Picture shows suspect
in massive downtown L.A. arson fire, official says.
Authorities have surveillance footage
showing the suspected arsonist in last December's spectacular downtown L.A.
apartment complex fire parking his vehicle on the 110 Freeway and walking into
the half-built structure with cans of fuel, a fire official told a community
Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion
Chief Steve Ruda last week informed members of Echo Park's neighborhood council
of new details about the fire, which caused tens of millions of dollars in
damage. He said the suspect was still at large.
Officials have offered a $170,000 reward
for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the arsonist behind the
blaze that consumed a seven-story building in the Da Vinci apartment complex
and damaged the freeway and neighboring buildings.
Investigators believe the suspect
"torched that building up from the freeway side and then escaped,” Ruda
told the audience of about 20, according to a recording made by an audience
A robbery suspect, who may have been run
over by an accomplice, died after being dragged for more than two miles under a
U-Haul van while fleeing the scene of an attempted robbery in Wilmington
Saturday morning, police said.
Four suspects in the van, at least one
armed with a handgun, attempted to rob a business in the 1600 block of
Mauretania Street about 8 a.m., said Sgt. Randall Barr, of the Los Angeles
Police Department. The business owner used his own gun to shoot at the robbers,
As the suspects fled, one was running too
close to the getaway van and was dragged under, according to police. A person
following the van called 911 to report a man was being dragged by the vehicle.
The suspect was dragged about 2.2 miles,
Sgt. N. Vargas said. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
One of the suspects was taken to a local
hospital in critical condition, police said. It was unclear if he had been
A speeding Mercedes crashed into a tree
and burst into flames Friday night in Beverly Hills in an accident
neighbors suspect was caused by illegal street racing.
Three teenage boys who were in the
Mercedes, which crashed around 11:30 p.m., were transported to the hospital with
minor injuries, according to media reports.
Neighbors said they believed they heard
a second car racing down the street at the same time as the Mercedes.
Resident Michael ChasteentoldKCAL-TV that the stretch of Benedict
Canyon Drive where the accident occurred, has become popular with people who
like to race exotic cars. "The word is out that you can drive as fast as
you want, however you want, without regard to anyone's safety in Benedict
Canyon," he said.
Chasteen urged police to enforce
the speed limit.
Kenneth Price, an officer in the LAPD's
West Traffic Division said the accident was under investigation, "we can’t
say if it’s street racing or not.
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Strong winds whipped across Southern
California on Tuesday night, toppling trees -- including one that fell onto a
moving car -- and causing widespread power outages.
Gusts reached 31 mph in the Topanga
Hills and 85 mph at Whitaker Peak, and the high winds are expected to continued
until noon Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
The strong gusts pushed over a massive
pine treeonto a Mercedes Benz travelingabout 8:30 p.m. on Lexington Road in
Beverly Hills. The driver was taken to an area hospital to be treated for his
Winds also wreaked havoc in West
Hollywood, Beverly Crest and the San Fernando Valley after power was knocked
out for thousands of residents.
In West Hollywood, about 3,000 Southern
California Edison customers lost power at about 8:40 p.m. Power was out for
nearly 700 customers in the Beverly Crest neighborhood, according to the Los
Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Los Angeles police are struggling to
combat an increase in crime across the city this year, including a sharp spike
in the number of people shot.
Officials said Tuesday that shootings
recorded by police are up 31%, amounting to 54 additional victims this year.
Overall, the LAPD reported a 27% spike
in violent crime and a 12% rise in property crime through March 21 compared to
the same period last year.
Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck
said crime levels are running at roughly the same as 2012 and that the
increases are spread out across a variety of neighborhoods.
“So we are moving backward from ‘14 and
obviously we're taking steps to address that crime is up in every one of the
bureaus,” Beck said.
Police detected the trend this year and
have been taking steps to add more officers into troubled areas. One strategy
has been deploying officers from the elite Metropolitan Division into
neighborhoods that have seen a spike in gang-related violence.
Temperatures are expected to heat up
toward the end of next week, signaling a dry, disappointing and foreboding end
to the region’s rainy season as four years of low precipitation continue.
