15-Year-Old-Boy Scares Away Robbers With BB Gun
A 15-year-old boy was playing with a BB gun at his friend's apartment in Mountain View earlier this week when, as soon as his friend's father arrived home, a robber grabbed the man in a chokehold and pointed a gun at the boy's friend.
In response, the boy, who was sitting on the couch and playing with a BB gun, held up the gun at the suspect and his accomplices, police spokeswoman Liz Wylie said.
The boy's action caused all three suspects to scurry off. Nothing was taken from the apartment complex and no one was harmed, Wylie said.
The incident at the apartment complex in the 200 block of Ortega Avenue unfolded around 10:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Wylie said.
The boy and his friend, also 15, were sitting in the apartment's living room. The boy was playing with a BB gun and his friend was sitting at a desk using the computer when the friend's 43-year-old father opened the front door.
Wylie said just as he was opening the door, the man heard footsteps behind him. As he stepped inside the living room, a man grabbed him from behind in a chokehold and pointed a gun to his head, she said.
The father grabbed the gun and tried to yank it out of the suspect's hand. Meanwhile, the victim's son sprang into action and went to help his father, but the suspect regained control of the gun and pointed it at the son who was standing two feet away, Wylie said.
At the same time, two additional suspects came up behind the father and started searching his pockets.
That is when the 15-year-old boy grabbed the BB gun, drew the slide back and released it, which Wylie said, "makes a sound as if he put a round in the chamber."
He pointed the BB gun at the suspects, causing them to flee. They remain at-large, Wylie said.
The suspects were described as males in their late teens, of average height, wearing black clothing from head to toe. The gunman was described as being skinny.
Anyone with information about the attempted robbery is asked to call the Police Department at (650) 903-6344.
Amber Alert For 4-Year-Old Boy Canceled
An Amber Alert that was issued Friday in San Luis Obispo County for a 4-year-old who is thought to have been abducted by a woman in the homeless shelter where he was staying has been canceled.
Jeremy Guthrie was staying at the Echo Shelter in the city of Atascadero with his mother Thursday night when his mother had a fight with another resident at the shelter.
The other resident is believed to have abducted Jeremy around 4:30 a.m. Friday and fled the shelter, according to authorities.
The suspect, Annette Hale, was taken into custody Friday afternoon, and Jeremy was returned to his mother's care, according to an Atascadero police and fire dispatcher.
Person Found Dead In Burning Vehicle Identified
The identification of the person who was found dead in a burning vehicle near Tomales Thursday evening is pending an examination of dental records and DNA, Sgt. Keith Boyd, Marin County's Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner, said Friday afternoon.
The Marin County Fire Department found a vehicle engulfed in flames in the parking lot of the Miller Park boat ramp near Nick's Cove, fire Chief Ken Massucco said.
Firefighters found the body while extinguishing the fire, Massucco said.
The Marin County Sheriff's Office responded to the death on Shoreline Highway south of Tomales at 6 p.m.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at (415) 499-7233.
13 Inmates Performed Shakesspeare Musical
Laughter filled an auditorium in San Quentin State Prison Friday afternoon as 13 inmates performed a musical version of Shakespeare's comedy "Twelfth Night" for a crowded room of staff, guests and fellow prisoners.
First-time actor Perry "Spike" Simpson said he had butterflies in his stomach but was hiding it well. On the outside, "I'm like Denzel," he said. "But inside I'm going crazy."
Marin Shakespeare Company director Suraya Keating called the cast together for a pre-show pep talk and did her best to ease the actors' nerves.
The cast used a script adapted by Robert Currier, the company's managing director, and Lesley Currier, the managing director and performer in Friday's show.
The Curriers' version keeps the original language but has been modernized to take place in the 1960s. The performance was liberally interspersed with song-and-dance numbers with music from classic bands including Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones.
From the first lip-synched number -- when a group of men burst into a choreographed dance to Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops" -- the crowd was hooked and audience members cheered and called out encouragement.
Keating, Lesley Currier, and several interns worked with the inmates once a week for two hours a day over the past 10 months to bring Shakespeare to life.
The theater company began the program at San Quentin eight years ago and the cast Friday was a mix of first-timers and veterans.
