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Local News Briefs


December 29, 2014

3.9 Magnitude Earthquake Hits near Rolling Hills, Palos Verdes

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.9 was felt by residents from Santa Monica to Cypress on Tuesday afternoon.

The quake hit at 3:26 p.m. PT and was centered 14 miles south-southeast of Rolling Hills.

Residents reported feeling shaking in Torrance, Porter Ranch, Valley Village, Hawthorne and Thousand Oaks. ABC7 Eyewitness Chuck Davis says he felt it at the Port of L.A. and thought his office on the pier was going into the water.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

Blue Bus Free on New Years Eve

Big Blue Bus wants Santa Monica and greater LA residents to start off the New Year safely and joins LA Metro in offering free bus rides on New Year’s Eve. Specifically, customers can hop on any Big Blue Bus from 9:00pm Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014 until 1:00am, Thursday, January 1, 2015, and ride for free. Regular BBB fares of $1 will apply for customers boarding the bus before and after this time period.

A company press release suggests: “Type in your location and desired destination in Google trip planner (located on the homepage of to find out where to catch the bus, and the time it is scheduled to depart. Big Blue Bus reminds customers that it is a good idea to plan return trips ahead of time as not all buses have late night service, and also to get to the bus stop 10 minutes before the bus is expected to arrive. For customers traveling before 9:00pm on New Year’s Eve, be sure to have the $1 bus fare ready in hand.”

Man Denies Drunkenly Crashing into JLo in Malibu

A 53-year-old Las Vegas man who was allegedly drunk when he crashed a pickup truck into singer-actress Jennifer Lopez’s Rolls-Royce in Malibu pleaded not guilty today to misdemeanor charges.

Robert John Reitz faces one count each of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and driving with a .08 percent blood-alcohol.

The collision occurred on Pacific Coast Highway just before 8 p.m. on Sept. 27. Prosecutors allege the defendant’s blood-alcohol level was more than .15 percent at the time -- about twice the legal limit.

Actress Leah Remini was driving the Rolls-Royce, which was stopped at a traffic light near Nobu restaurant when it was rear-ended, according to a post on Lopez’s Instagram account at the time. Lopez’s two children were also in the Rolls, but no one was hurt, the singer said.

“Sitting at a light, Riding high right before some drunk fool rear ended us in my new whip!!!” Lopez posted. “Thank god everyone ok!!!”

Reitz, charged on Dec. 2, faces a possible maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted. He is due back in court Jan. 28 for a pretrial hearing.

Two Policemen and Transient Hurt in Venice Scuffle

Two Los Angeles police officers and a transient were hurt today in a struggle in Venice during which police used a Taser to take the suspect into custody.

The officers were trying to talk to the man when the scuffle occurred about 8 a.m. on Sunset Avenue, east of Lincoln Boulevard, said Los Angeles police Officer Liliana Preciado.

The suspect, whose name was not immediately released, was taken to a hospital for examination and would be booked on suspicion of assault on a peace officer, the LAPD spokeswoman said.

One officer was taken to a hospital for treatment of knee pain, and the other officer received a medical examination on a complaint of pain, Preciado said.

Body Found on Venice Beach Identified as Chong Kwak of Los Angeles

The man who apparently fell out of a inflatable boat off Marina del Rey and washed up dead on Venice Beach has been identified by coroner’s officials as Chong Kwak of Los Angeles.

Coroner’s Lt. Larry Dietz said an autopsy was pending to determine the cause of death, Dietz said.

Kwak, 61, apparently fell out of the boat near the mouth of Marina del Rey, and his body washed up near Topsail Court, where the discovery was reported to authorities about 1:45 p.m. Monday, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter. Kwak was declared dead at the scene.

An inflatable boat was found nearby. The Sheriff’s Department was investigating the death.


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