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Law Enforcement News
2 Men Shot To Death In Montecito Heights
Two men were shot and killed in the Montecito Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles Sunday night, and police are looking for suspects. The Los Angeles Police Department reported that a shooting had occurred in the 1000 block of Homer Street near Avenue 43 around 10 p.m. Sunday. When officers arrived at the scene they found two men suffering from gunshot wounds. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene. "We heard a car drive by really fast [and] we heard several gunshots and after that, it was just panic with the police officers and the families of the victims," a neighbor told FOX 11. No other information was immediately available. The investigation is ongoing.
Woman Fatally Shot In Backseat Of SUV That Sheared Hydrant In Front Of South LA Fire Station
A woman was shot and killed in South LA, leading to a crash that sheared a fire hydrant and a chaotic scene with her distraught family members. Police say a dark-colored Lexus SUV crashed into a fire hydrant in front of a fire station at St. Andrew Place and Slauson just before midnight. In the backseat, they found three women, one of whom had been shot in the backseat. The other two women were not hurt. The shooting is not believed to have happened at the scene of the crash, police said. All three women in the car were believed to be related. "From the information we have, it did not occur here, this is just where the vehicle ended up, and we're still trying to locate the exact location of where the shooting occurred," LAPD Capt. Adrian Gonzalez said. Investigators remain at the scene, where the distinctive white tent has been set up to shield the investigation. But immediately after the crash, firefighters had to work swiftly to turn off water to the fire hydrant, which shot up a geyser of water from being sheared. At the same time, LAPD officers were working to figure out exactly what happened in the backseat of the SUV, while trying to get information from distraught family members at the scene, some of whom began fighting with others who came to the scene.
Man Pleads No Contest To Stabbing Homeless Man To Death
A 38-year-old Los Angeles man pleaded no contest Thursday to voluntary manslaughter for fatally stabbing a homeless man who approached his girlfriend in Hollywood. Spencer Jay Doland was sentenced to 12 years in state prison and waived credit for nearly four years already served behind bars since his October 2018 arrest. Along with the manslaughter charge, Doland admitted personally using a knife in the stabbing of 48-year-old Daryl Hanson on Oct. 11, 2018. Hanson had a verbal exchange with Doland’s girlfriend as she sat in the defendant’s car outside a liquor store, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office shortly after the case was filed. Hanson was gone when Doland returned to his vehicle, but Doland caught up with him in a back alley in the 7500 block of Sunset Boulevard, where the stabbing occurred, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Defense attorney Barry F. Hammond said outside court that the man had approached Doland’s girlfriend and asked for money.
Ride-Share Driver Suspected Of Sexually Assaulting 13-Year-Old In Van Nuys
Police on Monday sought the public's help to identify additional possible victims of a 37-year-old ride-share driver suspected of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old in Van Nuys. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the victim was walking home in the area of Gilmore Street and Sylmar Avenue, near Van Nuys Elementary School, on Aug. 13 when the suspect drove up next to the victim in a 2021 white Toyota Prius. Police say the suspect, Jonh Erik Bastidas Arenas, opened the passenger door of the Prius, brandished a weapon and directed the victim to enter the car. "Out of fear the victim complied with his demand," LAPD said in a news release. "While inside the vehicle, the suspect sexually assaulted the victim." LAPD said the victim was able to escape and notify police. Investigators reviewed surveillance video from the area and identified Arenas as a suspect, and the victim later confirmed Arenas was the attacker, according to the LAPD. Police arrested Arenas on Thursday and he was booked into the LAPD Van Nuys Community Police Station jail. Investigators also discovered Arenas had been employed as a contract driver for multiple ride-share services since September 2021. Anyone with information on any possible further assaults committed by Arenas was asked to call LAPD.
