Southern California breaking news and trends

Outreach operation relocates Hollywood Hills homeless

homeless outreach operation

Photo: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

LASD Parks Bureau deputies and numerous organizations responded to the hills surrounding the Hollywood Bowl for a Homeless Outreach Operation on Thursday, July 12, 2012.

Parks Bureau sheriff's deputies and homeless shelter outreach workers made contact Thursday with a community of transients living in brush encampments in the hills near the Hollywood Bowl, LASD announced.

Officials received numerous resident complaints about "threats and acts of violence, thefts, panhandling, littering, people bathing in residents pools, defecation, and fires started by transients," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced.

Nearly a dozen organizations collaborated and assisted on the outreach operation which resulted in the voluntary relocation of twenty five men and three women, six individuals accepting emergency shelter, and others obtaining social and health services, said LASD. One man, found with a broken leg, was transported to a local hospital for treatment.


Homeless kids get a snow day in DTLA: Christmas in July

Christmas in July

Nick Ut/AP

July 11, 2012: Christmas in July at Union Rescue Mission in DTLA.

Photo of the day -- More than 20 tons of snow was brought to the Union Rescue Mission in Downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday July 11, 2012 for a Christmas in July event sponsored by Subway. The kids had lunch and visited with Santa. 

Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of URM, documented the day's non-Slurpee related iced shenanigans via Twitter.


Pinkberry scoop: Co-founder pleads not guilty to tire iron assault of homeless man

Pinkberry Co-founder Arrrested

Reed Saxon/AP

A Pinkberry store is seen in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles.

Pinkberry co-founder Young Lee, accused in the June tire iron beating of a homeless man near a 101 Freeway off-ramp, pleaded not guilty to felony assault in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Upinder Kalra granted Lee, who remains free on $60,000 bail, a one-time dispensation allowing him to travel to South Korea, reports the L.A. Times. Lee agreed to automatic extradition should he fail to make his next court date on March 5.

Lee has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a summer 2011 attack on a transient, allegedly over a sexually explicit tattoo that may have been viewed as disrespectful, according to authorities.

Los Angeles police say words were exchanged between the man seeking money and Lee in a rented Range Rover.


Accused OC homeless killer given 15 seconds with lawyer, does not enter plea

Homeless Homicides


Anaheim Police Department photo of Itzcoatl Ocampo. The former Marine is accused of killing four homeless men in Orange County.

Itzcoatl Ocampo, the 23-year-old former Marine accused in the brutal serial killing of four homeless men in Orange County, appeared in a cell on Tuesday at a Santa Ana arraignment that lasted less than five minutes before being postponed.

Ocampo's lawyer asked for a continuance, saying he was given only 15 seconds to speak with his client through a food slot, and did not have enough information to enter a plea. Jail officials also had not conducted a psychological evaluation on Ocampo, reports KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez.

"He was curled up in a ball under a blanket in underwear, no shirt, no pants," Longwith said. "He looked like a wet cat — a scared, wet cat. It wasn't much conversation," said Ocampo's lawyer of his brief visit on Tuesday, reports the L.A. Times.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Ruckauckas called Ocampo a "thrill kill" case — a person who kills "to see what it’s like to make those kills and he gets a thrill out of it." He expects Ocampo to plead insanity.