What are Robbery Charges, a.k.a., 211 PC?

| Police Blotter | July 18, 2019

Tips from the public recently lead to the arrest of a suspect in a Newhall massage parlor robbery.

Shortly after noon on Thursday, July 11th, L. Gonzalez, 22, of Santa Clarita, was arrested by police on suspicion of armed robbery for the crime that occurred at a Newhall massage parlor on June 27th. According to police, Gonzalez went to the business where he received a massage. When it was time to pay, he allegedly brandished a firearm in his waistband and robbed the place instead. Fortunately, the entire incident was caught on camera.

On Wednesday July 10th, deputies released images of the suspect in hopes that the public would provide information regarding his whereabouts – and they did. Tips began to come in quickly and, within 24 hours, deputies had tracked down and arrested Gonzalez. He is currently being held in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Robbery is covered under California Penal Code 211 PC and is described as taking property from someone’s person or immediate presence, against the victim’s will, through the use of force or fear. The definition of robbery in California includes the classic image of robbing a liquor store or gas station at gunpoint, but it also extends to some surprising situations.
One child intimidating another into giving up their lunch money could constitute a robbery charge if reported to police
Stealing someone’s possessions after drugging them
After being caught trying to steal something (an offense that would otherwise be petty theft/grand theft), threatening the owner of said property with harm in order to get away
As you can see, what makes something robbery isn’t so much the stealing as it is the way in which something is stolen. When you use force or fear, whether via threats or actual violence, you’re committing the crime of robbery. When you do not, you’re committing the crime of theft (whether its petty theft or grand theft will depend on the value of the item(s) stolen).

Similar to burglary, robbery is divided into two separate classifications: first-degree robbery and second-degree robbery. First-degree robbery is charged when the victim is the driver or passenger in a bus, taxi, cable car, street car or other similar vehicle; the robbery takes place in an inhabited house, boat or trailer, or; the robbery takes place immediately after the victim uses an ATM. First-degree robbery is always a felony and the possible penalties include felony probation, three to six years in California state prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Second-degree robbery is charged in any other case of robbery that does not fit into the classification for first-degree robbery. The potential penalties include felony probation, two to five years in California state prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Of course, using a gun in any type of robbery subjects the defendant to greatly enhanced penalties if convicted. Under California’s 10-20-Life Law, using a gun in a robbery nets the suspect an additional 10 years in prison. Firing the weapon in a robbery adds 20 years, and a sentence of 25 years to life is added if the defendant inflicts great bodily injury or death on someone while using a firearm during a robbery.

Since Gonzalez didn’t fire his weapon during the robbery, and just had it in his pants, it’s likely he will only face an additional 10 years in prison – which is itself enough.

Finally, robbery is considered a violent felony in California. Therefore, when convicted, defendants will receive a “strike” on their record under California’s Three Strikes Law. Additionally, anyone with a robbery conviction on their record will face twice the normal sentence if charged with another subsequent felony.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | July 12, 2019

It was a busy Fourth of July weekend for arrests!

One 27-year-old from Newhall was arrested for an assault with a deadly weapon, and one 23-year-old from Newhall was arrested for openly displaying an imitation firearm. A 24-year-old unemployed woman from Los Angeles was arrested for prostitution.

DUI arrests include:

25-year-old unemployed New Jersey resident
38-year-old safety supervisor from Arleta
52-year-old engineer from Thousand Oaks
33-year-old production worker from Arleta
30-year-old gardener from Los Angeles
23-year-old cashier from Newhall
24-year-old manager from Newhall
55-year-old general contractor from Pasadena

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

28-year-old server from Valencia
35-year-old machinist from Lake Hughes
28-year-old construction worker from Newhall
23-year-old unemployed Encino resident
21-year-old transient from Venice
44-year-old car washer from Newhall
26-year-old transient from Newhall
36-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
22-year-old Walmart employee from Canyon Country
22-year-old bather from Glendora

Woman Posing as Social Worker Charged with Attempted Kidnapping

| Police Blotter | July 12, 2019

An Orange County woman was recently arrested and charged with the attempted kidnapping of a child under 14 and attempting to take a child from a parent – both felonies.

According to police, the suspect, S. Orozco Magana, knocked on the door of a new mother’s home posing as a social worker and told the woman that she was there to take her newborn child. When asked by the mother why she was there to take the baby, Magana replied that a doctor had “probably reported child abuse.” Upon being asked for credentials, Magana refused to provide them. Magana then threatened to call the Sheriff’s Department if the mother continued to refuse to hand over the 1-week-old child.

The mother continued to refuse to hand over the child, even after being threatened with police action, and her sister filmed Magana as she left the residence. One day later, after seeing the footage on television, Magana turned herself in to authorities. After being arrested and charged with the two felonies, Magana was released on $100,000 bond.

Simple kidnapping is covered under California Penal Code 207 PC and is described as moving a person a substantial distance, without that person’s consent, by using force or fear to do so. However, since Magana posed as a social worker in an attempt to trick the mother into handing over her baby, her crime could actually be considered aggravated kidnapping, which has a similar description to simple kidnapping, but with added criteria including fraud.

The penalties for simple kidnapping include 3 to 8 years in California state prison, and a maximum fine of $10,000. For aggravated kidnapping, the potential penalties include 5 to 11 years in California state prison if the victim is under 14 years of age. However, since the kidnapping didn’t actually occur, Magana’s charge and subsequent penalties will be altered as per California Penal Codes 21a and 664 PC – California’s “attempted crimes” law.

To be charged with an attempted crime in California, a person must do two things: they must intend to commit a certain crime and then perform a direct, but ineffective, act toward committing that crime. It’s possible to be convicted of attempting a crime even if an individual changes their mind part of the way through and abandons efforts to complete the crime’s commission.

