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Aug 2022
Street Vendor Attacked In Hancock Park, Suspect Still On Loose

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Law Enforcement News

Families Feel ‘Tricked’ By LA County DA George Gascón Over Resentencing Of Death Row Inmates
Two men were in custody Saturday night after an afternoon shooting in Hollywood that killed one man and injured another, police said. Police investigators said the victims were shot after an argument and multiple rounds were fired. After the shooting an unspecified number of people fled the scene, police said. Police did not release the names of the victims or their ages. The shooting occurred at 2:10 p.m. on the 6500 block of West Sunset Boulevard between North Hudson Avenue and Seward Street, Los Angeles Police Department Officer Matthew Cruz said. One of the victims was pronounced dead at the scene. Paramedics took the other man to the hospital, where he was reported to be in stable condition.
LA Times

Woman Shot And Killed Near Downtown LA; Suspect Flees On Bicycle
A woman in downtown Los Angeles was shot dead this morning by a man who fled the scene on a bicycle, authorities said. The shooting occurred shortly before 6 a.m. in the area of Seventh Street and Central Avenue, where the victim and suspect were arguing, the Los Angeles Police Department's Media Relations Division reported. The suspect pulled out a gun and shot the woman during the course of the argument, then fled. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Anyone with information about the shooting was urged to call the LAPD's Central Station at 213-486-6606 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.
FOX 11

17-Year-Old Dies In South L.A. After He Was Intentionally Run Over, Police Say
A 17-year-old was killed early Sunday when he was intentionally run over by two different drivers outside an underground party in South L.A., police said. The incident began when an argument broke out about 3 a.m. at the party attended by an estimated 150 teens in a parking lot in an industrial neighborhood at Avalon Boulevard and East 62nd Street, Los Angeles police told KTLA. The two drivers involved arrived at the party in a single car, police said. One of them got out and jumped in an unattended vehicle that was left running in front of the party. The first car followed as both drove a short distance before turning around and heading back toward the party. There, one car followed by the next struck the teen, LAPD spokeswoman Norma Eisenman said. “Suspect one intentionally struck a pedestrian ... who was standing in the street,” Eisenman said. “Suspect two followed suspect one and also intentionally ran over the victim after he was injured lying on the ground.”
LA Times

Homeowner Shot And Killed Man Armed With Knife In His Front Yard
A homeowner in Lincoln Heights shot and killed a man armed with a knife Friday night. Just before 10 p.m. the homeowner was in his front yard when a man armed with a knife began charging at them. The homeowner then shot the man before calling the police. When authorities arrived they pronounced the man dead. Police are not considering the incident a home invasion. This incident is still being investigated.

Los Angeles Street Takeover By Cars Helped Clear Way For Huge Group To Ransack Store
The usually separate phenomena of a street takeover by cars and flash mob shoplifting merged in Los Angeles this week, prompting authorities to sound an alarm. A sideshow — the name given for when a group of cars takeover a street and block traffic to make room for circular burnouts known as donuts — allowed a mob of people to ransack a 7-Eleven early Monday, Los Angeles police said. The takeover and mass theft were captured on security video that the Los Angeles Police Department released Thursday. Traffic investigators are asking for help identifying suspected looters. "Video surveillance from the store showed the looters fanning out across the store and grabbing all the snacks, drinks, cigarettes, lotto tickets and other merchandise," the LAPD said in a statement. "Looters also vandalized the store and threw merchandise at employees." The LAPD has been warning the public about both sideshows and "smash-and-grab" shoplifting since last year, when groups of people rushed into a series of retailers and grabbed goods. "Flash mobs have turned from fun spontaneous events to opportunistic criminal occurrences," the LAPD said this week. Combining large groups of people and fast cars can be deadly.
NBC News

LAPD Shuts Down Street Takeover Attempt
Police shut down an attempted street takeover in West Los Angeles before it could get started late Friday evening. Jacob Rogers with ANG News captured video of Los Angeles police vehicles converging at the intersection of Sawtelle and National boulevards, where hundreds of people had gathered, some with modified vehicles. Rogers says officers at the scene requested backup and eventually cleared the intersection and a crowded gas station parking lot. No arrests and no damage to businesses were reported. Street takeovers have become an increasing problem in Los Angeles and elsewhere in Southern California, with some resulting in fatal crashes, shootings, and the looting of businesses. On August 15, a street takeover mob ransacked a 7-Eleven in L.A.’s Harbor Gateway neighborhood.

Street Vendor Attacked In Hancock Park, Suspect Still On Loose
Esteban Venacio was helping out a homeless man on Saturday, giving the latter some fruit to enjoy. Unfortunately for Venacio, he was then attacked by the homeles man, who grabbed the keys to Venacio's van and took off. Fortunately, Venacio's van has been found but is currently in a tow yard. Venacio works as a street vendor in Hancock Park and is well known by residents for his fruit stand. Venacio suffered a cut after he was punched by the suspect. But making matters worse, he is currently out of a work vehicle with his van being stuck in the tow yard. "I think that we've allowed things to get really terrible here. I don't think any neighborhood is safe right now in LA County. I think the laws have to change. I think we have to be more involved in our communities," Hancock resident Amanda Reno said. Reno is a regular customer of Venacio's fruit stand. She stopped by on Sunday to help after she heard of the attack.

