Tuesday Morning News Roundup
Two Drivers Arrested For Dui And Child Endangerment Since Saturday
Two drivers with children in their vehicles were arrested since Saturday for DUI and child endangerment, a California Highway Patrol officer said.
They were among 31 drivers who were arrested for DUI between Saturday and Monday, and half of those arrested were repeat offenders, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.
Manuel Celestino, 30, of Santa Rosa, was pulled over around 4:45 p.m. Saturday when he drove through a stop sign at Leo Drive and West Avenuein the Roseland area of southwest Santa Rosa, Sloat said.
Celestino was given a DUI evaluation and found to be more than three times over the legal limit of intoxication, Sloat said. He was arrested for DUI and child endangerment because his 3-year-old son was in his Honda Civic, Sloat said.
The boy’s mother responded to the scene and took the child, Sloat said.
The CHP responded to Mark West Springs Road near Lavell Road north of Santa Rosa at 1:10 a.m. Monday, Sloat said.
A Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy stopped a Ford Expedition driven by Heriberto Ramos, 32, of Healdsburg, who was weaving the vehicle on Mark West Springs Road, Sloat said.
The CHP evaluated Ramos for intoxication and found his wife and two children, ages 1 and 3, in the car, Sloat said.
Ramos was arrested for DUI, driving without a license and child endangerment, Sloat said.
Patient Suspected Of Having Ebola Virus Found To Not Meet Criteria For Disease
A patient who was possibly at risk for the Ebola virus was admitted to a Marin County hospital Monday morning and later found to not have the disease, hospital officials announced.
The patient arrived to Marin General Hospital in Greenbrae and was placed in an isolation room of the intensive care unit, according to hospital officials.
The patient was later found to not meet the criteria of Ebola after an assessment by nurses and doctors, who had reached out to county and state health officials, hospital spokeswoman Jaime Maites said.
The nurses and doctors followed protocol set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hospital spokeswoman Hatti Hamlin said.
The hospital enforced its incident command center system and took precautionary measures to protect its staff and visitors as they cared for the patient, according to hospital officials.
Maites and Hamlin did not know if the patient was released and did not have further information available Monday evening.
Ebola is a potentially deadly virus that has spread in West African countries, CDC officials said.
There have been two confirmed cases of Ebola so far in the U.S. A person who traveled from West Africa to Dallas, Texas was confirmed to have the illness on Sept. 30 and died on Wednesday, while a health care worker who aided the person tested positive for the disease on Friday and is in isolation, according to the CDC.
Symptoms of Ebola include a fever of more than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, a severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea and vomiting, CDC officials said.
The Marin County Health and Human Services Department has said the risk of anyone having the disease is relatively low in the county and has response plans prepared in the event of an Ebola case in the area.
Those who have traveled to countries affected by the disease will have their temperatures taken once they arrive at airports across the U.S., county health officials said.
Woman Killed In Hit-And-Run Collision, Suspect Vehicle Remains At Large
A pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run collision with a car in east San Jose on Monday night, a police spokesman said.
Officers responded to a report of a female struck by a car in the area of McKee Road and North 33rd Street near Anne Darling Elementary School shortly before 8 p.m., San Jose police Officer Albert Morales said.
Arriving officers found a woman in the middle of the street suffering from major injuries, Morales said.
She was transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later, according to Morales.
The suspect vehicle, described as a light-colored SUV, was last seen traveling west on McKee Road and did not return to the scene of the collision, Morales said.
Gunfire Heard During Fight Sunday Night, No Injuries Reported
Shots were fired during a fight in Union City Sunday night but it appears no one was injured, police said.
Officers responded to Fourth and D streets shortly after 8 p.m. after reports of a fight and gunfire, police said.
Witnesses had seen several people fighting in the streets there and heard two rounds fired from a small caliber handgun, according to police.
But by the time officers arrived, they had all run from the area and weren’t found. Officers found two shell casings in the area.
No victims turned up at area hospitals and witnesses were unable to provide specific descriptions of the suspects, police said.
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call investigators at (510) 675-5247.
