Tuesday Morning News Roundup
3 Teens Arrested In Mexico In Connection With Windsor Fatal Shooting
Three Santa Rosa teens were arrested in Mexico on Monday morning in connection with a Windsor shooting that killed a 15-year-old boy and injured three others during a birthday party in June, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
Flavio Ramos Caballero and Oscar Gustavo Aguilar, both 17, and 16-year-old Duane Darcell Morgan were found in Sonora, a state in Mexico, and were sent to U.S. authorities who booked them into Pima County Jail in Arizona, Sonoma County sheriff’s Sgt. Cecile Focha said.
They will be extradited to Sonoma County where they will face charges in the murder of Nathaniel Torres at a Windsor home on June 22, Focha said.
Torres lived in Windsor and attended Windsor High School, the sheriff’s office said.
The trio will also face charges for injuring three people ages 17, 21, and 24 in the shooting, according to the sheriff’s office.
A fourth suspect in the case, 21-year-old Santa Rosa resident Sergio Quiroz, was arrested days after the shooting for allegedly being an accessory to murder and is being held in Sonoma County Jail, Focha said.
Investigators are looking into the case as a gang-related shooting, sheriff’s officials said.
Officials from the FBI and Mexico were able to arrest the teens based on information received from Sonoma County detectives, according to Focha.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office investigation bureau at (707) 565-2185.
Amusement Park Enters World Series Wager
With the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals preparing to square off in Game 1 of the World Series today, two amusement parks are looking to join in the fun with a friendly wager.
California’s Great America amusement park in Santa Clara is betting their Giants can best the Kansas City Worlds of Fun’s Royals.
If they do, Frank Wilburn, general manager of Worlds of Fun will pose in a Giants jersey and send photographic proof to Great America. If they don’t, Great America general manager Raul Rehnborg will have to do the same in a Royals jersey.
“We know the Giants are going to represent the Bay Area and Northern California well and bring home their third title in five years,” Rehnborg said in a statement. “We think Frank Wilburn will look great wearing the Giants jersey.”
It’s the first World Series wager for the theme park, Great America spokesman Roger Ross said. Worlds of Fun is one of Great America’s sister parks, Ross said, making the wager all the more enjoyable.
“It’s just a little fun between the parks,” Ross said. “Everyone is getting behind the Giants, and we’ll certainly be rooting for them.”
California’s Great America is one of 11 amusement parks owned and operated by the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, which also operates three outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels, according to the company’s website.
Game 1 of the World Series between the Giants and Royals is scheduled for 5:07 p.m. today at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Vegetation Fire Contained, Spread To 4.5 Acres
Firefighters faced windy conditions as they battled a vegetation fire on a hillside between Concord and Pittsburg on Monday night, a Contra Costa County Fire Protection District official said.
Fire crews responded to a report of a fire east of Driftwood Drive and Evora Road, north of state Highway 4, around 8:30 p.m., Fire Marshal Robert Marshall said.
Fire crews arrived to find 1 acre on fire that quickly spread to about 4 and a half acres, Marshall said.
The blaze was contained about an hour later, he said.
The fire did not threaten structures and no evacuations were called for, according to Marshall.
Cal Fire also responded to the blaze and will be investigating the cause of the fire, Marshall said.
“The wind took away all the moisture put there by the rain this morning,” Marshall said. “Just because we have a little rain doesn’t mean there’s no fire danger.”
2 Brothers Arrested In September Fatal Stabbing
Police said Monday they arrested two brothers in connection with the stabbing death of a man last month in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Police arrested Luis Gutierrez, 21, and Javier Gutierrez, 26, both of San Francisco, on Sunday on suspicion of conspiracy and murder. Police allege the two brothers stabbed Ronnie Goodman, 20, to death on the corner of Capp and 24th streets at 11:49 p.m. on Sept. 9.
The incident took place about a block from the 24th Street BART station.
Goodman was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died from his wounds, police said.
Police released video footage on Thursday from a surveillance camera showing two men running after the stabbing, and received numerous calls from the public, police said.
Witnesses are encouraged to contact the Police Department’s homicide detail at (415) 553-1145 with any additional information. People can submit anonymous tips at (415) 575-4444 or text to TIP411 with “SFPD” at the start of the message.
Sledgehammer Homicide Victim Identified
The Sonoma County coroner’s office has confirmed the identity of the man who was bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer as 64-year-old Simran Khalsa.
Santa Rosa police arrested Khalsa’s son, 33-year-old Angelo Michael Lancaster, also known as Kartar Khalsa, on suspicion of burglary and murder. The slaying occurred in Simran Khalsa’s east Santa Rosa home late Sunday night.
Lancaster will be arraigned this afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court. He is being held under no bail in Sonoma County Jail.
Officers responded to the slaying when Simran Khalsa’s nephew called police around 11:20 p.m., Santa Rosa police Sgt. David Linscomb said.
Simran Khalsa’s body was found in an upstairs bedroom and Lancaster was found hiding in the backyard of the residence in the 600 block of Wright Street, Linscomb said.
