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Law Enforcement News
Off-Duty LAPD Motorcycle Officer Injured In Hit-and-Run Crash
An off-duty motorcycle officer with the Los Angeles Police Department was injured in a hit-and-run crash Thursday afternoon, officials said. It is unclear what time the crash occurred, but the area of Wall Street from Winston to Fourth streets in downtown L.A. remained blocked off at 4:45 p.m., aerial video from Sky5 showed. The driver of the hit-and-run vehicle was detained a short distance from the crash, police said on Twitter without elaborating. The officer was treated for injuries and “is expected to make a full recovery.” No further details about the incident have been released. Several LAPD vehicles converged at the scene amid the investigation, the aerial video showed.
Police Investigate The Fatal Stabbing Of A Homeless Man In Studio City
Los Angeles police are investigating the fatal stabbing of a homeless man, whose body was found along a busy roadway in Studio City this week, according to LAPD. Officers responded to a call about the discovery of a dead body along Laurel Canyon Boulevard about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, LAPD reported. Christopher Schunemann, the 35-year-old victim, was pronounced dead at the scene with multiple stab wounds “throughout his body,” authorities said. Schunemann had been unhoused, said Sarah Ardalani, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner. No other details were released about the killing. Homicide detectives asked for the public’s help in identifying a suspect in the death but released no possible descriptions or motive in the case.
Hit-and-Run Driver Sought In Man's Death In Los Angeles
A driver is being sought in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a man in Los Angeles. It happened on July 28 around 1:30 a.m. in the area near Vernon and Towne avenues. Witnesses told the Los Angeles Police Department they saw Eduardo Trujillo lay down on the street when an unknown truck ran him over. That driver fled the scene, police said. That's when a second vehicle runs over Trujillo, again not stopping and speeding away from the area. Trujillo was pronounced dead at the scene. A reward of up to $50,000 is being offered for information leading to the suspect's identification, arrest, and conviction. If anyone has additional information regarding the vehicle and the driver, please contact Detective Juan Campos, Central Traffic Detectives, at (213) 833-3713, or email him at [email protected].
LAPD: Anne Heche Blood Tests Showed Presence Of Narcotics; More Tests Needed
Authorities today said blood tests on Anne Heche showed the presence of ``narcotics,'' but more tests would be needed to rule out substances that may have been administered at a hospital following the fiery crash in Mar Vista that left the actress in a coma. The blood tests showed that Heche was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, but did show the presence of unspecified ``narcotics,'' Officer Annie Hernandez of the Los Angeles Police Department's media relations office told City News Service. Additional testing will be required to rule out any substance that may have been administered to the actress at the hospital, Hernandez said. A ``felony DUI investigation'' is being conducted, Hernandez said. Hernandez earlier said investigators obtained a warrant for a blood draw from the actress following the Friday crash that left her car fully inside a Mar Vista home, which caught fire and was largely destroyed. The crash was reported shortly before 11 a.m. Friday at a two-story house in the 1700 block of South Walgrove Avenue, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department. On Thursday, TMZ reported that the tests showed Heche ``was under the influence of cocaine ... this according to law enforcement sources, and possibly fentanyl as well.''
One Dead After Single-Car Crash In South Los Angeles
One person was killed in a single-car crash in South Los Angeles late Thursday evening. The crash occurred at around 9:50 p.m. on East 23rd Street near Central Avenue, where the driver of an undisclosed vehicle slammed into the back of a park truck. Due to the force of the collision, the person was trapped inside of their vehicle. By the time Los Angeles Fire Department first responders arrived, the person had already died. There were no additional injuries reported and investigators were working to determine what caused the crash.
Driver Arrested In April Chase; Passenger Sought For Assisting The Getaway, As Heard On Livestream: LAPD
The alleged driver who eluded police while operating their car dangerously in a livestream in May has been arrested, though police are still looking for another person who can be heard providing instructions to the driver in the video, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The suspected driver, 19-year-old Izeal Rachal of Los Angeles, was arrested Thursday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after he was pulled over in Bellflower and deputies saw that he had an outstanding warrant for felony evading, the LAPD said in a press release. He was released on $75,000 bail later Thursday, jail records show. No information on a court date was listed. Police are still seeking the passenger who livestreamed the “evasive maneuvers [used] to evade a traffic violation” and gave Rachal instructions on how to escape the police in his Dodge Charger, police said. “The driver drove at an unsafe speed, drove on the opposite side of the road, turned off the vehicle’s headlights, and almost collided with other vehicles as he eluded the officers,” police said in a June 1 release seeking information on Rachal.
Teen Found Stabbed To Death On Basketball Court In East L.A.
A teen was found stabbed to death on a basketball court near a daycare center in East Los Angeles early Thursday. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to the scene in the 4900 block of East Cesar Chavez Avenue around 4:55 a.m. The victim was lying on the ground unresponsive and suffering from an apparent stab wound, authorities said in a news release. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim was described only as a Hispanic male between 15 and 20 years old. A woman who identified herself as the victim’s mother said her son’s name was Jaime and he was 17. She told KTLA he had been playing video games when she went to sleep the previous night. Sheriff’s Department officials had no suspect or suspect vehicle description, and the weapon used in the crime is outstanding. It is unknown if the stabbing is gang related and no further details have been released. Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department’s homicide bureau at 323-890-555.
