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15
Jun 2022
NewsWatch June 15, 2022

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Law Enforcement News

2 El Monte Police Officers Killed By ‘Coward,' Interim Chief Says
Two police officers are dead after being shot in the line of duty in El Monte. The El Monte Police Department responded to a call of a possible stabbing at a motel near Garvey Avenue and Central Avenue Monday evening. Upon arrival, a gunman opened fire at the responding officers, El Monte city officials said in a press release. Two of the officers were hit in the shooting and were taken to LAC-USC Medical Center, where they were eventually pronounced dead. "They paid the ultimate sacrifice – serving their community, trying to help somebody," said interim El Monte police chief Ben Lowry. "Today, they were murdered by a coward." The gunman was also shot and killed at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, who is helping El Monte PD with investigations. Officials did not specify how the shootings broke out in the first place or what ultimately killed the suspect. Officials have not released the identities of the two officers killed in the line of duty. LASD Captain Andrew Meyer, however, said one of the El Monte PD officers was a veteran with more than 20 years on the force. The second El Monte officer was a rookie with less than one year in the department.
FOX 11

Suspect In Custody After CHP Officer Shot, Critically Wounded In Studio City
A suspect described earlier as “armed and dangerous” is in custody Tuesday after a California Highway Patrol officer was shot and critically wounded in Studio City the night before. Authorities initially thought they had the suspected shooter barricaded in an apartment complex Monday night in the 7400 block of Haskell Avenue in Van Nuys but only found the suspect’s roommate after making entry into the unit early Tuesday morning. The suspect, identified as 33-year-old Pejhmaun Iraj Khosroabadi, was eventually found in a nearby homeless encampment after a K-9 unit hit on a scent Tuesday morning and tracked him to the location. He was transported to Valley Presbyterian Hospital after being taken into custody. It was unclear what injuries he may have sustained. Khosroabadi had been wanted for attempted murder of a peace officer, according to a CHP news release. The shooting occurred hours earlier, around 7:55 p.m., after the officer pulled over a white Ford sedan near the intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Landale Street in Studio City south of the 101 Freeway. Witnesses saw the vehicles pull into the Campbell Hall school parking lot in what appeared to be a routine traffic stop.
FOX 11

LAPD Bloodhound ‘Did A Phenomenal Job' Tracking Down CHP Shooting Suspect
Piper the bloodhound doesn't ask for much in return for doing her job. Some praise and a cheeseburger will do. The 4-year-old member of the LAPD K-9 unit has both coming her way after she played a key role in tracking down an armed and dangerous suspect wanted in a shooting Monday in Studio City that left a 27-year-old CHP officer in critical condition. The search for the shooter went on for about 12 hours and ended at a west San Fernando Valley homeless encampment after Piper tracked the suspect's scent to a tent. She has a reward coming her way. "Piper gets praised with a lot of love," said LAPD Sgt. Desi Ehrlich. "Bloodhounds are very loving dogs. So the handler gives the dog a lot of love. Each time we get a find, we get the dog a cheeseburger." The search unfolded Monday evening when officers responded to an apartment complex in Van Nuys, about seven miles northwest of the scene of the shooting in the 4500 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Details about what led to the traffic stop were not available Tuesday afternoon, but authorities said a man opened fire as the officer approached the car. The driver left the scene. LAPD Chief Michel Moore told NBCLA that the suspect suffered a gunshot wound to his hand during the altercation. The suspect drove to the apartment complex in the 7400 block of Haskell Avenue in Van Nuys after the shooting, police said. The building was evacuated and the area was closed while a SWAT team searched for the suspect, but did not find him. That's where Piper came in, about 12 hours into the search.
NBC 4