Bicyclist Killed In Mar Vista After Being Struck By Car
A man was killed overnight after riding his bicycle into oncoming traffic in Mar Vista. The crash occurred around 12:30 a.m. in the area of Centinela and Mitchell avenues, where the vehicle was going southbound on Centinela and the bicyclist was headed north, according to Officer Rosario Cervantes of the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Section. Paramedics rushed the victim to a hospital, where he later died from his injuries. Authorities said he was approximately 60 years old. The motorist stayed at the scene and cooperated with police. The name of the victim has not been released at this moment.
Suspect Arrested In Sexual Assaults At Santa Monica College
A 27-year-old man was arrested today for allegedly sexually assaulting female Santa Monica College students. Christopher Noah Griddine II was being held in lieu of $1 million bail. Campus police issued a warning Thursday saying they had received a report about a man befriending female students in an outdoor seating area south of Drescher Hall. After befriending the women, the suspect would then lure his victims off campus and sexually assault them, campus police said. The sheriff's department announced Monday that department deputies and officers from the Santa Monica College Police Department located Griddine seated in his vehicle at the college about 9 a.m. and placed him under arrest. Anyone who may have been a victim or who has information on any other possible assaults was asked to contact the LASD Special Victims Bureau at 877- 710-5273. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at lacrimestoppers.org.
Video Shows Suspect Using Waste Bin To Steal Handbags From Santa Monica Store
A boutique owner in Santa Monica says more than $10,000 worth of custom handbags were stolen from her store during an early-morning burglary Saturday. It happened at SUSU Handbags located at 2400 Main Street. Police said the suspect broke the store's front window to get in. Susu Zheng, who makes all the custom handbags for her store, shared surveillance video that captured the suspect in front of the store. In the video, the suspect - who is seen wearing dark clothing and what appears to be an orange beanie - is standing in front of the store with a waste bin. The suspect stands around for a few seconds and places the bin in front of him. That's when the suspect is seen using some sort of object to break the front window. The video shows the person grabbing the handbags and tossing them into the waste bin before taking off. "I was just shocked," Zheng said. "My mind went blank for like five seconds and then I calmed down, changed my clothes, got in the car and came to the store and police were already here on Main Street in front of my store." Zheng said she believes about 30 bags were taken, some of which she says were her most expensive and popular styles.
2 People Struck By Bullets In Lancaster
Authorities are searching for a suspect who fired shots at a person in a Lancaster parking lot, which wounded two other people nearby, a sheriff's lieutenant said Sunday. The two victims were hospitalized but are expected to survive, according to Lt. Clint Skaggs of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Lancaster station. The incident occurred at about 7:15 p.m. Saturday in the 45200 block of 10th Street West where two people were arguing. One of the men pulled out a handgun and fired shots at the man he was arguing with, authorities said, adding that the shots wounded two innocent bystanders instead. The shooting took place in the parking lot of a doughnut shop, but Skaggs told City News Service that he could not confirm media accounts that a party — possibly a baby shower — was being held nearby. The sheriff's Lancaster station urged anyone with information about the shooting to call them at 661-948-8466.
South Carolina Officer Dies After Suffering Medical Emergency During SWAT Training
The Columbia Police Department is mourning the death of one of its officers. Master Police Officer Tyrell Owens-Riley died Saturday, police said in a news release. “It was with a heavy heart that Columbia Police Chief (Skip) Holbrook shares the passing of a dedicated police officer,” the release said. Owens-Riley suffered a medical emergency while participating in a Columbia police SWAT assessment, according to the release. During the physical fitness training portion of the assessment, Owens-Riley got sick and was taken to a hospital in downtown Columbia where he suffered cardiac arrest and could not be revived, police said. The Columbia native was most recently assigned as a patrol officer in Metro Region, according to the release. Prior to joining the Columbia police, Owens-Riley “served with distinction with the United States Marine Corps,” police said. Flags at Columbia Police Headquarters were lowered to half staff Saturday in memory of Owens-Riley, and his patrol car was draped in black along with mourning flower bouquets.
