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 24, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Pedestrian Fatally Struck By Hit-and-Run Driver In South Los Angeles
A pedestrian was fatally struck and killed in a hit-and-run in South Los Angeles Sunday evening. Los Angeles Police Department officers were dispatched to the scene just after 9 p.m. after reports of a collision involving a pedestrian at the intersection of Normandie Avenue and 59th Street. When they arrived they found the victim, a woman in her 50s or 60s, dead at the scene. No suspect or vehicle information was available. The intersection remained closed as authorities continued to investigate the incident.  CBS 2

Playa del Rey Residents Fed Up With Parked RVs Damaging ‘Environmentally-Sensitive' Habitat
Play del Rey residents are telling FOX 11 they are fed up. The deadline to clear RVs parked along the coast has come and gone. But now, the homeless problem is not only a nuisance for the neighborhood – residents say it's causing damage to an environmentally-sensitive habitat. "We're actually very scared that our homes are subject to blowing up," says Lucy Han, co-founder of  the  community activist group,  Friends of the Jungle . Some Playa del Rey residents live around the Ballona Wetlands. It has transformed into an RV homeless encampment along Jefferson Boulevard and the epicenter for a lot of crime in the area. Last month, the Los Angeles City Council voted to lift the moratorium on illegally parked vehicles. While RVs are supposed to be towed if they are illegally parked in dangerous or environmentally-sensitive locations. However, on Monday, the vehicles were still here. Han says she is getting very frustrated by "no action by the city or the state." Han says LAPD responded to 80 calls at the wetlands last year, including shootings, fires, a suspected meth lab, carjacking and bicycles being recovered. In April 2022, FOX 11's Hailey Winslow spoke with a woman who was attacked by a person, believed to be homeless, who threw a portable bathroom at her. The woman was cleaning up the Ballona Wetlands when the portable bathroom came flying in her direction. FOX 11

Homeless Amputee Who Was Shot In South L.A. Dies A man who was shot in front of a south Los Angeles McDonald's last week has died from his injuries. The 75-year-old man was shot in the head last Tuesday around 11:10 p.m. in the Gramercy Park neighborhood. Community activists held a news conference Monday evening to honor the victim and decry the senseless violence that took his life. “Any time the weakest person in society, and that's someone who is homeless and disabled, is shot to death, that should be a cause for everyone to be concerned,” said Najee Ali during Monday evening's news conference. The victim, who was a double amputee and a veteran, died around 5:30 p.m. Sunday in a local hospital. Two women are sought in connection to the shooting and remain at large as of Monday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. KTLA 5

L.A. Man Arrested After Trove Of Molotov Cocktails Found In Santa Monica Mountains
Authorities have arrested a Los Angeles man after a trove of Molotov cocktails was discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area on Saturday. A park ranger working in the recreation area was approached by a person who found eight of the incendiary devices in a wooded area next to a trail, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The ranger found the devices and notified the LAPD and Los Angeles Fire Department arson investigators, police said. Officers responded to the area, where they recovered the eight Molotov cocktails and gasoline containers. Evidence found at the scene led investigators to arrest 34-year-old Maksim Klimenko, police said. The case has been referred to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office for consideration. Police said further information about the case or what led investigators to identify Klimenko as a suspect wasn't available Monday. Los Angeles Times

Traveling Nurse's Dog Found Safe After Her Camper Got Stolen In Los Feliz
Police are breathing a collective sigh of relief after officers safely found a traveling nurse's missing dog. The Los Angeles Police Department tells FOX 11 the dog, a 6-year-old Australian Shepherd, is in officers' custody late Monday night. The announcement comes after the Florida nurse's camper was stolen with "Bexley" inside over the weekend in Los Feliz. According to police, the tan 1970s model camper owned by Mason Gray was stolen in the 4400 block of Sunset Drive. It has Florida tag 68BRSP. It happened near Children's Hospital, where Gray was working an overnight shift. As of late Monday night, the nurse has not yet arrived at the police station to reunite with her beloved dog. No arrests were announced at the time of FOX 11 News' 10 p.m. newscast.  FOX 11

2 Men Shot And Killed In Commerce
Two men were killed in a shooting in the Commerce area Monday. The shooting occurred just before 11:45 a.m. in the 2700 block of Supply Avenue, near the Santa Ana (5) Freeway, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The two men were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names were withheld pending notification of next of kin. No suspect description was provided, and details on what led to the shooting were not immediately released. Anyone with information on the shooting was asked to contact the LASD Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at . FOX 11

Guilty Plea Hearing For Beverly Hills Man In Murder-For-Hire Case Postponed
A change of plea hearing for a Beverly Hills man who allegedly tried to hire a “hit man” to kill a woman he briefly dated was delayed Monday until June 13. Scott Berkett, 25, has agreed to enter his plea to a single federal count of using interstate facilities to commit murder-for-hire, which carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years. However, prosecutors agreed to seek a penalty of no more than five years, according to the plea agreement filed in L.A. federal court. Berkett met the woman online, and she flew to Los Angeles to meet him in late October 2020. Identified in court papers by the initials R.E., the woman described Berkett as “sexually aggressive” and she tried repeatedly to break off the relationship following the trip, an affidavit in the case says. Months later, a relative of the woman, who learned Berkett was still contacting her, reached out to the defendant's father via text. Berkett responded by saying “consider this matter closed,” according to the criminal complaint.

Beverly Hills Salon Owner Who Admitted To Role In Capitol Riot Is Trying To Back Out Of Part Of Her Plea Deal
A Beverly Hills salon owner who was caught on video urging on other rioters breaching the Capitol building during the Jan. 6 insurrection is attempting to back out of part of her plea deal and withdraw a guilty plea to the most serious charge she previously admitted to. Arguing that Gina Bisignano did not know a Senate hearing was taking place and had “smoked some marijuana and drank alcohol” prior to joining mob that breached the Capitol building, attorneys for Bisignano filed a motion on Friday asking a federal judge to allow her to withdraw her guilty plea for an obstruction charge. The defense attorneys wrote that Bisignano when speaking to prosecutors prior to accepting the plea deal “made it clear that she did no know that entering the Capitol was obstructing a Senate hearing,” adding that “to the contrary, she told the Government that she just followed the crowd and thought they were going to put pressure on (then Vice-President) Mike Pence.” Bisagnano last year agreed to a plea deal requiring she admit to a half-dozen charges related to her actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Los Angeles Daily News

Diabetic, Schizophrenic Woman, 53, Goes Missing In San Gabriel
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sunday circulated a photo of a 53-year-old diabetic woman suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia who went missing in San Gabriel. Cherie Tremayne Yerks, who also suffers from depression, was last seen at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday in the 6800 block of Oak Avenue, the Sheriff's Information Bureau reported. Yerks was described as a 5-feet-4-inch tall Black woman weighing 145 pounds with brown eyes and short brown hair. She was last seen wearing a black jacket, black pants, white shoes and stud earrings. The sheriff's Missing Person Unit urged anyone with information regarding Yerks' whereabouts to call them at 323-890-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

Massive Underground, Illegal Marijuana Grow Operation Busted In San Bernardino
San Bernardino area law enforcement has busted a massive marijuana grow operation, uncovering over $9 million in illegal product in an underground bunker. The discovery comes as San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson and San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus continue to crackdown on illegal drug enterprises operating out of the more rural parts of their county. "The money in illegal marijuana is not a victimless crime," Dicus said. "There are a number of things that have happened. I've had deputies pass by these areas in Newberry Springs and had rounds go through their front window." Investigators had previously executed a search warrant on a Newberry Springs property back in 2020, when they discovered more than 2,000 live, potted marijuana plants and over 100 pounds of processed marijuana ready to sell on the five-acre property. The owner of the property, Cheng Lin, was only issued a citation back then.  CBS 2

Special Police Officer Fatally Shot Outside D.C. Apartment Complex
An investigation is underway after a special police officer was found fatally shot early Sunday near an apartment complex, NBC 4 reported. Officers responding to a report of gunshots just after midnight found Shawn Minor, 33, dead in the parking lot. Police said Minor was on duty and wearing his uniform at the time. Few details were immediately released. Authorities are offering a reward up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest, according to the report. Minor was employed as a special police officer by Edwards Security Consultants, an ESC official told Police1. Special police officers are commissioned law enforcement officers who work in private security and protective services. PoliceOne

NYPD Seeks Subway Shooter After Man Killed In 'Senseless' Attack
The cold-blooded Manhattan subway killer who shot a Goldman Sachs researcher at random got away — but not before he was caught on surveillance video, police revealed Monday. The images were tweeted out by NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, who asked the public's help identifying and finding the suspect in what she called the “tragic, senseless shooting” of Daniel Enriquez, 48. “We need all eyes on this,” Sewell said of the photos of the suspect. The Goldman Sachs researcher, heading to brunch with friends, was sitting in the last car of a Manhattan-bound Q train as it approached the Canal St. station when he was shot in the chest about 11:45 a.m. Sunday. “According to witnesses, the suspect was walking back and forth in the same train car,” NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said shortly after the shooting. “And without provocation, pulled out a gun and fired it at the victim at close range as the train was crossing the Manhattan Bridge.” The heavyset bearded suspect, who by witness accounts had no prior interaction with Enriquez, got off the train at the Canal St. station and ran, Corey said. The victim was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he died at 12:14 p.m. New York Daily News

