On Tuesday, August 6, residents of the Burbank community gathered to participate in what Burbank Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Sergeant Derek Green, calls “one of Burbank’s most important events, National Night Out.”
Members of the Burbank Police and Fire Departments met with Burbank citizens on a non-emergency basis to discuss their role in the community. The event was held on the Chandler Bikeway between Keystone and Lincoln Streets.
(Photo by Ross A Benson)
Many booths were set up including Burbank Animal Shelter, Starbucks (to support the community), Burbank YMCA, New York Life (providing children ID’s), Burbank Human Relations Council and others. There was a live DJ, food and beverages.
Burbank Chief of Police, Scott LaChasse, spoke about the Police Department’s role in the community including safety information and said, “If you do something wrong, just admit it, because, in the end, it will always catch up to you.”
Several homeowners in Burbank neighborhoods even held house parties welcoming local neighbors to support National Night Out.
One homeowner, Mary Brooks, said that the reason she does a block party with her fellow neighbors is that she loves and really supports her community. All in all, the 36th National Night Out was a huge success to support the City of Burbank and its residents.
A late-night incident on Thursday, August 1 could have wound up a whole lot worse.
(Photo by Ross A Benson)
Burbank fire was dispatched on a call at V.S.P. Parking at 2612 Hollywood Way, across from Hollywood Burbank Airport, for a vehicle that was halfway over the side of the parking structure with wheels spinning. A rescue response, including an Urban Search and Rescue, were dispatched.
According to Battalion Chief and Department Spokesman John Owings, arriving units “found one vehicle partially over the side on the 2nd story of the parking structure with all occupants out and no injuries.”
It is not known how the driver wound up in that position. Firefighters remained on scene as the vehicle was pulled back.
“Burbank Fire stabilized the vehicle and provided medical care to the driver. BPD (Burbank Police) called a tow truck who was able to pull the car safely from the edge of the structure,” according to Owing.
A car dangles from the parking structure at V.S.P. Parking on Hollywood Way. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
UPDATE: The L.A. County District Attouney’s Office has filed attempted murder charges against Ulloa and bail is set for $1.165 million dollars. The DA also said that the suspect used a glass bottle was used in the assault. If convicted, he could receive 43 years to life in prison.
After what police call a violent attack, a man believed to be from the San Bernardino was arrested Monday afternoon after an attack against an unsuspecting victim.
The attack took place on Monday, July 1, around 1:50 PM in the afternoon in the 1400 block of N. San Fernando Blvd.
When police arrived on scene several witnesses pointed out a man who had attacked a woman who had suffered a head trauma in an alley at the rear of an office building. Paramedics were called to assist the woman while police went to look for the suspect who was eventually found in the area of Amherst Drive and Broadway Avenue where he was taken into custody.
According to witnesses, the man identified as Hector Manuel Ulloa, 51, had been hiding and was waiting for the victim to walk by when he attacked her, kicking and punching the woman numerous times before fling.
Ulloa was already on parole for assault. Police booked him for attempted murder and he is currently being held without bail. Although the assault appears to be completely random, detectives are still investigating a possible motive for the attack.
Paramedics transported the 63-year-old woman to a trauma center where she is currently listed in critical condition.
Society is battling many social problems that have become front and center such as the homeless problem and the battle that many have with opioids. Both are important issues but a large issue floating under the radar is teenage vaping and the use of e-cigarettes.
Photo by ShutterStock
Last week, Burbank officials started their campaign to educate and hopefully stem the use of e-cigarettes and vaping among our younger population. The campaign is a result of a grant that the Community Development Department in the City of Burbank received in 2018. The Building & Safety division oversees administration of the grant.
According to Carol-Ann Coates, Building Administration Manager for the City of Burbank, “The California Department of Justice awarded the City the $104,335 grant in 2018 to support the City’s efforts toward combating the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors. The City applied for this grant because it aligns with goals to educate the community on the dangers of tobacco use by youth and to combat the illegal sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to minors.”