Driver That Fatally Struck Pedestrian Cooperating With Investigation
The driver of a car that fatally struck a pedestrian in Santa Rosa on Monday afternoon is cooperating with investigators, a police sergeant said.
Officers responded to a report of a collision in the area Mendocino Avenue and Benton Street around 2:50 p.m., Santa Rosa police Sgt. Mike Numainville said.
Arriving officers found the collision on northbound lanes of Mendocino Avenue south of Benton Street, where the pedestrian was pronounced dead by paramedics, Numainville said.
The driver, a 73-year-old Santa Rosa man, stayed at the scene and was cooperative with police, according to Numainville.
The pedestrian’s name has not been released pending notification of next of kin, the sergeant said.
An investigation into the collision closed Mendocino Avenue between Benton Street and College Avenue, police said.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Santa Rosa police at (707) 543-3636.
Woman, Man Wounded In Separate Shootings This Morning
A woman was critically injured in a shooting on International Boulevard in Oakland on Monday morning and hours later a man was shot about 10 blocks away, according to police.
The woman was found suffering a gunshot wound in the 9200 block of International Boulevard at about 7 a.m., police said. She was taken to a hospital and was in critical but stable condition Monday afternoon.
At 11:44 a.m., police found a shooting victim in the 1700 block of 62nd Avenue. The victim was taken to a hospital in stable condition and investigators learned that he had been shot in the 8200 block of International Boulevard, according to police.
There was another shooting that killed a woman and injured a man early Monday morning. The two were found shot in a crashed car at about 1:30 a.m. in the 900 block of 69th Avenue, police said.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene while the man was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
The three shootings Monday morning capped a violent weekend in Oakland.
Another victim was critically injured in a shooting at about 8 a.m. Sunday in the 7300 block of International Boulevard, and at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday one person was killed and two more were wounded in a shooting in the 1200 block of 83rd Avenue.
Police have not announced arrests in any of the shootings. Anyone with information about the shootings has been asked to call Oakland police at (510) 238-3426.
Elderly Driver Dies, Pedestrian In Hospital After Morning Collision
An elderly driver has died and a pedestrian is in the hospital after a collision in Pleasant Hill on Monday morning, police said.
The elderly woman was driving on Contra Costa Boulevard near Taylor Boulevard around 11 a.m. when she lost control of her car driving onto the sidewalk, knocking over signs and hitting a young man holding a bicycle, Pleasant Hill police Sgt. Dave Downs said.
He said the woman suffered “significant injuries” and was given emergency care at the scene before being transferred to a hospital, police said. She was later pronounced dead.
Downs said the pedestrian hit by the woman’s car suffered “significant injuries to his lower extremities” and was rushed to a hospital for treatment.
Police are investigating what led up to the collision, including the possibility that the driver suffered a medical emergency before losing control of her vehicle.
Demon-Named SF Native Found With Skeletons In Backyard Of North Carolina Home
A San Francisco native named for a Mesopotamian demon has been accused of murdering two people and burying them in shallow graves in the backyard of his North Carolina home, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Pazuzu Illah Algarad, 35, and his wife Amber Nicole Burch, 24, were arrested on Oct. 5 at their home at 2749 Knob Hill Drive in Clemmons, North Carolina where sheriff’s investigators served a search warrant and discovered the skeletal remains of two men.
Algarad, according to his Facebook profile, was a San Francisco native and attended Sonoma Valley High School.
The two victims were identified by the sheriff’s office Monday as Joshua Fredrick Wetzler and Tommy Dean Welch.
Wetzler and Welch were both reported missing in 2009. Wetzler’s car was found abandoned in Winston-Salem sometime around his 32nd birthday in March of that year. Welch disappeared while walking from his brother’s house to his own home in October, when he was 31.
A third suspect, identified as Krystal Nicole Matlock, 28, of Winston-Salem, was also arrested in connection with the crime and accused of being an accessory after the fact to murder. She was booked into the county jail under $250,000 bail.
Algarad and Burch are each charged with one count of murder and one count of accessory after the fact to murder, according to the sheriff’s office. They were both booked into jail without bail.
