San Francisco Bay Area Monday Morning News Roundup

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Mountain View: Update: Two-Alarm Fire Damages Vacant Hotel Slated For Demolition

A two-alarm fire damaged a vacant hotel that is slated for demolition Sunday evening in Mountain View, according to fire officials.

The fire at the Tropicana Lodge at 1720 El Camino Real was reported around 6:30 p.m., according to Mountain View Fire Department spokeswoman Jaime Garrett.

The fire started on the first floor of the vacant hotel, which is slated for demolition. Firefighters used the hotel for training exercises about eight months ago, so ventilation was already in place that helped limit the fire’s spread, Garrett said.

The fire was contained quickly with no injuries, and investigators are on scene now working to determine the cause.

Garrett noted that the building had no utilities and no one was supposed to be inside the building.

Around 12 units in the two-story building were affected by the fire, Garrett said.

Monterey: 48 Emaciated Cats, Dogs & Puppies Rescued From Hoarder’s Home 

The Monterey County SPCA is asking for donations to help care for dozens of cats, dogs and puppies that were rescued from a hoarder's home early Sunday morning, a spokeswoman said.

The SPCA was called by the Monterey Police Department at about 1 a.m. to help rescue the 17 cats, 24 dogs and 7 puppies that were being kept in unsanitary conditions, SPCA spokeswoman Beth Brookhouser said in an email.

The rescued pets were suffering from flea infestations, eye infections, dental infections, and malnutrition.

Many of the dogs were covered in matted fur, Brookhouser said, and the house where the animals were being kept was nearly three feet deep in garbage and animal waste.

The house has since been declared uninhabitable, she said. There was no immediate information on the owner.

The SPCA is asking for help feeding and treating the rescued animals. 

25-Year-Old Man Knocked Unconscious At Party Brawl On Saturday 

Police in Petaluma were investigating an assault that took place at a party on Saturday evening.

Officers responded to reports of a fight involving several subjects at a home in the 100 block of Kentucky Street at about 6:10 p.m., according to Petaluma police.

Arriving officers found a 25-year-old man who was unconscious and bleeding from his head, police said.

Witnesses stated that a verbal argument between several people at the party had turned physical, and during the fight one man struck the victim several times in the face and head, police said.

The victim was taken to a hospital and was expected to survive. The suspect was described as a black man in his mid 20s with shaved head. He was seen wearing blue jeans and a white tank top.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Petaluma police at (707) 778-4370. 

Santa Rosa: Trial To Start For Samta Rosa Man Charged With Fatally Stabbing Father 

Opening statements are scheduled to begin today in the trial of a Santa Rosa man charged with stabbing his father to death.

Houston Herczog, 22, has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity to the murder of his father, Mark Herczog, 63, in their home on Nov. 26, 2011.

Santa Rosa police were called to the home on Parkhurst Drive in Rincon Valley around 1:30 a.m. by Herczog's sister. She was standing in the driveway and Herczog was in the kitchen, where his father was found with multiple stab wounds.

Herczog was found to be mentally competent to stand trial, but defense attorneys have said he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Herczog's mother has stated that her son first showed symptoms of illness after he graduated from Santa Rosa High School in 2009 and suffered a psychotic break while attending Santa Rosa Junior High.

The trial is scheduled to take place in Dept. 1 in the Sonoma County Hall of Justice. 

SF: 6 Hospitalized, 2 In Critical Condition, In Saturday Night Crash 

An accident hospitalized six people Saturday night in San Francisco, fire officials said.

Crews responded to a report of a crash on Ocean Avenue just before the northbound Interstate Highway 280 on-ramp at about 10:55 p.m., according to fire officials.

Six people were transported to a hospital. Four of the victims were treated for injuries not considered life-threatening; two are in critical condition, fire officials said.

Details about the accident were not immediately available. 

Portola Valley: Crews Knock Down 2-Alarm Structure Fire 

Firefighters were able to knock down a two-alarm blaze in Portola Valley Saturday night, San Mateo County fire officials said.

Crews responded to a report of a structure fire in the 400 block of Cervantes Road at about 10 p.m., fire officials said.

When crews arrived, a second alarm was called, according to fire officials.

The fire was knocked down, and placed under control, and crews cleared the scene by 1 a.m., officials said.

No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Rohnert Park: Man Arrested For Possessing Stolen Property During Traffic Stop

A man who was pulled over for a routine traffic violation in Rohnert Park Saturday night was arrested for being in possession of stolen property, police said.

