Mission District Restaurant Closed On Tuesday After Employee Is Shot
A restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District was closed for business Tuesday after one of its employees was shot in the head after leaving work early Tuesday morning in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity.
The shooting was reported around 12:30 a.m. at 19th Street near San Carlos Street.
The 22-year-old victim, whose name is not yet being released, had just gotten off of work at the nearby Hog and Rocks restaurant where he worked as a cook, according to David Esler, one of the restaurant's owners.
The victim and two other acquaintances were standing outside the restaurant and having a cigarette when two suspects approached, and one shot the victim in the head, according to Esler.
The victim was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries that are considered life-threatening.
The suspects, described as Hispanic men between 25 and 30 years old who were wearing dark clothing and hoodies, have not been found. They were last seen running west on 19th Street away from San Carlos Street, police said.
Investigators believe the victim may have been mistaken for a gang member, which he is not. The Police Department's gang task force is investigating the shooting.
Esler said the victim worked two jobs, often leaving the restaurant late at night to start work at a nearby bakery at 4 a.m.
He said the restaurant's staff is distraught about the shooting.
The victim, who had worked there for about six months, was "really a well-liked kid," he said. "The kitchen staff is a tight-knit group, it's just really unfortunate."
Because of the shooting, the decision was made to not open the restaurant for business Tuesday, according to Esler, who said regular business will resume there today.
Home Robbery Arrests End In A Standoff In East Oakland
The last remaining suspect in a series of home invasion robberies has been arrested, ending a standoff at a residence in East Oakland, police said Tuesday.
Oakland police spokeswoman Cynthia Perkins said police searched homes, closed streets and evacuated residents in the vicinity of the 5000 block of Melrose Avenue, near 49th Avenue, at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Perkins said police had learned at around 7 a.m. that there had been a number of armed home invasion and other robberies in East Oakland.
She said that as officers were investigating the crimes, they spotted a car that had been used in one of the incidents and traced it to a home in the 5000 block of Melrose Avenue.
They saw one suspect exiting the home and arrested him, then determined there were other suspects inside, police said.
Three other suspects were then arrested without incident, but police said another suspect remained inside the home. That suspect was finally arrested about mid-afternoon, according to Perkins.
Police are not releasing the names of the suspects at this time, she said.
Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint said Horace Mann Elementary School at 5222 Ygnacio Ave. was locked down at about 10:15 a.m. because it is near the area where the standoff was going on.
But the school began allowing parents to pick up their children one by one starting around 2 p.m., he said
A man who was shot by a Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy Monday night had apparently brandished a replica firearm, causing the deputy to fire on the suspect, according to the sheriff's office.
Sheriff's Deputy John Gonzalez, a 9-year veteran of the force, was patrolling the Cupertino area when he observed the suspect in a stolen vehicle near the intersection of Stevens Creek Boulevard and Tantau Avenue at about 9:10 p.m.
A 300-yard chase on foot ensued when Gonzalez attempted to make contact with the suspect, Kevin Anthony Quinnette, 32.
According to the sheriff's office, Quinnette produced what appeared to be a black handgun -- later determined to be a BB gun -- and pointed it directly at Gonzalez. Gonzalez then removed his service firearm and shot at Quinnette, striking him near his thigh.
Quinnette was transported to a hospital for treatment and was later booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail South on suspicion of felony resisting arrest, brandishing a replica firearm, possessing a stolen vehicle, and a parole violation.
According to the sheriff's office, Quinnette was on active parole for burglary charges. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to appear in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Thursday, according to booking records.
While the investigation continued Tuesday morning, Stevens Creek Boulevard between Tantau Avenue and Interstate Highway 280 remained closed for several hours. The roadway reopened at about 11:30 a.m., according to the sheriff's office.
Santa Rosa Police Are Looking For A Man Who Assaulted Two Police Officers
Santa Rosa police are looking for a man who allegedly assaulted two police officers along a creek Monday night.
Police went to Steel Creek between Marlow Road and Ridley Avenue in west Santa Rosa around 10 p.m. after receiving a report about someone screaming, yelling and moaning, Sgt. Dave Linscomb said.
A man with a small baseball bat who was walking along the creek attacked the first officer who arrived, knocking him to the ground, Linscomb said.
The man also struck the officer with his fist and reached for the officer's gun. The man then ran toward the second officer who arrived and struck the officer with his fist and knee, Linscomb said.
The officers called for assistance, chased the man and shot him with a Taser but it was ineffective, Linscomb said. The man then ran into an apartment complex.
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol's helicopter joined the search for the man but did not locate him, Linscomb said.
The alleged assailant is a Hispanic man in his 20s, approximately 5 feet 8 inches and 180 pounds, Linscomb said. He was wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans.
The first officer who was attacked was treated for minor injuries at a hospital and released, Linscomb said.
