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Man Arrested for Hate Crime and Assault

Los Angeles:  A 19-year-old Hispanic man was arrested Monday night after making derogatory statements to three African-Americans walking down the street, and for pointing a shotgun at them.

On March 26, 2012, around 6 p.m, Northeast Area Gang Officers responded to a radio call of an “Assault with a Deadly Weapon / Hate Crime” at Drew Street and Estara Avenue.  Three people walking in the 3100 block of Estara Avenue, (an adult male Black, an adult female Black and her adolescent son), became victims of a hate crime when the suspect, Ivan Alquicira, standing on a nearby apartment balcony began yelling racial epithets and making derogatory comments to them.  Alquicira then pointed a shotgun at the group and demanded that they leave the neighborhood.  The victims began running in fear for their lives as Alquicira chased after them.  

Responding officers surrounded the apartment complex that Alquicira went back inside of and refused to come out.  Around 7:30 p.m. Alquicira surrendered to police without incident.  The shotgun believed used in the assault on the victims, and an additional weapon and ammunition, were recovered from Alquicira’s residence.  

Alquicira was arrested and booked for Assault with a Deadly Weapon with a Firearm and is being held on $540,000 bail.  

On March 27, 2012, the Los AngelesDistrict Attorney filed three counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon with a Firearm, two counts of Terrorist Threats, including enhancements for Hate Crimes, Gang, and Firearms.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Northeast Area Detectives, Detective S. Aguilar at 213-344-5731.  Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org by clicking on “webtips” and following the prompts.


Chief’s Message-April 2012

In the business of law enforcement, success and failure often hinge on the commitment of the organization to its goals, the employees which serve, and the collaborative efforts within the community.  As a Department we could not achieve our successes without the help from our community and the dedicated service of our sworn and civilian employees.  There is one unique way, however, in which community and police work come together and have a tremendous impact on the lives that we protect and the community that we serve.  I’m referring to our Reserve Officers.


Since their early days during World War II, Reserve Officers have been woven into the fabric of our Department as they serve alongside our officers, with pride and distinction.  Reserve Officers volunteer their time while performing many of the same duties and taking many of the same risks as you.  With a volunteer force of more than 700 officers, their commitment and service to the community is a valuable asset in our efforts to combat crime.

With April being Reserve Officer Appreciation Month, let us take the time to thank our Reserves for their service to our Department and our communities.  The selfless acts they perform everyday are consistent with the proud traditions of our organization. I ask that you join me in thanking our Reserve Officers for a job well done.

20 Year Anniversary of the LA Riots

Twenty years ago this month the eyes of the world were on Los Angeles as civil unrest engulfed our great City.  Images of buildings burning, stores being looted, and innocent civilians being attacked by fellow Angelinos are permanently embedded in our minds.  It was a dark moment in the history of our Department and our City.

Through that darkness however, we emerged a stronger and much more capable Department.  We are now much better prepared to deal with situations, like civil unrest, through specific training which wasn’t available back then.

Perhaps most importantly, our relationship with the community is much better and stronger than it was back in 1992.  Your efforts to engage with the communities we serve and foster a relationship of trust and collaboration have taken us to unprecedented heights.  Those of you who were on the job back then can also attest to the cultural changes which have improved our Department in many ways.

So as history goes, we must always remember our past but keep our eye to the future.  Keep strong our relationships with the communities we serve and continue to foster goodwill through our everyday efforts to protect and to serve.

History of Southwest Area

The Southwest Area of the Los Angeles Police Department was originally known as University Division.  The original location was near Jefferson Boulevard and Menlo Avenue which is now part of the University of Southern California campus.  At that time, University Division was at the southern edge of the City.  Everything south of the divisional borders was open pasture and grassland.  University Division was first established in 1905 and its station in 1909.
During the 1970’s, University Division was renamed to Southwest Area and is approximately 13 square miles.  It is a culturally diverse community with a population over 165,000 people.  The area includes the communities of Baldwin Village, Baldwin Vista, Crenshaw Community, Jefferson Park, Leimert Park, Crenshaw District, West Adams Community, and University Park.

