Sacto 9-1-1
December 31, 2012
Police investigate after shots fired into Woodland home

Shots were fired into an occupied Woodland residence this evening, but no one was injured.

Police were dispatched to the 100 block of Muir Circle regarding a report of shots fired into a home. When officers arrived, they found that one round had gone through the front wall of the house, entering the kitchen. Two additional rounds were located in the side of a vehicle parked in front of the residence, according to a Police Department news release.

No one was struck by the gunfire.

Police said they had no suspect description and did not know the motivation for the shooting.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call the Woodland Police Department at (530) 661-7800 or (530) 666-2411.

December 31, 2012
UPDATE: Police report two dead, three injured in Old Sacramento shooting

oldsacshoota.jpgSacramento police say two people are dead and three others injured following a shooting in Old Sacramento tonight.

Police spokeswoman Michele Gigante said officers heard shots fired in the area of K and Second streets at 9:38 p.m. She said a fight in the Sports Corner Cafe spilled out onto the street and five people were shot.

Gigante said she did not know the gender or age of the victims, nor was any information available regarding suspects.

Because of the shooting, police made the decision to cancel the midnight fireworks show planned as part of New Year's Eve festivities. A police helicopter flew over the area announcing the cancellation.

December 31, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man who shot neighbor in Del Paso Heights?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What was the story on Jasmine Street in Del Paso Heights a few years ago when Donald T. Wright shot and killed his neighbor next door. How much time did he receive and what prison is he in?
Submitted by: Tina, Sacramento

ANSWER: Donald Thomas Wright was convicted of second-degree murder in the November 1999 shooting death of Edward Castro Sanchez.

December 31, 2012
Update: Boy, 3, dies after hit by car in Citrus Heights

A 3-year-old boy died this evening after he was struck by a vehicle at Sunrise Boulevard and Lawrence Avenue in Citrus Heights.

The accident was reported about 5:30 p.m. When police officers arrived they administered emergency aid, including CPR, until Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews arrived, according to a Police Department news release. The child was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said the child's name was being withheld at the request of his family.

December 31, 2012
Citrus Heights activates red-light cameras at two intersections

Red-light enforcement cameras were activated today at two of Citrus Heights' busiest intersections.

Cameras and violation sensors now monitor the intersections at Greenback Lane and Auburn Boulevard and Greenback Lane and Sunrise Boulevard. The program is intended to improve safety and the flow of traffic, according to a Citrus Heights Police Department news release.

Drivers are granted a 30-day grace period following installation of the cameras before authorities begin issuing citations. During January, warning notices will be issued for red-light violations at these intersections. Beginning Jan. 31, violators will receive citations and will be responsible for a $481 fine.

December 31, 2012
Fire-damanged Mikuni restaurant stays closed for repairs

A spokeswoman for a popular sushi restaurant closed after a weekend fire says the eatery plans to reopen at its Hazel Avenue location as soon as possible.

An fire early Saturday at Mikuni Sushi in Fair Oaks, where the restaurant chain began, was doused by the building's sprinkler system, but not before causing in excess of $50,000 in damages. The restaurant has been closed since.

"Our intent is to get everybody working as soon as we can," said Jeanne Mabry, a spokeswoman for the restaurant. She said the damage assessment has been slowed by the holidays, but that restaurant could be open in three weeks.

Mabry said the fire department pegged the damage at $50,000, but that the damage figure was likely higher.

December 31, 2012
Five new driving rules take effect for 2013 in California

Here are five new laws pertaining to driving in California that go into effect with the new year.

The California Highway Patrol explained the new laws in a press release:

Driving under the influence: Requires that a person who has been arrested for suspected driving under the influence of drugs must submit to a blood test and can no longer opt for a urine test. Before the change, a driver suspected of being under the influence of drugs could opt for either a urine or blood test. Blood tests, some experts claim, are better at determining if drugs are in a person's system.

December 31, 2012
Man jailed, released after waving knife in downtown Sacramento

Jack Gerber, 50.JPGA man was arrested in downtown Sacramento on suspicion of waving a knife, Sacramento police say.

Jack Gerber (pictured), 50, was booked into Sacramento County Jail early Sunday morning. Sacramento police said that Gerber was allegedly flashing a switchblade near 16th and F streets about 1 a.m. Sunday.

He was arrested on suspicion of possession of an illegal knife. Gerber who was on probation, was later released from jail.

December 31, 2012
Man found shot to death in south Sacramento-area park

A man was found shot to death in a south Sacramento-area park near Highway 99 and Florin Road early this morning.

About 2 a.m., a caller told dispatchers that he had been shot and was in a park near Florin Mall Drive. No other details were provided.

Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies tracked the call to the 6000 block of Orange Avenue. While searching on foot, deputies found a man in his late 40s suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper body in Sheldon Park.

December 30, 2012
DUI crackdown in Sacramento results in 44 arrests on Saturday

A 19-day winter holiday campaign to crackdown on people driving under the influence in Sacramento County resulted in 44 DUI arrests Saturday, more than double the number arrested during the same 24-hour period a year ago, authorities said.

The California Highway Patrol will continue it maximum enforcement program through midnight Tuesday, according to a Folsom Police Department news release, with additional DUI patrols will be deployed in Elk Grove on Sunday night.

During the enforcement period, all regularly scheduled traffic and patrol officers will be focusing on stopping and arresting DUI drivers during
their shifts. Multiple DUI checkpoints and roving DUI patrols are also underway.

Saturday's 44 arrests by 14 area law enforcement agencies compare with 18 during the same period a year ago, the Folsom Police Department reported.

December 30, 2012
Woodland man attacked with machete

By Anne Gonzales
afgonzalez@sacbee.com

A man wielding a machete attacked and injured a Woodland man in the early morning hours Sunday, and a second man was hurt disarming the suspect, according to Woodland police.

The victim, 24-year-old Joseph Mendoza, was treated for a non-life threatening injury to his head.

Sgt. Victoria Danzl said Mendoza was sitting in a parked vehicle in the parking lot of the Woodland Oaks Apartments in the 700 block of Cottonwood Street, when he stepped out of the vehicle about 1:30 a.m. and got into a verbal argument with the suspect. The suspect then struck Mendoza with the machete.

His friend, 23-year-old resident Ryan Gomez, wrestled the machete away from the attacker and sustained a non-life threatening injury to his hand.

The victims told police they did not know the suspect. He is described as a young Hispanic male, 5'6", 140 pounds, wearing a white hooded jacket and dark jeans. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to contact the Woodland Police Department at (530) 661-7800.

December 29, 2012
Coroner IDs man fatally shot on north Sacramento sidewalk

The man fatally shot in north Sacramento on Thursday morning has been identified as 50-year-old Leander Bruce Bell.

Bell was standing on the sidewalk on Las Palmas Avenue, near Norwood Avenue, about 11:30 a.m. when a vehicle pulled up near him, according to Sacramento police. An unknown gunman fired from inside the vehicle, which then sped away, police said.

No suspects have been identified in the killing.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

December 29, 2012
Sacramento police arrest suspect in two indecent exposure incidents

Billy Vang.jpgA 27-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly exposing himself to two female joggers near a North Natomas park last month.

Billy Vang was taken into custody in connection with the two separate incidents near Hummingbird Park, at Duckhorn and Saintsbury drives, according to the Sacramento Police Department.

According to a police news release, a 22-year-old woman was jogging with her dog near the park at 8 a.m. on Nov. 16 when a man pulled up alongside her in a vehicle. The man yelled to get the woman's attention, removed a jacket from his lap and touched himself, police said.

December 29, 2012
DUI crackdown results in 20 arrests throughout Sacramento

Local law enforcement officials arrested 20 drivers Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Those arrests were made throughout Sacramento County between 12:01 a.m. Friday and midnight, according to a news release issued by the Folsom Police Department. The arrests were part of special Avoid the 16 DUI crackdowns and routine traffic stops.

Last year, 18 DUI arrests were made during the same time period.

December 29, 2012
Early morning fire damages Mikuni Sushi in Fair Oaks

An early morning fire at Mikuni Sushi in Fair Oaks activated the restaurant's sprinkler system, flooding the popular eatery.

fire.jpeg

The fire broke out in the Hazel Avenue restaurant's HVAC system around 2:30 a.m., but was contained by the sprinkler system, said Michelle Eidam, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District. Eidam said the sprinkler system likely saved the building.

Water from the sprinklers flooded much of the restaurant and fire crews responded to remove the water, Eidam said.

Photo by OnSceneActionMedia.com

December 28, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone arrested in 1989 killing in Del Paso Heights?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Was anyone caught in the killing of Emanuel Dennis Adams on March 30, 1989?
Submitted by: Albert White, Sacramento

ANSWER: Anthony Mial was arrested in the fatal stabbing of Emanuel Dennis Adams, 34, of Del Paso Heights.

December 28, 2012
New Year's enforcement effort targets impaired drivers

New Year's revelers are reminded to designate a non-drinking driver before heading out to celebrations.

