Law Enforcement News
Koreatown Intruder Throws Boiling Hot Water At Resident
Nicole Lucas and boyfriend Davis Sarvey were returning home from a night out celebrating a birthday last week when they were met by a stranger inside their Koreatown apartment. "She goes to open the door and boom. He just splashes boiling hot water all over her," Sarvey said. Lucas suffered second- and third-degree burns on her face, neck and chest. When Davis tried to go back in, the man had grabbed one of their kitchen knives. "He swung the knife at me from two or three feet away," Sarvey said. The attacker was arrested a short time later, but he left behind a lot of damage, defecating on the floor and soiling the place. "He ransacked our whole house, destroyed a bunch of plants," Sarvey said. Luckily, the couple's beloved dogs were OK, but he also caused a lot of damage that can't be seen. "Mentally, I know it's going to be a long journey," Lucas said.
Police Seek Driver Who Suffered ‘Serious Injuries’ In Fatal And Fiery Hit-and-Run In South Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Police Department is looking for a hit-and-run driver who likely sustained major injuries in the fatal Monday morning crash in the Broadway-Manchester neighborhood of South Los Angeles. The crash occurred just before 8 a.m. at Main Street and 111th Place when a speeding silver sedan struck the unidentified victims’ vehicle, which then hit a parked vehicle, police said in a Tuesday news release. Two of the victims, a 35-year-old mother and her 18-month-old son, suffered severe injuries and are in critical condition, while another son, 13, was declared dead at a local hospital. The fourth victim, a 16-year-old daughter, suffered serious injuries as well, the Los Angeles Fire Department said on Monday. Police did not provide an update on her condition.
$50K Reward Offered For Information In Unsolved Murder Of Los Angeles County Woman
An investigation continues two years after an aspiring nurse was murdered in West Covina. On Jan 2. 2021, West Covina police investigators said 29-year-old Gabriela De Haro-Perez was killed after being shot in the head near the intersection of Azusa Avenue and Amar Road, which borders the cities of West Covina and La Puente in the San Gabriel Valley. Authorities believe her killing was a case of senseless gang violence and misidentification, clarifying that De Haro-Perez was not involved in any gangs or gang activity. Detectives have opted not to disclose some details about the investigation. However, they do believe there are people who know who is responsible for De Haro-Perez’s killing and are asking that they come forward with information. As an incentive, the West Covina City Council approved a reward of $50,000 for information that will lead to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for her murder. The reward money is up $20,000 from what was offered in April 2021.
Inglewood Father Pleads Not Guilty To Murdering 1-Year-Old Found In LA River
An Inglewood man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murdering his 1-year-old daughter, whose body was found in the Los Angeles River in Long Beach. Jayveyon Burley, 22, is charged with one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death. According to police, Burley went to Long Beach on Dec. 4 to pick up his two children, but he had only one child -- his 3-year-old son -- with him when he returned home to his mother's house in the 300 block of North Market Street in Inglewood. Authorities said his mother grew suspicious and called police, leading to a search in which the girl, Leilani Dream Burley, was found dead Dec. 5 in the Los Angeles River near the Ocean Boulevard bridge. Burley was arrested Dec. 5 by Inglewood police and has remained behind bars since then, jail records show. The mother of Burley's children, Lynisha Hull, told NBC4 she last saw Leilani Sunday evening when Burley came to pick the kids up. "My baby always lights up the room with her big beautiful eyes," Lynisha Hull told NBCLA. "Leilani was only 1 year old. She was full of life, and she was so beautiful and loved."
LA Man Receives 3½ Years In Prison For $619,000 Skimming Scheme
A Los Angeles man has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for his role in building specialized skimming devices to steal at least $619,923 from an untold number of unwitting victims at gas pumps throughout Southern California. Robert Fichidzhyan, 40, admitted in a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego that he built “skimmers” — customized electronic devices that his accomplices secretly installed at dozens of gas stations to steal credit and debit card information. In addition to the prison term handed down Monday, Jan. 9, Fichidzhyan was ordered to forfeit $249,890, which is the amount he personally received from the scheme, and participate with seven co-defendants, who primarily reside in Granada Hills, Glendale and North Hollywood, in paying an additional $619,923 in restitution.
LA Daily News
L.A. Prosecutors To Retry Danny Masterson On Sexual Assault Charges
Actor Danny Masterson will face a second trial on sexual assault charges later this year, prosecutors said Tuesday. The 47-year-old actor, best known for his role on the “That 70s Show” sitcom, was accused of raping and assaulting three fellow members of the Church of Scientology at his Hollywood Hills home between 2001 and 2003. After hearing weeks of testimony at a trial in November, a jury deadlocked on the charges, causing a mistrial. Polled afterward, jurors indicated they were leaning heavily toward acquitting Masterson and prosecutors were cagey about whether they would retry him. At a brief court hearing Tuesday morning, they announced they would do so, according to a spokesman for the district attorney’s office. Also on Tuesday, a motion from Masterson’s lawyers to dismiss all charges was denied. Jury selection in the second trial is scheduled to begin on March 29. Masterson’s attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. The actor has denied all wrongdoing.
Authorities Asking For Public’s Help Locating Missing 29-Year-Old Man Last Seen In Santa Clarita
Authorities with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are asking for the public’s help in locating a 29-year-old man missing from the Santa Clarita area. Patrick James Yates was last seen on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at around 11 a.m., in the 18900 block of Soledad Canyon Road, LASD said in a news bulletin. Yates is described as a white male, approximately 6 foot 1 inch tall, weighing 180 pounds with brown, curly shoulder-length hair and blue eyes. The 29-year-old was last seen wearing a gray shirt and tan pants. He may be driving a black 2016 BMW 328i, with Pennsylvania license plate number LNB3273. There is concern for Yates’ well-being. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is urged to contact LASD’s Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500 and ask for Detective M. Perez. Anonymous tips can be made through Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or online at L.A. Crime Stoppers.
