Bay Area News Roundup

Bay City News
Monday, September 15, 2014
Police ID man allegedly shot, killed by Richmond police officer

A 24-year-old has been identified as the man shot and killed by a police officer after fighting with the officer in front of a liquor store in Richmond early Sunday morning.

Richard Perez II of Richmond was shot dead in front of Uncle Sam's Liquor Store a short time after 12:15 a.m. Sunday, according to police.

Police said an officer was patrolling the area near the store at 3322 Cutting Blvd. when he encountered Perez, who was allegedly intoxicated and belligerent.

When the officer asked Perez to sit down for a records check, the suspect allegedly attacked the officer and both men fell to the ground, according to police.

In a statement describing the incident posted on the Police Department's Facebook page, Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus said the suspect became increasingly aggressive and tried to grab the officer's gun from its holster.

At one point during the struggle, the suspect allegedly "grabbed and held on to one of the officer's hands, while using his other hand to simultaneously go for the officer's gun," said Magnus, noting that at least one independent witness verified that account.

"As the officer tried to retreat, the suspect continued his assault," the chief said. "The physically exhausted officer, fearing the suspect would overpower him and get his gun, fired three shots at the suspect, striking him in the chest."

Perez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the officer, who is 31 years old and a six-year veteran of the Richmond Police Department, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the results of an investigation by the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

Magnus said security footage from Sam's Liquors shows limited portions of the incident and has helped investigators in determining the sequence of events leading up to the shooting.

A decision about whether to release the footage will likely be made by the district attorney's office, Richmond police Capt. Mark Gagan said.

The incident is the first fatal officer-involved shooting in Richmond since 2007, when a police officer shot and killed 18-year-old Anthony Myles, who police at the time said was armed with a gun and allegedly shot at another man.

Magnus said the liquor store where Sunday's deadly shooting occurred closed briefly in February for multiple violations and has been a "problem location" that has negatively impacted the surrounding neighborhood.

The chief pledged to maintain the "greatest degree of transparency" as the investigation into the shooting moves forward and to update the public as soon as new information is available.

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Lanes on I-880 reopen after fiery multi-car crash

All lanes of Interstate Highway 880 have reopened this morning following a fiery crash that sent a big-rig crashing through the highway's center divider early this morning, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

The crash was first reported shortly after 3 a.m. near the Marina Boulevard junction with Highway 880, according to the CHP.

An SUV heading south on the highway crashed into the center divider, setting off a chain reaction that ended up involving 10 cars or more, CHP Officer Colton Kropp said.

A big-rig traveling behind the SUV swerved to avoid it but ended up also hitting the center divider and crashing through it onto the northbound lanes of the highway, Kropp said.

The crash sprayed debris from the concrete divider all over the highway and the truck flew across all of the northbound lanes of the highway, coming to rest in the right shoulder, Kropp said.

Cars piled up in both directions and both sides of the highway had to be closed.

Nine people were taken to hospitals, six with minor to moderate injuries and three with major injuries, Kropp said. One person had to be airlifted to the hospital.

As of about 9:30 a.m., the highway fully reopened after Caltrans crews finished repairs on the center divider and cleaned a fuel spill from the crashed big-rig.

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GG Bridge workers plan to strike next week

Workers in 13 unions that comprise the Golden Gate Bridge Labor Coalition plan to strike next week if a contract agreement is not reached by this afternoon, a coalition spokesman said.

The announcement about whether the unions will strike will be made at 4 p.m. today at the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District's office at the bridge's toll plaza, the coalition's co-chair Alex Tonisson said.

The 450 union employees are ferry deckhands and captains, bus service workers and mechanics, bridge ironworkers and inspectors and construction trade employees, Tonisson said.

The union members voted in August to authorize a strike and there has been no contract settlement since then, Tonisson said.

The bridge district is proposing a three-year contract with an annual 3 percent wage increase and an increase in the cost of employees' healthcare premiums that is equal to 2 percent of wages, Tonisson said.

The district and unions have been negotiating since April and the employees have been working without a contract since July 1, Tonisson said.

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Driver injured after car crashes into bus

One man was injured this morning after driving a car in front of a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light-rail train in San Jose, a VTA spokeswoman said.

At about 10:35 a.m., the driver of a car took a left turn in front of an oncoming VTA train heading north on North First Street at Matrix Boulevard between the Civic Center and Katrina stations, VTA spokeswoman Brandi Childress said.

The man in the car was transported to O'Connor Hospital in San Jose with injuries that are not life-threatening, Childress said.

No one on the train was injured in the collision, according to Childress.

The compact sedan car blocked train tracks in both directions,interrupting service for about 55 minutes, during which the VTA transported passengers by bus, she said.

Train service has since resumed, Childress said.

