San Francisco Bay Area Friday Morning News Roundup

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Armed Robbery Suspect On the Run

SWAT officers could not locate a suspect thought to be barricaded inside a home that was the scene of a home invasion robbery in Fremont Thursday evening, Fremont police said.

The robbery was reported shortly before 6 p.m. in the 4800 block of Porter Street. A caller reported to police that a man armed with a long gun, possibly an assault rifle, had rang the home's doorbell, pepper sprayed a woman who answered the door, and forced himself inside.

He then got into a fight with a man inside and shots were fired but the four residents -- including two children -- were able to get out of the house but feared the suspect was still inside, police said. The family was treated for minor injuries from the pepper spraying and the fight.

The Fremont police SWAT team and Newark police surrounded the home and closed streets in the area for several hours but after entering and searching the home tonight could not locate the suspect, police said.

Police described the suspect as a skinny 30-year-old Hispanic man with a long bushy ponytail, a goatee and tattoos above both eyebrows.

He was wearing a black zip-up gray jacket, a gray T-shirt and blue pants, police said. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about the robbery has been asked to call Fremont police at (510) 790-6800.

Woman Fatally Shot While Driving

A woman who was fatally shot while driving in East Oakland Wednesday afternoon about a half-mile from her home had been working to make that neighborhood safer, City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf said Thursday.

Judy Salamon, a 66-year-old pet sitter known for her love of dogs, was an advocate for hiring a private security firm to patrol the Maxwell Park neighborhood, where she lived and was slain, Schaaf said.

Oakland police said Salamon was shot and killed at about 1:24 p.m. Wednesday in the 2400 block of Fern Street, between Brookdale and Fairfax avenues.

She crashed her car into a parked car after the shooting, police said. Authorities haven't discussed a motive for the shooting or released any information about a suspect.

The shooting scene is adjacent to the Home of Peace Cemetery. Flowers, candles and photos of Salamon have been placed on both sides of Fern Street in the area where she was killed.

There's also a flyer about a community meeting this weekend to discuss a proposal to hire a private security firm to patrol the area.

The flyer says that in the wake of Salamon's death "there is renewed interest in hiring a security patrol, which is something Judy favored and which some residents believe might have saved her life."

Schaaf, who represents the area where Salamon lived and was killed, said she didn't know Salamon personally but has read about her activities on a neighborhood website.

Salamon's love of dogs was well-known and there will be a memorial dog walk in her honor at 6 p.m. tonight on Fern Street near where she was killed, followed at 8 p.m. by a vigil near her home in the 2700 block of Best Avenue, Schaaf said.

She said a group of Maxwell Park residents have been working for several months to try to get enough people in the area to sign up to pay for a private security firm that the cost would be affordable.

Schaaf said, "It's a personal choice for each neighborhood to decide whether to hire a private security service but it's not a substitute for having an adequately-staffed neighborhood."

She said she "applauds" neighborhoods where residents have agreed to pay for private security but added, "I'm just sorry it's necessary."

Salamon lived in a light green one-story house on Best Avenue with a lemon tree in front and a "Beware of Dog" sign in the front window.

The Oakland Police Department has posted a notice on the front door indicating that it has impounded a tan Chihuahua found in the home and placed it in protective custody.

Schaaf said people who want to honor Salamon and her fight to make her neighborhood safer should come to the Melrose High Hopes Crime Prevention Council's block party at Foothill Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, not far from Salamon's home, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Three Men Found Shot

Three men were found shot near an intersection just outside of Salinas Thursday afternoon, according to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies, Salinas police and California Highway Patrol officers responded to the corner of Calle El Adobe and Boronda Road at 3:11 p.m.

Investigators found three victims suffering gunshot wounds. One victim, 42-year-old Jose Alfredo Espinoza, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other victims, 24-year-old Jerry Garcia and 35-year-old Jorge Lopez Rodriguez, suffered serious gunshot wounds and were taken to a hospital.

Anyone with information about the shooting has been asked to call the Monterey County Sheriff's Office at (831) 755-3772.

Family of 8-Year-Old Gunshot Victim Seeks Help to Fund Funeral

The family of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine, who was fatally shot when she was at a friend's home at a sleepover last week, is seeking help in paying for her funeral expenses, according to Oakland City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf.

