San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday Morning News Roundup
Protest Over Fatal Police Shooting Distrupts Oakland City Council Meeting
About 75 people demonstrating a May fatal police shooting temporarily disrupted a meeting of the Oakland City Council Tuesday night, which struggled to continue the meeting as protesters chanted loudly until the victim's father was handed a police report on the shooting.
Family members and activists for 18-year-old Alan Blueford packed the Council Chamber and the foyer outside the chamber for more than an hour after marching several blocks on 12th Street to City Hall demanding that Oakland police release details of Blueford's death in an officer-involved shooting on May 6.
Blueford's parents, Jeralynn and Adam Blueford, said they have wanted answers from the council for the past five months since the shooting about discrepancies in initial findings by police and why police did not provide them with an official report.
"He can't speak for himself," said Jeralynn Blueford, 46, of her son. "I am here to speak for him. This is my baby and you act like it's no big deal. Let's do something to work together, do something please. You act like you don't care. That is hurtful."
But after the family members spoke and the 15-minute open forum had expired, the council attempted to move on with the agenda away from the Blueford shooting.
Demonstrators who were standing at the podium and in the audience refused to leave the chambers and resumed chanting "Justice" and clapped as the council tried to move to the next item on the agenda, honoring a youth poet.
Councilwoman Libby Schaaf said that the poet, Stephanie Yun, asked to be honored at a subsequent meeting due to the rancor.
Adam Blueford, 49, attempted to speak again, but the microphone was shut off. Council President Larry Reid, amid more chanting, tried unsuccessfully to quell the crowd and get them to sit down.
"We have to conduct business," Reid said. "I am asking you to quiet down. If you do not, I will call a recess and have the Council Chambers cleared."
Reid asked for police officers to remove the demonstrators, but Schaaf presented a motion that only those standing and yelling be removed.
Councilwomen Jane Brunner and Desley Brooks then attempted to reason with the still unruly crowd.
"It pains me every time you come here," Brooks said. "Don't just come to shout down a meeting because it accomplishes nothing."
Brooks' remarks seemed to quiet the audience, then they calmed down further when Adam Blueford was handed a new copy of the police report on his son's shooting.
Man Shoots Himself In Head After Hayward Police Respond To Strange Man Wandering Through Neighborhood
A man shot himself in the head after a brief chase with a police officer in a Hayward neighborhood Tuesday afternoon, a Hayward police spokesman said.
Police received calls around 4 p.m. about a strange man unknown to neighbors in a residential area on Montgomery Street north of Simon Street that was walking up driveways and behaving bizarrely, Hayward police Lt. Roger Keener said.
Before officers arrived neighbors said the man may have a gun, according to Keener.
An officer found the suspect wandering, but when the suspect spotted the officer he started running away.
A short chase ensued and the officer heard a gun shot, Keener said. The officer then came upon the suspect down on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head.
Medical personnel were called to the scene where the man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Keener said the man was breathing but unresponsive.
Investigators found a firearm next to the man, Keener said.
San Jose Police Seeking Man Who Went Missing On September 18
Police are trying to locate a San Jose man who disappeared after driving away on his motorcycle two weeks ago.
Eric Dean Garcia, 32, also known as "Pee-Ka" was last seen at 11:45 p.m. on Sept. 18 near Vine and Goodyear streets.
Police said Garcia was at a party in the neighborhood when he received a phone call and told his friends he would be right back. He then took off on his motorcycle, a black 1985 FLT-model Harley Davidson, and didn't return.
Police Officer Albert Morales said police do not believe any foul play is involved, and that Garcia likely either voluntarily disappeared or possibly suffered a medical problem.
Christina Johnson, Garcia's sister-in-law, said that Garcia has a serious heart condition affecting his left ventricle and takes beta blockers along with other medications every day.
Johnson said that Garcia left his medication at home the day he disappeared.
Johnson also acknowledged that Garcia "has some known affiliations" with motorcycle clubs.
"He's a very social person. He's always on his phone. He's always talking to people. He's got friends and family literally everywhere. Garcia is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing 350 pounds. He has a Harley Davidson symbol tattooed on the back of his head, police said.
