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 22, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Lethal Drug Cocktails And Two Women Left For Dead Bring L.A. Cops Back To Old Rape Cases
When men dropped the lifeless bodies of two women outside hospitals, police immediately suspected foul play. Christy Giles, 24, died that Saturday in November. Her friend, Hilda Cabrales Arzola, was taken off life support a few weeks later, the day before her 27th birthday. Los Angeles detectives soon figured out that the men, one a small-time actor and the other a hanger-on to Hollywood fringes, had been lying when they claimed to have found the women passed out on a curb. One was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, while the other and a third friend were arrested as accessories to the crime. But since their arrests in December, the case has only grown more complicated. After reviewing the evidence against the men, prosecutors from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office concluded there wasn't enough to charge them and told police to keep investigating. The two men arrested as accessories were released from jail. But the man at the center of the case, David Pearce, remains in custody, charged with raping or assaulting four women before he ever met Giles and Cabrales. He is accused of drugging, then assaulting each of the women while they were incapacitated, according to prosecutors' court filings. Los Angeles Times

Brianna Kupfer's Accused Killer Appears In LA Court A Day After Refusing To Show Up
The man accused of killing Brianna Kupfer appeared in court Thursday after refusing to show up the day before. Police say Shawn Laval Smith, 31, allegedly stabbed the 24-year-old to death while she was working alone in a Hancock Park furniture store back in January. Smith experienced a mental episode in court and did not enter a plea due to the breakdown. Smith was arrested in Pasadena back in January after he was spotted by a bartender at a restaurant who recognized him from photos authorities distributed in their search for him, and called 911. Officers found Smith at a bus bench, arrested him and turned him over to the Los Angeles Police Department. According to court records obtained by Eyewitness News, Smith was arrested nearly a dozen times beginning in 2010 in South Carolina. He was also arrested in 2020 for a misdemeanor in Covina. The Covina Police Department told ABC7 he was arrested for possession of stolen property in which he was cited and later released. Smith is currently being held on $2 million bail. ABC 7

Suspect Arrested In Connection With Homicide Outside Venice Bridge Home
Detectives have arrested a man they say is linked to a shooting outside the Venice Bridge Home that left one person dead. On Friday, April 8, 2022, a 34-year-old homeless man was shot to death outside the ABH at 1 a.m. On Thursday, April 15, The Los Angeles Police Department's West Bureau Homicide arrested 29-year-old Rene Deleon --who was also homeless -in connection with the homicide. The arrest was made at the corner of Rose Avenue and Main Street, according to detectives. Deleon was out on bail for previous arrests of a stolen car and possession of a firearm. He is being held on a $3million bond. WestSide Current

2 People, Dog Shot In South L.A.
Two people and a dog were injured in a South Los Angeles shooting Thursday afternoon, officials said. The incident was reported about 2:25 p.m. near the intersection of 117th and Main streets in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Responding officers requested two ambulances for two victims with gunshot wounds, and animal control for a dog that was also shot. The victims' conditions were unknown. It is also unclear what may have led up to the shooting. Another shooting was reported about five minutes later at 114th Street and Gorman Avenue. Police said it was too early to tell if the two shootings are related. No further details about the initial shooting were available. KTLA 5

Charity Worker Finds Suspicious Bags Inside Donated Stuffed Reindeer
A charity worker in Los Angeles got a big surprise when he looked inside a stuffed toy reindeer. The worker noticed a hole at the bottom of the reindeer and went to inspect it. As the man begins to inspect the toy, three large bags of a white-powdery substance fall out. The man immediately called police. Officers with LAPD took the reindeer and the bags in as evidence, noting that the substance resembled cocaine wrapped in clear saran warp. The store worker told Storyful the stuffed animal arrived along with a selection of other "weird" items. The LAPD is investigating.  FOX 11

Woman Last Seen In Leimert Park Reported Missing
A 73 -year-old woman was reported missing Thursday evening after last being seen in Leimert Park. Kathleen Alexander was last seen Monday on the 4200 block of Bronson Avenue, near Stocker Street, police said. Alexander is Black, 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighs 208 pounds, has black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information about Parker or her whereabouts was asked to call Los Angeles Police Department's Missing Persons Unit during business hours at 213-996-1800.Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Death Sentence In 1982 Sun Valley Killings Overturned
The state Supreme Court Thursday overturned the death sentence of a Sun Valley man twice convicted of the 1982 killings of his father, stepmother and stepsister, ruling that his attorneys inappropriately told jurors in both trials that he admitted carrying out all three slayings, even though he only conceded to killing his father. In a nearly 80-page ruling, the high court upheld Robert Maurice Bloom's first-degree murder conviction for the April 22, 1982, shooting death of his father, Robert Bloom Sr. But it tossed out his second-degree murder convictions for the killings of stepmother Josephine Bloom and 8-year-old stepsister Sandra Hughes Bloom. With those convictions vacated, the court also overturned the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders and Bloom's sentence of death. According to the ruling, Los Angeles County prosecutors can seek to retry the now-58-year-old Bloom -- who was 18 at the time of the killings -- on murder charges involving the stepmother and stepsister and the special circumstance allegation "if they so choose." "At trial, defense counsel conceded Bloom's responsibility for the deaths of all three victims in an effort to pursue a mental capacity defense to the murder charges," according to the court's ruling. NBC 4

