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Nov 2023
Hit-and-Run Driver Sought In Woman's Death In Arlington Heights
Law Enforcement News

Hit-and-Run Driver Sought In Woman's Death In Arlington Heights

A hit-and-run crash killed a woman early Tuesday morning in Arlington Heights, prompting a police search for the responsible driver. Surveillance footage captured the woman being struck by a vehicle around 6:45 a.m. as she crossed Venice Boulevard and the driver fled the scene. Police identified the victim as 66-year-old Bibiana Retana-Sosa. A neighbor in the area, Caloris Berry, said she’s not surprised it happened. "This street is very dangerous," she said, adding that she has seen other people nearly get hit while crossing the street. "It hurts to see that because I wouldn’t want that to happen to my family or my kids crossing that street," said Berry. "I wouldn’t want it to happen to me." Candles and flowers now mark the spot where Sosa was killed and where people consoled one another. Blanca Cantero is a teacher who works at one of the two schools near the intersection, which she said is frequently used by children. "I don’t trust drivers, even though I'm a driver myself, and I just have to be aware" said Cantero. Police are now searching for a 2020 white Mazda CX-5 Crossover with the license plate 8XHG132. Anyone with information regarding the driver are asked to contact the West Traffic Detectives at (213) 473 - 0234.


Joseph Gatto's Family Still Searching For Answers 10 Years After His Murder

Mike Gatto was a state assemblyman when he got the news that a single gunshot killed his father, Joseph Gatto. That was 10 years ago. The Gatto family remains hopeful the killer will be found and justice will be served, and hope by bringing attention to the case, it may prompt someone to come forward with critical information. It's family tradition for Mike Gatto's children to leave a letter at their grandfather's gravesite on the anniversary of his death. Gatto chokes up as he reads the letter of his eldest daughter, Elle. "It's been 10 years, and I still haven't been able to process that you're not here anymore," the letter read. "I miss him a lot, but I miss him more on behalf of my children, and seeing them growing up without him, that's been hard," Mike Gatto said. Joseph Gatto was beloved in his Silver Lake neighborhood. But, on Nov. 12, 2013, someone went inside his home and shot him in the abdomen. His youngest daughter, Marianna Gatto, found him sitting at his desk. "I didn't realize it was homicide," she said. "I thought something else had occurred." Both siblings yearn for closure and justice for their father. Detectives told Marianna Gatto just last week that she needed patience to find the killer. There is a tiny bit of DNA evidence, as the database grows and the technology becomes refined, she said, "a big part of our hope is resting in science."

FOX 11

Federal Prosecutors Charge MS-13 Drug Suspects Linked To Mexican Mafia Leader

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles charged 23 alleged members and associates of the MS-13 gang in a conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, authorities announced Tuesday. Speaking at a news conference in downtown L.A., E. Martin Estrada, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, called drug sales “the lifeblood” of the gang, which was born 40 years ago in Los Angeles before deported members carried it back to their home countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. In California, prosecutors said, MS-13 answers to the Mexican Mafia, an organization of about 140 men who control Latino gang members on the streets, in county jails and in state and federal prisons. The grand jury indictment charges that a Mexican Mafia member controlled MS-13’s drug sales from prison, requiring the “shot callers,” or supervisors of each of the gang’s 20 cliques in Los Angeles, to buy methamphetamine from Herlyn “Doctorazo” Barrientos, 46, of Huntington Park. The shot callers either sold the drugs themselves to raise funds for their cliques, or distributed the narcotics to dealers who paid a “tax” to the gang, Estrada said. Although the Mexican Mafia member wasn’t charged or named in the indictment, Estrada identified him as Ray Martinez. A member of MS-13’s Fulton clique nicknamed Cisco, Martinez, 50, has been in state prison since 1996 serving a sentence of life without parole for murder and robbery, records show.

Los Angeles Times

2 People In Critical Condition After Hit-and-Run In Wilmington

Two people were hospitalized after they were struck by a hit-and-run driver early Wednesday morning. According to law enforcement officials, the two victims were hit around 1 a.m. near the intersection of Anaheim Street and Island Avenue in Wilmington. It is not known if the pedestrians were in a crosswalk at the time of the collision. Witnesses say that the pair were struck by a white sedan, who fled the scene after the crash without stopping to identify themselves or render aid. The victims are said to be in critical condition. 