“The City has several program initiatives that will be carried out. During the two-year term of the grant, the Police Department (PD) will conduct two Shoulder Tap and two Decoy operations.”
Burbank Police Sergeant Derek Green said that the department will be overseeing the decoy operation.
“New laws are focused more on cracking down on retailers selling/furnishing tobacco to people under 21, in hopes of stopping at the source the growing epidemic of tobacco use by our youth,” explained Green. “Anyone who furnishes a minor/person under 21 with tobacco products could be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor in addition to other penalties.”
“Vaping and the use of nicotine falls under new tobacco laws effective in 2016, which raises the age to 21 to purchase tobacco products, including vaping cartridges. The only exception is active U.S. Military, which is 18 years of age,” according to Green.
Vaping or -cigarettes take on so many different looks
While selling the products to anyone under 21 has severe consequences for retailers, there is not much teeth for the police when it comes to possession of e-cigarettes, vapers, cartridges or just lighters and regular cigarettes. Police officers have their hands tied to a point about enforcement.
When asked if a police officer can confiscate any items from a minor if they are in possession, Green stated, “Mere possession of a vaping device (without cartridge) is not illegal. Tobacco products in possession of a minor could be confiscated by officers as evidence, depending on the circumstances.”
It would be up to the City to come up with an ordinance to assist police.
Beverly Hills is trying to stem the problem by outright banning all tobacco products, not just those in possession of minors. This does not mean minors can not possess products or smoking is illegal by adults but it makes it harder to get tobacco products unless they drive to a different city.
Burbank City Councilmember Jess Talamantes is a strong supporter of limiting Burbank’s youth from vaping and smoking in general. “The state has recognized that there is a problem, by first classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products and than raising the legal age to 21, they are on the right track.”
“The Beverly Hills city council went one step further by banning the sale of almost all tobacco products within city limits. At this point, I’m not certain that a total ban is right for Burbank, but I would like to meet with our City Attorney, Police Chief, Chamber of Commerce and PTA Council to identify the potential benefits and pitfalls of such an ordinance for Burbank.”
Of course he also recognizes that you can draft all the laws and ordinances that you want, but then they will need to be enforced, which will take additional manpower and resources.
“Let’s not forget a vital aspect of the existing laws and any future ordinances In Burbank, is enforcement! I have no doubt that Burbank P.D. is ready to enforce the laws already in place and any potential ordinance in the future, but we have to make sure the PD staffing levels will allow for it,” Talamantes added. “After all, as the Beverly Hills city council said ‘that any potential revenue lost by local businesses is outweighed by the public health benefits.'”
There is already an ordinance in Burbank banning any type of smoking, including vaping, in the Burbank Downtown area. Police are responsible for enforcement.
“Under Business & Professions Codes, vaping falls under California’s Smoke Free Laws and makes vaping illegal anywhere that smoking is prohibited. Under our local smoking ordinances in Burbank (e.g., Downtown Burbank no-smoking), vaping would be prohibited as well,” according to Green.
According to Coates, another part of the grant allowed the City and Burbank Police Department to work together on an educational campaign, “Our Police Department and our Public Information Office (PIO) recently released an educational video on social media targeted to youth and retailers on the dangers and illegality of purchasing e-cigarettes. Community Development is working with PD and PIO on outreach and licensing of tobacco retailers. The City Attorney Office provides legal support as necessary.”
In the video, Know the Risks – E-Cigarettes & Youth, which features Green discussing e-cigarettes and vaping, he states that according to the National Youth Tobacco survey in 2018 tobacco use is up 78% among high school students. He also said that 21% of high school students are using e-cigarettes regularly as well as 5% of middle school students. No mention was made of elementary students but no doubt as younger kids see their older siblings using vapers, they will follow.
With one vape pod equaling the same amount on nicotine as a pack of traditional cigarettes, it is important to not only work on enforcement, but on the education.
Dr. Matt Hill, Superintendent Burbank Unified School District, is also quite concerned about this epidemic overtaking the youth of this country, “The BUSD takes this epidemic seriously. We are working closely with students, parents, the City, BPD, and the community to educate individuals about the harms of vaping. We all need to work together to protect our youth. On July 18, 2019, the BUSD will be discussing this topic at their Board meeting.”
