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Sep 2021
Newswatch September 16, 2021

Good Morning. The Heart of the LAPD 5K Walk is now a VIRTUAL WALK. So, join us on a virtual walk, Saturday, September 18th, for the 4th Annual Heart of LAPD 5k Walk to promote suicide prevention and awareness. Click here for more information on the event.

Law Enforcement News

Crime Data Shows There Really Is A Spike In Armed Robberies In Mid City LA
Crime data shows that more people are being robbed at gunpoint around Los Angeles in 2021, and the increase is even more pronounced in Hollywood and Mid-City, where several recent holdups and shootings along Melrose Avenue were captured on security video. “Robberies are essentially flat,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the LA Police Commission Tuesday, referencing a City-wide, overall count that shows the total number of robberies between January 1 and September 15, 2021 is nearly the same as the number tallied during the same months in 2020. The Department’s crime reports show, however, that the number of robberies in which guns are used have increased by approximately 16-percent, from 1,092 in 2020 to 1,271 in 2021. In the LAPD’s Wilshire and Hollywood Divisions, the patrol stations responsible for Melrose and the surrounding areas, crime data shows the increase is far more significant, with a 65-percent jump in the the number of robberies with guns in 2021 than in 2020. The Division captains weren’t available Wednesday to address the increase or discuss what was being done to address them. The I-Team reported in July that crime data has also shown more people are being shot during robberies than in years past.


Man Arrested In Hit-and-Run That Killed Mother, Injured Her 3-Year-Old Son Near Dockweiler Beach
A man was arrested in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed a mother and injured her 3-year-old son near Dockweiler State Beach last weekend, police said. Darwin Jamal Dantzler, 39, was arrested Wednesday morning by the Los Angeles Police Department, inmate records show. He was released from custody roughly three hours later after posting a $50,000 bail. The deadly hit-and-run crash happened as 33-year-old Wendy Galdamez-Palma was crossing the street with her child Saturday night in the 8800 block of Vista Del Mar, when they were hit by a Toyota 4Runner, according to the LAPD. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The child was taken to the hospital and is expected to be OK. Dantzler is expected to make his first court appearance in January. Additional details about the arrest were not immediately available. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact police at 213-473-0022.

Veteran Who Tried To Break Up Dispute Fatally Stabbed At Homeless Encampment In Brentwood
A suspect has been arrested after fatally stabbing another man at the San Vicente homeless encampment in Brentwood. Deputies responded to the 11600 block of San Vicente Boulevard around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. The victim, a Marine veteran, was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead. His name has not yet been released. A preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was involved in a dispute with his girlfriend when the victim intervened and was stabbed, sheriff's officials said. The girlfriend was not injured in the dispute. The suspect was detained at the scene by police and later taken to a hospital for medical clearance so he could be booked into jail, according to the LASD. The suspect was also identified as a veteran. This is the second homicide investigation at the San Vicente encampment within the last six months. Back in April, a homeless man was booked on murder and an assault with a deadly weapon charge after Los Angeles County deputies say he ran over another homeless man at the Brentwood encampment. Detectives said it started when two homeless men got into an argument. One of the men, Pedro Flores, 34, got in his vehicle and ran over a 51-year-old man, dragged him more than 200-yards, killing him, investigators said.
FOX 11

Video Shows Hit-and-Run That Killed Woman Riding Skateboard In Tarzana; Driver Outstanding
Authorities released video footage Wednesday as they sought the public’s help to identify a hit-and-run driver who killed a woman on a skateboard in Tarzana a day earlier. Around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, a silver four-door sedan was traveling southbound on Tampa Avenue, south of Oxnard Street, when it collided with a pedestrian riding a skateboard that was travelling outside a marked crosswalk on Tampa, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release. The driver of the sedan fled in the vehicle, going southbound on Tampa without stopping or attempting to render aid. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene and pronounced the skateboarder dead. She has been described only as a woman in her early 30s, as her name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, LAPD said. Surveillance video from the area shows the woman using her foot to stop her skateboard as she turns back and appears to notice the car zooming in her direction. She can be seen trying to run away but the car gets to her before she can move out of the way. The hit-and-run vehicle is believed to be a possible 2013-2018 Toyota Avalon silver sedan with damage to the front-end of the vehicle.

LAPD With Narcan Saves Life On Venice Boardwalk
Quick thinking by the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Division saved a life on the boardwalk Tuesday. It happened around 9:00 p.m. near Market Street. Police say officers were on foot patrol when they were flagged down. Two officers observed a non-responsive male and determined he was suffering from an overdose, according to the LAPD. The officers administered Narcan [a medicine used for the treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose] and the man regained consciousness, according to authorities. The victim was taken to the hospital where he is said to have made a full recovery.
WestSide Current

Man Shot, Killed On Metrolink Train In Downtown LA
A man was shot to death on a Metrolink train in downtown Los Angeles late Wednesday night. The shooting occurred at 11:50 p.m. on a northbound Metrolink Blue Line train at the Washington station, located at Washington Boulevard and Long Beach Avenue. According to Los Angeles police, when the train came to a stop at the station, the doors opened and the male suspect exited the train, pointed a gun at the victim and opened fire as the victim was stepping out of the train. The 35-year-old victim, whose name was not immediately released, died at the scene. The suspect ran from the scene. He was described only as a Hispanic man in his 20s or 30s. There was no word on a motive or whether the shooting was gang related. Metrolink service in both directions was shut down as of 5 a.m.

