Monday, February 02, 2009

Odds, Ends

-- A few nights ago, LAPD caught the rare West LA division shooting. Call went out around 11 p.m. for a shots fired with a possible victim screaming for help in the far western and southern fringes of Brentwood. A bunch of units bought the call as two other "vicinity calls" went out in short order. Pretty soon, it was upgraded to an Ambulance Shooting with Engine and Rescue 37 (Westwood) attached. Since the LAPD has a bad habit of not trying to sort out vicinity calls until after units arrive, they had three separate primary units going Code 3 to a 2-block area and a bunch of other backup units bought in, as well. That included the basic car from way out in the Palisades, which was responding code from deep Sunset Boulevard.

So the first unit went Code 6 at San Vicente and Wilshire and unsurprisingly didn't find anything, while another primary car went out at an address on Barry Avenue right around the corner and found some dude shot in the stomach. The two white guys who were the alleged shooters had fled in a beat up Buick to parts unknown. Sounds like a shady drug deal gone bad.

--Meantime, across town in Beverly Hills, a "suspicious circs" call went down on an otherwise silent night. The dispatch was at a building on Wilshire that basically straddles the L.A./Beverly Hills city line on the southeastern end of the city at a joint called Sparkle Networks. Spark Networks--a quick Interwebs search reveals--is the parent company of such online dating sites as JDate, and Well, it seems that some chick called the 877 customer service line around 11 p.m. and whoever answered the phone--likely in some town in central India or the Philippine archipelago--told the caller she was being stabbed and then hung up.

So Susie Good Samaritan must have been online or subsequently went online and found a biz address for Spark Networks that put the headquarters on Wilshire Boulevard in BH. So the 911 call was that someone in the office was being stabbed. Fair enough (leaps of logic aside, at least the dispatcher didn't hang up on her).

Basically every on-duty patrol unit in BH bought into the call and one of the field sergeants rousted himself from HQ to respond on down to Wilshire and San Vicente. The dispatcher (one of BH's most competent) tried a number of times to call back the 877 number and kept getting hung up on after it picked up--though she said there were voices in the background. At this point, I'm giving it a 20% chance of being legit and a heavily 80% chance of being total bullshit. But BHPD went through the whole fire drill: Units posted on all sides of the big office building; four coppers and the Sgt. rallied up in the lobby; Engine 3 and Rescue 1 staging a block out; K9 unit in the rear parking lot obtained master keys from the cleaning crew; confirmed no one was supposed to be up there at 2300 hours; perimeter set.

So entry team then requests the shield from the trunk of one of the patrol units in case of a crazy stabber awaiting them on the 8th floor. So...once entry was made via janitor keys the office was swept and no sign of a victim and definitely no suspect. It was Code 4 and everyone went home. Another solid exercise for the BHPD.

--A small barelysortascratched traffic accident outside my office building last week brought a visit from an LAPD West Traffic unit and shortly thereafter, Rescue 102 rolled up for some bullshitneckbackneckandback pain. Nice to see South Van Nuys' finest playing way over in Carthay Circle.

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