Alaysha was one of four people hit by gunfire when someone fired shots into an apartment at 3440 Wilson St. in the city's Dimond district at about 11:15 p.m. on July 17.

The other three victims survived but Alaysha, who would have been a third-grader at Fruitvale Elementary School in the fall, was killed.

Oakland police haven't disclosed a motive for the shooting or released any information about a suspect in the case.

Schaaf, who represents the area where the shooting occurred, said Alaysha's family needs $4,200 to cover her funeral expenses and has raised about $1,200 so far.

People who want to help may send a check to Roselawn Cemetery at 26295 Mission Blvd., Hayward, CA, 94544. They should use reference number R3982.

Two Suspects Arrested for Shooting

Two suspects in the 2011 murder of a man and wounding of his girlfriend outside a Target store in Watsonville have been arrested, one thanks to state police in Mexico, Watsonville police said Thursday.

Miguel Angel Rodriguez, 24, is in a jail in Imperial County near San Diego awaiting extradition to Santa Cruz County in the shooting death of Gustavo Diaz on July 23, 2011, police spokesman Sgt. Eric Taylor said.

Diaz's 26-year-old girlfriend was wounded in the gunfire shot from inside a car in the parking lot of the Target at 1415 Main St., Taylor said.

Watsonville police were notified Tuesday -- two years to the day of Diaz's murder -- by a U.S. Marshal in San Diego that police officers in the Mexican state of Baja California knew where Rodriguez was hiding, Taylor said.

Agent Jamie Rodriguez of Baja California's Policia Estatal Preventiva contacted the U.S. Marshal to confirm whether Miguel Angel Rodriguez was wanted for murder in the United States, Taylor said.

The marshal phoned Watsonville police, who confirmed they had an outstanding arrest warrant for Rodriguez in Diaz's murder, Taylor said.

Mexican police captured Rodriguez where he was staying in Mexicali in Baja California only hours after the confirmation and transferred him to U.S. Marshals at the Calexico border crossing in Imperial County, Taylor said.

Rodriguez, originally from Watsonville, has been charged in the murder of Diaz, the attempted murder of Diaz's girlfriend and gang enhancements, Taylor said.

Watsonville police, based on evidence and witness interviews, were able to learn the identity of the second suspect in Diaz's murder, 21-year-old Watsonville resident Cesar Rosales, the second person in the car where the shots were fired, Taylor said.

Police detectives tracked Rosales to where he worked in Watsonville and arrested him on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and gang enhancements only hours after Rodriguez's arrest on Tuesday, Taylor said.

Policia Estatal Preventiva officers told Watsonville police that they have made a priority out of pursuing and arresting fugitives from the United States who flee to Baja California, Taylor said.

"We will be working with them in the future to bring closure to more (Watsonville police) cases," Taylor wrote in a prepared statement.

Diaz's murder occurred at about 6:15 p.m. that July day as he and his girlfriend were walking out of the Target to their car.

A green Honda Accord drove by them, circled the lot, stopped near them and a passenger inside opened fire at the couple, police said.

The driver of the Accord sped away, police said. Diaz died at the scene while the woman was treated for a wound in her arm and later released from a hospital.

Police recovered the abandoned Accord about an hour later at an apartment complex near Ohlone Parkway.

Investigators said that Diaz and Rodriguez both had been affiliated with street gangs, police said.

Elderly Woman Accidentally Crashes Car Into Salon Storefront

An elderly woman drove her car into a salon storefront Thursday morning in Campbell but neither she nor the customers inside were injured, a police captain said.

Officers responded to a report of a car driving into the front of the Top Cuts Plus salon at 2365 Winchester Blvd. at about 9:20 a.m., Capt. Charley Adams said.

When officers arrived, they found a car had been driven into the front of the business, Adams said. Adams said a 92-year-old woman mistakenly hit the gas to her car when she thought she was hitting the brake, throwing her car into the salon's glass doors.

Roughly five people were inside the salon, but were uninjured, he said.

The elderly woman driver was also uninjured, and eventually drove her car home, Adams said. Adams said the woman was not impaired.