They can not just come out with a blanket uniform education or enforcement because students range from 5 to 19 years old so many factors need to be taken into consideration. When it comes to discipline, Dr. Hill reiterated, “Regarding discipline – it depends on the situation (possessing, using, how many times, etc.) The discipline can range from suspension, to in school suspension, Saturday school, parent conference, etc.”
Obtaining the grant the City is using is only a first step to helping parents in this fight.
It is up to parents to monitor their kids. Vaping is not only done by fringe students, but some of the best and smartest. By having so many flavors available, it has become a social thing for kids to try different flavors and share with their friends. Vaping instruments have also been designed to sometimes look like computer jump drives and other routine items.
Parents need to be on the lookout not only for these devices, but also their children’s spending habits. Some of these cartridges can run $30 and $40 dollars each besides the delivery system, the e-cigarette, which can also be expensive.
It is going to be up to the Burbank City Council down the line when it comes to the laws and how they will be enforced. At this point most of the laws only really apply to the retailer or supplier of the tobacco products and not the user, no matter the age. While the grant was a great first step, “one of the program initiatives is to evaluate our existing regulations and policies. The results of that study will be presented to Council in the future. The subject of smoking and vaping by minors is a concern to the City,” said Coates.
Talamantes put it best when he said, “The health and well-being of Burbank residents and more importantly our youth, is a priority for this Councilmember!”
A pursuit that started in the hills of Burbank ended up in North Hollywood Friday night with the arrest of a woman who officers wanted originally to pull over for suspicion of driving under the influence.
(Photo by Ross A Benson)
The pursuit took officers up in the hills of Burbank along Scott and Kenneth at speeds close to 60 mph. The suspect then traveled down Glenoaks at a high rate of speed and went over the Magnolia Overpass into the valley section of Burbank.
Once she got into the valley she picked up speeds reported up to 70 mph down Magnolia although she did slow down at major intersections before running the lights. Once down at Hollywood Way she went to Verdugo and back up to Buena Vista before heading back down Magnolia toward North Hollywood.
(Photo by Ross A Benson)
She continued on Magnolia before going northbound on Laurel Canyon. She ultimately wound up in the parking lot of the Regency Valley Plaza 6 Theaters in the 12100 block of Victory where she proceeded to start doing doughnuts in her truck in the large parking lot. Officers decided the block all the exits and she eventually stopped in the lot.
Burbank police broke out the passenger window to get the woman out of the car since she did not comply with their orders immediately. Paramedics were called to check her over and took her to a local hospital for treatment. A pet in the truck was taken to the Burbank Animal Shelter.
Police have not released the name of the suspect.
There were no accidents during the pursuit and no injuries to officers.
On June 19, 2018, JAY BOGAN was at Burger King, expecting to enjoy a nice meal. He wasn’t expecting to witness a maniac suddenly attack an elderly man and repeatedly stab him in the face. But for Bogan, to see was to act. He immediately rushed toward the assailant, hitting him with a chair and wrestling him to the floor. Bogan proceeded to disarm him and keep him pinned until the police and paramedics arrived.
Johnny Jay Bogan (center) receives The Citizen Award. (Photo by Ross A Benson)
The elderly man had sustained serious injuries, but Bogan’s courageous intervention had saved his life. Bogan had received minor injuries, a fortunate outcome given the risks of violent confrontation. But when the police acknowledged his heroic actions, Bogan demurred. “Isn’t that something everyone should do?”
But risking your life to save that of a stranger is not something that everyone does. And when a citizen actually takes that risk, it is a cause for public recognition from those who make it their profession to protect and serve.
And so Bogan received the Citizen Award for his “selfless service to the community” at last Thursday’s Burbank Police Awards Luncheon at the Marriott Burbank Hotel, hosted by the Burbank Police Foundation.
