Southern California breaking news and trends

LAPD under fire after violent arrest of Venice skateboarder

Ronald Weekley

Rina Palta/KPCC

Ronald Weekley Junior (second from left) with his mother, father and sister. Weekley says police used excessive force when they arrested him August 18 in Venice.

Venice is a beach town. And that means that on any given night — especially on Saturdays — you'll see hundreds of people out and about.

"People skate, they rides bikes," said longtime resident Ronald Weekley. "And you will not see one of them stopped for skateboarding. Backwards, forwards, this side of the street, that side of the street.”

So Ronald Weekley, who’s African American, wants to know why his son was stopped. Ron Weekley Junior, a student at Xavier University, says he didn’t think officers were after him when they yelled at someone to stop as he skated home. He was walking into his apartment when he was grabbed from behind.

"The other officer put his knees on my back," Ron Weekly Jr. described. "He grabbed my hair with his left hand and beat me with his right. He hit me twice, right away ... I started screaming and yelling because I thought I was going to die."

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$50,000 reward offered for information about Venice slaying of Oscar Duncan

oscar duncan

Photo by Antonio Castelan via NBC LA

Oscar Duncan was shot dead outside a home in Venice Monday night. A popular youth minister and mentor at the local Boys & Girls Club, Duncan is pictured here in his Venice High football uniform.

A $50,000 reward for information about the fatal shooting of 23-year-old youth pastor Oscar Duncan was announced Thursday at a press conference.

Police say Duncan was standing with his girlfriend in front of his mother's home Monday night after returning from Bible study when a car pulled up, comments were made, and a shot was fired, striking him in the head.

Authorites say the mentor, musician, youth pastor and former football captain, was not gang affiliated and had no criminal record. They believe the assailants may have been gang members.

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner

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Venice youth mentor Oscar Duncan fatally shot near Abbot Kinney

oscar duncan

Photo by Antonio Castelan via NBC LA

Oscar Duncan was shot dead outside a home in Venice Monday night. A popular youth minister and mentor at the local Boys & Girls Club, Duncan is pictured here in his Venice High football uniform.

The search continues Tuesday for information regarding the killing of influential Venice resident Oscar Duncan.

Duncan -- known for his work as a youth minister, mentor, and musician -- was fatally shot in the head Monday night at around 10:30 p.m. as he walked on the 600 block of Santa Clara Avenue, say police.

Detectives believe a white vehicle approached Duncan and then stopped. Officials say one of the occupants shot Duncan as he stood in the roadway. The motive for the shooting is unknown, and police have no suspect descriptions at this time.

The former Venice High School football player, known to some as "Choir Boy," was involved with programs at the Greater Zion Church in Compton and the Takeover Youth Ministry and was a longstanding presence at the Boys & Girls Club in Venice, according to detectives.

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Google will not muscle Gold's Gym out of its Venice location

gold's gym

Photo via NBC LA

Earlier reports that Google was looking to flex its real estate brawn by kicking out Gold's Gym from its 200,000-square-foot Venice location were proven, "flat wrong," said NBC LA.

The famed gym was never the target of a takeover for office space, said Jordan Newman, manager of corporate communications and public affairs at Google. "We have no plans to expand into Gold's Gym space," he said. "In fact, we are working with them to extend their lease."

Gold's Gym is nearing the end of its current rental agreement, and though Google does not own the building, it has plans to lease the space and then sublease it.

Newman confirms that Google will be renting out the Gold's building in summer 2014, the LA Weekly reports, but does not have plans to move into the bodybuilding basilica. He was not sure how the misinformation occurred.

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Lizard king: 2-headed, 6-legged bearded dragon joins Venice Beach 'Freakshow'

two headed bearded dragon venice beach freakshow

Screenshot via Venice Beach Freakshow on Facebook

There's a new lizard king lounging around Venice Beach who stands to take Jim's heady title in cold blood.

Claiming to have the largest multi-headed menagerie on the planet, Todd Ray, who displays his anomalous animals on Venice Beach, has added a new double to his terrarium of tumult.

Jeckyl and Hyde, a two-headed, six-legged bearded dragon, recently made its debut at the "Venice Beach Freakshow," a five dollar boardwalk must-see staple for odditiy admirers.

Ray is of two minds, however, about letting his new creature hang out with his other two-headed dragon, Pancho and Lefty, notes the Huffington Post.

Theoretically, all four noggins could share a space, but considering the rarity, he's opted to keep them separated just in case they dont see eye to eye to eye to eye. Each has a built-in friend, anyhow.

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