Tuesday Midday News Roundup
SF Cable Car Conductor Struck by Minivan Suffered Serious Injuries
A San Francisco cable car conductor was seriously injured when a minivan struck him in the city’s Nob Hill neighborhood on Monday, police and Municipal Railway officials said today.
The 53-year-old conductor was hit at about 10:35 a.m. Monday in the 1100 block of Powell Street, police said.
He had gotten off of a Powell/Mason cable car and was struck while walking alongside it to help maneuver it on the tracks between Washington and Jackson streets and to assist passengers who were getting off of the cable car, Muni spokesman Robert Lyles said.
The conductor suffered a broken leg, broken ribs and bleeding to the liver and is expected to be hospitalized for at least a week. Police classified the injuries as life-threatening, but Lyles said the conductor is expected to survive.
The 42-year-old man driving the minivan stopped at the scene. Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza today said he did not know whether the driver will face a citation for the crash.
Lyles said Muni investigators are working with police to determine the cause of the crash. No other information about the case was immediately available this morning, he said.
Man Shot, Killed Near Crocker Amazon Playground Identified
A man who was shot and killed near San Francisco’s Crocker Amazon Playground late last month was identified by the medical examiner’s office today as 30-year-old Carlos Ruben Banegas-Nunez.
Banegas-Nunez was found shot just before 8 p.m. on March 28 near the corner of Geneva Avenue and Moscow Street, according to police.
He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital but died a short time later.
Investigators are looking for a single suspect in the shooting but have not located him as of this morning, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.
Banegas-Nunez’s death was the third homicide in the area of the playground in March. Kenyatta Butler Jr., 18, of San Leandro, and 19-year-old Donzel Gaines, of San Francisco, were both shot and killed there the morning of March 9.
Two 21-year-old men, Davante Robinson and Gregory Morton III, have been arrested and charged in that slaying, but Banegas-Nunez’s killer remains at large.
Anyone with information about the homicide has been asked to call San Francisco police at their anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a text message to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the body of the message.
Two Teens Arrested After Stabbing and Robbery, Victim Still in Hospital
Two teenagers were arrested after police found a strong-arm robbery victim who’d been stabbed in San Francisco’s Portola neighborhood on the evening of March 27.
The incident was reported that day at roughly 7 p.m. in the 300 block of Wayland Street. Responding officers found a 66-year-old man with stab wounds to the chest, abdomen and wrist, police said.
Police say the victim is recovering, but he still remains hospitalized with life-threatening wounds.
During a canvass of the surrounding area, two teenagers matching the suspect descriptions were located and one of them was allegedly in possession of a knife, according to police.
Deandre Gipson, an 18-year-old San Francisco resident, was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide, robbery, conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to police.
A 17-year-old boy was also arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide, robbery and conspiracy. His identity is being withheld because he is a juvenile, according to police.
Anyone with additional information about the attack is urged to call Sgt. Marty Bandvik with the San Francisco Police Department’s Bayview Station investigation team at (415) 671-2300. Anonymous tips can be called in to (415) 575-4444 or texted to TIP411 with SFPD at the beginning of the message.
Firefighter Suffers Head Injury After Falling Down in North Beach Restaurant Fire
A firefighter was injured at the scene of a restaurant fire in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood this afternoon, according to fire officials.
The incident was reported at 2:42 p.m. in a restaurant located in a mixed-use building at 1416 Powell St., San Francisco fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge.
The firefighter lost consciousness, fell down and hit his head, according to Talmadge.
He was transported to a hospital for medical treatment, she said.
An update on his condition was not immediately available this afternoon.
Initial reports indicated that the kitchen’s flue had been the source of the fire, but those reports were later updated to show that the fire was caused by a steam generator, according to Talmadge.
“It was in the flue, but the cause was from a steam generator,” Talmadge said.
The fire was contained at 3:10 p.m. Damage estimates were not immediately available this afternoon, according to Talmadge.
Former Art.com Executive Charged with Price Fixing in Online Poster Sales
A former e-commerce executive has agreed to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in San Francisco to colluding with competitors to fix the prices of posters sold through the Amazon Marketplace, U.S. Department of Justice officials said today.
David Topkins reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors to pay a $20,000 fine and cooperate with the ongoing Justice Department investigation into anti-competitive practices in online poster sales in exchange for his guilty plea, according to the Justice Department.
The Justice Department charged Topkins today with working with competitors to fix the prices of the certain posters sold through Amazon Marketplace, an online market for third-party sellers, between September 2013 and January 2014.
The charges do not name Topkins’ company, but at the time he was employed by the Emeryville-based Art.com after the online art retailer acquired Topkins’ Poster Revolution company in 2012.
He was fired by Art.com in January 2014. Topkins’ separate fashion company, Gotham City Online, later filed a lawsuit alleging Art.com stole trade secrets from the fashion business after Topkins and two business partners were terminated.
According to the Gotham City Online complaint against Art.com, Topkins was scheduled to receive a multimillion-dollar payment from Art.com on Jan. 27, 2014, but was instead interrogated about unspecified trade practices. He was fired the next day.
The suit alleged that Art.com then accessed Gotham City Online servers and changed security passwords after the termination. The case was dismissed and sent to arbitration later that year, according to court records.
The other companies that participated in the price fixing with Topkins were not named and have not been charged. Topkins wrote and implemented computer code to set the prices of certain posters using specific pricing algorithms according to the agreement, Justice Department officials said.
Topkins faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine under the federal Sherman Act.
His charges were part of an ongoing federal investigation into price fixing in the online wall décor industry. The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division is still seeking tips on anti-competitive conduct by wall décor sellers andis asking anyone with information to call the citizen complaint center at (888) 647-3258.