NBA's Jaxson Hayes Sentenced To Probation, Community Service After 2021 Incident With LAPD Officer
New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes -- who pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor charges stemming from a run-in that resulted in his arrest last summer in Woodland Hills -- was sentenced Tuesday to 450 hours of community service, 52 weeks of domestic-violence classes and three years of probation. Hayes, now 22, pleaded no contest Feb. 24 to one misdemeanor count each of false imprisonment and resisting an officer, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. He was given credit for one day already served in jail, will be subject to a protective order and will be ordered to pay restitution in an amount that is still to be determined, according to the City Attorney's Office. Ten other misdemeanor counts against him, including infliction of corporal injury and vandalism, were dismissed as a result of his plea, according to court records. According to body cam footage released by Los Angeles police about a month after Hayes' July 28 arrest, a cousin of Hayes' girlfriend called police and told a dispatcher the woman sent text messages claiming Hayes was "getting loud and violent and she's scared and can't call the police herself." Police responded about 3 a.m. July 28 to the 22000 block of Mariano Street, where the police body cam video showed Hayes and another man in front of a house.
FOX 11

Bicyclist Hit by Vehicle And Killed In Exposition Park Area; Motorist Sought
A bicyclist was struck by a vehicle and killed in the Exposition Park area, and police Tuesday sought the public’s help to find the hit-and-run motorist. The man, in his 30s, was injured about 11:15 p.m. Monday at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Hoover Street and died at a hospital, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Information was not immediately available on his identity. No vehicle description was released. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call 877-LAPD-247.
MyNewsLA.com

LAPD Officers Following Stolen Vehicle Arrest Three Suspects In Westlake District
Authorities arrested a trio of stolen vehicle suspects early Tuesday morning in the Westlake District. The extremely brief following, which didn't go on long enough to become a pursuit, lasting just over a minute, ended when the three suspects jumped out of the vehicle seconds after it crashed near W. 4th Street and Rampart Boulevard, where they attempted to flee on foot. Sky2 over the scene showed one of the suspects attempting to hide under several pieces of trash littered near a gutter, just feet away from where one of his counterparts was being apprehended. All three suspects were taken into custody without further incident.
CBS 2

Man Who Assaulted 71-Year Old Victim In Glendale ‘For No Reason’ Sought
A man who allegedly attacked a 71-year-old homeless man in Glendale “for no reason” last month is being sought by police. The incident occurred just before 11 a.m. May 10 along the sidewalk of the 200 block of South Central Avenue, Glendale police said Tuesday in a crime bulletin. The man allegedly punched the victim multiple times in the face, causing major injury. The man then left the area on foot. No other details about the attack have been released. Police released surveillance images of the man and described him as being between 30 to 40 years old and clean shaven. He was wearing a blue sleeveless shirt, beige pants and a black cap. He is wanted on suspicion of assault and elder abuse, police said. Anyone with information about the assault or the assailant is asked to call the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4911.
KTLA 5

Suspected Catalytic Converter Thieves From L.A. Arrested After Multi-County High-Speed Chase
Four people from the Los Angeles area were taken into custody Monday night after a high-speed pursuit that began in Santa Barbara County and ended in Ventura. Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a neighborhood in Goleta around 10 p.m. for a report of a possible catalytic converter theft that had just occurred. When deputies arrived on scene, they immediately located the suspect vehicle which was fleeing the scene. Deputies attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver did not obey, instead taking off on the 101 Freeway at a high rate of speed. Deputies gave chase at first but eventually terminated the pursuit due to the high speeds and safety concerns. Deputies in Carpinteria, which is south of Goleta on the other side of Santa Barbara, picked up the pursuit when the vehicle reentered Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. Again the vehicle sped off at high speeds and deputies were forced to terminate the pursuit, according to the Sheriff’s Office. As the vehicle crossed over into Ventura County, the Ventura Police Department and the California Highway Patrol began to provide assistance in the pursuit.
KTLA 5

Two $20k Rewards Offered For Unsolved Murders, Disappearance In Antelope Valley
A $20,000 reward is now being offered for information about two separate cold cases in the Antelope Valley area, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced Tuesday. Authorities are searching for answers in the case of a 2017 double murder in Lancaster, and a 2020 disappearance in Palmdale. On Sept. 30, 2017 18-year-old Andrew Chavez and his girlfriend, 19-year-old Clotee Reyes, were shot outside a residence in the 43000 block of 6th Street E in Lancaster. According to authorities, the couple was leaving a birthday party for a friend of theirs, and were talking with friends outside. Shortly before 2 a.m., a black sedan drove by and shots were fired into the crowd, hitting and killing both Chavez and Reyes. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says they believe there may be witnesses who were there that night who may have seen the shooter or shooters. A separate reward is being offered for information into the disappearance of 27-year-old Gloria Huerta from Palmdale. Huerta was reported missing on Aug. 3, 2020, last seen on the 14700 block of East Avenue Q-14. LASD investigators say they believe some altercation happened on the property where Huerta was staying in her trailer, and suspect foul play was involved." Huerta's trailer — described as a 15-20-foot long white trailer with no markings and a door near the back — is also missing.
FOX 11