Generally, when someone is convicted of an attempted crime, their penalty is reduced to half that of the original crime. So, since the penalty for aggravated kidnapping includes 5 to 11 years in California state prison, Magana’s penalty, if convicted, could be 2.5 to 5.5 years. When someone is convicted of an attempted crime that has a sentence of life in prison, they are typically sentenced to 5, 9, or 11 years. The one exception to this rule is attempted murder, which can still carry a sentence of life in prison.

Magana’s second charge falls under California Penal Code 278 PC and is described as attempting to take a minor from a legal guardian without the legal right to do so. 278 PC is a “wobbler” which can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the defendant’s prior criminal history. If charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. For felony charges, the penalties include up to 4 years in California state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

New California Laws Taking Effect Monday, July 1, 2019

| Police Blotter | July 3, 2019

As of July 1, there are several new laws taking effect in California. The laws are going to affect some pretty important things, including gas prices, background checks, and ammunition. Below are a few that are likely to affect the most people throughout the state.

SB 1001 – Bot Disclosure

Have you ever been answered your phone and thought you were speaking with an actual person on the other end, only to find out later you were dealing with a machine? If so, you’ll be glad to know that SB 1001 mandates that companies will now have to disclose whether you’re dealing with an automated system (known as a “bot”) either by telephone, website, or social network. The point of the law is to reduce the ability of companies to trick people into buying products or services, or to influence their voting practices.

SB 1 – Gas Tax Increase

We’re used to gas prices going up in the Summer time. As a matter of fact, Southern California typically sees some of the most expensive gas prices in the country this time of year. Now, as of July 1st, the gas tax is going up a whole 6 cents (making the tax a grand total of 60 cents per gallon). The rise in tax prices comes as a result of voters last year rejecting a repeal of the gas tax increase. It’s expected to generate upwards of $54 billion dollars over the next decade.

AB 748 – Police Body Cameras

Body cameras have been a controversial issue since it was determined that police officers and sheriff’s deputies were required to wear them. Sometimes the footage is available to the public, sometimes it wasn’t. Now, thanks to AB 748, police departments in California are required to release audio and video recordings within 45 days of an incident occurring that involves police. The law only applies to incidents involving a police officer firing their weapon or is involved in the use of force where someone is seriously injured or killed.

Proposition 63 – Background Checks

Whenever someone wants to buy ammunition, they are now required to undergo an instant background check that looks for felonies on their record. Each instant background check will cost $1 that the would-be ammunition consumer will have to pay. However, the law does not limit the amount of ammunition one is able to buy.

AB 1973 – Marijuana Convictions

This one has been a long time coming for many an advocate of prison reform. AB 1973 gives the Department of Justice until July 1, 2019 to review people’s criminal records and identify past marijuana convictions that would have been legal today under Proposition 64, California’s new legal recreational marijuana law. In San Francisco and Los Angeles Counties alone, more than 63,000 marijuana convictions have been expunged thus far.

SB 1448 – Doctor Disclosure
How well do you know your doctor? Under SB 1448, doctors (including physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and surgeons) are now legally required to disclose to patients before beginning treatment if they (the doctor) has been placed on probation for for certain violations, including gross negligence, sexual misconduct, substance abuse, or inappropriately prescribing medications. When placed on probation, providers can continue to practice under restricted licensure.

AB 406 – For-Profit Charter Schools

For-profit charter schools are now banned in California. There were never many for-profit charter schools in California, with the recent tally being only 34 throughout the state.

AB 1871 – School Lunches
Charter schools that are not operating on a for-profit basis, the only legal type of charter school in California, must now provide students from low-income families one free or reduced-price meal per day. This means that an estimated 340,000 low-income students will now have greater access to meals at school.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | July 3, 2019

Three individuals were arrested for battery with great bodily injury, including a 27-year-old cashier from Bakersfield, a 19-year-old student from Bakersfield, and a 35-year-old custodian from Santa Clarita.

A 40-year-old songwriter from Newhall was charged with evading arrest. And a 54-year-old North Hollywood resident was arrested for burglary.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

25-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
27-year-old financial advisor from Canyon Country
24-year-old patient transporter from Palmdale
23-year-old gardener from Newhall
33-year-old marketer from Santa Clarita
23-year-old babysitter from Palmdale
35-year-old Jack-in-the-Box employee from Canyon Country

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

34-year-old Shadow Hills resident
31-year-old tow truck driver from Newhall
23-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
29-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident
33-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
37-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
42-year-old self-employed Los Angeles resident
45-year-old construction worker from Santa Clarita
30-year-old stylist from Newhall
32-year-old nanny from Agoura Hills
25-year-old laborer from Saugus
25-year-old unemployed Sunset Beach resident

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | June 28, 2019

A 59-year-old retired Canyon Country resident was arrested for indecent exposure. And a 24-year-old server from Canyon Country was arrested for rape by force/fear.

A 31-year-old painter from Castaic was arrested for Vandalism. And a 26-year-old transient from Newhall was arrested for identity theft.

An unemployed 66-year-old Los Angeles resident was charged with battery.

Two individuals were arrested for illegal speed contests, including a 32-year-old Los Angeles resident who works in transportation and a 21-year-old Canyon Country merchandiser.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

44-year-old plumber from Santa Clarita
38-year-old salesman from Canyon Country
23-year-old assembler from Northridge
33-year-old server from North Hills
28-year-old bagger from Newhall
19-year-old Santa Clarita resident
40-year-old self-employed Oxnard resident
52-year-old clerk from Valencia

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

51-year-old construction worker from Long Beach
36-year-old Saint Francis resident
25-year-old actor from Palmdale
29-year-old self-employed Palmdale resident
33-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
39-year-old “electrical helper” from Stevenson Ranch

Reckless Driving – What is it?

| Police Blotter | June 27, 2019

In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 23, 29-year-old rapper YG was cited for reckless driving in West Hollywood. Upon being pulled over, police conducted a DUI investigation, though it didn’t result in an arrest.

