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Good Samaritan skateboarders help stop East Hollywood carjacking in progress

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Good Samaritan skateboarders help stop East Hollywood carjacking in progress

Cellphone video captured what appeared to be an attempted carjacking stopped by several good Samaritans late last month in East Hollywood.

The incident unfolded near the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.  

Footage of the incident shows the terrified driver of a Tesla screaming and trying to push another man, who was clinging to the driver’s steering wheel, out of the vehicle.  

Cesar Clara and Adam Hakeem came across the intense struggle as they were on their way to a nearby skatepark around 1 p.m. in the afternoon.  

“We pulled up right next to them and we see that some guy needed some help because it looked like someone was stealing the car,” Clara explained to KTLA’s Mary Beth McDade. 

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Behind the wheel of his own car, Clara watched as Hakeem jumped out of their vehicle and ran to the Tesla driver’s rescue.  

“So, the Black pedestrian has his arm around the wheel and he’s not letting go, while the other person in the car, he’s Asian, and he doesn’t know what to do,” Hakeem said. “He wasn’t saying much, except for, like, being in shock. He was like, ‘Just get him out.’” 

  • East Hollywood attempted carjacking
  • East Hollywood attempted carjacking
  • East Hollywood attempted carjacking
  • East Hollywood attempted carjacking

He said he tried to grab the suspect and get him to release the wheel and get away from the car, but that didn’t work.  

“So, I try to take his attention off of the steering wheel, so I proceeded to kicking his leg, hoping he’ll let go in agony,” Hakeem added.  

Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department arrived at the scene within minutes and took control of the situation and the suspect, who some believe may be homeless or suffering from mental illness.  

The man was reportedly arrested for grand theft auto.  

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As for Hakeem, he said that acting in the spur of the moment and helping the man out felt like the right thing to do.  

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Los Angeles, Ca

Single father struggling after work van stolen, torched in Southern California

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Single father struggling after work van stolen, torched in Southern California

A Southern California man’s livelihood was compromised when thieves stole his work van containing thousands of dollars worth of tools he’s bought over the years, stripped the vehicle for parts and set it on fire late last week.  

A single father of four, Travell Harding, a contract painter, said he was hoping he’d be able to recover the vehicle, which was stolen while parked across the street from his home in Artesia, and some of the tools. 

“It’s my livelihood,” he explained. “It’s like someone burning your shop down.”  

When he found out it had been torched, he said he couldn’t believe it.  

“I call the tow truck, I say, ‘Hey, I want to get my truck, what’s left of it. I want to get some tools out of it,’” he explained. “They were like, ‘No, you don’t understand. Your van is completely in rubble, there’s nothing for you to get out of it.’ They cut my hood in half and took out the engine. They cut out the catalytic converter, gutted it and set it on fire.”  

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Officers with California Highway Patrol recovered the charred van, which was burned beyond recognition, in a riverbed several miles from his home.  

The suspects made off with all his equipment, paints, brushes, sprayers and tools he’d inherited from his late father, who was also a contract painter.  

To make the situation even worse, Harding’s insurance doesn’t cover anything beyond a car collision, not even a brazen theft like this.  

“I work out of my van. I don’t have an office,” he told KTLA’s Rachel Menitoff. “I’m a small business owner and that was everything in that van.”  

  • Travell Harding
  • Travell Harding
  • Travell Harding
  • Travell Harding
  • Travell Harding

In his spare time, Harding runs a nonprofit organization – Fighters for the World – that’s dedicated to helping at-risk teens and his work in the community has not gone unnoticed.  

“People are calling me, saying, ‘I’m going to look in my garage, maybe I have a paintbrush, maybe I have this,’ and I’m like, ‘Let me know, I’ll come by and pick it up,’” he said.  

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A GoFundMe campaign was also organized to help Harding replace some of his equipment and, eventually, buy a new van with added security.  

“Even before I pick up some new tools, I’m scared they’re going to be taken again, so I’m putting a kill switch in my truck and an alarm, whatever I can do off the bat to help protect it because they’re targets,” Harding explained.  

Investigators with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Lakewood Station are handling the case, but so far, no suspects have been identified.  

Harding believes the work is likely a group of professional thieves because of the way they were able to strip the vehicle so quickly.  

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Los Angeles, Ca

Death Valley tourist suffers third-degree burns on feet after losing flip-flops on dunes

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Death Valley tourist suffers third-degree burns on feet after losing flip-flops on dunes

A Belgian tourist suffered third-degree burns on his feet during a visit to Death Valley National Park over the weekend.

According to the National Park Service, the 42-year-old man was taking a walk on the sand dunes when he lost his flip-flops. The air temperature at the time, officials said, was around 123 degrees and the ground temperature would have been “much hotter.”

A Death Valley National Park ranger told the Los Angeles Times that the ground temperature can reach 170 to 180 degrees and has even been known to get as high as 200 degrees.

“The skin was melted off his foot,” Park Ranger Gia Ponce told the Times.

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The man’s family called for help and other park visitors came to his aid to carry him to the nearby parking lot to await paramedics.

Officials said he suffered “full-thickness” burns on his feet and was in significant pain, but due to the extreme heat in the area, a helicopter was unable to fly and safely land in the area.

Instead, a ground ambulance rushed the man to a higher elevation where temperatures were slightly cooler, still around 109 degrees, which allowed for a helicopter to land and fly him to a Las Vegas hospital.

Officials urge visitors to take necessary precautions when exploring Death Valley, which is the driest, lowest and hottest of all the nation’s parks.

Rangers recommend visitors stay within 10 minutes of an air-conditioned vehicle, drink lots of water, eat salty snacks, wear sunscreen and appropriate clothing, and not hike after 10 a.m.

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Los Angeles, Ca

Black Lives Matter demands DNC host virtual primary, advocates for public participation

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Black Lives Matter demands DNC host virtual primary, advocates for public participation

Black Lives Matter demanded that the Democratic National Committee immediately host an informal, virtual snap primary nationwide before the Democratic National Convention in August.

The organization’s call comes after Vice President Kamala Harris secured enough delegates for the nomination on Monday.

In a statement, BLM called on the Democratic party leaders to allow public participation in the nomination process instead of leaving the decision to party delegates.

“The current political landscape is unprecedented, with President Biden stepping aside in a manner never seen before. This moment calls for decisive action to protect the integrity of our democracy and the voices of Black voters,” BLM said in a statement.

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“Now, Democratic Party elites and billionaire donors are attempting to manipulate Black voters by anointing Kamala Harris and an unknown vice president as the new Democratic ticket without a primary vote by the public. This blatant disregard for democratic principles is unacceptable. While the potential outcome of a Harris presidency may be historic, the process to achieve it must align with true democratic values. We have no idea where Kamala Harris stands on the issues, now that she has assumed Joe Biden’s place, and we have no idea of the record of her potential vice president because we don’t even know who it is yet.”

BLM leader Shalomyah Bowers told Reuters that the statement represents the views of many stakeholders in BLM’s Global Network but that individual chapters of the group are autonomous and may have a different view

The statement from BLM, a decentralized political and social organization, that helped lead global protest over police violence in 2020, disrupts the steady stream of public support from Democratic leaders for Harris after President Joe Biden announced his support for her on Sunday.

Reuters reported that the Harris campaign has raised over $100 million, with millions coming from the rapid mobilization of Black leaders and advocates since Biden’s endorsement.

Harris would be the first Black woman and Asian American to become the Democratic presidential candidate and the first Black woman and Asian American to be president should she win the election in November.

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BLM noted that while the potential outcome of a Harris presidency maybe historic, “the process to achieve it must align with true democratic values.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison said the party will deliver a presidential nominee by Aug. 7.

“The process has been fair. It’s been open. It’s been transparent,” Harrison said during a Tuesday morning Today Show interview.

The full statement from BLM can be found here.

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