Man Gets 5 Life Terms For Killing 5 In The San Fernando Valley In 2014
An ex-convict from Sylmar who carried out a shooting rampage in 2014 that left five people dead in the San Fernando Valley, including three on the same day, was sentenced Thursday, Aug. 18, to five consecutive life prison terms without the possibility of parole. Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus said from his downtown Los Angeles courtroom that Alexander Hernandez “should never be released. … “To call him evil seems inadequate,” the judge said, saying the defendant “went out to hunt people” and that the cruelty he exhibited “defies explanation.” Hernandez, 42, was convicted May 25 of first-degree murder for the 2014 slayings of Sergio Sanchez on March 14; Gilardo Morales on Aug. 21; and Gloria Tovar, Michael Planells and Mariana Franco on Aug. 24. There were also 11 counts of attempted murder that year and other offenses. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office dropped its bid for the death penalty for Hernandez in March 2021, just under four years after the prosecution announced it would seek capital punishment. Shortly after being sworn into office, District Attorney George Gascón issued a series of directives, including one that “a sentence of death is never an appropriate resolution in any case.”
LA Daily News

85 Arrests In Los Angeles-Florida Drug Smuggling Scheme That Used Checked Baggage On Flights
Eighty-five people have been arrested and millions of dollars in illicit drugs seized in a smuggling operation that used checked bags on commercial flights from California to Florida, investigators said Friday. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference that the drugs were hidden in luggage on flights from Los Angeles to Orlando over a two-year period. One seizure involved six piece of luggage containing nothing but drugs, he said. "They didn't even put so much as a pair of underwear in there to hide it," Judd told reporters. The 85 arrests involved 355 combined felonies and 93 misdemeanors in a case centered on drug trafficking in the area around Winter Haven, Florida, authorities said. Street value of about $12.8 million was estimated for the seizures of drugs including methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, fentanyl, oxycodone and Xanax. Forty-nine guns and $235,000 in cash was also confiscated. Judd said it was the largest wiretap-related investigation in Polk County history. "It's anything other than low-level and nonviolent," the sheriff said. "The whole time they were peddling poison to your kids."

3rd Attempted Murder Charge Filed In Shooting Of Indiana Cop
Prosecutors have filed a third attempted murder charge against a man accused of shooting an eastern Indiana police officer in the head during a traffic stop and search for possible narcotics. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office filed the new charge against Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, of Richmond for shooting at a third officer in the Aug. 10 incident. With the additional charge, a judge Thursday raised Lee's bond to $1.5 million from $1 million. Richmond police Officer Seara Burton remains in critical condition at a hospital in Dayton, Ohio. She had been scheduled to get married Friday. Lee, who also was shot, is also being treated at a Dayton hospital. Lee made his initial court appearance Friday from his hospital bed and entered a plea of not guilty. He also was appointed an attorney during the 11-minute court appearance. Lee told the court he is not currently employed and has no income. When asked when his last job was, he said “It’s been a long time, 2000-something, I don’t know. I really don’t remember," WRTV-TV reported.
Associated Press

Oregon Deputies Seize ‘Rainbow Fentanyl' Powder, Issue Safety Warning
Multnomah County sheriff’s deputies seized about 4 ounces of multi-colored fentanyl powder from a safe in a Northeast Portland apartment last week, prompting a public safety warning Tuesday that the potentially deadly rainbow-colored chunks of powder can be easily mistaken by children for candy. Pressed powder fentanyl is significantly more potent than pressed pills containing fentanyl because it’s in a purer form, sheriff’s Sgt. Matt Ferguson said. The powder started showing up in greater quantities in the region this year and now the dyed “rainbow” powder with the consistency of colored chalk is popping up, said Ferguson and Chris Gibson, director of the Oregon-Idaho High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Gibson said the colors “may be a marketing thing to show where it’s coming from, with makers using the colors to mark their products.” The sheriff’s office and county health departments are partnering to “sound the alarm,” Ferguson said. “We believe this is going to be the new trend seen on the streets of Portland,” he said.

Public Safety News

Downtown Structure Fire Leads To Citywide Smoke Advisory
A major emergency structure fire in downtown Los Angeles led to a citywide smoke odor advisory Sunday morning. The fire was first reported around 3 a.m. inside a commercial building located at 1655 E. 14th St. More than 150 firefighters from the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the blaze and were able to extinguish it in about 90 minutes, officials said. The fire was contained within a 200-foot by 150-foot metal commercial building with flames spreading into an adjacent auto garage. Two nearby commercial buildings were spared thanks to the defensive action of the responding firefighters. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported and the cause of the blaze is currently under investigation.

Omicron Subvariants BA.4.6 And BA.2.75 Are Here. How Concerned Should California Be?
As the latest coronavirus wave fueled by the super-infectious Omicron subvariant BA.5 continues to recede, health officials are turning a wary eye to what might come next. Experts in California are closely tracking two newer subvariants, BA.4.6 and BA.2.75 — themselves members of the Omicron family. It isn’t clear whether they will eventually spread to worrisome extents in the state, but there’s reason to pay attention as they’ve caused concern elsewhere in the world. The most pressing question is whether either can outcompete BA.5, which essentially elbowed out all other coronavirus strains during its stunning rise to dominance this summer. If they can, that could potentially point to another spin in an all-too-familiar cycle, where the emergence of an even-more-infectious strain threatens to trigger a fresh rise in cases. “The evolutionary pressure on the virus is to find a way around the immunity wall that we have built up,” Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said this week in a forum with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
LA Times



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