<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Sun, 27 Jul 2014 23:28:35 -0700 Sun, 27 Jul 2014 23:28:35 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Lightning Strike Kills Venice Beachgoer]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 23:23:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/venice-beach-lightning-sand.jpg

A 20-year-old man has died in the hospital after being struck by lightning at Venice Beach on Sunday, officials said. Seven other beachgoers were also hospitalized, including one with critical injuries.

The victims were in or near the water near the pier in the 3500 block of South Ocean Front Walk when the bolts touched down about 2:20 p.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

"All of a sudden it was the loudest thunder I've ever heard, it was like a scene out of 'Jaws,' all the mothers were going into grab their kids to drag them out of the water," said witness Joe Doro.

Thirteen people, who were all in or near the water when the bolts touched down, were checked out by firefighters at the scene. Eight of them were taken to hospitals, including seven adults and a 15-year-old, the LAFD said.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office confirmed that the man died at Marina Del Rey Hospital.

A swimmer who was released from the hospital Sunday night said he doesn't remember the lightning strike, but remembers being rescued from the water after suddenly losing consciousness.

"The next thing you know I was struggling to get my head above water," said the swimmer, who identified himself only as Paul. "I'm really lucky they were brave enough to come in."

A video taken at the scene shows the frantic moments when rescuers pulled another person who appeared to be unconscious out of the water.

A beachgoer who was about 50 yards away from the pier said he felt a jolt of electricity from his feet to the top of his head when the lightning struck.

"We all got up off the ground and we were just amazed by what had happened," Eric Amparansaid. "We saw some commotion by the waterline and another person was struck by the lightning, and he was unconscious lying on the beach. The lifeguards were already there doing CPR on him."

Witnesses said the lightning strike sounded like an explosion.

"A flash and simultaneously the loudest clap of thunder I’ve ever heard in my life, because it was so close. I thought it was like a bomb almost," said witness Ned Walker.

On Santa Catalina Island, a 57-year-old man who was on an Avalon golf course was also struck by lightning. He was hospitalized in stable condition, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said. He was expected to survive.

In Redondo Beach, a home and car parked in its driveway in the 1600 block of Haynes Lane were damaged by a bolt of lightning. No one there was hurt.

The lightning strikes occurred as a thunderstorm hit the island, causing minor flooding and setting two small fires in the brushy backcountry that were quickly doused.

Monsoon conditions moving in from Arizona were expected to bring small amounts of rain -- up to a quarter-inch -- all throughout Los Angeles County through the evening, according to David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

“There is that potential for brief heavy amounts,” Sweet said of the rain. “In most places it will be small.”

In Avalon, about two-thirds of an inch was recorded in about 30 minutes, weather officials said. One man was apparently injured in a lightning strike and minor flooding reported in the area, according to wire reports.

After a cloudy night, the sun was expected to be out again Monday. Temperatures were expected in the mid to upper 70s inland areas and 80s and 90s inland.

Weather officials said the rainfall was too localized to make any dent in the state's ongoing drought crisis.

Kate Larsen contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: @Venice311 via Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Uber Driver Arrested After Assault]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 17:01:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/police-lights-night-shutterstock_54084688.jpg

Police have made an arrest after a woman claimed an Uber cab driver sexually assaulted her earlier this month.

Police arrested 31-year-old Reshad Chakari of Alexandria, Virginia, and charged him with second-degree sexual abuse.

On July 20, police had responded to the 1400 block of Rhode Island Ave., NW, where a woman reported that an Uber Cab driver had sexually assaulted her. According to the police report, the woman said Chakari touched her while she was sleeping in the car.

"Rider safety is Uber's #1 priority. We take reports like this seriously and are treating the matter with the utmost urgency and care," said Taylor Bennett, spokesperson for Uber Technologies. "It is also our policy to immediately suspend a driver’s account following any serious allegations, which we have done. We stand ready to assist authorities in any investigation.”

Stay with News4 and NBCWashington for more on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Officers Beat Burglary Suspect in Surveillance Video]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 12:33:52 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/santa+ana+pd+video+copy.jpg

Santa Ana police officers are being accused of using excessive force after surveillance video emerged showing officers punching and using a baton on a burglary suspect who fled arrest.

Edgar Vargas Arzate, 27, fled from officers responding to a burglary call on June 20 and led police on a chase through backyards and private residences, officials said.

Police said officers caught up with Arzate around the 400 block of Sycamore Street and used force to take him into custody.

Video from a neighbor’s security cameras shows Arzate raising his hands and laying on the ground face-down after being confronted by police officers. An officer then comes to restrain the suspect, putting his knee on Arzate’s back and punching him repeatedly. Another officer is then seen hitting Arzate on the legs with what appears to be his police baton.

Arzate pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted burglary, battery on a peace officer, unlawful tampering of a vehicle and resisting a police officer, stemming from the arrest.

Police said they are conducting an internal investigation of the June 20 incident.

Court records show Arzate has prior convictions for burglary and possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to two years in state prison in 2006 for theft with a prior felony, buying or receiving a stolen vehicle and hit-and-run with property damage.

Photo Credit: Miriam Grajales]]>
<![CDATA[Tow Truck Driver Shot, Killed]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 22:33:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/south+gate+shooting+copy.jpg

A tow truck driver who had just repossessed a car was shot and killed in the street after being chased by a vehicle across several cities in Los Angeles early Sunday morning.

The incident began when a shooting erupted around 3:30 a.m. near a 7-Eleven at Rosecrans and Atlantic avenues in Compton, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators believe the tow truck driver, who was towing a car that had been repossessed, was the target in the shooting. The driver made it to Firestone Boulevard and Rayo Avenue in South Gate before slamming into a vehicle going through the intersection, officials told NBC4.

When the tow truck driver got out of the vehicle, at least one person from a car chasing him shot at and killed him.

Authorities detained two people but it was unclear if they were connected to the case.

Homicide detectives were still on scene around 11 a.m. searching for clues of what led to the shooting.

Photo Credit: Jane Yamamoto]]>
<![CDATA[Exclusive: House, Car Torched in Fatal Lightning Storm ]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 19:23:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*213/redondo-beach-lightning-strike-1.jpg A house and car in a Redondo Beach neighborhood were damaged by lightning on Sunday, July 27, 2014, the same day that at least nine people were struck by lightning in other parts of Southern California, including a 20-year-old man at Venice Beach who later died at the hospital.

Photo Credit: Michael Brown]]>
<![CDATA[Lightning Strikes in Southland Cause Injuries]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 17:22:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/lightening+strike+Venice+311+4.jpg Brief periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms that touched down on areas of the Southland on Sunday, July 27, 2014, caused injuries in Venice and Avalon from lightning strikes.

Photo Credit: @Venice311]]>
<![CDATA[AM Forecast: Clouds & Heat]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 11:53:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/webweatherjuly27_1200x675_312791107698.jpg Cloud cover wasn't expected to keep the heat out of Southern California Sunday as temperatures remained high. NBC4's Elita Loresca has the forecast for Sunday, July 27, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Marshals Nab Sex Offender Who Escaped GPS, Fled to Tijuana]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 07:56:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/isaac+alawdi.jpg

 A fugitive who slipped his GPS monitor and escaped into Mexico was arrested in Tijuana Friday, accused of a violent home invasion in California’s Kern County.

Isaac Alawdi – a 32-year-old convicted sex offender – allegedly stabbed an elderly Vietnam veteran in the neck as he tried to get into a Bakersfield home in November 2012, according to local media reports.

He was charged with burglary in that case and released on a bond with a GPS monitor.

However, on June 6, 2013, Alawdi escaped the monitor and apparently ran to Mexico, U.S. Marshals say.

The suspect was arrested by Tijuana Police Friday after he showed them a fake Mexican ID card.

When Marshals informed Mexican officials of Alawdi’s fugitive status, they turned him over to U.S. Marshals’ custody Saturday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Alawdi was booked into the San Diego Central Jail on a charge of violation of parole. U.S. Marshals say he should appear in San Diego County court on Monday.

Photo Credit: Kern County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Wedding Photos Lead to Rap Cameo]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 16:07:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/195*120/we+still+coming.jpg

After Amy and Ian said "I do," they never thought their wedding photo shoot would go viral.

"It just started taking on a life of its own," said the groom's mother, Suzanne Hicks. " It was like a domino effect."

The groom, originally from South Florida, and his bride from Michigan wed during Memorial Day weekend in Detroit. The couple and their bridal party quickly gained fame after a photo of them went viral, accompanied by a message snapshot where a woman texted a wedding photo shoot invite to the wrong person. The stranger then responded, "We Still Coming".

"The 'we still coming' text message was like a hoax, it was fake. Somebody somehow got a hold of this picture -- we don't know where or how -- and they put this fake text with it," said Hicks.

Although the text is fake, there is a real story behind the photo. The best man says they stopped at Michigan Central Station to take wedding pictures and upon arriving a rap group named 7262 was filming a music video at the same spot.

"We were in a good mood, we were all celebrating the wedding and we went over there to say what's up," said Mike Maloney, the best man. "They said they were filming. We said let's hear the song and then one thing led to another, we made friends with them, started dancing with them, and the next thing we know we're on all these internet sites."

Since its July 1st upload, 7262's "Anthem" video already has nearly 200,000 views. The best man says it was an unexpected collaboration; however, they were practicing their moves prior to the video anyway.

"I mean, we were definitely ready to dance cause we were there for a wedding. So we were ready to dance for the reception so we were already working on our moves before that," said Maloney.

Photo Credit: Adam Sparkes]]>
<![CDATA[22 Wounded, Boy Killed in Chicago Weekend Shootings]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 15:50:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/23_SHOOTINGS_7-77-14.jpg

Editor's Note: NBC Chicago includes shootings that took place between 6 p.m. Friday and 12 a.m. Monday in the weekend violence report.

Shootings Saturday and Sunday increased the total number of people shot in Chicago over the weekend to 23.

Casualties over the weekend include a 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed at about 6 p.m. Friday in the 700 block of South California Avenue. Six others were also wounded in a shooting that witnesses say was a drive-by.

"As a result again of guns being introduced into what otherwise would have been a fist fight, we have seven kids shot ... and one of theme dead," Chicago Police superintendent Garry McCarthy said Sunday.

"At the end of the day if we stem the flow of guns coming in and we put people in jail for possession of firearms, we'll see the murder rate and violent in this city plummet."

A 3-year-old was also critically wounded Friday night when he was shot at about 10:15 p.m. in the 4400 block of South Sacramento Avenue. The bullet struck the young boy in his abdomen and exited through his hip, officials said. Police say the child's mother's boyfriend was the intended target.

Alger Sanchez, 19, and Anton Aseves, 22, were charged Sunday night with aggravated battery-discharge of a firearm and two felony counts of attempted murder in the first degree.

Nine shootings were reported Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.

A 32-year-old man was grazed in the neck by a bullet 8 a.m. Sunday on the 2900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue. The victim told police that he was shot by an unknown person in a grey vehicle. He took himself to an area hospital where he was listed in good condition. Police say the victim has documented gang ties. No one is in custody.

At about 3:50 a.m. Sunday, a man was shot while sitting in the back of a car outside a party at 58th and Wolcott. Police say two people began arguing outside of the car, and one of them fired a gun, striking the individual inside the car. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was listed in critical condition.

Police say a woman and her boyfriend were walking out of a nightclub in the 100 block of West Huron when they became involved in an altercation with another man. The boyfriend produced a gun, which he dropped during the struggle, according to police. The woman picked up the gun and place it in her purse, but was shot in the leg when her boyfriend reached for it. She's listed in stable condition at a local hospital.

At about 4:40 a.m., police say a man walked into Christ Hospital with a bullet wound to his right ankle. The victim says he was walking down the street in the 5600 block of South Emerald Street when he was approached by two males who asked if he was from the neighborhood. He said he kept walking, heard shots, and felt the pain in his ankle. Nobody is in custody for the shooting.

A 27-year-old man walking in the 2600 block of West Augusta at about 11:15 p.m. Saturday says he suddenly felt pain and discovered he was shot in the hip. He took himself to a local hospital where he was listed in stable condition. Police say he is a documented gang member. Nobody is in custody for the shooting.

A 15-year-old boy was shot in the 133rd block of South Eberhart at about 10 p.m. The victim says he was walking down the street, heard shots and felt pain in his neck. He was listed in stable condition.

A 36-year-old man is listed in stable condition after he was shot near the Eisenhower Expressway at about 8:45 p.m. Saturday. The victim was talking to a woman at a gas station in the 600 block of South Independence when he says an individual approached the pair with a gun and announced a robbery. The man says he tried to knock the gun away but it discharged, striking him in the stomach. The man drove to the highway ramp where the was met by EMS. Nobody is in custody for the shooting and attempted robbery.

A 24-year-old man is listed in stable condition after he was shot in the calf at about 1:30 p.m. in the 1700 block of West Farwell Avenue. Police say the victim is a documented gang member with a felony conviction. Nobody is in custody for the shooting.

Police say the victim of a shooting at about 12:45 p.m. Saturday is not cooperating with investigators. The 26-year-old man was sitting the driver's seat of a car at 52nd and Hoyne when he was shot. He's listed in serious condition with a wound to the chest after a friend drove him to a local hospital.

<![CDATA[Officer Hit Woman With "All the Strength He Had": Lawsuit]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 23:49:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/227*120/CHPCropWatermark4.JPG


The woman seen on a now-viral video being repeatedly punched by a California Highway Patrol officer said her dress was violently ripped to expose her bare buttocks as she told the officer “I didn’t do anything to you,” according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed last week and amended Friday.

Marlene Pinnock, 51, said in the lawsuit that she had dealt with the officer in the past, and that he called her by name as she walked in the area of the 10 Freeway west of downtown Los Angeles July 1. When she began to leave the area the lawsuit alleges she was “violently thrown to the ground” by the officer.

“He was bamming me in my temples with all the strength he had,” Pinnock said in the lawsuit. Pinnock said she told the officer, “stop, I didn’t do anything to you.”

CHP Commissioner Joseph Farrow told the Sacramento Bee newspaper last week that "the need for more (training) has been exposed," in reference to the video and how the law enforcement agency deals with the mentally ill.

Pinnock’s attorney, Caree Harper, also alleges that the officer, on a “mission to humiliate her,” violently ripped Pinnock’s dress after she tried pulling it down because she wasn’t wearing underwear.

Harper said Pinnock had no alcohol or drugs in her system when the incident took place.

"We’re asserting that it, in fact, was an attempted murder,” Harper said. “His actions were extreme, outrageous and intentionally humiliating. He had her on the side of the road with no underwear on, her buttocks was out."

The lawsuit claims Pinnock was "a victim of 10-15 unprovoked vicious blows from the officer while he straddled her and made no attempt to arrest her during the attack."

Farrow said last week that the video only captured part of the altercation, and that one would need to know “what was going on the officer’s mind” at the time of incident.

Investigators with CHP seized medical records for Pinnock last week as she remained hospitalized.

"She suffered a traumatic head injury," Harper said. "How can you give away files about someone injured ... to the very people who beat her?"

Farrow told the Associated Press last week that he couldn't confirm the search warrant.

"I think what they're trying to do is, they don't have a statement from her, and they're trying to find that out," Farrow said. "I don't think the CHP is trying to put her on trial or make it an issue about her. What I'm looking at is entirely about the circumstances, we all saw what happened. Our job is to find out the why and the how."

The officer, whose name has not been released by CHP, was placed on desk duty.

The CHP said it had no comment on the amended lawsuit.

Jane Yamamoto contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: David Diaz]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrans Approves Toll Lanes on I-405 in OC]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:54:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/218*120/trafficcrop.jpg

The California Department of Transportation on Friday announced its support for a plan to add two toll lanes to the 405 Freeway in Orange County that has drawn sharp criticism from area residents and local officials in the past.

The plans won’t be finalized until Caltrans’ Orange County district director signs it after an environmental impact report scheduled to be completed in early 2015, the agency said.

The proposal takes the Orange County Transportation Authority’s existing plans to add one free lane in each direction on a nearly 15-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway between Seal Beach and Costa Mesa, a congested section of the freeway that the OCTA said sees 33,000 cars daily.

It also recommends building an additional toll lane and converting the existing carpool lane into a second toll lane, a plan that Caltrans approved despite backlash over the idea in Orange County in December.

“It moves the most vehicles and people per hour, improves air quality, travel times,
and provides trip reliability,” said Ryan Chamberlain, director of the Caltrans district in Orange County.

The OCTA rejected toll lanes in December when it first approved the new free lanes. Several Orange County mayors and state Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, R-Costa Mesa, voiced their disapproval of toll lanes, even seeking legislation to stop a potential plan for them.

“Once the public’s already paid for a lane with sales taxes or gas taxes it shouldn’t then be taken away from them and only given to people that are willing to pay the eight or 10 dollars a day to use it as a toll lane,” Costa Mesa city council member Jim Righeimer told NBC4 in December.

Construction for the project is expected to begin in 2016, Caltrans said in a statement. The over-$1 billion job to add the free lanes would be mostly funded by the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation projects, the agency said, and Caltrans will find additional funding to construct the new toll lanes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Florida Keys Webcam Captures Sea Turtle Hatching]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 12:06:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/174*120/seaturtlewebcam726.jpg

A live-streaming, high-definition "turtle webcam" positioned on a beach in the Florida Keys has recorded the hatch of about 100 baby loggerhead sea turtles.

The webcam has been focused on the nest in the Lower Keys for almost two weeks. Friday evening, the 3-inch-long babies erupted from a hole, came out en masse and headed to the Atlantic Ocean under dim moonlight.

The camera uses infrared lighting so hatchlings won't be confused by artificial light and will go to sea — guided by moonlight reflecting on the water -- instead of pushing further onto land.

"This webcam is high-definition, the first time ever used (to record a turtle hatch), and also an infrared IR-emitting light that is so important because it does not disturb any of the activities of the turtle trying to find the ambient light of the moon," said Harry Appel, president of the Keys-based Save-a-Turtle organization, that helped to coordinate the webcam in partnership with the Florida Keys tourism council that funded the effort.

The webcam is part of ongoing efforts in the Keys to raise awareness of sea turtles and the need to protect them.

"It's so important here in the Keys to protect these nests and these turtles," Appel said. "They've been around for millions, maybe hundreds of millions, of years."

Loggerhead, green, leatherback, hawksbill and Kemp's ridley sea turtles nest on beaches in the Keys and other parts of Florida, and inhabit Florida and Keys waters. All five species are considered either threatened or endangered.

The webcam was approved by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.

To view the webcam and recording of the turtles hatching, visit www.fla-keys.com/turtlecam.

Photo Credit: Florida Keys News Bureau]]>
<![CDATA[Man Attacks Brother with Hedge Clippers: Cops]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 08:53:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Hedge-Clipper-fight-0726.jpg

A fight over money between brothers in San Diego led to one of the brothers being booked for attempted murder.

San Diego police said they were called to Casita Way in Rolando around 3 p.m. Friday after the brothers got into a fight.

During the argument, the elder brother grabbed a pair of hedge clippers and chased after his younger brother, trying to hit him, police said.

The younger brother – described by police as in his 20s – was hit in the arm and suffered a large gash.

He was hospitalized and is expected to recover, officials said.

The older brother was arrested at the home. San Diego police said he will be booked for attempted murder.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[PD Tracks Burglars Through App]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 08:52:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/La-Mesa-police-badge.jpg

When a La Mesa man was awakened by burglars in his home, he called 911. The police officers who arrived didn't catch the suspects from the air or the ground but through a common app on many smartphones.

The two suspects broke into a home on McRae Avenue just after midnight Saturday and ran off with the homeowners’ handgun, medication, money and iPhone, according to La Mesa police. .

After a K-9 team and helicopter search could not find the suspects, investigators turned to the Find-My-Phone app. By entering the homeowner’s iPhone information, they were able to trace the suspects to an address in Chula Vista.

Chula Vista police were asked to check the address, but La Mesa PD soon discovered the iPhone was on the move again. This time, back to La Mesa, police said.

Officers tracked the signal to Murray Hill Drive and Yale Avenue where they stopped a dark blue late model BMW and took both men in the car into custody.

Officers say they recovered the stolen items from the car.

Luis Pelayo and Luis Gallardo, both 21 and from San Diego, were booked at the San Diego County Jail on charges of residential burglary, theft of a firarm and possession of a controlled substance.

<![CDATA[People Hit by Car at Zombie Walk]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 15:29:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/zombie+walk+crash.JPG

Passersby were hit by a car Saturday evening while the annual Comic-Con Zombie Walk took over downtown San Diego, the San Diego Police Department confirmed, and the whole incident was caught on cell phone video.

Police said a deaf family with small children in the black Honda Accord was stopped near 2nd and Island avenues just after 5:30 p.m., waiting for participants of the Zombie Walk to cross.

After several minutes the 48-year-old father slowly rolled forward, trying to get out of the area.

According to the SDPD, several people from the crowd of zombies allegedly surrounded the car and began punching it. Police said the car windshield was shattered by the crowd.

The family was frightened, police said, so the father drove forward again. As he drove, he struck a 64-year-old woman with the side of his car.

In a video posted to YouTube, you can see the woman in a pink shirt -- who was not part of the zombie march -- falling under the car and sustaining a serious arm injury.

The zombie crowd then chased the driver on foot as the family drove toward a police officer down the street, officials said. The driver stopped when he arrived at the location of the police officers.

Officials said the victim was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. She’s expected to recover.

Two other people were also left with minor injuries. 

The car's driver has been cited, but he will not be criminally charged. The incident remains under investigation by police. 

However, witnesses in the crowd give a very different account. 

After watching the scene, Sean Foley told NBC 7 the Honda driver started honking incessantly as he was stuck behind the several pedicabs and vehicles leading up to the parade on 2nd Avenue. 

When he started inching forward, a parade watcher sat on his hood, Foley said. As the driver continued to accelerate, others stood in front of the car. 

"People began shouting for him to stop so as not to run through a parade that included [sic] children and babies in strollers at which point he floored his car through the crowd," Foley wrote in an email.

Diana Jackson, who said she was about 10 people away, told NBC 7 on Facebook that the driver took off with such aggression "that his tires squealed."

Counter to police information, Foley said the driver's window was broken after he hit people, not before. 

"The only reason he was surrounded by a crowd who was angry was because he was pushing his car through a crowd that was trying to watch the parade," said Foley.

Foley said the woman who suffered the arm injury was run over by both the front and back wheels. 

According to the Twitter page for the SDZombieWalk, participants of the event had nothing to do with the incident. Many tweeted that they were stunned by the turn of events at the walk and wished a speedy recovery to woman injured in the incident.

Organizers released another video that shows "no zombies touching the car that we can see" and nobody beating the car, according to ZombieWalk's post on its Facebook page.

Photo Credit: YouTube]]>
<![CDATA[Father Kills Son: Police]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 16:22:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Delco-Shooting.jpg

A Philadelphia man is on life support after police say he shot and killed his son, critically injured his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself.

Investigators say 26-year-old Shyema Washington and her 5-year-old son were attending a family member's birthday party at an apartment complex on the 1100 block of Haverford Road in Ridley Township Saturday night.

Police say the boy's father and Washington's boyfriend Tyrell Styles, 26, of Philadelphia arrived at the party to pick up his son around 11:30 p.m. Washington went inside the apartment to get her son, according to investigators. When she came back outside, Styles allegedly pulled out a Ruger 9 mm and opened fire.

Washington was struck once in the mouth, twice in the buttocks and once in the midsection. Styles then allegedly pointed the gun at his own son and fired two shots. The boy was struck once in the forehead and once in the ankle. Styles then fled the scene in a white Pontiac Grand Prix, according to police.

Responding officers chased after Styles, leading to a collision on Chester Pike and Oak Avenue in which two other drivers suffered minor injuries. Police say Styles continued to drive off until he arrived at a dead end on the 300 block of Brainerd Boulevard in Sharon Hill. As officers got out of their cars to approach him, investigators say Styles turned the gun on himself and fired one shot.

The 5-year-old boy was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead. Washington was also taken to Crozer-Chester where she is currently in critical condition.

Styles was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is currently on life support.

According to police, Styles and Washington were undergoing domestic issues prior to the shooting. They also say Styles legally owned the gun he used in the shooting. 

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Stolen Camera Found on Craigslist]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 05:47:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/79461801.jpg

A man who found his stolen camera listed for sale on Craigslist endeavored to recover it himself this weekend.

La Mesa Police say thieves stole the victim’s camera out of his car in San Diego on Friday.

Not long after, the man saw a listing for it online, contacted the suspects through Craigslist and planned to meet them at Grossmont Center at 2 a.m. Saturday.

However, about 20 minutes before the meet, the victim called La Mesa Police to tell them his plan.

Officers told him it was not safe to meet with the suspects alone and asked him to wait in the area for police to arrive. But other calls took priority, so officers could not meet with him right away, according to the LMPD.

The police department soon got another call from the victim, who told them he had met with the suspects in an effort to buy his camera back.

He claimed the suspects pulled a gun on him and then fled in a beige Ford Explorer.

The victim, who was not injured, decided to follow the suspects’ vehicle. With the help of El Cajon Police, officers tracked the vehicle as it turned from Johnson Avenue in El Cajon onto the Interstate 8 on-ramp.

Police pulled the vehicle over, searched inside and recovered the camera. However, they did not find a gun, and investigators discovered the victim’s allegation that the suspects held him at gunpoint was false.

Three suspects were taken into custody and booked into jail.

Jessica Hart, 31, already had two felony warrants out for her arrest, so police added charges of possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools.

Joseph Kelly, 19, and Dominic Gress, 25, face the same charges.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LAPD Officer Dies After Off-Duty Crash]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 02:21:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/lagenerics+lapd.jpg

A police officer who was injured in an off-duty crash earlier this week died Saturday, a Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman said.

Kathleen Talbot, a Rampart Station patrol officer, crashed early Thursday morning. Details surrounding the crash were unclear, but witnesses told radio station KHTS in Santa Clarita that Talbot's vehicle crossed the center line of Valencia Boulevard and crashed into a light pole.

Marty Siebe of Lebec witnessed the crash, and emailed KHTS to say that he "never saw her apply the brakes, and can only assume that she lost consciousness when she first began to drift."

An officer at the Rampart Station said the death was from natural causes.

"Hearts and prayers go out to the Talbot Family. You will be missed. #LAPD @LAPDRampart," Police Chief Charlie Beck tweeted Saturday.

In 2011, Talbot had been honored by LAPD for helping to save the life of an arrested person who had been trying to commit suicide inside a holding cell at the Rampart station, City News Service reported.

Police plan on releasing more information Monday.

Talbot's passing was the latest in a series of LAPD officer deaths this year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Byron Scott Coaching Lakers]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 22:36:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-Hire-Byron-Scott.jpg

After three interviews, fan frustration, wild speculation and a drawn out coaching search that resulted in unbelievable rumors, the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly agreed to terms with Byron Scott to become the team's head coach.

The deal is for four years and $17 million, ESPN Los Angeles reported.

The Lakers told NBC4 an announcement would be made when the deal was struck.

The calendar read April when Mike D’Antoni vacated the position, but the Lakers immediately made it clear that they were in no hurry to find a replacement. Nearly three months later, however, fans were losing patience and some NBA analysts were simply losing their heads.

In the week leading up to Scott being offered the Lakers’ coaching gig, ESPN’s Bill Simmons went on a national radio show and proclaimed that it was “obvious” that the Lakers were waiting around to see whether Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers would step away from that franchise’s toxic ownership situation.

Not for the first time, a baseless story about the Lakers found legs and garnered national media attention.

More likely, the Lakers’ front office maintained a consistent dialogue with Scott as it worked to fill out the Lakers’ roster. With a parade of Ed Davis, Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer contract signings and media presentations complete, the Lakers’ roster was all but set when news of Scott being offered the vacancy seeped through the cracks and onto the scrolling headlines at the bottom of the screen.

On Friday, ESPN was first to report that Scott and the Lakers were engaged in negotiations. The LA Daily News then reported that Scott was offered the position late Thursday night.

With the Lakers’ roster almost set—rookie Jordan Clarkson and swing man Wesley Johnson remain the only players not yet signed—the front office methodically moved forward from the roster to the coach. Scott, who was portrayed as the front runner for the months leading up to the announcement, finally received the expected phone call and appeared to move quickly to accept the position and begin negotiating terms.

Worth mentioning, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne earlier reported George Karl earned a great deal of consideration from the Lakers’ front office. Ultimately, Scott was the Lakers’ top choice, and they got their man.

Previously, Scott led the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals twice and received NBA Coach of the Year honors with the New Orleans Hornets. As a player, Scott was a notable member of the “Showtime” Lakers and won three championships in the 1980s.

In his final NBA season, Scott served as Kobe Bryant’s rookie mentor, and Bryant explicitly endorsed Scott when asked whether he would like to see the 53-year-old patrolling the sidelines at Staples Center.

With Scott agreeing terms, the Lakers now have a near complete roster and a head coach.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Hire Byron Scott as Head Coach: Report]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:52:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/byronscott.jpg

The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly hired Byron Scott as the team's new head coach.

ESPN.com reported Saturday that the two sides have agreed to terms on a four-year, $17 million contract.

Scott won three titles as a Lakers player during the team's "Showtime" era with Magic Johnson. He played in the NBA for 14 seasons, most with the Lakers.

ESPN reported that the Lakers verbally offered Scott the job Thursday.

Scott was previously head coach of the New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers. He led the Nets to the NBA Finals in back-to- back seasons. He was named NBA coach of the year in 2008 with the Hornets.

Scott has the endorsement of Lakers star Kobe Bryant. The two were teammates in 1996 during Bryant's rookie season.

NBC4 has reached out to the Lakers for comment.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Thousands Rally for Palestine]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:01:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/218*120/7-26+palestinian+protest.jpg

Thousands of Palestinian supporters gathered along Michigan Avenue Saturday to call for an end to the violence as fighting between Gaza and Israel continued Saturday.

Police estimate bout 8,000 demonstrators marched to Chicago's Federal Plaza calling for "peace with justice."

"My message is to stop the killing of Palestinians and to end the occupation," said Deena Kishawi, whose family is from Gaza.

Kishawi is attending college in Chicago, but said the crisis became even more personal for her after her cousin was killed in the conflict.

