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Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Death

Boater Drowns in Fog, High Surf Off Venice

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Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 3:11 PM
FILE PHOTO BY JAY ZANOTTI/L.A. WEEKLY FLICKR POOL
A boater was pronounced dead after the small inflatable vessel he was in got caught in high surf and fog and he ended up in the water off Venice this afternoon, authorities said.

The man was rescued from the 4- to 5-foot surf near the Marina del Rey channel at about 1:44 p.m. by Los Angeles County lifeguards, said lifeguard Capt. Ken Haskett. Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey says paramedics were dispatched to the scene at 1:36 p.m.

Efforts to revive him by lifeguards and LAFD personnel were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, Haskett said.

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City Attorney Mike Feuer announced this week that his office would no longer use his own lawyers to represent the city in lawsuits against private developments. Instead, his office will hire outside counsel – and send the bill over to the developers. 

"The city attorney will hire and manage the outside legal counsel," says city attorney spokesman Rob Wilcox. "We will charge the cost to developers and we will save taxpayer dollars. The city attorney will continue to make all decisions regarding litigation."

So why is the crowd of neighborhood and environmental activists who fight high-density development hopping mad? 

See Also: How a Ragtag Coalition Stops Skyscrapers in Hollywood.

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ALBERT VALLES/L.A. WEEKLY FLICKR POOL
If you wanted to buy all the homes in Los Angeles, you'd have to pay more than you would to buy all the residences in any other American market, including New York.

That's our conclusion after looking at real estate website Zillow's annual "Total Value" report for major U.S. cities. L.A.'s $2.3 trillion in residential property value edged out New York's $2.1 trillion.

The site calculated "the value of all single-family residences, condominiums and cooperatives" in major cities, it states.

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FILE PHOTO BY BIERLOS/FLICKR
Police today were trying to track down a pair of men who attacked a man who had stepped outside his home to investigate a car doing donuts on his residential street in Arleta, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

It's a tragic case that involves three neighbors.

The victim was fatally stabbed in the confrontation with three suspects who had been inside the silver Honda Accord that was doing donuts shortly before 4 a.m. yesterday, said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon.

Two of the three abandoned the Honda and fled but the car's owner, who had been in the backseat before the violence, was found at his nearby home and detained, police said.

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AUDREY VIA THE LAPD
  • Audrey via the LAPD
Los Angeles police this week were investigating how a 3-year-old girl named Audrey was abandoned at a valet stand at The Grove shopping center over the weekend.

The girl was picked up by her father Sunday after her grandfather spotted her photo in a news report about how she was abandoned and phoned family members, according to authorities and reports.

Cops still want to talk to her mother, but at this point the caper might be chalked up to misunderstanding.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Crime

LAPD Mourns "Assassination" of 2 New York Cops

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Sat, Dec 20, 2014 at 9:54 PM
THE ALLEGED MURDER WEAPON VIA THE NYPD
  • The alleged murder weapon via the NYPD
Los Angeles police tonight wore black bands over their badges "in honor of our fallen brothers" in New York, said Chief Charlie Beck. The department was also reportedly subject to a higher state of alert as law enforcement from coast to coast contended with the possibility of anti-police violence in the wake of the Ferguson and Eric Garner cases.

The man who fatally ambushed two New York Police Department officers today is believed to be the same Instragram user who posted a message saying, "They take 1 of ours ... let's take 2 of theirs," before the attack outside a Bedford-Stuyvesant housing project, where the victims sat inside a stopped patrol car, authorities said.

The suspect, later identified as 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, later shot himself to death as responding cops moved in on his location at a nearby subway stop, police said.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

MIKEY WALLY/L.A. WEEKLY FLICKR POOL
It's the season of giving, if by giving you mean cops giving you a DUI citation that could ultimately cost more than $15,000 to fight and lose, according to the Auto Club of Southern California.

That's quite a present. Luckily, the Los Angeles Police Department doesn't want to put coal in your stocking just yet. Its holiday DUI crackdown is in full swing this weekend, true, but cops are warning you where they'll be and when they'll be there.

The LAPD and other area agencies hope you'll take note and decide not to drink and drive at all. Here's what you need to know:

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FILE PHOTO BY LUIS TAMAYO/FLICKR
Bandit tow trucks are hooking up the cars of unsuspecting Angelenos and then holding them in storage for ransom, sometimes for thousands of dollars, police said this week.

Authorities say the scam works like this: You're involved in a fender bender and a tow truck arrives. The driver says your airbags alerted him, your insurance company called him, or an automated system like OnStar dispatched him. None of that is true. He'll say your insurance is covering the tow—just sign here. You're distraught, shaken up, and worried. So you do.

But by signing, you've allowed the driver to haul your car away. And then it's gone.

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BRONSTEIN VIA REDONDO BEACH POLICE
  • Bronstein via Redondo Beach police
UPDATE at 2:20 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, 2014: A 6-year-old boy died overnight. He's the fourth fatality in the case. A suspect was formally charged today with gross vehicular manslaughter. See more below.

The driver whom police say killed three people and injured nine others after a Christmas performance at a Redondo Beach Catholic church this week is disabled and has special hand-operated controls for her car, friends told reporters.

Police arrested 56-year-old local resident Margo Bronstein on suspicion of "felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated" following the tragic collision on Pacific Coast Highway, the Redondo Beach Police Department said in a statement.

Investigators reportedly believe the woman was under the influence of prescription medication.

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fires

Downtown L.A.'s Massive Da Vinci Fire Was Arson, Authorities Say

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Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 5:16 PM
Aftermath of the fire - PHOTO BY TED SOQUI
  • Photo by Ted Soqui
  • Aftermath of the fire
The massive Dec. 8 blaze that made the L.A. skyline look like it was part of a giant bonfire was intentionally set, the L.A. Fire Department and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced tonight.

In a joint statement, those authorities said that "specific information regarding the fire and investigative efforts will not be released at this time, as the criminal investigation is ongoing."

However, investigators said they have eliminated other possible causes, according to the statement:

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