San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday Morning News Roundup

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Woman Raped and Beaten on UC Santa Cruz Campus Sunday

A 21-year-old woman walking in a secluded part of the University of California, Santa Cruz campus shortly after noon Sunday was raped and beaten, a university spokesman said.

The woman was alone on a path in a wooded area between the Upper Quarry Amphitheater and the Classroom Unit building at about 12:25 p.m. when a man attacked her, campus spokesman Jim Burns said.

The stranger battered and raped her and then ran south toward Steinhart Way between Quarry Plaza and McHenry Library, Burns said.

"What's unusual about this is it occurred in the daylight and in this case the victim did not know the assailant," Burns said.

The area of the attack, in the core of the campus, was "in a somewhat remote area" that is mostly undeveloped, Burns said.

The woman, who was visiting the campus, was even more vulnerable as fewer people were around for the President's Day holiday, Burns said.

"It can happen on a three-day weekend when students have gone home for the weekend," Burns said.

"You don't have the regular foot traffic of people coming and going to a classroom unit that was not open yesterday."

The woman told the UC Santa Cruz Police Department that the suspect was white, 30 to 40 years old, about 5 feet 10 to 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds, Burns said.

The suspect had a round face, black medium-length hair, green eyes, a moustache and goatee and a tattoo on his shoulder-bicep area.

He spoke with a deep growl-sounding voice and smelled of cigarettes, Burns said.

He wore a dark blue T-shirt, dark blue jeans, a black belt with a silver buckle and had Oakley-style sunglasses on top of his head, Burns said.

Man Falls to his Death at Alum Rock Park

A rescue team has removed the body of a man who fell to his death from a cliff in a remote part of San Jose's Alum Rock Park that is considered dangerous and closed to the public, authorities said.

The San Jose Search and Rescue team, a volunteer group, removed the body from the park at about 3:30 p.m. Monday, San Jose fire Capt.

Reggie Williams said. The Santa Clara County medical examiner's office is investigating the cause of the man's death and the San Jose Police Department is treating it as an accident, Williams said.

The man fell from 130 to 170 feet off a cliff before a park ranger located his body at about 1:50 p.m. Sunday, Williams said.

The ranger searched the section of the park based on details from a missing person report filed Saturday with the Santa Clara Police Department, Williams said.

"I believe he has been identified as a hiker," Williams said of the victim.

The man's body was located in the far eastern side of the park that is closed to the public because it is very steep and too dangerous to hike there, park ranger Roger Abe said.

"There used to be trails there but they eroded years ago," Abe said."The terrain is very dangerous."

The park has signs clearly telling the public not to go to that area, which does not even have a name to further discourage people from going there, Abe said.

Alum Rock Park was created in 1872 and "there are a lot trails that no longer exist," Abe said. "The whole park is in a steep canyon."

 Speed Boat Driver Dies After Collision with Golden Gate Ferry

One of two people injured when a Golden Gate Ferry and a 22-foot motorboat collided in the San Francisco Bay on Saturday has died, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said Monday.

The victim was identified as 68-year-old Harry Holzhauer, of Tigard, Ore., Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Mark Leahey said.

The crash happened at about 4 p.m. in Raccoon Strait, near Tiburon. The Coast Guard is still investigating the circumstances of the crash and who was at fault, Leahey said.

Golden Gate Transit spokeswoman Mary Currie said the motorboat was traveling at a high speed when it collided with the MS San Francisco, which was about 10 minutes into its 30-minute trip from Sausalito to the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

Holzhauer and another man on the motorboat were injured, but none of the roughly 500 people on the ferry were hurt. Leahey did not have an update on the condition of the second man who was injured.

After the collision, the ferry continued to San Francisco, then returned to Sausalito where it was taken out of service.

Currie said the five crew members aboard the ferry were drug tested and placed on administrative leave, as is protocol with such incidents.

She said the crew members have all returned to work except for the captain, who remains on administrative leave.

The ferry was examined by the Coast Guard after the crash but is back in service on the Sausalito-to-San Francisco route, she said.

Man Dies after being Struck by Union Pacific Freight Train

A male victim was struck and killed by a Union Pacific Railroad Co. freight train Monday night in Palo Alto, a Caltrain spokeswoman said.

The victim was hit at about 9:30 p.m. on the Caltrain track, spokeswoman Jayme Ackemann said.

The train remained stopped at about 10:20 p.m. while the coroner was en route, she said.

