Fernando Macias Morales Arrested For Sexual Assault By SMPD

April 11, 2024 ·

Fernando Macias Morales. Photo courtesy of Santa Monica Police Department.

SANTA MONICA/WEST HOLLYWOOD—Lt. Erika Aklufi of the Santa Monica Police Department informed Canyon News via email on Wednesday, April 10 that a suspect responsible for a 2023 sexual assault has been arrested.

On September 7, 2023, authorities responded to the 2900 block of Pennsylvania Ave regarding a sexual assault. A woman reported that a Lyft driver picked her up from a restaurant in West Hollywood and sexually assaulted her during the ride home.

The victim, a Santa Monica resident, fell asleep in the car and woke up to inappropriate touching. The suspect offered to walk her to her door, which she refused. Once home, she realized several hours passed since she was picked up.

Santa Monica detectives investigated and identified the driver as Fernando Macias Morales, 34, of Los Angeles. He was arrested him on April 5, 2024, in the San Fernando Valley.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Morales with felony counts of:

  • Kidnapping to commit a sexual act (California Penal Code 209(b)(1))
  • Sexual penetration of a person intoxicated or under sedation (California Penal Code 289(e))
  • Oral copulation of a person intoxicated person or under sedation (California Penal Code 287(i))

His bail is set at $500,000. Anyone with additional details is asked to contact Det. Stephanie Davis at 310-458-2201 x4400, Sgt. Chad Goodwin at 310-458-8931, or the Watch Commander desk 24 hours a day at 310-458-8427.

By Trevor

La Cienega Community Center Temporarily Closed

April 11, 2024 ·

Photo courtesy of the city of Beverly Hills Facebook page.

BEVERLY HILLS—The city of Beverly Hills announced on Wednesday, April 10 that the La Cienega Community Center will be temporarily closed from April 3 thru April 30.

Due to recent heavy rains and resulting water intrusion at La Cienega Park Community Center, the facility is temporarily closed through April 30.

Following the storms, staff detected odors throughout the building. To be cautious, the city of Beverly Hills is in the process of air testing to ensure satisfactory air quality. Staff is continuing to assess the level of water intrusion and any potential damage to the building.

While repairs are being performed, the La Cienega preschool program has been relocated and combined with the Coldwater Canyon preschool class. Other community programs have been moved to other facilities, as a result. The safety of our preschool students, visitors and staff is always our top priority.

“We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate the community’s patience and look forward to reopening the Center soon,” the city of Beverly Hills said in the Facebook post.

By Trevor

“Safe On PCH” Weeklong Safe Driving Event

April 11, 2024 ·

Pacific Coast Highway. Photo courtesy of Josh Duke via Unsplash.

MALIBU—The city of Malibu posted on its website that Lindsey P. Horvath, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, is partnering with California Highway Patrol (CHP), the City of Malibu, Malibu High School, PTSA Malibu, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD), and the Malibu-Lost Hills Station to host “Safe on PCH.”

The weeklong program focuses on safe driving, and will engage students and families to keep roads in Malibu safe for the community.

Pacific Coast Highway impacts the lives of every person in the Malibu region. On Monday, April 29, the lunchtime fair will transpire at 12 p.m. with resources and information from the LASD, CHP, Supervisor Horvath’s Office, and Malibu.

On Tuesday, April 30 at 9 a.m. there will be a Sheriff Impact Presentation, where the Sheriff’s Department will host the IMPACT Teen Drivers’ parent program called Under Your Influence (UYI), which educates parents and teens with evidence-based strategies to help keep teens, their families, and everyone they share the road with safe. The special presentation is for parents and will happen from 9 to 10:30 am at Malibu High School’s Parent Center.