Police said Garcia was wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt, a black leather biker vest, and black-and-white Vans shoes the last time he was seen.
The license plate of Garcia's bike is 18W5272.
San Jose police are asking anyone with information about Garcia's whereabouts to call police at (408) 277-4786.
Ex-Boyfriend Talks Of His Ups And Downs With Accused Killer Giselle Esteban At Trial
The defense lawyer for murder defendant Giselle Esteban questioned her ex-boyfriend Tuesday about the ups and downs of their 10-year-long relationship, which includes the birth of a child nearly seven years ago.
In her questions of Scott Marasigan, defense attorney Andrea Auer seemed to be trying to support her contention in her opening statement Monday in Esteban's trial that Esteban did not plan to kill nursing student Michelle Le in May 2011 but instead snapped as a result of "extreme provocation and heat of passion."
Le, a 26-year-old San Mateo woman who was attending Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, disappeared from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hayward on May 27, 2011. A highly-publicized search ensued for nearly four months until her decomposed body was found in a remote area between Pleasanton and Sunol on Sept. 17, 2011.
Esteban, a 28-year-old Union City woman who attended high school with Le in San Diego and had been a close friend, was charged with Le's murder on Sept. 8, 2011, -- before Le's body was found -- based on DNA evidence and cellphone records.
Prosecutor Butch Ford alleged in his opening statement that Esteban killed Le out of "jealousy, hatred and rage" because she blamed Le for wrecking her relationship with her daughter's father, Scott Marasigan.
Marasigan, 28, said Tuesday that he met Esteban in the fall of 2002 when they both were freshmen at San Francisco State University and Esteban introduced him to Le, who was a student at San Jose State University.
He said he dated Le for about a month in the spring of 2003 but they broke up after about a month, although they remained friends and continued to see one another periodically.
Marasigan testified on Monday that he never had sex with Le, either during their month-long dating relationship or at any later time.
He said Tuesday that Esteban was "irate" at him when she learned that Le had confided to him at a party in 2005 that she was pregnant and was planning to have an abortion.
Esteban was also pregnant at the time and ultimately gave birth to the couple's daughter on Oct. 31, 2005.
Marasigan said he and Esteban had "some discussions about whether I slept with Michelle" but he denied Esteban's allegations that he'd had an affair with Le.
Scott Wiener Proposes Further Bans On Public Nudity In San Francisco
Nudists may soon have to butt out of a popular plaza in San Francisco's Castro District under legislation proposed Tuesday by a city supervisor.
At Tuesday afternoon's board meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener proposed to prohibit the display of genitals and buttocks in plazas and parklets in the city, as well as on sidewalks, streets and public transit.
Wiener said he had hesitated to introduce the legislation for a while, but felt it was necessary after an increasing amount of nudists created "an ad hoc nudist colony" at Jane Warner Plaza in the Castro.
He said, "Our neighborhood has had a general tolerance" for the nudists, but their numbers have gone "well beyond what is acceptable" and "public opinion in our neighborhood has shifted."
The legislation would not apply to street fairs and parades like Folsom Street Fair and the Pride Parade, nor the city's beaches, which are under federal jurisdiction, Wiener said.
Violations would cost $100 for the first offense and $200 for the second, with rising penalties for each additional offense within a year.
Violators would not be required to register as a sex offender.
Mayor Ed Lee, speaking at a separate event Tuesday, said he approved of Wiener's proposal.
"We'll hear some criticisms about it because we're a city that enjoys the freedom to do everything, but there should be a balance," Lee said.
This is the second piece of legislation Wiener has proposed to address public nudity in San Francisco.
Last year, the board approved legislation that banned nudity in restaurants and outlawed sitting on benches or other public seating without first placing clothing or other material atop the seat first.
State law only bans "lewd" behavior, which courts have interpreted to exclude simple nudity, according to Wiener's office. Other Bay Area cities, including Berkeley and San Jose, have already enacted similar public nudity bans, he said.
