« October 2008 | Main | December 2008 »

Street Closures for 2008 Hollywood Holiday Winterfest and Parade; Cars Parked Illegally will be TOWED

Los Angeles: The City of Los Angeles, Departments of Transportation and Police, anticipate thousands of people to attend the Hollywood Holiday festivities which will include an all-day street festival and a parade on Sunday, November 30, 2008.

The City of Los Angeles, Department of Transportation will be strictly enforcing the restricted no-parking policy for the Hollywood Santa Parade. This will include the citing and impounding of vehicles parked on temporary restricted no-parking streets.  Vehicles parked on the following streets will be towed to the Official Police Garage, Hollywood Tow located at 1015 N. Mansfield Ave. in Hollywood at the request of the City of Los Angeles, Department of Transportation.  Motorists are advised to call 311or Hollywood Tow (323) 466-8583 to redeem their vehicles.

Below are street closures to accommodate the festivities:

Tow-Away No Stopping, Saturday 6 PM (11/29/08) to Monday 6 AM (12/1/08):

  • Hollywood Blvd between Highland Ave & Orange Dr
  • Orange Dr between Hollywood Blvd & Hawthorn Ave     
Tow-Away No Stopping, Sunday (11/30/08) 6 AM to Midnight:
  • Hollywood Blvd between La Brea Ave & Orange Dr
  • Hawthorn Ave between La Brea Ave & Mc Cadden Pl
  • Lanewood Ave between La Brea Ave & Orange Dr
  • Sunset Blvd between Highland Ave & La Brea Ave
  • De Longpre Ave between Highland Ave & La Brea Ave
  • Fountain Ave between Highland Ave & La Brea Ave
  • El Cerrito Pl between Franklin Ave & Hollywood Blvd
  • Sycamore Ave between Franklin Ave & Hawthorn Ave
  • Sycamore Ave between Sunset Blvd & Fountain Ave
  • Orange Dr between Franklin Ave & Hollywood Blvd
  • Orange Dr between Hawthorn Ave & Santa Monica Blvd
  • Mansfield Ave between De Longpre Ave & Fountain Ave
  • McCadden Pl between Yucca St & Hawthorn Ave
  • Las Palmas Ave between Hollywood Blvd & Selma Ave
Tow-Away No Stopping, Sunday (11/30/08) 11AM to Midnight:
  • Hollywood Blvd between Cherokee Ave & Vine St
  • Vine St between Hollywood Blvd & Sunset Blvd
  • Sunset Blvd between Vine St & Highland Ave
  • Franklin Ave between La Brea Ave & Highland Ave
  • Santa Monica Blvd between La Brea Ave & Gower St
  • Highland Ave between Franklin Ave & Sunset Blvd
  • La Brea Ave between Franklin Ave & Fountain Ave      (East side of street only)
  • Cahuenga Blvd between Yucca St & Hollywood Blvd    (West side of street only)
Tow-Away No Stopping, Any Time Sunday:
  • Hollywood Blvd between Highland Ave & Cherokee Ave
  • Yucca St between Gower St & Argyle St                              (North side of street only)
  • La Brea Ave between Sunset Blvd & De Longpre Ave          (West side of street only)
  • Vine St between Fountain Ave & Lexington Ave                    (West side of street only)
  • Alta Vista Blvd between Fountain Ave & 100’ northerly
  • Sunset Blvd between Vermont Ave & New Hampshire Ave   (North side of street only)
Freeway Closures: Hollywood Freeway, HWY 101:

   Northbound and Southbound off-ramps of Cahuenga Blvd. and Highland Ave. will all be closed at 3:00 p.m., reopening at 10:00 p.m.

No Parking Postings:

On Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008, posting will begin on those streets that are designated “NO PARKING”
for Saturday, Nov. 29, Sunday, Nov 30 and Monday, Dec. 1, 2008.

For further information about the Observatory Shuttle, DASH Hollywood or other LADOT transit Services affected, call (213, 310, 323, 818) 808-2273 or visit  www.ladottransit.com.   Area commuters can visit http://trafficinfo.lacity.org/ for real-time traffic information.  Real-time traffic reports are a product of LADOT, innovators of Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control System (ATSAC) technology.

