San Francisco Bay Area Friday Morning News Roundup

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Sailor Killed When America's Cup Boat Capsized Identified As Two-Time Gold Medalist

A sailor who died after a catamaran associated with the America's Cup race capsized in the Bay Thursday afternoon has been identified as Andrew Simpson, a 36-year-old British two-time Olympic gold medalist in sailing.

The incident was reported just after 1 p.m. in the waters north of Treasure Island, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The vessel was the Artemis Racing AC-72, a 72-foot catamaran that belongs to the Swedish team participating in the America's Cup, according to the team's website. The Artemis Racing team is based in Alameda as they practice for the competition.

After the boat capsized, Simpson could not be located and was submerged in the water for 10 minutes, San Francisco fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said. When he was found and pulled from the Bay, he had no pulse and was not breathing.

A San Francisco Police Department boat was the first at the scene and an officer helped initiate CPR on Simpson, San Francisco police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

Simpson was taken to the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, where life-saving efforts continued for 20 minutes, Hayes-White said. He could not be revived and was pronounced dead at 1:43 p.m.

Another team member was also taken to the yacht club, where he was treated for a minor cut. All others on the boat were accounted for and returned to racing headquarters in Alameda, Hayes-White said.

The boat was towed to Treasure Island and is in the custody of the U.S. Coast Guard, Esparza said.

At a brief news conference at the team's Alameda headquarters, Artemis CEO Paul Cayard said, "We obviously had a tragic day Thursday on the Bay. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bart Simpson's, Andrew Simpson's, wife and kids and the rest of his teammates."

The red flag of Artemis Racing flew at half-staff over Cayard's head as he said it's "a shocking experience to go through and we have a lot to deal with n the next few days in terms of insuring everyone's well being."

Authorities are still investigating what caused the vessel to capsize.

Hayes-White said it was "very windy" on the Bay Thursday with winds of between 15 and 20 knots. However, she said, "I wouldn't consider these extreme conditions."

Consultant's Report Criticizes Oakland Police Department

A crime reduction plan released by consultants Thursday criticizes the Oakland Police Department for a number of shortcomings, such as not sharing information or countering the city's growing robbery and burglary problems.

Among the other criticisms leveled in a report by a group of police experts headed by William Bratton, who has run police departments in New York City, Los Angeles and Boston, are that the unit that investigates homicides, gun assaults and officer-involved shootings has too big of a workload to investigate shootings and that the city has only one part-time investigator assigned to more than 10,000 burglaries last year.

But Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said at a news conference at police headquarters Thursday that she welcomes the report, which calls for the city to have a more district-based structure so officers can respond more effectively to serious crimes, such as homicides, shootings, robberies and burglaries.

Quan said, "We're not afraid to take criticism" because she's "determined to make this city safe."

The mayor said that last fall she decided to hire outside police experts to recommend solutions for Oakland's crime problem because "we needed to do something different."

Oakland acting police Chief Anthony Toribio, who took over the department on Wednesday when Police Chief Howard Jordan abruptly announced he is retiring for medical reasons, admitted, "The report is very critical of the Police Department in several areas but we welcome the criticism because we want to get better."

Toribio pledged to implement the consultants' recommendations "very quickly."

Bratton didn't attend the news conference Thursday so the consultant group's findings and recommendations were presented by former Hartford, Conn., police chief Peter Harnett, who also worked in the New York Police Department for 32 years and was an assistant to Bratton there in 1994 when Bratton implemented an innovative crime statistics program called CompStat.

Harnett credited CompStat with helping New York reduce robberies from 120,000 in 1993 to only 25,000 last year.

He said if Oakland does a better job of utilizing CompStat and implementing the report's other recommendations "it will have an impact on crime in this city."

Quan said Oakland has begun implementing some of the changes recommended by the consulting group and "we've already started to see some impact."

The report recommends that Oakland move to a neighborhood policing plan, with the city divided into five districts, each commanded by a captain.

Harnett said district captains should take responsibility for crime in their areas and be held accountable for designing and directing responses and strategies to fight crime.

