LOS ANGELES, CA- In October, the Los Angeles police were asking for the community’s help in identifying and apprehending a woman who had attempted to kidnap children on more than one occasion. Last week, the woman attempted to kidnap children again, except this time she was thankfully caught.
Police reported on Tuesday, December 22nd, that after allegedly trying to abduct two other children in South Los Angeles, 30-year-old Claudia Guerrero was arrested.
On Friday, December 18th, police officers responded to a call regarding a kidnapping attempt of an 8-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy in the 7900 block of Broadway, in the Florence neighborhood, according to a Los Angeles Police Department news release.
The news release stated that when police arrived, they found that the suspect had been detained by two citizens, who recognized the woman from surveillance video previously released by LAPD in connection to abduction attempts two months earlier.
The two citizens were able to successfully hold her until police arrived.
Guerrero has been charged with four counts of attempted kidnapping by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, according to LAPD.
As stated earlier, this is not the first time Guerrero has done this, as she allegedly tried to abduct two young boys separately in the Florence area on the evening of October 18th.
The first one took place in the parking lot of a restaurant in the 100 block of West Manchester Avenue around 6 p.m.
In that incident, which was caught on surveillance video, a woman, who appears to be Guerrero, walked up to another woman and tried to grab her 1-year-old brother, claiming he was her son, according to LAPD.
The woman screamed for help, which got the attention of a nearby security guard who was able to intervene. As the victim walked away, the woman is seen reaching out and trying to grab the child again, before the security guard chases her off.
KTLA reported that Guerrero left the scene and then went to a gated apartment in the 8000 block of South Main Street, where she’s suspected of grabbing a 5-year-old boy as he played with other children, police said.
According to investigators, the woman, who is believed to be Guerrero, tried to leave with the child, but his relatives saw what happened and were able to stop her.
Andrea Garcia, the little boy’s older sister said:
“My mom is screaming at her ‘Why would you do that? Why would you take away my son?’”
“The lady saw my brother and signaled with her hands (to) come over and my brother is very social and went and she picked up my brother.”
Norma Carrillo, the family’s neighbor, saw the incident and alerted the child’s family, CBS Los Angeles reported.
“I’m scared because I have a lot of kids, I have six kids.”
Detectives said they do not believe either child was targeted specifically.
Following those two initial incidents, the Los Angeles Police Department released the surveillance video in an attempt to gain help from the public. They described Guerrero as a Hispanic woman between 20 and 3 years old, about 5-foot-6, and 135 pounds with short, cropped brown hair. This tactic evidently worked, as the two citizens who were able to detain Guerrero did so because they recognized her for the news footage.
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Los Angeles might lay off 600 LAPD employees as crime skyrockets and new DA drops cash bail
December 10, 2020
LOS ANGELES, CA- On Tuesday, December 8th, city council voted to move forward with a set of “recommendations” to attempt to save Los Angeles from their potential $675 million budget shortfall this year and it appears that layoffs of city employees, including police officers, are still on the table.
— David Zahniser 🦅 (@DavidZahniser) December 3, 2020
According to the police chief, the city council’s plan to slash over 600 positions from the city’s police force would devastate department operations. Not to mention, the defunded Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is already struggling from a hiring freeze and a $150 million budget cut.
City council has advised City Administrative Officer Richard Llewellyn and his staff to look at various ways, including layoffs, to keep the city financially stable. This includes using most of what remains in its reserves, about $250 million, and borrowing $150 million.
The council’s Budget and Finance Committee recently met and voted to have the list considered as well as the prospect of laying off about 1,900 city employees, most from the LAPD. Reportedly, the layoffs were part of a proposal from Llewellyn’s second fiscal status report for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
The City Council voted Tuesday to move forward with a set of recommendations to try to pull Los Angeles out of a potential $675 million budget shortfall this year, and layoffs of city employees are still on the table. https://t.co/UPFRVC0tA4
— Oscar Flores (@oflores) December 9, 2020
The committee voted to reduce the recommended LAPD layoffs by about two-thirds, with a proposal to cut 335 sworn officers and 273 civilian employees. These numbers have yet to be approved.
Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission that a hiring freeze has already hampered his department and laying off officers would be devastating. He said in a statement:
“This is not saber-rattling, looking at staffing levels (of what) a hiring freeze alone would do. All operations will be shuttered in the Harbor Jail, in the Pacific Jail in the Hollywood yard.
“These are jails that are local that allow officers to book, process, and release individuals locally, rather than at our three regional jails.”
Accordingly, the LAPD forensics unit would also suffer a massive blow if the proposed layoffs are approved. Moore said:
“Cutbacks with 273 fewer civilians on his staff would reduce the number of forensics employees and other non-sworn officer duties.”
The Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement Sunday night in response to the impending layoffs of sworn and civilian personnel because of the city’s financial crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.https://t.co/2Mr7oazM6T
— The Patriot (@PatriotAM1150) December 8, 2020
As word circulated about the potential layoffs, Craig Lally, the president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League the union that represents LAPD officers, said:
“It’s appalling that city officials and politicians are more interested in fattening their political slush funds by defunding the police department through laying off nearly 1,000 officers.”
“The LAPD has been cut by $150 million to spare civilians layoffs and create huge reserves and this latest proposal will further victimize black and hispanic residents who make up 70% of L.A.’s violent crime victims. It’s disgusting.”
— Municipal Bonds (@munibonds) December 7, 2020
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he hopes to avoid employee layoffs altogether, but said the city is prepared to do so as a last resort. He said in a statement:
“I hope that layoffs are at the very bottom of the list and our city administrative officer has asked us, all of our departments to say how we will close the worst-case scenario if there is no help.”
“The reason why I want layoffs to be the very last thing is it hits our most vulnerable employees and key services”
If city council moves forward with the layoffs, officers, and other city workers would likely start losing their jobs in March or April 2021.
LAPD Faces ‘Devastating’ Layoffs As Pandemic Ravages City Budget — The Los Angeles Administrative Officer is recommending 1,900 city layoffs — mostly from the police department. | Patch https://t.co/90H7Qcib9X
— R Hashimoto (@1RHashimoto) December 5, 2020
As a result of the first $150 million budget cut, LAPD was already forced to dramatically cut back on the amount of services it provides to the community.
As a result from this defunding, LAPD was forced to downsize many of its specialized units, including homicide, gang, air support, and narcotics.
During this time, homicides have soared to the highest levels in a decade.
The proposed cuts to law enforcement comes just as Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón put an immediate end to cash bail for misdemeanors that will allow thousands of inmates awaiting trial to be released.
Reportedly, he also said that he plans to do away with cash bail for felonies at the start of the New Year, except in the cases of the “most violent offenses.”
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Author: K. Winters