2 Women Implicated In Deadly 2012 Shooting Outside Westlake Church To Be Released
Two women whose murder convictions stemming from a shooting outside a Westlake church a decade ago were overturned by an appeals court panel are expected to be released from custody, with prosecutors announcing Wednesday, April 20, they were unable to pursue a retrial because of changes in state law. A three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in February that the state Legislature had “substantially modified the law relating to accomplice liability for murder and attempted murder” following the original 2015 convictions of Janeth Lopez, now 32, and Ivy Navarrete, now 40. The panel ordered the case to be remanded to give the prosecution an opportunity to retry the two on a “legally viable theory of murder and attempted murder and to retry the criminal gang enhancement” involving the Nov. 4, 2012, killing of Andres Ordonez. The panel upheld the pair's November 2015 convictions for vandalism. In court Wednesday, the prosecution announced it was unable to proceed with a retrial on murder and attempted murder charges against the women, or the gang enhancement. As a result, the pair were re-sentenced to time served for the misdemeanor vandalism count. Los Angeles Daily News

LA County Sheriff's Detectives Mark 4/20 With Arrests, Raids On Illegal Marijuana Dispensaries
Los Angeles County sheriff drug investigators celebrated 4/20 by arresting dozens of people and seizing a large quantity of guns and drugs from illegal dispensaries across the county's unincorporated communities. Authorities on Thursday -- which happened to be 4/20, the day celebrated by marijuana users across the globe – announced the results of the raids conducted at 19 locations in East Los Angeles, Florence-Firestone, and Walnut Park over the last few days. According to Lt. Anthony Eastern, acting captain of the sheriff's Narcotics Bureau, approximately 90 people were arrested and detectives recovered 1,000 pounds of cannabis concentrate, 800 pounds of cannabis flower, and a large amount of methamphetamine. At least a dozen firearms, including an assault rifle and a ghost gun, were also recovered, along with thousands of dollars in U.S. currency. The search warrants were executed as part of an ongoing effort to crackdown on illegal marijuana dispensaries. CBS 2

‘Beyond Outrageous': L.A. Company Faked COVID Test Results, Authorities Allege
A company accused of handing out fake results for hundreds of coronavirus tests will pay more than $20 million in a settlement announced by Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer. Feuer and Dist. Atty. George Gascón accused Sameday Technologies and its chief executive, Felix Huettenbach, of sending fake results to hundreds of people, telling them they had tested negative for the coronavirus when laboratories had not actually run their tests. Some tests were never processed at all, according to the complaint filed in court Wednesday. More than 500 test results are “confirmed or suspected to be faked, falsified, or forged,” the attorneys wrote. In their complaints, they alleged Sameday would forge a negative result — at the direction of its CEO — when someone who had not gotten their result in time complained or threatened to report the company. Sameday said in a statement that it was founded in September 2020 “to make fast, reliable COVID testing available to everyone.” “In the early days, amidst the chaos of massive surges in demand for services, and shortages in supplies, we failed to meet the standards for excellence our customers deserve,” the company said. “We have corrected the problems that arose back in 2020 and have made significant investments in compliance and systems to ensure that we meet our customers' expectations.” Los Angeles Times

Baby Who May Have Ingested Narcotics Hospitalized Twice; Mother Arrested: Glendale Police
A baby who may have ingested narcotics was hospitalized twice Wednesday after possibly having ingested narcotics. Just before noon, patrol officers responded to the 400 block of West Dryden Street regarding a baby not breathing, Glendale Police Department said in a news release. Upon arrival, officers were informed that Glendale Fire Department personnel were transporting the infant to the hospital. During transport, paramedics noticed the child demonstrated signs indicative of narcotics ingestion and administered Narcan, the news release states. The baby responded immediately to the Narcan, indicating that opioids were ingested. “Shortly after the baby and mother arrived at the hospital, the mother refused to allow medical personnel to attend to the child, and quickly left the hospital with the child against doctor's orders,” police said. In fear that the baby would have a second overdose after the Narcan wore off, officers and fire department personnel went back to the residence to check on the child. Upon arrival, they noticed the baby was in the crib and appeared lethargic, police said. KTLA 5

Northern California Man Arrested After Biting, Stabbing Police Dog, Authorities Say
Authorities in the Bay Area arrested a man suspected of a break-in Wednesday after he stabbed and bit a police dog, officers said. Kurt Dasilva, 44, was booked into Solano County Jail on multiple felony charges after he was treated at a hospital, according to the Fairfield Police Department. Around 2 p.m., authorities received a report of a man breaking into a home in the 1700 block of Elm Street in the North Bay city, police said. The resident left the home while contacting dispatchers, police said. At the same time, authorities got a report from an Amazon driver that a man threatened to kill him and take his delivery truck. Officers responded and saw Dasilva running around inside the home, police said. They tried unsuccessfully to get him to come outside. Law enforcement eventually went inside to arrest Dasilva and deployed a police dog named Cort, police said. “The suspect bit K9 Cort in the face and stabbed him on his left side with a knife,” police said. “The suspect appeared to be under the influence of drugs. Officers were able to safely take the male into custody.” Cort was treated at UC Davis Veterinary Hospital and is recovering at home with his handler, police said. Los Angeles Times

