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Notes from the July 31, 2007 Police Commission Weekly Meeting

•The Los Angeles Police Commission held its election of officers at this week's meeting.  Commissioner Anthony Pacheco was elected President and Commissioner John Mack was elected Vice President.

•The Department mourns the losses of Detective III George M. Selleh of Mission Area, and Police Officer II David Rodriguez of North Hollywood Area.  Both officers passed away in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 29, 2007, in two separate off-duty traffic accidents. 

Chief Bratton learned of his own mother's death on this same day and still made time to attend roll call at North Hollywood Area before leaving for Boston to be with his family.

•The Department thanked CHP for their professional handling of the traffic accidents that claimed two of our officers' lives on Sunday, July 29, 2007.  Their smooth, efficient work and thoughtful participation at a time of high emotion defined partnership within the law enforcement family.  Commissioner Ordin requested a letter of commendation from the Commission to the CHP.

•The Department congratulated newly elected Commission President Pacheco and thanked former President Mack and former Vice President Skobin for their great work during their terms.

•Commission President Pacheco requested future agenda items on the matters of the in-car camera, private investigator licensing, and financial disclosure.

•Deputy Chief Charlie Beck presented Sergeant Adrian Moody and Officer John Biondo to the Commissioners at this week's meeting.  Sgt. Moody and Ofcr. Biondo performed CPR on a young girl on Saturday, July 28, 2007, saving her life. 

•The Executive Director introduced Senior Management Analyst II Stephanie Herron, newly appointed to Community Discrimination Unit.

•The Inspector General introduced new employees Senior Clerk Typist Vera Killpatrick and Special Investigator II John Kelly.

•Consent Agenda Item A, the Department's reports relative to a monetary donation from Charles H. Smith, in the amount of $5,000.00 to Southwest Area to establish a Southwest Area Explorer Post at Crenshaw High School, was continued to August 14, 2007.  The Department was asked to address questions raised by the Commission. 

•Regular Agenda Item A, the Department's report relative to evaluating the feasibility and cost of using Senior Detention Officers for prisoner release at the Los Angeles County Courts, was continued to August 14, 2007.

•Regular Agenda Item B, the Department's report relative to a status report on ASTRO radios and a request for funding to replace the Department's hand-held radio inventory for the Fiscal Year 2008/2009 budget, was continued to August 14, 2007.

•Regular Agenda Item C, the Department's report relative to approving a $667,000.00 grant award entitled, “Los Angeles County Fiscal Year 2007-2008 Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Program,” was approved.

•Regular Agenda Item D, the Department's report relative to the training and distribution of the X-26 TASER, was approved.

•Regular Agenda Item E, the Department's report relative to awarding the Police Commission Unit Citation to various Police personnel, and awarding the Police Distinguished Service Medal to Police Officer Charles Mahaffey, Metropolitan Division, was approved.

•Regular Agenda Item F, the Department's report relative to awarding the Medal of Valor to the following Police Officers: Carlos Quintero, Ivan Vintamilla, Thomas Appleby, Isaac Moreno, Humberto Franco, Jesus Parra, and Jesse Cardenas, was approved.

•Regular Agenda Item G, the Department's report and the Inspector General's report, relative to the Discipline Report, First Quarter 2007, in accordance with Paragraph 88 of the Consent Decree, was approved.

•Regular Agenda Item H, the Department's reports relative to the 77th Area Gang Enforcement Detail Command Accountability Performance Audit, was approved.

COMPSTAT Citywide Profile

Crime Statistics July 28, 2007

VIOLENT CRIMES                 2007*            2006*         % Chg

Homicide                                219               277              -21%
Rape                                      449               559              -20%
Robbery                                7714             8212              -6%
Agg Assaults **                      7467             8207              -9%
Total Violent Crimes           15849         17255              -8%


Burglary                                 11,123          11,410          -3%
Auto Theft                             13,537          13,945          -3%
BTFV                                      17,592         17,168            2%
Personal/Other Theft              15,125          16,228           -7%
Total Property Crimes           57,377         58,751          -2%
Total Part I Crimes                73,226         76,006

* Both 2006 and 2007 crime categories represent Year-To-Date figures.  The 2006 figures are not annual totals. 

** Prior to 2005, Aggravated Assaults included Child/Spousal Simple Assaults

Van Nuys Man Arrested for Child Pornography

Los Angeles: A San Fernando Valley man was arrested Thursday evening for possession of child pornography.

On July 26, 2007, at around 8:15 p.m., detectives arrested Kenneth Chernow, 36, of Van Nuys, at a Best Buy in Burbank when he arrived to pick up a computer he had dropped off for service. 

A Best Buy computer technician had been working on the hard drive when he discovered various videos of child pornography.  A search warrant was obtained to complete a forensic analysis.  The Computer Crimes Unit conducted a preliminary analysis and confirmed the presence of several images of child pornography on the computer.

The police conducted a follow up in Chernow's home in the 13500 block of Hart Street where they served an additional search warrant for evidence.  Detectives located and recoverd additional evidence of child pornography at the residence.

Detectives said that Chernow was downloading pornographic images and videos of juveniles to his home computer.  There have been no victims identified at this time. 

Chernow posted $20,000 bail and was released.  He remains free on bail pending the final forensic analysis and resulting charges to be filed by the District Attorney's Office.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Carlos Monterroso, Juvenile Division, at 213-485-4220.  On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

LAPD Grieving

Los Angeles: As the investigations into the unrelated traffic deaths of two Los Angeles Police Department officers continue, LA Police Chief William Bratton mourns not only their loss, but the loss of his mother as well.

This morning, June 30, 2007, Department personnel learned of Chief Bratton's loss through a statement released by Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger.  Chief Bratton learned of the passing of his mother early Sunday morning, followed within hours by the deaths of Detective Selleh and Officer Rodriguez. 

"It is with profound regret that I share with you the unfortunate news that the mother of our Chief of Police, Mrs. June Bratton, passed away early yesterday morning, after an extended illness.  Even while leading the Department during its time of grief with the tragic losses of Mission Area Detective George Selleh and North Hollywood GED Officer David Rodriguez in separate, off-duty traffic collisions, Chief Bratton dealt quietly with his own loss - that of his beloved mother.

A resident of Boston, she leaves as her legacy, not only Chief Bratton and his wife Rikki to mourn her passing, but also her husband with whom she shared her life for over six decades. Another daughter and two grandsons and scores of family and friends also mourn the loss of June Bratton."

Join me in whispering a prayer that He will grant all of them favor and peace...."

Any questions can be directed to Media Relations at 213-485-3586.

Suspect and Officer Injured During Traffic Stop

Los Angeles: A suspect and a Los Angeles Police Officer were injured when the suspect attempted to escape while being handcuffed.

On July 29, 2007, at about 12:20 a.m., Northeast patrol officers made a traffic stop of a vehicle that was being pushed by the suspect, Bruno Aguilar, 30, and his friend, near Mesa Avenue and Avenue 61. 

Officer Fernando Salcedo, 40, nine years with the Department, was handcuffing Aguilar when he suddenly ran from the officer in an attempt to escape.  After a short foot pursuit Officer Salcedo caught up to the suspect and attempted to take him into custody.  Their momentum carried them forward, causing them to fall to the ground resulting in injury. 

They were transported to a local hospital for treatment.  Officer Salcedo needed stitches to close a laceration to his head and was subsequently sent home.  Aguilar received a broken jaw and was admitted into the jail ward of USCMC.

Officer's recovered a loaded handgun from Aguilar's vehicle and he was booked for being in possession of a loaded firearm. 

Force Investigation Division personnel responded and are investigating the incident.

19-Year-Old Shot and Killed While Walking in Alley

 Los Angeles: A 19-year-old was shot and killed as he was walking in an alley in South Los Angeles.

On Friday, July 27, 2007, Velton Gates was approached by an unknown suspect in the alley behind Coliseum Avenue and Stevely Street.  The suspect shot Gates multiple times with an unknown type handgun and fled the scene.

Paramedics responded and pronounced Gates dead at the scene.

The motive for the shooting is unknown.

Anyone with information is asked to contact South Bureau Homicide detectives John Skaggs or Cory Farell at 213-485-2418.  After hours and on weekends, phone the 24-hour toll free Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAW-FULL (529-3855).

LAPD Officers Save the Life of an 18-Year-Old Girl in Full Cardiac Arrest

Los Angeles: Today, Saturday, July 28th, at around 1:15 p.m., LAPD officers from the Southwest Area Community Police Station, responded to a Domestic Violence radio call near the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Crenshaw Boulevard.  While the officers were at scene, an 18 year-old female, unrelated to the call for service, went into full cardiac arrest.  The girl had no pulse and was not breathing.  Without hesitation or protective medical supplies, the officers initiated Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation.  Their efforts were met with positive results and the officers were able to re-establish her pulse and breathing.  The girl was transported to a local hospital where she is recovering. 

The officers involved were Sergeant Adrian Moody, eleven years with the LAPD, Police Officer John Biondo, a five-year member of the LAPD, and Police Officer Daniel Jara, just five months out of the academy.

The involved officers are available to meet with the media at Southwest Station until 7:00 p.m. this evening.  Southwest Station is located at 1546 West Martin Luther King Boulevard, 213-485-2582.

For additional information regarding this incident, please contact Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.

23-Year-Old Killed in Gang Shooting

Los Angeles: A 23-year-old man was shot to death on Saturday afternoon in South Los Angeles.

On July 28, 2007 at about 1:00 PM, Donyae Giles was walking on the sidewalk near the intersection of Imperial Highway and Vermont Avenue.

The suspect, described only as a male Black, walked up to the victim and shot him several times in the upper torso. After shooting Giles, the suspect ran from the scene.

The victim was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

The motive for this shooting is an apparent gang related shooting. 

The suspect and weapon remain outstanding.

Persons with information regarding this incident should contact Southeast Area Homicide Detective Sal Barbera at 213-485-6902. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

Los Angeles Police Detective Killed in Freeway Pileup

Los Angeles:  An LAPD officer was killed today during an early morning crash on the 101 Freeway in Hollywood.

On July 29, 2007, around 3:40 a.m., an off duty LAPD Detective, George Selleh, of Simi Valley, was killed while driving his motorcycle Southbound on the 101 Freeway near Highland Boulevard. 

Detective Selleh came upon a collision that had occurred moments before when the driver of a 1991 Toyota lost control of his vehicle and hit the center divider.  The collision left the car blocking the number one and two lanes of the freeway.  Detective Selleh was unable to avoid the disabled vehicle.  The collision ejected him from his motorcycle leading to his fatal injuries. 

The chain reaction collision involved between 10-15 vehicles according to California Highway Patrol Officer Alex Delgadillo.

"It is always difficult when we lose one of our own.  The men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department are deeply saddened and our hearts and prayers go out to Detective Selleh's family and his many friends," said Captain William Scott of the Mission Community Police Station where Detective Selleh was last assigned.    

Detective Selleh was 52-years-old and had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 29 years. He is survived by his wife, a 20-year-old son, an 18-year-old daughter and two sisters.

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

Department Mourns The Tragic Loss Of Two Members of The LAPD Family

Los Angeles: The men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department are mourning the tragic loss of a veteran Police Detective and Police Officer after the two lost their lives in separate, off-duty traffic accidents today.

Just before 3:30 this morning, July 29, 2007, 52-year old LAPD Detective III George Selleh of Simi Valley was killed while driving his motorcycle Southbound on the 101 Freeway near Highland Avenue. Detective Selleh came upon a one vehicle traffic collision that had occurred just moments before when the driver of a 1991 Toyota Corolla lost control of his car and hit the center divider. The Corolla spun and ended up blocking two lanes of traffic. Unable to avoid the Corolla, Detective Selleh collided with it and was thrown from his motorcycle. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Eleven more vehicles were involved in accidents as drivers either hit the Corolla or swerved to avoid it. The Hollywood freeway was shut down for more than 12 hours as Officers with the California Highway Patrol investigated the initial crash and the multiple vehicle pileup.

Detective Selleh has been with the Department for 29-years. Appointed in May 1978, he was most recently assigned to the Mission Area Narcotics Enforcement Detail as the supervising detective. He has worked Narcotics since 1990. While at Mission Area, Detective Selleh was recognized as the supervisor of the quarter. He is survived by his wife, a 20-year old son and an 18-year old daughter.

Several hours later, around 10:30 am, while investigating a single-vehicle accident, Officers with the California Highway patrol discovered the body of 33-year old Police Officer II David Rodriquez. He was off duty and driving his personal car East on the Ventura Freeway when his vehicle left the road near Sepulveda Boulevard and crashed down an embankment.

Officer Rodriguez was appointed to the Department in May 2003. He was assigned to Van Nuys Patrol. After completing probation he transferred to North Hollywood where he patrolled the streets he grew up on. Officer Rodriguez established himself as a hard-working, proactive patrol officer. He received several commendations for his work and arrests. He also played a significant role in the arrest of the Valley "Pizza Bandit" in October 2006. He is survived by his mother and a brother.

As an organization the LAPD prides itself on being a family of caring and sympathetic individuals who not only share law enforcement related experiences, but also build lasting personal bonds. The men and women of the LAPD who worked and spent time with Detective Selleh and Officer Rodriguez describe them as men of integrity with tender spirits "Both men were extraordinarily talented and dedicated members of the organization," said Chief of Police William Bratton. "Their love of the Department was only exceeded by that which they felt for their families. We will never forget their contributions to the Department and the communities they served."

The men and women of the LAPD send their heart-felt condolences to the families of Detective Selleh and Officer Rodriguez.   

This release was prepared by Lt. Ruben De La Torre.  He can be reached at LAPD Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.