$20k Reward Offered For Information On Double Murder Stemming From Street Takeover In Compton
Authorities are set to offer a $20,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect wanted in connection with a double murder at a Compton street takeover in November. The initial incident occurred at around 1 a.m. on Nov. 14, 2021, when two men were shot at close range while sitting in their vehicle at a street takeover at the intersection of Pine Avenue and Bullis Road. It was then that an unknown individual approached the car and opened fire, killing both men. They have been identified as 19-year-old Javier Carachure Menchaca and 22-year-old Juan Antonio Orozco. At a Friday press conference held by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the families of both Menchaca and Orozco will be in attendance to ask for the public's help to locate their son's killer.
Former Inglewood Middle School Teacher Accused Of Murder, Sexual Assault In Cold Cases
A former Inglewood middle school teacher is accused of murder and at least two sexual assaults, and investigators now believe there may be more victims who have yet to step forward. Charles Wright is accused of sexually assaulting and murdering 21-year-old Pertina Epps in April 2005. Her body was found in a carport in the 2700 block of 141st Place in Gardena. Now, 17 years after she was killed, Wright has officially been connected to the murder, according to homicide detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "Forensic evidence obtained during the investigation were primary factors leading to Charles Wright as the likely offender," said LASD Lt. Hugo Reynaga. Detectives said Wright was a middle school teacher and worked for the Inglewood Unified School District when he was arrested in January for Epps murder. He posted $1 million bond and was released from jail. Five days after he bonded out, he was arrested again, accused of a second sexual assault that happened in 2006. The victim was an 18-year-old woman. "Analysis of DNA evidence obtained during a September 17th, 2006, kidnap and sexual assault incident that occurred in Los Angeles also led to the identification of Charles Wright as a likely offender," said Reynaga.
‘I Have No Doubt That You Killed Her’: Man Sentenced To 26 Years For Estranged Wife’s Murder
A man who murdered his estranged wife -- whose badly burned body was discovered at a homeless encampment in Granada Hills -- was sentenced Thursday to 26 years to life in state prison. "I have no doubt that you killed her," Superior Court Judge Eleanor J. Hunter told Hector Veloz, who was found guilty May 2 of first-degree murder for Sandra Velasco's June 2017 slaying. The judge told the 51-year-old defendant that he covered up his crime, "kept up the charade" and in the "ultimate insult" burned the 52-year- old woman's body beyond recognition. "The way you treated your wife was despicable," Hunter said. The judge rejected the defense's request to reduce Veloz's conviction from first-degree murder to second-degree murder. Along with the murder charge, jurors 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.
'We Will Find Who's Responsible': North Carolina Deputy Shot, Killed On Duty
A sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed late Thursday night in eastern Wake County, the Sheriff’s Office reported. The shooting occurred near a gas station on Auburn Knightdale Road and Battle Bridge Road, reported ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner. “It breaks my heart to report that a member of this office was fatally wounded sometime after 11 o’clock last night in the line of duty,” Sheriff Gerald Baker, his eyes red, said at a news conference Friday, asking for prayers. “We will find who’s responsible for this loss,” Baker said. The name of the deputy and the circumstances of the deputy’s death have not been released. Thursday’s shooting happened just a day after a Caswell County sheriff’s deputy was hospitalized with serious injuries after he was shot Wednesday while serving a domestic violence protective order in rural Semora, The News & Observer previously reported. And one deputy was killed and two injured in Wayne County, 60 miles southeast of Raleigh, on Aug. 1 after they were shot while serving an involuntary commitment order inside a home, The N&O reported. The death of Sgt. Matthew Fishman, 38, was announced the next day in a Facebook post.
Oregon Police Bust $22M Catalytic Converter Trafficking Ring
A months-long investigation by the Beaverton Police Department may have completely dismantled a local organized crime ring responsible for a large portion of catalytic converter thefts up and down the West Coast, police said Thursday. Two alleged ringleaders and at least 12 of their suspected accomplices were indicted July 29 by a Washington County grand jury on dozens of aggravated theft, racketeering and money laundering charges. The investigation began in late 2021 when detectives said Tanner Lee Hellbusch, 32, of Beaverton, was running an illegal fencing operation by posing as a legitimate business buying and selling catalytic converters. In March, police said they pulled over Hellbusch with more than 100 stolen catalytic converters, worth about $80,000 on the black market. Hellbusch’s arrest led detectives to the person they believe is the top of the crime enterprise: Brennan Patrick Doyle, 32, of Lake Oswego. The investigation came to a head in late July when police searched eight locations, including a rented lakefront house in Lake Oswego, where they arrested Doyle and said they found 3,000 catalytic converters, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, a high-end car and jewelry.
Public Safety News
LA County Moves Into CDC's ‘Medium' COVID Category
Los Angeles County officially escaped the federal government's "high" COVID-19 activity category Thursday, advancing to the "medium" level thanks to the falling rate of new virus-related hospital admissions. The county moved into the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "high" category in mid-July when the average daily rate of people being admitted to hospitals for COVID reasons topped 10 per 100,000 residents. The county lingered in the "high" category for several weeks, raising the possibility of health officials re-imposing an indoor mask-wearing mandate. The county ultimately opted against the move, citing steady improvements in new case and hospitalization numbers. Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer originally anticipated that the county would move back into the "medium" virus-activity category last week, but the average daily hospitalization rate remained at 10.1 per 100,000 residents in last week's CDC update.