Festival attendees and Parade-watchers are urged to use public transit. For more information call Metro at (800) 266-6883 or visit their web site at: www.metro.net.

Notes for the November 25, 2008 Weekly Police Commission Meeting

• Police Commissioner Robert Saltzman commended the Department for their response to the recent Proposition 8 demonstrations held around the City.  He said the Department was commended by many of the participants in the demonstrations for their professionalism in handling the events.

• First Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell attended the Chaplains’ Banquet which honored the men and women chaplains who serve the Department.  He also attended La Ley’s Foundation Holiday Party and the LA’s BEST 20 year anniversary banquet.  Chief McDonnell added there are currently 341 recruits in the Academy.

• The Department’s verbal presentation and discussion relative to an overview of Detective Bureau functions was given by Deputy Chief Charlie Beck.  He said the bureau has an extreme range of functions.  There are seven specialized units within the bureau and each geographic area has an average of 45 detectives who serve as the first contact with the public.  Chief Beck added the detectives are primarily responsible for preventing crime.  The specialized units include Commercial Crimes Division, Detective Support and Vice Division, Gang and Narcotics Division, Juvenile Division, RACR Division, Robbery-Homicide Division, Scientific Investigation Division, and COMPSTAT.  There are a total of 2,500 employees who work in the bureau.

• The Department’s verbal presentation and discussion relative to the status and priorities of the Scientific Investigation Division Task Force was given by Deputy Chief Charlie Beck.  He emphasized the task force was meant to look at all functions of the division and not solely focus on the fingerprint and DNA aspects of the division.  He added that they are talking to county, state and federal officials in an effort to obtain best practices as it pertains to fingerprints.  Chief Beck stated employees have begun sifting through the freezers in which the DNA kits are stored.  Once the kits are identified, they will be placed into a database to determine priority.  As a result, a prioritation matrix has been developed.

• The Department’s report, dated October 31, 2008, relative to Firearm Inventory Tracking Audit (AD No. 08-095), was approved.

• The Department’s report, dated October 31, 2008, relative to the Semi-Annual Consent Decree Mental Illness Project Status Report – January through June 2008, was approved and transmitted the report to the City Council, Public Safety Committee.

• The Department’s report, dated November 2, 2008, relative to a Letter of Agreement between the Los Angeles Police Department and Police Management Advisor to implement the Patrol Planning System which will modify the 20th and 21st Patrol Areas and will run historical data files and simulations for the affected Geographic Areas, was approved and the Letter of Agreement was transmitted to the Mayor’s Office.

• The Department’s report, dated October 29, 2008, relative to the City Council Motion Relative to Hate Crimes, was approved and transmitted to the City Council, Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development. 

• The Department’s report, dated November 3, 2008, relative to Ethics Enforcement Section Quarterly Report, Third Quarter, 2008, was received and directed to the Office of the Inspector General to submit an analysis of the report along with any appropriate recommendations to the board.

• The Department’s report, dated November 7, 2008, relative to the City Council action for the purchase and distribution of X-26 Tasers, was approved and transmitted to the City Council.

• The Department’s report, dated November 7, 2008, relative to the Supplemental Police Account Third Quarterly Report (July through September 2008), to comply with the provisions of Article 17, Section 5.115 of the Los Angeles Administrative Code, was approved and transmitted to the Office of the City Controller.

• The Department’s report, dated November 14, 2008, relative to the Department’s Quarterly Discipline Report, Third Quarter, 2008, was approved and the board directed the Office of the Inspector General to submit an analysis of this report along with any appropriate recommendations to the board.

• The Department’s report, dated November 12, 2008, relative to the City Council motion providing gang related crime statistics in the area where expanded gang intervention services were provided between July 1, 2008, and September 30, 2008, was approved and transmitted the report to the City Council, Ad Hoc Committee on Gang Violence and Youth Development. 