The California Highway Patrol's New Year's maximum enforcement period began at 6 this evening and will continue through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

The increased enforcement effort follows a similar one during the recent Christmas holiday. During that 102-hour reporting period in California, 39 people were killed in collisions and CHP officers arrested 1,170 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to a CHP news release.

December 28, 2012
Sobriety checkpoint set for Saturday night in south Sacramento

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint Saturday night at Franklin Boulevard and Florin Road.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours, motorists traveling through the intersection will be contacted by uniformed officers who will check for people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They also will check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

The purpose of the checkpoint is to promote public safety, increase awareness of the dangers associated with drinking and driving, and serve as a deterrent to potential impaired and unlicensed drivers.

December 28, 2012
Hunt is on for stolen sculptures created by prominent Sacramento artist

Screen shot 2012-12-28 at 4.14.52 PM.pngBy Cynthia Hubert
chubert@sacbee.com

Thieves made off with an unusual haul earlier this month in east Sacramento: five unfinished sculptures created by a prominent local artist.

The ceramic and bronze sculptures, by Camille VandenBerge, were taken Dec. 10 from a storage shed attached to her studio near J and 52nd streets. The thieves later sought to sell the life-sized sculptures, police said, showing off photos of them to an antique dealer who had no idea they were stolen.

VandenBerge's pieces, generally sculptures of women with elongated figues, have been featured at the Crocker Art Museum and shown across the United States and Europe, said her father, Peter, also a famous artist.

Her sculptures typically sell for $8,000 to $12,000 apiece, he said.

The stolen items, because they are unsigned, probably have little street value, Peter VandenBerge said. But to the artist, "they are something very special. It's not like a stolen television that you can replace."

December 28, 2012
Man hit with crowbar in Woodland robbery attempt

Woodland police are searching for a suspect who apparently followed a man from a Sacramento bank this morning, then attempted to rob him at a gas station, striking the victim with a crowbar.

Police were dispatched at 10:40 a.m. to the 400 block of County Road 102 regarding a fight. It was reported that one person had a crowbar. Dispatchers were subsequently told that an approximately 30-year-old man had left southbound on Interstate 5 in a gold Nissan Altima or gold Saturn. The victim was still at the scene with a head injury.

When officers arrived, they found a 29-year-old Sacramento man. He told police that he had withdrawn a large sum of cash from a bank in Sacramento and was en route to Redding when he stopped in Woodland to buy gas. While pumping gas, a black man in his late 20s or early 30s, wearing a red hooded sweatshirt with the hood over his head, approached the victim and demanded his money.

December 28, 2012
Missing Vacaville woman found dead in vehicle

Cathleen Boland 121227 Press Release missing adult.jpgA Vacaville woman who had been missing since Dec. 20 was found dead this morning in her vehicle.

Cathleen Boland (pictured), 56, had told her family that she was considering suicide, and Vacaville police said it appears she died of a gunshot wound.

The Police Department on Thursday asked the public's help in finding Boland, issuing a news release and posting information on the city of Vacaville's Facebok page.

This morning, a Vacaville resident saw a white Dodge Neon matching the description of Boland's vehicle parked off Leisuire Town Road and remembered reading about the at-risk missing person. After checking media reports, the resident confirmed that the license plate on the car matched that for Boland's vehicle and called police.

Officers arrived and found Boland dead inside the car.

Detectives who had been looking for Boland responded to the scene and are continuing the investigation, according to a Police Department news release.

Anyone with information on where Boland was between the time she left home and when she was found is asked to call the Vacaville Police Department at (707) 449-5200, or Detective Mark Ferreira at (707) 449-5258.

December 28, 2012
Officer ordered to stay away from victim in rape case

RB Baker Arraignment 3A.jpgThe Sacramento police officer accused of raping a 77-year-old woman made his first appearance today in Sacramento Superior Court.

Gary Dale Baker said nothing and waived the reading of the charges against him during his appearance that took less than two minutes in front of Judge Kevin J. McCormick.

Deputy District Attorney Amy Holliday served Baker, 49, with a protective order that he stay away from the alleged victim.

Baker's lawyer, Linda Parisi, said, "We look forward to our participation in the process in order to clear Officer Baker's name."

McCormick scheduled Baker's next court date for Jan. 17.

Photo caption: Gary Baker, left, stands with his attorney Linda Parisi during his arraignment in the Sacramento County court on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. Baker is accused of raping a 77-year-old woman. Photo by Randall Benton / rbenton@sacbee.com.

December 28, 2012
Sad end to Camino man's disappearance

clement.JPGThe body of a man missing for more than a month has been found in El Dorado County.

When David Clement, 30, of Camino, was thought to have gone for a jog on the morning of Nov. 6 and never returned, his father worried that he might have been attacked by a mountain lion.

Searchers looked many times for the Army veteran but had no luck. Then, on Dec. 19, his father and other searchers tried again and found Clement's remains in the Snows Road area of Camino.

December 27, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspects in 2005 killing of rap music producer?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened to the suspects in the 2005 killing of Donald Willis in the Arden area?
Submitted by: James, Sacramento

ANSWER: Four men were arrested for the execution-style killing of 21-year-old Donald Larnell Willis at his Arden-area duplex in May 2005.

December 27, 2012
Red-light cameras to go 'live' Saturday in Rancho Cordova

A new digital red-light photo enforcement camera system has been installed at Zinfandel Drive and White Rock Road in Rancho Cordova and is scheduled to go "live" at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

For a period of 30 days, red-light violators will be mailed a warning notice. At 12:01 a.m. Jan. 28, red-light violators at the intersection will begin to receive citations by mail.

The citation will include a referral to a website where the violator can view the still and/or video images of the violation. The violator should be able to clearly see where the vehicle was in relation to the intersection's limit line, and the green,yellow and red lights, according to a Rancho Cordova Police Department news release.

Officials said the red-light photo enforcement program is intended to promote increased safety. They say studies have shown a significant reduction in red-light-related crashes at intersections with photo enforcement.

December 27, 2012
Police seek help locating missing Vacaville woman

Cathleen Boland 121227 Press Release missing adult.jpgVacaville police are asking the public's help in locating a 56-year-old woman who has been missing for a week.

Cathleen Boland (pictured) was last seen about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Police said she recently had made suicidal threats to her family, and she left home with a .22 caliber handgun. Boland's 2001 four-door Dodge Neon also is missing.

Boland did not take her purse, cell phone or identification with her, officials said.

December 27, 2012
Video shows suspects in south Sacramento County shooting

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives seek the public's help to identify three men wanted in connection with a shooting in south Sacramento County earlier this month in which a child was nearly hit by gunfire.

The incident occurred in the parking lot of a busy shopping area, and detectives hope people in the community will recognize the individuals depicted in the surveillance video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buhDsXEXwjY

On Dec. 10, deputies responded to a report of gunshots fired at ShopSmart in the 7600 block of Stockton Boulevard. When they arrived, deputies located a vehicle that had been struck by gunfire. An 11-month-old girl seated in the backseat of the car was nearly hit, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. She suffered minor injuries from shattered glass from the car windows during that shooting.

December 27, 2012
Man fatally shot while standing on sidewalk in Del Paso Heights

By Anne Gonzales
and Bill Lindelof
agonzales@sacbee.com

A man standing on a sidewalk in a Del Paso Heights neighborhood was shot and killed Thursday morning, Sacramento police said.

Police received reports of shots being fired in 600 block of Las Palmas Avenue about 11:30 a.m., and responding officers found an African-American male in his 50s with multiple gunshot wounds, said Officer Doug Morse.

Witnesses told police the victim was standing near the street, when a vehicle drove up near him, and someone opened fire. The shooting suspect then fled in the vehicle.

December 27, 2012
Coroner identifies man killed in Valley Hi hit-and-run

Sacramento County Coroner's deputies have released the name of the young man killed in a hit-and-run in the Valley Hi area on Wednesday.

He was identified as David Tyrell Mickens, 29, of Sacramento.

Shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday, police and paramedics were called to the 5900 block of Valley Hi Drive where Mickens was unresponsive in the road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

December 26, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man accused of rapes in early '90s?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Whatever happened to Eric Knapp, arrested many years ago for rape in Sacramento?
Submitted by: Emily, Sacramento

ANSWER: Eric Charles Rodney Knapp was sentenced in February 1994 to 98 years in state prison after a Sacramento County jury convicted him in connection with two sexual attacks, including one against a woman who reported she was raped in her bed as her family slept in their Citrus Heights home.

December 26, 2012
Man sentenced to four years in prison for Carmichael arsons

Morgan McGinn image007 (4).jpgAn 18-year-old man who admitted starting numerous fires in the Carmichael area has been sentenced to four years in state prison.

Morgan McGinn (pictured) admitted starting 15 fires during August and September, according to a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District news release.

He was arrested Oct. 1 by arson investigators and charged with five counts of arson and two counts of felony burglary. He pleaded no contest Dec. 20 to one count of arson, according to Sacramento Superior Court online records.