CHP Seizes $200,000 In Stolen Lululemon Leggings
Call it a tight squeeze: Investigators with the California Highway Patrol have recovered more than $200,000 worth of stolen merchandise from athletic apparel maker Lululemon, officials announced this week. The CHP Border Division’s Organized Retail Crime Task Force was alerted to three large boxes containing stolen goods shipped from Ohio and destined for an apartment complex in La Habra earlier this month. When investigators delivered the merchandise to the apartment, they found several other similar boxes and obtained a search warrant. The investigation revealed a total of 16 boxes inside the apartment, each filled with stolen Lululemon leggings. In all, “there were 1,861 stolen items seized and inventoried with a retail value of $203,688,” CHP said in a news release. The products were stolen from various Lululemon locations throughout the country, including stores in Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin, they said. A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, according to the CHP, a representative said it is the largest recovery of stolen items in the company’s history. “The investigation is ongoing, and the apartment residents claimed no knowledge of what the boxes contained,” CHP added.
LA Times

Nude Woman Steals Chicago Police Car, Runs Over Officer’s Leg
A nude woman lying in the street stole a Chicago police squad car, ran over an officer with it and then crashed it Monday morning, Superintendent David Brown said at a news conference. Police received a call of a woman in the street unclothed, Brown said. When police tried to see what was wrong and help the woman, she charged and assaulted an officer, got in the squad car and drove off. The officer was hospitalized for injuries to a leg and a cut to the head, the superintendent said. The woman crashed and was arrested, Brown said. According to surveillance video of the incident viewed by the Tribune, a woman was seen for a couple of seconds standing outside the passenger side of a red minivan that was in traffic at Jackson Boulevard and Kostner Avenue on the West Side. The woman ran across the street to a dark blue SUV. She approached the vehicle on the front passenger side and the SUV drove away from her, the video shows. The woman appeared to run alongside the SUV and open the passenger door as it drove off, the video shows. The momentum of the fleeing SUV appeared to cause the woman to fall in the middle of the intersection.
Chicago Tribune

More Helicopters Eyed As A Tool For Chicago Police, Cook County Sheriff To Fight Carjackings
Chicago police officials, facing a surge in carjackings in recent years, are hoping to acquire new helicopters, possibly with the help of donations, to help track stolen vehicles and conduct other types of aerial missions. A police source said the city has earmarked about $12 million to buy two new helicopters, but no contracts have been signed. “We anticipate, or hope, to replace our helicopters,” Eric Carter, the first deputy police superintendent, said in an interview. Carter said “several philanthropists have stepped up and inquired what the needs were as well as the cost. It would be a phased transition if we are successful in acquiring the helicopters through philanthropists and donations — or government funds.” He wouldn’t elaborate. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart also is considering getting a helicopter “The sheriff’s office has been working closely with the county to secure funding to purchase a helicopter,” a sheriff’s spokesman said. “We believe it to be an effective tool for increasing the odds of catching and prosecuting carjacking offenders while keeping county residents safer.”
Chicago Sun Times

129 Officers Killed In Line Of Duty In 2021, FBI Report Says
Last month, the FBI released its 2021 Statistics on Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty. According to the report, 129 officers were killed in the line of duty in 2021, which is 27 more than the previous year. Of those 129 deaths, 73 were related to felonious acts and 56 were accidents. The 73 felonious deaths in 2021 were also an increase from 2017 (46 felonious deaths) and 2012 (49 felonious deaths). The FBI report found other notable statistics related to felonious deaths, including: the average age at death was 39 years old; the average length of service was 12 years; most officers (24) were killed in unprovoked attacks. Other common circumstances that led to duty deaths were investigation/enforcement activities (9), premeditated ambushes (8), pursuits (8), responding to disturbances (7) and tactical situations (6); and firearms were the most common weapon (61) used to kill officers; 20 assailants had prior criminal arrests. The report also details notable statistics about accidental officer deaths, including: 32 officers died because of motor vehicle crashes and 20 were pedestrians struck by vehicles; and 4 officers drowned.
PoliceOne

