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    A patient on his way to Temecula Valley Hospital allegedly got out of his restraints and stole an ambulance Sunday, leading police on a pursuit on the 15 Freeway from the Lake Elsinore area before a foot-chase finish in Hesperia, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    The ambulance driver reported the stolen vehicle on a 911 call around 3:35 p.m. Investigators said the man broke free from his restraints on the way to Temecula Valley Hospital, then got into a fight with a paramedic in the back of the ambulance.

    When the driver pulled over to help, the patient commandeered the ambulance, according to investigators.

    The suspect promptly made a stop at a gas station for cigarettes. Aylin Brambila was working inside the AM/PM when the man cut to the front of a line to pay.

    "He started shaking a little, getting a little panicked, I guess," said Brambila. "That's when he was like, 'I'm just going to get this, and I'm going to leave.'

    "Then he gets in an ambulance, doesn't close the door properly and just drives off."

    Eliana Moreno and Newschopper Bravo were over the police pursuit at approximately 4:15 p.m on the 15 Freeway northbound. A short time later, the vehicle passed the 210 Freeway and Rancho Cucamonga area, but continued northbound through the Cajon Pass.

    The pursuit concluded near the intersection of Mesa Street and Mariposa Road on the 15 Freeway in Hesperia when the driver abruptly pulled over without putting the vehicle in park. The ambulance rolled to a stop in the freeway median.

    A shirtless and shoeless man exited the ambulance and proceeded to run into a field with an officer chasing on foot. After a lengthy foot pursuit in which both the suspect and the chasing officer appeared to be out of breath and began walking at times, an officer got out of a CHP helicopter that landed in the field and helped make the arrest.

    Rick Montanez contributed to this story.


    An ambulance chase ended with a foot pursuit on Dec. 16, 2018.An ambulance chase ended with a foot pursuit on Dec. 16, 2018.

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    The driver of a pickup was arrested Monday morning after a crash that killed a woman driving a hatchback in Woodland Hills, authorities said.

    The crash was reported at 1:47 a.m. on Topanga Canyon Boulevard at De La Osa Street, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. The woman, a Tarzana resident in her 40s who was driving a Honda Fit, died at the scene. 

    The Dodger RAM driver was injured, but details about his condition were not immediately available. The driver was traveling at about 60 mph in a 40 mph zone at the time of the crash, investigators said.

    Police said he was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol.

    The road was closed for the investigation.



    Photo Credit: RMG

    A Honda Fit driver was killed Monday Dec. 17, 2018 in a crash with a pickup in Woodland Hills.A Honda Fit driver was killed Monday Dec. 17, 2018 in a crash with a pickup in Woodland Hills.

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    Security cameras captured a shirtless man in a stolen ambulance as he stopped for cigarettes before a pursuit Sunday that began in the Lake Elsinore area and continued into the high desert north of Los Angeles.

    The man, a patient who was being transported to Temecula Valley Hospital, apparently broke free from his restraints in the private ambulance and scuffled with a paramedic in the rear of the van. When the driver stopped on a freeway to help, he then commandeered the ambulance and drove to a nearby AM/PM store to buy cigarettes.

    Security camera video from the store showed the driver get out of the ambulance and open the rear doors before putting on pants in the parking lot.  Aylin Brambila was working inside the AM/PM when the man cut to the front of a line to pay.

    "He started shaking a little, getting a little panicked, I guess," said Brambila. "That's when he was like, 'I'm just going to get this, and I'm going to leave.'

    "Then he gets in an ambulance, doesn't close the door properly and just drives off."

    He can be seen buying cigarettes on video from cameras inside the store. Video also showed the man driving off in the ambulance -- its rear doors still open -- as a customer at a fuel pump pointed out the vehicle to pursuing officers.

    The pursuit continued on the 15 Freeway and ended about 70 miles later in the Hesperia area when the driver got out of the ambulance as is rolled to a stop in the median. Shirtless and barefoot, the man sprinted across a field before he was taken into custody.



    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

    Security camera video shows a sheriff's department patrol car chasing a stolen ambulance Sunday Dec. 16, 2018 in a convenience store parking lot.Security camera video shows a sheriff's department patrol car chasing a stolen ambulance Sunday Dec. 16, 2018 in a convenience store parking lot.

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    Sharing our own special day with another notable event, one that just happens to coincide with our birthday or anniversary or graduation?

    It's not unheard of.

    In fact, it's so not unheard of, you've probably experienced it multiple times, over the course of your life. For making way for something else to share your spotlight is part of the larger life experience, due to the finite nature of the annual calendar.

    And there just happen to be two things sharing the spotlight at Griffith Observatory on Friday, Dec. 21, two things that might be described as sun-bright, moon-big, and as interesting as astronomy itself.