Until recently, Oakland was divided into two large districts. But earlier this year the city began taking steps to implement the new system by establishing two districts in East Oakland, with three more districts planned for West Oakland in the near future.

Former San Francisco Taxi Driver Charged With Vehicular Manslaughter Still At Large

A former cab driver who struck and killed a pedestrian with his taxi in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood last August has been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter but is nowhere to be found, the city's district attorney said Thursday.

Reza Eslaminia, 52, is wanted for the collision, which occurred at Eddy and Larkin streets on the evening of Aug. 11, 2012, and fatally wounded 38-year-old Edmund Capalla.

A warrant for Eslaminia's arrest was issued on March 29, and District Attorney George Gascon held a news conference Thursday morning to ask for the public's help in finding him.

"He needs to be arrested and needs to be brought to justice," Gascon said.

Prosecutors said Eslaminia was driving a Luxor Cab on Eddy Street and traveled through a red light at Larkin Street, where the taxi was struck by a bus. It spun around and hit Capalla, who was walking legally in the crosswalk.

Capalla had just left a celebration of his youngest daughter's first birthday earlier that day and leaves behind two other children, including a daughter with Down syndrome, according to his father-in-law, Virgilio Talao, who also attended Thursday's news conference.

Talao and his wife were retired but have had to go back to work again "to fill in the shoes" of his son-in-law, he said. "The shoes are too big."

Gascon said the case "has touched our office very, very deeply" and that prosecutors had initially sought felony charges against Eslaminia, but did not have adequate evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

To prove a felony charge, prosecutors would have to show Eslaminia acted with gross negligence and broke another traffic law other than running the red light.

Gascon said police did not draw blood from Eslaminia after the collision -- a step prosecutors believe could have proven he was driving under the influence -- and have not found videos or other evidence showing that he was speeding into the intersection.

Nevertheless, the district attorney called Eslaminia's conduct "egregious" and said he "has shown a complete disregard for the life of others," noting a 2008 arrest in Los Angeles County for DUI.

Eslaminia was also convicted of murder for the 1985 death of his father, a former employee of the Shah of Iran, although the conviction was later overturned in San Mateo County Superior Court in 2000.

Prosecutors had said Eslaminia and his friends were part of a group dubbed the "Billionaire Boys Club" that engaged in murder and get-rich schemes.

Hayward DMV Office Opens Late After Officer-Involved Shooting; Search For Armed Suspect Continues

The Department of Motor Vehicles in Hayward delayed opening Thursday after police shot at an at-large suspect while attempting to detain him near the building Wednesday afternoon.

The office, located at 150 Jackson St., opened at noon after employees were debriefed about the shooting in the parking lot that occurred shortly after 2 p.m.

Counselors were also on hand to talk with employees, who arrived at the office 8 a.m.

"It was a scary situation for them," DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said. "They weren't ready to open."

The suspect in the shooting remained at large Thursday morning, Hayward police Lt. Mark Stuart said.

The male suspect in his late teens or early 20s, who was about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a thin build and medium complexion and wearing a red baseball cap was reportedly seen with a gun near the Downtown Hayward BART station around 2 p.m.

The suspect was part of a group of four males that an Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District bus driver saw walking near the station when he pulled a gun out of a backpack, Stuart said.

BART and Hayward police were notified and the group was stopped on Winton Avenue.

The suspect with the gun fled, while the three others were detained, and ran toward the DMV, jumping a fence into the parking lot. A responding officer found him and asked him to drop his weapon, Stuart said.

Stuart said the suspect had a gun in his hand that he pointed at the officer instead of dropping the weapon. That was when the officer fired at the suspect.

Stuart said there was no indication that the suspect was struck.

The suspect then ran off, jumping onto Magna Avenue, a cul-de-sac off of Winton Avenue, where a witness said he was hiding in an area between the back of a business and a fence overgrown with ivy.

Police set up a perimeter around the DMV and the neighborhood but Stuart said the suspect managed to evade authorities.

The DMV closed around 3 p.m. because of the shooting.

Stuart said two of the three group members, including a 17-year-old juvenile and a man, were arrested on unrelated charges.