On Wednesday, May 1, there will be a screening of the film, “21 Miles Film” at 6:30 p.m. at Malibu High School. The movie is directed by Michel Shane. There will be a discussion after the movie with a panel moderated by Chair Horvath to inform and educate students and parents about the dangers on PCH and offer tips to make driving on PCH safer for teenagers. Panelists include Captain Jenn Seetoo, Captain Dennis Ford, Robert D. Cohen, Bridget Thompson, and Shane. It will take place in the Malibu auditorium with an expected attendance of over 200 people. This event requires a separate RSVP.

On Thursday, May 2, two school assemblies will transpire coordinated by Malibu High School and CHP. One targeting 6-8th graders (30 minutes) and one for 9th –12th graders (45 minutes). The assembly will include Impact Teen Drivers’ high school program called “What Do You Consider Lethal” (WDYCL) which engages, educates, and empowers students with evidence-based strategies that help them prevent car crashes, particularly those caused by reckless and distracted driving.

On the final day of the week-long event, on Friday, May 3, the Malibu High School will be holding student classroom breakout sessions focused on the causes and effects of distracted driving. There will be a classroom presentation followed by a group activity.

For more details visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/safe-on-pch-week-tickets-859158926477?aff=oddtdtcreator. No RSVP is required for the general week, only select events.

By Trevor

Michael Parrett Arrested For Threatening Lifeguard

April 10, 2024 ·

Michael Vincent Parrett. Photo courtesy of the Santa Monica Police Department.

SANTA MONICA—On Tuesday, April 9, the Santa Monica Police Department informed Canyon News that a suspect who threatened a lifeguard that resulted in the closure of Pacific Coast Highway has been arrested.

Public Information Officer for the SMPD, Myesha Morrison indicated at approximately 11 a.m., officers responded to the 1200 block of the Beach for an individual threatening a lifeguard with a metallic rod. The suspect, later identified as Michael Vincent Parrett, 38, who police indicated was a homeless man, jumped from the roof of Lifeguard Tower 12 and approached the victim with the rod, thrusting it towards him several times. The victim was able to dodge out of the way and was not injured.

Parrett was found by officers in the 400 block of Palisades Beach Road and ignored the officers’ commands and started running on the sidewalk, approaching multiple bystanders, while still holding the rod. When the officers intervened, the subject ran into the bluffs overlooking PCH. As a result of the risk of the suspect falling onto PCH and into traffic, the California Highway Patrol assisted in closing northbound and southbound traffic.

The suspect threatened that he would not give up without a fight resulting in the Crisis Negotiations Team responding to the location. Dialogue with Parrett continued for over an hour and half with no impact. Parrett informed officers that would have to shoot him before he gave up. Officers attempted to use less than lethal means to have the suspect drop the rod and surrender. He continued to maintain control of the weapon, refusing to drop it.

He was taken into custody with the assistance of a department K9. Parrett was taken to a local area hospital for evaluation before being transported to the Santa Monica Jail. He was booked for 245 (a) 1 PC – Assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to inflict great bodily injury.

By Trevor

Spring Fest At West Hollywood Park April 27

April 10, 2024 ·

Carnival games will be at the Spring Fest in West Hollywood on April 27.

WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood is inviting the public to Spring Fest at West Hollywood Park on Saturday, April 27. The event will unfold from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 647 N. San Vicente Blvd.  Limited parking is available in the adjacent five-story West Hollywood Park structure.

According to a press release from the city’s website, activities will start at the West Hollywood Park Aquatic and Recreation Center and Great Lawn. There will be carnival games, music, performances, giveaways, egg hunts, face painters, and more

Three of the featured activities for the event include:

-Youth Basketball Shoot Out (Ages 10 to 15) – register here ($7) – In the Shoot Out, the player shoots from five spots around the key: right corner, right wing, top of key, left wing, and left corner. At each spot: take one dribble in for a mid-range shot, dribble for a lay-up, and then end the game with a 1 & 1 free throw.