Trooper Drives Himself To Hospital After Being Rammed By Vehicle, Shot By Suspect
A Washington State Patrol trooper was being treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Thursday night after being shot hours earlier in Walla Walla. Late Thursday night the Regional Special Investigations Unit released the identity of the trooper, Dean Atkinson Jr., a five-year veteran of the WSP. WSP Chief John R. Batiste reported just after midnight that Atkinson was in stable condition. Trooper Sarah Clasen said Atkinson was rammed by a vehicle about 5:10 p.m. at Myra Road and Poplar Street near Sportsman's Warehouse. Atkinson then was shot, Clasen said. The trooper remained conscious and alert and drove himself a little more than a mile and a half down West Poplar Street to Providence St. Mary Medical Center at 401 W. Poplar St. He was treated there and then flown to Harborview for further care. Clasen said the WSP had contact with the suspect in the shooting earlier in the day. Walla Walla area law enforcement responded to the scene of the shooting and secured evidence, according to the Special Investigations Unit.
Police: Michigan Trooper Shot, Critically Wounded In Detroit
An undercover trooper with Michigan State Police was shot and critically wounded early Tuesday as he and other members of a narcotics unit were conducting surveillance in Detroit, police said. The trooper was struck by gunfire around 1:30 a.m. EDT on Detroit's west side as he and other members of the narcotics unit came under fire from an unknown suspect, state police said. The male state trooper was hospitalized in critical condition and was still being evaluated, police said. State police said on Twitter that members of the agency's emergency support team began trying to make contact with any suspects located in a building “where the shots may have been fired" at an apartment complex. State police said about 7 a.m. EDT that its emergency support team was moving people out of that apartment complex and seeking a search warrant for the apartments. Residents were told by police to remain inside during the manhunt because officers were not sure where the suspect is, said Lt. Mike Shaw. “And since he’s already fired at us, it’s probably not likely that he’s not going to fire at somebody walking through that neighborhood," Shaw told WJBK-TV.
Public Safety News
33 COVID-Related Deaths Reported In LA County Over 3-Day Period
Los Angeles County reported another 33 COVID-19-related deaths from a three-day period ending Monday, along with nearly 3,200 new cases in its latest data. The county, which no longer reports COVID numbers on weekends, reported 13 deaths from Saturday, 11 from Sunday and nine for Monday. The new fatalities lifted the county’s overall death toll from throughout the pandemic to 33,565. Another 3,196 COVID infections were reported Monday — 1,538 from Saturday, 967 from Sunday and 691 for Monday — giving the county a cumulative total of 3,450,411. Case numbers for Sunday and Monday tend to be lower than expected due to delays in reporting from the weekend. The infection numbers reported by the county are also believed to be low in general, due to the prevalence of at-home COVID tests, the results of which are generally not reported to health officials. An updated number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals was not immediately available. The most recent figures from the state showed 548 virus-positive patients as of Saturday, with 60 of them being treated in intensive care.
Firefighters Douse Blaze At Six-Story Condo Building In Hancock Park
Firefighters knocked down a fire Sunday in a fourth-floor unit of a six-story condominium complex in Hancock Park. Firefighters dispatched at 11:51 a.m. to 109 N. Sycamore Ave. had the fire out within 22 minutes of their arrival, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation.
Firefighters On High Alert As Elevated Temps Increase Fire Danger Throughout Southland
Local fire agencies are on high alert as they predict a lengthy "fire season," as triple digit temperatures scorch the Southland during yet another period of above average heat. For many, the sweltering heat, paired with the potential for Santa Ana winds, brings harrowing memories of the Woolsey Fire in 2018, which burnt more than 96,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,600 homes. Revisiting a Malibu neighborhood affected by the devastating wildfire, one can find newly-constructed homes, or many still under construction as locals continue trying to put their lives back together one piece at a time. Jamie Ottilie, a homeowner in the area, was one of the many displaced as the fire ravaged his home. "There's a lot of silly things, like why didn't I grab the art, why didn't I grab the photos," he said, looking back on the night he was forced to evacuate. "But, there's not a lot to do except pick up and move forward." As his new home nears its completion date, firefighters have once again placed the Santa Monica Mountains back on their radar due to the increased fire dangers.