Recall Bonin Campaign Presses On Post Gubernatorial Recall
Gov. Gavin Newsom headed back to work Wednesday after receiving an overwhelming vote of confidence from the state's voters in the attempt to recall him. The ``no'' votes from Tuesday's recall election topped the ``yes'' votes 63.9%-36.1%, according to figures released by the Secretary of State's Office. In Los Angeles County, 70.85 percent of the voters said no. With the gubernatorial recall over, Recall Bonin 2021 staffers say they are hard at work and remain on schedule. Last week staffers told the Westside Current that the gubernatorial recall sometimes confused the public, emphasizing that the Council District 11 recall is independent and bipartisan. "The issue is Mike Bonin's terrible record and his inability to lead on the issues of homelessness, rising crime and the destruction of our neighborhoods right before our eyes. It is unacceptable and intolerable," offered one staff member.">WestSide Current

L.A. Fire Captain Severely Burned In Downtown Explosion Sues Building Owners, Vape Shops
A Los Angeles Fire Department captain severely burned in a May 2020 explosion inside a downtown L.A. warehouse has sued the owners of the building and a vaping supply shop housed there, accusing them of hazardous activity, premise liability and negligence. Victor Aguirre and his wife, Claudia Aguirre, filed suit Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court against property owner Steve Sungho Lee and his various companies along with the operators of Green Buddha and Smoke Tokes, a smoke and vape shop inside the East 3rd Street warehouse where the explosion occurred. Twelve firefighters were injured. After a criminal investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Los Angeles Police Department, they were charged with more than 300 criminal counts. The lawsuit claims Victor Aguirre, a 20-year veteran of the Fire Department and father of two, suffered catastrophic injuries in the explosion, including severe burns over much of his body and “devastating third-degree burns” to his hands. The burns resulted in so much damage that each of his fingers had to be partially amputated, and he has undergone 25 surgeries since. He was hospitalized for two months and has been able to return to the Fire Department in an administrative capacity.
Los Angeles Times

Police Pursuit Out Of Santa Ana Ends In Atwater Village With 3 In Custody
Three people have been arrested after trying to get away on foot following a high-speed pursuit out of the city of Santa Ana. Corporal Sonia Rojo of the Santa Ana Police Department says the chase began when officers on patrol tried to stop them for a vehicle code violation. Officers chasing after the SUV saw the occupants of the vehicle throw items out during the pursuit, including possibly a firearm in the city of Garden Grove and bolt cutters thrown onto the 605 Freeway, Rojo said. The vehicle was seen going at high speeds surface roads, driving on the wrong side of the road, winding in and out of traffic, and onto a pedestrian path and on the grass at a park in Atwater Village. Two people were seen jumping from the SUV outside the park, before the driver abandoned the vehicle and ran into a building at the park. All three people were eventually taken into custody without further incident.

Beverly Grove Man Pleads Guilty To Lying To Get $9M In COVID Relief Loans, Using It To Gamble In Vegas: Feds
A Beverly Grove man pleaded guilty Tuesday in a scheme to fraudulently obtain about $9 million in loans from COVID-19 relief programs — some of which he used to gamble in Las Vegas, federal officials said. Andrew Marnell, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California. The man used a series of corporations he controlled to fraudulently apply for Payroll Protection Program loans meant to help small businesses during the pandemic, according to authorities. On the applications, he made numerous false and misleading statements about the companies’ business operations and payroll expenses, and submitted fake and altered documents, including bogus federal tax filings and employee payroll records, officials said. He ended up getting seven loans, bringing him just under $9 million. Once he got the money, Marnell transferred millions of dollars to his brokerage accounts “to make risky stock market bets,” according to court documents. Officials said he also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars while gambling. As part of the plea agreement, Marnell had to forfeit more than $1.54 million seized from several brokerage accounts, more than $319,000 in cash found at his home, numerous electronic devices, a Rolex Oyster watch, a Range Rover and a Ducati motorcycle.

