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LA's crime capital reputation starting to wane

Compton horses

Rina Palta (KPCC)

The highlight of my Compton patrol car ride along: horses at the burger shack.

On a ridealong in Compton a few days before Christmas, L.A. Sheriff's Lt. Josh Stahl picked up speed and swung his patrol car around the corner. Stahl unbuckled his seat belt along the way and prepared to make a quick exit.

We were chasing another patrol car that Stahl had just seen pull over a motorist in the distance. The car, a rundown brown sedan, had tinted windows and a broken tail light. 

"Make sure you always know where you are," Stahl cautioned, pointing out the intersection before he jumped out of the car. "You can step out, but stand behind the car door," he said.

The scene was over before it had started: the sedan pulled away from the curb and Stahl jogged back to the car.

"It was a little old lady," he said. "The guys gave her a warning, told her to get the tail light fixed."


Teenager charged in shooting that killed 1-year-old Angel Cortez in Watts

Angel Cortez


The Los Angeles District Attorney's office has charged a 15-year-old in the killing of 1-year-old Angel Cortez (above).

Donald Ray Dokins, 15, was charged Thursday with murder and attempted murder in a shooting that killed 1-year-old Angel Cortez on June 4. Mauro Cortez, Angel's father, was holding the boy in his arms as he stood outside a house with a group of people in Watts. Prosecutors say Dokins rode up on a bike and shot a handgun several times towards the group before speeding off.

Mauro was injured, but not seriously.

Assistant District Attorney Kenneth E. Lynch believes the crime was a gang act. He also said the victims were not gang members. 

The LA Times is reporting police believe Dokins is a member of a clique within the Fudgetown Mafia Crip gang called T.Funk Ridaz. He was reportedly identified as a suspect soon after the killing.

Dokins is being charged as an adult. if convicted on all counts, he faces multiple life sentences. The teen is due in court Friday morning in Compton for arraignment. Prosecutors have asked for his bail to be set at $3 million. 


Lungs found on sidewalk near Compton not human

lungs xray

Photo by Yale Rosen via Flickr Creative Commons

An x-ray of a human chest.

The mysterious pair of disembodied lungs that were discovered Sunday on a sidewalk in the Compton area have been determined not human.

Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles  county coroner's office determined Tuesday that the organs were "of animal origin."

When asked to speculate on how the animal lungs wound up on the 13100 block of Avalon Boulevard in an unicoporated area in LA County near Compton, Lt. Fred Corral told KPCC, "sometimes we see this when people are cooking or they skin an animal after hunting and they don’t properly dispose of the organs.” 

The coronor's office says they don't know what species of animal the lungs were. They plan on disposing of the materials soon.


Police seek Compton rapper and convicted felon who cut off GPS tracker, bailed on court hearing


Perry Pemberton, a.k.a. KP Dolla.

A Compton rapper facing burglary charges cold chopped off his GPS tracker, skipped a court appearance and drove away in his blue Maserati, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police say 29-year-old Perry Pemberton, a.k.a. “KP Dolla,” was scheduled for a preliminary hearing in a Van Nuys courtroom on May 25 when he “walked away during a recess break,” cut off the ankle bracelet authorities used to keep tabs on him and apparently skipped town in his expensive sports car. 

He is now on the lam, and police are asking for the public’s help in finding him.

Pemberton is described as a violent convicted felon, a registered sex offender, a member of the Grape Street Crips and a serial burglar. He was arrested in October of last year and faced multiple burglary charges for thefts in Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Valencia, Burbank and Bel Air, police said.


Sleepwalking teen falls from 3rd-story window in Compton

pillows bed

Photo by Luc De Leeuw via Flickr Creative Commons

A sleepwalking 13-year-old fell from the third-story window of a Compton townhouse early Friday morning. The teen suffered a broken arm when he hit the ground.

The incident, occurring shortly before 2:30 a.m. in the 500 block of North Willowbrook Avenue, prompted a response from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the Compton Fire Department.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, sleepwalking, though possible at any age, happens most often in children 5 to 12 years old and "appears to run in families." Notes the NLM, "the main complication is getting injured while sleepwalking."

Sleepwalking (somnambulism) most often occurs during deep, non-REM sleep (stage 3 or stage 4 sleep) early in the night. Fatigue, lack of sleep, and anxiety are all associated with sleepwalking. The cause of sleepwalking in children is usually unknown. In the elderly, sleepwalking may be a symptom of an organic brain syndrome or REM behavior disorders. In adults, sleepwalking may occur with:

  • Alcohol, sedatives, or other medication
  • Medical conditions, such as partial complex seizures
  • Mental disorders