Authorities Seek Public Help Finding 43-Year-Old Man Last Seen In Compton

Authorities sought the public’s assistance Tuesday in finding a 43-year-old man last seen in Compton. Adris Geane Burns, who also goes by Scooter or Chico, was last seen in the 1800 block of Kay Street, near Long Beach Boulevard, on Nov. 4 around 7:30 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. Deputies describe Burns as a 5-foot-9-inch tall Black man weighing 148 pounds with brown braided hair and brown eyes. He also has tattoos on both arms. Burns’ family is concerned about his well-being, according to the sheriff’s department. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie, black sweats and a gold chain with a pharaoh pendant. Anyone with information regarding Burns’ whereabouts was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Missing Persons Detail at 323-890-5500. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.


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Shooting Threats Send Police Rushing To Three L.A. County Schools. They Were All False

Law enforcement officers responded to shooting threats made against three Los Angeles County schools Tuesday, though none of the menacing calls amounted to anything, according to authorities. Los Angeles Police Department officers received calls threatening shootings at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks around 11:10 a.m., and another call referencing Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills around 11:30 a.m., a spokesman told The Times. In the case of Bishop Alemany, the caller said he had a shotgun, the spokesman said. But when police arrived there was no evidence of any shooter at the campus. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, meanwhile, responded to a call “regarding a possible threat” at Agoura High School in Agoura Hills. The campus was temporarily placed on lockdown as a precaution. “Deputies searched Agoura High School and it was determined there is no threat,” the department wrote in a social media post. All three schools were deemed safe by Tuesday afternoon, according to authorities.

Los Angeles Times

Ohio Police K-9 Killed, 2 Officers Injured After Wrong-Way Driver Crashes Into Cruiser

A K9 was killed and two other police officers were injured when a wrong-way driver crashed into a patrol car. A news release from the State Highway Patrol says the K9, named Fury, was taken to an emergency vet but died of his injuries. The Franklin Police Department says the two other officers involved in the crash were not seriously injured. The patrol says the crash occurred just before 11 a.m. Saturday on South River Street in Franklin, which is located in Warren County between Dayton and Cincinnati in southwest Ohio. Michael Sims, 21, of Nicholasville, Kentucky, is accused of driving a 2015 Jeep Patriot in the wrong direction at high speeds before crashing into the patrol car. The Jeep went off the road and struck a tree before coming to a stop, the patrol says. Sims was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Sims is charged with two counts of felonious assault and felonious assault of a police dog, according to Warren County Jail records. Additional charges are likely, the patrol says.


Pennsylvania Trooper Severely Injured By Hit-and-Run Driver Reunites With Bystander Who Saved Him

A trooper has reunited with a man he said saved his life in August, KDKA reported. Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Josh Osche, who was off-duty at the time, stopped to help a tow truck driver who had been involved in a hit-and-run incident, according to the report. As Osche was putting on reflective safety equipment and setting up glow sticks, he was struck and thrown ten feet into the air by a car, which did not stop to give aid. Blair Johnson, the tow truck driver, dragged Osche from the center lane to the side of the road, stabilized his neck and stayed with him until help arrived, according to the report. The two met in November to discuss the incident and reflect on what happened. "I saw it coming. I knew he didn't see it. He had his back turned. I just let out as loud as I could, a scream," Johnson said. When asked if he felt like he was going to die, Osche said, "I felt like it was distinctly possible." "We talked about little things: What troop are you in? How long you been a trooper? When did you go to the academy? Those types of things, just to keep his mind off of it," Johnson said.


New York To Add State Troopers To Hate Crime Task Force Following Spike In Antisemitic Crime

Responding to a swell in antisemitic hate crimes, New York State will deploy more state cops to the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force’s offices in New York, Gov. Hochul said Monday. Hochul, a Buffalo Democrat, directed $2.5 million to the New York State Police to support its plan to embed an additional 10 investigators in the FBI’s counterterrorism task force’s offices in New York City, Albany and Rochester, according to the governor’s office. Eight of the investigators will be placed in the city’s Joint Terrorism Task Force offices and one each will go to the upstate cities, Hochul’s office said. There were about 30 state cops working with the task force before the additions, according to the governor’s office. New York City is home to about 1.6 million Jews, according to the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. The city’s Jewish temples have been on high alert — and blanketed by law enforcement — since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, unleashing a bloody war. Citing a 214% increase in antisemitic hate crimes in the city since Oct. 7, Hochul said in a Manhattan news conference that “the rising level of hate, and antisemitism in particular, poses a clear and present danger to the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers.”

