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

May 4, 2022
Law Enforcement News

LAPD: Homicides Continue To Rise, 36 Reported In April
Last month was Los Angeles' deadliest April due to a rise homicides, the most reported in the last four years. 36 homicides were reported in April 2022, compared to 21 from 2021 and 24 in 2020, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday. "This is at least a four-year high," Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission. The increase in April contributed to a 2022 year-to-date rise in homicides, from 116 last year to 122 this year, Moore said. More than 20% of the city's homicide victims have been homeless, Moore said. The police chief said the driving factor in the increase in violence is "a spasm of violence" within LAPD's 77th Division area, where 11 homicides occurred in April, compared to one in 2021 and five in 2020. The 77th Division includes Athens Park, Chesterfield Square, Gramercy Park, Hyde Park, South Park- 51st and Menlo, Vermont Knolls, Vermont Park, View Heights, Morningside Park and West Park Terrace. Moore spoke to the commission on April 19 about an increase in gun violence in the 77th Division area. He said Tuesday that "some of those did result in homicides and some did not." Shooting violence in Los Angeles increased by 33% in April, with an additional 32 victims in April 2022 compared to April 2021, Moore said. The city has experienced an increase of three shooting victims so far in 2022 compared to this point in 2021. FOX 11

Tactical Alert Temporarily Ordered After LAPD Officer Injured By Protesters In DTLA
A citywide tactical alert was ordered Tuesday after a Los Angeles Police Department officer was injured while attempting to control a group of protesters near Pershing Square. Officers were "facilitating a group of 250'' who were walking from Broadway and First Street, near Los Angeles City Hall, to Pershing Square just after 8:15 p.m., according to LAPD Chief Michel Moore. The group of protesters began to take the intersection" once they reached Pershing Square, leading officers to attempt "to communicate, clear and provide dispersal order to the group," Moore said just after 9:05 p.m. Moore said the group began throwing rocks and bottles at the LAPD officers, and one officer was injured. An ambulance was called to the scene, but authorities could not confirm the officer's condition. Officers were attempting to get the group to disperse from the area as of about 9:20 p.m. No further details were immediately available. NBC 4

Moms Rallying To Recall LA DA George Gascon Say He ‘Does Not Care About Victims'; DA Defends Reforms
Mothers of children who were victims of violent crime spoke to Fox News about the effort to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon. FOX News Video

LAPD: Man Barricaded In Venice Boardwalk Bathroom Taken Into Custody
A man who barricaded himself in a bathroom on the Venice Boardwalk was arrested Tuesday afternoon. The barricade at public restrooms located on Ocean Front Walk and Dudley Avenue was reported around 4:11 p.m. ,the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Police say the suspect was reported to have been involved in a battery incident and was uncooperative when officers arrived on scene. Backup was called. Police were able to take the suspect into custody shortly after. The exact circumstances leading up to the barcade were not immediately released. The suspect is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon. This is the third assault with a deadly weapon incident in the area in a short period of time. On April 16, a 25 year old homelessness man was stabbed by another person experiencing homeless. Then on May 2, a suspect was taken into custody after an early morning stabbing on the Venice Boardwalk. That incident was also believed to be homeless related. Nearby residents say an encampment at the Dudley pagodas has grown dangerous and out of control.  WestSide Current

Truck Driver Leads LAPD On Pursuit With Crates Of Marijuana Falling From Truck
A truck driver was taken into custody after leading police on a pursuit through Los Angeles with crates of marijuana falling from the truck. LAPD received reports of an assault with a deadly weapon and shots fired at the 900 block of Venice Boulevard around 3:30 a.m., LAPD officer Lomeli said. When officers arrived at the scene, there wasn't evidence of an assault but they were pointed to a suspect in a stolen white box truck, authorities said. Officers tried to stop the truck, but the driver did not yield and it kickstarted a pursuit, Lomeli said. Sparks were flying behind the truck as the driver fled authorities with the truck's cargo door still wide open, video shows. Crates of what appeared to be cannabis could be seen falling from the truck onto the streets as police cruisers followed closely behind the speeding truck. The chase continued to 41st Place and Wadsworth Avenue in the Historic South-Central neighborhood of South L.A., where the pursuit ultimately came to an end and the driver was taken into custody. Authorities did not release information on the suspect's identity. KTLA 5

