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New Year’s Eve Citywide Gunfire Reduction Campaign

As New Year’s Eve approaches, the Los Angeles Police Department along with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department is launching its Citywide Gunfire Reduction Campaign.  This campaign is designed to help reduce incidents of indiscriminate gunfire that have become a deadly New Year’s tradition in our city.  The Gunfire Reduction Campaign aims to advise the community that ringing in the New Year with gunfire will not be tolerated in the City of Los Angeles.  Anyone arrested for discharging a firearm will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Every year a significant number of people throughout Los Angeles engage in the extremely dangerous practice of discharging firearms into the air to celebrate New Year and do not realize the dangers posed by their actions.  Discharging a firearm into the air is a felony punishable by one year in state prison. Researchers report that a bullet fired into the air can climb two miles into the air and remain in flight for more than a minute.  As it falls, the bullet reaches a velocity of 300 to 700 feet per second.  A velocity of only 200 feet per second is sufficient to penetrate the human skull.

Over the last several years, the Los Angeles Police Department has made great strides in reducing the amount of gunfire that occurs celebrating the New Year.  During New Year's Eve 2008, the LAPD received 212 "shots-fired" radio calls, down 42% from the previous year. There were 5 arrests for Negligent Discharge of a Firearm in the Air, and 45 guns were seized.  Again this year, the LAPD will deploy task force officers to respond to gunfire calls throughout the city.

In 1998, Los Angeles Police Officer, Steven Gajda was killed in the line of duty during gunfire reduction efforts.  Officer Gajda had volunteered to work the Gunfire Reduction Task Force in Hollenbeck Division and was shot and killed as he investigated gang activity at a New Year’s Eve party.  The last death in the City of Los Angeles attributed to celebratory gunfire was nine-year old Brian Perez who died in 1999.

While law enforcement, in partnership with the community, local businesses and the media, has made an impact on reducing indiscriminate gunfire, the problem persists.  The men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department are once again asking the community to celebrate the New Year safely and responsibly.  Don’t fire guns in the air.  Remember what goes up, will come down, and when a bullet comes down it is traveling at a fatal velocity.
     • Shooting a gun into the air is a felony.  You will spend up to one year in prison if you are caught.
     • If you’re arrested for shooting a gun into the air, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
     • If a stray bullet from your gun should kill someone, you will be arrested and charged with murder.
     • People involved in celebrating the holidays by shooting their guns do not realize the danger posed by their actions.
     • A bullet fired into the air can climb up to two miles.  When it falls back to earth, it can reach a speed of 300 to 700 feet per second.
     • If you ever see someone fire a gun into the air, call the police.
     • Celebrate the holidays safely and responsibly.  Don’t fire guns into the air.
REMEMBER, WHAT GOES UP WILL COME DOWN.


“Love Them, Don’t Shoot Them” Gun Fire Reduction News Conference

December 29, 2008 – In a joint news conference held at the Century Sheriff’s Station in Lynwood, California, Police Chief William J. Bratton, Sheriff Lee Baca and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas warned of the dangers of firing guns into the air this New Year’s Eve.  

“What goes up must come down” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “Our goal is to keep the community safe” he added.

For the better part of 10 years, the Department, along with the Sheriffs Department and 45 other police departments within the County of Los Angeles, have teamed up to crack down on those who carelessly fire their guns in the air.

“We are looking for increased co-operation from the community and will have additional patrols throughout the city” Police Chief Bratton said.

Sheriff Baca also took the opportunity to showcase his Department’s new technology called “Shot Spotter.”  This new system, which triangulates shots fired and obtains a precise reading as to the location of the incident, is currently in use at the City of Industry and Lynwood Sheriff’s Stations.

Gun Fire Reduction  Gun Fire Reduction1


Pacoima Man Killed in Gang-Related Shooting

Los Angeles: A gang-related shooting claimed the life of a 22-year-old man this morning at his home in Pacoima.

At around 2 a.m., Foothill Area officers responded to calls about a possible shooting in the 12500 block of Correnti Street.  Upon arrival the officers found Abraham Guerrero lying in the street suffering from a gunshot wound.  

Based on preliminary information, detectives believe that Guerrero had been standing in front of his residence talking to a group of friends when an unidentified white vehicle approached in a westerly direction.  It is believed that Guerrero and his friends exchanged words with one or more occupants in the white car.  An occupant of the car produced a handgun and fired several shots, striking Guerrero in the stomach.  The suspects were last seen driving from the scene in the white vehicle.  Paramedics pronounced Guerrero dead at scene.

There is no clear motive for the shooting.  Guerrero had no apparent gang affiliation, but detectives suspect that the suspects in the white car are gang members.  

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident, or may have information regarding it, is asked to contact Foothill Homicide Detectives Joshua Byers and Efren Gutierrez at 818-834-3115.  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.