-Duck Relays and Cardboard Boat Races – register here (free) – Duck Relays are a swim event using inflatable ducks to race relay-style across the pool in a team of four and Cardboard Boat Race are one- to three-person teams of all ages that will test their ingenuity in racing homemade boats made of cardboard and duct tape across the pool.

-Themed Recreation Swim and Rubber Duckie Hunt – registration has reached capacity, waiting list is open here (free) – Themed Recreation Swim is full of adorable rafts of rubber ducks, water toys, floaties, and mighty merfolk of the sea and swimmers will be able to participate in a rubber duckie hunt.

To discover more about Spring Fest and recreation programming visit: www.weho.org/recreation and select Rec Reader.

For more details, contact the WeHo Recreation Services Division at (323) 848-6534 or email wehoaquatics@weho.org or recreation@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

Urgent Repair On Key Water Pipeline To Impact BH Traffic

April 9, 2024 ·

Photo courtesy of David Vives via Unsplash.

BEVERLY HILLS—The city of Beverly Hills announced on its website on Monday, April 8 that commuters and residents who use North Santa Monica Boulevard are informed to avoid or allow ample time to travel through a two-block portion of the area as crews from the Metropolitan Water District urgently repair a leak in a major water pipeline starting at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, April 9.

Water service to residences and businesses will not be impacted by the leak or construction activities. Only one lane will be open in each direction on North Santa Monica Boulevard between Moreno Drive and Wilshire Boulevard (link to map), where Beverly Hills borders Angeles, through at least Saturday, April 13, although repairs may extend beyond that timeline.

“We will work as quickly as possible to address this issue to protect the region’s water supplies, as well as public safety,” said Shane Chapman, Metropolitan assistant general manager of operations. “We appreciate the public’s cooperation during this urgent repair.”

The leak was discovered in Metropolitan’s Santa Monica Feeder, a 24-mile pipeline that provides water to the cities of Glendale, Burbank, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. Metropolitan crews will excavate to inspect the pipeline and immediately repair the leak.

In addition to the traffic impacts, residents and businesses may notice increased noise due to construction and excavation. For updates, email communityrelations@mwdh2o.com.

By Trevor

Santa Monica Police Department Hiring Crossing Guards

April 9, 2024 ·

The Santa Monia Police Department is accepting applications for Crossing Guards. Photo courtesy of Ground Picture/Shutterstock.

SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department announced on their Facebook page that they are currently accepting applications for Crossing Guards.

The position will require applicants to ensure the safety of the community’s children as they travel to and from school.

“As a Crossing Guard, you’ll have the opportunity to make a positive impact by providing essential guidance and instruction on safe street crossings,” the Facebook post states. Duties include escorting children across intersections, monitoring for any suspicious activity near school premises, and promptly reporting traffic accidents or hazardous road conditions.

The position offers candidates to engage with the public and contribute to the overall safety of the streets in Santa Monica. Those with a passion for helping others, excellent communication skills, and a commitment to promoting safety, are encouraged to apply for the position.

To apply visit: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/santamonica. The position pays $19.73 per hour and is part-time on a temporary basis. Applications started to be accepted on April 1 and will end on April 26. Individuals applying should have at least one year of recent, paid or volunteer experience working with the public and be in possession of a valid Class C driver license. Possession of a valid cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid certificate is desirable.

By Trevor

Double-Murder Suicide In Family Dispute

April 9, 2024 ·

The LAPD are investigating a double-murder suicide that transpired in Woodland Hills. Photo by Anis Rahman via Unsplash.

WOODLAND HILLS—On Tuesday, April 9, the Los Angeles Police Department Topanga Division announced that on April 8, around 7:35 a.m., officers responded to the 6200 block of Variel Avenue for a radio call of a homicide investigation. Operations Valley Bureau (OVB) homicide detectives were notified and responded to the scene learning of two related incidents that transpired following the homicide on Variel Avenue.