Southwest Area is also home to some of the greatest landmarks in the City of Los Angeles, such as;  the LA Memorial Coliseum, Sports Arena, University of Southern California, Exposition Park, Mount Saint Mary’s College, Shrine Auditorium, West Angeles Church, First AME Church, and the Galen Center.  Southwest Area has been instrumental in hosting high profile events, such as the Olympics, entertainment award shows, political events, and sport events.   Southwest Area is also the proud host of the Annual Kingdom Day Parade, which celebrates the life and achievements of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.

Fallen Heroes of Southwest Division

Fourteen Southwest Area officers have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.  This is the highest number of officers killed in a single division in the Los Angeles Police Department.  Their selfless acts protecting the people of our City cannot be overstated and their loss will live on live on in our Department’s history forever.

Significant Events in Southwest Area

January 15, 1947 – Elizabeth Short (Black Dahlia) was found mutilated.  Her body sliced in half at the waist.  She was found in the Leimert Park Area.  The Black Dahlia unsolved murder has been the source of widespread speculation, leading to many suspects, along with several books and film adaptations of the story.

December 14, 1963 – The Baldwin Hills Reservoir was a water storage basin located on a low hilltop in Baldwin Hills.  The water storage was built directly on an active fault line and underlying geologic strata that was considered unstable for a reservoir.  In three hours the dam breached, releasing approximately 250 million gallons of water onto the surrounding neighborhood.  In the process, 277 homes were destroyed and 5 lives were lost.  The rescue efforts averted a greater loss of life.  The reservoir is now part of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.

July 28, 1984, Southwest Area held the opening ceremonies of the Games of the XXIII Olympiad at the LA Memorial Coliseum.


Baker to Vegas

The 28th Annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay is set to take place April 21-22.  Many of you have been training for months as you and your teammates prepare for the grueling race through the desert.  The miles you’ve run and the time invested have prepared you for this celebrated multi-agency law enforcement competition.  

Keeping true to the spirit of competition, represent your Department proudly and give it your best.  But most of all have fun.  The time spent with your colleagues builds relationships and memories that will last a lifetime.

I also want to give a special “thank you” to the many organizers and members of the support teams who help out during the race.  It is not easy making that slow-speed drive through the middle of nowhere and throughout the night.  It is because of your unwavering commitment to teamwork and competition, that this extraordinary event can happen and for that reason all of the participants in the run are truly grateful.

Best wishes for a safe and successful race and I look forward to seeing you there and hearing of your triumphs upon your return.  

In closing, be safe and always take care of yourself and each other.  
Charlie


Man Shot to Death in Cypress Park

Los Angeles:  LAPD Northeast Area Homicide Division detectives are asking for the public’s help to identify and locate the suspect responsible for killing a 22-year-old man in Cypress Park.

On March 27, 2012, around 9:50 p.m., Northeast Area Patrol Officers responded to a radio call of a shooting just occurred in the 2920 block of Elm Street in LAPD’s Northeast Area.  When they arrived, Officers discovered Albert Magdaleno, suffering from what appeared to be gunshot wounds.

Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulance responded to the scene and transported the victim to a nearby hospital where he died a short time later.

The suspect and the weapon are outstanding.  The motive for the murder remains unknown at this time.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to call Northeast Area Homicide Detectives J. Carrillo or U. Zesati at 323-344-5744 or Northeast Area Watch Commander at 323-344-5701.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


César E. Chávez Luncheon Celebration

Los Angeles: On Thursday, March 29, 2012, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in conjunction with community supporters will be hosting the third annual César E. Chávez Lunch Celebration.  This event will not only celebrate the life and triumphs of civil rights leader César E. Chávez, but also the struggles and sacrifices made towards social change, equality, and justice.

César E. Chávez was a Mexican American farm worker, labor leader, and civil rights activist who, along with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW).  Supporters say his work led to numerous improvements for union laborers. César E. Chávez’ birthday, March 31st, is celebrated in California as a state holiday, intended to promote service to the community in honor of Chávez’ life and accomplishments.   

The César E. Chávez’ legacy has remained alive, even after his death, on April 23, 1993. He is remembered as a hard working civil rights leader who fought for the fair treatment of farm workers, changing the lives of millions of people for the better.

We share this renewed partnership as a tribute to César E. Chávez’ commitment to social justice and respect for human dignity.  Just as César E. Chávez believed that “ordinary people can do extraordinary things”, law enforcement agencies and residents can inspire others to do the right thing in every city, town and neighborhood.  