Burbank Police Officer of the Year John Embleton ( Center) Photo by Ross A Benson)
Among those honoring Bogan was Officer of the Year JOHN EMBLETON. He had been driving along the I-5 when he came across a bad traffic collision. He found out that a murder suspect had fled from Sacramento hours earlier in one of the vehicles. The suspect realized he had been made. He fled on foot. Officer Embleton gave chase and nabbed the suspect before he could do any more harm.
Officer Embleton joined the Burbank Police department in 2005 and is currently a member of the SWAT team. Since 2010 he has also been a K-9 handler, working closely with his four-legged partner Bran. His peers cite his “relentless work ethic and positive attitude.”
Both Police Sergeant JAMAL CHILDS and Jailer KIRK DAVIS received Lifesaving Medals for “actions resulting in the saving or preservation of human life.” On December 20, 2018, Sgt. Childs saw a man climb over a railing and sit precariously on a sign overlooking the I-5. At a time when many were enjoying the holiday season, others were feeling only suicidal despair. Sgt. Kirk recognized the sign sitter was one of them. He quickly grabbed the man and pulled him to safety. If the suicidal man had fallen onto the freeway, he could well have ended more lives than his own.
Jailer Kirk Davis honored with the Lifesaving Medal. ( Photo by Ross A Benson)
When Jailer KIRK DAVIS ushered a distraught inmate into the cell after booking for domestic violence, his instincts told him to check up on him frequently. And indeed, within minutes the inmate had turned his shirt into a noose around his neck, with the other end wrapped around a nearby faucet. But Davis, true to his gut feeling, arrived in time to stop the inmate from hanging himself. Paramedics confirmed that the inmate had sustained only minor injuries.
Other awards were directed to outstanding team efforts. “For extraordinary efforts earning the esteem of your colleagues and community,” several officers received the Professional Esteem Award for their work as members of the Burbank Police Gang Unit: Officers DUSTIN RODRIGUEZ, HARRY MARKEY, PAUL FRENCH, COREY CHEFALO, AARON DENNING, and PIETRO PIRA. Since 2016, these officers have been fighting gang-related crime at the street level. They’ve succeeded in reducing gang graffiti by 83%, in making over 600 arrests and in significant recoveries of illegal firearms.
For her work in handling the high volume of court summons and navigating the Superior Court system generally, Police Technician HELEN QUACH was honored as Non-Sworn Employee of the Year. Her colleagues universally recognize her as “knowledgeable, responsible and reliable.”
Recognition also extended to City employees who have offered substantial assistance to the Police Department. As Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy remarked, “It’s a testament to the Burbank Police Foundation and all their supporters that they recognize staff from other City departments who assist police in catching perpetrators and solving crimes.” She continued, “And it’s a credit to our whole City and the men and women of the Burbank Police Department.”
Traffic Signal Operations Specialist and Public Works Department employee RICHARD LOCKYER received the Professional Esteem Award for assisted police in over 500 investigations this past year. Lockyear helped them glean valuable evidence from traffic cameras throughout the City.
Information Technology Department employees were among those receiving Professional Esteem Awards for their successful efforts to transition the Police Department from paper to digital when making daily field activity reports. Awardees included project manager LIEUTENANT JOHN PFROMMER, Crime Analyst KEN PANU, Assistant Director of Technology JASON MILLER (IT), Network Systems Analyst GAREN ESSAKHANIAN (IT), Network Systems Analyst SEVAN KHACHATOURIANS and Volunteer ELAINE STEVENS.
In view of the ongoing adoption of improved technology, it was particularly appropriate that the awards luncheon remembered retired Police Chief GLEN BELL, who had died last January. Serving as Burbank’s Police Chief from 1982 through 1990, he had been instrumental in pioneering the Police Department’s transition to modern, digital-based methods in reporting, data gathering and data analysis. On his watch, he had also instituted the gang detail and the helicopter program.
Volunteer of the Year recognition went to KAYE NORRIS, who has been volunteering for the Police Department since 2007. She has helped with a variety of activities, including answering the phone and helping with the citation paperwork. The other volunteers look forward to “Kay Days,” when her unfailingly friendly and upbeat demeanor brightens the whole office.
