Archive for October, 2009

Mark Fitzpatrick, a sergeant with the LA County Sheriff, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman and inappropriately searching two others while on duty last year, prosecutors said.

Fitzpatrick, 39, allegedly assaulted the women during traffic stops in Compton and threatened one with arrest or deportation during one incident.

The sergeant will face five felony charges, including sexual battery by restraint, penetration under threat to arrest or deport and three counts of false imprisonment by fraud and deceit, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Natalie Adomian.

Mark Fitzpatrick has posted $245,000 bail.

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LAPD Officer Found Dead at Long Beach Home

It was reported by the Los Angeles Police Department this morning that a police officer assigned to LAPD’s Hollywood Division was found dead at his residence in Long Beach. The officer in question was found just before 11PM on the 26th of October. The department said it appears the officer may have died from natural causes. There is no word yet on the name of the officer or the circumstances surrounding his death.

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TMZ’s Harvey Levin threatening to sue L.A. Sheriffs over investigation into Mel Gibson leak.

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By Robert Holguin

ATHENS, Calif. (KABC)
— A law enforcement “surge” operation is being carried out by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department four nights a week to combat gang activity.
The surge was under way in Athens Friday night.
This is the mobile command post here behind me… The sheriff’s department is essentially able establish a mobile substation inside neighborhoods where gang activity is heating up.
At the nerve center for the gang enforcement team, the sheriff’s department says this effort has already made a huge difference in some of L.A. County’s most troubled neighborhoods.
Story continues belowAdvertisementFirst they talk strategy. The sheriff’s deputies have just gotten word that a large group of gang members are gathering. The deputies form a plan, then more than two dozen deputies swarm into an Athens neighborhood.
It’s exactly how the gang enforcement team is designed to work, a surge of law enforcement in order to combat gang activity.
“It kind of gives them a sense of ‘a cop on every corner,’” said Sgt. John Hanson, a member of the sheriff’s department. “And for that period of time that we’re there, it’s not unusual for us to get 10 or 12 people coming up to say, ‘Hey, I appreciate you guys being here. Can you stick around for a while?’”
Hanson says the so-called “get team” has been around for 15 years. But since February, the 40 deputies and five sergeants now work under one lieutenant in a platoon formation. They operate Wednesday through Saturday, hitting the streets of L.A. County in hopes of saturating neighborhoods where gang activity is spiking.
“Instead of taking time to draw up a plan and bringing resources together that might take two or three weeks, we can deploy that night,” said Hanson.
The deputies in the enforcement unit are handpicked from the station from gang areas. They work alongside members of the Probation Department.
Inside the command post, crime analysts are working to map out the areas the team will target.
“Gang saturation is very specific,” said L.A. County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Crystal Miranda. “We focus on the gangs. The deputies in this enforcement unit are from the actual stations that we patrol.”
Friday night, the team responded to a car-to-car shooting, a stabbing and parole violations. Relatively speaking, a quiet Friday night.
Saturday night, the team will be in Bellflower.
(Copyright ©2009 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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From the LA Times

The Los Angeles Police Commission today completed two days of interviews with candidates vying to be the next LAPD chief. Officials hope to select three finalists by Tuesday.

The commission, a civilian panel that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department, met with 13 applicants. All but but two were LAPD deputy chiefs and assistant chiefs.

The interviews were held at the tony City Club downtown. The commission made no effort to conceal the identities of the in-house candidates from the assembled media, but it did sneak the two outside candidates into and out of the interview room through a back hallway. When a Times reporter attempted to pursue one of the candidates, an LAPD officer blocked the hall.

Commission President John Mack defended the the decision to keep the identities of the two outside applicants concealed. He said they were sitting police chiefs elsewhere and did not want it known that they were seeking the LAPD post. Mack said he believed that it was more important to protect the candidates’ identities than to inform the public about them.

With the interviews now complete, Mack said the commission would spend the next few days deliberating and vetting candidates. Barring any major delays, he said he was tentatively planning to pass the names of three finalists on to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Tuesday.

Villaraigosa will make the final selection, and has said he would like to do so by the time that outgoing Police Chief William J. Bratton departs Oct. 31.

—Joel Rubin

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The former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik had his bail revoked today. He was allegedly trying to influence the jury pool.

Bernard Kerik had been out on $500,000 bail. U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Robinson stated that by posting confidential documents on his defense website, Kerik could not be trusted to abide by a court order barring disclosure of that kind of information.

“My fear is that he has a toxic combination of self-minded focus and arrogance, and I fear that combination leads him to believe that his ends justify his means,” Robinson said. “The failure of Mr. Kerik to abide by the direct order of this court … must be appropriately addressed.

“He sees the court’s rulings as an inconvenience, something to be ignored, and an obstacle to be circumvented.”

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Zoltan Tombol, a 42 year old Sheriff’s Deputy had gone to the Cleveland National Forrest over the weekend. His wife had reported him missing on Sunday evening.

No cause of death has been given, and the Sheriff’s Department is not looking for anyone in the case.

Tombol was known to hike and jog quite regularly.

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Sheriff’s deputy injured in crash in San Gabriel
By Brian Day, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/16/2009 10:16:10 PM PDT

SAN GABRIEL – A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was injured Friday when his patrol car collided with a civilian minivan, authorities said.

The crash occurred about 8 p.m. on San Gabriel Boulevard at Chestnut Avenue, San Gabriel police Lt. Chris Ortell said.

The deputy, who was from the sheriff’s Temple station, was expected to be OK, officials said.

The minivan caught fire after the collision, however the driver escaped uninjured and was being detained by officials as they investigated the crash late Friday, Ortell said.

No further details were available.

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Neighbors thought dead man was Halloween display
The Associated Press
Posted: 10/16/2009 09:01:19 PM PDT
Updated: 10/16/2009 09:01:20 PM PDT

LOS ANGELES—Residents of a Marina del Rey apartment complex say they saw a lifeless body slumped on a neighbor’s patio, but didn’t call police because they thought it was part of a Halloween display.
Mostafa Mahmoud Zayed had apparently been dead since Monday.

Cameraman Austin Raishbrook, owner of RMG News, told the Los Angeles Times he was at the scene Thursday when authorities arrived. The 75-year-old man was slumped over a chair on the third-floor balcony of his apartment with a single gunshot wound to the eye.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigator says the case is an “apparent suicide.”

Raishbrook says neighbors told him they noticed the body Monday “but didn’t bother calling authorities because it looked like a Halloween dummy.”

Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com

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The new LAPD Memorial Wall was unveiled and dedicated Wednesday night. The wall has the names of 202 officers inscribed on brass plates and weighs 11,000 pounds.

Due to rain, the dedication program was moved inside the new Police Administration Building. LAPD bag pipers and the honor guard then led guests outside for the formal dedication ceremony.

The Memorial was built with private funding from the Los Angeles Police Foundation. Architecture firm Gensler donated their services to design the sculpture.

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