Elderly Merchant From San Francisco's Chinatown Found Guilty Of Exchanging Counterfeit Bills For Gold
An elderly merchant from San Francisco's Chinatown was found guilty Tuesday of passing thousands of dollars in counterfeit bills to customers who were trading him gold coins in 2007.
After a three-week trial, a San Francisco Superior Court jury Tuesday afternoon convicted 81-year-old Peter Cheng of four counts of passing fictitious bills or notes, four counts of grand theft via false pretenses and two counts of second-degree burglary.
He was also found not guilty of one count of attempting to pass the fictitious bills.
Prosecutors said during the last two weeks of May 2007, Cheng passed out about $36,000 in fake U.S. currency in four transactions to two victims from the jewelry store he ran at 1010 Stockton St. in Chinatown.
In exchange, the victims gave him valuable gold coins, according to prosecutors.
Robert Amparan, Cheng's defense attorney, said outside of court that he believes the jury wrongfully convicted his client, who he said was unaware of the fake cash.
Amparan said the bills passed through various bank security measures before being discovered.
The U.S. Secret Service was the investigating agency in the case, district attorney's office spokesman Seth Steward said.
Cheng, who was out of custody during the trial, remains free on $300,000 bail pending the sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 6, Steward said.
Suspected Driver In Drive-By Shooting Death Of 3-Year-Old Arraigned
The suspected driver in the drive-by shooting death of 3-year-old Carlos Nava in East Oakland on Aug. 8 was arraigned Tuesday on one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Willie Torrence, a 22-year-old Oakland man, was arrested in Las Vegas on Aug. 12 and was finally extradited to Alameda County this week after a lengthy delay.
Torrence was on parole for violating his probation for a previous conviction on illegal gun charges.
Torrence was scheduled to be arraigned at 2 p.m. Tuesday, but Alameda County sheriff's officials moved up his arraignment to Tuesday morning without notifying Torrence's family.
About 15 of his family members and friends who came to the Wiley Manuel Courthouse at 2 p.m. were upset when a bailiff told them that Torrence had already been arraigned Tuesday morning.
They declined to talk to reporters about the case.
Oakland police believe Torrence was the driver in the shooting, which occurred in the 6400 block of International Boulevard at about 1:10p.m. Carlos was killed in the shooting and two men were wounded.
Police said they believe the shooting was gang-related and that the two men were the intended targets in the shooting, as Carlos and his family had no connection to them.
The suspected shooter, 26-year-old Oakland resident Lawrence Denard, was arrested in Pittsburg on Aug. 9. Denard has prior convictions for grand theft and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Denard was arraigned on Aug. 11 on one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. He was back in court on Monday to enter a plea but his plea entry was delayed until Sept. 12 at the request of his attorney.
It's expected that Torrence also will return to court at that time.
Man Killed By Bulldozer Accident Outside of Livermore Identified
A man killed in a bulldozer accident on a wind farm outside of Livermore on Monday afternoon was identified by the Contra Costa County coroner's office Tuesday as 52-year-old Fred Perle Telford of Hilmar, Calif.
Telford, a longtime bulldozer operator working for Minnesota-based Blattner Energy, Inc., was crushed when the bulldozer he was driving slipped down a steep embankment and ejected him from the cab, said Erika Monterroza, spokeswoman for the California Division of Occupational Health and Safety.
The accident happened at about 1:05 p.m. in the area of North Vasco Road, near the border of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, Alameda County fire Battalion Chief Rob Eaton said.
Telford was cutting a new road on the wind farm when the fatal incident occurred, Monterroza said.
Cal/OSHA opened an investigation into the death on Monday afternoon.
Oakland Police Released Name Of Man Killed Outside Market In East Oakland
Oakland police Tuesday released the name of a man who was killed outside a market in East Oakland in front of his 6-year-old son on Sunday afternoon.
Police said they believe a robbery attempt led to the shooting death of 39-year-old Jose Esparza outside the El Pueblo Market at 103rd Avenue and International Boulevard.
The shooting occurred at 12:55 p.m. on Sunday. Esparza was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead about 35 minutes later.
Police said no suspects have been identified in the case.
Zendesk Becomes First Tech Company To Move Into Mid-Market After Tax Exclusion Enacted
Four months after the city enacted a tax exclusion to encourage revitalization of the struggling Mid-Market neighborhood, the first tech company to benefit from the ordinance has moved into its new digs.
Mayor Ed Lee announced Tuesday that Zendesk, which specializes in web-based help desk services, has settled into 989 Market St., near Sixth Street.
In April, the Board of Supervisors approved the Central Market and Tenderloin Area Payroll Tax Exclusion, which exempts companies operating in certain parts of the city's Mid-Market and Tenderloin neighborhoods from paying payroll taxes on new employees.
The tax exemption was an effort by the city to staunch the attrition of tech companies and the talented workers they attract from migrating down the Peninsula to tax-free locations.