December 26, 2012
Cat perishes in Arden-area fire traced to oil-soaked rags

Rags soaked in linseed oil have been identified as the cause of an early morning fire at an Arden-area home that claimed the life of a pet cat.

A resident of the 2800 block of Becerra Way was awakened about 4 a.m. by a crackling sound, and when she went into the kitchen, she saw a glow coming from the garage, according to a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District news release.

The woman awakened the other resident of the home, and both were able to get out of the house and call 911.

December 26, 2012
Sacramento police: Erroneous shooting calls at Arden Fair prompted by teens creating 'absurd disturbance'

Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 5.31.01 PM.pngBy Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

Arden Fair Mall is open for business this evening after false reports of a shooting sent shoppers and employees into a panic earlier this evening.

Sacramento police have detained four juveniles who are suspected to have been responsible for the chaos. According to police spokesman Officer Doug Morse, about 20 juveniles were running through the mall, knocking over signs and shoppers and "just causing an absurd disturbance."

The confusion prompted numerous calls before 5 p.m. of shots fired and a gunman, reports that were quickly discounted by security and police officers.

Stores inside the mall went on brief lockdown but opened back up for business by 6 p.m.

The initial reports drew dozens of officers to the mall within minutes, including Sacramento County sheriff's deputies who were nearby.

"It's the worst-case scenario," Morse said. "Reports like this are very serious. In these times, it's what we all dread in our community."

Morse applauded the mall's security system, and said the mall's contract with off-duty, uniformed Sacramento police officers helped officials quickly assess the situation and dispute the erroneous reports.

PHOTO: Sacramento police officers respond to reports of a disturbance at Arden Fair mall on Wednesday, December 26, 2012. Justin Gonzales/Special to Sacbee.com

December 26, 2012
Sacramento police seek suspect in fatal Valley Hi hit-and-run

Sacramento police are asking for the public's help in finding a suspect involved in a fatal hit-and-run in the Valley Hi area this morning.

sacpd photo.JPGKilled in the collision was a man in his 20s who has not yet been identified.

Shortly after 7 a.m., police and paramedics were called to the 5900 block of Valley Hi Drive for an unresponsive person in the road. They found a man in his 20s, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

December 26, 2012
Coroner IDs suspect killed in alleged Pocket-area home-invasion

The man who was fatally shot Saturday morning as he allegedly tried to break into a Pocket area home has been identified as 31-year-old Joseph Merjil.

Sacramento police allege that Merjil and other suspects attempted to rob a homeowner on Haven Court about 3:30 a.m. Gunfire was exchanged between the two sides, and Merjil was fatally injured.

Three other people, including the homeowner, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Arrested in the aftermath of the shooting was 21-year-old Thomas Ordonaz. He was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and being an accessory after the fact, according to Sacramento police.

Police have not disclosed how many suspects were involved in the home-invasion or whether there are any suspects outstanding.

December 26, 2012
Nearly 3,000 drivers caught in cell phone crackdown

Nearly 3,000 drivers were caught breaking cell phone rules during a crackdown in 37 police jurisdictions in and around Sacramento County.

"We are committed to saving lives on area roadways, and drivers should expect to continue to see officers enforcing cell phone driving laws time and time again," said state Office of Traffic Safety director Chris Murphy.

California was one of two states to receive grants for high-visibility law enforcement pilot programs to squelch motorists' hand-held cell phone use and texting. In addition to California, Delaware was selected to mount a pilot project.

The California program, dubbed "Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other," was conducted in eight counties with 3.8 million residents in an area ranging from Modesto to Marysville and Vallejo to South Lake Tahoe. The crackdown occurred from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9.

December 26, 2012
Serna-Mayorga makes court appearance in credit card case

RP SERNA MAYORGA IN COURT.JPGLisa Serna-Mayorga made her first court appearance today on charges that she made $19,000 in unauthorized puchases on a city of Sacramento credit card.

Serna-Mayorga, who is free on $50,000 bail, did not enter a plea in her arraignment that lasted less than a minute in front of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Kevin J. McCormick.

The 40-year-old defendant is the daughter of the late former mayor Joe Serna Jr. and the sister of Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna.

She was represented today by Sacramento defense attorney Bill Portanova. Deputy District Attorney Michael Blazina will prosecute the case.

McCormick scheduled her next court date for Jan. 30.

PHOTO: Lisa Serna-Mayorga, the former mayoral aide accused of misappropriating public funds, is arraigned on Wednesday, December 26, 2012. Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

December 26, 2012
Pedestrian killed in Highway 50 onramp hit-and-run

A 65-year-old pedestrian was killed Christmas eve when she was hit by a vehicle while crossing a Highway 50 onramp in Rancho Cordova.

The female pedestrian was walking across a Sunrise Boulevard onramp to westbound Highway 50 about 5 p.m. Monday when a vehicle hit her and did not stop. The California Highway Patrol is still looking for the hit-and-run driver.

After the initial striking of the woman by the unknown driver, her body, still in an onramp lane, was struck by a motorcycle and a car.

The CHP reports that the fatal injuring of the pedestrian occurred at dusk and that the street lights were inoperable. The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has not released the name of the pedestrian.

December 26, 2012
Auburn transient booked on sleeping bag theft try

Bashay Edward Jorgenson.JPGAuburn police said a man punched two people when he tried to take their sleeping bags.

Bashay Edward Jorgenson, 32, described by police as a transient, was arrested on battery and attempted robbery charges in connection with the incident that sent a woman to the hospital.

Police said they responded to the area of 390 Grass Valley Highway about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on a report of a fight. The injured woman and a man said that Jorgenson punched them when he tried to steal their sleeping bags.

December 25, 2012
Sierra records second avalanche death Tuesday

Associated Press

TRUCKEE, Calif. - A member of a Sierra ski resort's patrol team who was injured after being caught in an avalanche has died - the second death connected to avalanches that occurred in the area on Monday.

Bill Foster, 53, died at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev., where he was taken after the avalanche a day earlier at Alpine Meadows near Lake Tahoe, the resort said in a statement on Tuesday.

Resort spokeswoman Amelia Richmond said she did not know whether Foster, a 28-year veteran with the resort's ski patrol team, died Monday night or Tuesday.

December 25, 2012
Auburn man tried to run down woman and his son, police say

By Brad Branan
bbranan@sacbee.com

An Auburn man tried to hit his son and a woman with his vehicle on Christmas Eve, police said.

Michael Anthony Hernandez, 63, was involved in a domestic dispute at his home with a woman who received injuries in various areas of her body, according to a news release from the Auburn Police Department.

The victim attempted to call authorities when Hernandez pulled the phone from the wall, police said. The woman later escaped the home, and was attempting to drive away when Hernandez tried to hit her vehicle with his vehicle but missed.

Hernandez's son was in the area and noticed the commotion. Hernandez unsuccessfully tried to hit his son, who was on foot, police said.

Hernandez was driving under the influence, police said. He was booked into the Placer County Jail and held on $50,000 bond.

December 25, 2012
Christmas Day fire takes life of Placerville man, 67

By Laurel Rosenhall
lrosenhall@sacbee.com

A Placerville man died early Christmas morning when his house went up in flames, according to authorities with the El Dorado County Fire District.

Firefighters arrived around 5 a.m. at the home in the 2800 block of Bryan Way in Placerville and found a fire well under way, said Battilion Chief Mike Pott. They were told one person remained trapped inside the house.

"They made entry into the house and the roof started caving in on them after being in there for a couple minutes and they had to pull out," Pott said.

December 24, 2012
Coroner identifies man fatally shot in home invasion robbery

A man who was fatally shot in a home invasion robbery in Sacramento's Pocket neighborhood early Saturday morning has been identified by the Coroner's Office as 31-year-old Joseph Merjil of Sacramento.

According to police, Merjil was one of the intruders. Three other people were wounded.

Police earlier identified one of the other alleged intruders as Thomas Ordonaz, 21. Ordonaz was arrested Saturday night for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon.

December 24, 2012
Snowboarder dies in reported avalanche at Donner Ski Ranch

A snowboarder died Monday after apparently being caught in an avalanche at Donner Ski Ranch, the Nevada County Sheriff's Department reported.

The snowboarder, said to be a man in his 50s, was found dead in two to three feet of snow in a debris field at the base of the mountain resort hours after he was reported missing Monday morning.

Authorities said the snowboarder, whose name was being withheld until his family was notified, was apparently swept away as a moderate avalanche hit an area where several people were skiing and snowboarding.

Search and rescue teams from the Placer County Sheriff's Office and ski patrols from Donner Ski Ranch and neighboring Sugar Bowl Resort combed the area and found the body at 1:30 after being alerted by a search dog.

Nevada County Sheriff's Sgt. Bob Jakobs said no other people were believed to have been affected by the avalanche. The area of the slide was closed down after the incident.

December 24, 2012
Sacramento names acting police chief as Braziel retires

Schiele photo (1).jpgDan Schiele (pictured), a 31-year veteran of the Sacramento Police Department, has been named acting chief of the department.

