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Mar 2024
VIDEO: LAPD Officers Rescue Teens From Fiery Crash In Encino
Law Enforcement News

VIDEO: LAPD Officers Rescue Teens From Fiery Crash In Encino

Newly released bodycam footage shows the moments LAPD officers jumped into action to rescue teenagers from a fiery vehicle after a crash in Encino. The solo-vehicle crash happened February 20, at 12:13 a.m. near the intersection of Balboa and Ventura boulevards. According to the police department, officers saw a Toyota Camry driving southbound on Balboa without its lights on. The officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop for the infraction; however, the driver did not stop. Officers decided not to pursue the vehicle. As officers continued driving towards Ventura Blvd. they noticed that the same Camry was involved in a single-vehicle crash. The car, which still did not have its headlights on, crashed into a light pole. The car quickly burst into flames. The officers ran toward the car, broke the driver's window and started pulling them out of the car. The officers were able to remove the driver, a 14-year-old girl, and front passenger, an 18-year-old girl. However, due to flames, the third passenger in the back seat, a 16-year-old girl, was trapped and officers were unable to get to her. She unfortunately died at the scene. The two others were taken to the hospital. Police say the driver did not display any signs of impairment. 

FOX 11

Man Deserts Family, Including 5-Month-Old, After Violent Crash In L.A.

A man involved in a violent crash early Sunday morning in Los Angeles County that sent his entire family, including a 5-month-old child, to the hospital was arrested after attempting to flee the scene, authorities confirmed to KTLA. Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department responded to the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and 52nd Street in Hyde Park at just before 2 a.m. on reports of several people sustaining injuries during the accident, police said. Video footage of what appears to be a head-on, single-vehicle crash into a power pole near area train tracks showed heavy damage to the family’s dark-colored four-door sedan. A pool of blood was also visible on the ground just outside the front passenger door. Authorities say the father, who was reportedly behind the wheel during the crash, attempted to flee the scene, leaving an adult female and her 5-month-old child who both sustained serious injuries, along with her 7-year-old child, inside the vehicle. 


Police Seek Sex Assault Victims Of Well-Known LA Photographer

Los Angeles Police Department investigators are continuing an investigation into a 64-year-old Hancock Park photographer amid several sexual assault allegations. Kenneth Howard Dolin was arrested Monday and booked on suspicion of penetration with a foreign object. He was later released from custody pending further investigation, police said. The arrest stemmed from an alleged Jan. 10 incident where a 29-year-old woman reported that she was sexually assaulted by him while at his Los Angeles photography studio. "He presented his behavior as a normal way to get someone to relax, to feel more natural when appearing on camera," LAPD Detective Brent Hopkins said. Police said Dolin was released from custody following the arrest "pending further investigation." The district attorney is declining to press charges at this time as they are asking the LAPD to come up with more evidence. During the investigation, detectives learned that two other women in their mid-twenties also accused Dolin of sexual assault in 2017. Police say these allegations have passed the statute of limitations for this particular crime.


4 Chileans Stole From Homes Across L.A. In A Case Of ‘Burglary Tourism,’ Police Say

When a burglary crew cased a wealthy Pacific Palisades enclave off Sunset Boulevard last week, LAPD detectives were watching covertly. They weren’t going to let this crew get far. But the three men and teenage boy had already traveled quite far. They were in the U.S. as tourists from Chile. Three of the “burglary tourists” were apprehended without incident. But the 17-year-old took off running, tossing his cellphone and even changing his clothing during a foot pursuit that had him dodging midafternoon traffic. The trend of Chilean crime groups visiting Southern California for thefts and robberies emerged about five years ago. The thieves, authorities say, arrive on easily obtainable tourism visas. Police have dubbed the phenomenon “burglary tourism,” and it has spurred political outrage and questions over visa tourism from the South American nation. Although it’s not uncommon for burglars to prey on tony pockets of Los Angeles, investigators say Chilean crews are behind hundreds of break-ins in Orange, Ventura and San Diego counties. The three men and teenager arrested Feb. 29 are suspected of carrying out a rash of burglaries of homes across East Hollywood earlier in the month. Inside the suspects’ vehicle, L.A. Police Department investigators said, they found various burglary tools and evidence tying the four to the burglaries on Feb. 17.

Los Angeles Times

LAPD Reports 2 More Uses Of Its Robotic Dog

The LAPD said officers used the Department's robotic dog, otherwise known as a "quadruped unmanned ground vehicle," two times between October and December 2023: once to observe a man during a standoff who was suspected of firing a gun into his neighbor's apartment, and once to try to contain a gun while officers negotiated with a man on a bus. Each use of the QUGV requires the approval of the LAPD Deputy Chief who heads the Counter Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau, David Kowalski, and the Department reports the uses to the Board of Police Commissioners and the City Council each quarter, following public protests that the robot might be used to carry weapons. The robot is equipped with a camera and an articulating arm that can be used to pick up or manipulate an object, like grasping and turning a door knob. The LAPD said in its latest report Friday the robot was used on Oct. 17, 2023, during a standoff between SWAT officers and a man who was armed and had fired shots into the floor of his upstairs neighbors. The robot was placed in a hallway and the live feed from its video camera, "allowed officers to remain at a safe distance from the suspect," during negotiations.