Zendesk spokesman Jeff Wiss said that when the company realized it was growing too big for its office that it never considered leaving San Francisco.
Originally founded in Denmark by CEO Mikkel Svane, Zendesk moved to San Francisco in late 2009 and until recently operated with approximately 80 employees out of 410 Townsend St.
Zendesk, which has added about 20 employees since it signed its current lease, plans to add an additional 50 employees by year's end, Wiss said.
The Mid-Market neighborhood stretches roughly between Fifth Street and Van Ness Avenue along Market Street. The area has struggled with blight, and the tax exemption aims to fill commercial vacancies.
The exclusion area defined by the exemption includes 3.3 million square feet contained within 73 office buildings, 1.3 million square feet of which was vacant as of April 2011.
The current payroll tax assesses a 1.5 percent tax on total payroll for work and services performed in San Francisco by businesses with a total payroll greater than $250,000.
Thanks to the exemption, other growing companies are expected to migrate to the area soon, including tech giant Twitter.
Napa County Sheriff's Office Identified Driver Killed In Highway 12 Four-Vehicle Crash
The Napa County Sheriff's Office has identified a driver who was killed in a four-vehicle crash on state Highway 12 on Monday morning as 53-year-old Thomas Robinson, of Napa.
Robinson was driving a 1997 Ford Escort that collided head-on with a big-rig on Highway 12 just west of the Solano County line. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 10:35 a.m. crash closed the highway for eight hours and sent eight people to hospitals, CHP officials said.
The accident happened when the Ford, which was traveling west at the 55 mph speed limit, crossed over the double-yellow line and drove into the path of an eastbound Cal Fire 2000 Mack tractor-trailer that was hauling a bulldozer, CHP Officer Jaret Paulson said.
The driver of the big-rig, Vincent Zediker, 41, of Montague, Calif., was not injured.
The head-on crash pushed the Ford back into a westbound 2000 Toyota Sienna driven by Charlie Cha, 49, of Sacramento, that was traveling behind the Ford, Paulson said.
Cha and his six passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries.
The big-rig then struck the guardrail on the opposite side of the road before hitting a westbound 2005 Toyota Prius, Paulson said.
The driver of the Prius, Muriel Rollins, 58, of Pinole, suffered moderate injuries.
The accident happened in a no-passing area of the two-lane highway, Paulson said.
Paulson said it is unknown if alcohol was a factor in the crash.
An autopsy is scheduled for today, Napa County sheriff's Capt. Tracey Stuart said.
Judge Ordered New Psychiatric Evaluation For Man Suspected Of Fatal Shooting At Fisherman's Wharf
A judge Tuesday ordered a new psychiatric evaluation for a man suspected of fatally shooting two people at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf in January.
Hong Ri Wu, 56, is a Fisherman's Wharf souvenir shop worker suspected of the Jan. 30 killing of a man and woman who worked at a neighboring business at 269 Jefferson St.
Investigators believe Feng Ping Ou, a 30-year-old woman, and Qiong Han Chu, a 30-year-old man, were fatally shot because of a rivalry between the two stores, which sold similar items.
Wu, a San Francisco resident, pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, but in June, Judge Garrett Wong suspended criminal proceedings in the case after Wu's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Kleigh Hathaway, said she had doubts about his ability to participate in his own defense.
Dr. Amy Watt, a forensic psychiatrist, was appointed to determine whether Wu was mentally competent, and her report in July concluded that he was not competent to stand trial.
But earlier this month, prosecutors said they were seeking to overturn the competency report on the grounds that Hathaway was present for part of the doctor's examination.
Watt observed a 20-minute interaction between Wu and Hathaway as part of her evaluation.
Sonoma Woman Killed When Pickup Truck Drove Off Rural Road Monday
A Sonoma woman was killed when her pickup truck drove off of a rural Sonoma County road and overturned on Monday, a California Highway Patrol officer said Tuesday morning.
The woman, 52-year-old Barbara Bradley, was driving a 1999 Chevrolet pickup on Cavedale Road east of state Highway 12 near Agua Caliente when the crash happened, CHP Officer Jaret Paulson said.
Bradley apparently made an unsafe turning movement that caused the truck to go off the south side of the road and overturn several times as it tumbled 50 feet down a cliff, Paulson said.
Bradley was partially ejected from the pickup and was killed, Paulson said.
A passing motorist noticed debris from the crash and called the CHP, Paulson said. CHP officers met the passerby at the scene around 6 p.m.
San Francisco Bay Area Weather Forecast
The Bay Area is expected to be mostly cloudy with patchy fog this morning before becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s are anticipated.
Skies are expected to be mostly clear this evening, before becoming mostly cloudy tonight with patchy fog after midnight. Lows in the mid 50s are anticipated.
Mostly sunny skies are likely on Thursday as mostly cloudy skies and patchy fog clear from the morning. Highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s are anticipated.
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