Public Safety News

LA County Moves Closer To Possibly Returning To Indoor Mask Requirement As Hospitalizations Increase
If Los Angeles County were to reach the CDC's "high" virus activity category later this month, indoor mask mandates for the region would be triggered shortly after. Some people are not waiting to don masks. The Hacienda La Puente Unified School District announced it's requiring indoor masking until July 5. With COVID-19 infections continuing to rise in the county, and hospitalization numbers increasing over the past several weeks, county officials urged residents and businesses Tuesday to don masks before they become mandatory -- which could happen by month's end. "This may not be a pandemic that ends," county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said. "It may simply continue to shift and change and we will live with it one way or another, primarily by vaccination and probably masking. But I think people really want to think the whole thing is over, and that's not helpful to the numbers." County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that if the rate of COVID hospitalization numbers continues rising at the pace it has for the past two weeks, the county would move into the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "high" virus activity category by late June.
ABC 7

California Coronavirus Cases Remain Elevated As Wave Continues
The number of newly reported coronavirus cases remains elevated across California as health officials continue to wrestle with the pandemic’s latest wave. Statewide, health officials reported an average of about 15,900 new coronavirus infections a day over the last week — roughly in line with the rate recorded over the previous week, according to a Times analysis of state data released Monday. However, it’s too soon to say whether a plateau or a downturn is imminent. Modeling from the California Department of Public Health suggests that the spread of COVID-19 is likely still increasing in Southern California, the San Joaquin Valley and Greater Sacramento, but might be stable in the San Francisco Bay Area and the northern swath of the state. Recent official case tallies are also almost assuredly an undercount, as many people are screening themselves using at-home coronavirus tests, the results of which are not reliably reported to health officials. It’s also likely that, with schools letting out, fewer cases will be found through regular campus screenings.
LA Times

Local Government News

L.A. Council Votes To Ban Dismantling, Selling Bicycles On Streets Amid Crime Concerns
The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to prohibit the sale and repair of bicycles on city streets, a move critics say would unfairly target homeless people. The measure, approved on a 11-3 vote during a special meeting, aims to deter bike thefts in the city and “open-air bicycle chop shops,” places where people dismantle stolen bicycles, sell the parts or reassemble them to be sold. Homeless advocates and other critics say existing laws make bike thefts illegal and that the new measure, if signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, would mostly target indigent people who earn money by repairing and assembling bicycles on the streets. They also fear it will encourage police to profile people of color in low-income areas. The new law would exempt people with valid business licenses or who have to repair a bicycle that broke down while riding it on the street. Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who introduced the motion last fall, said chop shops have become a pervasive problem in the city, and a new ordinance was needed to help Los Angeles police officers address it. He said recovering stolen bikes is difficult because bike owners don’t document the serial numbers and thieves file them off.
LA Times

Councilman Calls For Vacant St. Vincent Hospital To Reopen For Homeless Care
Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell started a petition Tuesday calling for the shuttered St. Vincent Medical Center to be reopened as an acute care center for people experiencing homelessness. The vacant, 381-bed hospital is owned by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who O’Farrell called “the richest person in Los Angeles.” Soon-Shiong, a transplant surgeon, is also known as the owner of the Los Angeles Times. “He has owned this hospital and campus for over two years. Except for a very brief time in 2020, when the state paid Dr. Soon-Shiong $27 million to use the facility as a temporary COVID hospital, the property has sat vacant,” O’Farrell said. “Rather than trying to sell it for redevelopment, and refusing to even consider working with us on adaptive reuse or repurposing, I urge Dr. Soon-Shiong to work with our broad coalition of local, county and state leaders to make something happen here to the benefit of all, and especially the most vulnerable in our region.”
MyNewsLA.com

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