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 27, 2022
Law Enforcement News

Man Charged With Firing Ghost Gun At Two LAPD Officers
An 18-year-old man was charged Thursday with attempted murder and other counts for allegedly firing with a so-called “ghost gun” at two Los Angeles police officers in a patrol vehicle. Anthony Lamont Hill is set to be arraigned June 9 at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse on two counts each of attempted murder of a peace officer in the performance of their duties and assault with a semi-automatic firearm on a peace officer in the performance of their duties, along with one count of carrying an unregistered firearm in public, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Two officers in a marked patrol vehicle tried to contact Hill after they allegedly saw him walking Monday on Washington Boulevard with a weapon, but he allegedly ran from officers, according to the District Attorney's Office. Hill allegedly turned around and fired a 9mm Polymer80 unregistered handgun at the officers as they drove toward him, with bullet strikes subsequently observed in the officers' patrol vehicle, prosecutors said.

From More Cops To Defund: Candidates For L.A. Mayor Differ On Crime And Policing
One candidate wants to make the Los Angeles Police Department larger than it has ever been. Another envisions a future where America's second largest city no longer needs police. The others have staked out middle ground. After the tumult of recent years, it should come as no surprise that the race to become Los Angeles' next mayor has focused largely on issues surrounding crime, public safety and policing. Mass protests after the 2020 murder of George Floyd ignited fierce, ongoing debate about the role LAPD should play in the city and turned renewed scrutiny on long-running concerns about officers' sometimes heavy-handed tactics. The city, meanwhile, had one of its deadliest years in the past two decades and helped elect a controversial reformer to serve as the county's top prosecutor. But the candidates for mayor differ on the correct path forward, mirroring a nationwide struggle over how to balance the need to combat rising crime with calls to rethink a status quo in policing that has disproportionately affected communities of color. Although calls to “defund” police departments following Floyd's murder by a Minneapolis officer largely fizzled, candidates in Los Angeles have since been peppered with questions about how many cops are needed to patrol the city. The LAPD employs 9,352 officers. Billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso has promised to add 1,500 cops and eventually balloon the LAPD staffing level to 11,000 officers. Los Angeles Times

LAPD Arrests 3 Suspected Gang Members, Recover 11 Guns As Part Of Ongoing Investigations
The Los Angeles Police Department arrested three people and recovered 11 firearms during the service of several search warrants across the city Thursday. Detectives and officers from the LAPD 77th Street Division served multiple search warrants Thursday in the 77th Street area. The search warrants were for multiple locations across the precinct as part of ongoing investigations connected to several shootings. During the service of these warrants, three people were arrested and 11 firearms were recovered, according to police. The three people are believed to be gang members who are suspected to be involved in at least seven shooting incidents throughout the area, LAPD officials said. Photos of the recovered firearms were shared by the LAPD 77th Street Division on Twitter. “The officers and detectives of 77th Street Division will continue our efforts in reducing violent crime and we appreciate the community's ongoing support,” LAPD officials said on Twitter. KTLA 5

Pedestrian Hit By Vehicle, Killed In Hyde Park Area
A man crossing a street in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles was fatally hit by a vehicle, police said Thursday. The man was injured about 11 p.m. Wednesday at Arlington Avenue and 51st Street and died at the scene, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. Information was not immediately available on the identity of the man, who appeared to have been in his 60s, police said. The motorist remained at the scene and was interviewed by officers. The investigation was continuing.

Elementary School Aide Arrested For Uploading Child Porn: LAPD
A Los Angeles man was arrested Thursday for allegedly uploading child pornography to a social media site, and detectives are searching for additional victims, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children informed the LAPD's Internet Crimes Against Children task force that child sexual abuse material was uploaded from Los Angeles using social media this month, police said. The LAPD identified 50-year-old Francisco Lopez, an aide at an elementary school in Los Angeles, as a suspect, and he was arrested on Thursday. Police did not reveal Lopez's home address, which is where he was arrested, nor did they identify the school where he works. He will face a charge of possession of child sexual abuse material, police said, and they believe that additional victims have not yet come forward. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Wesley Lin at 562-624-4027. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).   KTLA 5