One Killed and Another Injured in Gang-Related Shooting

Los Angeles: Los Angeles police are investigating a gang shooting that left one man dead and another injured on Saturday, December 27, 2008 in South Los Angeles.

At around 4:30 p.m., Travion Collins, 21, and his companion were standing in front of a business located in the 2700 block of West 27th Street when a suspect walked around the corner of a nearby strip mall, pulled out a handgun and shot at them.  Collins was shot in the chest and his companion was shot in the leg.  The suspect ran from the scene.    

Paramedics transported both victims to a local hospital where Collins later died of his injuries.  The other victim was treated for his gunshot wound and later released.

The shooting incident is still under investigation and the motive is unknown.

Detectives described the suspect as a male Black in his late teens or early 20s.  He was about 5 feet 9 inches tall.   

South Bureau homicide detectives ask that any witnesses or others with information about the incident contact Detectives Sean Hansen and Chuck Geiger at 213-485-1383.  After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.”  All calls and contacts are anonymous.


Clues Sought in Daylight Murder

Los Angeles.  Detectives seek the public’s help in solving the shooting death of a lone driver.  

At about 10:55 a.m. today, police dispatchers received a report of “shots fired” near the 1600 block of North Main Street, just south of the Los Angeles River.  Witnesses in the area observed what may have appeared to be a single-vehicle traffic collision.

Responding officers found a white 1985 Ford Crown Victoria crashed into a street sign on Wilhardt Street, west of Main Street.  Officers quickly determined that the driver was suffering from a gunshot wound.  Paramedics responded and pronounced the driver dead at scene.  While the investigation is in the early stages, the driver is believed to have been the only occupant of the Ford Crown Victoria at the time of the shooting.  The motive and gang involvement has not yet been determined.

The victim has been identified as Jonathan Miranda, a 27 year old man from Lincoln Heights.

Anyone with information is asked to call Central Area Detectives at 213-842-0727 during normal business hours.  After-hours and on weekends calls may be directed to the 24-hour, toll-free number, 1-877-LAPD 24-7 (527-3247).  Information may also be provided by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with LAPD or by logging on to  www.lapdonline.org, clicking on the “text-to-tip” icon and following the prompts.  Tipsters may remain anonymous.


Murder Suspect Captured

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers have arrested Andres Olmedo for stabbing his friend to death.

On December 19, 2008, at around 1:35 a.m., West Valley officers responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call at Mason Avenue and Saticoy Street.  Officers met with 23-year-old victim, Aaron Medrano who was being treated by the Los Angeles Fire Department for a single stab wound to the neck.  Medrano advised the officers that he had been stabbed by his friend.

Medrano was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery and was listed in critical condition.

Officers identified Aaron’s friend Andres Olmedo of Sylmar and was taken into custody and booked for Assault with a deadly weapon.

On December 21, 2008, victim Medrano died as a result of his injuries.  Olmedo was re-booked for murder and his bail was set at $1,000,000.

Andres Olmedo, 21 years of age, was re- booked for murder.  His bail was set at $1,000,000.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact West Valley Division Homicide Detectives Jason LeDuff or Lawrence Concepcion at 818-374-7730.  After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-247 (527-3247).  Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.” All calls and contacts are anonymous.


Child Abduction Regional Emergency Alert Issued

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department is requesting that the media provide the public with the following information to assist law enforcement efforts in locating two missing children.

Huapaya On December 23, 2008, at around 6 p.m., Angelica de la Barrera allowed her daughter, Jennifer Huapaya, to take her grandchildren out to dinner.  Ms. Barrera has been taking care of the children in the Van Nuys area since Huapaya lost custody of her children several years ago. 

When Huapaya did not return with the children several hours later, Ms. Barrera became concerned.  On the morning of December 24, Ms. Barrera received a call from Huapaya advising that she had taken her children to Durango, Mexico.

Huapaya was last seen driving a black SUV, unknown license plate.  She is 43 years of age with brown hair and brown eyes.  She stands 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs around 140 pounds.  A tattoo of “Gary” is on her left shoulder.

The abducted children are Ashley, 10, and Anthony Guarderas, 13.  Ashley is 4 feet, 120 pounds and has a light complexion.  She was last seen wearing a pink shirt and pink pants.  Anthony is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs around 150 pounds.  He is medium build and was wearing a white shirt and checkered shorts.  He has spiked hair style.

A photograph of Huapaya is available though Media Relations Section.

