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May 2023
Suspect Arrested After Woman Found Murdered In Downtown Los Angeles
Law Enforcement News

Suspect Arrested After Woman Found Murdered In Downtown Los Angeles

A suspect was arrested Thursday after a woman was found stabbed to death in downtown Los Angeles. The suspect was identified as 39-year-old Robert Hughes by the Los Angeles Police Department. On April 22, officers responded to calls of a suspicious death investigation at an apartment complex on the 1200 block of South Hope Street. When police arrived, they found the victim, 29-year-old Amy Albeno-Mendoza, dead at the scene. Coroners discovered the woman had suffered a fatal stab wound. Homicide detectives investigated and on May 4, discovered the suspect had fled the state and traveled to Phoenix, Arizona. Authorities located the suspect at a homeless shelter in Phoenix where he was taken into custody. A motive for the deadly stabbing is unknown as the case remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD Detectives Howarth or Detective Meneses at 213-996-4143. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls can be directed to 1-877-527-3247.


Father Pleads For Driver To Come Forward After Son Dies In South LA Hit-and-Run

A $50,000 reward is being offered for the person that can help police find the driver who struck and killed a bicyclist in South LA. The fatal hit-and-run occurred April 13 around 10:40 p.m. near the intersection of Main Street and 43rd Street. According to Los Angeles Police, 23-year-old Inmer Samuel Cruz was riding his bike westbound across Main Street when he was struck by a silver sedan traveling southbound. The driver then fled the scene in a 2008-2013 Mercedes Benz C230 or C330. Inmer’s father, Leo Cruz, is pleading for the driver to come forward. He says he has no anger but wants the driver to do the right thing. Cruz told FOX 11 that since the night his son died, he hasn’t slept. A wake for Inmer is planned for Sunday and eventually his body will be returned to El Salvador. 

FOX 11

Police Arrest 17-Year-Old In Connection With Brutal Stabbing Of L.A. Metro Bus Driver

A 17-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the brutal multiple stabbing of an L.A. Metro bus driver in Woodland Hills, police said Thursday. The attack — which left the 61-year-old driver in critical condition with “beyond life-threatening” injuries, in the words of LAPD Chief Michel Moore — is the latest high-profile incidence of violence to rock a transit system already grappling with crime and growing wariness among riders who feel unsafe. Even as they sought to reassure residents, board members overseeing the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority acknowledged both the issues and problem of public perception plaguing the agency. “When these incidents happen, it’s easy to question if the Metro system is safe,” said board Chairman Ara Najarian, who also sits on the Glendale City Council. “It may appear counter-intuitive, especially at times like these, but for the vast majority of daily riders on our system, the system is safe.” The stabbing, which occurred Wednesday evening in Woodland Hills, represents just the latest act of violence aboard L.A. public transit. Last week, a 53-year-old woman was attacked aboard an A Line train in Long Beach.

Los Angeles Times

Fatal Wrong-Way Crash Shuts Down 110 Freeway In South LA

A head-on collision with a wrong way driver left one man dead, and three others critically injured in downtown Los Angeles Friday morning. The crash was reported at 2:49 a.m. and officers from the California Highway Patrol responded to the northbound 110 Freeway at Exposition Boulevard where they found the victim and several vehicles, including a taxi, blocking the right lanes of the freeway, a CHP spokesman. The victim, whose name and age were not released, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Three others were taken to a hospital in critical condition. The crash closed all lanes of the northbound freeway for several hours.


Missing 14-Year-Old Paramount Girl Located Safe

Authorities on Thursday announced that they had safely located a teenage girl who went missing over the weekend. Jaqualine Ramos Espinoza, 14, went missing at around 1 a.m. Saturday morning after leaving her family home in the 8400 block of Fairton Street in Panorama. Her family had not realized she'd gone missing until the next morning. While they continued their search for the girl, authorities noted that they did not believe any foul play was involved and that she had likely left voluntarily. Espinoza was caught on camera walking away from the family home at around 3:30 a.m., thanks to a neighbor's doorbell camera footage. There was no information provided on the circumstances of her disappearance or where she was located. 


Stepped-Up Law Enforcement Of Traffic Laws Planned For Memorial Day Weekend

Law enforcement personnel in Los Angeles County and statewide will be out in force over the Memorial Day weekend, on the lookout for people driving while impaired or otherwise violating traffic laws. The California Highway Patrol's "maximum enforcement period," will begin at 6:01 p.m. Friday and continue through 11:59 p.m. Monday, said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee. During this period, all available uniformed officers will be assigned to patrol duties. "Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching, and many Californians are preparing to kick off the summer with a holiday gathering or road trip," Duryee said in a statement. Forty-five people were killed in crashes statewide during last year's Memorial Day weekend, nearly a 30% increase from the same period in 2021, Duryee said. "This holiday, motorists can expect to see additional CHP officers patrolling California's roadways," Duryee said. "Our primary focus will be to enhance public safety, deter unsafe driving behavior, and when necessary, take appropriate enforcement action." In Los Angeles County, various increased patrol efforts are also planned by local law enforcement organizations, including at least one DUI checkpoint.

Westside Current

San Fernando Valley Man To Plead Guilty In Fake Basquiat Case

A former auctioneer from North Hollywood who admitted he helped create and verify 25 fake Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings that were seized from the Orlando Museum of Art last year is expected to plead guilty Friday to federal charges. Michael Barzman, 45, has agreed to enter his plea to making false statements to the FBI during an interview in August, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In his plea agreement, Barzman admitted that he and an associate — identified in court documents as J.F. — created the fake Basquiats in 2012 after hatching a plan to market the bogus artwork. “J.F. spent a maximum of 30 minutes on each image and as little as five minutes on others, and then gave them to (Barzman) to sell on eBay,” according to the document. Barzman and his associate “agreed to split the money that they made from selling the fraudulent paintings … 20-30 artworks (made) by using various art materials to create colorful images on cardboard,” the agreement states.