All three have been uncooperative in the search for the gunman, he said.

Stuart said police haven't been able to identify the at-large suspect and do not have any leads as to where to search for him.

Man Wanted For Fatal Shooting In East San Jose May Be Headed For Central Valley

A man suspected of shooting and killing another man Wednesday inside a home in East San Jose may be headed for the Central Valley area in California or to another country, San Jose police said Thursday.

Louie Garza, 55, of San Jose, is the suspect in the death of Ralph Gomez, 46, who was shot at least once in his home in the 2900 block of Westboro Drive, police said.

San Jose police were called to Gomez's residence at 12:13 p.m. and emergency medical responders pronounced him dead at 12:25 p.m.

Police asked for the public's assistance in finding Garza and released photos showing his face and tattoos covering his bare chest and back.

The two men knew each other but the motive for the shooting remained under investigation, police said.

Garza, who apparently fled the shooting scene in a white vehicle, may be headed for Modesto, Manteca or Madera in the Central Valley and perhaps out of the county, police said.

The murder was the 14th homicide in San Jose so far in 2013, police said.

Anyone with information about the shooting or Garza's whereabouts is urged to contact Detective Brian Spears of the Police Department's homicide unit at (408) 277-5283 or Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947 -7867.

Vacaville High School English Teacher Arrested On Suspicion Of Lewd Conduct With Student

Vacaville police arrested a middle school teacher Thursday morning after a loaded firearm and drugs were found in his parked car on campus, police said.

A credible source contacted officials of Willis Jepson Middle School at 580 Elder St. around 10 a.m. Thursday to report 53-year-old teacher Bobby Chambers of Chico had a loaded weapon and marijuana in his vehicle, Sgt. Kim Humbert said.

School officials contacted a Vacaville Police Youth Services officer who investigated the report, Humbert said.

Chambers was contacted by Vacaville police and consented to a search of his vehicle, Humbert said.

Officers found a loaded handgun, cocaine, less than an ounce of marijuana and ammunition in the vehicle, Humbert said.

Chambers was arrested for possession of a gun in a school zone, possession of cocaine, possession of ammunition on school grounds and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana on school grounds, Humbert said.

Chambers has been teaching in the district since 2007 and in California since 1999, Vacaville Unified School District Superintendent John Niederkorn said.

The school district's administration received a call from a woman who identified herself as Chambers' ex-girlfriend, Niederkorn said.

The woman said Chambers had a gun in the car and used illegal drugs on campus, Niederkorn said.

The district notified Vacaville police who then interviewed Chambers.

Niederkorn said he is "shocked and disappointed" a public school educator would place himself in personal and professional jeopardy.

Chambers is the second Vacaville Unified School District teacher arrested in the past 24 hours.

Rodney Orosco, 47, an English teacher at Vacaville High School, was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a juvenile student, police said. Text messages from the girl's phone supported the allegations, police Sgt. Chris Polen said.

Orosco allegedly kissed the girl on three separate occasions.

Orosco turned himself in to police Wednesday evening. He was placed on paid administrative leave on April 15.

Murder-Carjacking Suspect Dies After Hanging Himself In Monterey County Cell

Joshua Kannon Claypole, accused of murdering a taxi driver and carjacking a pickup truck in Monterey last week, died Thursday morning in a San Jose hospital, according to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.

Claypole had been transported to the hospital on Sunday after he tried to hang himself in his cell at the Monterey County Jail in Salinas, Chief Assistant District Attorney Terry Spitz said.

He was pronounced dead by hospital personnel at about 9:30 a.m. following his removal from life support equipment, Spitz said.

An autopsy will be performed on the body once the district attorney's office receives Claypole's medical report from the hospital, Spitz said.

Claypole, 20, of Big Sur, had been found hanging in his cell by a sheriff's deputy conducting a routine health and welfare check at the jail, according to the Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

The district attorney's office's bureau of investigation is looking into the circumstances of Claypole's suicide attempt, Spitz said.

