San Francisco Bay Area Monday Midday News Roundup

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High Court Takes No Action On Proposition 8 Today

The U.S. Supreme Court took no action today on Proposition 8, California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

It had been anticipated that there could have been an order granting or denying review of the case today because it had been on the court's conference agenda from last week.

The sponsors of Proposition 8 are appealing a decision in which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco declared the measure unconstitutional.

That decision has been put on hold and Proposition 8 has remained in effect during the appeal.

If the Supreme Court declines to hear the appeal, the 9th Circuit ruling will become the final decision in the case and same-sex marriages could resume in California within a few days.

If the high court grants review, it would schedule a hearing this spring and would issue a decision by the end of June.

The court has no deadline for acting on the appeal. It has now put the Proposition 8 case and several cases concerning the federal Defense of Marriage Act on its conference agenda for this coming Friday.

Gay Moraga Teen Denied Boy Scout Award To Be Honored By State Assembly

A Moraga teen who was denied his Eagle Scout award and kicked out of the Boy Scouts because he is gay is being honored by the California state Assembly today.

Assembly Speaker John Perez, who is openly gay himself, planned to recognize 18-year-old Ryan Andresen at the opening legislative session at noon.

After Andresen was told to leave his Boy Scout troop because of his sexual orientation, his mother, Karen Andresen, began a petition on Change.org that garnered the attention of public figures from throughout the state.

In the petition, which has so far been signed by more than 425,000 people, Karen Andresen is asking Boy Scout Troop 212 to give her son the Eagle Scout badge -- the Boy Scouts' top honor.

The teen completed a capstone project to earn the badge -- an anti-bullying "Tolerance Wall" at his former school, Joaquin Moraga Middle School.

Representatives from the council that oversees the local troop have confirmed that Andresen's Scouts membership was revoked because he is gay, in accordance with the Boy Scouts of America's national policy.

Today, Andresen and his family will attend the legislative session and will meet with supporters of his campaign, including Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, state Sen. Leland Yee and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Last month, Ryan and Karen Andresen shared their story on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and on Anderson Cooper 360. DeGeneres presented the teen with a $20,000 scholarship check from Shutterfly.com.

CHP Car Flips Over On Highway 580 During High-Speed Pursuit

Two suspects were taken into custody after a high-speed chase on Interstate Highway 580 this morning in which a California Highway Patrol car overturned, a CHP spokeswoman said.

Officers spotted an Infiniti speeding east on I-580 near Isabel Avenue in Livermore at about 3:20 a.m., CHP spokeswoman Diana McDermott said.

When a CHP officer attempted to stop the car, the driver sped off, McDermott said.

A chase ensued, with the driver reaching speeds of 100 mph, she said. Two officers in a separate patrol car assisted in the pursuit.

The assisting patrol car hit an embankment during the chase and overturned near Altamont Pass Road in Livermore, causing minor injuries to both officers, McDermott said.

The first patrol car was able to pull over the Infiniti in the Stockton area at about 3:40 a.m. and the two suspects were taken into custody, McDermott said.

CHP is still investigating the incident.

17-Year-Old Boy Killed In Friday Night San Jose Shooting Identified

A teenager killed in a shooting in San Jose on Friday night was identified by police today as 17-year-old Daniel Capetillo.

Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 900 block of Pacific Avenue at 11:33 p.m. and found Capetillo, a San Jose resident, suffering from at least one gunshot wound.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The shooter had fled the scene and remains at large. Investigators are still trying to determine if the shooting was gang-related, police said.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call Detective Sgt. Newton or Detective Vallejo at (408) 277-5283 or make an anonymous call to (408) 947-7867.

Campbell Police Arrest San Jose Man After Short Pursuit

A man was arrested after a short vehicle and foot pursuit through San Jose and Campbell this morning, Campbell police said.

Officers attempted to stop Rogelio Pena, 27, of San Jose, who was allegedly speeding in his 1997 Honda Accord at about 2:45 a.m. at Payne Avenue and South Winchester Boulevard in San Jose, according to Campbell police.

Pena fled from the officers in his car heading toward Campbell, where he crashed his car into the yard of a home at David and North Central avenues, less than a mile away, police said.

He then fled from police on foot but was caught about a block away after nearby residents alerted police of his whereabouts, according to police.

The Accord Pena was driving was reported stolen in San Jose on Thursday, police said.

Officers found drugs and a number of stolen items in the car, according to police.

Pena, who is on probation for narcotic offenses, was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of auto theft, possession of stolen property, drug possession, evading and resisting arrest, police said.

Woman Fights Off Purse Snatcher Despire Beating, Chases Suspect In Palo Alto

A woman who was attacked and beaten by a purse snatcher in downtown Palo Alto early Sunday morning not only held on to her purse but fought off her attacker and chased him down the street, according to police.

The victim, a woman in her 30s, was walking on the 200 block of Homer Avenue around 1 a.m. while listening to music on headphones, police said.

She was pushed to the ground from behind without warning by a suspect who tried to grab her purse.

The victim rolled on to her back and held on to her purse while the suspect struck her in the face repeatedly, around six to eight times, police said.

The woman then kicked the suspect in the midsection, causing him to back off and run away.