For more information, please call LAPD Community Relations Section at 213-486-6000.


Armed Man Threatens Own Family, and Officers

Los Angeles: A man threatening family members with a knife pointed a handgun at responding officers and an officer involved shooting occurred, killing the suspect.

On March 24, 2012, at 6 p.m., North Hollywood Area officers responded to a radio call of a man armed with a knife and causing a disturbance in the 7400 block of Craner Avenue.  Arriving officers were told by witnesses the suspect, 35-year-old Benjamin Bittner, had barricaded himself inside the residence and was armed with a handgun.

While officers were awaiting the arrival of LAPD SWAT and K-9 resources, around 6:30 p.m. Bittner came out of the house armed with a handgun.  An officer involved shooting occurred and Bittner was struck by gunfire.

Los Angeles Fire Department responded and transported Bittner to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.  None of the four involved officers were injured.  An replica handgun, resembling a Colt 1911, was recovered at scene.

Force Investigation Division Detectives responded and are investigating the officer involved shooting.  The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Office of the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.  

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the FID at 213-486-5230.  Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org by clicking on “webtips” and following the prompts.


Street Fight in front of Downtown Nightclubs Results in Murder $50,000 Reward Offered in Connection with Case

Los Angeles:  Detectives released video of two suspects from a January 2012 murder in downtown Los Angeles and announced a $50,000 reward sponsored by District 9 Los Angeles City Councilmember Jan Perry in an effort to identify the two key suspects.

On Jan. 28, 2012, as patrons spilled out of two downtown nightclubs, two groups of men got in an argument on the sidewalk.  Their encounter escalated into a shooting during which four men were shot and one died at the intersection of Hill Street and Olympic Boulevard.

“This literally started over one guy bumping into another guy on the sidewalk,” said Detective Thayer Lake, lead detective for the investigation out of the LAPD Central Detective Division.  “By all accounts, this was testosterone and liquor driven and never had to happen.”  

Fernando Hernandez, 23, of Culver City was one of four men shot that night.  He died of a head wound.  The other three men recovered.  

In spite of dozens of witnesses, no one has come forward with names of the shooters.  Detectives have pored over video footage from the area and interviewed witnesses.  “We’ve narrowed down the investigation to two men seen walking in a video with two women in front of the Mayan night club on Hill Street,” Detective Lake explained.  “We need someone to come forward and tell us who these two men are.”

**Video footage of the suspects is available at www.lapdtv.org or by recording from monitors at LAPD’s Central Police Station.**

Anyone with information on this crime is urged to call LAPD Central Homicide Unit Detective Thayer Lake at 213-972-1254.  Anonymous tips can be called into Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Online tips may be placed at www.LAPDOnline.org by clicking on “webtips” and following the prompts.
 


Notes from the March 27, 2012 Weekly Police Commission Meeting

Police Chief Charlie Beck confirmed the Department has a preliminary finding of a sustained complaint of bias policing against a police officer.  He added the complaint will not formally be completed until a Board of Rights hearing scheduled for June.  Chief Beck said this finding adds to the legitimacy of the Department’s complaint investigation process. 

Police Commission Vice President John Mack commended Chief Beck, Commander Rick Webb and all the investigators assigned to this case of bias policing for their excellent work in obtaining the findings.  Mr. Mack said cases of bias policing are the most challenging issues facing the Department and the Commission and the most difficult to resolve.  He said it was a step in the right direction and represents the commitment by the Chief and the Department in resolving this issue.

The Inspector General’s report, dated March 6, 2012, relative to the review of Department’s GED/CLEAR selection criteria audit, was continued for one more week.

The Department’s report, dated March 12, 2012, relative to the recommendation of the Medal of Valor, was approved.

The Department’s report, dated March 16, 2012, relative to the quarterly discipline report, fourth quarter, 2011, was received.  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 March 15, 2012, relative to the monthly photo red light program cost analysis for January 2012, as given by Commander Blake Chow, was approved.  Commander Chow informed the Board the program netted $7,452 in revenue for the month of January and an estimated $5,264 for the month of February.  He said there is an average of 300 cases going to trial every month which could net the City additional revenue.  The Board voted on a motion to end the entire program beginning April 1, 2012.

The Department’s report, dated March 27, 2012, relative to the annual review of intelligence investigations, was received. 

