Tuesday Morning News Roundup

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Fire On Mount Diablo Forces Activities Indoors

A smoke advisory issued because of the Morgan Fire on Mount Diablo has prompted schools and other community services in the area to keep activities indoors.

The Morgan Fire, which started Sunday on Morgan Territory Road near Mount Diablo State Park, southeast of Clayton, has spread to more than 3,718 acres.

As of Monday afternoon it was about 20 percent contained, according to Cal Fire officials. As many as 100 homes are threatened and evacuations have been ordered.

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory Monday morning because of the blaze. The smoke may affect residents in parts of Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties, according to the air district.

Danville city officials announced Monday that outdoor classes and sporting activities would be canceled because of smoky conditions.

Baseball, tennis, softball and bocce ball adult and children's leagues were notified about cancellations, affecting some activities planned for Monday afternoon.

Teen Centers throughout Danville will remain open, however all activities will be kept inside.

City officials encouraged all residents to limit time spent outside as the fire continues to burn.

The Dublin Unified School District notified parents Monday that because of the polluted air from the wildfire, district schools, including Dublin High School, are instituting "rainy day" procedures.

That means that students will not go outside for recess, physical education classes or lunchtime, school officials posted on the district's Facebook page Monday afternoon.

The air district has advised all residents in smoky areas to stay inside, close windows and doors and set air-conditioning units and ventilation systems to re-circulate indoor air.

More information about air quality is available at www.baaqmd.gov.

Man Found Unconscious In Union Square Dies Of Injuries 

A man who authorities initially had trouble identifying after he was found unconscious this weekend near San Francisco's Union Square died Sunday as a result of his injuries, San Francisco General Hospital officials said Monday.

Manuel Gallegos, 43, of Fremont, was found at about 5 a.m. Saturday with head injuries that suggested some sort of fall, hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said.

His identity was initially a mystery, and hospital officials and San Francisco sheriff's deputies released photos of him in his hospital bed and asked for the public's help in learning his name.

After the public outreach, a relative of Gallegos came forward Sunday night and identified him, Kagan said. He died at the hospital that day.

Gallegos will be an organ donor, according to Kagan.

More information on becoming a donor can be found on the California Transplant Donor Network's website at www.ctdn.org.

Man Charged With Killing His Girlfriend In Pacifica

A San Francisco woman who was found dead in Pacifica in May after being reported missing months earlier was allegedly killed by her boyfriend, who made his initial appearance in court on Friday, San Mateo County prosecutors said Monday.

Albert Trejo, 49, of San Bruno, has been charged with murder for the killing of 36-year-old Cecilia Zamora, who was found in the storage area of an apartment complex with a single gunshot wound to the back of her head, according to the district attorney's office.

Trejo did not enter a plea at his initial court hearing on Friday and will return to court on Sept. 16 for the continued arraignment, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, Zamora was last seen on the morning of Feb. 13 with Trejo at their home in San Bruno, where they lived with other people.

Trejo called another one of the residents and sounded like he was crying and made a comment about his gun going off, prosecutors said.

However, when the other residents arrived home, he was doing laundry and told them that he and Zamora had an argument and she left, prosecutors said.

The victim's mother reported her missing a week later, leading to the eventual discovery of her body in Pacifica.

Vallejo Man Arrested After Damaging Richmond Police Vehicles 

A Vallejo man was arrested after he allegedly rammed his car into a Richmond police patrol car, which prompted an officer to fire his service weapon Sunday afternoon, a Richmond police sergeant said.

Around 5:15 p.m. an officer attempted to stop a car for a traffic violation near South 55th Avenue and Santa Clara Avenue, Richmond police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said.

The car's driver, identified later as Rafael Ortega, 23, allegedly refused to stop, Abetkov said.

Near that intersection he allegedly turned his vehicle around and drove into the officer head on. The officer was in a marked patrol vehicle.

Ortega then backed up and appeared to be preparing to ram into the officer a second time, Abetkov said. That is when the officer feared for his life and fired his gun into the car, Abetkov said.

The suspect was not hit and stopped driving. He was taken into custody, Abetkov said.

The rammed police car sustained moderate damage, she said.

The officer was not injured in the incident.

The shooting is being investigated by Richmond police and the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

Volunteer Diver Dies In Search Of Oakland Teenager 

A volunteer diver died in a search for an Oakland teenager who was last seen in the water at Lake Shasta Friday, Shasta County sheriff's officials said.

The search for Robinson Sok, 18, started on Friday around 10:30 a.m. when the teen, who was on a houseboat with friends on the middle part of the McCloud Arm of the lake, attempted to help a friend who had been swimming.

The friend started to struggle and Sok apparently went in to retrieve him when he himself began to struggle and went under water and did not resurface, according to sheriff's officials.