Bystanders claim the rapper was “swarmed by deputies” after being pulled over, and that the situation was tense, and the rapper became uncooperative with police and was subsequently handcuffed. YG was heard shouting expletives at police who he claimed were “riling up the crowd.”

Reckless driving is covered under California Vehicle Code 23103 VC and is described as driving on a highway or in an off-street parking facility with a wanton disregard for people and/or property. For the purposes of California Law, a “highway” is considered any street that is publicly maintained and open to the public for the purpose of vehicular travel. An “off-street parking facility” is any parking area open for use by the public for parking vehicles, including publicly owned facilities and privately owned facilities open to retail customers where no fee is charged for parking.

When a person is acting with “wanton disregard” for safety, they are aware that their actions present a substantial and unjustifiable risk of damage or harm, and the person intentionally ignores that risk. Basically, if you’re doing something you know could get someone else hurt, or their property damaged, and you do it anyway, you’re acting with “wanton disregard” for safety.

Typically, reckless driving is a misdemeanor in California, with the possible penalties including five to 90 days in county jail, and/or a fine of between $145 and $1000. However, under certain circumstances, the penalties can be significantly harsher, and the crime itself can be upgraded to a felony. For example, if, while driving recklessly, a third party receives a minor injury, the potential penalty is increased to 30 days to one year in jail and/or a fine of between $220 and $1000.

When someone other than the driver is injured as a result of reckless driving, the crime becomes a “wobbler” that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. When charged as a felony, the possible penalties include up to three years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If someone is killed as a result of reckless driving, it’s possible that the charge will be upgraded to vehicular manslaughter or even second-degree murder. If charged with vehicular manslaughter, the punishments include up to six years in California state prison. For second-degree murder, it’s 15 years to life.

Resisting Arrest – What is it?

| Police Blotter | June 21, 2019

Resisting arrest is covered under California Penal Code 148 PC and is described as resisting, delaying, or otherwise obstructing, a law enforcement officer or emergency medical technician while they are attempting to perform their duties. The duties can include arresting someone, but 148 PC actually covers a wide range of duties, including traveling to the scene of a crime or accident, interviewing people while attempting to investigate a crime, and/or monitoring a criminal suspect who is in custody.

A typical example of resisting arrest involves obstructing or delaying a police officer trying to arrest you. You could run, fight, squirm, etc. and, by doing so, would be in violation of 148 PC. However, thanks to the broad definition of the law, it’s possible to be charged with resisting arrest if you jeer at officers attempting to arrest someone else, obstruct an EMT vehicle en route to an injured person, or even by giving a false name to police officers attempting to investigate a crime.

It’s important to understand that the law includes the word delaying in its description. This means that trying to avoid arrest altogether isn’t necessarily required for charges of violating 148 PC. One can be charged with the crime even if they know they’re going to be arrested and choose to take some action that’s going to keep it from happening temporarily. These actions include running and hiding from police, but also interacting with someone under investigation after police asked you not to. For example, person A is sitting in the back of a squad care while their vehicle is being processed by police when person B, who knows person A, walks up and starts talking to him. Person B ignores the officers’ warning to stay away from Person A, who is currently in custody, but refuses to do so because they “aren’t breaking the law by talking.” In this case, person B is delaying the officers’ processing of the vehicle by interacting with person A, and is thus eligible for charges of resisting arrest even though they weren’t originally under investigation for anything.

Of course, there are a few rules governing the actions that would otherwise qualify for charges of resisting arrest. For one, it’s important that the act of obstructing happens willfully. If you’re standing in the way of an EMT trying to perform their duties and aren’t aware that you’re in the way, you probably won’t be charged with a crime because your obstruction wasn’t willful. That’s why police and medical personnel often ask for bystanders to back up or move out of the way. If you ever find yourself observing police or emergency medical technicians in the line of duty and they ask you to move, do it! If they ask and you refuse to comply, your actions could be considered willful and therefore put you on the wrong side of 148 PC.

As of 2015, photographing or recording an officer as they perform their duties was clarified by the California Legislature as to not count under 148 PC. You can record and take pictures, provided you doing so does not obstruct or delay officers in the performance of their duties. However, the photographing/recording must take place in a public place where the person doing it has the legal right to be.

Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor in California law, and the possible penalties include up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and/or probation.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | June 13, 2019

Two unemployed individuals were arrested for burglary, including a 47-year-old Porter Ranch resident and a 36-year-old Van Nuys resident.

A 32-year-old caregiver from Newhall was charged with rape by force/fear. And a 19-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident was booked for resisting an officer.

Three individuals were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc., including a 33-year-old unemployed Saugus resident, a 26-year-old sales representative from Northridge and 37-year-old firefighter from Saugus.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

24-year-old server from Agua Dulce
20-year-old care salesman from Canyon Country
28-year-old baker from Saugus
52-year-old film editor from Stevenson Ranch
26-year-old loan officer from Malibu
36-year-old cook from Canyon Country
25-year-old laborer from Canyon Country
25-year-old occupational therapist from Corona

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

31-year-old cashier from Canyon Country
46-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident
26-year-old salesman from Canyon Country
20-year-old unemployed Porter Ranch resident
40-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
25-year-old “stage setter” from Canyon Country
54-year-old contractor from Porterville
35-year-old tow truck driver from Palmdale
28-year-old mechanic from Canyon Country

Arraignments – What are They?

| Police Blotter | June 13, 2019

N. J. Garcia, 50, the leader of Mexico-based church La Luz del Mundo, has been arrested and charged with several heinous sex crimes, including forcible rape of a minor, committing lewd acts on a child, extortion, and others. According to the charges against him, it’s alleged that the crimes occurred between June 2015 and April 2018.

