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DUI Suspect Dies in Custody

Los Angeles: On April 4, 2013, around 7:50 p.m., Central Area officers were responding to a traffic accident in the 400 block of North Vermont Avenue, which possibly involved a drunk driver that was still at scene.

As the officers were conducting their investigation, the suspect later identified as 50-year-old Mark Courtier was attempting to run from the scene.  One of the officers deployed a taser gun in ‘Direct Stun Mode’ on Courtier, until officers were able to overcome his resistance and handcuff him.

Paramedics were requested for Courtier, who suffered a laceration to the face which occurred during the take down.  Los Angeles Fire Department responded and as they treated Courtier found him to be non-responsive.  Courtier was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.

Force Investigation Division is investigating the use of force incident.

The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Chief of Police, Office of the Inspector General, and the Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.  Additionally, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the officer-involved shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call Force Investigation Division at 213-486-5230. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

     
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Fatal Traffic Collision in Newton Area

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police Department Central Traffic Division (CTD) detectives are hoping for more information about a fatal traffic accident.

On April 28, 2013, around 8:50 p.m. 18-year-old Israel Gutierrez of Los Angeles was driving his 1996 Honda Prelude southbound on Compton Avenue in lane number one when he collided with 54-year-old Francisco Lopez crossing eastbound 57th Street at Compton Avenue outside of the crosswalk.  Lopez was taken to local hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.

Gutierrez was a license driver and he was not under the influence of an alcohol beverage.  However, according to a witness he was driving at a high rate of speed; therefore he was booked for 192(1) P.C., Felony Gross Vehicular Manslaughter.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Central Traffic Detectives, Detective Josephine Mapson or Detective Felix Padilla at 213-972-1851.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

     
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Van Nuys Homicide

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department Van Nuys Homicide Detectives are investigating the death of an elderly woman.

On April 23, 2013, about 4:10 a.m., 88-year-old Burton Levin, called a family member to say he had given a lethal dose of medication to his wife Lenore Levin.  He also told his family member that he intended to commit suicide.  The family member immediately notified police who responded to the 3500 block of Weslin Avenue.  Upon arrival, Van Nuys Division uniformed police officers discovered Burton Levin in the rear yard of the location, deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Officers continued to search the location and discovered the victim, Lenore Levin, a White female, 85-years-old, inside the residence, deceased.  There was no apparent trauma to the victim.

Detectives believe the motive for both deaths involves despondency over declining health conditions.  A firearm and a number of medications were recovered at the scene.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact LAPD Van Nuys Homicide Detectives Martinez and Nuttall at 818-374-0087. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls can be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


     
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Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Hosts Celebrity Poker Tournament Event Host Features Red Carpet Party and Will Be Hosted by James Gandolfini

Los Angeles:  Hollywood’s hottest stars from film, television, music and sports will come together tomorrow evening to show their support for the men and women of the LAPD as they help raise funds for the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation.

The event, known as the Celebrity Poker Tournament, will commence at the historic Beverly Hills Saban Theatre at 5 p.m.  The evening will be hosted by James Gandolfini, with dozens of other celebrities confirmed to attend, including:

- Tito Ortiz (UFC)
- Vanessa Marcil (General Hospital/Las Vegas)
- Marlon Wayans, Brian Baumgardner (The Office)
- Neal Mcdonough, Michael Cudlitz, C. Thomas Howell, Rob Riggle, Dorian Messick (Southland)
- Jennifer Tilly, Jack Osbourne, AJ Mclean, Kevin Richardson (Backstreet Boys)
- Eric Christian Olsen, Miguel Ferrer (NCIS LA)
- Rocky Carroll (NCIS)
- Hill Harper (CSI NY)
- Billy Burke (Twilight)
- Karina Smirnoff (Dancing with the Stars)
- Lou Diamond Phillips, Carl Weathers (Rocky)
- Ian Gomez (Cougar Town)
- Joe Manganiello (True Blood)
- Adam Rodriguez, Omar Benson Miller (CSI Miami)
- Adrian Young (No Doubt)
- Willie Gault (Olympic Gold Medalist)
- Salli Richardson (Eureka)
- Shanna Moakler, Jessica Sutta (Pussycat Dolls)
- Corey Maggette (Detroit Pistons)
- Roger Cross (Arrow)
- Grant Show (Private Practice)
- Katherine LaNassa (Deception)
- Joanna Krupa (Real Housewives of Miami)
- Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi (Shah’s of Sunset)
- Kate Linder (Young & the Restless)
- Ken Davitian (Borat)
- Doug Robb (Hoobastank)
- Neil Flynn (The Middle)
- Camryn Manheim, Michael Trucco (Revenge)
- Tony Denison, Kearran Giovanni (Major Crimes)
- Richard Karn, Omarosa (All-Star Celebrity Apprentice)
- Alexis Bellino & Jim Bellino (Real Housewives of OC)
- Bryce Sodeberg (Lifehouse)
- Poker Pros Maria Ho, Jamie Gold, Jason Sommerville, Tiffany Michelle and many more to be announced
- Music will be provided by American Idol’s Blake Lewis

Proceeds from the event benefit officers and their immediate family members who have experienced unforeseen catastrophic circumstances, including death, illness and injury. The Memorial Foundation is the cornerstone of the LAPD’s employee wellness program and has raised over $14.5 million without any direct taxpayer money.