Sacramento City Manager John Shirey announced the appointment today. Schiele, who has served as deputy chief, will assume the duties of acting chief Dec. 29, when Chief Rick Braziel retires. He will continue in the post until a new chief is selected.

Schiele has not applied for the permanent position of police chief, according to a department news release.

December 24, 2012
Sacramento Metro Fire rescues deer trapped in canal

Sacramento Metro Fire Department personnel rescued a deer caught in the Folsom South Canal at Sunrise Boulevard and Sun Center Drive in Rancho Cordova on Monday.

Sacramento Metro firefighters were able to help the deer out of the canal and were evaluating the condition of the animal.

"We're not sure how long the deer was in the water," said Capt. Chris Quinn.

Fire officials asked the Department of Fish and Game to respond.

December 24, 2012
Woman punched, gifts stolen in Roseville parking lot

A woman was assaulted Sunday night after confronting a man attempting to steal Christmas gifts from her car at a Roseville grocery store.

Roseville Police Sgt. Karl Dyer said the woman had shopping bags from JC Penny in the front seat of her car when a man in a sweatshirt approached her vehicle and attempted to take the gifts. The woman was parked in the Bel Air parking lot on Cirby Way and Sunrise Avenue at the time of incident, around 7 p.m.

The suspect punched the woman and fled on foot with the bags. The woman did not need medical attention.

December 22, 2012
Bicyclist riding in heavy rain dies in West Sacramento crash

By Phillip Reese
preese@sacbee.com

A bicyclist was killed early today after he swerved in front of a moving car in central West Sacramento, police said.

The man, 51, was cycling eastward near 2000 West Capitol Avenue around 7 a.m. in the driving rain when he swerved to miss a large puddle and was hit.

The car was also moving east. Its driver was not hurt.

The identity of the bicyclist was not released pending notification of family members.

December 22, 2012
Citrus Heights woman held in Friday night shooting

By Phillip Reese
preese@sacbee.com

Citrus Heights Police have arrested a woman for investigation of attempted murder after she allegedly shot an acquaintance multiple times.

Kathleen French, 47, of Citrus Heights, is alleged to have shot the man inside a home on the 7300 block of Single Way around 8 p.m. Friday night. French knew the victim, whose name has not been released, but authorities are unsure of a motive for the shooting, according to a police statement.

The man's injuries are serious, but not life threatening, police said. He was taken to Mercy San Juan Hospital.

French is being held in the Sacramento Jail. She has also been charged with discharging a firearm in a negligent manner and battery against a person with bodily injury, both felonies.

December 22, 2012
Arrest made in home invasion in Pocket area

By Denny Walsh
dwalsh@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Police Department has announced the arrest of one suspect in the home invasion robbery that left one person dead three other people wounded early today in the Pocket neighborhood of Sacramento.

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Thomas Ordonaz, 21, (pictured) was arrested about 18 hours after the gunfire erupted. He was booked for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon and being an accessory, authorities said.

By 10 p.m., no other people in the shooting had been identified, pending the results of a preliminary investigation, according to department police spokesman Officer Doug Morse.

December 21, 2012
Sacramento jury says 'jogger rapist' to stay in confinement

Before the man dubbed the "jogger rapist" for a series of 1980 sexual attacks in Sacramento could get out of custody, a jury has decided he should not be released.

The jury agreed Thursday with the Sacramento County District Attorney's office that Joseph M. Maggard should be declared a sexually violent predator. The law allows for the designation to protect society from a small but dangerous number of sexually violent people.

"Their verdict helps ensure that Sacramento is protected from this individual engaging in future violent sexual offenses," said Deputy District Attorney David Brown.

December 21, 2012
Yolo County probationer arrested after foot chase

A chase of an alleged probation violater in downtown Woodland ended in his arrest.

Police knew that Paul Shuler Jr., 29, of Woodland was wanted on suspicion of recently stealing a vehicle and a handgun. He was also wanted by the Yolo County Probation Department for violating post-release supervision.

When police tried to arrest him about 11:45 a.m. Thursday, police said he bolted, taking a handgun from around his waist as he fled on foot.

December 21, 2012
Armed robbers scared away by pipe-wielding Woodland store owner

Police said a store owner intimidated gun-toting robbers with a pipe last night in Woodland.

At about 10:30 p.m. two armed robbers wearing dark clothing and ski masks entered the Hollywood Market, 1321 College St. They demanded money, but the store owner refused to comply.

Instead, he armed himself with a metal pipe. The robbers left the store and have not been seen since, police said.

December 21, 2012
Coroner IDs man fatally shot in Sacramento's Meadowview neighborhood

The man fatally shot during an argument in Meadowview last night has been identified as 23-year-old Sherrick Melson, according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

When Sacramento police arrived to the 2700 block of Meadowview Road about 11 p.m. they found a man in his early 20s dead on the ground near an apartment house, police said.

Homicide detectives and crime scene investigators are investigating the killing, which police said appeared to follow an argument. As of late last night, they had no motive and no suspects have been arrested.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP.

December 20, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What was trial outcome in Auburn Blvd. motel shooting?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What was the outcome of the trial of the other four defendants in the killing of the gentleman at the motel on Auburn Boulevard in 2009 or 2010? Did anyone else get convictions?
Submitted by: Motown, Sacramento

ANSWER: The trial date for four defendants in the May 2010 shooting death of 29-year-old Marcel Hatch has been postponed several times.

December 20, 2012
Sacramento police arrest veteran officer on suspicion of sexual assault

Sacramento police officers have arrested one of their veteran colleagues on suspicion of various sexual assaults allegedly committed while off duty, according to a Police Department news release.

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Gary Baker, 49, has been a police officer for 22 years, according to the department. He was placed on paid administrative leave during the course of the investigation until today, when he was fired by Police Chief Rick Braziel.

Baker is accused of assaulting a 76-year-old woman on three occasions, the first two years ago, and then twice in recent months, according to the police department. Officers arrested Baker today on suspicion of rape, two counts of forcible oral copulation, attempted oral copulation with intent to commit rape and sexual battery.

December 20, 2012
School police sergeant dies in Highway 99 crash

A Stockton Unified School District police sergeant died after the car she was driving collided with another vehicle on southbound Highway 99 about 5:45 a.m. today, according to law enforcement and school district officials.

The driver of the second vehicle, a Dodge, apparently tried to take evasive action to avoid a collision. He was not injured, the California Highway Patrol reported.

The San Joaquin County Coroner's office could not be reached immediately. But the Stockton Unified School District issued a press release mourning the loss of their officer in the crash and identifying her as 39-year-old Kimberly Pinto.

December 20, 2012
Woodland's Pioneer High locked down but no gun found

A report of a person at Pioneer High School with a gun this morning turned out to be false.

Woodland police responded about 8 a.m. to a report of a person with a gun on the high school campus, 1400 Pioneer Ave. The school was placed in lockdown.

While police were en route to the school, school administration employees reported the person in question was being cooperative. Upon arrival, officers found that the 17-year-old Woodland resident never had a firearm but was in possession of a knife.

The teen, who was not a Pioneer High School student, did not attempt to assault any students or staff, police said.

The teen was arrested on suspicion of possession of a weapon on a school campus.

December 20, 2012
Report: Robber breaks through 2-inch window for cough syrup

Fox40's Eric Rucker reports a person broke through a 2-inch window to steal cough syrup from a pharmacy on Hospital Drive in Sacramento.

December 20, 2012
Driver dies when car hits tree along Highway 99 in Lodi

A motorist was killed this morning on Highway 99 in Lodi when a car went off the roadway and hit a tree.

The 5:30 a.m. accident involved two vehicles, one which went out of control and struck a roadside tree, killing the driver. The accident occurred just south of the Highway 12.

The slow lane of southbound Highway 99 was still closed as of 7:45 a.m. so that the body could be removed from the car by the coroner, according to a California Highway Patrol website.

December 20, 2012
Detectives shut down alleged Lodi gambling operation

Detectives arrested 10 people on various charges at a business in Lodi where police suspect illegal gambling was taking place.

A warrant was served at the Web Stop, 920 South Cherokee Lane in Lodi, on Tuesday. Police allege that gambling was conducted on 42 computers within the business.

Patrons would wager on electronic "slot machine style" computer programs, according to police. The computers and several printers were seized in the raid on Web Stop.

December 19, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspects in 1997 Oak Park murder?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened to the suspects in a 1997 murder-robbery in Oak Park on 42nd Street and 11th Avenue?
Submitted by: James, Sacramento

ANSWER: Three people were arrested and tried in the October 1997 shooting death of 16-year-old Andrew McKissack and wounding of two other men in what police described as a dispute over drugs and money.

December 19, 2012
Police seek to identify man seen at Citrus Heights school

The Citrus Heights Police Department seeks help identifying a man who has been seen twice on a school campus in the past couple of weeks.

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Officers responded to Citrus Heights Elementary School, 7085 Auburn Blvd., on Friday regarding a report of a suspicious subject on campus.