A spokesperson for the church has denied the allegations. Garcia’s attorney has been quoted as saying that the crimes Garcia is being charged with are not in his character, and that he is instead the target of a “high-tech hit job.”

Along with two other defendants, Garcia was arrested last week at LAX and was being held in lieu of $50 million dollars bail. The others, A. Ocampo and S. M. Oaxaca – both women – are also being charged with sex crimes including forcible rape of a minor, and are being held in lieu of $25 million bail and $5 million bail respectively. A fourth suspect, A. R. Melendez, is still at large and being sought by police. According to prosecutors, all four defendants are believed to have forced their victims into performing sexual acts because disobeying “the apostle” (Garcia) would anger god.

The defendants are set to be arraigned in Los Angeles Superior Court soon.

The Arraignment Process

The arraignment is usually the first part of the criminal procedure that occurs before a judge or magistrate in a court room. The purpose of the arraignment is to provide the accused with a read of the charge, or charges, that are being held against them. This right is guaranteed under the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to protect defendants from being held in custody for long periods of time without knowing what they’re being charged with or why they’re being held. Arraignments must occur within 72-hours of someone’s arrest, or else it’s possible that the defendant can argue that their right to a “fair and speedy trial” has been violated.

The rules surrounding an arraignment will depend on whether the defendant is being charged with state or federal-level crimes, as well as the specific laws of the state in which the arraignment is taking place. The rules often differ regarding felonies and misdemeanors, as some crimes may not require an arraignment. Generally though, if there’s a possibility that the defendant will be receiving a jail sentence if convicted, they’ll be given an arraignment.

Arraignments can have more than one step before they’re complete. First and foremost, the point is to get the defendant before a judge to explain the charges being brought against them. The defendant will also be notified of their right to representation, and, if no private counsel can be found, a public defender will be appointed to their case. When no representation has been obtained prior to the arraignment, and a public defender needs to be appointed, it will happen during this first step and the actual arraignment will be postponed to another day when counsel is available.

Once counsel is available and the charges have formally been read to the defendant, he or she will be allowed to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. In some cases, the right to an arraignment can be waved by the defendant and they can enter their formal plea without having the charges read. This usually happens as part of an exchange with the prosecuting attorney who will be able to speed up the court process.

At the arraignment, the issue of bail and whether it should be raised, lowered, or if it even needs to be set, will also be discussed. The court can also announce the dates and times of additional hearings, including pre-trial hearings and the actual trial date.

Since the charges Garcia et. al. face are serious, and their bail has been set in the range of many millions of dollars, it’s unlikely those amounts will change much – if at all.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | June 6, 2019

There were several individuals who were charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc, including a 26-year-old “tree trimmer” from Newhall, a 25-year-old student from Newhall and a 27-year old truck driver – also from Newhall.

Three people were arrested for battery, including a 23-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident, a 22-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident and a 27-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident.

An 18-year-old associate from Valencia was arrested for cruelty to a child likely to produce great bodily injury or death.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

47-year-old Los Angeles resident who listed “I Don’t Work” as his/her occupation
29-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
24-year-old window installer from Los Angeles
19-year-old Acton resident
19-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
26-year-old landscaper from Canyon Country
32-year-old painter from Newhall
22-year-old roofer from Alhambra
50-year-old manager from Castaic
41-year-old LAPD dispatcher from Canyon Country
28-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
23-year-old unemployed Castaic resident
33-year-old cook from Palmdale

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

29-year-old computer repairman from Joshua Tree
52-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
27-year-old unemployed Oceanside resident
30-year-old construction worker from Canyon Country
21-year-old unemployed Woodland Hills resident
29-year-old Telemarketer from Tarzana
39-year-old electrician from Lancaster
24-year-old construction worker from Saugus
25-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
21-year-old sales representative from Canyon Country

Illegal Gambling Spot Busted by LAPD

| Police Blotter | June 6, 2019

On Saturday, June 1, LAPD officers made a significant bust. At 4:30 p.m. Friday, officers served a search warrant at a building on the 200 block of North Vermont Ave., believing that the building was being used for illegal activity. Upon investigating the property, officers found a slew of gambling machines, narcotics and cash. When people in the building refused to leave, the LAPD called in a SWAT team, who used smoke grenades to get them out.

At least 35 people were detained the following Saturday morning after Friday’s raid.

California Penal Code 330 PC, California’s anti-gaming law, makes it illegal to engage in “banking” or “percentage” games. While other laws, including 337 PC (California’s anti-bookmaking law) and 332 PC (California’s gambling fraud law), target individuals who are taking part in gambling operations, under Penal Code 330 PC, it is also illegal to engage in the activity of gambling itself. Therefore, California Penal Code 330 PC is the one often used to charge players as opposed to operators.

California’s definition of “gaming” includes dealing, playing, carrying on, opening, or conducting, any “prohibited game,” whether being hired to do so or not. A “prohibited game” is any game that is either a “banking game,” a “percentage game,” or both. A “banking game” is any game that includes a “bank” or “house” that takes money from losers and pays money to winners. A “percentage game” is any game of chance in which a “house” takes a percentage of the total bets made or the winnings.

Games that fall under California’s prohibited games list include traditional gambling games, like twenty one and roulette, as well as lesser-known games of chance, including Faro, Monte, and Fan-tan. Interestingly, it’s up to a judge – and not a jury – to decide whether or not a game qualifies as a “banking” or “percentage” game. Also, 330 PC can apply to any game that isn’t known to be a traditional gambling game, as well as games that don’t typically include a “house” but are altered to do so.