Lancaster recently was allowed to move back to the residence and was staying in an apartment attached to the main house on the property, Linscomb said.
Lancaster broke out the glass front door of the residence and entered the main house with a sledgehammer, Linscomb said.
After a short argument, Lancaster strangled his father and bludgeoned him with the hammer, Linscomb said.
Lancaster was angry with his father over an earlier argument, Linscomb said.
The man who reported the incident was not injured.
Two Men Convicted Of 2011 Murder Conspiracy, Third Defendant Acquitted
A jury on Monday found two men guilty of conspiracy to commit murder for a failed plot to kill a member of a rival East Oakland gang in 2011 that led to the shooting of two bystanders, prosecutors said.
Patrick Shields, 31, and Wynn Brewer, 32, were convicted for trying to murder the rival gang member on May 17, 2011, at 35th and Brookdale avenues in East Oakland. Brewer was also convicted of being a felon inpossession with a firearm.
A third defendant, Cyrico Robinson, 27, was acquitted Monday of the same charges. Two other alleged conspirators never stood trial because they were killed by police foiling a second attempt on the target’s life the next day.
Shields and Brewer each face a sentence of 25 years to life in prison when they are sentenced on Dec. 18.
The plot to kill the rival gang member was uncovered by investigators from Oakland police, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Secret Service who were wiretapping the suspects.
Prosecutors said that Shields and Brewer were seeking revenge for a shooting earlier in the month that wounded two of their friends.
Shots were fired at the target near 35th and Brookdale avenues on May 17, 2011, but missed and wounded two women, according to prosecutors.
Shields arranged another attempt on the target’s life in the 3000 block of Curran Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. the next day.
But police arrived and surrounded a car occupied by Brewer, John Sloan, 23, and Davon Jackson, 30, also known as Antoine Jackson.
Prosecutors said Brewer managed to escape when he ran from the car and hid.
Sloan ran from the car and police said he was carrying a gun that he raised toward the officers, who feared for their lives and killed him.
Jackson stayed in the car but refused police commands to raise his hands, prosecutors said. Police shot him thinking he was reaching for a weapon, however no weapon was present.
Brewer, Shields and Robinson remained at large until they were arrested in a large gang sweep in 2012.
Shields, identified as the leader of the conspiracy, argued that there was no murder plot and while admitting to selling marijuana and codeine, said that he had never seen or heard of the victim.
His attorney, William DuBois, argued in his opening statements that the police officers brought the charges only after the families of Sloan and Jackson filed a wrongful death suit for their deaths. That suit is still pending.
1-Alarm Fire Under Control, Four People Displaced
Firefighters have controlled a one-alarm fire Monday afternoon in Oakland, a fire dispatcher said.
Firefighters received the report at 4:35 p.m. of a fire in the 1900 block of 107th Avenue, the dispatcher said.
The blaze was under control about 10 minutes later, according to the dispatcher.
The American Red Cross was called to assist four people displaced by the fire, the dispatcher said.
No injuries were reported.
Sonoma County Man Identified As Victim Of Fatal Crash Near Novato
The Marin County coroner’s office has identified the victim of a solo vehicle crash near Novato Sunday morning as 47-year-old Niles Simpson, of Sonoma County.
Novato police and firefighters responded to the crash in the 800 block of Atherton Avenue east of U.S. Highway 101 around 8:30 a.m.
Simpson, the sole occupant of the vehicle, was found dead inside the car that ran off the road and collided with a tree, Novato police said.
Simpson was not married and had no children, the coroner’s office said.
CHP Identifies Woman Killed In Crash On Saturday
The California Highway Patrol has identified the Napa woman who was killed in a vehicle crash on state Highway 29 in Napa Saturday as 29-year-old Jennifer Anne Bingham.
Bingham was driving a 1991 Jeep Cherokee south on Highway 29 south of Trancas Street in the far left lane around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, CHP Officer Anna Paulson said.
Bingham’s Jeep traveled into the No. 2 lane into the path of a 2002 Audi S6 driven by Donald Lynn Veverka, 66, of Yountville, Paulson said.
The left front of the Audi struck the right side of the Jeep sending the Jeep into the center divide, Paulson said. Bingham’s Jeep overturned and landed on its right side and she suffered fatal injuries, Paulson said.
The crash blocked two lanes for more that two hours, Paulson said.
Veverka, administrator of the Veterans Home in Yountville, was not injured.
Uber, Lyft Get Permits To Operate At Airport
UberX and Lyft will be allowed to operate at San Francisco International Airport in the next 30 days, SFO officials announced Monday.
“We are committed to be an industry leader, creating a roadmap for innovative business models like Lyft and UberX to operate legally in an airport,” airport director John Martin said in a statement Monday. “We’re proud to be the first airport in the U.S. to have both signed permits from both companies. This gives customers at SFO more choice, without compromising our focus on safety and security.”
Lyft was the first company to obtain a permit to operate at a U.S. airport, in Nashville, while Sidecar became the first to get a permit at a California airport when it reached an agreement with SFO last week.
