San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday Morning News Roundup

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San Francisco Sheriff Deputy Found Dead  Off Shore of Vellejo

The body of a San Francisco sheriff's deputy whose boat was found adrift and unoccupied near the Vallejo Municipal Marina Monday morning was found in the water Monday afternoon, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

Michael Roberts, 56, was found near Dock B at the marina around 3:10 p.m., Petty Officer 3rd Class Loumania Stewart said.

Roberts was identified as the owner of a 26-foot vessel that was found unmanned near the marina around 6:45 a.m., Stewart said.

Authorities from the Coast Guard, Vallejo Police Department and Solano County Sheriff's Office had searched for Roberts with a helicopter, by boat and with a dive team.

The boat was found with keys in the ignition and there was a cellphone onboard, Stewart said.

Vallejo police Lt. Kenny Park said the deputy's wallet was also found on the fishing boat.

Park said the deputy's death is not a criminal investigation.

Sheriff's spokesman Susan Fahey said Roberts was a Hercules resident and married with children.

He had been working for the department since 1998.

Fahey said Monday was Roberts' day off.

She said she considered him a boating expert who owned his own boat.

Elderly Hayward Woman Dies in Apartment Fire Monday Night

An elderly woman was killed Monday night when she was trapped in the bedroom of her burning Hayward apartment, a fire spokesman said.

Firefighters responded to reports of smoke coming from an apartment at 24955 Cypress Ave. at 7:28 p.m., fire spokesman LaShon Earnest said.

They found smoke coming from the first-floor apartment and immediately attacked the fire while trying to search for anyone who may still be inside.

The one-alarm response had the fire knocked down at 7:39 p.m. but discovered that the 76-year-old woman had died in her back bedroom.

Her husband, also 76, had managed to get out when a neighbor heard smoke alarms and opened the front door to help the man to safety, Earnest said.

But the fire had somehow started in the back bedroom and it was too hot and unsafe for the neighbor or the man to try and help the bedridden woman out of the apartment.

Both the husband and the neighbor were treated for smoke inhalation and released at the scene.

Firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire, Earnest said.

Four Gang Member were Convicted of Three Counts of Murder in Berkley Shooting

Four reputed gang members were convicted Monday of three counts of murder for a fatal shooting in Berkeley and a subsequent car chase that killed two people in Oakland.

The four alleged members of the North Side Oakland gang face life in prison without parole when they're sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Reardon on July 12 because they also were convicted of two counts of special circumstances murder for killing multiple victims and to enhance the activities of a criminal street gang.

In addition, jurors, who deliberated for less than two full days, convicted the four men of two counts of evading police causing death.

In his closing argument, prosecutor Steve Dal Porto called the four reputed gang members "domestic terrorists" for their involvement in the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Charles Davis of Berkeley in the vicinity of Allston Way and 10th Street in West Berkeley at about 6:30 p.m. on May 16, 2009, and the fatal car crash a short time later.

"They embrace a mindset, a culture, a way of life where gaining respect is brought about by how much fear, how much violence you can inflict on a community," Dal Porto said.

Dal Porto said the fatal shooting of Davis stemmed from a feud the North Side Oakland gang has had with a rival Berkeley gang that started over a stolen car tire rim in 2002 and continued with the murders of three North Side Oakland gang members, including one only three weeks before Davis was slain.

The prosecutor said the suspects wanted revenge and were looking for Davis' brother but when they couldn't find him they instead targeted Davis, who wasn't a gang member.

Davis was pronounced dead at the scene.

The suspects fled the scene in a Cadillac at high rates of speed after Davis was shot, going through numerous stop signs as they took a circuitous route through Berkeley and Oakland, Dal Porto said.

The Cadillac then crashed into a Mazda and a pedestrian at Aileen Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Oakland, killing both the Mazda driver, 27-year-old Todd Perea of Brentwood, and the pedestrian, 41-year-old Floyd Ross of Berkeley, according to Dal Porto.

After the crash, police arrested Stephon Anthony, 26, a San Leandro man accused of driving the Cadillac at the time that it crashed, and 30-year-old Anthony Price of Oakland.

Two rifles were found on the passenger side of the car, Creighton said.

However, Samuel Flowers, 25, who was accused of shooting Davis, and Rafael Campbell, 28, managed to flee on foot.

Flowers was arrested in Bal Harbour, Fla., on May 25, 2009, and Campbell was arrested in Sacramento on Nov. 17, 2009, after he was profiled on the television program "America's Most Wanted."

Rohnert Park Carjacker Captured with Large Stock of Guns and Ammo

A man who carjacked another man at gunpoint in Rohnert Park Monday afternoon was captured a few hours later and police seized rifles and a large stock of ammo in his possession, police said.

The carjacking was reported at about 4:30 p.m. when the suspect followed a man out of the UPS Store in Mountain Shadows Plaza on Golf Course Drive and pulled a gun on him when he got into his car, according to the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety.

The suspect got into the passenger seat and at gunpoint demanded the victim drive him to the nearest church.

They drove to St. Elizabeth Seton, discovered no one was there, and then drove back to Mountain Shadows Plaza.

The man got out of the car, threatening the victim, and went back to the truck he had been driving and took several rifles out of the truck and put them in the victim's vehicle, police said.

The victim managed to get away and the suspect took off west on Golf Course Drive in the victim's car.

The man was identified with a flyer from San Francisco police as Jeffery Boyce and was confirmed by the victim.

Boyce had been reported as mentally ill and in possession of firearms.

Other law enforcement agencies in the area were alerted about the carjacking, while Rohnert Park police searched Boyce's truck and found several hundred bullets, six 30-round magazines, a load-bearing vest and a loaded rifle.

The Central Marin Police Authority received a call reporting an attempted carjacking at 6:51 p.m., where a suspect pointed a rifle at a woman's head.

He ran away, and police found him nearby and identified him as Boyce.

Police found the original victim's car nearby with several guns inside.

Anyone with information about the case has been asked to call Rohnert Park police at (707) 584-2630.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier Organizes Gun Violence Summit 

Hundreds of leaders in education, law enforcement, politics and mental health services gathered in Redwood Shores Monday for a summit organized by U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier on preventing gun violence in San Mateo County schools.

Speier said the main motivation behind the forum, called "Beyond Newtown: How To Ensure Safe Schools and Communities," was to bring together important community stakeholders to discuss various approaches to preventing and responding to incidents of mass violence in schools.

"If we want safe schools and safe communities, we have to be willing to work together," Speier said.

Speakers addressed a wide range of subjects, including mental health issues among students, school culture, sharing records between schools to better track students with behavior issues, and promoting student-led anti-bullying campaigns.

Speier said that taking a close look at incidents of school shootings like in Newtown, Conn.

where 26 people were killed, and at Virginia Tech, where a mentally ill shooter killed 32 people, there were warning signs from the shooters that were missed or ignored by people in their communities.

"More often than not, when you go back and look at these cases, there were missed clues," Speier said.

"We need to locate these gaps in information sharing," she said. According to Jei Africa, a health equity manager for San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, identifying students who might be ostracized or in distress is a complex process, one that needs to involve school staff, the student body, as well as parents and families.

"We feel it's important to teach parents the warning signs that something is going on in their family," Africa said.

Young people who become isolated, spend a lot of time in their rooms or start performing poorly in school are often in need of some sort of intervention, whether it be counseling, guidance or special education, she said.

Stephen Kaplan, the Director of San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, said that detecting students in distress is complicated by the Internet, where intense bullying is prevalent and often anonymous.

On the Internet and in social networks like Facebook, students can easily become victims of bullying or verbal harassment that includes "rumors, lies and sexual jokes," Kaplan said.

Victims of harassment often become depressed and feel hopeless, Kaplan said.

Identifying those individuals and getting them help is critical to keeping students and schools safe.

"The importance of identifying them is critical," he said.

"The earlier we can intervene, the better."

Santa Rosa Man Faces Murder Charges for Killing His Father 

A Sonoma County prosecutor Monday morning graphically described how Houston Herczog allegedly killed his father in their Santa Rosa home.

Herczog, 21, stabbed his 63-year-old father Mark Herczog dozens of times, then fractured his father's skull with a guitar amplifier, Deputy District Attorney Robert Waner told the six men and nine women on the Sonoma County Superior Court jury.

"What he did to his dad is one thing only. It's murder," Waner said.

When police arrived at 5025 Parkhurst Drive in Rincon Valley minutes later, Herczog told them, "I killed him," Waner said.

In her opening statement, Deputy Public Defender Karen Silver said a doctor who examined Herczog will testify her client suffered from paranoid schizophrenia characterized by visual and auditory delusions.

Silver said Herczog's mental state deteriorated during the three years before the Nov. 21, 2011, murder.

She told the panel Mark Herczog's death was not a premeditated murder.

"It's something else," Silver said.

Herczog has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.

If the jury convicts Herczog of murder, it will then consider whether Herczog was insane at the time.

Waner said Herczog's younger sister Savannah was awakened in her bedroom around 1:25 a.m. that morning by her father's death cries, "Please don't. Stop please. Don't, you're killing me," that were coming from the kitchen.

"The evidence will show what happened in the kitchen," Waner said.

Waner played a recording of the 911 call Savannah Herczog made to police.

It is difficult to understand what Herczog's distraught sister said to police, and jurors were provided a written transcript of the call.

Herczog, his hair and clothing disheveled, looked down at the defense table during the opening statements and early testimony Monday morning.

Waner said the prosecution's case is expected to take two days.

San Mateo County Library Host "Ditch Your Device Week"

The San Mateo County Library will host its first "Ditch Your Device Week" beginning Monday to encourage children to turn off their electronic devices and spend time with their family and friends, a library manager said.

Throughout the week, all 12 San Mateo County Library branches will be hosting events with an emphasis on removing children from the glowing screens of televisions, computers, phones, and other electronic entertainment devices, SMCL Library Services Manager Anna Koch said.

"Ditch Your Device Week" runs from Monday until May 6 and is part of the national campaign for Screen Free Week, which is presented by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

The event has been nationwide since 1996, according to its website.

The events range from dance programs to story times to art projects.

Among the events is a performance from children's songwriter Randy Kaplan at the Brisbane branch at 250 Visitacion Ave. on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

There is also going to be a session for parents called "Media Technology and Early Childhood Development," which will discuss how to monitor children's amount of time using electronic devices and encourage parents to increase their personal interaction with them, Koch said.

A full list of the events can be found at www.smcl.org.

San Francisco Police Officer Hospitalied After Being Run Over by Suspect

A San Francisco police officer was hospitalized after his leg was run over by a suspect who fled from a traffic stop in the city's Bayview District early Sunday morning, a police spokesman said Monday.

The incident was reported at 4:24 a.m. Sunday near Hudson Avenue and Whitney Young Circle.

The officer pulled over a car and when he approached the driver, the suspect put the car into gear and tried to flee, police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi said.

The officer was dragged a short distance by the car and one of his legs was run over by the vehicle before the suspect drove away, Manfredi said.

Investigators were not releasing many details about the suspect Monday afternoon except that they know who he is, Manfredi said.

The officer who was run over was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for his injuries and was released later Sunday morning, according to Manfredi.

Teenager Rescued After Falling into World War II Bunker in Marin Headlands

A teenager was rescued after he fell nearly 30 feet into a World War II bunker in the Marin Headlands on Sunday morning, a fire paramedic said.

The Southern Marin Fire Prevention District received a report of a teenager having fallen into the bunker at the top of Conzelman Road at 10:30 a.m., district paramedic Larry Yoell said.

An unknown number of people were near a sealed shaft when the teenager fell into it and dropped approximately 30 feet into the bunker, Yoell said.

Upon arrival, rescue crews had two ways to reaching the teenager.

The first required the rescuers going down the same shaft and pulling the teenager up.

The other was to cut through an iron door, which sealed a larger entrance into the bunker, Yoell said.

The rescue crews chose to cut through the door and once inside found a large concrete hallway.

The bunker was originally built to store weapons, Yoell said.

They found the teenager with minor injuries, including a possible broken arm and wrist injury, Yoell said.

It took 30 to 40 minutes to reach the teenager.

San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday April 30th Weather Report

Sunny skies are likely in the Bay Area this morning.

Highs are expected to be in the lower 60s to mid 70s, with westerly winds up to 20 mph.

Clear skies are likely this evening. Lows are likely to be in the 50s, with westerly winds up to 20 mph.

Sunny skies are expected Wednesday morning.

Highs are likely to be in the lower 80s, with winds up to 20 mph in the afternoon.

 

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