There are a few notable exceptions to California Penal Code 330 PC. For the most part, bingo games conducted by charitable organizations for charitable purposes do not count under 330 PC. However, for a game to qualify as a charitable bingo game, it has to meet a certain set of specific criteria, including but not limited to: being held by a city or county that has passed an ordinance that allows for those types of games to be held, and the proceeds from the game are only used for charitable purposes.

Violations of California Penal Code 330 PC are considered misdemeanors in California, and the possible penalties include misdemeanor probation, up to six months in county jail, and/or a fine of at least $100 and no more than $1,000.

It’s unknown whether any of the over 35 people detained by police were charged with violations of 330 PC, or if the proprietors received any additional charges. However, due to the presence of narcotics, it’s highly likely that additional charges will be pressed.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | May 30, 2019

There were several arrests for battery against a former spouse, including a 33-year-old carpenter from Canyon Country, a 19-year-old student from Saugus, a 78-year-old retired Castaic resident and a 70-year-old retired Castaic resident.

A 29-year-old security officer from Newhall was arrested for rape of a victim who was incapable of consent.

Three individuals were charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc, including a 27-year-old landscaper from Canyon Country, a 38-year-old from Canyon Country who refused to provide an occupation, and a 32-year-old Canyon Country resident.

A 33-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident was arrested for DUI alcohol causing injury.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

32-year-old North Hills resident who refused to give his/her occupation
33-year-old graphic designer from Santa Clarita
41-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
27-year-old electrician from Valencia
25-year-old sales manager from Valencia
37-year-old health care provider from Lancaster
52-year-old unemployed Porter ranch resident
31-year-old construction worker from Yorba Linda
39-year-old construction worker from Simi Valley
35-year-old laborer from Palmdale
29-year-old mechanic from St. Joseph
26-year-old auto body care provider from Littleton
27-year-old construction worker from canyon Country

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

32-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
42-year-old administrator from Newhall
39-year-old paralegal from Valencia
49-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
41-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident
29-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
30-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident
26-year-old gardener from Newhall
50-year-old self-employed Buttonwillow resident
30-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident

The Carjacking and Kidnapping that Never Happened … or Did it?

| Police Blotter | May 30, 2019

On Thursday, May 23, LAPD officers responded to an alleged carjacking and kidnapping reported to have occurred near Wilshire and Orange Grove in Mid-City Los Angeles. Officers were able to locate the missing vehicle from the report, however, the owner’s 7-year-old son, who was said to have been kidnapped during the carjacking, was not immediately located. After several odd twists and turns in the story, police now believe that there was no carjacking or kidnapping.

The incident began when police arrived at the scene, where the father of the “missing” boy told them a man had punched him in the face, taken his vehicle and his child, and drove away. Things began to get strange when later police locate the said stolen vehicle on Elm Drive in Beverly Hills. Which happens to be where both the boy and his father live.
A local news reporter attempted to interview the father, but was sternly rebuffed. However, another man who said he is “friends” with the father was more willing to speak. According to the friend, there was really no kidnapping or carjacking at all. He went on to say that Angelo, who is the father of the “missing” boy, got into a minor altercation with Nicky. It was Nicky who punched Angelo in the face. The whole story about a kidnapping, according to the friend, was made up by Angelo to get back at Nicky whom he “couldn’t beat up because Nicky was bigger and stronger.”

Hours after the interview, the LAPD contacted Angelo and told him his son had been brought to the LAPD Wilshire Station by a man named Nicky Jace – who described himself as a longtime family friend. Mr. Jace was arrested by officers on suspicion of carjacking and kidnapping.

After questioning Jace, investigators believe they may finally have gotten to the bottom of what actually happened. According to them, the incident started when Angelo, Jace, and the boy were all in the vehicle together, and then Angelo decided to get out of the vehicle to get some food. Jace became angry because he had somewhere else to be. Therefore, Jace took the vehicle (with the boy still sitting in the back). Investigators at this point are uncertain as to whether or not there was actually a fight at all.

Regardless, the boy was unharmed and Angelo said he did not want to press charges against Nicky Jace, 25 who was still booked on carjacking and kidnapping charges. Which is likely why Angelo, the boy’s father and owner of the vehicle, is not being charged with making a false report of a crime. If he was, he’d be facing up to six months in county jail.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | May 23, 2019

This week, a 59-year-old unemployed Valencia resident was arrested for attempted murder. And a 49-year-old machinist was arrested for terrorizing/causing fear.

A 39-year-old “dunk tank clown” was arrested for hit and run causing property damage. A 25-year-old cashier was charged for giving false identification to a peace officer, and a 38-year-old unemployed Los Angeles resident was arrested for battery on a peace officer on duty.

A 26-year-old chef from Canyon Country was charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc. And a 22-year-old unemployed Canoga Park resident was arrested for kidnapping.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

28-year-old florist from Canyon Country
26-year-old rigger from Palmdale
53-year-old musician from Valencia
30-year-old stocker from Valencia
18-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
23-year-old self-employed Westminster resident
24-year-old salesman from Val Verde
33-year-old server from Palmdale
33-year-old Canyon Country resident
27-year-old construction worker from Canyon Country
37-year-old server from Santa Clarita

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

40-year-old computer technician from Canyon Country
43-year-old who refused to give his/her occupation or address
38-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
32-year-old maintenance worker from Castaic
28-year-old self-employed Canyon Country resident
48-year-old manufacturing plant worker from Sylmar
43-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
26-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
19-year-old landscaper from Val Verde
27-year-old Lemoore resident who refused to give his/her occupation
27-year-old self-employed Thousand Oaks resident
28-year-old stagehand from Saugus

Domestic Violence Call Leads to Hours-Long Standoff with LAPD

| Police Blotter | May 23, 2019

At around 7:00 a.m. on the morning of Sunday, May 20, LAPD officers responded to a call at a downtown Los Angeles high rise. Police were told a man was forced out of a room by a suspect with a gun during an overnight party at the residence. When the people in the room refused to leave after being told to do so, SWAT was called in and a female was taken into custody. What her connection was to the incident is unclear.

