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L.A. City Attorney Targets Alleged Gang Houses In San Fernando Valley

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LA City Attorney Valley Gang Homes
Photo Courtesy of Google Maps

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Tuesday that his office has filed two nuisance abatement lawsuits against the owners of homes alleged to be dangerous gang strongholds in the residential San Fernando Valley neighborhoods of Panorama City and Pacoima. 

The Panorama City home is an alleged epicenter of shootings, sales of methamphetamine and the storage of guns. The Pacoima home is an alleged gang hangout of approximately 15 years with multiple shootings and drive-bys, according to Feuer’s office. 

Both lawsuits, part of the sustained, concentrated focus on neighborhood safety by Feuer and LAPD, seek to have the homes declared public nuisances and the violence and danger brought to a swift and permanent end.

“Nobody in our City should be waking up to homes hit with bullets, or meth sales and the threat of violence down the block. No one should have to forbid their kids from playing in the front yard because it’s just too dangerous. But that is a reality for too many Angelenos,” said Feuer in a statement. “We need to confront these issues head-on, so families can live in peace.  These lawsuits are key ingredients in that strategy.”

According to one of the complaints, the Panorama City home – at 14697 Plummer Street – is allegedly being used by “Pacoima,” the violent criminal gang known to traffic narcotics throughout the valley.

Purchased in 2019 by defendant Hovo Stepanian, who doesn’t live at the home, it quickly gained a reputation in the community and among law enforcement as a nuisance property where large amounts of amphetamines are stored and sold, according to the office. 

“Violence in and around the home has escalated alarmingly in the past seven months with two large-scale LAPD pursuits for criminal suspects, one following a shooting and the other for alleged armed gang members fleeing the police,” said city attorney’s office officials. 

Search warrants executed at the home have recovered methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, gear used to sell narcotics, and numerous guns – including two “ghost guns,” one of which was an AR-15.

This nuisance abatement lawsuit seeks to have the home declared a public nuisance and to terminate the tenancy of all current occupants.

According to the other complaint, the Pacoima home – at 13285 Corcoran Street – has allegedly been used as a hangout for the extremely violent “Pacoima Pirus” street gang for the past 15 years. 

The home is owned by Defendant Detroit Dumas who lives there with his adult sons, Defendants Keijuan and Alexander Dumas, alleged associates of the Pacoima Pirus. The sons have allegedly allowed the Pacoima Pirus to use the home as a hub for gang activity. 

“In the past five years, there have been five documented shootings and drive-bys from rival gangs at the home, resulting in two people being shot and hospitalized with gun wounds, and bullets hitting neighbors’ homes and cars,” the city attorney’s office said. “One such shooting took place as recently as January.”

This lawsuit seeks to have the home declared a public nuisance, an order requiring the brothers to move out and stay 1,000 feet away at all times and a permanent injunction.

Since July 2013, the city attorney’s office has filed 151 nuisance abatement lawsuits, secured 313 injunctions and collected more than $2.8 million in penalties and costs. 

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Crime

One Killed In Saugus Stabbing, Deputies In Standoff With Suspect

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Saugus Stabbing Suspect
James Mathew Dorsey, the suspect wanted in connection to the Saugus stabbing. Photo Courtesy of the LASD.

A woman was killed in a Saugus stabbing Thursday morning, with the suspect — the estranged husband of the victim — in a standoff with deputies after fleeing at high speeds.

The incident occurred on Thursday at about 5:10 a.m. on the 22800 block of Fir Court, according to Deputy Grace Medrano, with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Information Bureau. 

Homicide Detectives have identified the suspect as 41-year-old James Mathew Dorsey from Washington State. He is described as a male White, 5’06, 165 lbs, according to Medrano.

Dorsey is the estranged husband of the victim, according to LASD Lt. Barry Hall.

“The information we have right now is that he’s not even living in the state, and they were certainly estranged, he’s not even welcome at the house,” Hall said. “He probably forced his way through the door at the back.”

Dorsey fled the scene driving a white Chevy Malibu, 4-door sedan with a California plate of 7ALF904.

“The suspect is considered armed and dangerous,” Medrano said. “Call 9-1-1 if you see the suspect and do not approach.”

At about 4:40 p.m., deputies initiated a pursuit, following the suspect at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.

Dorsey the crashed on 300th Street, near the border of Los Angeles County and Kern County.

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, Dorsey is still in the vehicle, with the LASD Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) responding to the scene.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

To provide information anonymously, call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or the website.

Note: This story has been updated with information on the standoff between deputies and the suspect.

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Crime

Former Catholic Priest Charged With Sexual Assault Of Four Children

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Los Angeles Courtroom-2

A former Catholic priest has been charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting four boys at two different parishes, including one in Palmdale, dating back more than two decades.

Christopher John Cunningham, 58, is facing 12 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14. Arraignment will be scheduled for a later date, according to Greg Risling, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

“The victims were innocent children who have spent most of their lives with the trauma caused by the abuse alleged in this case,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “My office is committed to holding accountable anyone who abuses and takes advantage of our children, especially when they hold a position of trust.”

The case was filed for a warrant on April 2, according to investigators.

While working as an associate pastor at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Palmdale, the defendant is accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy on two occasions between November 1995 and September 1997. Cunningham also allegedly sexually assaulted a boy at the victim’s home sometime between June 1996 and June 1998, prosecutors said.

Cunningham also worked at Saint Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church in Redondo Beach. While there, he is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old on two occasions between July 1998 and January 2001. During that same time frame, the defendant allegedly sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy on multiple occasions, according to the D.A’s Office.

The case remains under investigation by the Special Victims Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. If anyone has additional information or was a victim, call the bureau at (562) 946-8531.

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UPDATE: No Barricade Suspect Located After Tactical Operation In Lancaster

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LASD File Photo
Photo Courtesy of the LASD

After several hours, no suspect was found after the report of a person wanted for burglary was barricaded in Lancaster Monday morning.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) personnel responded to assist Lancaster Station with a barricaded armed burglary suspect, according to Deputy Trina Schrader.

The incident was reported on April 12, at about 5:09 a.m., on the 3800 block of Avenue K in Lancaster, according to investigators. 

SEB personnel will assume tactical command and Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) is attempting to make contact with the suspect to bring this to a peaceful conclusion, Schrader said.

The surrounding homes have been evacuated for the safety of the residents.

After several hours and many verbal attempts by Lancaster Station deputies, SEB Tactical Team and the Crisis Negotiations Team there was no contact with the suspect.

SEB Tactical Team cleared the premises just before 1 p.m. and no suspect was located, according to Sheriff’s officials.

There is no additional information available, according to Schrader.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lancaster Station at (661) 948-8466.

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