    No pressure there, what with all of the hyperbole we're trucking out, but let us argue our case: Dec. 21 is the winter solstice, a mighty big day for this planet, and, as is tradition, observatory staffers will give informative and free talks on the topic, both at local noon and sunset.

    Local noon, on Dec. 21, 2018, will happen at 11:51 a.m., by the by, so just be at the Gottlieb Transit Corridor well ahead of noon-noon, as in the hour on the clock.

    The sunset talk will take place on the observatory's West Terrace.

    And at 7:30 that night, in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater? Look for a special presentation devoted to the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8, which "... launched on Dec. 21, 1968... the first to take humans beyond Earth to another world."

    Indeed, the famous "Earth Rise" photograph was snapped during this mission, on Dec. 24. Also? "The mission set the stage for the first Moon landing in July, 1969," observes the observatory. 

    Major. Beyond. Epic. And all of the super-hyperbolic words, which are well-earned in this case.

    The Apollo 8 celebration is also free, do note. And one more bonus: If you can't make it, it will be streamed live.

    Do you like some moon with your solstice or some sun with your Apollo 8? Dec. 21 is the day to head up the hill for history, astronomy, community, and deep-sky'd wonder.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Two astronomically awesome events are sure to send fans of Griffith Observatory over the moon on Friday, Dec. 21.Two astronomically awesome events are sure to send fans of Griffith Observatory over the moon on Friday, Dec. 21.

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    Seeking ways to reach out to communities recovering from the recent fires, and to help them rebuild, and to thank firefighters, and to tell our neighbors that we're thinking of them, not only during this holiday season but always?

    There are multiple routes, through several organizations, to do just that right now, and thousands of Californians are stepping up and donating money, time, and hosting a plethora of fundraising events.

    And a major one will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 18 when California Pizza Kitchen restaurants across the country donate "20 percent of participating purchases" to "the California Fire Foundation to support firefighters and impacted communities."

    Indeed, "across the country" is the theme, though there will be exceptions on the participating locations list, including airport and university locations, as well as a few other spots.

    The best bet? Check with your local CPK to see if they're on board for the fundraiser.

    What next?

    Dine in, or order out, or order online, and mention the fundraiser to your server or the employee taking your order. (Or, yes, you can show them this page.)

    Then, 20% of your bill will go to the California Fire Foundation, "..a non-profit organization that provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters, and the communities they protect."



    Photo Credit: Kristi Klemens/CPK

    Several California Pizza Kitchens will take part in the Dec. 18, 2018 event, which will help support the California Fire Foundation.Several California Pizza Kitchens will take part in the Dec. 18, 2018 event, which will help support the California Fire Foundation.

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    Suffolk District Attorney John Pappas announced Monday that his office is ending prosecution of Sean Ellis for first degree murder and armed robbery in the 1993 slaying of a Boston police officer.

    The case is being dropped because prosecutors don't believe they would be successful in a retrial due to the amount of time that has since passed.

    "The nature of the evidence has not changed in 25 years, but the strength of it has declined with time," Pappas said.

    He also said the involvement of corrupt police detectives in the investigation has compromised their ability to prosecute the case.

    "This was not an easy decision. It may not be a popular decision, but it is the right decision," Pappas said.

    Ellis was sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted in 1995 of the shooting death of Detective John Mulligan. Mulligan was shot five times in the face at about 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 26, 1993, while he slept in his car while on a security detail outside a pharmacy.

    The Supreme Judicial Court released Ellis from jail in 2015, saying he didn't get a fair trial because two police detectives who played key roles in the investigation later pleaded guilty to corruption charges, and prosecutors didn't provide Ellis' defense team with all of the evidence.

    "It's kind of like surreal," Ellis told NBC10 Boston on Monday. "To say that I'm happy and ecstatic is an understatement."

    He said he still had the GPS monitoring device on his ankle as he heard the news Monday.

    Asked what he has learned about himself since 1993, he said he has learned that he is "resilient." He still maintains his innocence.

    As for what's next, he said he wants to go back to school so he can get a better job. He's in his 40s now and says he's doing entry level work that someone in their late teens, early 20s would typically be doing.

    Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said he agrees with the district attorney's decision but said that doesn't mean that Ellis didn't kill Mulligan.

    "He's a father, and a brother and a son. It was with heavy heart we had to discuss this with the family for this final outcome," Gross said of Mulligan.

    "Sean Ellis is culpable," he added. "Not innocent at all."



    Photo Credit: necn

    Sean Ellis.Sean Ellis.

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    Photo Credit: KNBC-TV

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    An off-duty Oakland police officer was in stable condition Monday after accidentally shooting himself Saturday night in the Northern California city of San Leandro, according to police.

    At about 8:55 p.m. Saturday, San Leandro Police officers responded to an apartment in the 400 block of Dolores Avenue on reports of a man who had been shot, San Leandro police said. When officers arrived, a female told them her boyfriend, an off-duty Oakland police officer, was inside the apartment suffering from a gunshot wound.

    Officers immediately began first aid until paramedics arrived. The off-duty officer was alert and talking to investigating officers, police said.

    "At this point in the case, we know the shooting occurred in the parking lot of Bayfair Mall, and appears that he accidentally shot himself," San Leandro police Lt. Isaac Benabou said.

    The off-duty officer was taken to a hospital, where he remains in stable condition, police said.

    Anyone with information on the incident should contact the San Leandro Police Department at 510-577-3315.


    File image of Oakland police.File image of Oakland police.

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    What seemed like a simple school assembly turned into a pleasant surprise for the Agoura Hills High School baseball and softball teams thanks to Olympic Sports and Team USA.

    Olympic Athletes visited the high school Monday morning where Olympic Sports donated new equipment to the high school teams after their sports shed was destroyed in the Woolsey fire last month.

    The Woolsey fire left many devastated after it caused about 95 percent of families in the district to be evacuated.

    Schools were closed for a long period of time, more than 100 families lost their homes and more than 200 students are still out of their homes.

    Students came together for a brief rally where they participated in giveaways and had fun chanting with Team USA.

    Varsity baseball and softball team members met at Yerba Buena Elementary School for an assembly then headed back to the high school to see all of the new equipment that had been donated.

    Students met with athletes Sahvanna Jaquish, Danielle O'Toole, Janie Reed and Delaney Spaulding, members of the U.S. National Softball Team, the first team from any nation to already have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

    Amid all of the devastation the Woolsey fire left behind, school officials are trying their best to give students a positive and cheerful experience this holiday season.


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    An East Hollywood apartment building had a stripped roof for ongoing repairs when rains hit Southern California in early December, so it's now life with water stained walls and floors, but without ceilings and cabinets for tenants.

     "This is not right for us," said Matilda Castillo, who, like her neighbors, has chosen to remain, even though her unit now lacks a functioning kitchen.

    Following the rains, building management quickly began demolition work on the apartment building. But that came to a halt after residents raised questions about notification and their relocation during the repairs, so lawyers became involved.

    "The landlord and management are doing everything the can to get these tenants' apartments repaired as soon as possible," an email statement from attorney Niv Davidovich reads.

    But residents and families expressed distrust.

    "We're just fearful," said Joe Aguila, whose mother is a tenant. "We don't want to lose our homes."

    Rents are stabilized in the building at 1144 N. Westmoreland Ave.--currently under $1,600 for Castillo's two bedroom--and several of the tenants said they suspect management wants them to leave for good. Castillo said her family was offered $20,000 to relocate permanently. They declined, she said, out of concern they could not afford the rent at a comparable apartment.

    That an offer was made to residents to relocate permanently was acknowledged by Davidovich.

    "That offer was rejected," Davidovich wrote in an email. "The landlord has now made offers to relocate temporarily, and we are still waiting for a response from tenant's attorney."

    Tensions escalated last week when the landlord posted notices of needed unit access, but the date and day were out of sync.  Several residents cited that in denying access when personnel arrived on Friday.

    Later, in another notice demanding tenants quit occupancy within three days, management asserted that, in denying access, tenants had violated their rental agreement.

    That was decried as "bad faith," in the view of Daniel Lavi, lead attorney of The Tenants Law Firm, a nonprofit that is representing the renters. "The Tenants are simply looking for a way to have a win-win solution," Lavi wrote in an email statement.

    Residents contend deferred maintenance has been a recurring problem. A partial ceiling collapse was reported in Unit 6 after the early rain in October. As it was, the roof was stripped for a re-do just days before the early month rains.  Davidovich said work was delayed, first by a contractor issue, and then to await a city inspection.

    Plastic sheeting was put down, but proved no match for the heavy rain.

    The repaired roof was still awaiting final sign-off when a Building and Safety inspector arrived Monday. A city housing inspector also arrived to examine the interior damage.

    Tenants have been notified property management will need access again Tuesday.


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    A 42-year-old man was shot and killed while changing his tire in a North Hollywood parking lot Monday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

    The man was shot at approximately 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Valley Park Recreation Center on the 12200 block of Archwood Street in North Hollywood.

    The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    Police believe two men fled the scene after the shooting but did not know what caused the shooting.

    Authorities are asking for the public's help. 


    Police investigate a fatal shooting in the North Hollywood area on Dec. 17, 2018.Police investigate a fatal shooting in the North Hollywood area on Dec. 17, 2018.

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    Three vehicles were involved in a crash at the end of a pursuit on the streets of Hollywood Monday, with bystanders capturing the conclusion of the pursuit on video.

    The chase ended near the intersection of Vine Street and De Longpre Street, near the doorsteps of a restaurant. Diners hear the collision and recorded the takedown of the suspected reckless driver in a possibly stolen Dodge Charger.

    Genevieve Lake, a witness, says, "There was a body on the ground. Thought he was dead. It was the guy surrendering! Cops yelling, 'Get on the ground!'"

    Lake added, "I never saw that before. First time! I'm scared."

    The runaway sports car slammed into a northbound van, and the incident was described by the innocent van driver.

    "He sent my entire big van from the outer lane to the inside lane," Kristopher Roe says. "My dog, little French bulldog, went flying."

    Roe's van filled with smoke, and the driver and his dog had to escape out of the vehicle's window.

    Traffic was disrupted for hours as the Los Angeles Police Department took statements and gathered evidence. Miraculously, no one was seriously injured or killed.

    "I love watching high speed pursuits on TV, but I don't want to be part of one," Roe said.



    Photo Credit: Newschopper4 Bravo

    Pursuit ends in a three-vehicle crash in Hollywood on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018.Pursuit ends in a three-vehicle crash in Hollywood on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018.

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    The Defense Department's internal watchdog said in a new report that cybersecurity lapses like neglecting to encrypt classified flash drives and failing to put physical locks on critical computer servers leave the United States vulnerable to deadly missile attacks, NBC News reported

    The findings came in a new report made public Friday, summing up an eight-month-long investigation into the nation's ballistic missile defense system by the Pentagon's Office of Inspector General. 

    The audit examined five of the 104 Defense Department facilities that manage ballistic missile defense systems and technical information.

    It's just the latest internal finding that U.S. defense infrastructure is deeply vulnerable to cyberattacks.



    Photo Credit: Mark Wright/Missile Defense Agency via AP

    This Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) shows the launch of the U.S. military's land-based Aegis missile defense testing system, that later intercepted an intermediate range ballistic missile, from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.This Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) shows the launch of the U.S. military's land-based Aegis missile defense testing system, that later intercepted an intermediate range ballistic missile, from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.

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    See some of the images in the news around Southern California.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    Upset Los Angeles Rams fans look on during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)Upset Los Angeles Rams fans look on during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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    Bells and chimes and ticking clocks play prominent roles in that most prominent holiday tale of all, "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.

    Consider, if you will, that Marley's ghost tells Ebenezer Scrooge that three spirits will arrive at specific appointed times. It's pivotal, to the tale, and memorable, too.

    In short? At Christmas, clocks play starring roles.

    Where, though, to find a stately historic clock, the kind of clock seen in yarns of old, done up in its yuletide best, around Los Angeles?

    You only need look to the corner of Third & Fairfax, at the Original Farmers Market, the famous home to two handsome clock towers and some very unScroogean celebrating when the week ahead of Christmas arrives.

    We say "unScroogean" because everything is free to enjoy, from the concerts (Merle Jagger's Country Christmas and Einstein Brown's Calypso Christmas are coming up) to the crafts (think elf ears and pine cone decorating).

    But the spirit weaving through the charming market is also deeply non-Scrooge, thanks to the seasonal boughs and bows, the bustling vendors (from grocers to gift purveyors), and the chance to snack upon foodstuffs that fit the season, from hot chocolate at the Coffee Corner to the iconic toffee at Littlejohn's Candies.

    If you'd like to join a particular craft activity, or hear the Dickensian carolers or mariachis, best check the schedule first, before heading to the beloved local favorite.

    Or just show up, through Dec. 24, to see what is happening, holiday-wise.

    Something great will likely flower, with the panache of a poinsettia, during your time there, if you settle in with a warm drink and the desire to people watch, read a book, or just pass the time in an unhurried and pleasant manner.

    No bahs, and zero humbugs, are to be found during the Christmas festivities at the Original Farmers Market.

    So follow the sound of the clock tower to one of LA's freest and light-of-heart-iest holiday fun times, before the hour strikes 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.



    Photo Credit: Original Farmers Market

    It's that week, the most carol-filled, mariachi-merry week of the year at the Third & Fairfax-based landmark. Be there through Dec. 24, 2018 to revel in the yuletide to-dos.It's that week, the most carol-filled, mariachi-merry week of the year at the Third & Fairfax-based landmark. Be there through Dec. 24, 2018 to revel in the yuletide to-dos.