After a three to four hour standoff, during which nearby streets were blocked off, a man was taken into custody. He was later charged with domestic violence, though other charges are still pending.

Domestic violence is covered under several California laws, though the two most commonly charged are: 273.5 PC – corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant and 243(e)(1) PC, which covers domestic battery.

Under California Penal Code 273.5 PC, it is illegal to willfully inflict “corporal injury” on a spouse or cohabitant. “Corporal injury” refers to any injury, whether serious or minor. Some examples include:

Grabbing or squeezing a spouse’s arm hard enough to leave bruises
Pushing a spouse or significant other
Hitting and/or kicking a spouse or significant other

The crime is a “wobbler” under California law, which means that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history. If charged as a misdemeanor, the possible penalties include up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $6,000. Felony convictions are punishable by two, three, or four years in California state prison and/or a fine of up to $6,000. Additionally, when prosecuted as a felony, domestic violence is subject to other penalties, including the loss of gun-owning privileges, and the potential loss of a professional license.

California Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC, domestic battery, is described as the willful and unlawful touching that is harmful or offensive, and is committed against: the defendant’s current or former spouse, cohabitant, or fiancee, someone with whom the defendant had a past dating relationship with, or the defendant’s child. As with other forms of battery, it’s possible to be convicted of domestic battery even if the victim doesn’t suffer any injury at all. The requirement to be charged is simply to use force or violence against one of the people listed above.

Unlike 273.5 PC, domestic battery is not a “wobbler” – it’s a misdemeanor. The possible penalties include up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. Also, when convicted, the defendant is required to attend 52 weekly domestic violence classes.

Luckily nobody was hurt during the standoff. Unfortunately for the suspect, the standoff is likely to result in additional charges besides domestic violence.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | May 16, 2019

Two individuals had charges relating to peace officers, including a 26-year-old Valencia resident who was arrested for giving false identification to a peace officer and a 22-year-old mechanic from Newhall who was booked for evading a peace officer.

A 35-year-old who refused to provide an occupation was arrested for cruelty to a child likely to produce great bodily injury or death. A 47-year-old unemployed Santa Clarita resident was arrested for unlawful mail theft. And a 35-year-old unemployed Sunland resident was arrested for refusing to leave private property.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

64-year-old unemployed Los Angeles resident
35-year-old “teamster” from Saugus
30-year-old wood treater from Bakersfield
22-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
46-year-old administrator from Murrieta
42-year-old sales rep from Valencia
35-year-old crew worker from Saugus
28-year-old manager from Castaic
26-year-old Palmdale resident who listed his/her occupation as “emergency room”
35-year-old meat cutter from Lancaster
27-year-old loader and merchandiser from Palmdale
47-year-old server from Valencia
20-year-old maintenance worker from Panorama City

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

52-year-old teacher from New Zealand
38-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
28-year-old unemployed Westlake Village resident
31-year-old assistant from Canyon Country
46-year-old unemployed Gorman resident
42-year-old unemployed Neenach resident
44-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident

The Dangers of Dating Apps

| Police Blotter | May 16, 2019

A 40-year-old named A. Clark was recently arrested on suspicion of two sexual assaults that occurred on April 13 and 14. It’s believed that Clark used dating apps to meet women whom he lied to about having entertainment industry connections. He allegedly told the women he was a photographer in order to lure them into his home.

This isn’t the first time Clark has run afoul with the law. As a matter of fact, he’s already a convicted sex offender, though the victims in his previous crimes were minors. In 2003, Clark was found guilty of sexually assaulting two minors and was required to register as a sex offender. In 2014, 11 years later, Clark was again convicted of a sex crime – this time child molestation – and returned to prison. He was released on parole in March of 2017.

Currently, Clark is being held in lieu of $1.2 million bail, according to the LAPD.

There are Risks Associated with Online Dating

Dating apps can be a fantastic way to meet people you otherwise may never come into contact with in your day-to-day life. However, these sites are meant for adults, and minors should never use them. While most sites have age limits associated with their use, there’s no real way to enforce it, and minors can (and do) get on them from time-to-time, therefore, parents need to be mindful of that fact as more dating sites are popping up all of the time.

If you’re of age and have had an interest in using dating apps or websites in order to meet new people, here are a few important precautions you should take to help ensure your safety.

Plan Ahead and Maintain Control

No matter for how long you’ve chatted or spoken over the phone with someone, treat your first meet-up like a blind date. Pick a public, well-trafficked location, such as a restaurant or coffee shop, and meet there. Never go someplace private, secluded, or into their home, no matter how much they may ask you to. You don’t owe anyone anything; if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t go.

Avoid Giving Out Personal Information

This one is especially pertinent when you first begin speaking with a prospective date over the internet. Avoid giving them information they can use to track you down in the real world. If you talk about your job, don’t let them know where or when you work. Also, giving out your phone number is a huge no-no. Instead, use a Google Voice phone number. You can easily download the app no matter which brand of phone you use, and when they call that number, it will ring on your end as though they’d called your actual number. It is way easier to block someone who is creeping you out using a Google phone number than it is trying to do it with your actual number.

Never Give People Money

This one might seem obvious, but there’s a reason this warning was added to the list. Just like email phishing scams, Nigerian Princes love trolling dating sites looking for lovelorn souls to exploit. If someone you’re speaking to tries to get you to send them money, no matter how trivial the amount, it’s almost certainly a scammer. If it isn’t, well, is that really someone with whom you want to go on a date?