Anyone who may have information regarding this case is asked to call Van Nuys Detective Richard Yep at 818-374-0040.  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


Gun Fire Suppression

Los Angeles:  As people make their plans to celebrate the holidays, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have been working for the past few months on the New Years Eve Gunfire Reduction Campaign.
IMG_6839 The Gunfire Reduction Campaign aims to educate people that it is illegal to celebrate the New Year by shooting a gun into the air.  Discharging a firearm into the air is a felony punishable by one year in state prison.  Anyone arrested for discharging a firearm will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The New Years Eve Gunfire Reduction Campaign consists of a news conference, media interviews, and a print, radio, online and outdoor advertising campaign.  The creative artwork was created by Robert Sallin, an LAPD Reserve officer and advertising and marketing veteran of more than 30 years.  The artwork features four individual pictures of smiling children on a white background with the words, “Love them don’t shoot them. Please don’t fire your gun into the air this New Years.”  Los Angeles Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant has lent his support to this campaign by recording a public service announcement reminding people that a bullet shot from a gun will come down and can kill an innocent person.
A scheduled news conference next Monday will showcase the Shot Spotter technology, a gunshot location system that provides wide-area acoustic surveillance that detects and pinpoints gunfire within seconds.
The LAPD’s Gun Fire Reduction committee is organized by Lt. Jorge Rodriguez, Operations Special Bureau, who also coordinated the Anti-Fireworks efforts for the 4th of July.


A SKID ROW COP’S OPINION 10

SOMETHING FOR THE LADIES OF SKID ROW AND BEYOND

Hello everyone and Happy Holidays.  I am Senior Lead Officer Deon Joseph of LAPD Central Community Police Station.  Although crime is down due to the continued efforts of the Safer Cities Initiative, there are still many marginalized classes of individuals who are vulnerable to the harshness of Skid Row.  Mixed in with these vulnerable groups is the criminal element such as 400 registered sex offenders (and climbing), as well as sex offenders who have not been caught yet committing crimes of a sexual nature.

Over the years, one of the groups I have identified that is more vulnerable to sex crimes and domestic violence are the women of Skid Row.  Many of them have expressed to me that they have been victimized sexually, but never reported the crime due to misinformation they received from various sources about reporting crimes to the police.  

As you know one of my biggest missions in blogging my opinions, is to dispel myths and radically extreme negative perceptions of law enforcements.  One of the biggest myths preventing women from reporting crimes of rape or domestic violence to police is they can’t because they might be engaged in criminal activity, addicted to drugs, or are suffering from mental illness.  They believe that they may be criminalized or re-victimized by the police for reporting sexual crimes.  This is an absolute and complete falsehood.

I want to make it abundantly clear to the women of Skid Row and beyond, no matter what your social status, criminal activity past or present, or degree of mental illness, you have a fundamental right to report crimes committed against you by sexual predators without fear of being arrested for doing so.  I need you to know that we as law enforcement officers are not here to judge you, we are here to serve and to protect you whether you believe we care or not.

So if you are engaged in prostitution, and are raped, you can come to us.  If you are engaged in narcotics activity and are sexually assaulted, you can report it.  If you suffer from mental illness, you can come to us for assistance.  If you have minor warrants, you can still report crimes committed against you or other women in skid row.

I clearly understand that reporting these crimes can be a long tedious process.  Sometimes in reporting crimes committed against you, you may feel as if you are reliving the experience all over again. Yet you must understand that reporting these crimes will help us take these criminals off the streets so they cannot hurt you or anyone else in the skid row area.

One month ago, I launched an education seminar dubbed “Ladies Night” designed to inform women in skid Row about laws designed with them in mind.  I also provide realistic self-defense training designed to create distance from attackers, draw attention to the crime committed against them, provide an avenue of escape, and to buy time until the police can assist them.  I am more than willing to engage in this seminar with any group that requests it.  I will cover topics, such as Rape, Domestic Violence, Kidnapping, Stalking, and other common crimes that women in high crime areas are routinely exposed to.

In closing, please remember that a law enforcement agency is only as successful in crime reduction as the support they receive from the community they serve.  For the support thus far, I thank the Skid Row community.  Yet I strongly believe we can do more to work together in 2009 to drive down crime and create a safe environment conducive to change in your lives.  God Bless you all, and Happy Holidays.

If there is any interest in the “Ladies Night” seminar, you can contact me at (213) 793-0740 or Email me at 32511@lapd.lacity.org


LAPD Officers Make Substantial Weekend Arrests

Los Angeles:  High tech and good-old-fashioned police work combine for several outstanding arrests.

Newton Area

On Dec. 19, 2008, at about 7:30 p.m., officers assigned to Crime Reduction and Enforcement of Warrants (CREW) were attempting to conduct enforcement activities related to a pedestrian violation.  The officers heard several gunshots, abandoned their pedestrian-related enforcement activities and headed toward the area of the gunfire.  The officers observed two males running east on 46th Street and then continuing south on Broadway.  When the officers re-directed their attention to the point where they originally observed the two males running, a third man was seen running with a gun.  The officers chased the suspect with the gun, and during the chase, were fired upon in two separate single-shot incidents.  The officers took cover and monitored the suspect's position.  When the suspect lost his footing and fell to the ground, the officers approached and took him into custody.  The officers recovered the firearm used by the suspect in this crime.  A containment perimeter was established for the additional suspect seen running from the original scene.  With the assistance of Metropolitan Division K-9 Units, the additional suspect was arrested. 

