70,000 worth of clothes and jewelry. "This one is alarming in which the victims were forced to go inside of a residence where they were taken from a place safer, in front public view, out into a residence, which makes this a much more serious crime," Det. Chris Marsden said. "It's a kidnapping, which, when we catch them, this would be punishable up to life in prison." No one was seriously hurt. The suspects were described as males between the ages of 19 and 25. They say there is no indication this is gang-related, but it does come after last week's warning from the LAPD that nearly 20 gangs were sending out crews to follow people home and rob people in wealthy neighborhoods. The LAPD says there have been more than 250 similar incidents over the last year. ABC 7

Shooting Suspect Arrested In Koreatown Following Police Pursuit
A man wanted in connection with a non-injury shooting was arrested in Koreatown Wednesday evening after leading authorities on an approximately 50-minute pursuit that began in the South Gate area. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies began pursuing the man in a blue Nissan truck about 8:30 p.m. Authorities stopped pursuing the truck and switched to tracking mode as the vehicle made its way on freeways and streets through South Los Angeles, Pico-Union, Westlake and downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles Police Department officers eventually began pursuing the truck as it entered Koreatown, and the man pulled over at the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Westmoreland Avenue, near the Hollywood (101) Freeway, about 9:20 p.m. The man surrendered to police and was taken into custody without further incident.

A$AP Rocky Out On Bond After Being Arrested In Los Angeles In Connection To 2021 Shooting
A$AP Rocky is out on bond after being arrested at the Los Angeles airport in connection with a shooting in November 2021. The 33-year-old rapper, who is having a baby with his girlfriend Rihanna, was arriving on a private plane from Barbados when he was arrested. According to multiple law enforcement sources, Rihanna was with Rocky when the arrest was made. A search warrant has also been executed at the rapper's residence in Los Angeles. A$AP Rocky – real name is Rakim Athelaston Mayers – was taken to jail at 12.42pm local time and bail was set at $550,000 (£421,291), according to the LA County Sheriff's Department. The rapper's attorney Alan Jackson confirmed that his client had been arrested, and released three hours after posting bond. Rocky is the suspect in a shooting that occured on 6 November near Vista Del Mar and Selma Avenue in California at approximately 10.15 pm, according to the LAPD. In a statement, the police said the rapper allegedly fired a shot after an argument. The shooting victim told the police that Rocky, who was walking with two others, approached him with a handgun on the street. He also claimed that the musician shot at him three to four times and that he believed one of the bullets grazed his left hand, according to police reports. Yahoo! News

High School Basketball Coach In LA, San Gabriel Valley Accused Of Lewd Acts With Minors
Authorities have arrested a high school basketball coach and referee accused of lewd acts with minors, and authorities believe there may be more victims. Pasadena resident Alexander Miles, 42, was arrested April 15 and four days later charged with three counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, and one count of using a minor for sex acts. He remains in custody on $340,000 bail. Miles' arrest is the result of a month-long investigation that revealed he was communicating with many people - mostly women - on Snapchat, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. Miles was first reported to authorities on March 16 when a 13-year-old girl told them she was contacted on Snapchat by the suspect in October and November of last year. The girl told authorities Miles offered to give her alcohol and narcotics in exchange for explicit pictures and videos. Miles is believed to have been a high school basketball coach for several schools in the San Gabriel Valley and a high school basketball referee in the Los Angeles area. Specific names of schools were not immediately available. Investigators believe there may be more victims.  FOX 11

Man Sentenced To Life Without Parole For 11-Year-Old Boy's Killing An ex-con was sentenced Wednesday to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for 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 last month 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. A second man is also suspected of being involved in the crime, but there is no admissible evidence linking him to the killing, the prosecutor said after the verdict.

Homicide Investigation Launched After 39-Year-Old Man Fatally Shot In Inglewood
Los Angeles Police Department homicide detectives are investigating the fatal shooting of a man that occurred in Inglewood Saturday morning. When officers arrived to the scene on North Edgewood Street at around 7:25 a.m., they found one man suffering from at least one gunshot wound. First responders performed life-saving techniques on the victim, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. He was identified as 39-year-old Dejuan Freeman of Inglewood. Anyone with information about the death was asked to call homicide detectives at (310) 412-5246. CBS 2

LASD Deputies Detain Pursuit, Robbery Suspect In Lynwood
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies were in pursuit of a reported robbery suspect Wednesday evening. The pursuit began at around 10:30 p.m. in Lynwood, after the suspect is said to have held up a business in the area. Deputies were led along the 710 Freeway and I-105 Freeway before the suspect exited the vehicle at 10:36 p.m., when he attempted to flee from the scene on foot. He was taken into custody shortly after on Long Beach Boulevard and Josephine Street. Sky9 overhead showed over 10 LASD cruisers on the scene at the tail end of the pursuit. The front end of the vehicle showed heavy damage, with the entire left headlight missing. CBS