Give the Details to a Friend

Before you meet anyone for the first time, make sure one or more people know where you’ll be going, who you’ll be meeting, and what time you expect to be back. It can be tempting to change your plans and extend your evening if you find that you and your date are firing on all cylinders the first time you meet – but don’t. Last minute changes of venue, even if it seems like the reason is valid, can be a red flag. As mentioned in the first tip, make your plans and stick to them.

The realm of online dating can be fun and exciting, but the fact is, some people use online sites in negative ways. Don’t ever shy away from protecting yourself and your personal information first. Good people will understand if you ask a lot of questions to vet them out. And for those who don’t… Well, these sites have a blocking feature for good reason.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | May 10, 2019

Two individuals were charged with corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant/etc, including a 41-year-old tow truck driver from Canyon Country and a 30-year-old clerk from Porter Ranch.

A 35-year-old plumber from Frazier Park was arrested for burglary and a 29-year-old Newhall resident was arrested for appropriating lost property.

Charges of theft of personal property went to an unemployed Castaic resident. And a 22-year-old painter from Palmdale was arrested for destroying property.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

44-year-old Canyon Lake resident
35-year-old assembly line worker from Lancaster
28-year-old student from Castaic
40-year-old inspector from Sylmar
41-year-old unemployed Sylmar resident
29-year-old Canyon Country resident
24-year-old cashier from Canyon Country
36-year-old construction worker from Lancaster
30-year-old who works at Woodward
26-year-old Calabasas resident who listed his/her occupation as “Margot”
42-year-old electrician from Valencia
45-year-old tile worker from Valencia
21-year-old property manager from Stevenson Ranch

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

22-year-old laborer from Canyon Country
36-year-old restoration specialist from Santa Clarita
31-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
22-year-old construction worker from Frazier Park
32-year-old engineer from Palmdale
32-year-old forklift operator from Canyon Country
55-year-old unemployed Palmdale resident
22-year-old unemployed Saugus resident

Jake Paul in the News Again After Birthday Bash Goes Awry

| Police Blotter | May 8, 2019

Infamous YouTuber Jake Paul has made the news once again after throwing a party where multiple people may have been drugged. According to reports, a phone call was made on Sunday, May 5, to the Malibu Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station alerting authorities to a possible occurrence of unwilling impairment related to Paul’s party on Saturday evening. Authorities have stated that detectives are only in the beginning stages of their investigation, and are as yet unable to speak on what may or may not have happened.

However, media sources claim that the alleged victim had attended a birthday party for a clothing designer held by Paul and located at his residence, where she unknowingly ingested some substance that caused significant impairment.

The young woman who filed the police report may not have been the only one who unwillingly ingested a toxic substance at the party. Multiple calls were made to paramedics throughout the night, two of which resulted in transporting partiers to the hospital, while one was to treat a person who fell and hurt themselves. Medical personnel were stationed at the party as part of the initial planning, though the 911 calls made during the celebration received responses from county firefighters.

As mentioned above, the investigation into the alleged incidents is only in its initial stages, and law enforcement have not yet mentioned any clear evidence of wrongdoing. However, spiking someone’s drink is illegal in California, and if the investigation turns anything up, it could result in criminal charges.

California Penal Code 347 PC makes it illegal to “poison” any food, drink, water, or medicine in California. The term “poison” as described by PC 347 does not limit the definition only to actual poisons. Instead, it describes the act of “poisoning” as “mixing any poison or harmful substance with any food, drink, medicine, or public water supply.” Under this definition, narcotics and other substances can be included as “poisons,” and spiking someone’s drink may therefore lead to charges.

Poisoning someone under PC 347 is a felony, and the possible penalties include 2 to 5 years in California state prison. However, if the poisoning results in great bodily injury or death, the defendant will likely receive an additional three years in prison. It should be noted that these penalties apply ONLY if a person is charged with violating California Penal Code 347 PC. Should information come to light over the course of a police investigation that the would-be poisoner intended for their victim(s) to suffer great bodily injury, the defendant may also face assault charges. If they intended for their victim to die, it’s likely they would face murder or manslaughter charges instead.

Local Crime

| Police Blotter | May 5, 2019

Four individuals from Patterson were arrested for burglary from a vehicle, including an unemployed 21-year-old, an unemployed 20-year-old, an unemployed 19-year-old and a 21-year-old material handler.

Both a 41-year-old real estate agent from Castaic and a 26-year-old hair stylist from Canyon Country were arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant. And a 25-year-old student from Canyon Country was arrested for battery.

A 20-year-old Van Nuys resident was arrested for obstructing/resisting an executive officer.

An unemployed 21-year-old Lancaster resident was booked for theft of personal property.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

26-year-old contractor from Canyon Country
28-year-old body shop worker from Chatsworth
26-year-old stage hand from Thousand Oaks
34-year-old painter from North Hills
55-year-old self-employed Saugus resident
20-year-old construction worker from Temecula
27-year-old barista from Saugus
25-year-old plumber from Santa Clarita
26-year-old DJ from Lancaster
27-year-old staffing agent from Palmdale
26-year-old electrician from Saugus

Charges of possession of a controlled substance went to:

40-year-old laborer from Van Nuys
39-year-old unemployed Chatsworth resident
41-year-old Los Angeles resident
37-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
25-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
25-year-old unemployed Chatsworth resident
24-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
30-year-old self-employed Newhall resident
27-year-old unemployed Saugus resident
28-year-old from Saugus who listed his/her occupation as “homeless”
32-year-old assembler from Lynwood

Sale of Narcotics Still Illegal in California – Health and Safety Code 11351 HS

| Police Blotter | May 2, 2019

Not long ago, LASD deputies arrested a man they found in possession of several baggies of cocaine and a “large amount” of U.S. currency. The deputies were in the area as part of a program that deploys deputies to patrol specific areas where there have been concerns about large amounts of illegal drug activity. While patrolling, the deputies made contact with the suspect, T. Dixon, and found the illegal narcotics during a search. He was then arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotics for sale and transported to the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station to undergo booking and processing.

