Law Enforcement News
Lancaster Man Killed In Winnetka Shooting
The widow of slain El Monte Police Sgt. Michael Paredes and her attorney are scheduled to announce legal action against L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón and the county Tuesday over the sergeant's shooting death in June. The D.A. faced criticism following the shooting deaths of Paredes and Officer Joseph Santana in June after it was determined the gunman -- Justin William Flores -- was on probation for a weapon violation that critics contended should have landed him behind bars. "It is the D.A.'s responsibility to make sure that he is following his legal obligations and following the law," Paredes said at a downtown Los Angeles news conference announcing the claim. "And unfortunately, in this situation, and in many situations, this is not being done. The law is not being followed by our district attorney and making sure that the California Three Strike law is being put into play." Her attorney, Michael J. Peacock, said if the district attorney and Probation Department "had both simply done their jobs ... Sgt. Paredes would be here today, as well as Officer (Joseph) Santana."
LAPD Looking For Suspect Who Sexually Assaulted Woman Hiking On Trail Along Mulholland Drive In Encino
Detectives with the Los Angeles Police Department are searching for the suspect who sexually assaulted a woman while hiking on a trail along Mulholland Drive in the Encino area. Officials said the incident happened around noon on Monday, Nov. 21. A woman was hiking along a trail located at the 17000 block of Mulholland Drive when the suspect approached her from behind. He forced her to a secluded area and sexually assaulted her, police said. The suspect is described as being a White or Hispanic man in his 30s with a two-inch scar on his right forearm. Police recommend people hike in pairs, carry a cell phone and always tell people where you are going. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Joseph Hampton, West Valley Detective Division at [email protected] or 818-374-7717.
19-Month-Old Girl Abducted By Her Mother In The San Fernando Valley, LAPD Says
A 19-month-old girl was allegedly abducted by her mother Monday afternoon in the San Fernando Valley, prompting a search by Los Angeles police. Kyra Mangayayam was taken by Diana Robles Hernandez at approximately 1:15 p.m. from the 20200 block of Keswick Street, LAPD said. Robles does not have custody rights of the girl, police said. Robles is 31, Latina, 5 feet, 2 inches tall, weighs 140 pounds, has black hair and brown eyes. Kyra is 2 feet, 5 inches tall, weighs approximately 35 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes. Robles was last seen wearing a gray sweater, black pants and black shoes. Kyra was last seen wearing a gray long-sleeved shirt, red pants and white socks with pink toes, police said. Robles is believed to be driving a white 2012 Ford Focus hatchback with a California license plate 9ARV684.
LAPD Serves Search Warrants In Investigation Of Who Recorded Racist City Hall Leak
Los Angeles police detectives have served several search warrants as they attempt to find out who recorded a meeting among three L.A. City Council members and a powerful labor leader filled with racist and offensive comments, law enforcement sources told The Times on Tuesday. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing, did not identify the specific targets of the warrants. But they said the department obtained warrants for several social media accounts. Among the targets, the sources said, is the Reddit account to which the audio was posted and related cellphone records. LAPD Major Crimes Division investigators served the warrants, signed by a judge, seeking communications over the last few weeks, and the sources said they expect more warrants to be served as the investigation continues. LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced the probe last month after former Council President Nury Martinez; council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León and former L.A. Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera came to police and asked for an investigation “into the illegal recording of their private conversation.” De León later said he did not make the request.
Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Soar In LA County Over 5-Year Period
Overdose deaths attributed to the synthetic opioid fentanyl skyrocketed in Los Angeles County over a five-year period ending in 2021, with such fatalities increasing by 1,280%, according to report released Tuesday by the county Department of Public Health. Meanwhile, the LA County District Attorney's Office and the health department, in a joint statement, announced Tuesday the creation of a working group that will address the fentanyl crisis "through prevention, education and enforcement.'' The health department report found that there were 109 deaths attributed to fentanyl overdose in the county in 2016 -- but that number ballooned to 1,504 in 2021. Between 2016 and 2020, visits to hospital emergency rooms due to fentanyl overdoses increased by 308%, going from 133 to 542. While white residents accounted for the most overdose deaths last year, Black residents had the highest rate of deaths based on the population, at 30.6 per 100,000 residents. The rate of white residents dying from fentanyl overdoses was 22.5 per 100,000 residents, while Latino/a residents had a rate of 11.1 per 100,000 residents.