The LAPD reported that the first incident involved two young children being found on the 405 Freeway near Howard Hughes Parkway. The second incident involved a single vehicle fatal traffic collision in Redondo Beach.

Detectives worked in collaboration with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Redondo Beach Police Department, and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office to determine if the incidents were related and discovered that the victim, Jaelen Chaney, 29, and the suspect, Danielle Johnson, 34, resided together with her two young children, aged eight months old and nine years old, in a residence in the 6200 block of Variel Avenue.

On April 8, around 3:40 a.m., Chaney and Johnson became involved in a verbal altercation that escalated into Johnson becoming violent, stabbing Chaney, who succumbed to his injuries at the scene. A knife with biological evidence was later recovered from the scene, where Johnson fled with her two children in a dark-colored Porsche SUV.

Around 4:30 a.m., the dark-colored SUV was spotted driving on the 405 Freeway when the two children were expelled from the vehicle while it was moving. The nine-year-old child sustained moderate injuries from the fall and was transported to a local hospital. The eight-month-old child sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at scene.

Around 5 a.m., Johnson drove her vehicle at a speed in excess of 100 miles per hour in Redondo Beach near the intersection of Vincent Street and the Pacific Coast Highway and collided with a tree. Johnson did not survive the crash and was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

These events transpired before LAPD personnel were notified of the crime. Around 7:35 a.m., neighbors on Variel Avenue spotted the front door open, which prompted them to check on the well-being of the residents. It was at that time Chaney was discovered dead inside the apartment. After a thorough investigation and collaboration with the above agencies, homicide detectives determined that the incidents were all related and no further threat to the community.

Anyone with additional details is asked to contact Operations Valley Bureau Homicide Detectives at (818) 374-9550. During non-business hours, or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wanting to remain anonymous should call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org.

By Trevor

Anti-Semitic Graffiti Being Investigated By SMPD

April 8, 2024 ·

The SMPD are investigating a string of anti-semitic incidents in the region. Photo by Jon Tyson via Unsplash.

SANTA MONICA—On Sunday, April 7, the Santa Monica Police Department disclosed that they are actively investigating multiple reports of anti-Semitic graffiti discovered in various locations throughout the city, including the Pico Neighborhood (2100-2300 Pico Blvd) marking sidewalks, trees and light posts. The Police Department condemns the hateful acts and indicated such behavior will not be tolerated in the region.

“Let me be clear: there is no place for hate in Santa Monica,” said Police Chief Ramon Batista. “We are appalled by these cowardly acts of anti-Semitism. Our department is fully committed to upholding the safety and dignity of all members of our community.”

The SMPD are taking the incidents seriously and dedicating resources to identify the offender. Anyone with details about these acts is asked to come forward.

To report newly discovered graffiti:

  • Call 310-458-8491 to speak with a non-emergency dispatcher; or
  • Utilize the Santa Monica 3-1-1 App

Canyon News reached out to the Santa Monica Police Department for more details, but did not hear back before print.

By Trevor

LAFD Rescues Individual From Trapped Vehicle

April 8, 2024 ·

Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter. Photo courtesy of Spencer Davis via Unsplash.

GRIFFITH PARK—On Sunday, April 7, the Los Angeles Fire Department disclosed they rescued an individual in Griffith Park after an accident. The incident was reported at 5:47 a.m. on the northbound 5 freeway.

A solo vehicle with two persons trapped in the vehicle, one of whom (undetermined age/gender) was deceased. The other patient (undetermined age/gender) was disentangled from the wreckage by firefighters and has been taken to a regional trauma center in critical condition. No other injuries were reported. The name of the deceased has not been disclosed to the public.

The vehicle was found by the California Highway Patrol on the right shoulder with heavy damage. There were no reports of any fire. Possible closure of one or more lanes of northbound 5 freeway near the 134 interchange until CHP and Medical Examiner operations are complete.

Motorists were expected to deal with congestion and delay in the region, as authorities completed their investigation.

By Trevor