Thursday San Francisco News Roundup
Jail Inmate Dies In Apparent Suicide
An inmate in the San Francisco County Jail died Tuesday evening in an apparent suicide, Sheriff’s Department officials said Wednesday.
Sheriff’s Department officials identified the inmate Wednesday afternoon as Alberto Carlos Petrolino.
Petrolino is 50 years old and does not have a listed city of residence, according to the San Francisco medical examiner’s office.
Petrolino’s family has been notified and an investigation by San Francisco police, the Sheriff’s Department’s Internal Affairs Unit and the San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office is underway, officials said.
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said in a statement Wednesday that he extends his condolences to Petrolini’s family.
Pit Bull Shot After Charging Police Officers Now Recovering From Wound
A 3-year-old pit bull that was shot and injured when he charged at two police officers near San Francisco’s United Nations Plaza on Monday evening is recovering in Animal Care and Control’s custody while a police investigation into the incident is underway.
The dog’s name is Felony Jack and he is a neutered male pit bull with brown and white coloring, according to Deb Campbell at San Francisco Animal Care and Control.
Campbell said Felony Jack has no documented history of violence.
According to police, officers in a marked police car were patrolling the area near Fulton and Hyde streets around 6:45 p.m. on Monday, when they noticed a man with a dog standing on the sidewalk near the Asian Art Museum.
Officers noted that the man was in possession of narcotic paraphernalia.
The officers got out of their patrol car to speak with the man and as officers approached the man, Felony Jack began to charge at the officers, police said.
Felony Jack’s owner did not have control over the dog’s leash as the dog ran toward the officers, police said.
Fearing for their safety, the officers retreated in order to create a distance between them and the dog. One of the officers fired approximately two to three rounds at the dog, grazing Felony Jack’s ear, according to police.
The animal’s owner then gained control of the dog and officers summoned Animal Care and Control to the scene.
Felony Jack was treated for his injury and is being held at the shelter pending a police investigation, Campbell said.
Felony Jack received stitches on his ear and is recovering, Campbell said.
She said the dog is doing well and that there is likely to be a vicious and dangerous dog hearing, at which point the dog’s owner will have a chance to present evidence as to whether the dog is vicious.
Campbell said the hearings are held at San Francisco City Hall every Thursday and can result in a dog being required to wear a muzzle or even being put down.
Felony Jack is also receiving socialization lessons through a program at the shelter, called Fetch.
Air District Board Approves $20M For Caltrain Electrification Project
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District board Wednesday approved $20 million in funding for a Caltrain electrification project expected to greatly reduce emissions and allow for expanded passenger service.
The funding, to be paid out in installments over the next several years, will go toward the electrification of 51 miles of track between San Francisco and San Jose and the replacement of Caltrain’s 29 diesel locomotives with electric models.
The project will allow Caltrain to increase service from the current 92 trains a day to 114 a day, taking additional cars off the road, while reducing emissions by up to 97 percent by 2040, according to a report from Jack Broadbent, executive director of the air district. Caltrain also expects to reduce fuel use by an estimated 3.4 million gallons a year.
“This is one of the most significant air pollution reduction funding projects the Air District has undertaken in recent years,” Broadbent said in a statement Wednesday. “By replacing diesel-powered trains with electric, air quality will be substantially improved for everyone along the Peninsula train corridor.”
Caltrain’s board approved the final Environmental Impact Report in January this year and expects to call for bids from contractors later this year, with service on the electrification project set to start by 2020.
The $1.53 billion project still needs to find $430 million in additional funding. Caltrain spokeswoman Jayme Ackemann said the agency is working to secure that funding from state and federal sources by later this year.
In addition, the Town of Atherton and two advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in February challenging the environmental impact report. The lawsuit claims that the report didn’t adequately study the project’s impact on traffic, station configurations, tree removal and electricity demand, among other issues.
Caltrain had hoped to bypass the lawsuit by asking the federal Surface Transportation Board to find the project was exempt from state environmental review requirements. However, earlier this month the board ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over the project because it is limited to commuter rail operations.
Ackemann said the lawsuit was not expected to prevent the project from moving forward.
Caltrain has seen ridership, which was at 58,000 boardings a day as of February, increase 71 percent in the past five years. Projections show boardings could exceed 100,000 a day by 2040 with the new electrified system in place.
Funding for the $20 million grant to Caltrain comes from a $2 per vehicle motor vehicle registration surcharge collected by the air district.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has committed more than $700 million to the Caltrain electrification project, and the electrified system is designed to be compatible with high-speed rail. However, Ackemann said the authority will need to complete it’s own environmental impact study before it can move forward with any work on the Peninsula.
One Dead, Two Officers Injured In Altercation After Hit-And-Run
One person is dead after allegedly fleeing a crash in San Francisco’s Marina District and then getting into an altercation with police officers and injuring two of them early this morning, police said.
Officers responded around 5:30 a.m. to a call of a fight over a collision that occurred at Richardson Avenue and Francisco Street. While en route, the officers learned that one of the drivers involved in the crash had fled the scene on foot, according to police.
The officers were able to find the suspect in the area of Lombard and Pierce streets. The suspect fought officers as they tried to take him into custody, injuring two officers in the process, police said.
The suspect was eventually taken into custody but stopped breathing. Officers immediately performed CPR, but the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death has not been determined, police said.
The two officers were taken to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, fire officials said.
Prince Tenefrancia, a server at the nearby IHOP restaurant at 2299 Lombard St., said he didn’t hear any gunshots during the incident, but saw emergency responders “trying to do CPR for a while” on the person who later died.
The entire block of Lombard Street was blocked off this morning and employees at IHOP were asked to stay inside during the investigation, Tenefrancia said.
Weather Forecast For The San Francisco Bay Area
Today will be mostly cloudy in the morning before becoming sunny. There could be patches of dense fog in the morning. Highs will be in the 60s to lower 70s. West winds could reach 10 to 20 miles per hour.
Tonight will be partly cloudy in the evening before becoming mostly cloudy. Lows could drop to the upper 50s. West winds could reach 10 to 20 miles per hour.
Friday will be mostly cloudy with a slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs will be in the 60s to lower 70s. Southwest winds could reach 10 to 15 miles per hour.