Dave Chappelle Attacked By Man With Knife, Replica Gun During Hollywood Bowl Show Comedian
Dave Chappelle was attacked onstage while performing at the Hollywood Bowl Tuesday night. At about 10:40 p.m., cell phone video showed a man storm the stage and tackle Chappelle, who fell to the ground. Security immediately swarmed the suspect, chased him behind the stage and arrested him. The man was armed with a knife blade and a replica gun, Los Angeles police confirmed. Brianna Sacks, a reporter for BuzzFeed who was at the event, told CBSLA that Chappelle had finished his stand-up set and returned to the stage to introduce rappers Mos Def and Talib Kweli when the attack occurred. "The guy got to the back of the stage and they were kicking him and beating him up, it seemed like for a good amount of time," Sacks said. "Chappelle was definitely shocked and was making jokes about it as it was going on. It was very chaotic, people were pretty stunned." Following the assault, Chappelle again returned to the stage with several comedians, including Chris Rock. Video showed Rock joking to Chappelle, "Was that Will Smith?", in reference to the actor slapping Rock on stage at the Oscars back in March.  CBS 2

Man Convicted Of Murdering Estranged Wife
A man was convicted Monday of the first-degree murder of his estranged wife, whose badly burned body was discovered at a homeless encampment in Granada Hills nearly five years ago. Jurors deliberated less than a day before finding Hector Veloz, 50, guilty of the June 2017 slaying of Sandra Velasco, 52. The panel also found that Veloz personally used a knife in the attack against his wife of two years. The coroner's office could not determine how the woman died, but the prosecution believes she was stabbed, given the discovery of a knife with the victim's blood on it and a large amount of blood in the back seat of her car, according to Deputy District Attorney John McKinney. She had also suffered blunt force trauma resulting in a skull fracture, according to the prosecutor. In his closing argument, McKinney said that the victim had changed the locks on her Panorama City home just over a week after an incident of domestic violence involving Veloz and that she was last seen on June 18, 2017, at a storage unit where she was trying to drop off clothing he had requested.“This was on a brutal killing that went on for some time,” the prosecutor told jurors.

Los Angeles County Extends, Doubles Reward In Fatal Shooting Of 4-Year-Old Boy In Altadena
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday doubled the reward being offered for information leading to the person who killed a 4-year-old boy nearly six years ago in Altadena. Salvador Esparza III, who lived in Monrovia but was visiting family friends when the gunfire erupted, was shot on July 5, 2016. The county Board of Supervisors originally offered a $20,000 reward for information in the case and it has since increased. The reward had been set to expire later this month, but the board approved a motion to both extend and increase the reward offer to $50,000. "My heart aches for Salvador's family, their loss is unimaginable," said Supervisor Kathryn Barger in a statement. "This innocent preschooler was robbed of his potential and future... Justice for the Esparza family must be served." Sheriff's officials said the gunman walked up to the home, located just east of the 210 Freeway, and fired at least 13 rounds, striking the 4-year-old boy and a 27-year-old man, who was a family friend not related to the child. Both were taken to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, where the boy was pronounced dead. The man survived. ABC 7

3 Armed Robbers Sought In Beverly Hills Home Invasion
Police are searching for three armed home-invasion robbers who struck a residence in Beverly Hills Tuesday morning. The incident occurred around 5 a.m. on North Camden Drive, just north of Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills Police Department Lt. Trejo said. The three armed intruders were wearing masks and hooded sweatshirts when they entered the home, Trejo said. There was no immediate word on what weapons the intruders were carrying or what was taken in the robbery. Investigators are also looking into the possibility that this was a follow-home robbery, Trejo said. No injuries were reported but Trejo was told the victims were “visibly shaken” when they flagged down a city worker for help. Detectives are looking for surveillance video inside the home and are also checking for any street cameras that may have recorded the suspects. KTLA 5

