Tuesday Morning News Roundup
Police Identify 2 Men Arrested In Connection With Fatal Collision
Police have identified two men arrested in connection with a collision Monday afternoon in East San Jose that killed a pedestrian, who was pinned against a tree, a police spokeswoman said.
Gabriel Bacerra, 19, and Manual Maldonado-Avalos, 24, were both arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and reckless driving causing great bodily injury, San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol said.
The men were each driving at high speeds west on Yerba Buena Road east of Edenwood Drive shortly after noon when they lost control of their vehicles and veered to the right, Randol said.
Police believe the men were possibly trying to race each other, according to Randol.
Both cars crashed into a guardrail and up onto a sidewalk, she said.
A female pedestrian on the sidewalk was struck by one of the vehicles and pinned against a tree, where she suffered fatal injuries, Randol said.
The pedestrian’s identity has not been released pending notification of her next of kin.
One of the two drivers received medical treatment following the collision and both men were booked into jail.
16-Year-Old Girl Crashes Parents’ Car Into Pizza Parlor, Sparking Fire
A 16-year-old girl who led a police officer on a car chase without her license in San Bruno on Monday morning was arrested after she crashed into a pizza parlor, sparking a large fire at the building and prompting the evacuation of nearby homes, police said.
The police officer saw the girl in a white 2014 Mercedes-Benz, which belonged to her parents, driving erratically and failing to stop at several stop signs in the vicinity of San Anselmo and Santa Inez avenues around 10:15 a.m., according to police.
The suspect fled from police, crashing into Seniore’s Pizza at 992 El Camino Real. The resulting fire caused significant damage to both the restaurant and the car.
Traffic was diverted and nearby residences were evacuated while San Bruno firefighters put the blaze out. San Mateo County fire dispatchers said the fire had been brought under control as of 12:15 p.m.
Eddie Grauf, owner of European Car Service, which is located nearby, said the pizza parlor burned down and that the electricity was out in his building.
“There were flames 10, 15 feet high,” Grauf said.
The girl was arrested on suspicion of driving without a license and evading an officer, according to police.
Police are not releasing the girl’s name because she is a juvenile.
Treasure Island Ramp Reopened After Car Fire That Injured CHP Officer
A Treasure Island ramp on the Bay Bridge has reopened after a car fire that injured a California Highway Patrol officer Monday evening, CHP officials said.
Officers were notified of the fire around 7:30 p.m. on the eastbound Interstate Highway 80 off-ramp, CHP Officer Vu Williams said.
A CHP officer driving east on the bridge noticed his patrol car started to smoke and drove it to the off-ramp, Williams said.
Another CHP officer showed up to help the driver and was injured by flying debris from the car that was fully engulfed in flames, according to Williams.
The injured officer suffered minor injuries and was transported to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment, he said.
No other injuries were reported.
A Sig-alert was issued at 7:41 p.m. and the ramp reopened around 8:45 p.m., according to the CHP.
San Francisco firefighters responded to the scene and extinguished the blaze, a fire dispatcher said.
Fire crews were still at the scene as of about 8:15 p.m., the dispatcher said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Roads To Neighborhood Burned In 6-Alarm Vegetation Fire Reopen
Roads have reopened and a Pacifica neighborhood is getting back to normal after a six-alarm vegetation fire forced the evacuation of about 80 homes early Monday morning, fire officials said.
The blaze was reported at about 3:34 a.m. and spread to about 10 acres of hilly, steep terrain around Fassler Avenue, according to the North County Fire Authority.
Arriving fire crews found heavy smoke and flames coming from wildland behind one home on Fassler Avenue. More firefighters and equipment were requested and Pacifica police helped evacuate residents from the area.
About 90 residents were evacuated and about 55 of them took refuge in the Pacifica Community Center at 540 Crespi Drive, fire officials said.
Despite the challenges of the steep terrain, lack of daylight, and windy conditions, firefighters managed to control the fire without any houses being damaged, fire officials said.
The fire was controlled at about 8 a.m. and the evacuation order was lifted. However, residents had to walk to their homes because roads remained closed while firefighters stayed on scene making sure that the burned vegetation didn’t re-ignite, fire officials said.
Fassler Avenue finally reopened shortly before 4 p.m., according to police.
No firefighters or civilians were injured, however some firefighters were evaluated for exposure to poison oak, according to the fire department. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
Man Convicted Of Killing Sex Partner, Lighting Him On Fire In 2011 Again Facing Arson Charges
A 25-year-old man convicted of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly killing a sexual partner and setting his body on fire in San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park in 2011 appeared in court Monday after being arrested in the Castro District last week on suspicion of another act of arson.
The arson suspect, David Munoz Diaz, appeared in San Francisco Superior Court Monday wearing orange jail clothing, handcuffs, and a pair of thick black glasses. He took part in his arraignment Monday through the aid of a Spanish interpreter and pleaded not guilty.