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Coroner's ID woman found dead in burned Santa Rosa home

The Sonoma County coroner's office has identified a woman who was found dead in her cluttered and burned Santa Rosa home Saturday night as 78-year-old Norene Losee.

An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of Losee's death.

She was found dead around 9:20 p.m. in the kitchen area near the origin of the fire in her two-story Victorian home at 131 11th St.

Doors and windows on both floors of the home and the home's interior were blocked by storage items, Santa Rosa fire Battalion Chief Mark Basque said.

Firefighters crawled over the top of the storage items to access and put out the fire, Basque said.

The cause of the two-alarm fire appears to be accidental, but it is still under investigation by the Santa Rosa police and fire departments, Basque said.

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Napa officials conduct earthquake impact survey of residents

Napa County Public Health officials and volunteers on Tuesday will begin a three-day earthquake impact survey of residents in the cities of Napa and American Canyon and surrounding areas.

Staff and volunteers will go door-to-door between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. to assess the residents' immediate needs following the 6.0-magnitude earthquake on Aug. 24, said Cara Mae Wooledge, a health education specialist with the Napa County Public Health Division.

Those needs might include counseling, housing, stress reduction and referrals to services that are available at the Napa Local Assistance Center at 301 First St. in Napa.

The information from the survey of randomly selected households will also be used to prepare for future emergencies, Wooledge said.

Those conducting the surveys will be wearing badges and vests. Residents may contact the Napa County Public Health Division at (707) 253-4341 to verify if the volunteers are affiliated with the survey effort.

The volunteers are trained and response to the survey is voluntary, Wooledge said.

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Robbery suspects accused of shooting resident

A shooting occurred during a robbery in San Francisco's Mission Terrace neighborhood this morning, a police spokesman said.

The shooting was reported around 7:45 a.m. on Camellia Avenue between Silver and Castle Manor avenues.

The victim was shot during a robbery committed by two suspects who fled in a dark-colored vehicle, San Francisco police spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy said.

The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, Shyy said. He did not immediately have any information on the victim's condition.

The suspects remained at large as of this morning.

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Police search for Petaluma man wanted in connection with domestic violence incident

Police are searching for a Petaluma man wanted in connection with a domestic violence incident Saturday that seriously injured a woman.

Petaluma police said Henry Flores, 30, was involved in the domestic violence incident that left the 22-year-old victim with serious facial injuries, including a laceration that required suturing.

Police responded at 11:30 a.m. Saturday to an apartment in the 900 block of Petaluma Boulevard North in response to a domestic violence call when they discovered the injured woman.

Flores fled the area before officers arrived. Police said the victim was taken to a safe location.

Neighbors reported that Flores returned to the apartment and tried to get back inside around 7:30 p.m., but fled before officers arrived, police said.

Law enforcement officials searched the area but weren't able to locate Flores.

Police said he is currently out on bail for a recent auto theft case and is now wanted for felony domestic battery.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Petaluma Police Department at (707) 778-4373 or an anonymous tip line at (855)847-7247.

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Walnut Creek man arrested on suspicion of multiple burglaries

A Walnut Creek man suspected in multiple burglaries from recent months is in jail after allegedly burglarizing a home in Orinda on Friday, Contra Costa County sheriff's officials said.

Kyle Facchin, 30, was arrested Friday afternoon on suspicion of residential burglary, resisting arrest,impersonating another person and narcotics possession, according to the sheriff's office.

Orinda police responded around 1:45 p.m. Friday to reports of a break-in at a home on Muth Drive.

The suspect, later identified as Facchin, fled the scene before officers arrived but was spotted by an officer near state Highway 24 and St. Stephens Drive, sheriff's officials said.

The suspect ran, prompting a short chase, and was arrested a short time later with the aid of Lafayette police and the California Highway Patrol.

He was taken to county jail in Martinez, where he is being held without bail.

Sheriff's officials said Facchin is suspected in other burglaries in Contra Costa County, including a July break-in at a home on Neely Court in Alamo in which he allegedly stole more than $12,000 in jewelry, electronics and utensils.

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9 pounds of opium found inside box of soap delivered to SFO

A box of soap delivered to San Francisco International Airport from Thailand was hiding nearly 9 pounds of opium, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said today.

The box containing 66 bars of individually packaged soap was received by the international mail facility at the airport on Sept. 9.

After putting it through an x-ray machine, officials opened it for a closer look. They cut open one of the bars of soap and discovered it had been hollowed out and stuffed with a ball of opium, customs officials said.

Each bar contained a ball of opium and officials found 8.9 pounds of it in all.

Customs and Border Protection spokesman Frank Falcon said this morning that the opium was seized but he couldn't discuss who it was destined for or whether there had been any arrests in the case.

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San Mateo child care provider found downloading child porn placed on probation

A former San Mateo child care provider found downloading child pornography last year was sentenced to probation and will have to register as a sex offender for life, San Mateo County prosecutors said today.