Oldest Texas Death Row Inmate Executed For Police Officer's Death
Texas' oldest death row inmate was executed Thursday for killing a Houston police officer during a traffic stop nearly 32 years ago. Carl Wayne Buntion, 78, was executed at the state penitentiary in Huntsville. He was condemned for the June 1990 fatal shooting of Houston police officer James Irby, a nearly 20-year member of the force. The U.S. Supreme Court had declined a request by Buntion's attorneys to stop his execution. “I wanted the Irby family to know one thing: I do have remorse for what I did,” Buntion said while strapped to the Texas death chamber gurney. "I pray to God that they get the closure for me killing their father and Ms. Irby's husband. “I hope to see you in heaven some day and when you show up I will give you a big hug.” Buntion, joined by his spiritual adviser, began praying Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd...” as the lethal dose of the powerful sedative pentobarbital began. He took a deep breath, coughed once, then took three less pronounced breaths before all movement stopped. He was pronounced dead at 6:39 p.m., 13 minutes later. Several dozen motorcyclists, showing support for the slain motorcycle officer, loudly revved their engines as the execution took place, the roar clearly audible in the death chamber. Associated Press

Police: New York Cop Shot, In Critical Condition Days Before Retirement
A New York police officer was shot in the abdomen Wednesday afternoon and is in critical condition, News 12 reported. The unnamed officer is a 27-year veteran detective of the Yonkers Police Department and is set to retire in a few days, police said. The Yonkers detective was working with an FBI Safe Streets Task Force when he was shot, police said. An FBI agent returned fire, striking a suspect who later died. Police say there may have been as many as four suspects, but it's unclear how many opened fire. The detective is expected to survive, according to ABC 7. Two illegal guns were recovered at the scene, police said. The investigation is ongoing.  PoliceOne

Public Safety News

One Person Found Dead After Firefighters Respond To Report Of Fire In South LA
Firefighters Thursday evening found a person dead inside a South Los Angeles apartment while responding to reports of a fire. Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters were called about 9:40 p.m. to the apartment at 300 E. Washington Blvd., near Los Angeles Trade Technical College, on reports of a fire and found smoke coming from one unit, according to the department's Margaret Stewart. “Inside the unit they found food on the stove,” Stewart said. “There was no fire, only the smoke from the burnt food.” Responding firefighters searched the unit and found “an adult patient” lying unresponsive on the floor in the bathroom, Stewart said. Paramedics initiated life-saving measures, but the person was pronounced dead at the scene. The deceased's name and manner of death was not immediately known, but firefighters determined the death was “not considered to be related to the smoke in the unit,” Stewart said. No further details were immediately available.

1 Killed In Sylmar Plane Crash Along 210 Freeway
A small plane crashed into an embankment overlooking the 210 Freeway in Sylmar, killing the pilot, on Wednesday afternoon, April 20. The pilot was the sole occupant of the aircraft, Federal Aviation Administration officials said. An air-traffic controller at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, six miles from the crash, had advised the pilot to climb to 2,500 feet and fly in a “race-track pattern” along the 210 Freeway while waiting for clearance to land, according to recordings of radio communication. Then, at 12:27 p.m., he realized there was a problem. “(I) saw that (Cessna 337) Skymaster fall out of the sky, can you check if he's on the freeway?” he asked at least one other pilot in a tower broadcast at 12:27 p.m. “I visually observed it about 2.5 miles northwest of the 210/118 interchange there.” People were advised to avoid the area while crews searched through the wreckage and cleaned up a small fuel spill, fire officials said. The identity of the pilot had not been released as off Wednesday evening. The cause of the crash was under investigation by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board. Los Angeles Daily News

LAFD Fire Crews Respond To Mar Vista House Fire
Fire crews have extinguished a house fire in the 3600 block of South Meier Street in the Mar Vista area, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The first arriving 29 firefighters extinguished the fire in 19 minutes. Crews were not able to get through the front due to excessive storage conditions and were redirected to an alternate entry. Once inside, firefighters were able to extinguish with no injuries reported. The cause of the fire and dollar loss is to be determined.  WestSide Current

LA County Reinstates Mask Mandate For LAX, Buses, Trains, Taxi And Ride-Share Services
Those looking to fly in and out of LAX, as well as getting a ride in an Uber or Lyft in Los Angeles County, will once again need to mask up. The Los Angeles County Public Health plans to issue a countywide health order that will once again require masks to be worn on all public transit. This order, expected to kick in Friday, will also apply for buses, trains, taxis, ride-share services. The order also applies to bus terminals and airports across LA County, including LAX. LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer explained the agency's decision is based off CDC's stance that masks being worn in public transit will help slow the spread of COVID-19. "They are experts," Ferrer said in a teleconference. FOX 11

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: