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Sep 2022
After Teen Deaths From Fentanyl, LAPD Chief Says Drug Has Become ‘Number One Threat To The Country'

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Law Enforcement News

After Teen Deaths From Fentanyl, LAPD Chief Says Drug Has Become ‘Number One Threat To The Country'
When 15-year-old Melanie Ramos died last week at a Hollywood high school after taking a cheap, knock-off pill laced with fentanyl, her death shocked the community and spurred days worth of headlines. But what most people may not realize is that Melanie's death is far from rare. "The number one threat to the country is fentanyl," said Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore. "The ready supply of this is resulting in overdoses and deaths." Moore addressed the police commission Tuesday morning, delivering some somber statistics. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is a 100 times stronger than morphine. And Moore says these days a large portion of drugs being sold in L.A. are laced with the potentially deadly drug. "The department continues to seize tens of thousands of pills and pounds and pounds of fentanyl," Moore said. The DEA considers just two milligrams of fentanyl to be a lethal dose. And just one pound of the drug contains 454,000 milligrams. Ramos died in a restroom at Bernstein High School in Hollywood, and investigators say she and a friend bought the drug on the school's campus. In just the past week, Moore says five other youths overdosed on fentanyl-laced drugs in the area around Bernstein High, but survived.

Seventh Teen Ingested Pills Linked To Death Of Bernstein HS Student, LAPD Says
A seventh teen was a ‘victim’ of ingesting pills believed to be linked to the death last week of a 15-year-old girl who was a student at Bernstein High School in Hollywood, the LAPD said Tuesday. The latest incident happened over the weekend, an LAPD official confirmed, but the department could not provide details on the age of the person or the circumstances. Last week, a student named Melanie Ramos overdosed and died on campus after ingesting pills she and a friend reportedly purchased from a 15-year-old boy, who was arrested and now faces a manslaughter charge. Ramos’ friend survived and was treated in a hospital. A 16-year-old boy was also arrested on suspicion of selling narcotics. The two arrested were students at an independent charter school that’s located on the Bernstein High School campus. In addition to Ramos and her friend, the LAPD now says five other ‘young people’ were treated after ingesting similar pills. LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the Board of Police Commissioners Tuesday morning that lab tests have confirmed pills found during the arrests of the 15- and 16-year-old boys contained fentanyl, a synthetic opiate blamed for an increasing number of overdoses and deaths.

LAPD Arrests Armed Driver In Suspected Stolen Vehicle After South LA Pursuit
The Los Angeles Police Department is in pursuit of a suspected stolen SUV in South Los Angeles. Police believe the driver is armed with a weapon. The pursuit started around 12:30 p.m. Officers said the rates of speed have not been excessive. After driving on residential streets, around 1 p.m. the driver got on the 110 Freeway. The driver put an arm outside the car multiple times, holding what appeared to be a cell phone out the window. It appeared the driver was the only occupant of the SUV. The driver around 1:03 p.m. left the freeway and was on 113th and South Hoover Street. "At this time of day in city streets it is hard to do spike stripes," said Daron Wyatt, a retired police sergeant. Around 1:04 p.m., the driver pulled into a gas station and ran away from police on foot. He was taken into custody shortly after. No injuries were reported.

LAPD Arrests Armed Driver In Suspected Stolen Vehicle After South LA Pursuit
Los Angeles police responded to a Tarzana neighborhood Tuesday night to investigate an apparent break-in attempt at a mansion.
Yahoo! News Video

LA Homeless Crisis: Man Throws Feces At Sherman Oaks Business Owner
On Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, a homeless man angrily yells, "You want to have a fight?" An unhoused woman walks back and forth saying, "Isis, Isis, Isis." Yet another man, presumably under the influence of drugs, screams, "You gotta die, you gotta die, you gotta die!" Business owner Paul Scrivano describes his community this way, "Every day, it’s like one flew over the cuckoo’s nest, literally a psych ward." Scrivano is the owner of The Blue Dog Beer Tavern. He’s had about all he can take from a man who openly defecates on Ventura Boulevard. “Every single morning, I’m wiping that off my property before I have to do business," Scrivano said. As if that wasn’t bad enough, one morning, the unhoused man tossed a bag of his human waste onto Scrivano’s SUV. "Many business owners are at their wits end, they're not getting the responsiveness that they need and that they deserve," says Attorney Larry Slade, the Chair of the Homelessness Committee for the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association.
FOX 11

L.A. Unified Cyberattackers Demand Ransom
The hackers who targeted the Los Angeles Unified School District have made a ransom demand, officials confirmed Tuesday, an indication that the attackers have extracted sensitive data or believe they can bluff the district into thinking that they have. “We can confirm that there was a demand made,” L.A. schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho said. “There has been no response to the demand.” Carvalho declined to disclose the amount of the ransom demand or any further information about what information, if any, the attackers may be holding. He said that there have been “no new security breaches” and that the school system is continuing “our ramping up of apps and systems.” Officials said they are optimistic that Social Security numbers and other sensitive information of employees remain secure. But the outlook could be different related to student information, such as grades, course schedules, disciplinary records and disability status. The district does not collect Social Security numbers for students and parents.
LA Times

Man Guilty Of Fatally Stabbing Ex With Scissors, Killing Her Dog And Setting Apartment Ablaze
An Inglewood man has been found guilty of killing a woman whom he briefly dated, then killing her dog and setting fire to her Pomona apartment in 2019. Chaumon Wayan Tyner, 53, was found guilty of one count each of first-degree murder with the use of scissors as the murder weapon, cruelty to an animal and arson of an inhabited structure, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said Monday. Ronnie Sue Wall, 58, was killed March 16, 2019. Authorities discovered her body two days later after L.A. County firefighters went to her home on Bonita Avenue around 6 a.m. to investigate a fire alarm. Inside, they found Wall’s remains along with her slain Yorkshire terrier, Bentley, prosecutors said. Medical examiners found that Wall, who lived on the third floor of a gated senior living community, had been stabbed and physically assaulted. A fire was started inside the apartment, which set off the alarm. Prosecutors said on Monday that Tyner briefly dated Wall.
LA Times

Willowbrook Man Admits To Robbing Banks While On Parole For Robbing Banks
A man from Willowbrook pleaded guilty to federal charges for robbing several banks in the Los Angeles area while out on supervised release for previous bank robbery convictions. Rickey Lewis, 53, pleaded guilty to three counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted bank robbery in connection to a six-day crime spree that happened in January 2019. Lewis admitted to committing three robberies from Jan. 22 to Jan. 28, 2019, according to the United States Department of Justice. He robbed two JPMorgan Chase bank branches in Gardena and an International City Bank branch in Long Beach during the spree. He also admitted to trying to rob a Bank of America branch in Downey. During those robberies, Lewis threatened to shoot the bank employees, although it was “not apparent” that he was carrying a gun, the DOJ said. Despite covering his fingers with clear tape, investigators recovered a partial print at one of the crime scenes that matched Lewis’ palm print.

Man Found Beaten To Death Inside Business In Carson
Homicide detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were investigating the death of a man in Carson early Tuesday morning. Deputies responded to a business on the 1700 block of East Del Amo Boulevard at around 6:20 a.m. where the victim was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. Investigators said the victim, identified only as an Asian man in his 50s, suffered injuries consistent with blunt force trauma. He was an employee at the business and was working Monday night, and was found hours later by a coworker, the Sheriff’s Department said. The circumstances surrounding the man’s death are unclear and no further details were released. Anyone with information about the incident was encouraged to contact LASD’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500 or make anonymous tips through Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

39 Years Later, DNA Helps Solve Murder Of Woman Who Turned Down A Date, Authorities Say
Nearly 40 years after a woman was found dead in a Northern California river, authorities said they solved the cold case thanks to the clothes she was wearing when she was killed. As deputies prepared to arrest the suspect, 64-year-old Eric David Drummond, he died by suicide in Sierra County, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday. Drummond had been spurned by Joette Smith, 33, when he asked her on a date shortly before her 1983 killing, and he was first identified as a suspect five years later, the department said. His DNA matched a recent profile taken from Smith’s clothing. “While Drummond will never face criminal charges … the Sheriff’s Office is confident that the evidence in this case would support a conviction of Drummond for the murder of Joette Smith,” Lt. Patrick Dimick said in a news release. Smith’s body was found March 29, 1983, floating in the San Lorenzo River near the town of Ben Lomond. The death of the well-liked owner of Buffalo Gals, a local restaurant, left the town on edge, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported. Police struggled to find suspects for nearly five years, the Sheriff’s Office said.
LA Times

Colorado Deputy Killed In Hit-and-Run Crash; Suspect Arrested
Weld County Sheriff’s Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Sunday while driving to work on her motorcycle. Hein-Nutz, who had been with the sheriff’s office since 2018, was killed a week from her 25th birthday, according to CBS Colorado. The driver who fled the scene, Octavio Gonzalez-Garcia, is a resident of Weld County. However, officers later determined that he had a falsified green card and Social Security card in the vehicle and that he was intoxicated during the crash. Gonzalez-Garcia fled to a cornfield in the area following the crash. He was apprehended following a statewide manhunt. “After many years of dreaming of being in law enforcement, I can finally say I am officially following my dreams. This is only the first stepping-stone to a brighter future. Here is to a better life and doing what I was meant to do,” Hein-Nutz, wrote on Facebook a month after graduating from the academy. At the time of the incident, Hein-Nutz had been serving as a detentions deputy at the Weld County Jail.

Gunman Opens Fire On Deputies At Texas Fair; 3 Wounded, Including Deputy And Firefighter
A gunman shot three people, including two first responders, at the Tri-State Fair & Rodeo in Texas before he was shot and wounded by sheriff's deputies, authorities said. Just before 11 p.m. Monday, a man opened fire on Potter County deputies working off-duty at the fair in Amarillo, Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas said. Thomas said the “male suspect opened fire on the deputies, striking a deputy and an off-duty firefighter, also working at the fair, and a bystander.” Deputies returned fire, wounding the suspect. The deputy, firefighter and bystander were transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, authorities said. The gunman was taken to the hospital with injuries that were described as life-threatening. Thomas did not identify any of the victims or the suspect. He did not offer a motive for the shooting, which is being investigated by the Texas Rangers. Amarillo is about 365 miles (587 kilometers) northwest of Dallas.
Associated Press

Local Government News

LA Council Members Call For Audit Of Homeless Count After Recent Report Showed Only 4% Increase
Some City Council members are calling for options to have a third party conduct a count of Los Angeles' unhoused population and a multi-year audit of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's previous counts, according to two motions filed Tuesday. LAHSA has conducted point-in-time homeless counts every year since 2015 -- with the exception of last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year's count, released earlier this month, showed a 4.1% increase in the number of unhoused people in Los Angeles County since 2020. The city saw a 1.7% increase in homelessness since 2020, but Council President Nury Martinez's office noted that the trends were not consistent across council districts. Martinez, who introduced both motions, sought an evaluation of the effectiveness of LAHSA's count and a report with options on conducting a third- party point-in-time count. That motion was seconded by Councilmen Kevin de León and Paul Krekorian. "While the data is useful in gaining a general understanding of the homeless trends across years, it is unclear whether the current approach is most effective and accurate," the motion stated.
FOX 11

LA Council Approves Contract With Goal Of Creating 3,000 New Transit Shelters
The Los Angeles City Council approved a contract for the city's Street Transit Amenities Program Tuesday that aims to install 3,000 transit-stop shelters and 450 additional shade structures across the city. The council voted 12-1 to approve Tranzito-Vector as the contractor to install, upgrade and maintain transit shelters. The shelters would also include digital signage indicating arrival times for buses. The 10-year agreement also calls for plans to have digital advertisements on 700 of the structures. "We're seeing this in all sorts of other cities,'' said Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who chairs the council's Public Works Committee. "We're behind the curve on this. We're in LA. We need to be in front of this.'' Of the 1,884 transit shelters in LA, one-third are over 30 years old, half are over 20 years old and 96% are over a decade old, according to a presentation by the Bureau of Street Services. "I really do think it's embarrassing that the city can't provide the most basic infrastructure like bus shelters,'' Council President Nury Martinez said. STAP is a new city program for sidewalk and transit amenities, replacing the Coordinated Street Furniture Program, which is expiring at the end of the year.



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