Receiving “Gold” recognition for 500+ hours of volunteer service were ELAINE STEVENS and the aforementioned KAYE NORRIS.
Receiving “Silver” recognition for 250-499 hours of volunteer service were JOHN KEMMERER and TED SCHONLAW.
Receiving “Bronze” recognition for 100-249 hours of volunteer service were ANNE WHITE, JACKIE LIGHT, LINDA TRONCONE, and SUNNY SINGER.
Burbank police Foundation President Cristina Spratt did the welcomes and introductions, followed by a rousing pipe-and-drum rendition of patriotic tunes by the Los Angeles Police Emerald Society. The Burbank Police Department Honor Guard (Sgt. Chris Canales, Officer Harry Markey, Officer Jesse Horn and Officer Paul French) did the Presentation of Colors. Father David Bedrossian gave the Invocation, and Police Chief Scott LaChasse introduced his command staff. President Spratt introduced the Chief’s Circle Sponsor Cusumano Real Estate Group, represented at the awards ceremony by Michael Cusumano. Noted radio personality Jim Roope served as Master of Ceremonies.
The awards ceremony was the fifth hosted by the Burbank Police Foundation, a community-based organization seeking to cultivate closer partnerships between the Police Department and the community it serves. Judging by the caliber of the award recipients, the partnerships are close indeed.
Burbank police were called to the 1800 block of N. Kenwood around 9:25 am Tuesday for a report of a possible burglary with the occupants still inside the residence.
Arriving on scene, officers were able to stop a vehicle and detained the driver after finding items of evidence inside the car with two additional suspects still outstanding. A perimeter was quickly established in the area to contain the men.
Police searched the area house by house led by the Burbank Police K-9’s with assistance from both Glendale and San Fernando who also sent their K-9 units in the massive search. There was also support from above with police helicopters.
Police were finally able to find the men after about four hours of searching with both being found underneath a house on Maple Street. Both men were then taken into custody with further incident.
Police released the names of the suspects as:
Katie Frank, a 22-year-old woman from Los Angeles
Elias Valdez, a 26-year-old man from Los Angeles
Jesus Ruano, a 28-year-old man from Los Angeles
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will review the case and recommend charges.
Two men have been arrested in connection with the March 2nd shooting death of 21-year-old Christian Guevara.
The shooting occurred in the early morning hours of March 2, 2019 in the 4000 block of West Clark Avenue. At about 2:36 A.M., Burbank Police Officers responded to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank after a man was brought into the emergency room suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim, identified as Guevara, was transported to a local trauma center, but died as a result of his wound.
Investigators learned that Guevara had attended a party at the residence where the shooting took place. In the course of the investigation, Burbank Police Detectives identified a person of interest in the shooting. That individual was interviewed by investigators and confessed to shooting the victim. The motive and circumstances leading up to the shooting are still being investigated.
The suspect has been identified as Robert Stout, a 19-year-old man from Van Nuys. On March 4, Stout was placed under arrest and booked for murder. He is currently being held on $2 million bail.
In addition, a second suspect has also been arrested for his involvement in the crime. That suspect has been identified as Jose Valdivieso, a 19-year-old man from Northridge. Valdivieso was also booked for murder and is being held on $2 million bail.
The gun believed to have been used in the shooting has been recovered by investigators.
Formal charges against both suspects are pending review by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
On Thursday evening, the Magnolia Park Optimist Club recognized three members of the Burbank Police Department family for their achievements as part of the Optimist International Respect for the Law program. Citizen Volunteer Kaye Norris, Police Technician Helen Quach, and K-9 Officer John Embleton were all honored in a ceremony with individual achievements highlighted by Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse.
(Photo by Ross A Benson)
Kaye Norris is the 2018 “Volunteer of the Year.” Kaye retired from 35-year career as a teacher in LAUSD, and after a short time taking a break determined “if this is retirement, I don’t think I like it.” Since then she has found her call through volunteering in activities with her church, and the Burbank Temporary Assistance Center. However, Kaye also had always been interested in police work, and decided to join the Burbank Police Community Academy course, and fell in love with the environment. Since then she has spent up to 515 hours and 8 months a year as a Burbank Police Department Volunteer, currently working with the Traffic Bureau. According to Chief LaChasse, Kaye is always open to learning new skills and working wherever needed within the Department.
