Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Speed was a deadly factor in a fatal Echo Park accident

The car involved in Sunday's fatal accident in Echo Park was traveling nearly 70 miles an hour on Sunset Boulevard when the driver lost control of the vehicle, an investigator said today. The driver, Stephanie Silvestre, 21, of Los Angeles, was killed and a passenger was left in critical condition following the accident near Sunset Boulevard and Mohawk Street. "Speed was the main issue," said Felix Padilla, an detective with the LAPD's Central Traffic Bureau.

A preliminary analysis of skid marks and calculations showed that Silvestre's vehicle, a Honda Accord sedan, was traveling at least 68 miles an hour as it barreled eastbound on a curving section of Sunset Boulevard, Padilla said. Padilla noted that the winding section of Sunset Boulevard west of Alvarado was the scene of a deadly accident last year. "She was just not able to make that curve," he said of Silvestre.

The car clipped a fire hydrant in front of a fire station and knocked down a light pole before it slammed against the Lucy's laundry building at the southeast corner of Sunset Boulevard and Mohawk Street. Some of the comments to a previous story on the accident took issue with what looks like a shot glass placed amid the flowers and candles in a memorial created for Silvestre.

Padilla said he was awaiting toxicology reports to determine if alcohol was involved.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Woman killed in Echo Park car crash *

A woman was killed and another critically injured early this morning after their car crashed into a building on Sunset Boulevard one block west of Alvarado Street, reports CBS 2. The car smashed into the building containing a Subway sandwich shop and Lucy's laundry at about 2 am. The location, where Sunset Boulevard bends to the south, has been the scene of numerous accidents over the years.

A memorial of flowers, candles and balloons was taking shape Sunday afternoon a few feet away from the metal lamp post that was knocked down by the car and other accident debris.

* Update: The victim has been identified as Stephanie Silvestre, 21, of Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Eastside Crime Watch

One man was murdered in Boyle Heights while a rape was reported in Lincoln Heights last week. There was also a surge in stolen vehicles - at least 20 - across Lincoln Heights and Montecito Heights. Here is a break down of some of the crimes committed during Nov. 9-Nov. 15 as found on the LAPD crime map and EveryBlock.com:

Echo Park & Silver Lake (90026)
A pair of aggravated assaults on Bixel Street south of Temple on Nov. 14; assaults on Sunset Blvd. near Micheltorena Street in Silver Lake and an assault on Boylston Street near Dodger Stadium. Burglaries reported in the 1300 blocks of Lemoyne Street and Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park.

Lincoln Heights & Montecito Heights (90031)
A rape was reported on Nov. 12 on Workman Street near Manitou Avenue in Lincoln Heights; More than 20 vehicles were stolen across Lincoln Heights and Montecito Heights

El Sereno & Monterey Hills (90032)
Three stolen vehicles and two aggravated assaults were among the crimes reported.

Boyle Heights (90033)
A man was murdered Nov. 12 in the 2600 block of Michigan Avenue; There were five violent robberies across the neighborhood and reports of 10 stolen vehicles, with two reported near the south end of Hollenbeck Park

Atwater Village & Silver Lake (90039)

Three vehicle break-ins - two of them on or near Panorama Terrace - were reported in the northwest corner of Silver Lake; a burglary and vehicle break-in were reported in the northern part of Elysian Valley.

Eagle Rock (90041)
Violent robbery in the 2000 block of Fair Park Avenue and a burglary in the 4900 block of Genevieve Avenue were among the crimes reported.

Highland Park (90042)
Two stolen vehicles and a burglary were reported or or near Figueroa between Avenue 51 and York Blvd; a violent robbery and a personal theft reported on York Blvd.

Cypress Park, Glassell Park & Mt. Washington (90065)
Two aggravated assaults on Idell Street in Cypress Park and one in Mt. Washington on Glen Muir near Avenue 44 were reported; Mt. Washington also had a burglary on Museum Drive and a stolen vehicle on Karelia Street.

This weekly report is based on the LAPD's online crime maps and police department reports filtered by ZIP code through EveryBlock.com. There are sometimes discrepancies between the LAPD and EveryBlock statistics at the time when Eastside Crime Watch is compiled. Additional crimes might be added to the reports following the publication of this post.

Photo by lobraumeister/Flickr

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Highland Park residents awake to a street of broken glass

A Highland Park resident reports that the windows of several cars along Baltimore Street between Toland Way and Avenue 50 were smashed over night:

"My husband talked to one man who was cleaning off broken glass. He said that nothing was stolen. A couple of our neighbor's cars got hit."

The Eastsider is checking with LAPD to see if any more information is available

Friday, November 6, 2009

20 injured in Silver Lake bus accident *

An accident tonight involving an MTA bus on Glendale Boulevard at the 2 Freeway left about 20 people injured, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Most of the injuries were minor but LAFD spokeswoman Diana Igawa said that two people are in critical condition. The accident. which was reported at about 6:30 PM on the border of Silver Lake and Echo Park, involved a bus and two vehicles, Igawa said.

Glendale Boulevard is closed down in the area, reports the LAPD Central Traffic Bureau. Resident reports on Twitter say that traffic is jammed on Glendale Boulevard and surrounding streets.

"The bus seemed to have been on fire for a time, the whole front crushed and burnt ... victims sitting on the median and the side of the road," said one person who left a comment on this post. "Pretty wild."

* Update @ 10:06 PM: Southbound Glendale Boulevard at the 2 Freeway was still closed shortly before 10 PM as crews prepared to tow away the bus. Initial reports located the accident north of the freeway but the collision apparently took place south of the 2 Freeway. LA Now reports the MTA 92 bus was headed northbound when the accident occurred.

Related story:
MTA bus crash injured 19 people. Associated Press

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Eastside Crime Watch

A double murder in Highland Park and numerous violent robberies in Boyle Heights were among the major crimes reported last week. Here is a break down of some of the crimes committed during Oct. 26-Nov. 1 as found on the LAPD crime map and EveryBlock.com:

Echo Park & Silver Lake (90026)
Aggravated assault in the 1600 block of Micheltorena in Silver Lake; violent robbery in the 2500 block of Sunset Boulevard; about half-dozen stolen vehicles in both neighborhoods.

Lincoln Heights & Montecito Heights (90031)
Violent robbery, vehicle-break-in and grand theft auto in Montecito Heights; two violent robberies and two aggravated assaults in Lincoln Heights.

El Sereno & Monterey Hills (90032)
Three violent robberies - two of them on or near Novgorod.

Boyle Heights (90033)
Six violent robberies and six personal thefts; three aggravated assaults in the western edge of the neighborhood.

Atwater Village & Silver Lake (90039)

Two burglaries in Atwater south of Glendale Boulevard.

Eagle Rock (90041)
Violent robbery and burglary along Eagle Rock Boulevard.

Highland Park (90042)
Double murder in the 100 block of East Avenue 45; rape in the 6000 block of Springvale Drive; three violent robberies on or near York Boulevard between avenues 51 and 57; seven stolen vehicles.

Cypress Park, Glassell Park & Mt. Washington (90065)
Aggravated assault in Glassell Park on Drew Street; two thefts from vehicles and a burglar in Mt. Washington; two stolen vehicles in Cypress Park.

This weekly report is based on the LAPD's online crime maps and police department reports filtered by ZIP code through EveryBlock.com. There are sometimes discrepancies between the LAPD and EveryBlock statistics at the time when Eastside Crime Watch is compiled. Additional crimes might be added to the reports following the publication of this post.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Police capture suspect in Highland Park stabbing and Glassell Park shooting

The LAPD has made arrests in connection with two separate incidents involving a deadly knife-fight in Highland Park and a shooting in Glassell Park in which a car carrying several children was hit by gunfire.

Officers arrested a man today suspected of being involved in a weekend knife fight that left two Highland Park men dead in the 100 block of East Avenue 45, said Northeast Division Capt. Bill Murphy in an email newsletter. Murphy also said that the victim of a separate Highland Park stabbing "is still in extremely critical condition and may not survive." The victim was knifed by a man at a taco stand in a dispute believed to be over a woman, Murphy said.

Police on Friday arrested a man suspected of firing a bullet into a car carrying several children on Drew Street in Glassell Park, Murphy said in his email.

"A mother who was driving a vehicle with several children in it felt something hit her car. She examined the car and observed a bullet hit. She called the police and several officers responded quickly. They sealed the area off and using good police techniques, identified the suspect involved in the incident and arrested him. Four other suspects were arrested for other crimes (probation violations, etc..)."

Your next text message might come from the LAPD

A Wednesday night march in Silver Lake in support of gay marriage will find the LAPD sending out text messages as well as officers to keep things under control. The department will be texting mobile phone users with information about road closures and the location of Bury Prop 8 marchers as part of a test of a secure instant message system operated by a start up company called Nixle.

Northeast Division Capt. Bill Murphy said the test on Wednesday night will be the first for his division, which includes Silver Lake. "It gives us the opportunity to give out brief updates on the march, direction of travel, is it peaceful, anticipated arrivals, simple basic info the public might want to know," said Murphy. "It could be used for upcoming major events - parades, or say significant incidents - a fire at Griffith Park. Hopefully, it works well and we use it regularly."

Murphy, who announced the test in an email newsletter today, said anyone with a mobile phone can sign up for tomorrow's updates:

"If you are interested in getting these updates, please do the following: type 25827 where you would normally type in a telephone number. Then in the text field, type buryprop8 (with no spaces). If you have done this successfully you will receive the following: You are now subscribed to receive messages from Incident Command Prop 8 Protest 11-4. To unsubscribe text: buryprop 8 off to 25827"

A member of LAPD's media relations will be sending out the updates, Murphy said.

Now, the only question is whether you can get pulled over for reading LAPD phone texts while driving.

Mayor names former Rampart Division leader to head LAPD

Deputy Chief Charlie Beck was this morning nominated by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to replace William Bratton as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. Beck, a 33-year-department veteran, served as captain of the Rampart Division, which covers portions of Echo Park and Silver Lake, in 2003-2005, according to a press release. He was credited with helping carry out reforms at the division in the wake of the Rampart scandal, according to the LA Times.

If the City Council approves Beck's nomination, he is expected to preside at a graduation ceremony at the Los Angeles Police Academy in Elysian Park for a new class of officers, which will include his son, Martin.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Highland Park knife fight victims identified

The LA Weekly said the victims of a weekend knife fight have been identified as Highland Park neighbors Javier Mejia, 43, and Salvador Ayala, 26. One of the men stabbed the other and left the scene in the 100 block of East Avenue 45 at about 3 AM Saturday. A friend of the first victim then apparently avenged his death by finding the man who fled and fatally stabbed him, police said. It's not clear which man was killed first, Detective P.J. Morris told The Eastsider.

Police are still seeking the man responsible for the second fatal stabbing. The men involved in the stabbings were believed to have been drinking heavily when the fatal fight broke out, police said.

"Too much alcohol involved," said Northeast Division Capt. Bill Murphy in an email.

Anyone with information on the killing should call LAPD at (213) 847-4261.