Los Angeles Man Arrested For Allegedly Raping 13 Women, Luring Them On Instagram
A Los Angeles man was arrested recently in connection with 13 rapes across Los Angeles County — including several involving children — in which he allegedly lured his victims on social media, authorities announced Tuesday. Michael Watson Jr., 21, is facing sixteen felony counts including aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14, rape, assault with a deadly weapon, attempted extortion and grand theft for a dozen of incidents dating back to at least 2021. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies responded to reports of a rape in the city of Walnut back on Feb. 2, 2021. According to authorities, Watson was invited to the home of two women after he met them on Instagram. Once there he's accused of raping one of the women and taking their cell phones before driving away. After that night, he allegedly contacted one of the victims through social media, threatening to post nude images of her online if she didn't send him money, according to LASD.
Authorities Seek Public’s Help To Find Killer Of Homeless Veteran At LACC
Sheriff’s officials will ask the public Wednesday for information leading to the arrest of the suspect who fatally stabbed a homeless veteran inside a Los Angeles City College parking garage. Detectives will also use the news conference at the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau headquarters in Monterey Park to seek information to locate the victim’s next of kin. The attack occurred around 2 p.m. Nov. 7, according to the Sheriff’s Information Bureau. Upon arrival, deputies found the victim on the ground suffering from stab wounds to the upper body. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics were called, but the victim died at the scene, the sheriff’s department reported. The victim’s name was not released. The assailant was described as a male, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds, and last seen wearing a black shirt, white shorts, black jacket and blue shoes.
Authorities Search For Critically Missing 15-Year-Old Last Seen In South Los Angeles
Authorities are searching for a 15-year-old boy who disappeared from South Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon. The missing teen, Jacarl Strong, was last seen in the 2100 block of West 107th Street around 4:03 p.m. according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Strong was spotted getting into a grey Tesla that arrived through Uber while heading to an unknown destination, authorities said. The teen is diagnosed with mild autism and his family is concerned for his wellbeing. Strong is described as a Black male standing 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing 251 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black shirt and grey shorts. Anyone who has seen Strong or knows of his whereabouts is asked to call Detective Perez or the on-duty South Los Angeles Station Watch Commander at (323) 820-6700.
Missouri Prepares To Execute Man For Ambushing, Killing Police Officer In 2005
A Missouri inmate convicted of ambushing and killing a St. Louis area police officer he blamed in the death of his younger brother was scheduled to be executed Tuesday, barring a last-minute intervention. Kevin Johnson's legal team doesn't deny that he killed Officer William McEntee in 2005, but contended in an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court that he was sentenced to death in part because he is Black. But in a 5-2 ruling late Monday, the state Supreme Court denied a stay. The U.S. Supreme Court also declined a stay request last week, and Gov. Mike Parson on Monday announced he would not grant clemency. “The violent murder of any citizen, let alone a Missouri law enforcement officer, should be met only with the fullest punishment state law allows,” Parson, a Republican and a former county sheriff, said in a statement. “Through Mr. Johnson’s own heinous actions, he stole the life of Sergeant McEntee and left a family grieving, a wife widowed, and children fatherless. Clemency will not be granted.”
Cuffed Suspect Shoots Denver Cop While Being Removed From Cruiser At Jail
A Denver Police Department officer was shot in the neck by a suspect who was being removed from a police cruiser at a jail Monday night. The suspect, who had been arrested earlier in the evening after police pursued an alleged stolen vehicle and found a handgun and narcotics in the car, had a concealed weapon on him while handcuffed in the back of the cruiser, KDVR.com reported. The suspect shot one of two officers inside the parking structure at a detention center. The officer suffered a gunshot wound to the neck and was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect was shot multiple times by at least one other officer. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition. The incident remains under investigation.
Public Safety News
Massive Fire Erupts Inside Commercial Building In Shadow Hills
Firefighters are battling a fire that is threatening at least two adjacent commercial structures today in Shadow Hills. Fire crews were called at 2:31 a.m. to 10930 W. Randall St. west of Sunland Boulevard where they encountered flames coming from the roof of a large one-story commercial building, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. The fire has extended to vegetation and parked vehicles, Humphrey added. No injures have been reported.
Spot The Symptoms: Doctors Decode The Differences Between RSV, Flu And COVID
Flu, COVID and RSV are all viruses that may all seem like the common cold at first, but there are slight differences that can help parents get a sense of what is going on. RSV symptoms peak at different times from the flu and COVID can be a mixed bag. Pediatricians break down how the symptoms vary and what to look for. This winter's triple threat of flu, COVID and RSV is filling pediatric beds across the nation. In Los Angeles County, hospital admissions for COVID have topped more than 1,000 and the youngest patients are being hospitalized for RSV. "The youngest babies are at the most risk of bronchiolitis, which is a viral pneumonia type of thing, and also the elderly and the immunocompromised," said pediatrician Dr. John Rodarte with Huntington Health Physicians. "So the extremes are really the ones we worry about with RSV."
LA County’s COVID Hospitalizations Climb Back Over 1,000
The number of COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals has spiked to more than 1,000, according to the latest state figures, as the expected cold-weather surge in virus transmission continues. State officials hadn’t updated their hospitalization numbers since Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, when there were 822 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals. Tuesday’s data showed 1,040 such patients, with 122 being treated in intensive care, an increase from 96 ICU patients as of Thursday. The statewide total of coronavirus patients ballooned to 3,532, an increase of 242 from the previous day and 750 more than last Thursday’s total. Health officials have said previously that roughly 40% of virus patients were actually admitted to hospitals for COVID-related issues, while the rest were admitted for other reasons but tested positive at the hospital.
Local Government News
LA City Council Votes To Regulate Personal Delivery Devices
The Los Angeles City Council voted to implement a pilot program for personal delivery devices on Tuesday, in an effort to regulate operators of such devices on city sidewalks. The devices, also known as delivery robots, have been used by private companies to complete last-mile food and retail deliveries. According to the original motion, filed in 2020 by Councilmen Bob Blumenfield and Mike Bonin, the city should be "proactive in regulating these devices in order to balance the health and environmental advantages'' with potential impacts of jobs and the "private use and capitalization of the city's public infrastructure.'' The council voted for an ordinance that would implement the program. The ordinance will come before the council next week for a second vote. The motion praises the devices as allowing for "more contactless delivery options in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic,'' along with providing for an alternative to delivery by gas-powered vehicles.
LA Council To Explore Citywide Rehousing Strategy For RV Dwellers
The Los Angeles City Council voted today to explore a citywide rehousing strategy for people experiencing homelessness who are living in recreational vehicles. In August, the Los Angeles Board of Transportation Commission voted to create an Ad Hoc Committee to address RVs parked on public streets because of lack of progress by the council. Nearly 6,500 people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles are living in a total of about 4,000 RVs, a 40% increase since 2018, according to LAHSA's point-in-time count. That represents 22% of the city's total unsheltered population. On the Westside, there are hundreds of RVs parked on city streets. Many have been documented dumping waste and other harmful materials into nearby storm drains. According to a motion by council members Nithya Raman, Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, RVs are in “grave disrepair, meaning that people living in them face unsanitary and sometimes dangerous conditions.''