(Photo by Ross A Benson)
Helen Quach is the 2018 “Non-Sworn Employee of the Year.” Working with the Burbank Police since 2009, Helen currently works in the Department’s Warrant Office, responsible for maintaining entries supporting restraining orders, and supporting the Subpoena Control Office. She also assisted in the implementation of the Department to a new web-based subpoena system managed by the LA County District Attorney’s Office.
(Photo by Ross A Benson)
K-9 Officer John Embleton is the 2018 “Officer of the Year.” Officer Embleton joined the Burbank Police Department in 2005 following service with the LA County Sheriff Department and has worked K-9 since 2010. Officer Embleton and his K-9 partner Bram serve the city and surrounding communities, responding to emergency calls, incidents, weapons, and narcotics investigations, often identifying potential threats simply through experience and awareness.
One such incident took place at the end of October 2018. Officer Embleton was en route to an early morning K-9 training exercise and came upon a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 210 near Sylmar. Stopping to render assistance, Officer Embleton also “ran” the vehicle plates as is his routine when making a stop. In this case, one of the plates came back as a vehicle belonging to a murder suspect from Sacramento County. The suspect was apprehended, bringing praise to both Officer Embleton and the Burbank Police Department.
Being on the front lines of violent criminal apprehensions, Officer Embleton and his partner Bram are often called to assist other local agencies when needed. Bram recently was assisting a call supporting LAPD, and when engaging a violent suspect, was injured, breaking several teeth. Fortunately, Bram is just fine, and is receiving a new set of titanium “choppers” to replace his broken teeth, and will be back on duty soon.
L/R Vonda Noondorf Event Chair, Kaye Norris, John Embleton, Helen Quach and Police Chief Scott LaChasse (Photo by Ross A Benson)
The Respect for Law Program began in 1965 with the support of the FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and now includes more than 1500 participating Optimist Clubs around the world. In addition to awards programs honoring police staff, the Optimist Club promotes improved partnerships between police and citizens through programs to introduce youth to community law enforcement officers, lawmakers, law processes, and reinforcing the need for youth to understand and obey the law.
Chief LaChasse noted that Burbank has seen a reduction in crime, with citizens playing an important role in contacting law enforcement when observing activities that have resulted in improved response times and a safer city.
Congratulations to all out Burbank Police Honorees, and to the Magnolia Pak Optimist Club for supporting Law Enforcement and the community through their Respect for the Law Program.
Burbank police have identified the 21 year-old victim of the shooting as Christian Guevara of Burbank. Detectives have confirmed that Guevara was attending a party in the 4000 block of Clark when the shooting occurred on the morning of March 2.There are still no suspects at this time.
It is believed that there were up to 50 people at the party during various time and detectives have already interviewed several people and have said to have developed some leads.
Police are looking to identify more of the party goers and are looking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect. If you have any information you may call the Burbank Police at 818 238-3000 and remain anonymous.
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Site of the party on Clark Ave. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)
Original Story: Burbank police detectives are investigating a possible homicide that might have occurred during a party in the 4000 block of Clark Avenue Saturday morning, March 2.
There are few confirmed details at this point except that a 21-year-old man was dropped off at St. Joseph Medical Center with a gunshot wound and then had to be transported to a trauma center where he later died from his wound.
Police were called to St. Joseph’s when alerted by the hospital staff at 2:36 am according to a release sent out by Sgt. Derek Green of the Burbank Police Department.
Photo by Ross A. Benson
By the time detectives found out the possible location of the shooting and responded to the home on the 4000 block of Clark Avenue, most of the people from the party had left the scene. Detectives remained at the scene for several hours.
Police have not released the name of the victim. During the night police received no reports of gunfire heard in the area although there were several possible auto burglaries that also occurred in the same area during the night.