The man was discovered inside a classroom while students were in the library. When questioned by a teacher, he said he was waiting for his wife to park the car, according to a Police Department news release. He then left the campus, and officers were unable to locate him.

December 19, 2012
Man pleads no contest to raping disabled woman at Penryn facility

The former caregiver arrested last week on suspicion of raping a Placer County disabled woman entered a no-contest plea today.

Marquise Montgomery, 22, of Sacramento, is expected to be given the maximum sentence of 13 years when he is formally sentenced, the Placer County District Attorney's office said.

Montgomery was charged with one count of rape of an incompetent victim and one count of causing great bodily harm during the sexual assault.

December 19, 2012
Woodland gangsters headed to prison for attempted murder

Three gang members have been sentenced in a 2011 case of attempted murder in Woodland.

Yolo Superior Court Judge Stephen Mock on Tuesday sentenced Rolando Arismendez, 34, Juan Reyes, 21, and German Quezada, 19, to prison terms for attempted murder and gang enhancements, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's office news release.

On Nov. 16, 2011, Arismendez, a validated gang member, provided guns, a car and a driver to fellow gang members Reyes and Quezada. Their plan, officials said, was to kill a resident of Donnelly Circle in Woodland.

December 19, 2012
Second aide in City Hall credit card scandal won't face charges

By Brad Branan
bbranan@sacbee.com

A day after proceeding with criminal charges against a former aide of Mayor Kevin Johnson, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office said Wednesday it will not file charges against a second former aide caught up in an investigation of city credit card use.

Credit card charges by Keith Hart, who was the chief service officer in the mayor's office, caught the attention of police investigators earlier this year when they were also examining charges by Lisa Serna-Mayorga, who was arrested Tuesday.

The police forwarded the results of its investigation to the District Attorney's Office, which made the decision Tuesday not to file charges against Hart, Assistant District Attorney Albert Locher said this morning.

December 19, 2012
Black ice causing accidents in foothills

Freezing conditions this morning have caused traffic accidents when vehicles slid out of control on black ice.

"It's all over the foothills," said California Highway Patrol officer Rich Wetzel. "We had two crashes on Bass Lake Road north of Highway 50. No injuries. Both are off the road."

Also this morning, around 7 a.m., north of Newcastle in Placer County, water run-off from a tree farm caused ice to form on Highway 193 near Gold Hill Road, according to a CHP traffic website.

December 19, 2012
I-5 reopens near Oregon border after 60-vehicle crash

Interstate 5 in Siskiyou County has reopened this morning in both directions after a crash involving about 60 vehicles.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Julie Hutchinson said a number of people suffered minor to moderate injuries in a series of crashes that started around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and stretched for nearly a mile along the northbound side of the freeway, according to the Associated Press.

Hutchinson says she doesn't know the exact number of people injured. The southbound side of the interstate was closed so emergency vehicles could reach the scene.

December 18, 2012
Shasta County brothers plead guilty in immigration documents scheme

Two Shasta County brothers pleaded guilty today in connection with a scheme to produce and sell false immigration documents.

Mario Madrigal-Felix, 36, of Anderson, pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento to producing false identification documents, and Sergio Alonso Madrigal-Felix, 32, of Redding pleaded guilty to selling false identification documents, according to a Department of Justice news release.

The brothers produced and sold counterfeit document sets for $150 each that included and alien registration card, or "green card," and a Social Security card with a false number, according to court documents.

December 18, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspects in 2000 killing on G Parkway?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: I would like to know the names and how much time the three men got for the killing of Ricky Collier on Dec. 10, 2000, in G Parkway.
Submitted by: Teia, Sacramento

ANSWER: Three men were arrested and sentenced to prison in the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Ricky Collier.

December 18, 2012
Yolo DA warns of scammers offering computer tech support

The Yolo County District Attorney's Office is warning computer users of phone calls from scam artists pretending to represent well-known companies like Microsoft, Dell or Norton.

In the past week, several Yolo County residents have reported receiving calls from people claiming to be with "tech support" and saying they need access to the individual's personal computer to remove a virus or maintain the warranty.

Last week, a scammer contacted a retired Yolo County employee telling her that her computer warranty was about to expire. The caller pressured her for more than 30 minutes to accept the service, according to a District Attorney's Office news release.

December 18, 2012
Former member of mayor's staff arrested, accused of theft of public funds

The former council operations manager for the Sacramento mayor's office has been arrested, accused of felony offenses including the misappropriation and grand theft of public funds.

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Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully today announced that an arrest warrant was issued for Lisa Serna Mayorga. She was arrested by Sacramento police detectives and booked into Sacramento County Jail with bail set at $50,000. She was released late Tuesday.

"As I said when this issue came to light last summer, I am saddened by this news," Johnson said in a written statement. "The city moved swiftly to investigate and also conducted an audit of credit card use citywide. As charges have been filed, it would be inappropriate for me or my office to comment on any of the details. As the judicial process takes its course, our thoughts are with her family."

December 18, 2012
Lake Tahoe visitors reminded of winter parking restrictions

The Placer County Sheriff's Office wants people traveling to Lake Tahoe over the holidays to be aware of parking restrictions.

Drivers are reminded that no parking is allowed on county roadways or shoulders of roadways from Nov. 1 through May 1. The restriction includes roads in the Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Northstar and Homewood ski areas. The roadways must remain clear for operation of snow-removal equipment, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Vehicles parked in these areas will be ticketed and may be towed. A ticket costs $55.

December 18, 2012
Pit bulls killed during wild Yolo County probation search

Two pit bulls where killed during a probation search in Woodland when the dogs charged deputies, according to a sheriff's department press release.

A chaotic scene played out in the home on Antelope Street about 9:30 a.m. Monday after deputies arrived to conduct a search of the premises. Inside the home, were Vincent Van Asperson, 43, and Carole Vitalie, 46, according to deputies.

Three pit bulls were also in a bedroom that needed to be searched. A Yolo County Animal Control Officer was removing one dog when a second pit bull came running out of the bedroom.

December 18, 2012
Two street holdups reported in South Sacramento

Two stickups on the street were reported last night in the South Sacramento neighborhood of Parkway.

In the first holdup, a woman was walking past the post office on Brookfield Drive near Franklin Boulevard about 6:30 p.m. when she was approached by a man with a gun. The robber demanded her purse and then fled.

About an hour later in the same area, a robber approached his intended victim in the 7500 block of Franklin Boulevard and demanded his cell phone and backpack. When the man refused to turn over his possessions, the robber threatened him with a handgun.

December 17, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone convicted in fatal shooting at house party?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: On March 26, 2006, a young man 18 years of age was shot 10 times by five different caliber weapons, witnessed by several individuals that were there attending the house party. Was anyone arrested?
Submitted by: Clever, Sacramento

ANSWER: Three people were tried and one was found guilty of murder in the March 26, 2006 shooting death of Hector Manuel Barrera, 25, at a a birthday party at his Southside Park home on U Street.

December 17, 2012
Missing Foothill Farms teenager found safe

Analyce Dominguez.jpgThe Sacramento County Sheriff's Department reports that a Foothill Farms teenager who had been reported missing since Friday has been found safe.

Officials said Analyce Dominguez (pictured), 15, was located today in West Sacramento and has returned home.

Dominguez was reported missing Monday. Authorities said she had last been seen leaving her home in the 5100 block of Connecticut Drive on Friday to go to school. She did not attend school that day and was considered at-risk because failing to inform family of her whereabouts is inconsistent with her typical behavior, officials said.

December 17, 2012
Man extradited to Sacramento to face molestation charges

Michael Joseph Chavez.JPGA man has been extradited from Mexico to Sacramento to face allegations that he sexually molested two girls in 2006.

In 2006, Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies began investigating allegations that Michael Joseph Chavez, 33, sexually molested two girls under the age of 14 years old. Chavez disappeared and could not be found for several years, according to the sheriff's department.

Working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, deputies learned that Chavez was outside the United States. In March 2011, detectives in the Sheriff's Major Crimes Bureau got a tip that Chavez was living just outside Mexico City.

December 17, 2012
El Dorado County Sheriff to clamp down on elder abuse

The El Dorado County Sheriff's office has added an investigator to focus on elder abuse.

Reports of elder abuse have increased nine percent since 2011 in the county. The county's population of residents over the age of 65 is 31.6 percent greater than the state's average.

Physical abuse takes in not only assaults, but inappropriate use of drugs, restraints and confinement. Financial exploitation involves the taking of an older person's money, either by a caregiver or a scam artist.

December 17, 2012
Rocklin, Sacramento police report nude men arrested

David Brook.JPGPolice arrested two men in separate incidents who were allegedly naked in public places over the weekend - on a downtown Sacramento street and along Interstate 80 in Rocklin.

In the first incident, Sacramento police officers arrested David Brook, 44, (pictured at left) about 4 p.m. Saturday. Police said he was spotted near 8th and H streets with no clothes on.

According to a police activity log, he fled on foot. After he was caught, Brook struggled with officers but eventually was taken into custody, police said.