Redwood City Construction Company Fined $78,000 For Illegal Dumping That Caused Explosion
A Redwood City construction company that illegally disposed of explosive toxic materials in a Dumpster last year has been fined nearly $78,000 in environmental and workplace violations, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.
Pellarin Construction Group, a commercial home design and construction business located at 1520 Main St., fully cooperated with the investigation and the resolution of the civil complaint, which was filed in July, according to the district attorney's office.
On Dec. 26, 2011, workers for the company had been assigned to conduct property improvements at its Redwood City facility, including preparing the building for painting.
The workers came across five plastic containers filled with various hazardous materials, including hydrochloric acid, drain cleaner, sulfuric acid, and ammonia.
The containers, some of which had been stored at the facility for more than 10 years, were thrown into the company's Dumpster.
On Jan. 3, two Recology garbage collectors emptied the Dumpster into a garbage truck, and when they attempted to compress the materials, they caused an explosion that emitted a toxic white cloud, according to the complaint.
The workers immediately experienced difficulty breathing, prolonged coughing and eye pain.
The two workers and a supervisor who responded to the scene were all temporarily hospitalized.
Four businesses on Main Street were evacuated as a hazardous materials team investigated the incident.
The civil complaint alleged that Pellarin Construction violated environmental protection and workplace safety laws, including the disposal of hazardous waste at an unauthorized point.
The $77,878.20 fine covers civil penalties as well as reimburses emergency response costs, according to the district attorney's office.
Man Accused Of Abducting 9-Year-Old Girl From San Mateo School Bathroom Now Connected To Incident At Daly City Elementary School
A San Francisco man charged with abducting a 9-year-old girl from a bathroom at an elementary school in San Mateo last month has been charged with 10 additional felonies in connection with an incident that took place at a Daly City school earlier this year, the district attorney said.
Bradley Mrazek, 25, standing in red inmate clothes behind glass, appeared briefly in San Mateo County Superior Court Tuesday afternoon when the new charges were announced.
Mrazek has been identified as a man who allegedly entered a bathroom at George Washington Elementary School in March and tried to take pictures of girls using the facilities, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
The girls heard clicking noises coming from a stall and reported it to a teacher, Wagstaffe said.
When the teacher entered the bathroom and ordered the person to come out, a male suspect ran out of the facility, Wagstaffe said.
Mrazek is already a suspect in a series of bizarre events that occurred at various elementary and middle schools in San Mateo on Sept. 21, according to the district attorney's office.
Mrazek allegedly trespassed on three different campuses, culminating with the abduction at Parkside Elementary School.
The suspect walked into the Parkside girl's bathroom and grabbed a nine-year-old student, covered her mouth with his hand, and carried her off campus, Wagstaffe said.
The girl was able to fight off her abductor by kicking him and throwing rocks, and she ran back to the school campus and immediately reported the incident.
Police responded and identified Mrazek as a possible suspect in two incidents that occurred at other schools earlier the same day, Wagstaffe said.
At Bayside STEM Academy -- a middle school in San Mateo -- Mrazek allegedly trespassed on campus and made contact with as many as four students, making lewd comments to two girls and offering alcohol to two boys, Wagstaffe said.
The suspect is also believed to have trespassed at Horrall Elementary School, where he was escorted off campus by an administrator.
Mrazek was arrested on Sept. 22.
He now faces a total of 18 separate charges, including child molestation, kidnapping, child annoyance, attempting to possess child pornography and offering alcohol to a minor, Wagstaffe said.
He is due back in court on Oct. 10 to enter a plea.
San Francisco Bay Area Weather Report
Sunny skies are expected in the Bay Area this morning. Highs are likely to be in the mid 70s with southwest winds up to 20 mph in the afternoon.
Partly cloudy skies are likely this evening, becoming cloudy later in the night, with patchy fog rolling in after midnight. Lows are expected to be in the mid 50s, with southwest winds up to 20 mph.
Mostly cloudy skies and patchy fog are expected Thursday morning.
Highs are likely to be in the lower 60s, with southwest winds up to 20 mph.
Paid for by Phil Ting for Assembly 2012. FPPC ID# 1343137