• The Department’s report, dated November 4, 2008, relative to a Request for Permission to Enter into Contract Negotiations for Police Composite Artist Services, was approved and authorized the Department to enter into contract negotiations with Marilyn Droz, Donna Cline and SketchCop Solutions Corporation.

• The Department’s report, dated November 18, 2008, relative to Proposed Addition to Council-Approved Records Retention Schedule for Original/Official Records for Information and Communications Services Bureau, was approved and transmitted to the office of the City Clerk, Records Management Officer

• The Executive Director’s report, dated November 20, 2008, relative to the City’s Official Police Garage rate changes for 2009, was approved.

• The Department’s Report, dated November 20, 2008, relative to the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009/2010, was continued.

• The Department’s report, dated July 31, 2008, and Inspector General’s report, dated November 17, 2008, relative to the Ethics Enforcement Section’s Quarterly Report, Second Quarter, 2008, was approved.

First Holiday Season without Deputy Escalante – Husband and Father

Los Angeles: Detectives plead for the public’s help in solving the murder of an off-duty Deputy Sheriff.

Juan Abel Escalante was a devoted husband to his wife and a dedicated father to his three children.  As a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff and a United States Army Reservist, Escalante was dedicated to a life to public service.

On Saturday, August 2, 2008, in the early morning hours, Deputy Escalante left his home in Cypress Park intending to go to work at the Men’s Central Jail.  Deputy Escalante was shot to death by unidentified suspects.

The Los Angeles City Council has authorized a $75,000 reward and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor’s has added an additional $20,000 for a total reward up to $95,000 for information leading to the identification, apprehension and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Escalante’s murder.         

Almost four months have now passed since Deputy Escalante was murdered.  The circumstances surrounding the murder give the investigators strong reason to believe that there are people with information who have not come forward.  There are many reasons why witnesses do not come forward.  It could be that they are fearful of neighborhood gang members.  Other times, people do not understand how important a minor detail is to the case.  All clues, no matter how seemingly insignificant, are requested; those desiring to remain anonymous may do so with confidence.   

Anyone with information about this murder is asked to call Detectives Thomas Mathew or Steven Eguchi at 213-485-2531.   After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website, www.lapdonline.org.  All tips may remain anonymous.

A Thought on Community from a Skid Row Cop

The Webster’s definition of community is a unified body of individuals.  It is also defined as a body of people living together with a common interest.

Many people have debated if Skid Row is worthy of being dubbed a Community.  It is unfortunate that people outside of the Skid Row realm view the people within the community as a plague on society.  Even worse, there are people who are not allowed to sell narcotics in their own communities, due to gang injunctions. So they continue to come to Skid Row to sell poison and exploit the vices of this community for personal gain and furthering the demise of those within this community who are in recovery from a variety of addictions.  These predators do not care that they are peddling the same drugs that flooded inner city communities to capitalize on their feelings of disenfranchisement, and desperation. They do not care that someone’s mother, sister, father, or son is in Skid Row trying to get better via the service providers.

But in my walks through Skid Row over the years, I have met people who believe that though they live in one of the most crime ridden areas in this country, they still have pride in this area because it is their home, and they desire safe clean streets.  There are people who live and work down here like any other community.  There are families and parks here, like other communities. 

The unique thing is this community unlike any other it is designed for the rehabilitation of many of its members.  Though this fact exists, gang members do not really care about you rehabilitating, and becoming a unified body of people for the betterment of your community.  Their activities are used to keep you on a continued spiral of self-destruction for their own selfish gain.

Crime syndicates need you to continue in a destructive pattern that many of you are on, even as you in the missions and drug programs struggle to get their lives back.

Over the last two years, many groups have been trying to get you unified about various issues, such as low income, housing, or protesting the police.  However, their efforts have been in vain mainly because their movements are not based wholly on truths.

In this community, we can begin to practice respecting each other’s rights to a safe crime free environment.  We can unify and tell these opportunists who come from other areas that their activity is a betrayal to the efforts of people in Skid Row who are trying to get better.  You can unify to use your own voice, so other groups will not have to tell your story, for you.