The transportation network companies, in which travelers are connected through a smartphone app with part-time drivers using personal vehicles, were prohibited from picking up or dropping off passengers at airports when the California Public Utilities Commission set new regulations on the companies last year.
SFO began requiring permits in April, but none of the companies actually reached an agreement with the airport until last week. Meanwhile, the airport has issued numerous citations for drivers operating there illegally.
SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said last week that hundreds of verbal admonishments had been issued for drivers using the airport while not permitted and about three dozen misdemeanor citations have been issued for second offenses.
Airport security found some of those drivers did not have proper licenses, insurance or were operating a car that was not their own.
Most of the drivers cited were working for Uber, Yakel said.
The terms of the agreements with Uber and Lyft were not announced Monday, but Yakel said last week that the permits offered for each company were the same.
Sidecar’s permit required a $3.85 fee for each trip to the airport, similar to what taxi and limo services pay, and for the company to track how many drivers were coming into and out of the airport.
Uber and Lyft were mainly in talks to determine how to track the vehicles coming to the airport, Yakel said.
“Lyft will be available throughout all SFO terminals, providing a flexible choice for pick up and drop off for passengers and drivers in our home city,” the company said in a statement Monday.
Police Seeking Sexual Assault Suspect
Police said Monday they are seeking a man who sexually assaulting a woman in a parking lot in Pleasant Hill early Sunday morning.
Officers responded to a report from a woman at 1:30 a.m. on Sunday at 313 Camelback Road. Police said a man pulled the woman to the ground and tried to remove her underwear.
The woman screamed and the suspect ran away, leaving the area on foot, police said. He is described as Hispanic or Indian man, in his mid 20s, about 6 feet tall with a skinny build and short, brown curly hair. He was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt with a blue flower print and gray shorts at the time of the incident, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pleasant Hill Police Department Investigation Division at (925) 228-4630.
Man Charged With Murder For Shooting Outside Nightclub
A man has been charged with murder for a shooting earlier this month outside a downtown Oakland nightclub, prosecutors said Monday.
Billy Shaffer Jr., 30, is accused of shooting and killing 27-year-old Connie Sowels III during a robbery outside of the Bella Ultra Lounge at 11th and Clay streets at about 1:18 a.m. on Oct. 1, according to prosecutors.
Police said the two got into an altercation before the shooting. Sowels was taken to Highland Hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.
Shaffer has also been charged with possessing a firearm as a felon because of a 2010 conviction for possessing a gun he was not registered to own in Sacramento County, prosecutors said.
Shaffer was arrested last Monday after being pulled over for traffic violations. He had a warrant out for his arrest and is currently being held without bail in Glenn Dyer Jail in Oakland, according to jail records.
Pedestrian Killed Today Near Zoo Identified
A pedestrian fatally struck by a car Monday morning near the San Francisco Zoo has been identified by the medical examiner’s office as 87-year-old Louis Van Velzen.
Van Velzen, a San Francisco resident, was walking near Sloat Boulevard and 43rd Avenue when he was struck shortly before 7 a.m. Emergency responders began CPR and transported him to San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
The collision remains under investigation by San Francisco police.
Teen Killed In West Oakland Saturday Identified
Police identified a teen found shot to death in West Oakland early Saturday morning as 17-year-old Breon Coleman.
Coleman was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds at 2:16 a.m. Saturday outside a home in the 800 block of Mead Avenue, a small residential street between Market Street and San Pablo Avenue, police said.
He was pronounced dead a short time later.
Police have not disclosed any possible motive for the shooting and have not announced any suspects or arrests.
Anyone with information about the homicide has been asked to contact Oakland police and may do so anonymously by calling (510) 238-7950 or Crime Stoppers of Oakland at (510) 777-8572.
People with information about this homicide may be eligible for a cash reward through the Crime Stoppers program.
Pedestrian Struck, Injured In Richmond District
A 66-year-old man was hospitalized Monday morning after being struck by a car in San Francisco’s Richmond District, police said.
At around 6:05 a.m., officers responded to the collision reported at the intersection of Geary Boulevard and 10th Avenue. The pedestrian was transported to San Francisco General Hospital with injuries not considered to be life-threatening, according to police.
The woman driver remained at the scene and was ultimately cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian, police said.
The pedestrian incident was the first of two in the city Monday morning. At 6:57 a.m., a man was struck at Sloat Boulevard and 43rd Avenue and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Crash Between Pickup Truck, Box Truck Causes Diesel Spill
A busy San Leandro street near Interstate Highway 880 was shut down for most of Monday morning because of a traffic accident and diesel spill, police said.
A box truck and a pickup truck collided at 8:02 a.m. while heading west on Davis Street near Warden Avenue, just past the freeway, police Lt. Rick DeCosta said.
The box truck’s fuel tank was damaged and started leaking. The driver of the truck continued west on the highway trying to get out of traffic before stopping, DeCosta said.
The road was shut down to clean up the spill between the highway and Doolittle Drive, police said. Police announced just before noon that the road had reopened.
Two people suffered minor injuries in the crash and were taken to a hospital.