Questions about the event may be directed to Traci Szymanski at 323-848-9292 or TraciSzy@gmail.com.


     
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Hit-and-Run Leaves Bicyclist Seriously Injured

UPDATE

On March 25, the day after the collision, victim David Alexander Granados died at the hospital from his injuries.

 

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Valley Traffic Division detectives are asking for public’s help in locating the driver responsible for a hit-and-run traffic collision that left a bicyclist seriously injured.  

On March 24, 2013 around 6:30 p.m., a traffic collision occurred at the intersection of Oxnard Street and Bellaire Avenue in the San Fernando Valley.  The victim, an 18-year- old male was riding his bicycle on Bellaire Avenue when he was struck by a vehicle traveling west on Oxnard Street.  The victim sustained major injuries and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for medical treatment

The suspect is believed to be an older male of unknown ethnicity.  The suspect was driving an older model silver or grey Mercedes Benz ML at the time of the accident.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division Officer M. Tucker at 818-644-8063. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to www.LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.

 


Denim Day in LA 2013

 click to hear Chief Beck's comments

April 24, 2013 – At the Peace Over Violence office in downtown Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Chief Charlie Beck stood in solidarity with the members of an awareness organization dedicated to building healthy relationships, families, and communities free from sexual, domestic, and interpersonal violence.  Standing in his denim jeans Chief Beck told those gathered and the media during the past eight years the Department has reduced the number of rapes and domestic violence as well as eliminating the rape kit backlog.  He thanked the Mayor, organizations such as Peace Over Violence, and the people of Los Angeles for their support in making that happen. 

“There is no excuse for sexual assault.  There is no excuse for domestic violence.  There is no excuse for us not doing something about it as a City, as a police department, as a group of people,” said Chief Beck.  

Every year since 1999, Peace Over Violence has organized Denim Day in Los Angeles and the United States. It is a rape prevention education campaign, where they ask community members, elected officials, businesses and students to make a social statement with their fashion statement and on this day wear jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault. Los Angeles was the second major U.S city to formally adopt “Denim Day” in 2008.

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Sylmar Man Killed in Traffic Collision Remains Unidentified

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department Valley Traffic Division (VTD) detectives are hoping for public assistance to identify a man who was fatally struck by a vehicle as he crossed the street.

Around 4:45 a.m. yesterday, a man on Hubbard Street in Sylmar, just west of Dronfield Avenue, was walking north to cross the street midblock when he was struck by a silver 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.  The driver of the car, identified as 40-year-old Sylmar resident Juan Garcia, immediately stopped to assist the pedestrian as required by law.

The pedestrian, identified only as a white male in his early- to mid-40s, died at the scene of impact. Unfortunately, the man had no identification, and detectives are still trying to determine his identity.

Anyone with information regarding this incident, especially details of the decedent’s identification, is asked to contact VTD Detective II Krajchir at 818-644-8034. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 ((877)-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800)-222-8744. Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD”. Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

     
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NORTHRIDGE KIDNAP VICTIM'S FAMILY SENDS OPEN LETTER TO THE MEDIA REQUESTING PRIVACY AT THIS TIME

Letter from the Northridge Girl’s Family to Members of the Media

Our family thanks the LAPD, SDPD, FBI and the Mexican authorities for their work in finding and apprehending Tobias Summers.  Throughout this ordeal, they’ve been working around the clock hunting this man – not only for justice for our daughter, but to make sure he’s unable to hurt anyone again.

Since the onset of this ordeal, the LAPD and the FBI have been spectacular with us and our daughter.  We can’t begin to describe how their compassion and professionalism got us through that first day.  There were so many officers and agents and so few names we thought to record that to name any in particular would be an injustice to the rest.

We would also like to thank the police officers who first found our daughter, the paramedics who responded and staff at West Hills Hospital.  You all helped my daughter feel safe and secure when she needed it the most.

Lastly, as a family we would also like to thank everyone – family, friends, members of our church and strangers who have offered prayers, good wishes and thoughts.  We’re humbled by the outpouring of affection and concern for our daughter.  It’s not only helped us get through the last few weeks, but our daughter as well.

In closing, we request that you respect our desire for privacy and understand that it’s for our daughter.