Public Safety News

1 Dead, 3 Hurt After Falling 300 Feet Down Cliff In Palos Verdes Estates
A man was killed and three other people were injured after they fell down a cliff in the Palos Verdes Estates area Monday morning, prompting a large rescue response. The incident was reported around 4:30 a.m. near Paseo Del Mar, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department, which added that two men and two women fell some 300 feet over the side of the cliff. When crews arrived, Capt. Burton Kelsey said two victims were in critical condition, including the man who was declared dead at the scene. One person had "self-extricated" themselves and was taken to a hospital. The other two injured were also transported for treatment. Palos Verdes Estates police Cpt. Steve Barber said the four people fell over the cliff when a woman got "a little too close" to the edge of the cliff and slipped. Her friends tried to save her from falling, Barber added. "Unfortunately, all four of them ended up going over together," Barber said. Barber said the group was there hanging out at the cliff's edge. One hiker said the trail at the top of the cliff is near the edge and could be dangerous.  ABC 7

Brush Fire Burns Near 101 Freeway In North Hollywood
A small brush fire burned on the side of the 101 Freeway in North Hollywood Sunday evening. Thick gray smoke could be seen by drivers around 6:18 p.m., but the blaze did not appear to be impacting traffic in the area. There were no injuries reported in the fire. The California Highway Patrol was on the scene. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.  CBS 2

LA County Registers More Than 12,000 New COVID Cases
Los Angeles County logged more than 12,000 new COVID-19 infections over the past three days amid continued rapid spread of the virus, but the number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals held generally steady. According to the county Department of Public Health, 5,152 new cases were recorded Saturday, 4,750 on Sunday and 2,476 Monday. The county does not report case numbers on weekends. The new infections lifted the county's cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 2,942,149. Another 14 deaths from the past three days were also confirmed, raising the overall virus-related death toll in the county to 32,086. As of Monday, there were 391 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals, up from 385 on Sunday and below the 402 number from Saturday. Of those patients, 53 were being treated in intensive care, up from 49 a day earlier. The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 3% as of Monday, down slightly from the weekend.

Coronavirus Cases In California Rising Fast, With Some Regions Seeing Infections Double
The number of coronavirus cases in California has significantly worsened this past week, hitting a level not seen since the winter's Omicron surge and raising concerns about the possibility of a big jump in infections this summer. Weekly coronavirus cases roughly doubled across wide swaths of California, including Riverside and Santa Barbara counties, as well as the Central Valley and Silicon Valley. They rose by roughly 85% in Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Statewide, the increase was 63%, bringing the case rate to 231 for every 100,000 residents. A rate of 100 and above is considered a high rate of transmission. Hospitalization rates, while increasing for the last four weeks, remain low. Hospitals in two of California's most populous regions, L.A. County and the San Francisco Bay Area, are not under strain, and the rate of new weekly coronavirus-positive hospitalizations has remained at only a fraction of the number seen in New York and some other East Coast cities. California officials remain hopeful that a relatively robust effort to get residents to take booster shots plus suggestions to wear masks and get tested frequently can help the state avoid the kind of intense surge those cities have experienced. Los Angeles Times

Local Government News

Ramit Varma Drops Out Of Los Angeles Mayoral Race; Endorses Rick Caruso
Just a little over two weeks remain until the primary election on June 7, and the race for Mayor of Los Angeles has gotten a little less crowded, after businessman Ramit Varma announced his withdrawal Monday. Varma, best known for co-founding the online tutoring company Revolution Prep, announced his candidacy in Oct. 2021, when he rented out LAFC's Banc of California Stadium. Prior to the announcement, Varma was one of the 10 remaining candidates eligible to run. However, his withdrawal brought the field down to nine overall, including leading forces Rep. Karen Bass and businessman Rick Caruso, whom Varma offered his endorsement. "Although Rick and I have very different backgrounds and experiences, I found that we are united by a common purpose," Varma said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "We both want Los Angeles to be a city that is safe, affordable and clean. A city that our children and decades to come can be proud of." Varma is now the third qualified candidate to withdraw from the race, following suit from City Councilman Joe Buscaino, who also endorsed Caruso, and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who offered his endorsement for Bass. 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: