<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Top Stories]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usThu, 27 Oct 2016 21:45:28 -0700Thu, 27 Oct 2016 21:45:28 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[After Weeklong Search, Man Presumed Dead in Mansion Fire]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 20:54:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/10-21-2016-mansion-fire-mount-washington.JPG

After searching seven days through the charred debris of a Mount Washington mansion destroyed in a fire, firefighters said Thursday they presume the owner of the home is dead even though they have found no human remains.

The Los Angeles Fire Department ended its search Thursday for Robert Tiegen, the registered owner of the 9,100-square-foot, three-story hillside home in the 4000 block of Sea View Avenue.

"Unfortunately, despite a diligent and meticulous search, no victim or remains were located," Peter Sanders, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman, said in a news release.

The mansion burned Oct. 20. At least three tenants escaped. A 74-year-old woman was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, officials said. A 32-year-old resident got out through a window with her dog.

She was not injured. The cause of the fire was not known. Numerous people had been renting rooms in the house. Firefighters believe the owner did not make it out, Sanders said.

The fire was one of the most challenging that some veteran chiefs had encountered in their careers. The structure was so badly damaged that its walls were cracked and bowing outward, hampering the search, Sanders said.

Crews had to use cadaver dogs to sniff through the wreckage.

Searchers went into rooms of the home over the weekend, but they limited the time they spent inside.

An excavator and two cranes have been dismantling the home since the weekend.

"We have no reason to believe he wasn't there," Sanders said. "We have no evidence that he was and we have no evidence that he wasn't. It's pretty unusual to not find a body that we think is there."

The home was turned over to the bank, which owns it. The home was in foreclosure, Sanders said. If any remains are found during further demolition, the Coroner's Office would respond, he added.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[DMV Makes 'Significant Progress' With Most Locations Open]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 17:58:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DMV211.jpg

The vast majority of Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Southern California were open for business again Thursday, following a computer outage that knocked out service since Monday, but several local offices were still affected.

DMV officials said repair crews made "significant progress overnight" getting offices back online.

"Our staff has been working around the clock to correct this computer hardware failure, which was caused by the loss of several hard discs in a primary and backup system," a spokesperson for the DMV said in a statement. "The DMV system was not compromised by any outside entity."

Over a dozen offices statewide were still out of service. Local offices still affected included Inglewood, Los Angeles Metro Business Service Center, Fontana Commercial Driving Test Center, Redlands, and the Winnetka Industry Business Center.

The office in Compton was one of the offices affected Thursday morning, but was back up and running later in the day.

Most of the residents who arrived at the Compton office Thursday came because it was not initially on the list of affected offices.

Yet, minutes after lining up, people were told the office would not be able to fully process any documents because their printers were affected by the glitch. The office was only able to complete appointments for driving tests.

Customers were redirected to other offices in the area, but many were frustrated the office was not up and running.

"You come in with a plan ... I expect to be at the DMV a certain amount of time, so at the end of the day ... I'm there a couple hours extra, it throws off my whole schedule," said Luis Ceja, one customer at the Compton office.

Updates about local offices were being updated constantly on the DMV's website and social media accounts Thursday, according to the DMV. They believed all offices would be back up and running by the end of the day Thursday.

Annette Arreola contributed to this report.

<![CDATA[Putin Praises Trump, Denies Meddling in US Election]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:12:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/putin3.jpg

Russian President Vladimir Putin, while continuing to deny the Kremlin has sought to meddle in the United States election, praised Donald Trump on Thursday for energizing American voters "tired of the elites," NBC News reported.

"Is America some sort of banana republic? America is a great power. Please correct me if I'm wrong," Putin said at the Valdai Club, an annual gathering of world policy experts. "Does anyone really think that Russia can influence the choice of the American people in any way?"

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security accused the Russian government of hacking the email servers of the Democratic National Committee. Putin denied Russia's involvement. 

Trump has also spoken positively of Putin and indicated his willingness to work with him as president. On Thursday, the Associated Press reported, Trump criticized rival Hillary Clinton at a rally in Ohio for speaking "very badly of Putin, and I don't think that's smart."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Wild Boars Spotted in Riverside Park]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:38:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/191*120/10-27-16+Boars.JPG First it was donkeys now it's boars invading Riverside. Overnight a group of 20 to 30 wild boars invaded Fairmount Park in downtown Riverside early on Thursday, October 27, 2016. The boars appeared to be destroying the grass as they dug it up looking for food, and left behind patches of unearthed grass in their wake. It's unclear where the boars came from, but they may have come from the Santa Ana River bottom nearby.

Photo Credit: Loudlabs News]]>
<![CDATA[Mother Pleads for Help to Find Son's Killer]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 21:36:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-127-16-Vidal.JPG

An inconsolable mother of a 25-year-old man fatally shot nearly a week ago pleaded Thursday for the public's help to find the person who killed her son.

Juan Videl was shot at Jack in the Box Friday while he was working and his killer was caught on surveillance camera.

"I want to hold my son," Mary Smay said. "If anybody knows who did this, who took my son away, you need to turn him in."

Smay said her only son was recently engaged and just graduated as a pharmacy technician but still lived with his mom.

No customers were in the fast food restaurant but Vidal was with another restaurant employee when the shooter burst inside.

Surveillance video shows the gunman wearing what appears to be a Halloween mask covering part of his face.

Homicide detectives said the motive is robbery but because it happened so fast the gunman left with no cash or property.

Investigators said the gunman did not know the victim and there was no indication he was targeted, said Detective Adan Torres, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

There is no description on the gunman since his face was covered.

Detectives believe a second person drove a getaway car parked near the drive thru and took off east on Flair Drive.

The car is only described as a dark-colored sedan.

<![CDATA[Costumed Therapy Dogs Spread Halloween Cheer to Patients]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 20:27:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/The+dogs+happily+greet+patients+thumbnail.jpg Ten therapy dogs and their owners visited the Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA to spread some spooky spirit to patients Thursday. Volunteers with the UCLA People-Animal-Connection handed out sweet treats and company to the children.

Photo Credit: UCLA People-Animal-Connection]]>
<![CDATA[Firefighter's Helmet Cam Captures Daring Rescue]]> Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:56:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Firefighter-Helmet-Cam-102016.jpg

For the first time, we’re seeing video of the daring and emotional rescue of two children from a house fire in Mount Hope. The fire was so intense the children suffered critical burns and their older brother perished.

Video captured by a GoPro on one firefighter’s helmet shows just what fire crews were up against that early Monday morning last November.

It was just after midnight when flames roared to life inside the home on J Street.

Engine 12 rolled into the Mount Hope neighborhood within minutes of the 911 call.

When firefighters got to the house, they say it appeared that flames were shooting out of every window.

Immediately, a woman can be heard yelling to Firefighter Dallas Higgins, “There's three kids still in the house!"

The kids were in a room with a ladder sticking out of the window and they weren’t coming out.

Firefighter Joe Zakar was close behind.

"I came around the corner and I just see Dallas taking off in between the two houses,” he recalled.

"I just ran straight for the window, you know time, time is our enemy," Higgins said.

That’s when Higgins jumped through the window and entered the bedroom.

At this point in the video, the image is black. The room is so thick with smoke, the firefighter couldn’t see his hands.

Within seconds, he felt his way to a top bunk bed.

"Deep in that bunk I was able to find Nano, who was the oldest brother,” Higgins said. “It was too hot and too much time had elapsed for him.”

Then, Higgins heard moaning from the bunk below. He had found 5-year-old Luis Junior.

"At that point he was so close to me and I'm holding him and I remember he was wearing a little blue shirt and grey shorts and he was sitting right next to me and breathing and I could make out his face and mouth and I could hear him breathing," Higgins said.

Zakar remembers the moment he learned there was one survivor.

"Within I would say about 20 seconds of Dallas being inside I heard him go, ‘Hey I got one,’” Zakar said.

Zakar carried Junior to the street so he could be treated.

"I still can feel how warm Junior was, in my hands,” Zakar said. “That's the one thing that has stuck with me."

Higgins was still inside the room, looking in the dark for a third child.

"You know you're burning but you know you have a job to do so you just keep trying I kept trying to spend more time in there, spend more time looking for her," Higgins said.

The extreme heat was burning right through his protective gear so Higgins asked for help.

Zakar took over the search from there. Thanks to other crews fighting the fire, the smoke began to lift, just a bit.

"I'm leaning in the window my light goes down, his light comes back and you just sort of see a flash of pink," Higgins said.

It was 3-year-old Esmerelda. Zakar scooped her up and passed her through the window to his partner.

Watch the full video of the rescue here.

Heartbroken parents soon learned Nano did not make it out of the fire alive.

Esme and Junior were placed in medically-induced comas. She suffered burns over 60 percent of her tiny body. Junior was burned over 90 percent of his.

Almost a year later they children are still healing but they are not alone.

The family has allowed Higgins and Zakar to be a part of the healing process because not only are they healing, the firefighters are healing as well.

Little Esme has visited the fire station twice. They say they just let her take over the place. She's now well enough to go to preschool.

Her brother, Junior is at a hospital in Northern California. He needs more specialized care but he's walking now, even riding a tricycle.

The children's survival, their bravery is what these firefighters focus on.

"Seeing them where they were and to see them today just gives us that validation of you know what we did our job and we were at our best," said Zakar.

Higgins and Zakar have since been promoted to engineers and now, they're using that helmet camera video to help train other firefighters.

They received this year’s Medal of Valor from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The Fire Rescue Foundation handed out the awards Friday at the annual Service Award Honoree Luncheon. NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia emceed the event which recognizes firefighters, paramedics, lifeguards and ordinary citizens who have done extraordinary things to help others in their time of need.

Higgins and Zakar also wanted to make sure we reported that the rescue was the effort of many very dedicated first responders that night.

As for the cause of the fire – it was an accident. An old heating unit malfunctioned and set a mattress on fire.

Photo Credit: Dallas Higgins, SDFD
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<![CDATA[Time Warner Cable Gift Card Promotion Angers New Customers]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 20:41:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TimeWarnerLogo-GettyImages-170344034.jpg

Michael Bateman was fed up with billing problems and service issues from Frontier.

Then he received bright orange postcard in the mail from Frontier's competitor, Time Warner Cable, offering a $300 Visa reward card if he switched over.

"I figure, what do I got to lose?" Bateman said.

The postcard worked. Bateman signed up for a $90 cable package and even added on an extra DVR, something allowed in the fine print. Then Time Warner told him over the phone he didn't qualify anymore.

Bateman said he was told he had "changed the plan" within the first 90 days. He did change the plan by adding on that DVR at an additional $14 per month.

No gift card for him.

"It really irritates the heck out of me," Bateman said.

Many companies offer gift cards to get customers to switch, but it comes with a catch, says Rigo Reyes of the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs. Customers must sign up for that specific offer and can't be late paying bills.

"(There) could be other customers that are going through the same thing," Reyes said.

Sure enough, the NBC Consumer Investigative Center found other customers complaining of the exact same problem.

Nancy says after 10 phone calls she is "still not receiving the reward card." And Fatima says she has "yet to get an answer."

The I-Team found 19 pages of complaints on Time Warner Cable's own customer service page.

So what's going on here? A spokesperson for Spectrum, which now owns Time Warner Cable, wouldn't say.

"The promotion ended in June. We don't have anything else to add to our statement about it," the spokesperson said, and "The important thing is that we addressed Mr. Bateman's issue."

Instead of a gift card, Bateman agreed to receive a $300 credit.

"At least they did the right thing, you know?" Bateman said "But I mean you kind of had to beat it out of them, so it doesn't really make you happy."

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Caught on Camera: Coyote Attacks Dog]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 17:21:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/coyote-attack-102716.PNG

A heartbroken dog owner in Rancho Cucamonga discovered his beloved dachshund was killed by a coyote on surveillance camera overnight Tuesday.

Gregory Schmauss was horrified to discover the footage showing one of his pooches trying to protect his backyard before getting killed.

Brandie, Oliver and Riley, the man’s three pups, went to investigate after noticing the intruder. The coyote had jumped a 7-foot-tall wall that encloses the backyard.

The footage shows the coyote approaching Brandie from behind. Oliver tries to protect Brandie, lunging at the coyote, and the coyote turning to run.

The coyote then doubles back and attacks Oliver, carrying him away in its mouth. The dogs chased after the animal and it drops Oliver.

Brandie recovered after a trip to the animal hospital, but Oliver did not.

Photo Credit: Gregory Schmauss]]>
<![CDATA[Mom Arrested After Overdosing With Toddler in Backseat]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 18:36:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/222*120/10-27-16-Mom-Overdose.jpg

A mother was arrested after she was found unresponsive with a syringe in her hand as her 10-month-old son sat in the backseat, police in Indiana reported Saturday.

Officers responded to a Hope Dollar general store to investigate a possible overdose, according to Town of Hope police.

They found Erika Hurt sitting in the driver seat, passed out, with a needle in her left hand. 

Her 10-month-old son sat in the back seat, watching the scene unfold. The officers have her two doses of NARCAN, a medicine that blocks the effects of opioids. She regained consciousness after the second shot and was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital before being taken to Bartholomew County Jail, police said.

She was arrested on suspicion of possession of paraphernalia, neglect of a dependent, and violating probation.

The child’s grandmother was called by Child Protective Services, and given guardianship of the boy.

Photo Credit: Town of Hope Police Department via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Police Officer Comforts Distressed Special Needs Boy]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 17:03:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/Cvo_Hg0UIAAnJao1.jpg

A Sunnyvale police officer on Monday came to the aid of a distraught special needs boy, who was kicking and screaming, in the throes of a breakdown.

Corinne Oestreich took to Facebook to express her gratitude for the policeman, identified only as Officer Ben, who helped her son, Hunter, who struggles with Tourette syndrome, anxiety and obsessive–compulsive disorder. According to the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety, the officer's name is Benjamin Holt.

The 5-year-old boy was very upset because his grandmother had just taken a flight back home to Minnesota, Oestreich said. The Sunnyvale residents were at a Lucky supermarket when Hunter experienced “the worst breakdown” his mother had “ever seen him go through in his life so far.”

“I held him, I consoled him,” Oestreich wrote. “I firmly and kindly stayed calm, yet inside I was terrified of the looks from other shoppers, or rather from their averted eyes as my son threw himself on the floor of Luckys.”

While Oestreich attempted in vain to get Hunter into her car, he simply continued to strike himself in the face, she said.

That’s when Holt arrived on scene, and turned the day around.

As Oestreich battled tears, the officer guided Hunter from “hysterical crying to quiet interest.”

“He very calmly was able to distract my Hunter, let him see the inside of the patrol car and even took time to demonstrate to Hunter how to look for finger prints!” Oestrich wrote.

She continued: “Officer Ben was understanding, wanted to make sure that I knew he was not in any haste to go anywhere and that Hunter and I were his focus. He kept a distance from Hunter and I could tell he was gauging how much Hunter would allow him to be near him.”

The grateful mother gave a shout-out to the Sunnyvale Police Department for their “amazing officer.”

Not only did Holt help Hunter, but gave her “some reinforcements.”

“Thank you thank you thank you,” Oestreich said, concluding with a heart emoji.

Holt declined to speak with NBC Bay Area, but department spokesman Capt. Shawn Ahearn said that he was "proud" to have been able to use techniques — on interacting with special needs children and adults — that officers had been trained in earlier this year. 

Holt was "really just happy that everything worked out OK," Ahearn said. 

Photo Credit: Corinne Oestreich
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<![CDATA[Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 18:24:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hautejustinhalloweendogs929832.jpg

Let's be straightforward here: The first time you help your dog step into his new Halloween costume, the one you just slid out of the package or finished sewing, there's going to be a considerable amount of cooing commentary on your part.

You know it. Your dog definitely knows it. And any family members within earshot expect it, too. Because there's no way you can dress your canine as the Cowardly Lion and not proceed to repeat, over and over, "who's off to see the Wizard? Who? You, yes, you!"

Narrating our dog's Halloween costumes provide one of the simple joys in our complicated day-to-days. And an even bigger joy than that will arrive on Sunday, Oct. 30 when over 500 pups in wigs, hats, dresses, and boots shall strut down a red carpet in Long Beach.

It's the 16th Annual Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade, the mega muttly meander that involves human-dog team costumes, pups in extravagantly decorated wagons, and a host of other sights that appeal to both those who love tail-waggers and the spooky holiday, too.

The outing isn't all about summoning squees from onlookers: Funds are raised for programs like Operation Santa Paws, as well as the all-important cause of spaying and neutering.

If you don't have your own Fido, or if he wouldn't be down dressing as a dinosaur, no sweat: You can join as an onlooker, to cheer on the paraders. If you do have a dog, and want to join the jamboree, you can. And there's a way to donate and book a seat close to the action, too, or score a spot near the front of the parade for you and your pooch.

Vendors, an adoption fair, and a great pumpkin drop are other details festooning the furry festivity.

The Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade is truly one of the country's most colossal canine events, thanks to the hundreds of pups who take part and the hundreds of people who show just to enjoy a vista filled with fancily attired canines. It's billed as the "(w)orld's largest Halloween pet event" which is saying something in a world that brims with all sorts of pet events nowadays.

Need a smile-maker, beyond seeing your own dog in his Cowardly Lion look? Marina Vista Park is your spot to see Spots, and Princesses, and Tigers, and more wet-nosed wonders dressed in their Halloween best.

Photo Credit: Justin Rudd]]>
<![CDATA[Science Explains Why Fear Can Be Fun]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 17:52:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/NC_fear1027_1920x1080.jpg Every year around Halloween, millions of people all across the country pay to have other people scare the living daylights out of them, leading us to ask one very important question: Why?

Photo Credit: NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Delivery Driver Rescued From Hole at Construction Site]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:50:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/10-27-2016-trench-rescue-1.JPG

A delivery truck driver fell about 50 feet down a narrow trench at a construction site Thursday morning and remained there for about an hour before he was rescued by firefighters.

The 30-year-old driver was delivering steel re-bar to the construction site in 1600 block of San Ysidro Driver in the Beverly Crest area. He stepped on a plywood cover over the hole, about 2 feet in diameter, and fell into the narrow opening, according to the fire department. 

He landed on his feet and was able to communicate with firefighters during the rescue. The worker was hoisted to safety in a harness that was attached by rope to a fire truck winch.

He was hospitalized in fair condition with minor injuries.

"It's a very, very successful outcome to what, normally in my experience are generally bad outcomes," said Asst. Fire Chief Patrick Butler.

San Ysidro Drive was closed for the rescue operation between Elderidge to Peavine drives.

Last week, a construction worker was killed after falling down a well in Bel Air.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Free: Grand Avenue Cultural Fest]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:02:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/004+CTG-Jamie+Pham123.jpg

Many a city boasts a dazzling district where cultural choices abound, the sorts of mind-broadening treats that include opera and theater and museums of all sorts.

And while the people of those cities might describe such districts as being quite grand due to all of those excellent offerings, there is one city where "grand" is in the official name of the area's lovely line-up of cultural gems.

That city? Why it is Los Angeles, yes, you're 100% correct (if you guessed that), and Grand Avenue is indeed the sublime stretch where symphony and drama and sculpture and gourmet cookery flower in hundreds of different ways.

Ways that traditionally include a ticket or entrance fee or bill, at least sometimes, but not on Saturday, Oct. 29. That's the date of Grand Ave Arts All Access, a free-to-all day that showcases some of the spectacular treats to be found inside and around the iconic buildings that cluster close to that grandest of avenues.

Get up-close with "more than 10 participating cultural institutions along Grand Avenue" on Oct. 29, including The Broad, REDCAT, and MOCA.

Activities include nabbing a chance to play conductor to "a small orchestra," or visiting the LA Phil's instrument petting zoo, or touring the '60s-spectacular Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, or participating in a sugar skull-making activity at Central Library.

Saunter wherever your curiosity takes you, and when you arrive, you may encounter a pop-up musical performance, the chance to sing in Walt Disney Concert Hall, or another uplifting moment created to bring locals closer to the arts in a host of zippy, zesty, and soul-embiggening ways.