California Health and Safety Code 11351 HS makes it a felony-level offense to possess certain controlled substances with the intention of selling them. Some of the substances are run-of-the-mill narcotics, such as cocaine and heroine, while others are prescription pain medications including Oxycodone, Vicodin, and codeine.

Of course, simply possessing one or more of these substances does not in and of itself mean that the person was intending to sell them. For a charge of violating 11351 HS, a prosecutor must be able to prove that the person had the controlled substances in their possession with the specific intent of selling them. To do so, the prosecutor looks to certain indicating criteria, including:

The possession of large amounts of one or more controlled substances
Packaging the substance in separate baggies, bundles, or other ways
Large amounts of cash (particularly in small denominations of $20 or less)
Possession of a scale
Frequent visitors to your home or location who only remain there for a few minutes

When you take the presence of one of the criteria listed, it isn’t too terribly hard to explain it away in court. Proving intent isn’t always a simple thing to do, but when several of the listed criteria are present in a given situation, it becomes much simpler.

As a felony, 11351 HS is punishable by probation AND up to 1 year in county jail, or 2 to 4 years in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $20,000. If, during the course of the trial, the prosecutor is able to prove that the defendant intended for multiple sales, it’s possible that the defendant faces the penalties above for each intended sale, as opposed to the overall crime.

If a person is convicted of violating 11351 HS and the substance they were selling is heroine, cocaine, or cocaine base, the individual faces an additional 3 to 25 years in jail, and additional fines that could reach as high as $8 million – depending on the amount of the controlled substance they were convicted of selling.

Bad Boys and Girls

| Police Blotter | April 25, 2019

A 46-year-old driver from Canyon Country was arrested for willful cruelty to a child/child endangerment. And a 35-year-old underwriter from Canyon Country was arrested for cruelty to a child likely to cause great bodily injury (GBI) or death.

An unemployed 23-year-old from Newhall was issued a bench warrant.
A 28-year-old unemployed Newhall resident was charged with battery, and a 28-year-old transient was arrested for attempting/aiding in an attempt to burn a structure.

A 33-year-old oil worker from San Francisco was arrested for damaging property. And a 19-year-old musician from Newhall was charged with theft of personal property.

A 46-year-old Canyon Country resident who refused to give his/her occupation was arrested for corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant.

DUIs with prior arrests include:

55-year-old quality engineer from Saugus
26-year-old cosmetics manager from Acton
28-year-old sales manager from Bakersfield
26-year-old student from Rancho Cucamonga
48-year-old self-employed Lancaster resident
33-year-old carpet cleaner from Newhall
27-year-old EMT from Santa Clarita

Charges of a controlled substance went to:

19-year-old retail worker from Castaic
31-year-old unemployed Canyon Country resident
29-year-old mechanic from Canyon County
24-year-old construction worker from Auburn, Wash.
22-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
35-year-old unemployed San Francisco resident
30-year-old unemployed Lancaster resident
35-year-old unemployed Newhall resident
30-year-old unemployed Valencia resident
38-year-old waitress from Castaic

Alcohol is not Required to be Charged with a DUI

| Police Blotter | April 25, 2019

Recently, a statement from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department was released warning Santa Clarita residents not to drive under the influence of marijuana, and that it would be treated the same as any other DUI if caught. Anyone found to be driving erratically after having ingested marijuana, or prescription medications, including barbiturates, opiates, and even anti-depressants or over-the-counter cold medicine can be considered “driving under the influence” and will be held to the same standards as a drunk driver.

How Does Marijuana Impair Your Ability to Drive?

While the effects of marijuana may feel different than the effects of alcohol, there are some key similarities in the ways they affect your ability to drive. A large enough dose of THC, the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, has been shown to affect your psycho-motor performance, and therefore your ability to drive. It can also affect your attention span, concentration, and slow your reflexes.

What Happens When You’re Caught Driving Under the Influence?

In California, DUI penalties will vary pretty dramatically, depending on a couple different things: how many DUI’s you have on your record, and whether or not anyone was injured or killed as a result of your driving under the influence.

Generally, a first-offense in which nobody was injured will result in a misdemeanor charges. However, if a person has four or more previous DUI charges, or if someone was injured or killed as a result of a first DUI, the charge could be upgraded to a felony.

DUI Punishments

As previously mentioned, a first-offense DUI charge for an incident in which nobody was injured will be charged as a misdemeanor. The possible penalties include up to six months in county jail, a fine of $390 to $1000, three or nine months of DUI school, and a possible six-month period in which the defendant must have an ignition interlock device attached to their vehicle.

A second DUI in which nobody was injured will net you 96 hours to one year in county jail, the same amount of fines as a first offense, up to one year mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, and anywhere from 18 to 30 months worth of DUI school.

A third offense is punished by 120 days to one year in county jail, two years of using an ingnition interlock device on their car OR three years of a suspended license, and 30 months of DUI school.

If a DUI is charged as a felony, the potential penalties include 16 months to three years in California state prison, the same fines, up to five years license suspension, and 18 or 30 months of DUI school.

It should be kept in mind that the initial fine of $390 to $1,000 can be a bit misleading. While the fine itself will fall within that range, there are many additional court fees, DUI school costs, and other charges that cause DUI penalties (even those imposed for first-time offenders) to cost significantly more. It isn’t unheard of for a DUI to cost a defendant upwards of $10,000 to $14,000 dollars.

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