After several days of near-seasonal
weather early in the week — with highs in the low- to mid-70s — the winds will
turn offshore, allowing dry, hot conditions to press toward the coast and push
temperatures to near-record levels, about 15 to 20 degrees above normal,
By Friday, the high will probably edge
over 90 degrees in downtown Los Angeles, said David Sweet, a meteorologist with
the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
“This is only March,” he said. “This is
pretty early for temperatures up around 90.... We’re really running out of time
when it comes to the rainy season.”
Dozens of transgender activists shut
down the intersection of 3rd Street and La Cienega Boulevard outside the
Beverly Center for about half an hour Friday evening.
The protest, called Spring into Love,
was organized by advocacy groups to protest violence against transgender
people. Since June, at least four transgender women have been killed in violent
incidents in Southern California.
At the protest, horns blared and a
police helicopter circled overhead. Protesters marched into the center of the
intersection, shouting “Trans lives matter!” Some protesters wearing fake blood
lay down in the center of the road.
Los Angetes police officers eventually
ordered the protesters from the street. The protesters complied, moving to the
sidewalks where the rally continued. There did not appear to be any
The Navy SEAL killed in a parachuting
accident was identified Thursday as Petty Officer 3rd-class Jason Kortz of
Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Kortz, 29, was killed Wednesday during a
parachute training mission in the Riverside County community of Perris. The incident
is under investigation.
Kortz enlisted in November 2012 and
graduated from SEAL training in Coronado in September 2014. He was assigned to
a West Coast SEAL team.
"Losing such a promising special
operator is a tragedy, not just for his family and the Naval Special Warfare
community, but also for this nation, [which] needs men of such uncompromising
character in these uncertain times," said Capt. Todd Seniff, commodore of
Naval Special Warfare Group One.
Stockton police continued to search Wednesday for attackers who
fired on a group of people outside a market in a drive-by shooting,
killing three and wounding four.
Police said a 27-year-old woman was
pronounced dead at the scene, then two more victims were pronounced dead at a
hospital – a 24-year-old man and 20-year-old woman. Four other men, ages 24,
25, 32 and 38, were wounded but were expected to survive.
The working-class, Central Valley city
has been trying desperately to turn a new leaf but has a long and violent
history. Last year, suspected gang members robbed a bank, took three hostages
and led police on a wild chase across the city until two were killed and the
Tuesday night’s shooting took place in a
small corner market parking lot that was well-known to police as a gathering
spot for gang members and drug dealers.
Three people died in a multi-vehicle
crash on Pacific Coast Highway near Point Mugu in Ventura County early
Tuesday, authorities said.
Two vehicles were involved in the crash
shortly after midnight in the southbound lanes of the 7800 block of Pacific
Coast Highway, near Point Mugu State Park, according a dispatcher with Ventura
County Fire Department, who declined to give his name.
Two plainclothes Los Angeles police
officers were shot at Sunday evening while driving through a South L.A.
neighborhood, prompting an exchange of gunfire that caused several suspects to
scatter, authorities said.
The officers were fired upon near 65th
Street and Broadway in the Florence neighborhood just before 5:45 p.m., Det.
Meghan Aguilar said. The officers then returned fire.
Aguilar said the officers, assigned to
the 77th Street Division narcotics section, were driving in an unmarked police
car. She said there was no indication they were caught in crossfire between
rival groups but rather believed the shots were meant for them.
"Of course, because it's an active
scene, that's our preliminary investigation," she said. "There's
going to be several thorough interviews of the officers. But right now they
believe they were the target."
Southbound lanes of the 5 Freeway in Burbank reopened early
Saturday after a crash that left a big rig wrapped in power lines closed all
lanes for two hours, the CHP reported.
The accident occurred at Alameda Avenue
on the southbound side and was reported at 1:04 a.m., CHP Officer Alex Rubio
said. No injuries were reported.
The northbound lanes were closed at
Western Avenue and the southbound lanes at Verdugo Avenue.
The southbound lanes reopened at 3:01
a.m., Rubio said, but the northbound lanes remained closed.