Former NFL Star Adrian Peterson Agrees To Complete 20 Hours Of Domestic Violence, Alcohol Counseling Courses
Former NFL player Adrian Peterson has agreed to complete domestic violence and alcohol counseling within the next six months after he was arrested at LAX in February on suspicion of domestic violence, the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office said on Monday. City Attorney spokesman Rob Wilcox said Peterson agreed to complete 20 sessions of domestic violence and alcohol counseling within the next six months as an alternative to prosecution during a hearing on Friday. The case had gone to the City Attorney's Office for misdemeanor filing consideration after the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office declined to file a felony case against Peterson in February. The one-time NFL MVP was arrested on Feb. 13 at Los Angeles International Airport after an alleged domestic violence incident on board a United Airlines flight. Los Angeles Airport police say they responded to a verbal and physical altercation between a man and a woman on that flight, arresting Peterson was on suspicion of corporal injury to a spouse. Peterson posted $50,000 bail and was released the same day. In an Instagram post, his wife, Ashley, confirmed she and her husband argued on a plane, but said at no point did Peterson hit or strike her. CBS 2

Man, 39, Reported Missing In Santa Monica
Police Tuesday sought the public's help to find a 39-year-old man who was last seen in Santa Monica more than five months ago. Beau Mann was last seen on Nov. 28 near the intersection of Berkeley Street and Santa Monica Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Mann is white, 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 220 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue baseball cap, dark sweatshirt, dark pants and black shoes, and he was carrying a large backpack. Mann's family is concerned he “may be struggling with mental health issues,” and anyone with information on his whereabouts was asked to call the LAPD Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800. Calls made during non-business hours or on weekends can be directed to 877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at .

Man Found In Pasadena Driveway With Fatal Gunshot Wound
Police are searching for whoever killed a man who was found on a driveway in Pasadena with a gunshot wound Monday night. Authorities were alerted to the incident in the 1700 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue by the city's ShotSpotter gunfire-detection system at about 8:42 p.m., Pasadena Police Department Lt. Taglioretti said. The ShotSpotter system consists of a series of sensors set up around the city that alerts the Police Department when shots are fired. Arriving officers found a man with at least one gunshot wound down in the driveway of an apartment building. The victim, later identified by the L.A. County coroner's office as 28-year-old Eric Lynn Thomas, was pronounced dead at the scene, Taglioretti said. No information was available on a possible motive for the shooting. Investigators have not released a description of the shooting suspect or suspects. Anyone with information about the deadly shooting is urged to contact the Pasadena Police Department at 626-744-4241. You can also submit an anonymous tip online at . KTLA 5

Three Charged With Murder In Sacramento Shooting, Nation's Deadliest This Year Sacramento authorities on Tuesday charged three alleged gang members with murder in a rampage that killed six and wounded 12 in a barrage of bullets outside a Sacramento nightclub strip in the early hours of April 3. Sacramento County Dist. Atty. Anne Marie Schubert said Smiley Martin, his brother Dandrae Martin, and rival gang member Mtula Payton are each charged with the murders of three women — Melinda Davis, Johntaya Alexander and Yamile Martinez-Andrade — struck in the crossfire of their shootout. The Martin brothers are in custody, but Sacramento Police Chief Kathy Lester said Payton, who fled the crime scene in a white Chevrolet Equinox, remains a fugitive. “We have currently a team of detectives doing everything they can do to locate Mr. Payton during the course of this investigation,” she said. The suspects were not charged with the murders of the three alleged rival gang members killed , Sergio Harris, Devazia Turner, and Joshua Hoye-Lucchesi. Those three, authorities said, were engaged in firing guns themselves until they were cut down in hails of gunfire. Los Angeles Times

Theft Ring That Stole $1 Million In Jewelry In California Apprehended, Bonta Says
A retail theft ring stole more than $1 million in jewelry from JCPenney and Sam's Club stores across California in 2020 and 2021, acting as a traveling crime wave, California's attorney general said Friday. Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta announced that state prosecutors have obtained guilty pleas from two members of an organized retail theft ring operating in the state and filed charges against another person accused of being involved in the criminal activity. The suspects were apprehended after a two-year California Highway Patrol operation to identify those responsible for the thefts across nine counties. Anton Salaam, Marion Paul Tilley and two other suspects committed retail theft at multiple JCPenney and Sam's Clubs stores, taking merchandise valued at well over $1 million, between September 2020 and February 2021, according to Bonta. He said the targeted burglaries are rooted in a kind of organized crime. Those dashing into the stores are mostly foot soldiers for others calling the shots from a safe distance. The announcement Friday is latest since a very public mass smash-and-grab robbery that occurred in San Francisco's Union Square targeting high-end retailers. Los Angeles Times