Joey Barnes said he was excited for his first stage appearance and his family was as well, even though they could not be at Friday's performance. Barnes said he told his mother to watch for clips of him on the news. "And my daughter -- she's all jazzed," he said.
Mike Anthony is a seasoned veteran of the program but said this character was by far the most difficult. Anthony donned a dress and wig Friday afternoon to play the beautiful Countess Olivia. "The hardest part was acting like a girl," he said.
A Salinas man in prison for a 1987 murder was denied his request for parole this week, according to Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo.
Norman Price Baird Jr., 52, was denied parole on Wednesday and will not be eligible again for another 10 years, Flippo said Thursday.
This was Baird's first bid for parole following his conviction in 2004 for the March 8, 1987, murder of Raymond Demel.
Demel, a 49-year-old retired correctional officer and Seaside resident, had been driving home with his wife on Blanco Road near the Salinas River Bridge when he pulled over to the side of the road to take a nap.
When his wife had trouble waking him, she flagged down a passing motorist for help. While she was speaking to the motorist, who has since been identified as Baird, Demel's van rolled forward a short distance and tapped the back of Baird's pickup truck.
Baird then pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and fired through the driver's side window into the victim's chest, before fleeing the scene.
Demel's wife remained the primary suspect in the murder for years, because there was no corroborating evidence to support her story.
However, in 2002, a Monterey County Sheriff's detective got a tip from a friend of Baird's, who said Baird had asked him to bury the weapon and ammunition in a field near Old Stage Road. A search of the field unearthed the weapon and ammunition, and detectives were able to link the gun to both Baird and the shooting.
Baird entered a no-contest plea to a charge of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life on April 28, 2004.
30-Year-Old Salinas Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For Stabbing Stepson
A 30-year-old Salinas man was sentenced to life in prison for stabbing his 13-year-old stepson and leaving the boy to die in an agricultural field in unincorporated Monterey County last year.
Severino Perez told investigators he had suspected his live-in girlfriend of cheating.
In an attempt to exact his revenge on her, on the night of Oct. 16, Perez invited his stepson, who was 12 at the time, to go out for tacos with the intention of killing him, prosecutors said.
Perez and his 26-year-old brother, Domingo, took the boy to a remote area of Monterey County, where he stabbed his stepson with a knife 20 times in his upper body, and then took off, leaving the boy on Chualar Canyon Road.
Later that night, California Highway Patrol officers found Domingo Perez walking along U.S. Highway 101 at about the same time that Severino Perez called Salinas police and reported that his stepson had been kidnapped from his home in Salinas.
Severino Perez had wrecked his truck in a ditch at Old Stage Road and Chualar Canyon Road, about one-quarter of a mile from the field where they left the boy.
Police determined the kidnapping claim was a false report after a farmer found the boy on Chualar Canyon Road around 4 a.m., six hours after he was left there.
Deputies responded and found the boy in a weak condition. They described him as being in severe pain and dehydrated and said his internal organs were visible due to the large amount of stab wounds on his body.
The boy told deputies he used his shoe as a pillow and covered up with his shirt throughout the night as he waited for help to arrive.
The boy was airlifted to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where he underwent multiple surgeries until his release on Nov. 11.
On Thursday, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Mark Hood sentenced Severino Perez to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Domingo Perez was sentenced to six years in jail for failing to intervene in the stabbing or alerting authorities to the boy's whereabouts.
Escaped Fremont Inmate Recaptured
An inmate who escaped from a holding area at the Fremont courthouse on Thursday was safely recaptured about three hours later, but embarrassed Alameda County Sheriff's officials are trying to figure out how he got away.
Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said a preliminary investigation indicates "there was at least a portion of human error" involved in the escape of Mohit Basandrai, 21, and steps are being taken to avoid additional escapes in the future.
Nelson said sheriff's officials are trying to determine if there were any additional factors involved in Basandrai's escape.
Basandrai escaped at about 11:15 a.m. Thursday when was being detained in a holding area of the Fremont Hall of Justice, where he was to have a hearing on charges of possession of a stolen car and joy-riding after being arrested in Union City on July 26.
He was being held in an area away from other inmates and somehow got away, Nelson said.
Deputies noticed the absence of Basandrai, who was in a jail uniform, after only a few minutes and an alarm was sounded, Nelson said.