Other friends then tried to find him, however they were unsuccessful and called authorities, officials said.

Because this part of the lake is deep, divers were not initially used and a San Francisco Police Department dive team's remotely operated vehicle and a sonar system were used. However Sok was not found by the end of the day.

On Saturday the search continued but the device became entangled on Saturday night and a salvage diver attempted to retrieve it, according to the sheriff's office.

A sheriff's office dive team member was also in the water as a safety diver, and had to pull the salvage diver out from the water.

Both were taken to hospitals where the salvage diver, identified as Ken Smith, died.

The safety diver, John Zufall, was later flown to Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield where he was placed in a decompression chamber.

Zufall has worked for the sheriff's office for 12 years and been on the dive team for about 10 years.

According to the sheriff's office, he is a certified advanced diver and was a diver in the U.S. Navy.

He is expected to survive.

A friend of Sok's posted on Facebook late Sunday night, "His family is asking if you could offer your time and help them continue their search for Rob. We just want to bring him home."

Richmon Gunshot Victim Dies

A 21-year-old man died Sunday after he was shot in Richmond's Iron Triangle neighborhood late Saturday morning, a Richmond police sergeant said Monday.

Around 11:20 a.m., calls came in and a ShotSpotter activation alerted police about shots fired in the 500 block of Fourth Street, Richmond police Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said.

Officers arrived and found a man lying on the sidewalk suffering from a gunshot wound, she said.

He was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition and was then taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he succumbed to his injuries at 12:20 p.m. Sunday, Abetkov said.

The victim was identified by police as Derrick Wilson, of Richmond.

The suspect was described only as a black man in his 20s wearing a white T-shirt and jeans. He was seen fleeing the area on a BMX bicycle.

Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call Richmond police Detective C. Decious at (510) 621-1747 or the anonymous tip line at (510) 232-TIPS (8477).

Two Oakland Youths To Stand Trial For Murger

A judge Monday ordered two 18-year-old Oakland youths to stand trial on a murder charge in connection with the fatal shooting of an innocent bystander outside the Bay Fair BART station in San Leandro in January.

Prosecutor Mark Melton said the shooting death of 50-year-old Kenneth Lee Seets while he waited for a bus at about 12:20 p.m. on Jan. 19, a sunny Saturday afternoon, occurred because defendants Jabrie Bennett and Andre Smith were both armed with guns and an escalating war of words broke out between the two men and their respective groups of friends.

Melton described the two groups of young people as "armed camps" and blamed Bennett for "pouring gasoline on the premises" and creating a tense environment that led to the shooting.

Melton said Bennett fired the shot that killed Seets but he believes Smith, who didn't know Bennett before the incident, is equally responsible because he lifted his jacket, placed his hand on his gun and walked toward Bennett, prompting Bennett to open fire.

Melton said Smith's movement "was the kind of act that foreseeably may cause someone to act in a dangerous manner."

Although the shooting occurred a short distance outside Oakland's borders, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson agreed with Melton that Smith's conduct was aggressive, saying, "That act in Oakland these days is sufficiently provocative."

Evidence at the three-day preliminary hearing for Bennett and Smith indicated that Bennett, two females and another male were waiting for a bus after they had shopped at the Bayfair Center shopping mall when Smith, his younger brother, who is a juvenile, and another young male also came to the bus area.

BART police Officer Michael Maes said in a probable cause statement that Bennett was carrying a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle in a red duffel bag and Smith had come to the station with a loaded and concealed handgun in his waistband.

Melton said Smith's younger brother also was carrying a gun and the third youth with Smith and his brother was carrying a replica gun.

Alameda County District Attorney Inspector Nicole Elder testified Monday that a witness who was at the bus stop told authorities that a suspect in one of the groups said, "I've got something and I could handle this situation real quick" and a suspect in the other group responded by saying, "We've got something, too, we can handle this situation."

Melton said Bennett fired three shots, fell after he backed into a pole, and then fired seven more shots, one of which struck and killed Seets, who was sitting near Smith.

Smith's younger brother then responded by firing five shots at Bennett's group, Melton said. Smith's brother was prosecuted separately in juvenile court, he said.

Death Of Hayward Man Rulled A Tragic Accident

The death of a Hayward man who fell from a pedestrian overcrossing outside Candlestick Park at the start of the San Francisco 49ers game on Sunday appears to have been a tragic accident, the city's police chief said Monday.

Kevin Hayes, 32, fell from the Jamestown pedestrian walkway shortly before 1:30 p.m., just after the kickoff of the 49ers' season opener against the Green Bay Packers.

The walkway crosses over Jamestown Avenue to allow fans to access the stadium without walking through traffic, police said.