The office plans to interview a jail staff member, question a separate witness a second time and talk to Claypole's defense attorney whom Claypole conversed with on the day of his suicide attempt, Spitz said.

Claypole was arrested May 1 on suspicion of murder and carjacking after officers of the Monterey Police Department pulled him over as he drove an allegedly stolen pickup truck on Del Monte Drive near Broadway Avenue in Seaside.

Only minutes before he had been a passenger in a taxicab driven by Daniel Garcia Huerta, 44, who picked the suspect up outside a Wells Fargo Bank in Carmel, police said.

Huerta was stabbed to death in his car at about 1:11 p.m. in the parking lot of Enterprise Car Rental at 1178 Del Monte Road in Monterey.

At 1:14 p.m., the stabbing suspect forced a woman to leave her Ford pickup at 1100 Del Monte and then drove the truck to Seaside where police arrested him at about 1:30 p.m., police said.

Claypole, whose bail was set at $1.1 million, had been housed in a single cell at the jail for his protection, police said.

San Francisco Post Office Deemed Safe After Five Employees Find White Powder On Clothing

A San Francisco post office reopened Thursday afternoon after it was evacuated for several hours when five employees felt ill after finding a mysterious white powder on their clothing, according to authorities.

The postal workers walked to the nearby Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, located about a block away at 900 Hyde St., around 10:30 a.m. U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokesman Jeff Fitch said.

The incident was reported to fire officials at 11:38 a.m. after the five postal workers walked over to the hospital, a fire official said.

The post office, located at 1400 Pine St., was evacuated and remained closed until about 2 p.m., Fitch said.

A hazardous materials team responded to the hospital and the post office and did not find any harmful substances at either location.

San Francisco Department of Public Health spokeswoman Eileen Shields said the five employees were evaluated at the hospital and released around 1 p.m.

The hospital was not evacuated, hospital spokeswoman Dee Mostofi said.

Fitch said operations at the post offices resumed for the remainder of the workday.

Funeral Saturday In Santa Cruz For Two Brothers Who Drowned After Capsizing Canoe

A funeral service for two brothers who drowned when their canoe capsized Sunday in Lexington Reservoir near Los Gatos will take place Saturday at the Santa Cruz Bible Church in Santa Cruz.

Nicholas Xavier Nell, 35, and Raymond Jacob Nell, 30, were in a 17-foot canoe with their brother Ben and sister Meggie when the craft turned, spilling all four into the water with only Ben and Meggie swimming to safety.

Both men died accidentally after drowning in the fresh water lake, the Santa Clara County medical examiner's office reported Thursday.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the accident, spokesman Deputy Kurtis Stenderup said.

The Nell brothers both worked for Apple Inc., Nicholas as a corrections manager for iTunes and Raymond as a mentor at the Apple Store in Monterey, according to their obituary on the website of the Santa Cruz Memorial Mortuary in Santa Cruz.

Nicholas went to high school in Monterey and attended the University of California at Davis for two years, while Raymond graduated from a high school in Felton and obtained a bachelor's degree in education at California State University, Monterey Bay.

Nicholas, of Scotts Valley, leaves behind his wife, Renee, and Raymond, of Aptos, his girlfriend, Amelia Urban.

"They loved challenging themselves and each other with physical sports and elaborate word games and puns," according to their obituary.

"They left this world -- much too soon -- the same way they had lived: together, pitting their strength against an enemy that was just too strong -- the cold, wind-driven waters of Lexington Reservoir, on May 5, 2013."

The brothers' funeral is at 10 a.m. at the Bible Church, 440 Frederick St. in Santa Cruz.

San Francisco Bay Area Weather Report

Mostly cloudy skies and patchy fog are likely in the Bay Area this morning. Highs are expected to be in the mid 50s to upper 60s, with westerly winds up to 20 mph.

Partly cloudy skies and patchy fog are likely tonight. Lows are likely to be in the lower 50s, with westerly winds up to 20 mph.

Cloudy skies and patchy fog are expected Saturday morning, becoming sunny later in the day. Highs are likely to be in the upper 50s to mid 70s, with southwest winds up to 20 mph.

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