"My cousin was not a military person," she said. "He was a civilian and he died from an attack by Israel."

The protest comes as news that an attempted truce was rejected by Hamas officials Saturday.

Hamas militants fired three more rockets into Israel from Gaza Saturday, Israel's military said, after a Hamas official said the group rejected an Israeli proposal to extend a cease-fire by four more hours, NBC News reported.

The Palestinian death toll rose above 1,047, as 147 bodies were pulled from the rubble Saturday, Palestinian health official Asraf al-Kidra said. Israel has lost 40 soldiers and two civilians.

Among the Saturday protesters was Lynn Pollack, with the Jewish Voice for Peace, who said she is "horrified" by the violence taking place.

"I call on my fellow Jewish-Americans to stand up against what is happening and say you don't want it in your name," she said.

Saturday's protest is one of many to be held in Chicago over the last week.

A pro-Israel rally Tuesday turned into a face-off with Palestinian supporters.

About 500 demonstrators gathered in front of the office of the Consulate General of Israel, at 500 W. Madison St., in a call for peace. That country's military forces since July 8 have been fighting Hamas militants.

Across the street, about 100 people gathered to support the Palestinian people. Police kept the crowds separate but said one arrest was made.

The Palestinians say Israel is randomly deploying a wide array of modern weaponry against Gaza's 1.7 million people, inflicting a heavy civilian death toll and destroying large amounts of property there.

"We're not anti-Israel. We're not pro-Hamas. But we're pro-saving these children," said Sohni Singh, who stood with the rally organized by the Coalition for Justice in Palestine.

The U.S., Israel and the European Union all consider Hamas a terrorist organization. The United Nations does not.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday ordered all U.S. airline carriers to halt flights in and out of Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport because of a Hamas rocket attack nearby.

Israel and the U.S. back an unconditional cease-fire proposal that has been offered by Egypt, which would be followed by talks on a possible new border arrangement for Gaza. Israel and Egypt have severely restricted movement in and out of Gaza since Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

<![CDATA[Caltrans to Build Bridge to Help Mountain Lions Mate]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 17:40:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/mountain+lion+722.jpg

California officials are planning to build a bridge over the 101 Freeway to help mountain lions that are looking for love in all the wrong places.

The California Department of Transportation announced on Saturday it is seeking $2 million from the federal government to construct the wildlife corridor in Agoura Hills that would allow mountain lions to cross the freeway to mate.

Biologists who have studied the cats for years said that being cut off from other mountain lions is causing in-breeding among the animals.

Caltrans' Los Angeles director Carrie Bowen said the bridge would also reduce the risk of collisions caused by wildlife trying to cross the 101.

Mountain lions have been killed crossing the 101 at Agoura Hills, most recently in October, according to City News Service.

<![CDATA[Teen Arrested After Threatening Violence at Surf Event]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 08:49:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/handcuffs13.jpg

A 16-year-old boy was arrested Friday after he allegedly threatened violence at the Vans US Open of Surfing this weekend.

The teen had made the threat via social media on Thursday and Huntington Beach Police found out about it the next day. Investigators determined that the threat appeared credible and served a search warrant at the teen’s home.

Police discovered a handgun and a shotgun at the home, and the teen was then arrested on a terrorist threats charge.

Investigators have seized all of the suspect’s electronic devices and are looking through them for additional evidence.

Police said that due to the ongoing investigation, they are not releasing details about the social media platform used or what threats were made.

The US Open of Surfing kicked off in Huntington Beach Saturday at 8 a.m.

By 11 p.m. Saturday, the event was mostly peaceful. Twenty-three people were arrested, mostly relating to alcohol consumption, police said.

No injuries were reported.

There were twice as many police officers this year than there were last year, when unrest resulted in shops and other property being damaged.


Photo Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Five Brush Fires Along I-5 Deemed "Suspicious"]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:03:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/newhall+brushfire+5+fwy.PNG

Firefighters fought five small brush fires along the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway in Newhall early Saturday morning in an incident that officials say is "suspicious in nature."

The fires were reported in a half-mile stretch between the 14 Freeway and Calgrove Boulevard just after midnight. The right two lanes of the northbound 5 Freeway were shut down for about two hours.

The fires were extinguished relatively quickly and approximately 1.25 acres were burned altogether.

The cause is unclear, but investigators believe that it is suspicious.

Authorities said they did not know whether this incident was connected with another fire along the 5 Freeway earlier this week.

"We did two nights ago have a fire up in the Angeles Forest, which is probably 10, 15 miles north of here. That fire too was deemed suspicious," Los Angeles County Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Salhus said.


<![CDATA[Satellite Image Search For Missing Plane Led by San Jose Teenager]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:39:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/plane+search+4.jpg

For a period of nearly two months this past winter, if Susannah Goldberg wasn't sleeping, she was on Facebook.

She cut back on her schoolwork. Her siblings took over some of her regular chores. "It was pretty much around the clock," Susannah says of the time she spent at the kitchen table with her laptop open in front of her.

Typical, technology-addicted, social-network-obsessed 17-year-old, right?

Not even close.

For evidence to the contrary, Susannah points to her very, un-smart phone. "It's an old-style flip phone," she says. "I use it to make phone calls. I can text if it is something important."

Susannah Goldberg created a Facebook page to aid in the searching of satellite imagery for the wreck of the plane carrying her scripture teacher, Dale Smith, and four members of his family.

So what was up with the Facebook marathon? Helping to bring peace to a grieving San Jose family, that's what.

Susannah, a home-schooled, San Jose teenager, had found herself, unexpectedly, in charge of a 2,000-member Facebook group dedicated to combing through tens of thousands of satellite images looking for evidence of a plane that had crashed in the Idaho wilderness piloted by her scripture teacher, Dale Smith, and carrying four members of his family.


"At the time it was gratifying to do something to help and not be helpless waiting for news, letting the months slip by," Susannah says.

Dale Smith's single-engine Beechcraft went missing on December 1st on a flight from Baker City, Oregon to Butte, Montana. The last transmission from the pilot was that he was experiencing problems due to icing and was looking for directions to land at the Johnson Creek (Idaho) airport. The plane never reached the airport.

Silicon Valley technology executive Dale Smith and four members of his family were killed with their plane crashed on December 1, 2013 in a remote area of Idaho. It took searchers more than a month to find the wreckage.

A ground search was launched but the snow-covered back-country proved difficult terrain to cover. Susannah says she would have trudged through the snow herself if it had been possible. Still, she wanted to do something.

That is when she heard about Tomnod.

Tomnod is a service that provides satellite imagery for searches just like the one being undertaken in Idaho. The images provided, though, cover immense areas of the earth and must be divided into thousands of smaller images to enable individual computer users to scan them for any signs of a plane or damage from a crash.

The more eyeballs looking at images, the more ground can be covered. In spite of her relative inexperience with social networks, Susannah knew Facebook was the place to go.

Susannah started the Tomnod: Smith Plane Search Facebook group in spite of doubts she had that she was up for the task. "There were a lot of prayers, a lot of anxiety about being able to step up to this role I had taken on, somehow." Like any good leader, though, Susannah quickly learned the power of delegating.

At its height, more than 2,000 people joined Susannah's Facebook page to help in the search for the Smith family's plane

"Over time I could see who had a good grasp on it and who people were listening to, so I asked them to be heads of teams." Susannah says most of the people she dealt with probably not aware they were being lead by someone who hadn't even graduated high school.

Still, under her leadership thousands of images were scanned and points of interest for searchers flagged. Even after the official search was called off, two weeks after the plane went down, Susannah and her team continued their effort, forwarding possible search areas to private searchers who continue the effort.

It was one of those private searchers, Dale Smith's brother Dellon, who eventually found the wreck on January 10, three-and-a-half miles from Johnson Creek Airport.

Susannah says she is glad the Smith family got the news they needed to hear. She is also glad to have been able to contribute, in one way, in the search effort. For her work, Susannah was recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship as a regional winner of the Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program. She is now eligible for $10,000 national scholarship to be announced in July.

<![CDATA[2 Dead, 2 Injured After Car Crashes Into Parked Big Rig]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:57:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/carson+fatal+crash+tla.jpg

Two people were killed and two others were injured early Saturday in Carson when a car slammed into a parked big rig and went down an embankment, officials said.

Officers responded around 2:10 a.m. to the crash on the Avalon Boulevard offramp of the southbound 405 Freeway.

Investigators said a car exited at Avalon when it hit a parked semi-truck. The vehicle then crashed down an embankment, authorities said.

Two people were pronounced dead at the scene, and two others were taken to a nearby hospital in unknown condition.

What led to the crash was unclear.

Photo Credit: OnScene.TV]]>
<![CDATA[Girl Watched Cop Shoot Dog: Family]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:31:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hometown+dog+shot.jpg

Family members and area residents say a young dog was fatally shot by police in front of a 6-year-old girl Friday afternoon in a Chicago suburb.

The dog’s owners say 1-year-old shepherd-mix Apollo had gotten out of their yard in the 8700 block of Beck Place in southwest suburban Hometown and the family had just returned him to their lawn when police arrived.

“We were in the lawn and the cop already had his gun out,” said owner Nicole Echlin. “I tried to call him in the house and he just stood there staring and I guess he showed his teeth and the cop just shot him, right in front of me and my 6-year-old daughter.”

Echlin said her young daughter “started screaming” after the shooting.

Hometown Police said the incident is under investigation but could not immediately confirm any details. They said further information would be available Monday.

"It would be too early for me to make any statement without reviewing all the facts," Chief Charles Forsyth said in a statement on the Hometown Police Department's Facebook page. "I can assure the people of Hometown that a full investigation of the incident will be conducted."

Witnesses said it didn’t appear that the dog was attacking officers or provoking them before the shooting.

“The dog wasn’t doing anything. I didn’t see it doing anything, it wasn’t barking,” said witness and area resident Nicco Torres. “Then I saw a cop shoot the dog, the dog fell to ground on the lawn. I saw through the window the dog was on the floor shot but the dog was still moving, it was moving its legs like it was trying to run but it was laying down.”

Family said the dog had no history of aggression and did not attempt to attack officers at the scene. They claim they were told by officers that the dog showed its teeth.

“I don’t know why they would pull out a gun they had so many other options,” said Echlin's 23-year-old sister and fellow owner Kristy Scialabba, who works at an animal care center in Chicago. “And to shoot a dog in front of a child that’s going to scare her for the rest of her life.”

Scialabba, who set up a Facebook page titled “Justice for Apollo,” said Apollo was taken by Animal Control to an animal hospital for treatment, but died Saturday morning.

“We’re just completely broken and we really don’t know what to do,” she said. “That was my boy, that was my dog. This is hometown you don’t hear anything like this. Nothing ever happens here.”

Photo Credit: Nicco Torres/Kristy Scialabba]]>
<![CDATA[Woman in Critical After Propane Tank Explodes Inside RV]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 13:26:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/rv+fire+pic.jpg

A woman is fighting for her life and a young boy is recovering after a propane tank exploded inside an RV in the Oxford Circle section of Philadelphia.

Police say a 36-year-old woman was cooking inside a moving RV on E. Cheltenham Avenue and Oakland Street Saturday morning around 10:15 a.m.

As she was cooking, the propane tank inside the vehicle exploded, causing a fire.

Responding firefighters managed to put out the blaze. The woman suffered burns to her legs and hands. She was taken to Temple University Hospital where she is currently in critical condition.

Investigators also say a 5-year-old boy suffered minor scrapes on both legs but was not hospitalized.

Two other adults inside the RV were not injured in the explosion.

Photo Credit: Maria Colon]]>
<![CDATA[3 in Custody in Shooting of Boy, 3]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:38:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/220*120/violence+7-26.jpg

Three people are in custody in connection to the shooting of a 3-year-old boy Friday night and charges are pending, police said.

The 3-year-old was shot around 10:15 p.m. in the 4400 block of South Sacramento Avenue, police said.

The boy was standing on the sidewalk with his mother and a man when another man walking past them with two women turned and opened fire, according to authorities.

The bullet struck the young boy in his abdomen and exited through his hip, officials said.

He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition where officials said he was undergoing surgery.

<![CDATA[Cops: Drunk Man Hits, Kills Friend]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 22:44:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/02242011+generic-handcuffs.jpg

A woman who refused to ride in an SUV driven by a drunk friend was fatally struck by his vehicle as he attempted to speak to her on the side of a Long Island road, police said.

Krystal Berkowitz, 21, died early Saturday after she attempted to walk home along Nesconset Highway in Setauket rather than allow her 23-year-old friend to drive her, Suffolk County police said. The driver followed her and tried to pull over to speak with her but hit her instead, police said.

Officers arriving at the scene found the friend trying to help her. He had called 911 to no avail; Berkowitz was pronounced dead at the scene, Suffolk County police said.

The 23-year-old was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

<![CDATA[More Victims Sought in Underage Sex Case]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:27:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/michael+mordaunt+web.jpg

Police are looking for possible additional victims of a 45-year-old IT specialist who allegedly created fake social media accounts pretending to be a teenage boy as a ploy to lure teenage girls.

Prosecutors say Michael Theodore Mordaunt, of Cypress, created accounts on MySpace and Facebook using a photo of a teenage boy surfing and used them to contact underage girls with the intent to commit lewd acts.

Mordaunt has been charged with 24 felony counts related to allegedly contacting young girls and having sexually explicit conversations with them, requesting and receiving sexually explicit images of the girls and engaging in lewd acts on multiple occasions with multiple girls.

Mordaunt was arrested July 17, and was released after posting $300,000 bail. He is expected to be arraigned Monday in a Westminster courtroom.

Investigators believe there may be more victims, and are asking anyone with information to contact the joint task force that has been investigating the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call DA investigator Paul Carvo with the Orange County District Attorney’s office at 714-347-8794.

<![CDATA[Man in Custody After Shutting Down 5 Fwy]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:59:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/5+freeway+man+sign+july+25.JPG

Authorities took a man into custody Friday evening after he forced an hours-long shutdown of the Golden State (5) Freeway in East LA during rush hour as he stood on the railing of a freeway overpass.

The freeway was shut down for more than three hours at Olympic Boulevard as crews were attending to the man, said California Highway Patrol Officer Alex Rubio.

At the foot of the overpass, firefighters inflated a giant mattress, called a rescue air cushions, under where the man stood at the edge of a railing behind a sign for the Long Beach (710) Freeway transition.

Video from the scene showed the man struggling with crews as they tried to get him to surrender behind one of the freeway signs.

He was taken into custody by about 7 p.m. and placed on a mental health hold, officials said. Both sides of the 5 Freeway reopened by 7:30 p.m.

Traffic was diverted off the freeway during the closure and some drivers got out of their cars to take a look.

<![CDATA[Garcetti Meets With U.S. Olympics Committee]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:32:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/0613-olympics.jpg

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday traveled to Colorado Springs for a U.S. Olympics Committee briefing about the United States bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

Garcetti met with the USOC "o discuss how we can present the strongest possible bid for our nation," he said in a statement.

Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are also in the running to be the U.S. bid. The four candidates were selected in June, the USOC said in a statement.

Sports executive Casey Wasserman and two LA officials accompanied Garcetti to represent the city.

The USOC will likely make a decision on whether or not to bid, and which city to select, in early 2015, the organization said.

A U.S. Olympics in 2024 would mark the first time the country has hosted the summer international competition since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Los Angeles has hosted the Summer Olympics twice before, in 1984 and 1932.

Host cities are required to provide at least 45,000 hotel rooms, an Olympic Village with rooms for 16,500 people and a 5,000-person capacity dining area and space for 15,000 media and broadcast representatives. The city must also have an international airport able to handle thousands of international travelers per day, public transportation to venues and roadway closures. 

City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Colorado River Basin Rapidly Drying: Study]]> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 06:28:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/colorado+river+basin+copy.jpg

A “shocking” 75 percent of the water relied on by California and other western states over the last decade has come from underground reserves of the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin, according to a new study.

Researchers at UC Irvine and JPL found that seven western states are relying too heavily on groundwater to supply about 40 million people.

"This is a lot of water to lose,” said Stephanie Castle, a water resources specialist at UC Irvine. “We thought that the picture could be pretty bad, but this was shocking."

The basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater between December 2004 and November 2013, almost twice the volume of the nation’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead. About 41 million acre feet lost was from groundwater.

"We don't know exactly how much groundwater we have left, so we don't know when we're going to run out," Castle said.

Rapid depletion of the basin comes as California struggles to find ways to conserve water during one of the worst droughts in the state’s history.

"Combined with declining snowpack and population growth, this will likely threaten the long-term ability of the basin to meet its water allocation commitments to the seven basin states and to Mexico," said Jay Famiglietti, senior water cycle scientist at JPL.

The study noted that individual states regulate the pumping of groundwater, which is “often not well documented.”

Photo Credit: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation]]>
<![CDATA[Officials Vow to Crack Down on Drinking at Surfing Event]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:21:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/web_surfing_vikki_noon_1200x675_312512579839.jpg

This year’s Van's US Open of Surfing event won’t end with the same ugly rioting that marred last year’s festivities, police vowed Friday.

City officials have added surveillance cameras and officers on horseback to monitor the large crowds the major pro surfing event is expected to attract.

“We’re looking for trouble spots, we’re looking for people drinking on the beach, upon the streets, in their cars or in public, so we can get to them and stop it before it becomes a problem,” Huntington Beach Police Chief Ron Handy said.

Last year, 20 people were arrested after the melee on a popular downtown strip lined with bars and restaurants. Crowds of people smashed car windows, threw items from rooftops and toppled portable toilets.

Lisa Dellano, who lives just off the main strip, said the riot was largely the result of over-drinking.

“All the drunks came out of the bars and they had no place to go,” she said. “And so they just hung out on Main Street and filtered out onto our street and were all just hammered… stumbling through the neighborhoods.”

The event runs July 26 through August 3 and is expected to draw 100,000 people during the nine day event.

Twenty-five new cameras have been installed along Main Street and under the pier, with footage being reviewed back at police headquarters. Fines have been doubled for drinking on the streets or on the beach - from $125 to $250.

And event organizers have removed 100 vendor booths, from the event, hoping to put the focus back on surfing.

“This is about surfing and the history and the heritage of surfing in Huntington Beach,” said James Leitza. “And about coming down and seeing Kelly Slater or Carissa Moore. You know, those are the heroes.”