Catalytic Converters Stolen From More Than 100 LAUSD Buses Since January
Los Angeles Unified school buses have become an enticing target for catalytic converter thieves, and at least some people believe it's due to budget cuts that thinned the ranks of the Los Angeles School police. Since January, catalytic converters have been stolen from 160 buses at LAUSD garages all over the city. The thefts have cost the district $581,000 so far, which doesn't include the costs of finding other buses and paying for other drivers. The thefts have also impacted student education – if a bus driver shows up to drive a bus that turns out to be broken, there's no other option than to cancel the route. Getting a bus back up and running after its catalytic converter has been stolen takes up to four weeks, and the lag time has also impacted the district's ability to transport students to sporting events. Before 2021, there were 510 officers with the Los Angeles School police. The district cut 133 positions since then, a 26% decrease – and severely hampering the LA School police's ability to patrol their own bus yards after midnight. CBS 2

Reseda Man Sprayed Chemicals Into Victim's Face During Video Game Robbery: Police
A 24-year-old man from Reseda was arrested after allegedly spraying a victim with chemicals during a video game robbery. The incident happened on March 31 in the area near Megan Place. According to the Thousand Oaks Police Department, the suspect, Christopher Baselyos of Reseda, had contacted the victim after seeing an ad on social media for video games being sold. When Baselyos met the victim, he allegedly sprayed a large can of chemical agent to the victim's face, neck, and upper body. Baselyos then took belongings from the victim and left the scene, according to police. Baselyos was located by authorities on May 24 and arrested in Moorpark. He is being held on $200,000 bail and has a court date set for May 26. FOX 11

Missing 29-Year-Old Man With Autism Who Went Missing In West LA Found Safe
A West Los Angeles man with autism who went missing for more than a week has been reunited with his family, his mother confirmed to ABC7. Jeremy Hansbrough, 29, was last seen by family members on Monday, May 16. On Thursday, a nurse at the California Hospital Medical Center in downtown L.A. recognized the man and immediately contacted authorities. She said she noticed him from a photo shared on Eyewitness News. His mother, Michelle Hansbrough, spoke with Eyewitness News and confirmed her son was found safe. "It is him, we are with him now," she said. The mother told ABC7 her son takes medication for seizures and didn't have the medicine with him during the time he was missing. She said Jeremy Hansbrough is high functioning, but doesn't communicate with people he doesn't know very well. ABC 7

Operation "Walk In The Park" Leads To 17 Felony Arrests In Riverside Street Gang
California Attorney General Rob Bonta on Thursday announced the success of a multiagency effort by local law enforcement who arrested nearly 20 members of a Riverside street gang. The effort started with a murder at Bordwell Park in Riverside. Clues to the unsolved case led to the arrest of a massive street gang operation. On December 22, 2020, 32-year-old Cedric Dempsey was found shot in the head. Investigators said they located the suspect in the killing of the father of nine just about a week ago. "Detectives served a search warrant at a residence in our community after receiving information that the suspect was manufacturing and selling firearms to gang members," Chief Larry Gonzalez, with the Riverside Police Department, said. SWAT officers arrested 50-year-old Arthur Akins III, but it was during this investigation that authorities across the Inland Empire focused on another murder in Moreno Valley, also back in 2020. "They wrongfully targeted our victim. Mr. Henderson is a 43-year-old father. Just moments prior, he had been holding his 3-day-old son," Riverside County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Misty Reynolds said.  CBS 2

6 Charged In $10 Million Recycling Fraud Scheme That Brought 9 Tons Of Cans, Bottles To California For CRV Redemption
Six people have been charged in a $10 million recycling fraud scheme that involved bringing more than nine tons of cans and bottles from Arizona, in order to recycle them for money in Los Angeles and Ontario. California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed the charges of recycling fraud and grand theft against six people Wednesday for allegedly bringing more than nine tons of materials from Arizona in order to take advantage of the California Redemption Value program. The scheme is estimated to have defrauded California's CRV program of more than $10 million. The program from CalRecycle is subsidized by California consumers every time they buy a CRV-eligible bottle or can, and pays up to 10 cents per container when they're brought in for recycling. Only bottles and cans from California are eligible for redemption under this program, the Attorney General's Office said. "Beverage deposits belong to Californians and the state will continue to actively protect these funds," CalRecycle Director Machi Wagoner said in a statement. CBS 2