December 15, 2012
Sheriff seeks help identifying suspect in two sexual assaults

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department has released composite sketches of a suspect who is being sought in connection with two sexual assaults in the Arden Arcade area in recent weeks.

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On Nov. 23, a man wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a white bandana that covered his face attacked and sexually assaulted a woman after entering an unlocked apartment in the 3100 block of Trussel Way.

Two weeks later, another woman was sexually assaulted by a male suspect wearing a black knit cap after he forced her into her apartment in the 2200 block of Howe Avenue. Sheriff's investigators say they believe the same man is responsible for both assaults.

People who may have information to help authorities identify the suspect are asked to call the sheriff's department sex assault bureau at (916) 874-5070. Information may also be given anonymously by calling 916-874-TIPS (8477) or texting to 274637 (CRIMES) and entering the keyword SSD or through the sheriff's department website, www.sacsheriff.com.

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Sketches provided by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department

December 15, 2012
South Lake Tahoe man dies in crash on Pioneer Trail

A 26-year-old man died Saturday after a two-vehicle accident that knocked out power in the Ski Run neighborhood of South Lake Tahoe, police reported.

William Olazaba of South Lake Tahoe was pronounced dead at Barton Memorial Hospital after the 1:35 a.m. accident on Pioneer Trail at Ski Run Boulevard, the South Lake Tahoe police said Saturday.

Olazaba was a passenger in a sedan driven by Roberto Olazaba, 22, of South Lake Tahoe that broadsided a sport-utility vehicle passing through the intersection.

The driver of the SUV, Nick Corea, 26, of South Lake Tahoe, was treated and released at Barton Memorial. Roberto Olazaba was admitted to the hospital for observation.

The collision briefly shut off power to the Ski Run neighborhood after one of the vehicles stuck a power conversion box.

December 15, 2012
Off-duty CHP officer killed in motorcycle accident

By Matt Weiser
mweiser@sacbee.com

An off-duty California Highway Patrol officer was killed Friday night in a dramatic vehicle accident that closed Highway 12 in Solano County for most of the evening.

The officer's name has not been released, but he worked in Solano County, said Officer Chris Parker, a CHP spokesman.

The accident occurred at 5:50 p.m. Friday on a notoriously dangerous stretch of Highway 12. An eastbound Toyota pickup truck had entered a turn lane and was making a left turn across the two westbound lanes in order to enter a driveway, just west of Red Top Road.

December 14, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What were circumstances of '90s homicde in Lincoln Village?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: Sometime in the early '90s, a young man named DeVarr Williams was killed in Lincoln Village. What were the details?
Submitted by: Rich, Citrus Heights

ANSWER: DeVarr Williams died in February 1994, a week after he was shot as he stood outside a liquor store in the Lincoln Village area.

December 14, 2012
UPDATE: Teen struck by vehicle crossing Roseville's Washington Blvd.

A 13-year-old boy has been transported to a hospital after he was stuck by a vehicle in Roseville late this afternoon.

The accident occurred about 4:45 p.m. Police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said three teenagers were trying to cross Washington Boulevard. Two waited but one boy decided to dash across, she said. The youth was not in a crosswalk.

He was struck by a Nissan sedan that was southbound on Washington Boulevard.

December 14, 2012
Indictments charge four area men with receiving child porn

Four Sacramento-area men were recently charged in federal indictments with receiving or sharing child pornography.

James Capalbo, 61, of Davis was charged with receipt of child pornography. The Nov. 29 indictment alleges that between March 28 and April 26, 2011, Capalbo knowingly received visual depictions of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

The case resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

December 14, 2012
Rocklin traffic stop leads to arrests in suspected identity thefts

A traffic stop in Rocklin early this morning led to the arrest of two people after police reported finding burglary tools and evidence of identity theft in the vehicle.

Shortly after 4 a.m., officers stopped a vehicle in the area of Taylor Road and Interstate 80 for a vehicle code violation. The driver was identified as Larry Ledezma, 29, of Shingle Springs and the passenger as Krystin Gonzales, 22, of Lincoln. Both were found to be on searchable probation, according to a Police Department news release.

During a search of the inside of the car, officers found burglary tools and evidence of identity theft. Police are investigating possible identify theft involving victims from the Lincoln and Rocklin areas, officials said.

December 14, 2012
Connecticut killings remind north state of past school shootings

By Loretta Kalb
lkalb@sacbee.com

Today's mass killing at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school where 27 people, including 18 students, died at the hands of a lone gunman, has grim similarities to violence in this region.

Northern California public schools have been devastated by their own history of heartbreak in school shootings.

In January 1989, Patrick "Eddie" Purdy, 24, loaded himself down with a semiautomatic AKM-47 and two pistols and headed to Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, a campus he had attended 16 years earlier.

Before he was through, he had killed five students and wounded 30 children and one teacher. Then he turned a gun on himself and ended his life with a bullet to the head.

Three years later, in May 1992, a disgruntled high school dropout, Eric Houston donned a camouflage hunting vest, loaded his car with a semiautomatic rifle and a shotgun and fatally gunned down three students and history teacher at Lindhurst High School in Olivehurst, north of Sacramento.

He injured 10 other people that day and trapped 84 students in the school building as hostages.

Houston was convicted in 1993 and sent to death row.

December 14, 2012
Driver arrested on suspicion of hitting wheelchair user in midtown

A woman was arrested by Sacramento police on suspicion of leaving the scene after hitting a person in a wheelchair.

Regina Medina, 35, was arrested on suspicion of felony hit and run and driving on an expired license.

Police said that about 4 p.m. Thursday a person in a wheelchair was struck by a vehicle in the vicinity of 30th and U streets. The injuries to the wheelchair user were described as not life-threatening.

The vehicle fled the scene, according to a police activity log. Police allege that Medina was the driver of the vehicle and that she returned to the scene where she was taken into custody.

December 14, 2012
Drunk driver checkpoint slated for tonight in S. Sacramento

A drunk driver checkpoint will be in place tonight in South Sacramento.

The Sacramento Police Department will be conducting the checkpoint at 24th Street and Fruitridge Road beginning at 8 p.m. The checkpoint will last about six hours.

Uniformed officers will be checking for alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers. They will also make sure drivers have valid licenses.

DUI checkpoints are proven deterrents in cutting the number of people killed or injured in crashes, according to police.

"Research shows that crashes involving alcohol drop by an average of 20 percent when well-publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough," said a press release from the department.

In 2010 more than 10,000 people were killed in the United States in crashes where at least one driver was legally drunk. In California, 791 such deaths were recorded.

December 13, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What was outcome of trial in 1999 machete murder?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: In the late '90s, a coworker broke into a home in south Sacramento, assaulted a young woman and attacked her grandmother with a machete. What was the outcome of his trial?
Submitted by: P.S., Sacramento

ANSWER: Tamecus Reed was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for the machete murder of 81-year-old Soledad Abogado and rape of her 23-year-old granddaughter.

December 13, 2012
Former Elk Grove man accused of embezzling $2.5 million

A former Elk Grove man has been charged with mail fraud related to embezzlement from his former employer.

A federal grand jury today returned a 20-count indictment against Vincent J. Doyle, 53. Doyle now lives in Syracuse, Ind., according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to the indictment, Doyle was the chief financial officer for a civil engineering firm in Sacramento and El Dorado counties. From 2001 until he retired from the firm in 2009, he allegedly used his position to write unauthorized checks form the firm's bank accounts that totaled at least $2.5 million.

December 13, 2012
Stolen vehicle leads to wanted probationer's arrest in Woodland

A man wanted for probation violations was arrested this afternoon after allegedly stealing a vehicle.

A resident called the Woodland Police Department about 7:10 this morning to report that his 1994 Chevrolet Blazer had just been stolen from his driveway in the 800 block of Cottonwood Street. Officers responded to the area but were unable to find the vehicle or suspect, according to a Police Department news release.

About 12:20 p.m., a Woodland officer spotted the stolen vehicle eastbound on Oak Avenue near Saunders Lane. The officer followed the vehicle while waiting for additional officers to arrive, officials said.

December 13, 2012
Deputies seek 13-year-old girl missing from south Sacramento home

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help in locating a missing 13-year-old girl.

jackson.jpgKaylecia Jackson was last seen Wednesday morning when she left her home on Wire Drive, near 47th Avenue and Stockton Boulevard. The girl never arrived at school.

Kaylecia is considered at risk because of her age. She is described as a black girl, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing about 165 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Department at (916) 874-5115.

December 13, 2012
Placer County detectives arrest man for rape of disabled woman

montgomery marquise.JPGPlacer County sheriff's detectives relied on DNA evidence to arrest an ex-employee of a care home suspected of impregnating a severely mentally disabled woman.

Sheriff's officials said that they arrested Marquise X. Montgomery, 22, in Elverta on Wednesday night, booking him into the Placer County Jail on suspicion of rape of a person unable to give consent.

Montgomery is suspected of sexually assaulting a woman in a Penryn care home where he was once employed. The 34-year-old woman was discovered a year ago to be about six months pregnant.