You can tell your stories, so kids that come down here to sell cocaine and brutalize you cannot only understand the illegalities of what they are doing, but the evil of it as well.  You can unify to help keep these streets from looking like a City dump. 

I want your quality-of-life to begin to improve, now, because it kills me to see the true potential of this community hindered by criminals.

As I stated before, the police are not the answer.  We are only a tool you can utilize to get closer to a safe environment, but truly the rest is up to you.  Without your influence and outward display of a desire for a better community, we will only be able to scratch the surface of crime in Skid Row and that is just want drug dealers want.

I am writing you this letter because you deserve better, for yourselves.  I truly hope it may inspire you to stand for the “right thing,” not what seems “right at the time.”  This can be a thriving community.  Yes, even here you have the power to show the world that anything is possible if we can work together in truth, not rhetoric, slander, or indoctrinated paranoia, which keeps communities and the officers that serve them divided. 

God Bless all of you.  You are always in my thoughts.

Police Officer Injured While Chasing Suspect

Los Angeles: A Los Angeles police officer who works the Gang Enforcement Detail suffered a gunshot wound to his thigh while chasing a suspect yesterday in Venice.

At around 10:15 p.m., Officer Anthony Solis and his partner were on routine patrol checking for gang activity in the 700 block of Sunset Avenue.  When they drove up behind an apartment building, they spotted a suspicious man who immediately took off on foot.  While chasing the suspect, Solis accidently fired a single round from his .45 caliber Glock duty weapon and struck himself in the thigh.

The officer was taken to a local hospital where he's being treated for a non life threatening gunshot wound.

After the officers called for backup and set up a perimeter, the suspect had gotten away.

No one else was injured.

Officers Solis has been with the Department for 3 years and 7 months.

Force Investigation Division will handle the shooting incident.

Man Arrested for Brutal Murder

Los Angeles: Hollywood Area homicide detectives have arrested a suspect who's responsible for the brutal assault and murder of a pedestrian walking across a street.

On November 23, 2008, at around 1:20 a.m., Hollywood Area patrol officers responded to a radio call of an assault with a deadly weapon, with a victim down, at Schrader Boulevard and Selma Avenue.  The officers found the victim in the roadway, unconscious, and suffering from an apparent head injury.  Paramedics took the victim to Kaiser-Sunset Hospital where he died a short time later.

Detectives learned that the victim had been walking across the street and was nearly struck by a car driven by the suspect.  After the near miss the suspect exited his car and violently assaulted the victim, knocking him down onto the roadway.  He then got back in his car and ran over the victim before speeding away.  There were numerous witnesses who saw the incident and went to aid the victim.

The homicide detectives conducted a follow-up investigation and arrested the suspect at his residence in the City of West Hollywood.  The suspect was identified as 34-year-old David Moses Jassy, a Swedish National.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed a murder charges on Jassy on November 25th and his bail was set at one million dollars.

The victim has been identified as 55-year-old Hollywood resident John Osnes.

The motive for the murder remains unclear.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Hollywood Area Homicide Detectives at 213-972-2910. After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website www.lapdonline.org. All tips may remain anonymous.

Criminal Burglary and Auto Theft Ring Busted

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department is extremely pleased to report that a far-reaching criminal burglary and auto theft crew has been identified, disrupted and arrested.  During the latter part of October, 2008, the Department’s specialized auto crimes unit named Community Effort to Combat Auto Theft (CECAT) began working leads on the auto theft crew, suspected of stealing cars throughout the San Fernando Valley and transporting them to Mexico.

Several victims were identified in this extensive and complex investigation, and a vast amount of stolen property was recovered.  This ring of residential and auto theft criminals were committing crimes in the Reseda, Tarzana, Canoga Park and West Hills area of San Fernando Valley, with criminal activities known to extend well into Ventura County.  The CECATs Unit worked closely with various other entities, including the LAPD West Valley Area Detectives, West Valley Area Property Crimes Unit and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.  