The Department’s report, dated March 13, 2012, relative to the destruction of obsolete original records for North Hollywood Area, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.

The Department’s report, dated March 13, 2012, relative to the destruction of obsolete original records for Harbor Area, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer. 


Man Found Murdered in Medical Facility Basement

UPDATE

(March 25, 2012)

On Friday, March 23, 2012, at 11:15 p.m., Suspect Maldonado was arrested by LAPD detectives at the United States, San Ysidro border crossing.  Maldonado was arrested and booked for Murder.

Los Angeles:  On Friday, March 23, 2012, at 6:35 a.m., officers assigned to Mission Division responded to the medical center located in the 11200 block of N. Sepulveda Boulevard for evidence of a possible crime.  Once they arrived they found 41-year-old Florentino Reyes-Lucas, an independent contractor working as a janitor, dead in the basement of the building.

Soon after arriving to the scene, Mission Area Homicide Detectives learned that the suspect, 43-year-old Jesus Bautista Maldonado, a resident of Los Angeles, confronted the victim and stabbed him, causing his death.

It is believed that suspect Maldonado has fled the country.  Suspect Maldonado is described as a male Hispanic who stands 5’6’’ tall and weighs 200 pounds.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call LAPD Mission Homicide Detectives Efren Gutierrez (Spanish speaker) at 818-838-9948, or Gene Parshall, at 818-838-9954.   During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


Police Commissioner Alan Skobin is Nominated to Position as Fire Commissioner

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department received word that longtime Los Angeles Police Commissioner Alan Skobin has been nominated by the Mayor for a position as a Fire Commissioner for the Los Angeles City Fire Department.

“During his nine years of service as a police commissioner he helped guide the Department through difficult and challenging times.  His courage, insight and leadership will be missed,” stated LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “While the Department is losing a tremendous asset to its civilian oversight committee, we are happy to know Commissioner Skobin is staying with-in the City family.”

For further information contact Media Relations at 213-486-5910.


Violent Armed Robbery Suspect -- Points Gun at Police

UPDATE
July 6, 2012
The officers involved in the officer-involved shooting have been identified as:  Police Officer III Gary Pugliese, 16 years and 7 months with the Department, Police Officer II Jacob Palacios, 4 years and 9 months with the Department, and Police Officer II Elder Chinchilla, 4 years and 7 months with the Department.
 
 
Los Angeles:   A suspect, who robbed a tobacco shop and shot the store owner, was shot and killed by police officers after he pointed a handgun at them.

On March 21, 2012, around 12:45 p.m., 30-year-old Garmik Kirakosian robbed a tobacco shop in the 8700 block of Glenoaks Boulevard, armed with a handgun.  As Foothill Area Officers were responding to the call for help they saw Kirakosian running from the store.  He got into a black Mercedes Benz with a female passenger inside and drove away.  He failed to yield to the officer’s lights and sirens and led them on a short pursuit before crashing into a pillar at Wheatland Avenue and Tuxford Street.

Kirakosian got out of the car and ran.  Officers immediately established a perimeter around the area.  While Officers were on the perimeter and making plans to conduct a search, Kirakosian went into a residence and changed his clothing in an attempt to disguise himself.

About 30-minutes into the perimeter officers saw Kirakosian walk out onto La Tuna Canyon Road west of Wheatland Avenue, armed with a gun.   An officer involved shooting occurred involving four officers.  One Foothill Area Patrol officer and two North Hollywood Area Gang Enforcement Detail officers fired their Department issued handguns.  One Foothill Area Patrol officer fired a Department issued bean bag shotgun.   A revolver was recovered at scene.
 
Los Angeles Fire Department personnel responded and pronounced Kirakosian dead at scene.  None of the officers were injured.  The store owner shot by Kirakosian was transported to a local hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to the leg.  He was listed in stable condition.

It was later determined that the female passenger in the Mercedes, subsequently identified as 27-year-old Sofia Ashikian, was not a victim of a carjacking as she initially alleged, but was in fact an associate of Kirakosian.  Ashikian was booked for Robbery and is being held on $50,000 bail.  She was not injured during the incident.

Force Investigation Division Detectives responded and are investigating the officer involved shooting and the Criminal Apprehension Team is conducting a joint investigation with Foothill Division Detectives for the armed robbery.

The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Office of the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the FID at 213-486-5230. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the etters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.