Deputies could not find him near the courthouse but found him at walking in the 27000 block of Sleepy Hollow Avenue South in Hayward, near his residence, at about 2:15 p.m. Thursday and took him into custody without incident, Nelson said.
Basandrai, who was still wearing jail-issued socks but had shed most of the rest of his jail clothes, stood out because he was wearing shorts even though it was cold and drizzly, Nelson said.
He now faces escape charges, in addition to the charges he already faced, and is scheduled to be arraigned at the Fremont Hall of Justice on Monday morning.
Basandrai is being held at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail.
Mohammed Nuru Appointed As Acting Director For San Francisco Department Of Public Works
Mohammed Nuru has been appointed as acting director for the San Francisco Department of Public Works, city officials announced Friday.
Nuru has served more than 11 years as deputy director for the department, and has worked closely with city communities, agencies, businesses and non-profit groups, according to Acting City Administrator Amy Brown.
His experience ranges from improving the cleanliness of city streets and sidewalks to successfully managing construction projects.
"Even in an era of shrinking budgets, Mohammed has maximized DPW operations dollars to keep city streets clean and green," Brown said.
The appointment was hailed by neighborhood groups, who said Nuru had worked closely with them in their efforts to clean up and beautify the city.
"Mohammed has been a champion as far as getting what we need, month in and month out," said Dawn Trennert of the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association, which conducts monthly neighborhood cleanups, among other events. "I call this a great day for the neighborhood."
Marc Christensen, president of the Merced Extension Triangle Neighborhood Association, said that in Nuru's early days with the department, he and former department director Ed Lee came out for neighborhood cleanup days and donned work gloves alongside residents. Christensen said he was pleased by the appointment.
"Through Mohammed's commitment not only to our neighborhood but to neighborhoods throughout San Francisco over the past decade, the department of public works as well as other city agencies have enhanced the quality of life as well as safety issues for those who live, work and visit in San Francisco," Christensen said.
Nuru's appointment fills the vacancy left by the appointment of former Public Works Director Ed Reiskin as executive director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
Reiskin is expected to take on his new role Aug. 15, replacing Debra Johnson, who took over as interim chief on July 1 after Nathaniel Ford stepped down.
Lefty O'Doul's Celebrates Christmas In August In Honor Of Santa Who Passed Away
A bar in San Francisco celebrated Christmas in August Friday night to remember the life of "Santa" John, who passed away last week.
"Santa" John Toomey, 69, was the long-time Santa at the Union Square Macy's until he was let go last December for telling dirty jokes to adult patrons -- an event which launched him into the national spotlight when he appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
Lefty O'Doul's hired Toomey shortly after he was let go and Toomey's presence at the restaurant's annual San Francisco Firefighter's Toy Program on Christmas Eve helped to raise the amount of donations from 9,000 toys in 2009 to 15,000 last year, his former press agent Lee Houskeeper said.
Patrons Friday night were greeted by a brass band playing carols, while the back room of the restaurant was decked out with holiday trimmings -- complete with a Christmas tree, lights, pictures of Toomey in a Santa costume, and presents beneath the tree. The presents will be donated to the toy program in Toomey's honor.
Toomey's friends and colleagues took turns remembering the beloved Kris Kringle at the traditional Irish wake. They sang traditional Irish songs while partaking of the complimentary beer, whiskey and corned beef.
"He was always there for the kids," Karl Vostrez, Toomey's former manager at Macy's said. "He was always there for us."
A fellow Santa who worked with Toomey remembered his professionalism and passion for his work. "I've done Santa for 19 years, but I felt like a rookie after I met him," retired Cal Fire Capt. Emmet Monahan Said. He told the mourners how Toomey had passed along some valuable Santa tips -- like the best way to "ho ho ho" and how to whiten a beard.
Toomey was found dead in his residential hotel room on July 29. The cause of death has not been determined.
Bay Area Weather
The Bay Area is forecast to be mostly cloudy with patchy fog and patchy drizzle this morning, with highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s.
It is expected to be mostly cloudy this evening, with patchy fog and drizzle expected after midnight. Lows are expected to be in the lower 50s.
Sunday is expected to be mostly cloudy with patchy fog and drizzle in the morning, with highs near 60.