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Local Bar Shut Down

Los Angeles:  After years of documented violations, a local bar is finally closed.

On September 27, 2007, at about 1:30 p.m., Operation ABC (Detective Support and Vice Division) assisted the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) with the posting of an ABC license revocation order at the Mi Cielito Lindo Bar located at 18146 Sheman Way, in Reseda.  The bar had been plagued for years with vice-related crime problems.

The Department of ABC has revoked licensee, Oscar Escalante’s, license to sell alcohol after several violations were committed involving the illegal solicitation of alcoholic beverages, conducted by undercover police officers posing as patrons.

The Cielito Lindo Bar has had an extensive history of alcohol-related crime, which has had a detrimental impact on the quiet Reseda neighborhood.  Violations include the illegal solicitation of alcoholic beverages, the over-service of alcoholic beverages to intoxicated and underage individuals, and lewd conduct. 

Due to community concerns, the property has been the subject of a lengthy abatement investigation involving the West Valley Area Vice Unit, Detective Support and Vice Division (Community Problems Unit and Operation ABC), and the California Department of ABC Van Nuys District Office.  As a result of the alcohol related crime problem associated with the Mi Cielito Lindo Bar and the drain on Department resources, the West Valley Area Vice Unit and DSVD identified the location as a “Top Ten Percent” crime location.

“This location has been the scene for many crimes of violence, a nuisance, and a cancer in the community.  This revocation will allow us to reestablish a quality of life for the residents of this area,” said Councilman Dennis P. Zine.  “I will continue to work with LAPD to eradicate other problem bars in my District.” 

It is anticipated that the closure of this location will enhance the surrounding business and residential communities.  Under ABC regulations, a new ABC license cannot be issued at the location for a minimum of one year.

For additional information, please contact Sergeant Gabriel Kearney, OIC West Valley Area Vice Unit at 818-374-7860 or Sergeant Steve Moore, Operation ABC DSVD at 213-972-2500.


Woman Sexually Attacked in the Valley

Los Angeles:  A female walked into her apartment when a man pushed his way in and sexually attacked her.

On Monday, September 24, 2007, at about 3:00 P.M., a 19-year-old woman walked into her apartment in the 15900 block of Victory Boulevard. When she turned to close the door, the suspect held the door open.  He pushed his way into the apartment and sexually assaulted her.

The suspect was described as a male Black, slim build, about 17 to 23 years old, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call Van Nuys Detective Division, Sexual Assault Unit, at 818-374-0040.  On weekends or during off-hours call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).


Activation of New Photo Red Light Equipment in South LA

Los Angeles: On September 26, 2007, at 12:00 P.M., the Los Angeles Police Department will activate a Photo Red Light (PRL) system at the intersection of Normandie Avenue and Gage Avenue.  This is the fifth activation within Operations-South Bureau (26th in the City) with a new PRL monitoring system, which records vehicle license plates that run red lights.  In the near future, additional locations will be outfitted with comparable machinery, totaling 32 intersections Citywide.

In June 2005, the City’s PRL contract was not renewed after many years because of the poor quality of photographs.  In November 2005, the City Council approved the contract with a new vendor, Nestor Traffic Systems, Inc.  The new system is an improvement over the former system.

The dual-digital video camera system will record violators as they approach and travel through an intersection, after the light has changed to red.  The license plate will be photographed from the front and rear.  It is with the rear-facing camera that officers anticipate will increase the likelihood of convictions.

The digital video system will record 30 still frames per second for each violation, allowing a greater opportunity to get a clear photograph of the driver.

The new system has added features like the ability to monitor and adjust the equipment remotely via satellite.  It will also provide live photographs from the intersection during a breaking emergency.

A sergeant and four officers will be assigned full time to administer the program.  They will use a laptop computer in court to present the digital evidence during disputed cases.

Media inquiries regarding this system may be referred to Sergeant Matthew MacWillie, Traffic Coordination Section, at 213-847-1705.