At that point, the woman began chasing the suspect west on Homer Avenue, then north on Ramona Street and east on Forest Avenue, before she stopped at a police garage and yelled for help.

A police employee found her outside, crying and bleeding from her nose, police said. She suffered swelling to the left side of her face and had cuts to one of her lips.

The suspect, meanwhile, continued east on Forest Avenue and the victim lost sight of him. Police were unable to locate him in a search of the area.

The suspect was described as a black male in his 20s or 30s, more than 6 feet tall and wearing a dark or black long-sleeved hooded sweatshirt or jacket and dark pants.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call police at (650) 329-2413.

Police urge residents to be aware of their surroundings when out walking, and avoid covering both ears with earphones so that they can hear movements nearby. Anyone observing suspicious behavior should call 911 immediately.

White Hill Middle School In Fairfax Closed Today Due To Storm Damage

Cleanup operations are continuing today at White Hill Middle School in Fairfax, which was damaged by water and mud from this weekend's storms.

The storm on Saturday night and Sunday morning damaged two art classrooms and two seventh-grade classrooms at the school, located at 101 Glen Drive, administrative assistant Maureen Moulton said this morning.

The administrative office and a staff room also sustained water damage, Moulton said.

The school has hired a company to clean up the damage, and will know later today if the school will reopen on Tuesday, Moulton said. An announcement will be posted on the school's website, she said.

White Hill Middle School serves approximately 600 students in grades 6-8.

Prosecution Delays Filing Embezzlement Charges Against Santa Rosa Junior College Police Officer

The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office today delayed filing charges against a Santa Rosa Junior College Police Department officer suspected of embezzlement and grand theft.

Jeff Holzworth, 49, briefly appeared in Sonoma County Superior Court this morning, but then left quickly with his attorney Joseph Passalacqua.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Ariyoshi told Judge Robert LaForge that the case is still under investigation and the prosecution is seeking financial records. Holzworth's next court date is Dec. 17.

Ariyoshi said the alleged embezzlement involved money from parking machines at the college campus.

After this morning's brief hearing, she said Holzworth was responsible for maintaining the parking machines, which accept one- and five-dollar bills.

The investigation began after Santa Rosa Junior College Police Chief Matt McCaffrey informed Santa Rosa police that an employee had notified him of the alleged embezzlement, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Lance Badger said.

Santa Rosa police obtained warrants and searched Holzworth's home, workspace and work vehicles, Badger said. Ariyoshi said the search warrants have been sealed.

After a three-week investigation, Holzworth was arrested at the end of his shift at 10 a.m. Wednesday. He posted $150,000 bail and is out of custody.

Holzworth, a 28-year employee of the college, is on administrative leave.

Petaluma Shell Station Robbed Sunday Night

A suspect robbed a Shell gas station in Petaluma on Sunday night, a police sergeant said this morning.

Officers were called around 10:40 p.m. Sunday to the Shell station at 421 Washington Street in Petaluma, Sgt. Ed Crosby said.

A man with a hooded sweatshirt pulled over his face entered the business, simulated a firearm and demanded cash from a store clerk.

The suspect grabbed some cash out of the register and fled the scene.

No injuries were reported in connection with the robbery.

Crosby said the suspect is described only as a white man wearing dark clothing. An actual weapon was not seen during the robbery, which is under investigation.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Petaluma police at (707) 778-4372.

Victim Of Wednesday Night Shooting In Richmond Identified As Suisun City Man

A man who was shot and killed in Richmond on Wednesday night has been identified by the Contra Costa County coroner's office as 34-year-old Suisun City resident Ranaye Cross.

Officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 2800 block of McBryde Avenue at 10:20 p.m. Wednesday, Richmond police Lt. Bisa French said.

When they arrived, they found Cross suffering from at least one gunshot wound.

Investigators believe the suspect approached Cross on foot and shot him, but may have fled in a vehicle. The motive for the shooting remains under investigation but it does not appear to have been gang-related, French said.

The killing marked Richmond's 18th homicide this year, according to police.

Man Found Dead On Muni Platform Identified

A man who was found dead on a San Francisco Municipal Railway platform in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood on Saturday morning has been identified by the medical examiner's office as 57-year-old Bradley Gainous.

Gainous, a San Francisco resident, was found at about 7:50 a.m. 

Saturday at the Mission Rock Street station on Muni's T-Third light rail line, police said.

The cause of his death has not yet been determined, according to the medical examiner's office.

Muni spokesman Paul Rose said the agency is working with police to investigate the death but that there was no new information as of this morning.

San Francisco Symphony Holding 'Deck The Hall' Event For Local Children Today

The San Francisco Symphony is hosting a special holiday event for more than 2,000 local children today at Davies Symphony Hall.

The annual "Deck the Hall" event, which started at 9:30 a.m., is targeted toward Bay Area children who might not otherwise be able to attend a symphony concert.

Along with a performance by the symphony, the children will see singers from Beach Blanket Babylon and the San Francisco Boys Chorus, as well as the costumed characters Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Local charities have donated books and school supplies that the children can take back to their classrooms.

Davies Symphony Hall, located at 201 Van Ness Ave., is decked out for the event with holiday lights and decorations, including 22 large evergreen trees decorated with ornaments that were hand-made by local community groups.

Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137