Suspected Drunk Driver Crashes Into Police Station, Says She Was ‘Following Her GPS'
A suspected drunk driver crashed through a police garage in Maine, authorities said in a Facebook post on Saturday. According to the Portland Maine Police Department, the 26-year-old female driver said she was simply following her GPS instructions. However, officers who responded to the scene quickly determined that her excessive blood alcohol level greatly contributed to her reckless driving across a pedestrian plaza, lodging the car through the stairs of the police department's garage. Police say no one was injured and the crash only resulted in some property damage. "Please don't drink and drive," police wrote.  FOX 11

Public Safety News

Overnight Fire Destroys Downtown LA Business
A textile business in downtown Los Angeles was destroyed early Sunday morning by a fire that tore through the building while firefighters attempted to save nearby units. Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters responded to a call around 3:42 a.m. on Sunday, about a structure fire at "Nice Cap," the textile business at 1325 South Los Angeles Street, LAFD spokesperson Margaret Stewart said. The two story building was part of a row of commercial businesses on the street, the LAFD said. Firefighters cut open multiple rolling steel doors with rotary saws to reach the inside of the building, but as they attempted to reach the largest part of the blaze -- on the second floor, toward the back of the unit -- the fire burned through the roof and caused a partial collapse of the building. The difficulty in reaching the fire was because of "the quantity of stacked, packed textiles," the LAFD said. NBC 4

LA County COVID Infections Take Off, But Hospitalizations Stay Low
Los Angeles County Director of Public Health says the number of new COVID-19 infections is growing quickly, but it has not translated into a higher number of hospitalizations. Dr. Barbara Ferrer, addressing the L.A. County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, said experts suspect about half of the new cases appearing locally involve the especially infectious BA.2.12.1, a new subvariant of the BA.2 omicron variant. "Since the end of March, there's been over a 200% increase in the seven-day average of cases," Ferrer told the supervisors. But the new cases, she said, have not led to a surge in hospital admissions, something she attributes to the past two years of preventative measures, like vaccinations. "There always is a small lag between cases and hospitalizations and deaths," said Ferrer. "But more importantly, we think this reflects the protective effects of vaccinations, boosters and now therapeutics." ABC 7

New Coronavirus Variants Emerge: BA.4, BA.5 Likely Reinfecting Omicron Survivors
A pair of new Omicron subvariants has emerged, raising the possibility that survivors of earlier Omicron strains can get reinfected. BA.4 and BA.5 have gained increasing attention in South Africa as weekly coronavirus cases tripled in the last two weeks, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. “It really came out of the blue over the weekend. We were already settling down with BA.2.12.1, and then BA.4 and BA.5?” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious diseases expert at UC San Francisco. “It just seems like the latest chapter of a never-ending saga.” The rapid growth of BA.4 and BA.5 in South Africa has implications for a potential future surge in California and the U.S. Until now, scientists had been reassured that people who survived the first Omicron variant over the winter, BA.1, were unlikely to be reinfected by the even more infectious subvariant BA.2, which is now dominant nationwide. But the surge in cases in South Africa of BA.4 and BA.5 follows an earlier Omicron wave. An estimated 90% of South Africa's population has immunity to the earlier Omicron variants either due to surviving a natural infection or through vaccination. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

LA City Council To Allow Public In Meetings For First Time Since March 2020
The public will be allowed in the Los Angeles City Council chambers during the City Council's meeting Wednesday for the first time since COVID-19 closed City Hall to the public in March 2020, however, people will no longer be able to provide public comment during the meeting remotely. The City Council had virtual meetings via teleconference for the first year of the pandemic, with in-person meetings continuing for council members in June 2021 before briefly returning to a remote format in January due to the Omicron variant's rapid spread. Since March 2020, however, the public has been prohibited from entering the chambers and has been able to give public comment by calling in to the meetings. With meetings opening to the public, people will no longer be able to give public comment remotely, according to Wednesday's meeting's agenda.

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