Three Suspects Carjack Woman’s Kia Sunday Evening
Three males carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint Sunday and forced the female driver to stay in the vehicle as they drove it for several blocks in Dixon, police said.
The 28-year-old woman was stopped at the curb in the 1000 block of West F Street around 6 p.m. when three or four males approached her dark gray 2008 Kia Sportage, police said.
The suspects demanded the vehicle at gunpoint and drove several blocks before releasing the woman on the side of the road, police said.
The armed suspect is described as a Hispanic man in his 20s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and approximately 130 pounds, police said. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt at the time of the incident.
The other two suspects were a black male and a Hispanic male in their late teens to early 20s, police said.
Witnesses reported seeing a black man in his 20s associating with the three suspects but it’s not believed he entered the Kia, police said.
The Kia’s California license plate is 6DTG248, and it was last seen on Yardley Drive and Jeffrey Lane, according to police.
Anyone with information is asked to call Dixon police at (707) 678-7070.
Mayoral Candidates All Support Police Funding Measure
Oakland’s top mayoral candidates may not agree on many things, but on Monday they all agreed that they support a measure on the November ballot that would extend a parcel tax that primarily funds more police officers and community violence prevention programs.
Speaking at a news conference at Measure Z’s headquarters, City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf warned that a “no” vote on the measure would “roll back public safety” because the city would lose funding for 50 officers next year.
Measure Z, which needs a two-thirds majority to win approval, would continue a current $100-a-year parcel tax and an 8.5 percent parking tax that raises about $24 million a year for 10 years.
In addition to paying for police officers and violence programs, the measure would continue to help fund firefighting and other emergency response services.
The Oakland Police Department had 837 officers six years ago but dropped to the low 600s earlier this year and now has about 700 officers.
Measure Z would call for Oakland to maintain a minimum of at least 678 police officers.
City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan said Measure Z “doesn’t increase taxes and preserves vital services.”
Summing up the feeling of all of the mayoral candidates who spoke in favor of the measure on Monday, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said, “We all agree on Measure Z.”
College professor and political commentator Joe Tuman said he supports the measure but he wishes that it guaranteed more than 678 officers.
Former business executive and Port of Oakland commissioner Bryan Parker said he agrees that Oakland needs more than 678 officers and said if he’s elected, he would enact an economic growth program that would allow the city to fund at least 800 officers.
Oakland attorney and community activist Dan Siegel, another mayoral candidate, didn’t attend the news conference on Monday but Measure Z officials said he also supports the measure.
Measure Z supporters Bruce Nye of the grassroots group Make Oakland Better said the level of 678 police officers that’s called for in the measure is “only the floor” and supporters would like the city to eventually have about 925 officers.
Measure Z opponents say in their ballot statement that the measure “does not fund guarantee a single additional officer” and “will do nothing to improve public safety.”
Body Found In Petaluma River Saturday Night
Petaluma police said a deceased man was found in the Petaluma River north of Payran Street Saturday night.
Police and firefighters responded around 11:40 p.m., but it was difficult to access and remove the body until Sunday morning, Sgt. Ed Crosby said.
Police have made a preliminary identification of the man but will not release it or a cause of death until an autopsy and notification of the next of kin, Crosby said.
Police Id Driver Arrested In Suspected Dui Crash That Killed Pedestrian
Palo Alto police have identified a man arrested in a suspected drunken-driving collision that killed a pedestrian Monday morning as 19-year-old Miguel Zaragoza Torres.
Torres, of Sunnyvale, was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI and misdemeanor driving without a license, Palo Alto police Lt. Zach Perron said.
At 6:15 a.m. Monday, a caller reported a collision in the 2000 block of East Bayshore Road, where police found a man lying dead on the roadway, according to Perron.
Torres, the driver of a 2007 Nissan Maxima, remained at the scene and cooperated with officers, Perron said.
Investigators determined the vehicle was traveling south on East Bayshore when it went off the road and struck a power pole, rolled over and came to rest in the roadway. Police have not determined where exactly the pedestrian was when the car struck him.
The Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office has not yet released the name of the pedestrian.