December 13, 2012
Sacramento deputies arrest three in connection with Wilton homicide

Daniel Valine photo.jpgSacramento County sheriff's deputies have arrested three men in connection with the fatal shooting of a man in his Wilton home nearly two months ago.

Detectives allege the men shot the victim, 60-year-old Kelly McClurg, during an attempt to rob him of marijuana, according to the Sheriff's Department.

The suspects were acquaintances of the victim, officials said.

December 13, 2012
Woman gets 15 years to life for murder of step-daughter

A woman already doing time for strangling and beating her 6-year-old step-daughter had a life sentenced added to her term as a result of her no-contest plea to a murder charge filed after the little girl died of her injuries six years after the initial attack.

Weili Kao, 43, received the added 15-to-life prison term Wednesday from Sacramento Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette for killing Truly Lo.

Kao beat the little girl and grabbed her by the neck while disciplining her on May 11, 2004. The girl fell into a persistent vegetative state and Kao was convicted and sentenced the next year for felony child abuse.

Sacramento prosecutors filed murder charges agaisnt Kao after Lo died on Dec. 21, 2010. Kao entered her plea to the second-degree murder charge on Dec. 3.

December 13, 2012
Sheriff IDs Pollock Pines man who died in officer-involved shooting

An El Dorado County man was killed in gunfire last night in an officer-involved shooting.

The dead man was identified as Christopher Michael Sheldon, 38, of Pollock Pines.

The incident began when the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office dispatch center received a call about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday from a resident in the 2900 block of Kimberly Lane in Pollock Pines. The caller said that a man at the residence was threatening to shoot himself.

December 13, 2012
Gone in three minutes: Amador County thieves steal $19,000 in equipment

Amador1.JPGIt took thieves three minutes to steal $19,000 worth of power equipment from an Amador County store.

Security camera video shows that at 4:49 a.m. Sunday a man opened a locked gate at Guy's Saw Center in Pine Grove and guided a white van onto the property.

Four men wearing gloves and attempting to hide their faces then jumped from the back of the van. One used a sledge hammer to smash the glass door of the business.

December 13, 2012
Inmate found dead in downtown jail identified

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has released the name of the man found dead Wednesday morning in his cell at the Sacramento County Main Jail.

He was identified as Vu Van Ha, 66, of Sacramento.

Sheriff's officials said that Ha had been in custody since Dec. 6, when he was booked on suspicion of felony evasion of a peace officer, hit and run, assault with a deadly weapon and reckless driving.

December 12, 2012
Sheriff's Department outllnes procedure for turning in guns

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is advising residents of the proper procedures for turning over firearms to a law enforcement agency.

Anyone wishing to bring a gun to one of the Sheriff's Department's facilities must adhere to the guidelines:

• Leave the firearm unloaded in a locked vehicle while contacting sheriff's personnel in the facility.

December 12, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was driver charged in 2011 death of Elk Grove jogger?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: In April 2011, Teresa Hess was killed by a vehicle while crossing Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove. What was the final result of that investigation?
Submitted by: Katt, Elk Grove

ANSWER: Teresa Hess, 54, died April 5, 2011, of injuries suffered a day earlier when she was struck by a pickup truck as she jogged about 8 a.m. across Laguna Boulevard.

December 12, 2012
Child escapes early morning fire traced to space heaters

Fire officials are urging caution when using space heaters after a 6-year-old boy narrowly escaped injury in a fire at his North Highlands home early this morning.

The boy was asleep about 1 a.m. in a room that had been converted from a garage in the 3600 block of McClellan Drive, with heat provided by two electric space heaters plugged into back-to back extension cords. Two adults were inside the house watching TV, unaware that the space heaters had overloaded the extension cords and started a fire, according to a Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District news release.

When the boy's parents returned home, they smelled smoke in the house and found the couch in the room engulfed in flames. The father carried his son to safety while others tried to put out the fire.

December 12, 2012
Officials report death of inmate in Sacramento County jail cell

A 66-year-old man was found dead early this morning in his cell at the Sacramento County Main Jail.

Sheriff's officials said that the man had been in custody since Dec. 6, when he was booked on suspicion of felony evasion of a peace officer, hit and run, assault with a deadly weapon and reckless driving.

Shortly before 4 a.m. today, a deputy went to the man's cell to check on him and found him hanging with a piece of cloth around his neck, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The deputy immediately entered the cell and removed the cloth.

December 12, 2012
Man arrested in Placer County linked to thefts in Truckee

An arrest in Placer County has led to the recovery of numerous items reported stolen from vehicles in Truckee over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Truckee police took several theft reports over the Thanksgiving weekend involving the theft of items from unlocked vehicles. The items included electronics and other personal property, according to a Police Department news release.

On Monday, Placer County sheriff's deputies arrested Wiley Washam of Truckee in an unrelated matter. During the investigation, a detective noticed that Washam had a distinctive item in his possession. The detective notified Truckee police detectives, who confirmed that the item was recently stolen in Truckee.

December 12, 2012
He's a mean one, Mr. Grinch: Roseville male stomps on decorations

Along with the usual catalytic converter thefts and burglaries in the Roseville police public safety newsletter this week is a rather Grinch-like report:

"At about 1:30 a.m. December 6, someone was seen stomping on and damaging Christmas decorations in the front yard of a house in the 1700 block of Santa Ines St. The unknown suspect, who looked like a white male teenager, got into a light-colored four-door sedan, similar to a full-size Toyota or Lexus, with a spoiler and sunroof."

Anyone with information about the incident can call Roseville Crime Stoppers at (916) 783-7867.

December 12, 2012
Carmichael house fire traced to motorcycle repair

Motorcycle repair is the apparent cause of a fire in Carmichael.

Sac Metro fire crews were alerted to the fire about 4 p.m. Tuesday on Oak Stream Court, where a vehicle was reported on fire in a garage. When crews arrived five minutes later, they attacked the intensifying fire and searched for any trapped residents.

Eventually, the fire spread into the attic and part of the second floor, flames extending from eaves toward the house next door.

December 11, 2012
New jail mail policy intended to keep out contraband

Family and friends of Sacramento County jail inmates who want to communicate in writing will have to correspond via postcards.

Beginning Feb. 10, the Sacramento County Main Jail and Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center will limit all incoming mail, with the exception of legal mail and other specifically approved correspondence, to standard postcards, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The change in policy will not affect outgoing mail sent by inmates.

The postcard-only policy for incoming mail is intended to increase safety and security by making it more difficult to get contraband into the facilities, officials said. It also will reduce the amount of time staff members have to spend processing and screening incoming mail, and allow them to handle other needs in the facilities.

December 11, 2012
Nephew arrested in fatal shooting at Herald residence

A 31-year-old man who called 911 Sunday to report that his uncle had been shot and killed in the driveway of his Herald home was arrested tonight on suspicion of murder.

Jerry King was taken into custody shortly after 6:30 p.m. by detectives from the Sacramento County Sheriff's Major Crime Bureau. Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos said King is being interviewed by investigators and will be booked into the county's main jail.

Deputies responded to a residence in the 13000 block of Purvis Road in Herald shortly before 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The caller, later identified as King, said that someone had been shot in the driveway of the home. When deputies arrived, they found a 50-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his chest lying in the driveway outside the house. He was pronounced dead by paramedics.

December 11, 2012
Red-light cameras to go 'live' at Rancho Cordova intersection

A new digital red-light photo enforcement camera system has been installed at Zinfandel and Olson drives in Rancho Cordova and is scheduled to go "live" at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

For a period of 30 days, red-light violators will be mailed a warning notice. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 12, red-light violators at this intersection will receive citations by mail, according to a Rancho Cordova Police Department news release.

The citation will include a referral to a website where the violator can view the still and/or video images of the violation. The violator should be able to clearly see where the vehicle was in relation to the intersection's limit line, and the green, yellow and red lights.

Police say the system is intended to increase traffic safety, citing studies that have shown a significant reduction in red-light-related crashes at intersections with photo enforcement camera systems.

December 11, 2012
Roseville man accused of ramming vehicle on Highway 49

A Roseville man was arrested after he allegedly rammed a vehicle during a dispute with another motorist on Highway 49 near Auburn.

Auburn police reported that their dispatch center received multiple calls about the incident, which occurred shortly before 3:30 p.m. Monday on Highway 49 near Borland Avenue. Mark Mickle, 56, is accused of ramming the back of another vehicle after the other vehicle passed him in a passing area south of the Auburn city limits. Two occupants of that vehicle complained of minor injuries consisting of a sore neck and back from the rear-end impact, according to a Police Department news release.

Mickle left the area before law enforcement officers arrived, but Roseville police later found him at his home. An Auburn officer subsequently contacted Mickle at the residence and arrested him on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Mickle was booked into Placer County Jail. Police said he was released on $25,000 bail.

December 11, 2012
Sacramento sheriff's detectives seek suspect in Antelope sex assault

Antelope S1 sketch.jpgSacramento County sheriff's detectives are asking for the public's help in identifying a man suspected of sexually assaulting a young woman in Antelope last month.