An officer on patrol in the area of Rohnert Park Expressway and U.S. Highway 101 pulled over a bicyclist for riding without a headlight attached to his bike at about 9:05 p.m., according to police.

The bicyclist, later identified as 36-year-old Joseph Vitali, was carrying a plastic 50-gallon trash bag as he rode, police said.

Vitali was on probation in Sonoma County for being in possession of stolen property and a controlled substance, according to police.

The patrol officer conducted a search of Vitali and located several bags and backpacks inside the garbage bag. The bags contained tools, jewelry, shoes, clothing, an Apple laptop and a computer bag with the name of phone number of the owner, police said.

The owner was called to the scene and he identified the computer, computer bag and several other items as his, police said.

Other items Vitali possessed appeared to belong to one of the victim's roommates, according to police.

An investigation revealed that the victim's home in Cotati had been burglarized earlier in the day, police said. Cotati police is investigating the break in.

Vitali was arrested and booked into Sonoma County jail on suspicion of possessing stolen property and violating probation.

Officers are continuing to identify the owners of the other property found in Vitali's possession.

Police continue to investigate. 

Gilroy: Police Investigate Attempted Murder Believed To Be Gang Related 

Police in Gilroy are investigating an attempted murder from Saturday night that is believed to be gang related.

Officers responded to a report of a large fight in the 200 block of Farrell Avenue at about 8 p.m., police said.

When police arrived, they made contact with a number of victims and witnesses of the fight.

Investigators determined that several shots were fired during the fight and one of the unknown number of people involved in the fight was stabbed, according to police.

No one was struck by the gunfire, police said.

Several people were treated for injuries suffered in the fight, but none of the injuries are considered life threatening, according to police.

The stabbing victim was transported to a hospital for treatment and is expected to survive.

No arrests were made and no suspect information was immediately available, police said. 

East Palo Alto: Early Morning Shooting Leaves One Man Dead, One Wounded 

Police in East Palo Alto are investigating a shooting that left one man injured and another dead early Sunday morning.

Officers responded to gunshots detected by the Shot Spotter system at the corner of Runnymede and Euclid avenues at about 12:30 a.m., according to East Palo Alto police.

Arriving officers found two men suffering from gunshot wounds, police said.

Paramedics responded and provided medical aid at the scene before transporting the two victims to a hospital.

One of the victims, who was later identified as Jose Caballero-Diaz, 21, of Menlo Park, was pronounced dead at about 5:15 a.m., police said.

The second victim remains in stable condition.

Police were continuing to search for potential suspects and a motive.

Several bullet shell casings were found at the scene of the shooting. 

Regional: Open Burn Ban To Start Monday As Fire Season Gets Underway 

Open burns will be banned starting today in a number of Bay Area counties to limit the risk as fire season gets underway, Cal Fire said.

The burn ban is effective in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus, San Benito, Monterey and western SAn Joaquin counties, according to Division Chief Rich Sampson.

"Experience has shown that open burning suspensions effectively aid in preventing fire escapes and significantly reduce the risk of and occurrence of large fires," Sampson said in a statement.

"This is especially important as these counties are currently experiencing low cumulative rainfall, low humidity, dry fuel moisture levels and increased fire activity."

Burns can still take place for agriculture, land management and fire training, but only with a Cal Fire permit. Campfires are still allowed in designated campgrounds and on private property.

For more information on how to prepare for and prevent wildfires, go to 

Regional: Governor Declares Sunday a Workers Memorial Day 

Gov. Jerry Brown declared Sunday, April 28 as "Workers Memorial Day," honoring those who have died of work-related accidents and illnesses.

An estimated two million people died each year from work-related accidents and illnesses, including 360 in California in 2011, Brown said in his proclamation.

"Today, let us express our gratitude to the workers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and rededicate ourselves to the cause of establishing and maintaining safeguards against workplace illness and injury," Brown said. 

Weather Forecast For The San Francisco Bay Area

Sunny skies are likely in the Bay Area this morning. Highs are expected to be in the mid 60s to lower 70s, with southwest winds up to 20 mph in the afternoon.

Clear skies are likely this evening. Lows are likely to be around 50, with southwest winds up to 15 mph.

Sunny skies are expected Tuesday morning. Highs are likely to be in the lower to mid 70s, with northwest winds around 5 mph in the afternoon.


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