Nicholas McKinley, 32, was sentenced Friday by San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Jonathan Karesh to three years' probation and one year in jail, but already has 384 days credit for time served, according to the district attorney's office.

McKinley will have to register as a sex offender for life and will have to complete a sex offender management treatment course and is restricted him from associating with minors without his probation officer's consent, must stay 100 yards from where children congregate, cannot live in a house with children and cannot possess any pornography, prosecutors said.

McKinley, a former child care provider with La Creche Child Development Center, was arrested after Santa Barbara County prosecutors alerted San Mateo police that they had located someone there downloading child pornography via the online sharing service Shareaza, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

Detectives searched his apartment and found hundreds of child pornography images on his computer. He was arrested on Nov. 20.

McKinley pleaded no contest in May to felony charges of possession of child pornography on the condition that he would not receive a state prison sentence, prosecutors said.

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Man arrested near Big Sur on suspicion of auto burglary

A 28-year-old Benicia man was arrested near Big Sur on Sunday on suspicion of auto burglary and a false claim that his family had been killed, Monterey County sheriff's officials said.

At 7:30 a.m. Sunday, the California Highway Patrol notified deputies about victims of an auto burglary in the Big Sur area who flagged down a passing CHP car, sheriff's Deputy Michael Smith said.

Deputies dispatched to investigate the burglary on state Highway 1 were asked to first check on the welfare of a man parked along the highway who used a call box to report his family had been killed and thrown into a river.

When they arrived to contact the man, deputies noticed that his car was similar to the one that the victims of the auto burglary said the suspect was driving, according to Smith.

The man then told deputies that his family was fine but that he had not slept for almost a week, Smith said.

The victims of the car burglary were brought to the scene and they identified the man's car as the vehicle they saw driving away, according to Smith.

The man, Oscar Mendez Zarate, 28, of Benicia, admitted he tried to steal the victims' car because he said he was almost out of gas, sheriff's officials said.

A window of the victims' car had been smashed, wires pulled out from the dashboard and several items stolen from the vehicle, according to Smith.

Deputies recovered the stolen property and arrested Zarate on suspicion of making a false report of an emergency, attempted vehicle theft, vandalism and burglary, Smith said.

He was booked into Monterey County Jail and held on $10,000 bail, sheriff's officials said.

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Miss America attended high school in Walnut Creek

A woman who graduated high school in Walnut Creek was crowned Miss America on Sunday night while representing the state of New York.

Kira Kazantsev, 22, was crowned Miss America 2015 during a Sunday night televised broadcast capping off the competition in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Kazantsev graduated from Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek before moving to New York to attend Hofstra University, according to her profile on MissAmerica.org.

For the talent part of the competition, Kazentsev performed Pharrell's "Happy" with the aid of a red plastic cup, prompting both praise and criticism on social media.

As Miss America 2015, Kazantsev will take part in a speaking tour to discuss her platform, "Love Shouldn't Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence."

In addition to the title, the former Walnut Creek resident earned a $50,000 scholarship to further her education and will serve as a spokeswoman for education for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

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Weather

Tonight will be mostly clear inland, with increasing low clouds near the coast and bay. Overnight low temperatures will be mainly in the upper 50s to near 60. Tomorrow will be mostly sunny, with passing high clouds. High temperatures will range from mid 60s at the coast to mid 80s inland.

Concord 84
Oakland 74
Redwood City 78
San Francisco 70
San Jose 79
Santa Rosa 80

Coast
Tonight: Increasing Low Clouds
Lows: Upper 50s
Tomorrow: Partly Cloudy & Mild
Highs: Mid to Upper 60s

East Bay
Tonight: Patchy Low Clouds
Lows: Upper 50s to Near 60
Tomorrow: Partly Cloudy & Mild
Highs: Mid to Upper 70s

East Bay Valleys
Tonight: Mostly Clear
Lows: Upper 50s
Tomorrow: Mostly Sunny & Warm
Highs: Mid to 80s

North Bay Valleys
Tonight: Patchy Low Clouds
Lows: Mid 50s
Tomorrow: Partly Cloudy & Mild to Warm
Highs: Low 80s

Peninsula
Tonight: Patchy Low Clouds
Lows: Upper 50s to Near 60
Tomorrow: Mostly Sunny & Mild
Highs: Mid to Upper 70s

South Bay
Tonight: Mostly Clear
Lows: Upper 50s
Tomorrow: Mostly Sunny & Warm
Highs: Upper 70s to Mid 80s

Wednesday:
Partly Cloudy & Mild to Warm
Highs: Mid 60s Coast to Mid 80s Inland
a wind off the Pacific, allowing the heat to ease a bit Inland. Expect mainly sunny skies with highs in the 60s Coast/70s Bay/80s & 90s Inland.
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