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Police Seize Millions In Counterfeit Merchandise

 Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Officers along with Investigative Consultants shut down a major counterfeiting operation in downtown Los Angeles.  During the raid, investigators seized $2.5 million worth of counterfeit designer merchandise from a downtown business. 

On June 29, 2006, police served a search warrant at Unlimited Styles located at 1700 Griffith Ave, Los Angeles.  Investigators found fake clothing bearing the names of companies such as, Lacoste, Abercrombie & Fitch, BeBe, Antik Denim, Rock & Republic, Joe's Jeans and Citizen's of Humanity.

Three individuals were arrested in connection with the seizure.

The investigation began back on June 22, 2006, when the United States Customs notified representatives of Lacoste of a counterfeit shipment they had seized.  The items seized were being shipped into the United States through the business Unlimited Styles.   

Based on this and other information, Los Angeles Police officers conducted an undercover operation and purchased $1,300.00 worth of counterfeit merchandise from Unlimited Styles.   

Clay Gonzales, 38, Victor Saedon 40, and Niss Sayag 44,were booked for willfully manufacturing, intentionally selling, or possessing for sale any counterfeit of a trademark registered with the Secretary of State or registered on the Principle Register of the United States Patent Trademark Office.  Bail was set at $20,000 each.

If you have any questions regarding this incident, please contact Media Relation Section at 213-485-3586.

Daily News Editorial Aptly Titled

June 30, 2006.   The following reply was written by Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton in response to an ongoing debate over reporting crime statistics.

After reading the The Daily News’ aptly titled June 30th editorial, “An Empty Debate,”  I wanted to respond to set the record straight.  As Chief of Police, I am comfortable and confident in the way the LAPD is reporting crime statistics and proud of the crime reductions they reflect.

Following Councilman Bernard Parks’ repeated assertions that LAPD has been “cooking the books,” the City Council’s own Legislative Analyst investigated and issued a report on the matter, “LAPD Crime Reporting Procedures.”  In sum and substance the CLA reported that the LAPD is correctly reporting aggravated assaults according to the federal rules for the Uniform Crime Report.

Moreover, the CLA confirmed from the FBI that if the LAPD reverted to reporting statistics as previously done under former Chief Parks, the FBI would disqualify the numbers and omit them from their annual report.

The over-reporting was discovered during audits in 2004 when staff from my COMPSTAT unit found the LAPD had been incorrectly reporting Part I aggravated assault numbers by including Part II non-aggravated assaults, which were domestic-violence related, into the Part I totals, and they had been doing so for many years.

Frankly, the issue raised by Councilman Parks is much ado about nothing, and he knows it.  The LAPD is following the FBI’s rules for reporting crime numbers.  It’s the FBI’s report and we have to give them what they want, in the format they want it.  We have worked closely with them to ensure this accuracy.

No police department in the nation is more forthcoming, timely and transparent with its crime numbers.  We have nothing to hide.  I am very proud of the crime reduction efforts of the men and women of the LAPD.  They have driven crime down dramatically during the last four years. 

It’s unfortunate that Councilman Parks, for unknown reasons, refuses to accept the FBI, state of California, and his own Chief Legislative Analyst’s reports that we are accurately reporting our crime fighting.

Chief of Police

Critical Missing 20-Year-Old Woman

Los Angeles: Police are asking for the public's help in locating 20-year-old Briann Sylvia McLinn who has the mental capacity of a two-year-old child.Nr06290

On Thursday, June 29, 2006, at about 9: 00 a.m., Briann was last seen from her home, 1200 block of Cochran Avenue, and has not been seen.  Briann has wandered from her home in the past, but this time she did not return.  She would not know how to perform simple tasks such as boarding a bus and paying the fare and could be best described as disoriented.

Brinn is an African-American, about 5' 5" in height and approximately 240 pounds.  She was last seen wearing a pink or black shirt and black jeans and black shoes. 

If located please contact the Wilshire Area Watch Commander at 213-485-0546, or the Missing Persons Unit at 213-485-5381.

Missing 77-Year- Old Granada Hills Man with Alzheimer's

Nr06289UPDATE: **On June 30, 2006, Viorell Bolog was located and is safe.  He was found in the Mission Area.**

Los Angeles: Police are asking for the public's help in locating 77-year-old Viorell Bolog who suffers from Alzheimer's and also needs his thyroid medication.

On Wednesday, June 28, 2006, at about 10: 00 a.m., Mr. Bolog wandered away from his residence located in the 16000 block of Don Metz Street and has not been seen.  Mr. Bolog suffers from Alzheimers and has wandered from his residence in the past, but this time he did not return home.

Mr. Bolog has been located in the past in the area of Mission Hills, Granada Hills, and the City of San Fernando.

Mr. Bolog is a White male about 5' 5” in height and approximately 120 pounds.  He was last seen wearing a brown and white plaid shirt and green shorts.  He left his wallet, identification, and money behind.  Although he suffers from Alzheimer's, he knows his name.

If located please contact the Mission Area Watch Commander at 818-838-9800, or the Missing Persons Unit at 213-485-5381. 

Chief Bratton Announces Command Staff Promotions

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton announced several promotions and assignments of Department command officers at a Staff Officers training session today. Several members of those promoted will assume new commands as other LAPD managers announce their retirements.

"I am pleased to announce these promotions and movement of staff," said LAPD Chief William Bratton. "All have shown their ability to be effective and creative in their current assignments. The promotions and movement will give each of these staff officers an opportunity to build on their successes."

The following assignments and promotions will become effective over the next several months: 

  • Commander Charlie Beck has been promoted to Deputy Chief Operations South Bureau. He replaces Earl Paysinger who was recently promoted to Assistant Chief of the Office of Operations for retiring Assistant Chief George Gascon.

  • Moving from Operations West Bureau, where he currently works as Assistant Commanding Officer, is Commander Kirk Albanese. He will become Assistant to the Director, Office of Operations.

  • Promoted from Captain III to Commander is Jim Voge who currently heads up Professional Standards Bureau Force Investigation Division. He replaces Commander Eric Lillo, Commanding Officer Internal Affairs Group, who will become the new Assistant Commanding Officer Operations West Bureau.

  • Promoted to Captain III from Captain II is Kris Pitcher who is currently assigned to Detective Bureau. He will assume a position in Professional Standards Bureau.

  • Captain III Rich Meraz, currently Commanding Officer Southeast Division moves to Detective Bureau.

  • Moving from Training Division to Commanding Officer of Southeast Division is Captain III Rick Jacobs.

  • Captain I Bill Murphy, currently Patrol Captain Newton Division, is being promoted to Captain III and will lead Training Division.

  • Replacing Murphy as Patrol Captain for Newton Division is newly promoted Captain I Bill Eaton.

  • Also being promoted from Captain I to Captain II is Horace Frank. Currently the Patrol Captain at Southeast Area, Frank moves to Counter Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau and will replace Captain II Charles Roper, who has announced his retirement.

  • Replacing Frank at Southeast Area as Patrol Captain is newly promoted Captain I Matt Blake.

  • Also promoted to Captain I is Mark Olvera. He becomes the new Patrol Captain at Hollenbeck Area, replacing Captain I Doug Shur, who has announced his retirement.

  • Captain III Jerry Szymanski will move from the position of Commanding Officer Devonshire Division to assume Command of the Detective Bureau's Narcotics and Vice Division. He replaces Captain III Bruce Crosley who has announced his retirement.

  • Replacing Captain Szymanski as Commanding Officer of Devonshire Division will be Captain III Sean Kane. He is currently Commanding Officer of Newton Division.

  • Captain I Denis Cremins, currently Patrol Captain at Rampart Division, is being promoted to Captain III and will become the new Commanding Officer of Newton Division.

  • Replacing Captain Cremins at Rampart Division as the new Patrol Captain is Captain I Jose Perez, who is currently the Patrol Captain at Northeast Division.

  • Promoted to Captain I is Eric Davis who becomes the new Patrol Captain for Northeast Area.

  • Promoting to Captain III is Clay Farrell, current Patrol Captain for Wilshire Division. Captain Farrell will become the new Hollywood Area Commanding Officer, replacing Captain Ron Sanchez who has announced his retirement.

  • Phil Tingirides has been promoted to the position of Captain I and will assume the duties of Commanding Officer of Wilshire Patrol Division.

Mastiff Attacks LAPD Officers

Los Angeles:  On Tuesday, June 13, 2006, around 11:30 a.m., officers from West Valley Area  Station responded to a radio call of a screaming man, in the 7600 block of Topanga Canyon Boulevard.  When police arrived at the apartment building, they were met by a man who directed them to the unit from which loud screams had been heard.

Due to the nature of the call for service, officers immediately attempted to contact the residents, but received no response from within the apartment.  Believing that someone may have been in danger, the officers entered and began searching when a large Mastiff dog charged from one of the rooms.  It bared its teeth and lunged at the officers.  Police Officer James Woods fired two rounds, missing the animal.  The dog retreated to a back bedroom. 

The officers continued their search and found the dog's owners who were unaware of any problem.

The officers were not injured.

Police Officer James Woods, is 43-years old and has 17 years with the LAPD. 

Man Dies After Exhibiting Bizarre Behavior

Los Angeles:  A 43-year-old man died while in police custody on June 1, 2006, after he displayed bizarre behavior in Van Nuys.

A bystander waved down a passing LAPD police car in the 6800 block of Sepulveda Boulevard just after 11 AM.  The officers stopped to investigate a man, Frankie Diaz, who was acting bizarrely.  As the two officers approached, Diaz knelt down on the road and held his hands behind his head.

The officers handcuffed the man until they could determine what the nature of the problem was.  Once handcuffed, Diaz began to struggle against his restraints and tried to kick the officers.

The officers restrained the man's legs with a hobble, made of nylon cord, to limit his ability to kick the officers.  While trying to restrain Diaz, the officers noticed he stopped breathing.  They removed the hobble restraint, administered CPR, and called for an ambulance.

A private ambulance service was passing by and stopped to help.  The ambulance took Diaz to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

Force Investigation Division will investigate the circumstances surrounding the officers' contact with Diaz.

Questions regarding this release may be referred to Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

Officer Injured at Davis Academy

 Los Angeles: A Los Angeles police officer sustained minor injuries at the shooting range after another officer's weapon fired accidentally.

On May 19, 2006, at about 3:30 p.m., a 11-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, had just completed qualifying on the range.

The officer reloaded his weapon at the designated loading barrel.  When he holstered his gun, one round fired into the pavement. A bullet fragment struck another officer's arm.

The officer was treated with stitches at a local hospital and released.

Force Investigation Division is handling the investigation.

Questions may be directed to Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

Man Dies in Ambulance Following Assault on Firefighter

Los Angeles: A man died as he was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, after assaulting a firefighter attempting to provide him emergency medical treatment.

On Sunday, June 18, 2006, around 4:05 p.m., employees of the Furst Motel, located at 5711 South Figueroa Street, in the Exposition Park area of Los Angeles, called 911 when they found a man lying semi-conscious in his room. The man was bleeding from the mouth and face. When paramedics arrived, they found an Hispanic man (John Doe) on the bed. As Fire Department personnel attempted to render aid, the man assaulted them, kicking and striking one paramedic in the head and chest.

The Fire Department requested back up and LAPD officers from 77th Area Station responded. When police entered the room, they saw the man fighting the firefighters. As the officers and firefighters moved the man to the parking lot, he remained combative, striking and spitting on them. Firefighters applied a spit mask over the man’s face, while officers placed him on the ground to control his violent movements. The man was then taken by ambulance to California Hospital. On the way to the hospital he developed medical complications and failed to respond to treatment. He died in the ambulance.

One firefighter was treated for a contusion to the head and a kick wound to the upper chest.  No police officers were injured.

Questions may be directed to Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

Chief Bratton Names New Assistant Chief

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton announced the pending promotion of Deputy Chief Earl Paysinger to Assistant Chief this evening during a community meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners, which was held at the Prince Hall Memorial Auditorium in South Los Angeles.

“In a Department that has no shortage of talent, Chief Paysinger has consistently been second to none in his commitment to this department and to the community he serves,” said Chief Bratton.  “Earl’s pride, compassion, experience and professional skills will serve him well as he assumes his new position.  I have the utmost confidence that he will continue and expand upon the exemplary performance of retiring Assistant Chief George Gascon, with whom Earl has worked so closely over the last three years.”

Paysinger is the highest ranking African-American police officer in the LAPD.  He will replace Assistant Chief George Gascon, who has been recommended as chief of police for Mesa, Arizona.  Paysinger’s appointment will be effective in August, upon Gascon’s departure.

“This is a tremendous and exciting opportunity for me and I am grateful that Chief Bratton has placed his faith and trust in me,” said Paysinger.  “I see this as a chance to replicate the  community-based policing strategies citywide that have worked so successfully in South Bureau over the past few years.”

Deputy Chief Paysinger is well regarded in the South Los Angeles community for improving the partnership between police and local residents.  “It has to be more than just two sides trusting one another,” Paysinger has said.  “Long gone are the days when police can solve all of the problems, all of the time, all alone.  Both sides have to roll up their sleeves and get down to the business of making the neighborhoods safer for everyone.”

In his nearly 30 years of service, Deputy Chief Paysinger has been assigned as the Employee Relations Administrator and as Captain for DARE Division and the Newton Street Police Station.  Paysinger will be one of three assistant chiefs, reporting directly to Chief Bratton.

“LAPD’s success lies in its ability to understand the community’s complexities and effect positive change,” Paysinger added.  “The race to make LA the safest big city in the nation isn’t a 100-yard dash; it’s a marathon.”

Paysinger’s full biography is available at www.LAPDOnline.org.