Diaz was arrested Wednesday for allegedly starting a fire early on the morning of Jan. 17 in front of a bar and hair salon located in the 4000 block of 18th Street, about a block from Castro Street, according to San Francisco police Officer Grace Gatpandan.
According to police, a storage room was reported to be on fire shortly before 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 17. Fire officials responded and determined that the fire might have been caused intentionally, prompting an arson investigation.
Officers arrested Diaz a couple of blocks away on Wednesday night and booked him into jail on suspicion of arson, Gatpandan said.
Diaz is charged with arson of an inhabited dwelling, arson of a vehicle, and for possession of an incendiary device, according to San Francisco District Attorney’s Office spokesman Max Szabo.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman set Diaz’s bail at $500,000 on Monday.
A San Francisco jury last August found Diaz guilty of involuntary manslaughter but acquitted him of murder for the death of 23-year-old Freddy Roberto Canul-Arguello, whose body was set on fire in Buena Vista Park on June 10, 2011.
Szabo said the jury found Diaz guilty of mutilating human remains, misdemeanor destruction of evidence, and arson, but that the judge set aside the jury’s arson verdict.
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said Diaz was charged with fatally choking a sexual partner but had no previous criminal history and no motive to kill the victim.
Diaz was sentenced on Nov. 14 to four years in prison. He served more than three years while awaiting trial and, given his time in custody and credits accumulated, he was released on or shortly after his sentencing date.
Deputy Public Defender Alex Lilien is again representing Diaz after serving as his attorney in the previous trial. He said Monday that the charges are based on circumstantial evidence and maintained that Diaz “is a nice kid.”
Man Shot, Killed Near Allendale Elementary Today
A man was shot and killed in the Allendale area of Oakland shortly after noon Monday, police said.
The shooting was reported at 12:05 p.m. near the corner of 35th and Allendale avenues, about two blocks from Allendale Elementary School, police said.
A man was found suffering from a fatal gunshot wound, police said.
Police have not disclosed any possible motive for the shooting or any information about a possible suspect.
Police Seek Help Locating At-Risk Teenager Who Ran Away Thursday
San Jose police are asking for the public’s help in locating an at-risk 15-year-old boy who ran away from home last Thursday.
Inoa Ulukuo was last seen in the 2000 block of Evans Lane around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. He is considered at-risk because he has Type 1 diabetes and requires insulin twice per day, police said.
Inoa has black hair and brown eyes and is described as 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 235 pounds. He was last seen wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers hat, black sweatshirt, gray sweatpants and gray shoes, according to police.
He is known to visit San Francisco and spend time at the Jack in the Box on Curtner Avenue near state Highway 87 in San Jose.
Police are asking members of the public to call 911 if the teen is located, or contact the San Jose Police Department’s missing persons unit at (408) 277-4786.
Person Infected With Measles Visited Businesses In Gilroy, Milpitas
Santa Clara County Public Health Department officials on Monday confirmed that a person infected with measles may have exposed others to the disease at two big-box stores in Gilroy on Jan. 18 and a restaurant in Milpitas last Monday.
Public health officials are working with the three businesses to alert people who visited there that they might have been exposed to the contagious disease, according to department spokeswoman Molly Carbajal.
Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Jan. 18, a person with measles visited the Costco store at 7251 Camino Arroyo and the nearby Walmart at 7150 Camino Arroyo in Gilroy, Carbajal said.
Last Monday, the same person suffering from measles also went to the Dave & Busters eatery at 940 Great Mall Drive in Milpitas between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., but did not go into the adjacent Great Mall shopping center, Carbajal said.
The risk of catching measles from brief encounters with people who have it is low, but as a precaution, people should check if they have been vaccinated against it if they have never had the disease, she said.
People who have had measles are immune to it afterwards, but those who have not been infected before or never received a vaccination are at a higher risk after being exposed, Carbajal said.
Those in that higher risk category should monitor themselves for illnesses that include fever and an unexplained rash until Feb. 8, the period of time that measles may develop after exposure, she said.
The department advises people who acquire the symptoms to remain at home, call their health care provider immediately to inform them of the infection and have the provider report the case to the Public Health Department.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children be vaccinated for measles twice, once at age 12 to 15 months and then again at ages 4 to 6, Carbajal said.
The prevention of the spread of measles is especially important for infants under 12 months old who are too young to be vaccinated, public health officials said.
Weather Forecast For The San Francisco Bay Area
Skies will be mostly cloudy today with highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s. Winds will be from the east at 5 to 10 mph in the morning and from the northwest in the afternoon.
Skies will be mostly cloudy tonight with lows around 50. Winds will be from the east at 5 to 10 mph.
Skies will be partly cloudy Wednesday with highs around 60 and northeast winds of 5 to 10 mph.