The Northridge Girl’s Family

Three Suspects Arrested for Killing Handball Player

Los Angeles: On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at 3:55 p.m., patrol officers from West Valley Division responded to a radio call of an “Ambulance Cutting” on the grounds of Cleveland High School located in the 8100 block of Vanalden Avenue in Northridge.  Responding officers located the victim, 18-year-old Kevin Orellano of Reseda, who was being treated by paramedics from the Los Angeles Fire Department.  Victim Orellano was transported to a local hospital where he died as a result of his injuries.

Police officers from West Valley Division as well as the Los Angeles Unified School Police quickly locked down the crime scene and spoke to numerous witnesses.  According to witnesses, victim Orellano was playing handball with another individual when he was approached by two suspects.  A brief argument took place and one of the suspects punched Orellano in the face.  The suspect continued to fight with the victim at which time the second suspect armed himself with a small pocket knife and stabbed Orellano in the torso.  The suspects then ran from the scene.

Utilizing a variety of investigative tools, including social media, detectives from West Valley Division were able to quickly identify the suspects.  A relentless pursuit of those suspects led to the arrest of a 16-year-old young man and 19-year-old Michael Steven Carpio of Panorama City.  The suspects were arrested in the early morning hours on Thursday, April 25, 2013, and have been booked for murder.

Additional Information

Witnesses reported seeing the two suspects leave the school in a maroon colored mini-van driven by a young Hispanic female.  When the detectives arrested the suspects this morning at 12:15 a.m., at a residence on the 15000 block of Roscoe Boulevard, they also arrested 19-year-old Michelle Pineda for murder.  In addition, the male suspects are documented gang members; however the victim had no apparent gang ties.  The getaway vehicle was also found at the location where the suspects were arrested.

For more information, please call West Valley Homicide Unit at 818-374-7720.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


     
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Notes from the April 23, 2013 Weekly Police Commission Meeting

• Police Commission President Andrea Ordin opened the meeting by stating we must remember the victims of the Boston Marathon terror attack and the bravery of the first responders.  She added the tragedy in West, Texas resulted in the loss of 14 people including 10 first responders.  The Board then observed a moment of silence in honor of the victims.

• Police Commissioner Rafael Bernardino said he attended the Valley Bureau Asian Pacific Islander Community Forum last week.  He found it to be informative, very lively and well attended.

• Assistant Police Chief Earl Paysinger informed the Board he attended the Police Cadet Job Fair held at the Police Administrative Building over the weekend.  He said he was pleased with the attendance and the success of the event.  Chief Paysinger also stated it was a busy weekend of policing for the Department in the wake of the Boston Marathon terror attack.  He said the Department policed the CicLAvia, USC/LA Times Festival of Books, Dodger, Clipper and Kings events without incident. 

• The Department’s verbal presentation and discussion, relative to the positive impacts of the Mayor’s Office of Gang Reduction and Youth Development program and community partnership in policing with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles was given by Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese.  Chief Albanese informed the Board each of the geographical divisions has a Gang Impact Team with 9 CLEAR programs where the Department can allocate additional resources to high gang activity areas. In addition, the Department has 45 current gang injunctions and a number of youth gang prevention programs such as Jeopardy, Police Cadets, Police Activity League, gang intervention academy and the Summer Night Lights Program. 

• The Department’s verbal presentation and discussion, relative to the status of the latent fingerprint backlog was given by Police Administrator Yvette Burney.  Ms. Burney informed the Board despite resources being down there was a 250 case drop in the backlog last quarter.  She said the 10 case priority for area property crimes is still in effect. 

• The Executive Director’s report, dated April 17, 2013, relative to the board rules and regulations for the implementation of a police permitted valet parking program in the City of Los Angeles, was approved.

• The Executive Director’s report, dated April 16, 2013, relative to the establishment of valet parking operator and valet parking attendant police permit fees, as given by Executive Director Richard Tefank, was approved and transmitted to the City Administrative Officer and the Chief Legislative Analyst.  Mr. Tefank stated there has been a need for some kind of regulation for quite some time.  He said the new permit would be issued by the Commission after an application and parking plans were submitted.  The tentative fee would be $314 annually.  In addition, valet parking attendants would be required to obtain a permit to work and must have a valid California driver’s license along with a clean criminal history in regards to burglary and auto theft.  The permit would cost $70, be valid for one year and will allow the permit holder to work for any valet operator in the City. 

• The Executive Director’s report, dated April 15, 2013, relative to the proposed adjustments to fees for special services established by the Board of Police Commissioners, was approved and transmitted to the City Administrative Officer for information purposes only.

• The Department’s report, dated March 12, 2013, relative to the addition of the registered City of Los Angeles Hollywood Entertainment District Business Improvement District, as an approved private entity secondary employer for off-duty uniformed employment, was removed.

• The Department’s report, dated April 12, 2013, relative to the professional services agreement between the City of Los Angeles and Lyndon J. and Associates, Inc. for court reporter services, was approved and transmitted to the Mayor and City Council.

• The Department’s report, dated April 9, 2013, relative to Operations South Bureau narcotics enforcement detail command accountability performance audit, was approved.