Hayes was with his brother, and multiple witnesses indicated that he may have been intoxicated at the time of the fall, police said. Medical crews responded but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It looks like it was just an accidental fall," police Chief Greg Suhr said. "It just looks like a very sad, tragic accident."

Mayor Ed Lee said he and other city officials are "devastated by the death and want to make sure everything is inspected properly" on the overcrossing.

Lee said the death "certainly marred an otherwise fairly happy day for fans," who saw the 49ers beat the Packers 34-28.

The 49ers released a statement following Hayes' death.

"We would like to express our deepest condolences to the family during this difficult time," the team's statement said.

Two East Bay Legislators Call For Tougher Gun Control Bills 

Two East Bay state legislators Monday called for their colleagues and Gov. Jerry Brown to approve tougher gun control bills before the current legislative session ends later this week.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said the bills are needed because "people are dying on the streets from gun violence," citing the shooting death of a man near Eighth and Page streets in Berkeley at about 5:45 p.m. on Sunday as an example.

Joined by community and religious leaders at a news conference on the steps of the Beebe Memorial Cathedral on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, Skinner said, "Every day we wake up to news about another victim of gun violence."

Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, said, "We're at a very important stage and we need to move the needle to save lives. Oakland is hurting from gun violence."

Bonta and Skinner both called on Gov. Brown, who formerly served as Oakland's mayor, to sign a bill already approved by the state Legislature, Assembly Bill 180, that would pre-empt state law and provide Oakland with additional tools to regulate the registration and licensing of firearms.

Skinner said, "All communities aren't equal" and "some cities don't need their own gun laws" but cities such as Oakland, Richmond and Fresno "need the tools" to have tougher gun registration and licensing laws.

Skinner said she'd like the state Legislature to pass two other gun control measures, which she authored, by the end of the week.

She said AB 48 would ban kits that convert guns into assault-type weapons and make it illegal to buy large-capacity magazines that allow people to fire multiple bullets quickly without reloading.

Skinner said, "Assault weapons have been banned in California for a long time but people can get around that by buying a conversion kit that allows them to take a gun cartridge out and put in a high-capacity magazine."

Skinner said AB 1131 would extend the time period a person who makes a credible threat of violence is prohibited from owning firearms from six months to five years.

She thinks such a ban would prevent tragedies such as a shooting at Oikos University in Oakland in April 2011 in which suspect One Goh is charged with seven counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder for allegedly killing seven people and wounding three others.

A judge suspended legal proceedings against Goh in January and said he's not competent to stand trial after two psychiatrists said he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Motorcycle Crash Victim Identified

Benicia police have identified the motorcycle rider who was killed in a crash last week as 30-year-old Mark Sheppard of Benicia.

Sheppard died in the Sept. 1 crash when the 2013 Kawasaki 656 Ninja he had purchased the day before left Park Road around 9:30 a.m.

The motorcycle was traveling north in the 3000 block of Park Road. It left the roadway along the right shoulder that consists of gravel, shrubs and a shallow ditch, Benicia police Lt. Frank Hartig Jr. said.

The speed limit in that portion of Park Road is 35 mph, and it appears speed was the main contributing factor to the collision, Hartig said.

Sheppard was un-licensed and did not have an endorsement to ride a motorcycle, Hartig said. Investigators will try to determine if Sheppard's inexperience also contributed to the accident, Hartig said.

Sheppard was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash closed Park Road in both directions for more than three hours.

Greenfield Woman Sentanced To Decade In Prison

A Greenfield woman has been sentenced to a decade in prison for felony child endangerment resulting in the death of her 10-month-old son, according to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.

Aracely Mares, 21, knew that her boyfriend, Diego Burgos, was abusing her son Camilo Miramontes, according to prosecutors. Burgos killed the infant on Sept. 5, 2011.

Prosecutors said Burgos repeatedly beat the child, who suffered injuries to his eyes, back, head and legs. The baby died of blunt force trauma to his head.

Burgos was convicted in September 2012 of murdering Camilo, and is serving a sentence of 37 years to life, according to the district attorney's office.

Mares was living with Burgos until Camilo's death and was aware of the abuse, prosecutors said.

On May 29, 2013, Mares pleaded guilty to child endangerment resulting in death, and was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison, according to prosecutors.

Weather Forecast

Mostly cloudy skies and patchy fog are expected in the Bay Area this morning, becoming partly cloudy later in the day. Highs are likely to reach the lower 70s, with southwest winds up to 15 mph.

Partly cloudy skies are expected this evening, with patchy fog after midnight. Lows are likely to be in the upper 50s, with southwest winds up to 20 mph.

Mostly cloudy skies and patchy fog are likely Wednesday morning. Highs are expected to be in the 50s to upper 60s, with southwest winds up to 15 mph.


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