The criminal investigation and follow-up efforts resulted in the recovery of 9 stolen vehicles, identification of over fifty victims, along with hundreds of items of property recovered from several crimes, including residential burglaries, burglaries from motor vehicles and auto thefts throughout the Valley, including West Valley, Devonshire, North Hollywood and Van Nuys Area.  The vast amount of property recovered required over a week for CECATs Unit members to sort through, identify, and return to the proper owners.  Additional property remains unidentified and was booked into the Department’s property storage unit pending its return to the rightful owners.   

The complex investigation culminated on November 13th, when the District Attorney’s Office filed six felony counts of Residential Burglary, two Counts of Attempt Residential Burglary, five Counts of Grand Theft Auto, and six Counts of Receiving Stolen Property against one criminal, with a bail of  over half a million dollars.  Ultimately, a total of seven suspects, who were determined to be a network of male friends aging from 17 to 20 years of age, will be charged with multiple various felony counts of Burglary, Grand Theft Auto, and Receiving Stolen Property as a result of this highly successful criminal investigation.

The arrestees are four adults and four juveniles.  The adult arrestees are Rami Barnieh, 18, Esteban Solorio-Araya, 18, Michael Landix, 19, and Reza Jabarzade, 20.

22-Year-Old Man Shot to Death

Los Angeles: Pacific Homicide Detectives are investigating a shooting that killed a 22-year-old man standing on the driveway.

On November 24, 2008, at around 10:20 p.m., Alberto Ramirez was standing on the driveway in the 4800 Block of Slauson Avenue.  An unidentified male suspect walked up to Ramirez and shot him multiple times with a large caliber handgun.  The suspect got into a red vehicle then fled the location.  The suspect is described as a male, Hispanic, 19-20 years of age, wearing a black sweatshirt and dark pants.

The incident appears to be gang related.

This incident is unrelated to any other incidents occurred in Pacific.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or may have information regarding it, is asked to contact Pacific Homicide Detectives at 310-482-6316.  After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website, www.lapdonline.org.  Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Blatant Gang Shooting in Northridge

Los Angeles: West Valley Area Homicide detectives are investigating a gang shooting that left three victims injured.  The detectives have arrested one suspect and looking for others.

The shooting occurred on October 24, 2008, at around 3:45 p.m., near the intersection of Roscoe Boulevard and Tampa Avenue in the community of Northridge.  Three victims were seated in a white sedan and stopped at the curb to pick up a fourth individual when the suspects’ vehicle pulled alongside.  The suspects opened fire with two handguns and struck three victims.  One of the victims, an 18-year old male, was struck multiple times in the head and upper body.  He was transported to a nearby hospital where he underwent emergency surgery and remains in critical condition.  The two other injured victims, ages 17 and 18 years, received non-life threatening injuries.  Both were transported to local hospitals where they were treated and released.  The fourth victim was not struck by gunfire.

West Valley Homicide detectives assumed responsibility for the investigation.  The victims and witnesses described the suspects as being young Hispanic males.  They fled from the scene in an older model van, red or maroon in color. 

This brazen act occurred while children from several local schools were walking home and traffic was moving through this busy intersection.  The investigation resulted in the arrest of 18-year old Juan Manuel Martinez of Northridge.  Martinez has been charged with multiple counts of attempted murder and his bail was set at $8,050,000.

The motive for the shooting is believed to be gang related.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact West Valley Homicide Detectives at 818-374-7725   After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website www.lapdonline.org. All tips may remain anonymous.

In-Custody Death Investigation

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles Police Department’s Force Investigation Division is investigating an in custody death, which occurred at 77th Street Jail.

On November 18, 2008 at about 7 p.m., 77th Division officers were patrolling the area near 1720 West 45th Street when a man “flagged” them down to stop.  The man reported that he was a victim of domestic violence.

The officers conducted an investigation and later arrested the suspect without incident.  The suspect, Alfred Burks was taken to 77th Street Jail to be booked.  During the booking process, Burks became ill and the officers took him to the jail dispensary for treatment.  Burks’condition worsened and Los Angeles Fire Department medical personnel were called.

Burks was transported to a local hospital and was later pronounced dead.  

Force Investigation Division personnel responded and are conducting an In Custody Death Investigation.