California Mom Wanted For Alleged Kidnapping, Crossing Mexico Border With Young Boy: FBI

Authorities sought the public's help Friday to find a woman and her 16-month-old son. Officials said she has been charged with kidnapping the child from his foster family in Los Angeles County and is possibly fleeing with him to Mexico. "The FBI is seeking the whereabouts of Brigette Benitez and her biological child, Miguel Eduardo Zuniga Medina Jr.," the FBI said in a statement. Authorities believe the 31-year-old mother may have taken Medina Jr. to Aguascalientes, Mexico after "failing to return him to his legal guardian following an unsupervised visit" on February 6 in Walnut. The child's non-custodial father is believed to be living in Aguascalientes, authorities said. Benitez and her son were last seen in a black 2021 Toyota Camry with California license plate number 8WAS968, according to authorities. A federal arrest warrant for Benitez was obtained Thursday after she was charged with international parental kidnapping in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, according to officials.

FOX 11

BWC: Michigan K-9 Finds Toddler Who Went Missing, Deputy Rescues Him Yards From Water

A K-9 with track record for helping find missing children has done it again, this time aiding in the recovery of a 3-year-old boy, Michigan authorities say. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office said the toddler went missing Monday, March 4, when he pried open a window and left his Geneva Township home. The boy vanished wearing only a diaper. Authorities were called to the home 30 minutes after the boy was last seen, and a K-9 unit was requested to assist in the search, according to the sheriff. A K-9 named Kuno and his handler, Deputy Eric Calhoun, located a footprint near the home and began tracking nearly a quarter-mile of land toward a body of water, the sheriff said. At the same time, drone operators for South Haven Area Emergency Services spotted the child walking near a pond, according to a Facebook post from the department. Working in conjunction with the drone operators, Kuno and Calhoun found the child just 50 yards away from the water, the sheriff said. He was in good health with only minor scratches. The sheriff said the boy was safely returned to his family. He was the fifth missing child Kuno and Calhoun have located, authorities said.

Charlotte Observer

A Surge Of Illegal Homemade Machine Guns Has Helped Fuel Gun Violence In The US

Eleven-year-old Domonic Davis was not far from his mom’s Cincinnati home when a hail of gunfire sprayed out from a passing car. Nearly two dozen rounds hurtled through the night at a group of children in the blink of an eye. Four other children and a woman were hurt in the November shooting that killed Domonic, who had just made his school basketball team. “What happened? How does this happen to an 11-year-old? He was only a few doors down,” his father, Issac Davis, said. The shooting remains under investigation. But federal investigators believe the 22 shots could be fired off with lightning speed because the weapon had been illegally converted to fire like a machine gun. Communities around the U.S. have seen shootings carried out with weapons converted to fully automatic in recent years, fueled by a staggering increase in small pieces of metal or plastic made with a 3D printer or ordered online. Laws against machine guns date back to the bloody violence of Prohibition-era gangsters. But the proliferation of devices known by nicknames such as Glock switches, auto sears and chips has allowed people to transform legal semi-automatic weapons into even more dangerous guns, helping fuel gun violence, police and federal authorities said.


Public Safety News

5 Firefighters Injured In Fire At lIlegal Cannabis Operation In Downtown LA

Five firefighters were hospitalized after they responded to a fire at an illegal cannabis operation in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday. Thick plumes of smoke and large flames were seen coming from a two-story commercial building during the morning. The fire broke out around 8 a.m. at a 69-year-old, 9,100-square-foot brick structure at 1400 E. Newton St., a couple of blocks north of the Santa Monica (10) Freeway. The firefighters who were hospitalized underwent a comprehensive medical examination after experiencing an unexpected burning sensation in their faces, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department's Brian Humphrey. Those firefighters were treated and released from medical care. No other injuries were reported. Some 145 firefighters knocked down the blaze in 56 minutes, Humphrey said. A pair of cadaver-detection dog teams were called to the scene "to address unconfirmed reports that one or more persons may have been within the now-heavily damaged building at the time of the fire," he said. They found no indication of human remains and no witnesses came forward to report anyone missing.


Firefighters Take Twin Girls Shopping After Their Home Goes Up In Flames

Los Angeles firefighters are helping a family recover after a fire ripped through their home in Sun Valley Thursday morning. The fire was reported around 11 a.m. at a home on the 7700 block of Coldwater Canyon Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Responding firefighters found significant flames inside the 1957 single-story home. As crews on the outside battled the blaze, firefighters searched the interior of home for anyone who may have been trapped by the flames. Two people and three dogs were removed from the home and taken to safety, but two cats perished in the fire. One of the people rescued was a 19-year-old man who officials say was badly burned and taken to the hospital in critical condition. That man was also the only resident of the home able to drive, officials added. After about 21 minutes, firefighters were able to knock down the flames and put the fire out but as they were cleaning up, they saw two young girls crying outside.


Local Government News

L.A. City Council Votes To Allow The Demolition Of A Jewish And Labor Movement Landmark

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Friday to allow the demolition of a century-old building in the Westlake neighborhood that served as a Jewish landmark and later as the heart of labor organizing in the city. The vote was a victory for Catholic Charities, which bought the building historically known as the B’nai B’rith Lodge in 2018 but later said it was “seriously dilapidated and structurally unsound” and could threaten the safety of the surrounding neighborhood. Catholic Charities, a nonprofit organization connected to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, filed a lawsuit against the city in 2023, saying it had wrongly been denied permission to tear down the ornate 1924 structure. The group said in court documents that the city would not allow demolition of the property on South Union Avenue because it “may be historic,” making it subject to further additional review, as well as because any future projects on the lot must comply with the California Environmental Quality Act. Community preservationists and advocates argued that a potential demolition would be a blow to crucial L.A. history. Instead, they urged Catholic Charities to repair the building and put it to use.

Los Angeles Times

About the LAPPL: Formed in 1923, the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) represents more than 8,900 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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