Santa Clara County Reports Rising Criminal Convictions

Criminal convictions in Santa Clara County are rising along with a higher caseload of serious and lesser crimes, the district attorney said Monday at a ceremony in San Jose.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen, speaking at an awards ceremony to about 200 deputy district attorneys, crime investigators, staffers and family members at the County Government Center, praised his employees as "great people with a well-deserved reputation for excellence."

"I like watching you keep the oath of office" he said. "What you are doing in court is crucial to the well-being of the people in our state."

Felony cases increased 15 percent and misdemeanors were up 30 percent in the county in 2012 over the previous year "and our conviction rates remain very high," Rosen said.

The district attorney, elected in 2010, pointed to a number of convictions the D.A.'s office won last year under tough circumstances, such as the one in April of Jason Cai for murdering a 32-year-old woman in 2008, for which prosecutors traveled to China to obtain evidence.

He also cited convictions obtained last year in a 2005 former cold case murder, a case of man who seriously wounded a 13-year-old girl in a drive-by shooting and a former school principal who failed to report the possible sexual abuse of a second grade girl by a teacher.

Another highlight of the year involved his office's prosecution of the largest methamphetamine bust in the U.S., where Palo Alto police working on a stolen iPad case found 750 pounds of the drug in an apartment in San Jose.

Rosen said the office also prevailed in a number of fraud cases, such as a San Jose family whose home-care facility illegally cashed Social Security checks of 12 elderly and disabled victims and a company that sold a phony diet with "flavor crystals" spread on food.

The office burnished a reputation of fairness with criminal defendants, Rosen said, including one case last year when a deputy district attorney realized a defendant had been wrongly charged and got him out of jail.

After the awards ceremony, Rosen said, "I think what is seeping through our office is pursuing justice in a way that's fair to everyone, treating everyone with respect."

Police Reopen Streets after Wells Fargo Bomb Scare

Police reopened streets around the Wells Fargo headquarters in San Francisco's Financial District after investigating a suspicious package that was found there Monday morning.

San Francisco police received a report of a suspicious package inside a building in the 400 block of Montgomery Street shortly before 8 a.m., Officer Gordon Shyy said.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Holly Rockwood confirmed that the object was found inside the company's headquarters at 420 Montgomery St.

Wells Fargo was scheduled to be open despite the holiday, but ended up being closed for several hours because of the bomb scare, Rockwood said.

Streets in the area were closed to traffic during the investigation, but were reopened at about 1 p.m.

Suspected DUI Driver Arrested after Hitting Bicyclist

A man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Monday afternoon after allegedly hitting a bicyclist in San Bruno, a police sergeant said.

A witness reported the crash at 4:57 p.m. It happened at the intersection of El Camino Real and San Luis Avenue in the northbound No. 3 lane, police Sgt. Luciano said.

The 28-year-old bicyclist from Burlingame was transported to a local hospital with minor-to-moderate injuries, he said.

San Bruno resident John Cosmos, 53, was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Motorcyclist Airlifted after Crash in Santa Clara County

A motorcyclist was airlifted to a hospital after he crashed in unincorporated Santa Clara County on Monday afternoon, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

The CHP received a report of a crash at 12:29 p.m. in the area of Mines and Turner Gulch roads, Officer Lawrence Colon said.

The man was airlifted to Stanford Hospital at 1:44 p.m. No other injuries were reported.

His condition was unavailable, Colon said.

Petaluma Runaways Arrested on Suspicion of Vehicle Theft

Two juveniles who ran away from a residential group home have been arrested on suspicion of stealing from vehicles in Petaluma, the Police Department announced.

The juveniles ran away from a group home on Kuck Lane and then searched for vehicles that were left unlocked, police said.

They allegedly entered two unlocked vehicles in the 800 block of Bodega Avenue on Valentine's Day and took CDs, an iPod, wallet, cash and other items.

They allegedly attempted to use a stolen card in Petaluma and then used some of the cash to take a taxi to San Francisco, where they bought food and narcotics, according to police.

The runaways, a 16-year-old and 17-year-old male, were caught by BART police officers and returned to Petaluma.

The teens reportedly admitted to the thefts when detectives interviewed them.

Both juveniles were transported to juvenile hall.

Bay Area Weather for February 19

Showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms are likely in the Bay Area this morning.

Highs are likely to be in the lower 50s, with westerly winds up to 30 mph.

Mostly cloudy skies, with a chance of rain, are expected this evening.

Lows are likely to be in the mid 40s, with northwestern winds up to 20 mph.

Partly cloudy skies are likely Wednesday.

Highs are expected to be in the upper 50s, with northwest winds up to 15 mph.

 

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