Moran-Ortiz, Hilario
-Age: 19
-Location of Arrest: Alley West of 4500 Block of South Broadway
-Charge: 664/187 Attempt Murder
-Bail: $1 million

Valencia, Deyve
-Age: 20
-Location of Arrest: Alley West of 4500 Block of South Broadway
-Charge: 664/187 Attempt Murder
-Bail: $500,000

Wilshire Area
On Dec. 19, 2008, at about 9:20 p.m., officers assigned to CREW were on uniformed patrol in the area of 21st Street and Palm Avenue.  The officers approached an occupied vehicle and nearby pedestrians.  One pedestrian who had been standing at the window of the parked car ran away in a manner that led the officers to believe that he was possibly concealing a weapon.  The officers chased the suspect.  At a point in the chase, when the suspect had scaled a fence, the suspect fired one shot at the officers.  Officers took cover and requested resources for containment.  With the assistance of Metropolitan Division K-9 Units, the suspect was arrested and the gun was recovered. 

Moton, Andre
-Age: 18
-Location of Arrest: 4626 West 21st Street
-Charge: 664/187 Attempt Murder
-Bail: $ No Bail

Van Nuys Area
On Dec. 21, 2008, just before 7 p.m., Van Nuys Area Gang Enforcement Detail officers working in the 14000 block of Lanark Street in Van Nuys were conducting a follow-up investigation related to a single victim shooting that occurred earlier in the month.  On Dec. 18, 2008, gang members shot a non-gang member in an apparent case of mistaken identity.  On Dec. 21, gang officers observed suspects believed to be involved in the Dec. 18 shooting. When officers approached them, they tried to run away; so officers established a containment perimeter, and a K-9 unit was called if for assistance.  A total of four arrests ensued.  The gang members arrested were as follows:

Mory, Bryant
-Residence: Van Nuys, CA
-Age: 20
-Location of Arrest: 14201 Lanark St
-Charge: 245(a)(2) ADW with a firearm gang enhancement
-Bail : $100,000

Lara, Alvaro
-Age: 19
-Location of Arrest: Roscoe Boulevard/Ventura Canyon
-Charge: 12031A2 Poss of Firearm-Enhanced
-Bail: $110,000

Lara, Yunan
-Age: 18
-Location of Arrest: Woodman Avenue/Ventura Canyon
-Charge: 487(d) GTA w/Enhancement
-Bail: $85,000

Conseca, Eugenio
-Age: 20
-Location of Arrest: 9000 Block of Bardwell Avenue
-Charge: 487(d) GTA
-Bail: $85,000

West Los Angeles Area and 77th Street Area
Just before 10 p.m. on Dec. 21, an armed robbery occurred in West Los Angeles at the 52 Market in the 12000 block of Santa Monica Boulevard.  Two suspects were involved and no vehicle was seen.

Later that evening at about 10:15 p.m., another armed robbery occurred at the Tochma Market at 74th and Main Streets in Los Angeles.  In this incident, two suspects were involved and seen leaving the scene in a red vehicle. Officers determined that one of the suspects was on parole and under court order to wear a global positioning device.  Officers followed the electronic signal and their investigative insight to a motel in the city of Inglewood where they arrested the suspect and recovered a red Chevrolet Monte Carlo and a handgun.  Detectives believe the suspect, 29-year-old Chelminski Walker of Inglewood, were involved in the previous robbery on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Walker, Chelminski
-Age: 29
-Location of Arrest: 11700 Block of Aviation
-Charge: 211 Robbery
-Bail: No Bail

Van Nuys Area and Hollywood Area
Also on Dec. 21, just before 11:15 p.m., Hollywood Division police officers initiated a pursuit of a stolen car containing a suspect they believed was armed and dangerous, because the vehicle had been carjacked at knifepoint earlier that day.  Minutes before midnight, the pursuit terminated in the 2400 block of Glendale Boulevard, and the suspect, 26-year-old Joshua Messian, was arrested.  Messian is a resident of Sherman Oaks and has been charged with carjacking.  Subsequent investigation revealed that the true identity of the suspect was Rueban Elazar Messian, who had used his brothers identity and provided a false name during the arrest process.

Messian, Elazar Rueban
-Age: 26
-Location of Arrest:  2450 Glendale Boulevard, City of Glendale
-Charge: 215 PC Car Jacking
-Bail: $120,000