CHP Starts Holiday Weekend Anti-DUI And Speed Crackdown Friday
California Highway Patrol officers will initiate concentrated operations on highways, freeways and roads throughout Riverside County Friday and continue through the entire Memorial Day weekend to snare drunken and other unsafe drivers as part of a statewide campaign. Beginning at 6 p.m., the CHP will start its holiday weekend “maximum enforcement period,” during which all available officers hit the streets to catch impaired motorists, as well as other traffic violators. The crackdown will conclude at 11:59 p.m. Monday. “Memorial Day should be a time for honoring our fallen heroes and spending time with loved ones,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “It should never be marked by tragedy caused by car crashes. Please buckle up, follow all traffic laws and arrive at your destination safely.” Officers from the Beaumont, Blythe, Indio, Riverside and Temecula CHP stations will be part of the deployment. Ray said that seatbelt safety will be among priorities, as the agency continues a weeks-long “Click It or Ticket” campaign sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Daughter Of Deputy Who Responded To Texas School Shooting ID'd Among Kids Killed
A deputy with the Uvalde County Sheriff's Office, who responded to the Robb Elementary School shooting earlier this week, is mourning the loss of his daughter. Alexandria "Lexi" Rubio, the 10-year-old daughter of Deputy Felix Rubio, was among the 19 children killed in the attack. On Wednesday, Rubio and his wife, Kimberly, told CNN that Lexi "loved playing basketball and softball, and had dreams of becoming a lawyer when she grew up – like her mother." They had celebrated Lexi during an honor roll ceremony about 30 minutes prior to the gunman opening fire. "She was kind, sweet and appreciated life," Lexi's parents told CNN. "Please let the world know we miss our baby." Rubio was among the law enforcement officers who responded to the shooting, but he told CNN he "never needed to go through this, but we are." Another victim of the shooting is being mourned by a local police officer. Eva Mireles, a 44-year-old special education teacher at Robb Elementary, was also killed. She had taught special education at the school for 17 years. Her husband, Ruben Ruiz, is a police officer at Uvalde School District. A total of three officers were injured during the shooting, but they were reported "in good condition" by Gov. Greg Abbott. PoliceOne

Video: NYPD Cops Save Blind Man Who Fell Onto Subway Tracks ‘In The Nick Of Time'
A pair of quick-thinking cops saved a blind man who fell onto a set of Brooklyn subway tracks as a train pulled into the station, police said Wednesday. The rescue — caught on video by one of the officer's body cameras — came after Suleiman Rifai, 61, stumbled off the platform at the Grant Ave. station on the A line about 2: 15 p.m. on May 18. NYPD Officer Jason Macaluso and Detective Henry Greco pulled a bleeding Rifai to safety in the nick of time. “We did hear the train coming toward us at first, and then we saw the light of a train coming,” Greco said during a ceremony at MTA headquarters Wednesday. “I waved my arms and used my flashlight to wave down the train to slow it down.”] The platform at the station does not have tactile warning strips that warn blind riders when they approach the edge. It's one of roughly 80 stations without the strips, which are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  New York Daily News

Public Safety News

Crews Take Down Garage Fire In Hollywood; No One Hurt
Crews responded to a large fire in Hollywood Thursday afternoon. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call of a fire at a detached garage unit in the 1300 block of North Vista Street. The fire was taken down minutes after 44 crew members arrived at the scene. No one was hurt from the fire, LAFD said. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Officials did not give an estimate of the damage caused by the fire.  ABC 7

LA County Health Officials Urge Vigilance As COVID-19 Cases Rise And School Year Races To A Close
Some schools are urging students to wear masks indoors whenever they've been informed of an exposure. It's part of an effort to get through final exams without too many absences. As this school year races to a close, Los Angeles County health officials said all signs continue to point to a summer COVID-19 surge. With close to 900 new cases last week alone, UCLA announced it will reinstate its indoor mask wearing mandate for all students, staff and visitors on its campus. UC Santa Barbara also announced they'll be requiring masks in classrooms and other indoor shared spaces on campus starting Friday. With two weeks left in the academic year, it's a move L.A. County health officials applaud. "None of us want to continue to see a rise in cases," said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. "None of us want to see our healthcare system stressed out or see more people come down with serious illnesses." She said cases across the county continue to climb with 6,200 new infections reported on Thursday and nine deaths. "As we've seen throughout the past year, vaccines remain a powerful tool that continue to provide substantial protection against hospitalization and death across all race and ethnic groups," Ferrer said. ABC 7

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

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: