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November 30, 2020

News:

2015 San Pedro Prep Softball Preview -

Friday, May 1, 2015

Art Preview: ‘Non-Native’ by Ingrid Dietrich -

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

San Pedro Prep Baseball 2015 Preview -

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Recapping The Final Gaffey Street Community Workshop -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tiffany Torres Bears Down For Success At POLA High -

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

San Pedro Fish Market Launches Scholarship Contest -

Thursday, January 15, 2015

San Pedro’s Rita Fiorenza Is A Basketball Revelation -

Thursday, January 15, 2015

‘No Lane Reductions’ As Gaffey Street Redevelopment Plans Move Forward -

Friday, January 9, 2015

San Pedro Prep Sports 2014 Fall Review -

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

LAPD Harbor Division and Philie B’s Pizza To Host Charity Events This Weekend -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

San Pedro Holiday Parade Returns Sunday with a Twist -

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Winter Wonderland Comes To The Waterfront -

Monday, December 1, 2014

One-Way Streets May Come to Downtown San Pedro -

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

San Pedro’s Two Newest Volleyball Skyscrapers: Allison Kittell & Tracy Folchi -

Monday, November 10, 2014

San Pedro and POLA Prep Girls Cross-Country Preview: Running For More Glory -

Thursday, November 6, 2014

International Craft Beer Festival Comes to Crafted This Weekend -

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Second Workshop for Urban Greening Project Receives Warm Reception from Community -

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Construction of Mixed-Use Apartment Complex on Gaffey Could Begin Next Spring -

Thursday, September 25, 2014

UPDATE: Blaze Inside Port of L.A. in Wilmington Nearly Contained; Air Quality Deemed ‘Safe’ -

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

San Pedro High Football Off To Another Strong Start -

Monday, September 22, 2014

Buscaino Proposes Reward for Fatal Hit-and-Runs

Councilman Joe Buscaino speaks in Wilmington announcing his motion to create a “Standing Reward” for anyone that provides information leading to conviction of hit-and-run crimes (photo by Kelsey Duckett)

In the past five years, there have been an estimated 20,000 hit-and-run crashes in the city of Los Angeles, of those, nearly 1/3 were fatal, according to an analysis done by the police department.

It’s these statistics, and the tragic accident that left Manuel Ayala on life-support in a South Bay hospital, that prompted Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino to announce his plans to ask the City Council to establish a standing $50,000 reward in all fatal hit-and-run cases.

The announcement came at a press conference on Thursday morning, Sept. 26, at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Wilmington Boulevard, where Ayala, 26, was struck and left for dead in a hit-and-run accident on Sept. 16 — an incident in which detectives said they would have ruled “an accident” had the driver stopped.

“I don’t want to live in a city where we allow 30 people to be killed every year by someone who leaves the scene of a crime without any consequence,” Buscaino said. “It’s a cowardly act, and we will no longer put up with it in the city of Los Angeles.”

In addition to the standing $50,000 reward, Buscaino also announced his plan to immediately make a motion for a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the driver, believed to be a female in a two- or four-door gray sedan, likely to have front-end damage, that stuck and then left Ayala, a father of one, in the roadway.

Buscaino also called on Gov. Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill 184, authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Burbank) into law. The bill, which arrived on Brown’s desk the Sept. 19, the day Ayala was taken off life-support, would extend the statute of limitations on hit-and-run collisions from three to six years. He’s also asking state legislators to increase penalties for these types of crashes, bringing them to the same level as alcohol-related fatalities.

“Manuel Ayala is one of 30 people whose life will end this year as a result of the cowardly actions of an irresponsible driver,” Buscaino said.

Ayala was struck on Sept. 16 as he crossed Pacific Coast Highway around 7:50 p.m. He was walking north, when a gray Toyota sedan, believed to be going west, struck him.

“I never expected I would have to bury my own son,” said his mother, Laura Schumann.

Ayala, who lived with his girlfriend of eight years, Mayra Duenas, and four-year-old daughter, was en route to Placentia to visit his grandmother and mother. Ayala rode the bus regularly, as he did not own his own vehicle.

Family members said they became worried when Ayala did not show up in Orange County, and after searching for two days they learned he was lying “brain dead” in a South Bay hospital.

“Please help us find this killer that left my brother-in-law on the floor,” Brenda Viveros said at the press conference. “I can’t understand, I can’t wrap my head around how somebody could just hit somebody, briefly look over, see what damage they caused and just drive off.”

Ayala’s death has left his family and friends devastated.

His family said he was a guitar player, that recently started taking music and computer courses in San Pedro, with the hope of one day being able to repair and create computer software. But they said his biggest life joy was his daughter, who he regularly took to Cabrillo Beach to fish.

“He was an angel sent from heaven,” Viveros said. “How could you just leave him like that? You could have stopped. You could have got out. You could have given comfort. You could have held his hand. But instead you decided to leave him.”

Viveros urged the driver to “please come forward” to give the family closure.

Los Angeles police Detective Sandra Smith said police obtained some surveillance camera footage of the hit-and-run accident. She added that had the driver stayed at the seen she would “have not considered the incident a criminal act.”

According to the analysis by the Los Angeles Police Commission, twenty percent of hit-and-run drivers are caught, but the percentage more than doubles when there are witnesses and other evidence like surveillance video.

“It’s time to send a clear signal,” Buscaino said. “If you leave the scene of an accident, you are a coward, you are a criminal and you will be treated as such.”