Man Stabbed To Death In West Hollywood
A man was fatally stabbed Wednesday in the West Hollywood area, and an investigation was underway. The crime was reported at about 6:40 a.m. in the 11600 block of San Vicente Boulevard, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Paramedics took the man to a hospital, where he died. Information on his identity was not immediately available. No arrests have been reported. Anyone with information on the case was urged to call the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

LASD Seeks Public Help Locating Abigail Aguilar Martinez Who Was Reported Missing In Torrance
Authorities sought the public’s help Wednesday to locate a 42-year-old woman who was last seen in Torrance. Abigail Aguilar Martinez was last seen around 2 p.m. on Monday in the 1000 block of West Carson Street, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Martinez was described as a Hispanic woman who stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. She has brown eyes, long brown hair and a tattoo of a Precious Moments character on her left leg. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt. According to the sheriff’s department, Martinez may be driving a black Ford Focus hatchback with the California license plate 7WZG999. “The missing person’s family is very concerned for her well-being,” LASD said. Anyone with information on Martinez’s whereabouts was asked to contact the LASD Missing Persons Unit at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at

Watch: Pennsylvania Cops Rescue Unconscious Man From Burning Building
Three Pennsylvania police officers are being hailed as heroes after they pulled an unconscious man from a burning home, bodycam video shows. According to FOX 5, officers Steve Ambs, Kenneth Branford and Samuel Ladd responded to the fire on Aug. 25. Using a flashlight, the officers found a man lying on the floor. At first, the officers had to run back outside for fresh air, but they quickly returned and carried the man to safety. The man was taken to a hospital and last reported in stable condition, reported FOX 5. "You kind of blackout in the moment, but I remember just pulling him out and getting him out to safety, and then we went to check to make sure no one else was back in there," Ladd told FOX 5. The officers were praised for their heroism in a meeting with Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub. "We are all very blessed to have each of you protecting us as we go about our lives,” Weintraub said.

Public Safety News

LA County To Require Proof Of Vaccination For Indoor Bars, Nightclubs, Breweries
Los Angeles County is planning on issuing a new health officer order later this week that will require proof of vaccination for indoor bars, wineries, breweries, nightclubs and lounges. The order will also require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for outdoor mega-events, including Dodgers, Rams and Chargers games, County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors Wednesday. The order will require customers and employees at the indoor nightlife establishments to have at least one dose of vaccine by Oct. 7 and receive their second by Nov. 4. According to Ferrer, the order will strongly recommend, but not require, vaccine verification for indoor portions of restaurants. Additionally, the updated health order will enhance the restrictions on outdoor mega-events. Back in April, the county issued an order mandating masks for mega-events with more than 10,000 people in attendance. The new order will reportedly require all attendees, employees and participants at outdoor mega-events to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event.
FOX 11

California Only State To Advance Out Of High Transmission Category For COVID
California is now the nation's only state that is not in the highest category for transmission of the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows California mapped in orange meaning there is "substantial community spread" while the rest of the country is covered in red meaning there is "high community transmission." Nationwide the US is seeing an average of 295 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 9.5 percent. California is seeing 20 new cases per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate of 4.4 percent. California has handled mask and vaccine requirements differently than other states throughout the pandemic. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, widespread adaptation of health orders and an impressive vaccination rate are factors in driving case rates down. California reported an average of 9,281 cases a day for the seven-day period that ended Tuesday, compared to about 13,400 cases a day two weeks ago. In July, the CDC said that vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear masks inside school buildings, but California said its mask guidance for schools would remain in place. California residents are also more likely to be vaccinated than residents in other states.
FOX 11

Local Government News

L.A. County Votes To Phase Out Oil And Gas Drilling
Los Angeles County supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to phase out oil and gas drilling and ban new drill sites in the unincorporated areas of the nation’s most populous county. Over 1,600 active and idle oil and gas wells in the county could be shuttered after the 5-0 vote by the board of supervisors. A timetable for the phaseout will be decided after the county determines the fastest way to legally shut down the wells. Among the sites is the Inglewood Oil Field, one of the largest U.S. urban oil fields. The sprawling, 1,000-acre (405-hectare) site, owned and operated by Sentinel Peak Resources, contains over half the oil and gas wells in the county’s unincorporated areas. The field produced 2.5 million to 3.1 million barrels of oil a year over the past decade, according to the company. “The goal is to provide direction to county departments to begin addressing the variety of issues, environmental and climate impacts created by these active and inactive oil and gas wells,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, who represents the district where most of the Inglewood Oil Field is located. Mitchell, along with Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, made the motion to phase out drilling in the county’s unincorporated areas.

LA County Supervisors OK Stormwater-Capture Projects For Measure W Funding
Four LA Sanitation and Environment stormwater capture projects were approved for funding on Wednesday, Sept. 15, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The board approved the projects for a total of $50.7 million in funding through the Los Angeles County Safe Clean Water 2021-22 Regional Program, which is financed by revenues from Measure W, the parcel tax measure approved by voters in 2018 for projects increasing the water supply, improve water quality, protect public health and provide community enhancements. The $30 million Ballona Creek TMDL Project was among the projects approved Wednesday. Officials say it has the potential to capture 1.6 billion gallons of dry weather urban runoff each year from a 128-square-mile watershed and divert it to the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant to be treated and used. Officials said the project will also reduce bacteria, trash and metals in the Santa Monica Bay and enhance the Ballona Creek, its estuary and wetlands.
Los Angeles Daily News



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