It was unclear how the power lines had
come down, but at the time of the crash Rubio said a big rig in the southbound
lanes was wrapped in power lines and another big rig in the northbound lanes
had power lines on it.
Police are searching for the driver of a black
sedan that struck and killed a pedestrian near USC on Tuesday night
and then fled the scene.
The pedestrian, who has been identified only as a 58-year-old
man by the Los Angeles County coroner pending notification of next of kin, was
hit in a marked crosswalk near Portland and 23rd streets in University
Park about 9 p.m., LAPD officials said.
The man’s body flew about 70 feet after being hit, according to
NBC4. He died at the hospital hours later.
Security cameras recorded the crash, said LAPD Officer
“We saw the video but don’t have possession of it yet,” she
The car that hit the man was described only as a black
sedan. No description of the driver was available and police are still
The crash marked the second fatal hit-and-run in the county on
Tuesday. Earlier in the morning, a 21-year-old woman was hit and killed
while standing outside her car on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.
A shallow magnitude 3.0 earthquake was
reported Monday evening 19 miles from Soledad, Calif., according to the U.S.
Geological Survey. The temblor occurred at 9:57 p.m. Pacific time at a depth of
According to the USGS, the epicenter was
22 miles from Greenfield, Calif.; 24 miles from Hollister, Calif.; and 28 miles
from King City, Calif.
In the last 10 days, there have been no
earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.
This information comes from the USGS
Earthquake Notification Service and this post was created by an algorithm
written by the author.
Authorities at Cal State San Bernardino are on alert after an
attempted kidnapping on the campus Sunday afternoon. It was the fourth violent
crime at the school in two weeks.
In a message sent out to students Sunday afternoon,university police reported that about 3
p.m., a man approached a woman from behind, grabbed her and put his hand over
her mouth and said, “Come on, let’s go for a ride in my car.”
The woman elbowed the man until he let
go, then ran away, police said. He was described as 5 foot 8 with a thin build,
medium length dark-colored hair and wearing dark colored shorts and a gray
The attack occurred on the north side of
the campus near the John M. Pfau Library, police said.
The attack was the fourth violent
incident on the campus in two weeks. On Thursday, police said a student was a
victim of a strong-armed robber--an iPhone was stolen in a
school parking lot.
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Two men have been arrested in connection
with a deadly shooting at a Mexican steakhouse in Santa Ana, police said
Viyey Castaneda, 29, and Anastacio
Castaneda Rios, 45, both of Santa Ana, have been booked on suspicion of
murder in connection with the Monday morning melee inside the El Zocalo Mexican
Grill and Seafood restaurant that left one man dead and customers running for
Police said the two men were part of a
group that got into an argument with another group inside the men’s bathroom
when someone pulled out a handgun and started shooting.
Three people were hit, including Jose De
Jesus Mendoza Maria, 32, of Los Angeles, who died. As the crowd fled from the
gunshots, Castaneda ran out with them, Santa Ana police said.
Asiana Airlines has reached a settlement
with more than 70 of the passengers onboard the plane that crashed two years
ago in San Francisco, according to court records filed Tuesday.
In a joint statement filed in federal
court, attorneys for the airline and the passengers said that 72 passengers
settled their personal injury claims that stemmed from the crash. The terms of
the settlement are confidential.
The settlements are among the earliest
claims to be resolved since the July 6, 2013, crash, when an Asiana Boeing 777
clipped a seawall and slammed into a runway at San Francisco International
“It’s a very good, positive first step,”
said attorney Frank Pitre, who represented 10 of the passengers included in the
settlement. He characterized those in the settlement as having less serious
injuries from the crash.
give 'unique perspective' of skid row shooting, LAPD chief says
Police Department Chief Charlie Beck said footage from body cameras worn by a
LAPD officer and a sergeant involved in Sunday’s deadly shooting of a homeless
man on skid row gives investigators a “unique perspective” of the incident but
said it can’t be released because of the ongoing probe.The chief said he has
reviewed the body camera recordings but declined to comment on what he saw.