Young Man Killed By Gang Violence

Los Angeles:  A 15-year-old juvenile was shot and killed in a gang-related shooting Monday night.

The shooting happened Monday, September 24, 2007, at around 10:50 p.m., at 140 South Kenmore Avenue. The victim was getting out of his vehicle when he was confronted by two male Hispanic suspects. One of the suspects pulled out a gun and shot the victim multiple times.  The suspects ran southbound from the location towards 3rd Street.

Rampart officers arrived at scene and found the 15-year-old youth on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds.  Paramedics responded to the location and transported the victim to a local hospital where he died a short time later. Detectives are withholding his identity at this time.

Later that evening, at approximately 11:30 p.m., Rampart officers received a radio call of a man with a gun in the area of Crownhill Road and Loma Avenue.  Officers arrived and detained a male Hispanic suspect walking away from the scene that matched the suspect’s description. Officers discovered that the suspect, Richard Alvarez, 21, was involved in the robbery of a catering truck driver.  Upon further investigation, officers determined that Alvarez was also involved in the shooting of the 15-year-old, earlier in the evening.  Alvarez was arrested for murder and is being held on $100,000.00 bail.

The second suspect is still outstanding and is described as a male Hispanic, 5'5", 17 years of age, wearing dark clothing and a dark beanie.

Rampart Homicide Detectives are asking for anyone with additional information to contact Detective Velasco or Detective Alonso at 213-207- 2060.  On weekends and during off-hours, contact the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAW-FULL (529-3855).


Tow Company Owner Arrested for Threatening an Elected Official

Los Angeles: Los Angeles police detectives arrested Shahram Shayesteh, 41, for two felonies, in connection with a criminal threat made during a February telephone conversation between Bell Gardens city council member Mario Beltran and Beltran’s fellow city council member, Daniel Crespo.

“We served search warrants last June at the United Tow Company in South Gate as well as at two other places,” said Lieutenant Paul Vernon, commander of the Central Detective Division.  “Information from that search led to an arrest warrant for Mr. Shayesteh for obstructing a public official and making criminal threats.”

Detectives arrested Shayesteh at his home in the 5300 block of Donna Avenue in Tarzana, today, around 10:00 A.M.  The detectives booked Shayesteh at the downtown Metropolitan Jail.  His bail was set at $85,000.  Shayesteh contacted his attorney and is expected to post a bond.

The initial crime stemmed from Shayesteh allegedly eavesdropping on a telephone call between Beltran and Crespo.  While Beltran was aware of the eavesdropping, Crepso was not.  During that conversation, Shayesteh spoke up and threatened Crespo.

Detectives are continuing to pore over evidence seized during the June search warrant. 

Lieutenant Vernon may be reached at 213-972-1203.


Governor Schwarzenegger Awards Public Safety Medal of Valor to Five Public Safety Officers

The below was originally posted on the Office of the Governor web site, located here

Governor Schwarzenegger today awarded the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to five public safety officers for their tremendous courage and bravery in the line of duty. The medal was awarded to Officer Michael Purdy, Oxnard Police Department; Deputy Corey L. Morning, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Officers Mark Mireles and Edwin Marron, Los Angeles Police Department; and Firefighter Paul Schori, Los Angeles Fire Department.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to our public safety officials for their selfless commitment to serve in the line of duty, risking their lives every day to protect Californians,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “These men showed extraordinary valor and courage, going above and beyond the call of duty, to protect their fellow Californians and preserve public safety. This is highest public safety award offered by our state and their courageous actions are truly deserving of the honor.”
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The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act, effective January 1, 2003, authorizes the Governor to award a Medal of Valor to one or more public safety officers who are cited by the Attorney General for extraordinary valor above and beyond the call of duty. The Medal of Valor is the highest state award to a public safety officer. The Attorney General's Office receives nominations from public safety agencies; these nominations are then reviewed by the Medal of Valor Review Board which makes a recommendation to the Attorney General.

Today's award recipients were unanimously recommended to the Attorney General by the Medal of Valor Review Board and recommended by the Attorney General to the Governor.

The following individuals are being awarded with the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor:

Officer Michael Purdy: On July 1, 2006, Officer Purdy and Sergeant Jack Kujawa made a traffic stop that resulted in a male passenger firing on the two officers injuring Sergeant Kujawa with a gunshot in the face. The gunman then exchanged fire with Officer Purdy, who was wounded in both legs and right forearm. After falling backwards, Officer Purdy achieved a sitting position and issued a fatal shot to the chest of the suspect.

Deputy Corey L. Morning: On October 31, 2006, Deputy Morning responded to a fallen assault victim and was fired on by a nearby gunman without warning. After Deputy Morning retreated from the deadly gunfire to safety, he then moved back into the line of fire to protect the safety of nearby onlookers and his fellow deputies, where he engaged and fatally wounded the gunman.

Officers Mark Mireles and Edwin Marron and Firefighter Paul Schori: On January 5, 2006, the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an attempted suicide. Officers Mark Mireles and Edwin Marron approached the 6th floor balcony where they reached the woman attempting to commit suicide. As she rolled off the edge of the balcony, Officer Mireles caught her by the leg and she tried to fight him off. Losing the struggle, Officer Mireles called to his partner, Officer Marron who grabbed his leg. Firefighter Schori then arrived and secured Officer Mireles’ belt, pulling the two officers and the woman to safety.


Suspect Runs Away after Pointing Gun at Officers

Los Angeles: An unidentified suspect pointing a gun at officers is still outstanding after a long search early Sunday morning.

On September 23, 2007, at about 3:25 a.m., officers were patrolling the Oakwood area of Pacific Division when they heard what they believed to be shots fired.  A short time later, the officers heard a radio call of "Shots Fired" in the area of 6th Avenue and Broadway Avenue.  The officers responded to the area but were unable to locate any suspects or any evidence of shots fired. 

The officers continued to patrol the area and were at the 600 block of San Juan Avenue when Officer Bambrick observed a male Black suspect dressed in dark clothing with a black bandana tied across his face. 

The officers stopped, exited their police car and attempted to make contact with the suspect.  The suspect ran over two fences landing to the rear of the 600 block of San Juan Avenue.  As the officers entered the rear courtyard area, the suspect stumbled and pointed a handgun in the officer's direction.  An officer-involved shooting occurred and the suspect ran over another block wall and escaped eastbound in the rear alley.

During a search conducted by Metropolitan Division K9 officers, the suspect's handgun was recovered.

No officers were injured during the officer-involved shooting, it is unknown if the suspect was hit by the officer's gunfire. 

Officer Bambrick, 36, has been with the Department for 9 years and 8 months.

Force Investigation Division personnel responded and are investigating the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Pacific Division Detectives at 310-482-6313.
On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).


Man Injured in Jump from 2nd Story Balcony

Los Angeles:  Early Saturday morning a man was injured in a jump from a motel second-story balcony in Van Nuys.

On September 22, 2007, around 4:30 a.m., officers responded to a Woman Screaming radio call at the Days Inn Motel in the 12900 block of Ventura Boulevard.

When police arrived they found a woman inside Room 207 with Derrick Brown, 35, who was suffering from a wound to his upper left arm and bleeding profusely. 

In fear for the woman's safety, the officers requested that she leave the room.  She complied.  Brown was speaking incoherently and acting erratically.  While awaiting the arrival of an ambulance, the officers attempted to calm him.

As police tried to contain Brown in the room he exited the front door onto the second floor balcony.  The officers continued their efforts to sooth the suspect and advised him to apply pressure to his wound to stop the bleeding.  The suspect stood and began to position himself to jump the railing onto the concrete below. 

To prevent the suspect from injuring himself in a fall, Officer J. Knopp fired a taser at the suspect.  The taser had no effect.  Brown jumped headfirst over the railing, falling to the pavement below. 

Paramedics rushed the suspect to Sherman Oaks Hospital where he was treated for head injuries sustained in the fall and a laceration to his upper left arm.

No officer was injured.

Force Investigation Division personnel responded and are investigating the Law Enforcement Related Injury.

Questions may be directed to Media Relations Section.


Notes from the September 18, 2007 Police Commission Weekly Meeting

•    There are currently 374 recruits in the Academy.

•    The Department will present its report on the May Day incident at MacArthur Park in the City Hall Public Works Board Room on Tuesday, October 9, 2007, at 8:30am.

•    The verbal update from Thom Brennan of Facilities Management Division, relative to the new Police Headquarters Facility, new jail facility, and current health and safety issues relative to the Police Administration Building, was accepted.

•    The Department’s report, in response to City Council motion (Council File No. 07-1202-S2), relative to the Automated Photo Red Light Enforcement Program Update, was approved. Commissioner Skobin asked the Department to report back and address the 40% of photos taken that do not result in violations.

•    The Department’s report, in response to City Council request (Council File No. 07-1984), relative to the LoJack Vehicle Recovery System, was approved.

•    The Department’s report, relative to the Supplemental Police Account Quarterly Report (April through June 2007), was approved.

•    The Department’s report, relative to the Hunter-La Ley Third Quarter Report for Deployment Periods 1 through 3, Fiscal Year 2006/2007, was continued for two weeks.

•    The Department’s report, relative to the Hunter-La Ley Fourth Quarter Report for Deployment Periods 4 through 6, Fiscal Year 2006/2007, was continued for two weeks.

•    The Department’s report, relative to authorized personnel positions for the Office of the Inspector General for Fiscal Year 2007-2007, was approved.  The Inspector General’s office is currently understaffed and overwhelmed with the workload related to the incident at MacArthur Park in addition to its regular, ongoing projects.  Commissioners Skobin and Ordin will continue to look at short-term and long-term approaches to providing adequate staffing for the Inspector General.

•    The Department’s report, relative to the Audit Recommendation Status Report, First Quarter 2007-2008, in accordance with paragraph 154 of the Consent Decree, was approved.

•    The Department’s report and the Inspector General’s report, relative to a follow-up review of Motor Vehicle and Pedestrian Stop Data Collection Audit, Second Quarter, Fiscal Year 2006/2007, in accordance with Paragaraphs 104, 105, 128, and 131(a, c, and e) of the Consent Decree, was approved. 

•    The Department’s report and the Inspector General’s report, relative to the Ethics Enforcement Section Quarterly Report, Second Quarter 2007, in accordance with the Annual Audit Plan, was approved.

•    The Department’s report, relative to compliance with the Inspector General’s recommendations regarding the Annual Non-Categorical Use of Force Audit, which was approved by the Police Commission on April 11, 2006, was approved.

•    The Department’s report, relative to compliance with Consent Decree Bureau recommendations regarding the Complaint Investigations Audit Phase II, which was approved by the Police Commission on July 18, 2006, was approved.

•    The Department’s report, relative to compliance with Consent Decree Bureau recommendations regarding the Confidential Informant Control Package Audit, which was approved by the Police Commission on October 24, 2006, was approved.


Professional Boxer Dies after Bout

Los Angeles: A professional boxer has died after fighting in a lawful boxing match.

On Thursday, September 20, 2007, a series of professional boxing bouts, sanctioned by the California State Athletic Commission, were held at the Sagebrush Cantina located in the 23500 block of Calabasas Road, in Calabasas.

The second bout of the evening featured Javier Garcia and Jackson K. Bussell.  The fight lasted the scheduled six rounds and concluded in a draw.

Immediately after the bout, Bussell, 28, from Reno, Nevada, collapsed in the ring.  The medical staff on hand provided immediate medical treatment and Bussell was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he was admitted in grave condition.

On Friday, September 21, 2007, at 3:15 p.m., Bussell lost the fight for his life and died.  The exact cause of death will be determined upon completion of an autopsy.

The West Valley Homicide Unit is conducting the investigation into this death.  Questions can be directed to Detective Joel Price at 818-374-7721.  On weekends or during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAW-FULL (529-3855).