House Fire Knocked Down Sunday Night
Firefighters knocked down a garage fire in Hercules on Sunday night before it had the chance to spread, a fire battalion chief said Monday.
Firefighters responded to a report of a fire at 11:27 p.m. Sunday at a three-story townhouse with an attached rear garage at 1369 Sycamore Ave., Pinole Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Akre said.
Upon arrival, firefighters found smoke emanating from the front door of the home. Two residents had already evacuated and told firefighters the smoke was coming from the garage.
Engine crews located the blaze, which Akre said was partially contained by a residential sprinkler system. Crews were able to extinguish the fire, which Akre said was caused by improper disposal of smoking materials, and cleared the scene by 12:20 a.m., the battalion chief said.
No other homes were damaged in the fire and no injuries were reported. Initial estimates indicated the blaze caused $5,000 in damage. The residents were able to return to their home after fire crews cleared the scene.
“It’s a testament to the residential sprinkler system as well as the quick response by the fire department and public safety officials,” Akre said.
Rodeo-Hercules, Pinole, Contra Costa County, El Cerrito and Crockett-Carquinez firefighters responded to the blaze.
Plane With Cabin Pressurization Problem Makes Emergency Landing
An American Airlines flight made an emergency landing at San Francisco International Airport on Monday afternoon because of a cabin pressurization problem, flight officials said.
A Boeing 757 that departed from SFO to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had to turn around and return to the airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The plane safely landed at about 2:15 p.m. and taxied to the gate, Gregor said. No one was injured, SFO officials said.
The FAA will work with the airline to determine the problem before the plane flies again, Gregor said.
Events Planned For First Anniversary Of Andy Lopez Killing
Sonoma County residents are preparing several events to mark the one-year anniversary of the killing of 13-year-old Andy Lopez by a county sheriff’s deputy on Oct. 22, 2013.
Community members planned to attend a 6 p.m. meeting Monday in Santa Rosa of the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force, which was established by the county Board of Supervisors following the shooting of Andy by Deputy Erick Gelhaus, who believed the airsoft rifle the teen was carrying was an AK-47 rifle.
At Monday’s evening’s meeting, the Sonoma County Community Oversight of Police Practices — a community group created following Andy’s death – were expected to give a presentation on the need for community policing and oversight of law enforcement policies, protocol and citizens complaints.
The group is calling for a community oversight board with the power to fully investigate critical incidents and complaints about law enforcement and to develop policies regarding recruitment, hiring, training and promotion of law enforcement officers.
The group also is calling for public oversight and control of the amount of military equipment and supplies held by local law enforcement.
A gathering is planned Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Moorland and West Robles avenues south of Santa Rosa where Andy was shot. Community members will share their thoughts and feelings about the shooting and bilingual grief counselors will be available.
At a meeting Wednesday evening on the Town Green in Windsor, a space will be reserved on an altar being prepared for the Day of the Dead celebration on Nov. 1.
On Saturday, there will be a cleanup event at the vacant lot where Andy was killed in preparation for the anniversary celebration. Community members want the county to establish a memorial park on the site.
A demonstration is planned on the morning of Oct. 21 at the Sonoma County Courthouse. Community members will speak about the killing and its effect on them at 2 p.m. during the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meeting.
Members of the Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez and others plan to carpool to the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento on Oct. 22 at a nationwide Day Against Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration protest. They will return to Moorland and West Robles avenues at 5 p.m. for a potluck and vigil, according to organizers.
SF Resident Identified As Fisherman Who Drowned Sunday
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office has identified a fisherman who drowned on Sunday afternoon when he was swept by waves into the ocean at the Marin Headlands as 61-year-old Jimmy Shing Chiu of San Francisco.
The U.S. Coast Guard and National Park Service said an onlooker called 911 around 12:25 p.m. Sunday to report two fishermen were swept from some rocks into the water.
One of the fishermen was able to climb on some rocks far from shore where he was rescued by a Coast Guard boat.
A Coast Guard helicopter located Chiu, who was unresponsive but had a pulse. Despite receiving CPR from emergency responders, Chiu died after he was taken to shore, Coast Guard Command Duty Officer Joe Ford said.