Probe Underway After Man In His 20s Is Killed In Bellflower
Authorities Sunday continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding a deadly shooting in Bellflower. The shooting near Alondra Boulevard and Eucalyptus Avenue unfolded just after 8:30 p.m. Saturday. It was then that authorities responded to the scene regarding a gunshot victim call. When they arrived, they located the victim described as a Hispanic man in his 20s. Investigators say an altercation between the victim and two men unfolded, resulting in one drawing a handgun and opening fire. The victim died at the scene. The incident was being investigated as gang-related. CBS 2

Oldest Texas Death Row Inmate Faces Execution In Cop's Death
Texas' oldest death row inmate faces execution Thursday for killing a Houston police officer nearly 32 years ago during a traffic stop. Carl Wayne Buntion, 78, was sentenced to death for the June 1990 fatal shooting of Houston police officer James Irby, a nearly 20-year member of the force. Buntion had been on parole for just six weeks when he shot the 37-year-old Irby. Buntion, who had an extensive criminal record, was a passenger in the car Irby pulled over. In 2009, an appeals court vacated Buntion's sentence, but another jury resentenced him to death three years later. Before his death, James Irby had talked of retirement and spending more time with his two children, who were 1 and 3 years old at the time, said his wife, Maura Irby. "He was ready to fill out the paperwork and stay home and open a feed store," Maura Irby, 60, said. "He wanted to be the dad that was there to go to all the ballgames and the father-daughter dances. He was a super guy, the love of my life." Various state and federal courts have turned down appeals by Buntion's lawyers to stop his execution. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on Tuesday rejected his clemency request. Buntion's attorneys say he is responsible for Irby's death and "deserved to be punished severely for that crime." Associated Press

Video: North Carolina Man Torches 4 Squad Cars Outside 7-Eleven
While several North Carolina State Highway Patrol troopers in Iredell county were on their break inside a 7-Eleven in Statesville, a local man was busy setting four of their patrol cars on fire, according to law enforcement officials. The troopers took their break in the 7-Eleven on Turnersburg Highway at approximately 9:50 p.m. on Monday, according to a news release from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, when a passerby alerted them to the fires. This passerby also verbally identified the suspect. The troopers extinguished the fires but, three vehicles were so badly damaged it was necessary to tow them from the scene, according to the release. One of the troopers recognized the suspect, who was still in the immediate area, and was later identified as Daniel Francis Zelo, 49, of Statesville, and placed him in custody, according to the release. Iredell County EMS responded to evaluate the troopers for any smoke inhalation issues, the release said. None were transported to the hospital. The Statesville Police Department is handling the ongoing investigation and pending charges.  The Charlotte Observer

Florida Prosecutor's Crackdown On Repeat Offenders Leads To Drop In Violent Crimes As Dem City Crime Soars
By targeting known violent criminals and seeking stiff penalties for the worst offenders, a Republican Florida prosecutor has reduced violent crime in her community as big cities with Democratic district attorneys around the country, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, are witnessing crime spikes. “In 2021, Jacksonville's murders were down 30% and overall shootings down 17% from the year prior, according to [Jacksonville Sheriff's Office] data for non-domestic shooting incidents,” David Chapman, a spokesperson for the Fourth Circuit State Attorney's Office, told Fox News Digital. “Given last year's downturn, our numbers to date aren't far off the mark and thankfully have not spiked like other cities.” The Fourth Circuit covers Clay, Nassau and Duval counties and the city of Jacksonville and is led by State Attorney Melissa Nelson, who made waves for finding new ways to prosecute known criminals, such as pursuing firearms charges in connection with guns flaunted in music videos. She has sought stiffer sentences for people convicted of gun crimes. FOX News

Public Safety News

1 Person Killed In Plane Crash Near 210 Freeway In Sylmar
A person was reported dead after a small plane crashed Wednesday alongside the 210 Freeway in Sylmar, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. The incident, involving a single-engine, private plane, was reported just before 12:30 p.m. Fire crews responded to the scene and confirmed that one person had died in the crash. No other occupants were found after a search of the surrounding area, officials said. Damage to the plane was extensive and resulted in a small fuel leak that was contained by fire personnel. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were notified of the crash and launched investigations. The plane was expected to remain at the scene for at least several hours as agencies worked to investigate. The Hubbard Street onramp to the westbound 210 was closed due to the incident as of 1:15 p.m., California Highway Patrol officials said. Los Angeles Times

LA County Health Officials Urge COVID Caution As Students Return From Spring Break
Los Angeles County health officials Wednesday urged parents and students to take caution as classes start back up after spring break to protect against the spread of COVID-19. "As schools re-open after the spring break and spring holidays, additional precautions are warranted given the increased circulation of the more infectious BA.2 subvariant in LA County," Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. "Identifying those who are infected early so that they can isolate from others requires continued emphasis on testing. This is especially important at schools and we urge parents to take advantage of school-sponsored testing opportunities, including using the antigen test kits sent home before the spring break and allowing their children to participate in routine school-based testing. Anyone with symptoms is urged to stay home. "And while masking indoors is not required at most schools, safety at schools is significantly improved if students and staff are wearing high quality, well-fitting masks when indoors. This is particularly important at schools where testing after the spring break indicates significant numbers of infected students and staff." CBS 2

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: