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Notes from the February 26, 2008 Police Commission Meeting

•    Commissioner Skobin attended the fundraiser at Miceli’s Studio City location to benefit fallen Officer Randal Simmons’ family.  The event was well attended by Department personnel and the community as well as our colleagues from CHP and LAFD.  There will be a similar event this Saturday, March 1, 2008, at the CPK Westfield Topanga location at 6606 Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Canoga Park. 

•    The Police Commission is opposed to any City initiative that would cut police hiring or cut budgets so drastically that new equipment, including Astro radios, can’t be purchased.

•    There are currently 371 recruits in the Academy.

•    Mayor Villaraigosa has requested that the original Rampart station be renamed in honor of Officer Randal Simmons.  This issue is currently in Councilmember Garcetti’s office for a motion and will be a Police Commission agenda item in the near future.  When the Rampart replacement station opens for operations this year, Metropolitan Division and SWAT will move from Central station to the original Rampart station. 

•    The Police Commission acknowledged 5-year employee Julie Walters who is leaving to join Civil Rights Integrity Division.

•    The verbal presentation and update from the Community Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) regarding community initiated problem solving, crime strategies, and other programs and goals within the Hollywood Area, as delivered by Captain Clayton Farrell and C-PAB member Gary Mizner, was accepted.

•    The Department’s report, dated February 19, 2008, relative to the request for authority to destroy obsolete records for Duplicate/Official Records for the 77th Street Area, Devonshire Area, Foothill Area, Northeast Area, North Hollywood Area, Operations-Valley Bureau, Rampart Area, and West Valley Area, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.

•    The Department’s reports, dated December 12, 2007, and February 15, 2008, in response to City Council motion (CF #07-2083), relative to the Graffiti Tracker program and the Department’s graffiti abatement initiatives, were approved and transmitted to the City Council.

•    The Department’s report, dated February 8, 2008, relative to the Discipline Report for the Fourth Quarter, 2007, in accordance with the Annual Audit Plan, was received and the Office of the Inspector General was directed to submit an analysis of this report along with any appropriate recommendations to the Board.

•    The Department’s report, dated February 12, 2008, relative to the monthly Adjudication of Categorical Use of Force Incidents - Completion of Training Status Report, was received and filed.


North Hollywood Area leads Multi-Agency Task Force to Combat Gang Crime

Los Angeles: Operation Wild Card Deals Vineland Boys Gang a Bad Hand.

During the last few months of 2007, LAPD North Hollywood Gang Impact Team (G.I.T.) detectives became aware of a coordinated effort by Vineland Boys gang members to obtain assault weapons.  North Hollywood GIT detectives initiated an investigation into the circumstances and determined that the guns were potentially going to be used by the gang members to commit violent crimes in the City of Los Angeles.  Further investigation revealed that the guns were still within the North Hollywood community. 

A multi-agency investigation was initiated which included the following:

•    Los Angeles Police Department
•    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
•    Immigration and Customs Enforcement
•    Burbank Police Department
•    Los Angeles Unified School District Police Department
•    Los Angeles County Probation Department
•    Burbank Glendale Pasadena Airport Police Department
•    Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Service

On February 26, 2008, in the early morning hours, fifteen search warrants were served at various locations throughout the San Fernando Valley in an attempt to remove these dangerous weapons from the community before they were used against citizens or law enforcement in a violent manner. 

The simultaneous search warrant service resulted in the recovery of six firearms, including parts of a MAC 90-assault rifle, Marijuana and Methamphetamine. A total of nineteen arrests were made for various offenses throughout the course of the investigation.   

For Additional Information Contact Detective Dan Fournier or Lt. Alan Hamilton at 818-623-4045.


Heavily Armed Suspects Fire at Officers

Los Angeles: Officers assigned to the Northeast Criminal Apprehension Team investigating an attempt murder incident were met by gunfire.

On February 21, 2008, at 12:15 p.m., Officer Carlos Langarica, and Officer Joseph Bain were working a plainclothes detail when they began monitoring a shooting call.  The shooting had just occurred near Roseview Avenue and Aragon Avenue, in which a white Nissan was described as the suspects’ vehicle.  Officers Langarica and Bain spotted a white Nissan Altima in the area of Estara Avenue and Drew Street, that matched the suspect’s vehicle. 

The officers began following the vehicle a short distance, when it abruptly stopped in front of 3326 Drew Street with three suspects quickly exiting.  One suspect, Daniel Leon, 22-years-old, armed with an AK-47 rifle opened fire on the officers.  A second suspect, Jose Angel Gomez, 18 years of age, armed with a handgun also began firing at the officers.  Officers Langarica and Bain both returned fire wounding Leon and Gomez. 

Canine and Special Weapons and Tactics officers arrested a third suspect, Guillermo Ocampo, 24 years of age, hours later following a lengthy search.

Gomez sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported by Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) personnel to Glendale Adventist Hospital.  Leon was pronounced dead at the scene.  Ocampo sustained dog bites and was transported by LAFD to Glendale Memorial Hospital for medical treatment.  Neither officer was injured.

The fourth suspect remained at large until Monday, February 25, 2008, at around 5:25 p.m., when detectives located him in the 10400 block of Hayvenhurst Avenue in Northridge.  Rafael Carrillo was taken into custody without incident, in the same car believed to have been used in the original crime.  Ocampo, Gomez and Carrillo have all been booked on Murder and Attempt Murder on a Police Officer charges and are being held without bail.

Robbery Homicide Division (RHD) Detectives Dan Myers and Brian Carr are investigating the crimes against the officers.  Detectives Wallace Tennelle and Corbin Rheault are investigating the original shooting, which became a homicide when the victim, Marco Antonio Salas, 36 years of age, died later that same evening. 

Force Investigation Division personnel responded and are investigating the Officer Involved Shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call RHD at 213-485-2129. After hours and on weekends, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAW-FULL (529-3855).


COMPSTAT Citywide Profile

Crime Statistics February 23, 2008

VIOLENT CRIMES                 2008**            2007**       % Chg

Homicide                             60                    50             20.0%
Rape                                   105                  114            -7.9%
Robbery                             1840                 2043           -9.9%
Agg Assaults **                   1642                 1774           -7.4%
Total Violent Crimes          3647               3987           -8.4%

PROPERTY CRIMES

Burglary                              2633               3039          -13.4%
BTFV                                  4361                5087         -14.3%
Personal/Other Theft          3507                4034         -15.2%
Auto Theft                         3153                 3732         -15.5%
Total Property Crimes     13,654            15,892       -14.1%
Total Part I Crimes          17,301            19,873
       -12.9%

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


1 Man Fatally Shot, 1 Stabbed during Altercation

Los Angeles: Los Angeles police are investigating a case where one man was fatally shot and the other stabbed during an altercation in North Hollywood early this morning.

Around 3:00 a.m., police were dispatched to a shooting call in the 5600 block of Cleon Avenue.  When police arrived, they found Victor Baltazar, 27, suffering from a gunshot wound to his torso and Victor Santiago Sencion, 22, with a stab wound to his lower abdomen.

Baltazar was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he later died. Sencion was also transported to a local hospital where he’s being treated for his injuries and remains in custody.

According to investigators, Baltazar was standing outside of a home talking to relatives.  Sencion didn’t agree with Baltazar being in the neighborhood and challenged him to a fight.  During the altercation, Sencion pulled out a handgun and brutally shot Baltazar.

Detectives are in the initial stages of their investigation and are unclear how Sencion was stabbed.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call North Hollywood Homicide Detective Richard Wheeler at 818-623-4075.  After hours and on weekends, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAW-FULL (529-3855).


Suspect Armed with AK-47 Rifle Fires at Officers

Los Angeles: Officers assigned to Northeast Criminal Apprehension Team investigating an attempt murder incident were met by gunfire.

On February 21, 2008, at 12:15 p.m., Officer Carlos Langarica, 12 years with the Department and Officer Joseph Bain, 3 years with the Department were working in a plainclothes capacity.  Monitoring a shooting call where a possible white Nissan was described as the suspects’ vehicle, Officers Langarica and Bain spotted a white Nissan Altima in the area of Estara Avenue and Drew Street. 

After following, the suspects’ vehicle abruptly stopped in front of 3326 Drew Street with three suspects quickly exiting.  One suspect, later identified as Daniel Leon, 22-years-old, armed with an AK-47 rifle fired upon the officers.  A second suspect also armed fired on the officers along with Leon.  Officers Langarica and Bain both returned fire wounding Leon and another suspect subsequently identified as Jose Angel Gomez, 18 years of age. 

Canine and Special Weapons and Tactics officers arrested a third suspect later identified as Guillermo Ocampo, 24 years of age, following a lengthy search.  A fourth suspect who fled from the location remains outstanding. 

Gomez sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported by Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) personnel to Glendale Adventist Hospital.  Leon was pronounced dead at the scene.  Ocampo sustained dog bites and was transported by LAFD to Glendale Memorial Hospital for medical treatment.  Neither officer was injured.

Robbery-Homicide Division personnel responded to investigate the crime against the officers. In addition, the original shooting call in which the Nissan was described turned into a murder investigation when the victim died.  The victim is identified as Marco Antonio Salas, 36 years of age.  Detectives are investigating whether a connection exists between the two incidents. 

Force Investigation Division personnel responded and investigated the OIS.


Cold Case Homicide Detectives Get Their Man

Los Angeles: A murder suspect who has been eluding dragnet has finally been captured.

On February 21, 2008, at 9:30 AM, detectives from the LAPD’s Cold Case Homicide Unit were informed that 60-year-old, Kazuyoshi Miura, was arrested on a warrant, charging him with the murder of his wife, Kazumi Miura, and conspiracy.

Mrs. Miura, who was 28 years old at the time, was shot on November 18, 1981.  She was at a location in the 200 block of Fremont Avenue, in downtown Los Angeles.  She died over a year later in Japan on November 30, 1982.

Miura’s was taken into police custody on the Island of Saipan, located in the northern Marianas Islands, a commonwealth territory of the United States.  Cold Case Detectives have been closely working with authorities in Guam and Saipan, believing that Miura would be visiting the island from his residence in Japan. 

Miura was arrested at Saipan’s airport on February 22, 2008, at noon.

Miura’s extradition is pending, and there is no additional information available at this time.


Belligerent Man Dies in Police Custody

Los Angeles:  A 53-year-old man died at a local hospital after being transported by paramedics.

On February 16, 2008, at around 9:40 a.m., North Hollywood Area patrol officers responded to a Fire Department assistance call in the 11300 block of Camarillo Street at a methadone clinic.  Patrol officers assisted the firemen with Eddie Scott, who was lying on a bathroom floor, incoherent, belligerent, and unable to get up, because he had an amputated leg and had not taken his medication.  Officers managed to carry Scott and place him onto a gurney.

Scott continued to be aggressive and violent, and tried to get off the gurney after being placed on soft restraints by the firemen, consequently Officer Bryan Hoefler and Officer Franklin Geraty handcuffed Scott’s hands to each side of the gurney to prevent him from breaking free.  A rescue ambulance transported Scott to a local hospital.

Once at the hospital, the officers removed the handcuffs and the emergency room personnel treated Scott for his medical condition. Scott failed to respond to his treatment and was pronounced dead by the attending physician.

The cause of death is unknown, pending an autopsy by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.

Force Investigation Division personnel are investigating this incident as an In-Custody Death.


Man Pointing Gun at Officers is Shot

Los Angeles: Police shot an attempted robbery suspect as he pointed a handgun at officers.

On Saturday, February 16, 2008 at around 3:45 p.m., Rampart Officers responded to a radio call of an attempted robbery suspect at 6th Street and South Park View Street. The officers spoke with the victim and were given a description. While searching the area, the officers saw the suspect pointing a black semi-automatic handgun at a man and woman standing on the sidewalk. Officers got out of their police car and ordered the suspect, in both English and Spanish, to drop the gun and put his hands up. The suspect refused to drop the weapon and Officer Kevin Beard fired one round. The suspect was struck once and fell to the ground.

The suspect was taken to USC Medical Center where he failed to respond to treatment and died from his injuries. 

No officers were injured during the incident.

The suspect's weapon, a replica semi-automatic pistol, was recovered at the scene.

Force Investigation Division is handling the investigation. 


2008 LAPD Essay Contest Kicks off for the 5th year

This morning, Officer Sandra Gonzalez, Public Information Office, Public Relations Unit, was a featured guest on Primera Edición, Univision’s KMEX 34 weekday morning show.  Officer Gonzalez was in-studio to launch the 2008 LAPD Essay Contest.  Now in its fifth year, the LAPD Essay Contest is conducted through middle schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  In 350 words or less, students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade are asked to answer: If you were a Los Angeles Police Department officer for a day, what would you do that would have the greatest impact on the community?

The contest begins this Monday, February 25, 2008, and is open for four weeks. The entry deadline is Friday, March 21, 2008.

Submissions are read by volunteer judges that consist of police officers and community members.  Essays are judged on topic significance, creativity, content, and writing style, including spelling and grammar.  Judges look for writing that is clear, articulate, and logically organized.   

The purpose of the LAPD Essay Contest is to allow youth to contemplate and express their opinions about the community problems that may have affected their quality of life; enhance students’ perception of law enforcement officials and their role in the community; promote serious discussion among middle school students, teachers, and parents about quality of life issues and to provide problem-solving solutions today and in the future; complement existing curricula and other scholastic activities; and strengthen students’ research, writing, and reasoning skills.

The content of the students’ submissions range from ideas about how to improve the quality of life in the City, to personal stories of how crime has affected their lives.

A total of ten winners will be selected, five students from LAUSD schools and five students from Archdiocese of Los Angeles schools.  The winners will be invited to a breakfast ceremony on Thursday, May 29, 2008.  They will also make a live television appearance on Primera Edición, Univision’s KMEX 34 weekday morning show, prior to the breakfast ceremony. Each winner will also receive:

·         A new bicycle safety helmet, courtesy of Safe Moves

·         Two vouchers good for four seats to a summer concert at the Hollywood Bowl, courtesy of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. (www.hollywoodbowl.org)

·         A Polaroid instant camera, courtesy of Polaroid Corporation, (www.polaroid.com)

·         Two ticket vouchers to Universal Studios Hollywood (www.universalstudioshollywood.com)

·         Four admission tickets to Aquarium of the Pacific (www.aquariumofpacific.org)

·         Four vouchers good for four seats to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, performing at the Staples Center July 16-July 20, courtesy of Feld Entertainment, (www.ringling.com)

·         One $20 voucher valid towards racing, golf or video games at Speedzone (www.speedzone.com)

·         One all day play pass valid towards attractions and golf at Boomers Park (www.boomersparks.com).