She was not cited, but will be responsible to pay for the repair costs, he said. The salon remained open, and customers used a back door to enter.

Shooting Suspect Turns Himself In

A suspect in a May fatal shooting previously believed to be attempting to flee to the Central Valley or Mexico turned himself in to San Jose police Wednesday, police said Thursday.

Louie Garza, 55, of San Jose walked in to the San Jose Police Department and surrendered at about noon Wednesday and was booked into jail.

Garza is suspected in the May 8 fatal shooting of Ralph Gomez, 46, in Gomez's home in the 2900 block of Westboro Drive.

Later that month police arrested Garza's wife, 50-year-old Carmen Acevedo, suspected of driving the getaway car, but Garza remained at large for over two months and police thought he might have attempted to flee the area or even the country. Acevedo was later released from jail.

City College of San Francisco Students Enroll for Fall Classes

City College of San Francisco officials along with state Assemblyman Phil Ting were reminding students Thursday to register for classes this fall.

Ting, D-San Francisco, held a news conference at the State Building in San Francisco Thursday afternoon urging prospective students to enroll in classes as the school deals with accreditation issues.

He said that the school is still open and running this fall and into next year, even after the school found out it would lose its accreditation after a decision from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges earlier this month.

The college's accreditation is set to end next year on July 31, 2014. That decision came after the school was put on "show cause" status last year.

The commission listed 14 recommendations for the school to improve its governing, organization, finances, student support, services, campus facilities and other issues.

The school filed a report in March 2013 that attempted to show how it had addressed the problems pinpointed by the commission.

However, the commission found that only two of the 14 recommendations had been implemented.

Robert Agrella has since been appointed as a special trustee with full control to manage the board and make decisions on behalf of the school.

Ting said students should know that credits until July 31, 2014, and potentially beyond will still be deemed accredited and transferable to four-year universities. The same courses and instructors are still offered, he said.

"It's business as usual this year," he said. CCSF Board of Trustees president John Rizzo said enrollment is down by 13.9 percent, which translates to $20 million in possible funding cuts.

There are about 80,000 students at the college's various campuses, which include the Ocean Avenue main campus, Chinatown, downtown and Mission District locations.

CCSF Academic Senate President Karen Saginor emphasized that teaching quality is the school's top priority and reassured students about the quality of their credits.

"No matter what happens...credits are good forever," she said. She said misinformation that degrees from the school will become worthless is false and that all units will count.

Alissa Messer, president of the teachers' union AFT 2121, said the quality of education has never been in question during the accreditation process.

She advised Bay Area residents interested in supporting and helping the school to take a course.

Class schedules have been distributed to community centers, local businesses, libraries and other high-profile areas to encourage enrollment, Messer said.

There is also a marketing campaign to promote enrollment, which includes radio and online ads and signage.

Fall instruction begins on Aug. 14. Enrollment for new students begins Aug. 5, while the sign-up period for returning students has already opened. Students can enroll online at

Lincoln Sedan Crashes Into Restaurant

A crash into a Novato restaurant Thursday afternoon nearly interrupted a planned pizza party for a group of children, a fire captain said.

The crash was reported at about 4 p.m. at Ghiringhelli Pizzeria Grill & Bar at 1535 S. Novato Blvd., acting Battalion Chief Jeff Davis said.

The restaurant was about a half-hour away from hosting a private party for a group of about 60 people when a Lincoln sedan crashed through its front window, Davis said. The car's three occupants were injured.

Two were treated at the scene and one was transported to a hospital with minor injuries. The restaurant's structure wasn't significantly damaged, with the large front window and its frame taking most of the impact.

There was some minor interior damage, Davis said. While the pizza party was canceled, the restaurant remains open for business tonight, Davis said.

Bay Area Weather Report

Mostly cloudy skies, patchy fog and drizzle are expected in the Bay Area this morning.

Highs are likely to be in the 50s to mid 60s, with southwest winds up to 15 mph. Mostly cloudy skies are expected this evening, with patchy fog after midnight.

Lows are likely to be in the mid 50s, with southwest winds up to 15 mph. Mostly cloudy skies and patchy fog are likely Saturday morning.

Highs are expected to be in the 50s to mid 60s, with southwest winds up to 20 mph.


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