13-Year-Old Wearing Pajama Pants Reported Missing In Lancaster
A 13-year-old boy last seen in Lancaster was reported missing, authorities said Wednesday morning. Curtis Davion Pearson was last seen at 4 p.m. Tuesday on the 1600 block of Marion Avenue in Lancaster, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. Curtis Pearson is 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 135 pounds, has black shoulder-length braided hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black tank top with red and blue pajama pants. Anyone who has seen Curtis or knows of his whereabouts is asked to contact the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. at (661) 948-8466. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or lacrimestoppers.org.
Minnesota Man Sentenced To 37 Years In Killing Of Tribal Police Officer
A Minnesota man was sentenced Tuesday to 37 years in prison for the shooting death of a tribal police officer. David Brian Donnell Jr., 30, pleaded guilty in April to second-degree murder in the killing of 37-year-old Officer Ryan Bialke. On July 27, 2021, five officers with the Red Lake Tribal Police Department went to Donnell's home in Redby to conduct a welfare check. When officers arrived, Donnell, who was on the porch, went inside the home. Because Donnell had an active tribal warrant and was refusing to comply with orders, officers breached the door. Donnell opened fire and Bialke was struck by gunfire, prosecutors said. Donnell continued firing and one officer returned fire as the four remaining officers fled into nearby woods. He fired at least 22 rounds from his rifle, prosecutors said. Bialke died at the scene. Donnell fled but was arrested soon after at a nearby home.
Public Safety News
Chatsworth Sinkhole Grows Bigger As Crews Salvage Wreckage Amid Leaking Sewage
A sinkhole that opened up and swallowed two vehicles in Chatsworth on Monday was growing bigger Tuesday even as crews worked to salvage the wreckage and secure the site. Tuesday night an excavator was able to pull the mangled debris of the wrecked vehicles out of the hole. A pipeline that also runs through the site was leaking raw sewage into the hole. The sinkhole had grown to more than 30 feet in diameter and was at least 40 feet deep. The hole initially opened up on Iverson Road Monday night, swallowing up two vehicles. It came after several powerful storms hit Southern California dropping heavy rainfall, and triggering mud flows and flooding. A woman and her teen daughter were in the first vehicle to fall and then a pickup truck landed on top of them.
LA County Board Approves Homeless Emergency Declaration
Mirroring a step taken by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass on her first day in office last month, the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a motion proclaiming a local emergency on homelessness. "Today's unanimous action by the board honors the November mandate from LA County voters: lead with urgency and transparency to address the homelessness crisis in every neighborhood,'' Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath said in a statement following the vote. The board last month approved a motion calling on its staff to work arm-in-arm with Los Angeles city officials to address homelessness and assist in any way possible to implement Bass' emergency declaration. But the board on Tuesday approved a declaration of its own, noting that the Long Beach City Council is scheduled to vote on a homelessness emergency proclamation Tuesday night for the second-largest city in the county.
Firefighters Rescue Mother Giving Birth In The Middle Of Flooded California Riverbed
Authorities in central California rescued a woman and her newborn baby after the woman had just given birth in a flooded riverbed on Monday. According to the City of Lompoc Police Department, officials discovered the woman actively giving birth with the father present at the scene. The child was delivered prematurely with the father's assistance. All of this occurred as they were surrounded by water flowing through the riverbed, authorities say. Luckily, all three were rescued and the child was taken to Lompoc Hospital along with the mother. Due to the circumstances of the child's birth, police say an investigation has been opened and Child Welfare Services has been notified. Meanwhile, sinkholes swallowed cars and floodwaters swamped towns and swept away a small boy as California was wracked by more wild winter while the next system in a powerful string of storms loomed on the horizon Tuesday.
Local Government News
"You're Not Welcome In These Chambers": Kevin de León Attends LA City Council Meeting As Colleagues Object
The Los Angeles City Council had just concluded taking public comment at Tuesday's meeting when Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez stood up to speak. "I want to respond to the public comment, but also speak directly to Council member de León," Hernandez said. Hernandez, the first council member to address de León directly in public in the chamber after the embattled councilman has begun attending meetings again, said that the people of Los Angeles have made it clear: "You're not welcome in these chambers." De León continues to defy widespread calls for resignation after taking part in a 2021 leaked racist conversation. He has attended the last three council meetings, but this time, de León did not take his seat in the horseshoe. Instead, he entered the chamber during public comment and stood in the back, talking to staff and flipping through papers. Protesters did not initially shout en masse for him to leave as they did during the first two meetings, but a couple of them addressed him during their testimony.
LA Council Bans Nighttime Public Access To Areas Around Ballona Wetlands
In an effort to protect environmentally sensitive areas around the Ballona Wetlands, the City Council voted Tuesday to ban nighttime public access to the area. The wetlands, the largest remaining wetland habitat in Los Angeles County, have dealt with people lighting campfires and dumping waste -- which has caused "significant damage'' to the sensitive habitat area, according to the ordinance. The habitat, which spans approximately 500 acres, contains several rare or endangered species including the El Segundo blue butterfly, Belding's savannah sparrow, Coastal California gnatcatcher, Least Bell's vireo and Light-footed Ridgeway's Rail, according to a motion field by former Councilman Mike Bonin in 2021. The wetlands also help young fish shelter from potential predators and provide an outlet for water to stream into underground into rivers and aquifers, according to the motion.