Video Captures Moments Man Tries To Kidnap 10-Year-Old Girl In SoCal

A Murrieta, California father is warning fellow parents after a man tried to kidnap his daughter in an incident that was caught on camera. Michael Angodung was playing volleyball with his daughter, Kassidy, in the driveway last Sunday and went inside to get some water. That brief period is all it took for the kidnapper to make his move. The 10-year-old was bouncing the volleyball when the stranger stopped on the sidewalk and told her he wanted to see her shirt. Another neighbor’s camera picked up the audio. “Hey, what is that shirt? Let me see that shirt,” the man told her. The video then shows the man chasing Kassidy up the driveway, but she runs into her home, screaming that the man was trying to kidnap her. The man then quickly walks down the street and out of sight. “As a father, as a parent, this is literally your worst nightmare,” Angodung said. He said he called the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, but the suspect had already left the area. Angodung said the officer he spoke with is in charge of the schools in the area, and it was the first time he heard of something similar happening around the neighborhood.


SoCal Teacher Arrested Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegation Involving Student

A 24-year-old Victorville teacher is behind bars after authorities allege he had sex with a 17-year-old student. Detectives with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department investigated the allegation against Noah Padilla, who was a teacher at Victor Valley High School. Padilla is accused of having sexual relations with a student, who was identified as a 17-year-old girl. At the conclusion of the investigation, Padilla was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and was booked into the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino on Wednesday, May 24. He is being held on a $30,000 bond. Authorities released Padilla’s picture and are encouraging other victims or those with information to come forward. Those with information are asked to contact Detective Thomas Hollenbaugh at 909-890-4904. Those who wish to remain anonymous can submit tips at

FOX 11

Mutilated Body Found In Alabama In 1997 Identified Through ‘Genetic Genealogy’ As California Man

Decades after a mutilated body was found in a wooded area in northern Alabama, officials have identified the cold-case victim as a California man through intensive DNA technology and genetic genealogy. The body, found April 15, 1997, in Union Grove, Ala., was discovered along a creek, with its head, feet and hands removed, as well as other parts of the body mutilated, apparently in an attempt to make forensic identification more difficult, according to a news release this week from Alabama’s Marshall County Sheriff’s Office. The gruesome efforts by the man’s killer or killers appeared to work; for years, sheriff’s investigators’ attempts to identify the man remained unsuccessful. But in 2019, officials teamed up with a DNA technology company that was slowly able to make progress in the case, first improving and clarifying the DNA samples from the body and then comparing that profile with others in genetic databases — eventually leading the team to identify the man as 20-year-old Jeffrey Douglas Kimzey of Santa Barbara. “That led us to the parents in Santa Barbara,” said Willie Orr, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office’s chief deputy, noting that investigators were able to confirm the finding through DNA tests. “They had no idea where he was.”

Los Angeles Times

Man Found Guilty Of Vehicular Homicide In Crash That Killed Georgia Officer

A driver who was involved in a 2020 crash that killed a Smyrna police officer was found guilty this month of vehicular homicide, among other charges, officials said. A jury found Robert Lorenzo Cox, 38, guilty on four of his five indicted charges, Cobb County District Attorney Flynn D. Broady said in a statement Thursday. Cox is scheduled to be sentenced in a hearing next month. The crash, which took place April 20, 2020, fatally injured Officer Christopher Ewing, who was working traffic enforcement the night of the incident. According to Broady, Ewing noticed Cox’s Chevrolet Tahoe speeding on South Cobb Drive and attempted to make a traffic stop. Before Ewing caught up to the Tahoe, Cox tried to make a left-hand turn in front of the police car, Broady said. Ewing attempted to avoid the SUV, but the two vehicles collided and sent the patrol car into the parking lot of a nearby gas station. Ewing was trapped inside until emergency medical personnel were able to extract him. The officer died from his injuries.

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Public Safety News

Firefighters Knock Down Fire In A Two-Story Apartment Building In Sawtelle

A fire in one unit of a two-story apartment building in the Sawtelle district was knocked down by 18 firefighters in 13 minutes Thursday evening with no injuries reported. Firefighters responded around 9:15 p.m. to the 1400 block of South Armacost Avenue, near Santa Monica Boulevard, and confined and knocked down flames in a second-floor unit at the rear of the building, according to Brian Humphrey with the Los Angeles Fire Department. The cause of the fire is under investigation. 


LA County Warns Residents To Avoid Certain Beaches Due To High Bacteria Levels

The Los Angeles County Health Department is warning residents to avoid swimming, surfing and playing in the waters at some beaches due to high bacterial levels. Recent testing by health department authorities determined that bacterial levels exceeded health standards when last tested. The affected beaches are the following: Malibu Lagoon at Surfrider Beach, Topanga Canyon Beach in Malibu, Latigo Shore Drive in Malibu, Escondido Creek at Escondido State Beach, Solstice Creek at Dan Blocker County Beach, Marie Canyon Storm Drain at Puerco Beach, Las Flores Creek at Las Flores State Beach, Pena Creek at Las Tunas County Beach, Santa Monica Canyon Creek at Will Rogers State beach, Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Pico-Kenter storm drain in Santa Mónica, and Mothers Beach in Marina Del Rey.


About the LAPPL: Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents more than 9,200 dedicated and professional sworn members of the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPPL serves to advance the interests of LAPD officers through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education.

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