New York Daily News

Public Safety News

1 Hospitalized In Fire That Destroyed Mobile Home In San Fernando

A man was hospitalized Tuesday afternoon when Fire destroyed at least one mobile home in San Fernando. The fire was reported at about noon at a mobile home park in the 1500 block of Truman Avenue. Details about a cause were not immediatley avialable. Flames damaged two neighboring mobile homes. The fire was knocked down in about 45 minutes. One man suffered burn injuries to his face and hands. He was hospitalized in serious condition.


RSV Is On The Rise. What Does That Mean For SoCal?

Public health experts are warning that the rising rates of RSV in the Southern U.S. could be a sign we need to prepare here in Southern California. At one hospital in Texas, doctors are sounding the alarm about the continuous influx of RSV cases. "We have a patient checking in every 3 minutes," said Dr. Taylor Louden, who works in pediatric emergency medicine. In Fort Worth, officials at Cook Children's Health Care System say they treated nearly 250 children with RSV in the last week alone. "It was an emotional roller coaster. I didn't know if my baby was gonna be OK," said mom Kaycee Hughes. Parents of 10-month-old Konnar Cotton said he was diagnosed with pneumonia and multiple viruses, including RSV after he had trouble breathing. His mother says the ICU where he's being treated is full. "Unfortunately, all pediatric hospitals are bracing for impact. We are still very early on in the winter season," said Dr. John Brownstein, infectious disease epidemiologist and ABC News contributor.


Local Government News

L.A. Backs 4% Cap On Rent Increases For Stabilized Units Starting In February

With the city’s COVID-era freeze on rent increases set to expire at the end of January, the Los Angeles City Council signed off on a compromise proposal Tuesday that will allow landlords to raise rents next year by 4% — spurning calls from some tenant advocates to extend the freeze. The plan will apply only to units that fall under the city’s rent stabilization ordinance, which covers roughly three-quarters of all multifamily rental units in the city. The proposal was approved on a 10-2 vote, though it still has to be formally drafted by the city attorney’s office and return to the council for another vote before it is finalized. Councilmembers Curren Price and Katy Yaroslavsky and Council President Paul Krekorian recused themselves because they own rental properties. Under the measure, landlords who pay tenants’ gas and electric utilities will be allowed to raise rents by 6%. Had the council not approved Tuesday’s compromise, allowable increases would have been higher: up to 7% as a base, or up to 9% if landlords pay utilities.

Los Angeles Times

LA City Council OKs Motion To Address Aftermath Of Freeway 10 Fire

The City Council Tuesday approved a motion seeking to address the challenges to public safety and economic impacts to local business caused by the fire that damaged and closed a stretch of the Santa Monica (10) Freeway downtown. Council members unanimously approved the item after Councilman Kevin de Leon introduced it during Tuesday’s council meeting pursuant to Rule 23, which allows council members to introduce and pass a motion on the same day. “The motion introduced today underscores my commitment to address the diverse challenges posed by the devastating freeway fire,” said de Leon, who represents the 14th District, which encompasses several downtown L.A. neighborhoods. “Tens of thousands of families and businesses in my district are bearing the brunt of this fire, whether they work near the I-10 freeway or live in the neighboring community of Boyle Heights,” he continued. “It’s necessary that we take a holistic approach to address and monitor the ongoing impacts of public safety, traffic, air quality and economic fallout.”


Harvard-Westlake Sports Facility Project Unanimously Approved By LA City Council

A beloved and affordable public golf and tennis club in Studio City will soon be demolished for a new sports facility for an elite private school. "I'm glad I got to be here before the demolition starts," said golfer Debra Evans. For 25 years, Evans has golfed at the nine-hole course at Weddington Golf and Tennis Club. However, her affordable par three will soon belong to Harvard-Westlake and its students after the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved its plan to turn the public green space into a massive sports facility. "It's an industrial lot-sized 'sportszilla.' It's huge!" community member Teri Austin said. Austin and the nonprofit Save Weddington bitterly fought the Harvard-Westlake project, claiming that the city prioritized the wealthy families whose kids attend the $47,000 per year private school instead of the hundred thousand Angelenos per year who pay the $12 fee to putt around the course. Austin and her group still plan to fight the development through the court system. "It's the city who did not follow their own rules, and, we believe, improperly granted a conditional use permit based on an environmental study that was inadequate and insufficient," said Austin. "We're gonna prove it in court."


About the LAPPL: Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents more than 8,900 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.

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