Yes. Soul-embiggening.

This is, after all, Grand Avenue, and when you rock such a handle, you've got to live up to the hype that handle implies. And Grand Avenue does, every day of the year, via a host of operas and ballets and musicals and installations.

To dip into all that, on a fine fall day, for free, is, well, you got it... highly grand, in every sense of the wonderful word.

Photo Credit: Jamie Pham]]>
<![CDATA[Man Who Smashed Trump's Star Doesn't Regret It]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:20:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/209*120/Capture100.PNG

A man who had an ax to grind with Donald Trump was arrested Thursday morning after he destroyed the presidential candidate's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

James Otis, an heir to the Otis Elevator Company fortune, surrendered to police Thursday morning, his attorney said. Los Angeles police confirmed Otis was arrested and remained in custody late Thursday morning. 

Otis said he's been arrested over two dozen times in the past for protesting various causes. He appeared Wednesday in a Deadline Hollywood video dressed as a construction worker in work boots, a high-visibility safety vest and helmet smashing the Trump star with an ax and sledgehammer.

"It was an act of civil disobedience, freedom of expression," Otis told NBC4.

Otis said his intent was to remove the star and auction it off to raise money for the women who accused the presidential candidate of sexually assaulting them.

"I did it, and I'm very happy I did it, and I'm proud that I did it," Otis said.

The Republican presidential candidate and former "Apprentice" host received the star in January 2007 for his role on the NBC show. The star is in the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard, a prominent location on the Walk of Fame not far from the Hollywood and Highland Center, and was discovered broken into pieces early Wednesday morning.

Otis said he camped out for several nights by the star to plan. On Wednesday, he brought his vest, helmet, tools and other items and went to work on clobbering the star. 

"He fancies himself a civil activist," said his attorney, Mieke ter Poorton. "Someone who fights for the right of the under-represented.

"It didn't work out quite the way he wanted it to. What he was trying to do was that when you have a bad act, you accept responsbility for your bad act. And, you accept the responsiblity for your bad act." 

Otis said he takes full responsibility for his actions and promises to surrender to authorities, who were waiting to arrest him on charges of felony vandalism.

"This area has been identified as a California historical landmark location, and we are looking at any additional penalties or charges that could be attached," said Capt. Cory Palka of the Los Angeles Police Department Hollywood Division.

Trump has faced accusations from 11 women of sexual misconduct in recent weeks as the presidential campaign enters its final stages. He has denied the accusations.

"I admitted I've broken the law, I've vandalized, I've stolen, and now I'm going to go get my punishment," Otis said. "And that's something Mr. Trump has never done."

The Hollywood star belonging to the New York business magnate and reality show personality has become a target during the presidential campaign, ever since Trump announced his candidacy last year. It has been defaced with spray paint and surrounded by a miniature wall in protest of Trump's plan to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Walk of Fame star recipients are selected by a committee that considers hundreds of applications each year. The stars are purchased for a $30,000, rather than gifted.

The Walk of Fame is administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which said in a statement that the star will be repaired immediately. The repairs will take several days, and the star will be covered to protect it during that time.

"The Hollywood Walk of Fame is an institution celebrating the positive contributions of the inductees," said Leron Gubler, President-CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. "When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California state landmark. Our democracy is based on respect for the law. People can make a difference by voting and not destroying public property."

NBC4's Nyree Arabian and Kim Baldonado contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrity Fans: Los Angeles Lakers Edition]]> Tue, 25 Oct 2016 12:31:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-5210502661.jpg The seats at Staples Center have a star-studded history when the Lakers are in action. Check out some of the celebrity fans in the stands who have cheered on the Lakers through the years.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Long Beach Lifeguards Rescue Owl Caught in Fishing Line]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:12:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/owl-rescue-102716.png

Long Beach lifeguards were in for a surprise when they were called out to bridge, only to find an owl in need of rescuing Thursday.

The barn owl became caught in a fishing line. The tiny bird was hanging off the 2nd Street bridge when officials arrived.

Two lifeguards saved the owl by safely catching it with a net, then held the smiling bird with thick gloves.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/lblifeguard">@lblifeguard</a> rescue a live owl caught in fishing line hanging off the 2nd St. bridge. The owl was released to .<a href="https://twitter.com/LBAnimalCare">@LBAnimalCare</a> for treatment. <a href="https://t.co/QWToeyaDoX">pic.twitter.com/QWToeyaDoX</a></p>&mdash; Long Beach Fire (@lbfd) <a href="https://twitter.com/lbfd/status/791745185898045440">October 27, 2016</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The owl was taken to Long Beach Animal Care for treatment.

Photo Credit: Long Beach Lifeguards
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<![CDATA[Victoria's Secret Unveils $3M Bra and Its Chosen Angel]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:09:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TLMD-jasmine-tookes-angel-victorias-secret-fantasy-bra-2016-.jpg Jasmine Tookes, a 25-year-old model from Huntington Beach, was chosen to wear the $3 million bra.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Visit These Haunted Spots in LA for Halloween Fun]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:23:12 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*213/Cecil+hotel.jpg If you're looking for some real ghosts this Halloween, here is a list of the best places around Los Angeles to go ghost hunting.

Photo Credit: Boortz47]]>
<![CDATA[#NBC4You: Send Us Your Halloween Costume Photos]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:13:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/443d7a2b32d54434ae90bb2e31bd1b48.JPG.jpg

Photo Credit: Cindy Madigan]]>
<![CDATA[US Brothers Released After Tunisia Terrorism Probe]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:52:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/jendouba+Tunisia+map.jpg

Two American brothers arrested in Tunisia on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization were released without charge Thursday, NBC News reported.

Officials interrogated the brothers — both aged in their 30s and originally from Michigan — and searched their laptops, judicial spokesman Sofiene Sliti confirmed to NBC News.

"The preliminary investigation led by the judicial police revealed that the two individuals have no link with any terrorist organization," Sliti earlier told the state-run Tunisia Press Agency.

A senior police official based in Jendoubo, were the two were arrested Tuesday, said he disagreed with the decision by authorities in Tunis to release the pair, citing jihad-relted material found by police who raided the place where they were staying.

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA[Coast Guard Seizes Nearly Three Tons of Cocaine]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 18:16:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-27-16-coast-guard-coke-seizure1.jpg

The U.S. Coast Guard seized more than 5,600 pounds of cocaine and arrested five suspected drug smugglers in the Pacific Ocean off the Central American coast. They plan to offload 39,000 pounds of the contraband on Thursday morning in San Diego.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche from Alameda, California, working with the Joint Interagency Task Force South patrol aircraft from the U.S. Navy, intercepted a suspected drug smuggling vessel, carrying more than $73-million worth of cocaine on Sept. 6, Lt. Donnie Brzuska said in a statement. The ships have been out at sea until recently, which is why the Coast Guard announced the arrest on Thursday, more than a month later.

The arrest was made using two Coast Guard boats and an armed helicopter. Law enforcement found the five suspects and took them off the self-propelled, semi-submersible they were riding in, even though they tried to fill the vessel up with water to try and swamp it,  Bruzuska said. But their plans didn't work. Two Alameda-based Coast Guard crew members were able to thwart that attempt and took more than 5,600 pounds of cocaine – nearly three tons- into custody, Brzuska said.

“Our Coast Guardsmen face significant risks posed by dangerous criminal organizations,” Capt. James Passarelli, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Waesche said in a statement. “Our crew preserved valuable evidence and kept millions of dollars of illicit narcotics off America’s streets.”

This year alone, the Coast Guard has stopped six similar vessels, which authorities say are specifically constructed for illicit trafficking with a mostly submerged hull; a cockpit and exhaust pipe are visible just above the water. These types of vessels are extremely difficult to detect and interdict because of their low profile, Brzuska said.

In 2015 and 2016, the Coast Guard removed more than 416,600 pounds of cocaine.

The September bust marks nearly 86,000 pounds of cocaine, worth more than $1.5 billion, that have been intercepted by Alameda-based Coast Guardsmen this year.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Weekend: Celebrate Día de los Muertos]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:31:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dayofthedeadhf_12345.jpg

Día de los Muertos: November draws near, and the veil separating this world from the next is blowing gently, moved by some unseen breeze. Día de los Muertos, one of SoCal's most spirited festivals, will honor those who have gone before us with a fiesta featuring altars, a performance from Julieta Venegas, and a host of revelers in calacas make-up. The date? The veil grows thin on Saturday, Oct. 29. As is tradition, the 12-hour party begins at noon at Hollywood Forever.

Grand Ave Arts All Access: It's one of our city's most thoroughly fascinating thoroughfares, a byway rich with museums, stages, and more. Spend Saturday, Oct. 29 there and peek inside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, MOCA, REDCAT, and more as you enjoy a bounty of free, behind-the-scenes-y to-dos. The LA Phil instrument petting zoo, the musical cloud installation inside Walt Disney Concert Hall, and more Grand goodies are on deck.

"Orbit Pavilion" Opens: What's the neato, straight-from-space, you-can-walk-inside shell-like building at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens? It's a new experience that allows visitors to connect with the sounds of the satellites. It'll stay among the flowers and trees of the historic grounds through the end of February 2017, but don't delay: Communing with the cosmos awaits, beginning on Oct. 29.

Spider Pavilion Debuts: What's that scurrying sound 'round Exposition Park? It's the opening of this fall-time wonderland o' webs, a place where arachna-fans and those who need to bone up on their eight-legged lore go when autumn grows deep. The Natural History Museum is the place, spider-smart staffers'll be on hand to talk spinnerets and habitats and multiple eyes and such, and everything spins from Oct. 30 through Dec. 11, 2016.

Halloween Party at the Dog Cafe: You've heard about the happening Silver Lake spot, the one with the adoptable hounds and the flavorful libations? Good. Then best book a time to visit the home-needing pups as they show off their Halloween costumes for potential people parents. Note that your own pup should stay home for this one: This is about the visiting humans and those costumed canines who want to jump into your loving arms, forever. Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30.

Photo Credit: Hollywood Forever]]>
<![CDATA[ISIS Forcing Civilians to Be Human Shields in Mosul: Reports]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:04:52 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_16301520674555.jpg

ISIS is reportedly forcing civilians living in their self-declared caliphate to move to Mosul, in what appears to be preparation to use them as human shields ahead of a planned allied assault on the city.

The terror group's fighters are threatening civilians in towns and villages south of Mosul with death or other punishments if they refuse to march north, Reuters and The Associated Press reported. 

"[ISIS] took all of us from our homes at gunpoint and told us they were taking us with them to Mosul," Ahmed Bilal Harish told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "They said if you don't come with us you're an unbeliever."

Harish said he and his family fled the forced march north when an airstrike scattered the militants.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[October Weather: Lightning, Rain and Rainbows]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:58:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/195*120/10-27-2016-rain-clouds-la-weather-1.jpg October brings rain, wind and storms to Southern California, but also some beautiful sunsets and rainbows. Check out some viewer weather images.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Voters More Worried About Drug Prices Than Obamacare]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 10:40:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/obamacare2.jpg

Health care does not rank among voters' top issues and when asked about health priorities for the next president and Congress to address fewer people mentioned repealing Obamacare or weakening the law than other topics, according to a new Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. Top health care priorities were: reducing the cost of prescription drugs, making sure health plans have large networks of doctors and hospitals, and protection from high-prices at out-of-network providers, CNBC reported. The Kaiser poll questioning 1,205 adults was conducted from Oct. 12 to 18, before the recent warning by the Obama administration of a spike in premiums next year for plans sold on the federal insurance exchange. The Kaiser poll found public opinion split among people saying they view the Affordable Care Act favorably or unfavorably. And nearly two-thirds of respondents favored creating public health insurance options.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[5-Hour Manhunt Ends With Arrest on Freeway Ramp]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:59:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/211*120/10-27-2016-san-gabriel-shooting-pursuit-1.JPG

A man who pointed a gun at officers after a pursuit was arrested Thursday morning after a five-hour manhunt in a San Gabriel Valley neighborhood.

Police were looking for the driver, armed with a gun, in a neighborhood near Del Mar Avenue and the 10 Freeway early Thursday. The man pointed the gun at officers after stopping in a cul-de-sac near the freeway, according to authorities.

Officers opened fire, but it was not immediately clear whether the subject was struck by gunfire.

The man was arrested around 9:30 a.m. on a freeway ramp, police said. A driver reported a shirtless man hiding in bushes near the ramp.

Freeway ramps in the area were closed for the search. Traffic was backing up on the 10 Freeway due to the ramp closures.

It was not immediately clear what led to the pursuit.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Give Walton Debut Win on Opening Night]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:01:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-beat-Rockets-opening-night.jpg

On Wednesday night, the 2016-17 Los Angeles Lakers did something the 2015-16 LA Lakers required five games to accomplish: win a game.

In a fun, high-scoring game that featured an energized Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Houston Rockets 120-114 to give their coach, Luke Walton, his first official victory as an NBA head coach. Walton had previously guided the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors to a 39-4 record as an interim coach, but officially, Wednesday night went down as Walton's first victory as an NBA coach.

"It feels good, it feels really good," Walton said about the win after the game. "The guys really fought tonight. A big part of what we're trying to do is develop this identity, this culture."

Facing LA, Rockets guard James Harden recorded gaudy statistics with 34 points, 17 assists and eight rebounds on the night, as the LA-native nearly notched a double-double in the first quarter alone with 12 points and nine assists. Both teams scored 38 points in the first 12 minutes to lay the foundation of an offensive fun-fest for fans and a headache for Walton.

"Our offense?" Walton responded to a question about that end of the floor after his team put up 120 points in the victory. "I don't know. I keep stressing defense, but our offense is definitely looking better than our defense. But honestly, I think we put an emphasis on sharing the ball, just hitting the next open guy and not standing."

Walton admitted the strategy sounded basic, but the numbers backed up his philosophy. Nine different players on the Lakers recorded at least one assist, and no player attempted more than 16 field goal attempts. Starting point guard D'Angelo Russell claimed the high mark in field goal attempts, 16, in 29 minutes on the court. The 20-year-old scored 20 points to lead the Lakers' starters and hit four of his 10 three-point attempts.

Off the bench, though, Jordan Clarkson proved to be the hero of the night. The third-year guard finished with 25 points, 12 of which came in the furious fourth quarter that saw the Lakers hold Houston to only 18 points. Clarkson only played seven minutes in the first half, so when he saw extended time on the court in the second half, Clarkson played well enough to be singled out by his coach as the best player on the court in the second half.

"I only played five or six minutes in the first half," Clarkson said after the game. "The second half, I just stayed in the game, got flowing and they trusted me to make plays."

On the night, the Lakers took on contributions from deep into their bench, as 12 of the 13 active players got onto the court and contributed in one fashion or another. Even with standout performances up and down the front and back end of the rotation, Julius Randle stood out for his impressive all-around, box score filling game.

Randle finished the night with 18 points, six assists, seven rebounds and one block in 29 minutes. The 21-year-old also scored the Lakers' final two points with 45.2 second remaining on the clock to give LA a six-point advantage that held until the final buzzer. On the night, the former Kentucky Wildcat only missed two of his 11 field goal attempts, one of which was the forward's lone three-point attempt.

Without glossing over the defensive contribution of Nick Young, who earned a slightly surprising start on opening night, rookie Brandon Ingram played a mature 24 minutes considering the fresh faced 19-year-old experienced his first NBA game. The rookie made four of his six shots, scored his first NBA basket on a corner three-pointer and played stellar NBA-level defense.

Ingram played within the flow of the offense, and the 6-foot 8-inch former Duke Blue Devil even took on ball-handling duties as a point forward in his NBA debut. 

"When I got to the point guard position, it got a lot easier for me. I was making plays for my other teammates and plays for myself," Ingram said after the game.

After the game, Walton expressed his intention to use Ingram in the role in "every game," which reiterated the team's reliance on its young talent and, also, the special young talent the team possesses in the no. 2 overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. 

Ingram admitted that he felt relieved to get his first game out of the way, "I can come in and get better every single game, repeat what I've done before and be more aggressive."

While Ingram was on the court, his team netted plus-10 points, which spoke volumes about the youngster's ability to not only play minutes at an NBA level but to, more importantly, contribute to winning basketball at the NBA level.

With a team heavily depending on young talent, the Lakers' 36-year-old coach collected his first NBA win in impressive fashion despite Harden's unbelievable night. The new Lakers took their first official steps towards developing a new culture.

The youthful Lakers took their first steps in forming a new identity in the post-Kobe Bryant era, and to the joy of their fans and their young coach, that process began with a win.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Build Mini Police Car to Fit Around Boy's Wheelchair]]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:38:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/161026-BUENA-PARK-WHEELCHAIR.jpg

A young boy's Halloween hopes came true Tuesday thanks to two officers with the Ontario Police Department and a civilian.

The three men constructed a mini police car — crafted with cardboard and wood — to place around the boy's wheelchair just in time for Halloween. 

The 5-year-old, Brayden Dieringer, was diagnosed with Perthes disease, a rare childhood condition in 2015. He is temporarily using a wheelchair after undergoing surgery this past summer. 

Brayden's mother Regina Dieringer told NBC4 that the disease prevents her son from trick or treating like all the other children. Regina and her husband Ryan Dieringer, a sergeant with the Buena Park Police Department, pulled Brayden around in a wagon last Halloween to collect candy. After a few houses, Brayden didn't want to trick or treat anymore.

"This year I wanted to make it fun for him," Regina said.

She enlisted her Facebook friends and informed them that Brayden wanted to be a police officer for Halloween like his dad. 

On Tuesday night, officers at the Ontario Police Department surprised the kindergartner by placing a mini police cruiser around the boy's wheelchair. The hood of the "car" was filled with candy, Regina said. 

Brayden was "over the moon" after the surprise was revealed.

"Nothing but smiles and tears from everyone," the Ontario Police Officers Association posted on Facebook.

Video from the event shows the boy racing around the lobby and station parking lot in his new black and white "cruiser." 

Regina said that Halloween will be different for Brayden this year. 

"He cannot wait," she said.

Photo Credit: Ontario Police Officers Association]]>
<![CDATA[Halloween-Ready Richard Sherman: 'I'm Definitely a Wizard']]> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 08:44:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2016-10-27+at+8.57.36+AM.png

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman cast a spell over a press conference Wednesday, when he dressed as a Gryffindor and said he was a wizard. 

Clad in a robe and Harry Potter's signature scarlet-and-gold tie, the NFL player waved a wand while answering questions about football and his wizarding world. He said that "The Order of Phoenix" is his favorite book in the Harry Potter series and compared America's favorite sport, football, and Potter's favorite, quidditch. 

"Five quarters of football is pretty tough, but quidditch — the beaters, the chasers, trying to find the golden snitch, things like that — that's tough," Sherman said, referring to the gritty 6-6 tie his team played on Sunday night against the Arizona Cardinals. "Five quarters of football, though, in the elements, I'd say that'd take the cake."

Sherman is known around the league for his shut-down defense, penchant for trash talk and willingness to address major issues facing American society at press conferences. Last month, Sherman showed his support for players who kneel during the national anthem by walking out of a press conference.

But Wednesday, Sherman faced the press with a much more light-hearted topic in mind, possibly because he recently got back from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando: "I just went to Harry Potter land. I felt like that was home."

He plans to rock his "Hogwarts student" costume on Monday night, when he takes his son trick-or-treating. And in lieu of an invisibility cloak, Sherman has a sure-proof disguise to hide from paparazzi.

"This is all you've got to do," he said, slipping on a pair of glasses. "Clark Kent did it. You've just got to put the glasses on. Bam, no longer Richard Sherman. Can't even tell anymore, right?"

When asked about his health after Sunday's game, Sherman stayed in character to describe his symptoms, whcih presented as heat exhaustion.

"Well, I'm definitely a wizard, so if you're asking if I feel like a Muggle again, I don't," he said, after being asked if he felt "human" again. "But I started feeling better probably around late yesterday, last night, just getting more fluids in me and more energy, legs started getting back under me."

Photo Credit: AP]]>