A Mandarin interpreter was called to the scene to communicate with the other fisherman.
Ford said sneaker waves were catching people off-guard. A high surf advisory was in effect at beaches between Monterey Bay and the North Bay over the weekend.
Napa Grower Takes Home Prize For Heaviest Pumpkin At Weigh-Off
A Napa pumpkin grower has won this year’s Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off with a massive gourd weighing in at 2,058 pounds, according to event organizers.
John Hawkley is walking away from Monday’s weigh-off with more than $13,000 in prizes after entering the giant pumpkin, which shattered the record for North America’s heaviest gourd but fell short of the world record by just 44 pounds.
The unnamed pumpkin outweighed the second-place winner from Walnut Grove grower Rob Globus by 318 pounds and the third-place winner from fellow Napa grower Gary Miller by 665 pounds, according to event spokesman Tim Beeman.
“My feet aren’t touching the ground,” a stunned Hawkley said a short time after winning the weigh-off, which organizers said drew hundreds of people to downtown Half Moon Bay on Monday morning.
Hawkley, a production manager at the Napa Valley Register, said he gave up weekends and days off of work to tend to his award-winning pumpkin, which grew alongside five other enormous gourds in his patch this year.
While the Register’s printing press and offices were heavily damaged in the 6.0-magnitude earthquake that shook Napa in August, Hawkley’s pumpkins were left untouched by the temblor, he said.
“We were worried about them bouncing around but after the earthquake we could see the vines were still attached to the pumpkins,” he said, noting that soft spots or holes can disqualify a grower from the weigh-off competition.
A soft spot disqualified Santa Rosa-area grower Russ Pugh’s 1,828-pound behemoth Monday morning, according to Beeman.
Pugh said before the weigh-off that the pumpkin was the largest he’s ever entered into a competition, despite water restrictions due to this year’s drought.
Event organizers said the drought played a role in this year’s competition, since California growers dealt with water restrictions. In many cases, growers decided to plant fewer pumpkins in order to comply with the restrictions, Beeman said.
Monday morning’s weigh-off kicked off a week of events culminating in this weekend’s Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival — a pumpkin-themed celebration that includes a Great Pumpkin parade, pie-eating and costume contests, pumpkin carving and a plethora of gourd-infused food and drink options.
Festival attendees can get an up-close look at Hawkley’s award-winning pumpkin as well as the four next-heaviest pumpkins from the weigh-off, which will all be on display.
A full listing of Pumpkin Festival events can be found at pumpkinfest.miramarevents.com.
Police Identify Girl, Man Who Died In Shooting At Restaurant
Watsonville police on Monday identified a 4-year-old girl and 33-year-old man who were killed and another man who was wounded in a shooting late Friday at a restaurant and motel in central Watsonville.
The girl was Jaelyn Zavala and the man who died was Ramon Rendon, both of Watsonville, according to police Lt. Jorge Zamora.
The wounded man is 26-year-old Emanuel Hernandez, who was hospitalized with injuries not considered life-threatening.
All three of the victims were struck by bullets fired during a fight involving multiple people late Friday at the Fish House Bar and Grill at 972 Main St. and Valley Inn Motel at 970 Main St. in Watsonville, police Chief Manny Solano said.
Police found Jaelyn and Hernandez inside the restaurant and discovered Rendon sprawled on the ground outside the motel, police said.
Watsonville police and officers with the Santa Cruz County Gang Task Force answered a report at 11:55 p.m. Friday about people fighting at the restaurant with a weapon involved, according to police.
Officers arrived and heard a number of gunshots and saw several people run from a chaotic scene where the girl and the two men lay with gunshot wounds, police said.
Jaelyn and Hernandez appeared to have been shot while caught in the crossfire in the back office of the restaurant, police said.
The wounded girl was transported to Watsonville Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, Solano said.
Rendon died at the scene, according to police.
Two suspects, men ages 31 and 20, tried to run from the scene but after a lengthy chase, officers caught them and arrested both on suspicion of murder, police said.
Police have not yet officially released the names of the suspects or what they believe was the motive in the shooting.