The woman, 19, was walking around Olive Grove Elementary School when she was approached by the suspect, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Department. They had a brief conversation, then went their separate ways, the release states.

A few minutes later, the suspect grabbed the woman and sexually assaulted her, then fled the area on foot, the release states.

December 11, 2012
Jurors find Rio Linda man guilty of second-degree murder in ax-killing case

RB Axe Murder 3.JPGA Sacramento Superior Court jury found Steven Zinda of Rio Linda guilty Tuesday of second-degree murder in the ax killing of a 20-year-old man he mistakenly thought burglarized his Rio Linda home.

Zinda, 31, came home from a friend's house at 3 a.m on March 20, 2011, to find his garage door open. He told sheriff's detectives that when he went into his house in the 7200 block of Second Street from the garage, he saw burglars running out the front door.

In his interview with a sheriff's investigator, Zinda said when he went outside to chase the burglars, he saw a man later identified as David Valdez, 20, standing on the corner drinking out of half-gallon rum bottle. Authorities said that Valdez was waiting for friends to help him after he had run his car into a ditch.

December 11, 2012
42 citations issued in Placer County for supplying booze to minors

In the past five months, Placer County police and sheriff's department personnel have used a state grant to crack down on underage drinking.

A total of 27 citations have been issued for selling booze to minors. In addition, 15 people have been cited for buying alcohol for a minor.

The concerted effort to stem underage drinking was funded with a grant of about $100,000 from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The primary objective was to reduce youth access to alcohol, statistics showing that minors generally have a higher rate of drunken driving crashes than adults, stated an ABC press release.

December 11, 2012
Inderkum High fight sends one student to hospital

Sacramento police report a fight on a Natomas high school campus resulted in an injury to one student.

The fight broke out about this morning on the campus of Inderkum High School, 2500 New Market Drive. Police said a student who did not attend Inderkum came onto campus, apparently to settle an on-going issue with another student.

Police were still sorting out what happened as of 12:30 p.m. One student was transported to a hospital due to an injury suffered during a fall after being hit.

December 11, 2012
Sacramento Sheriff: Man arrested after allegedly brandishing gun, claiming to be cop

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies arrested a 48-year-old man last month after he drunkenly brandished a gun at an Arden Arcade restaurant and claimed to be a cop, according to authorities.

Richard Flojo was arrested on suspicion of drawing or exhibiting a weapon in a rude or threatening manner, according to a written report from the Sheriff's Department.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 19 on two counts of that charge, as well as a charge of resisting arrest, according to Sacramento Superior Court records available online. All are misdemeanors.

December 11, 2012
Sacramento County Juvenile Hall officials seek book donations for library

Sacramento County probation officials are asking for book donations as they seek to build up the library at Juvenile Hall.

A new library opened at the hall, formally known as the Youth Detention Facility, this summer. The goal is to promote reading, improve literacy and provide youth with resources to help them prepare for transitioning back into the community, according to the probation department.

Officials are asking for new or gently used books appropriate for youths between the ages of 11 and 17, but note that reading levels vary from kindergarten to college. They are interested in classic literature, textbooks, fiction and non-fiction.

Donations can be dropped off at the Juvenile Hall visiting center, 4136 Branch Center Road in Sacramento between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. any day of the week. For more information about how to donate, contact Tydamika Sasser at (916) 875-0566 or sassert@saccounty.net.

December 11, 2012
Craigslist meet-up ends in robbery and eventual arrest

Dominique Holmes.JPGA man has been arrested on suspicion of robbing a Folsom resident of his iPhone during a meeting arranged through Craigslist.

Dominique Albert Holmes, 23, of Vacaville was arrested on a warrant charging him with robbery, using a firearm in commission of a felony and additional charges.

Roseville police said that at 10:45 p.m. July 29 officers responded to a gas station at Sunrise Avenue and Cirby Way where a Folsom man said he was robbed of his cell phone.

December 11, 2012
Update: Parolee in Sacramento standoff identified

Paul Garduno.JPGAuthorities have identified a wanted parolee who was involved in a standoff last night with Sacramento police.

Police said that Paul Garduno, 54, surrendered to law enforcement officers late Monday night, ending a standoff that prompted the evacuation of several homes and apartment units in the area of Connie Drive and El Camino Avenue tonight.

Sacramento police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante said a call was received at 7:12 p.m. from a woman reporting a prowler at her home in the 2400 block of Connie Drive, east of the Capital City Freeway. The woman said someone was trying to break in and then determined that it was her boyfriend, a wanted parolee.

The man initially held her in the residence against her will, but she was able to talk him into allowing her to leave unharmed. As he remained inside, SWAT and hostage negotiation teams were summoned.

Gigante said Garduno surrendered shortly before midnight. He was arrested on suspicion of parole violation, resisting arrest and false imprisonment.

PHOTO CAPTION: Paul Garduno

December 10, 2012
Parolee surrenders, ending four-hour standoff

A wanted parolee has surrendered to law enforcement officers, ending a standoff that
prompted the evacuation of several homes and apartment units in the area of Connie Drive and El Camino Avenue tonight.

The name of the man, who allegedly broke into his girlfriend's duplex, has not been released pending booking into Sacramento County Jail.

Sacramento police spokeswoman Michele Gigante said a call was received at 7:12 p.m. from a woman reporting a prowler at her home in the 2400 block of Connie Drive, east of the Capital City Freeway. She said someone was trying to break in and then determined that it was her boyfriend, a wanted parolee, Gigante said.

December 10, 2012
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man who killed brother-in-law?

Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.

QUESTION: What happened to the murder of Pablo Martin? He was shot by Oscar Ceballos, his brother-in-law at the time.
Submitted by: Araceli Diaz, Sacramento

ANSWER: Oscar Ceballos was sentenced to 21 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter in the April 27, 2009 shooting death of Pablo Martin.

December 10, 2012
Photographer accused of secretly videotaping teenage girl

buchanan_ronald_roy_jr.jpegRoseville police have arrested a local photographer and youth volleyball coach on suspicion of secretly videotaping an underage girl in the bathroom while she was getting ready for a photo shoot.

Ronald Roy Buchanan Jr. (pictured), 30, was arrested Thursday following an investigation that began in late November, after a teenage girl and her parent reported concerns about inappropriate comments and secret videotaping during a photography session, according to a Police Department news release. The photographer was also the girl's former club volleyball coach.

Buchanan was arrested on suspicion of possessing obscene matter involving a person under the age of 18. He is being held in Placer County Jail on $250,000 bail.

December 10, 2012
Alaska Airlines flight lands safely in Sacramento after electrical smell reported in cabin

An Alaska Airlines flight en route from Seattle to Las Vegas was diverted to Sacramento International Airport this afternoon after flight attendants reported an electrical smell in the cabin.

Airport spokeswoman Laurie Slothower said Flight 606 landed safely about 4:40 p.m.

Bobbie Egan, media relations manager for the airline, said in an email that contrary to initial reports, no smoke, only an electrical odor, was detected in the cabin. The Boeing 737-800 was carrying 152 passengers and a six-member crew.

December 10, 2012
UPDATE: North Highlands man seriously injured in Citrus Heights crash

A Shasta Lake man is in custody following a hit-and-run collision in Citrus Heights that left a motorcyclist with major injuries, according to police.

Westbound Greenback Lane between Sunrise Boulevard and Birdcage Street was closed for about five hours while police investigated the collision, which occurred just before 12:30 p.m.

A van collided with a motorcycle and then fled the scene, according to a Citrus Heights Police Department news release. The van was located a few blocks away in a parking lot in the area of Sunrise and Sun Hill Drive, but the driver was gone. Police later located the suspected driver, identified as Adam McGue, 30, of Shasta Lake. He was arrested on suspicion of hit and run with injury.

December 10, 2012
Copper wire thefts down and streetlights back on in Sacramento

The number of street light wire copper thefts in the City of Sacramento is down to five a week.

That's a considerable decrease from 20 calls a week being reported before April. Since then, police began a crackdown on copper wire thieves and utility crews engaged in an effort to clear a big backlog of darkened streetlights.

On April 10, the city council okayed the transfer of $2 million to help make repairs after rampant copper wire thefts left 150 neighborhoods dark.

December 10, 2012
Highway 49 near Diamond Springs reopens after utility pole repaired

A stretch of Highway 49 near Diamond Springs has reopened to traffic after being closed for several hours due to a downed utility pole.

The pole and utility lines were reported down about 3 this morning. A California Highway Patrol traffic website reported that the pole snapped, but the reason for the failure has not been released. A CHP spokesman said there was no evidence that it had been struck by a vehicle.

The highway, between Fowler Lane and Missouri Flat Road, reopened shortly after 2 p.m.

December 10, 2012
Smoke alarm alerts South Sacramento County family to fire

A smoke alarm did the trick on Sunday, alerting a South area family that a fire inside their home was building in intensity.

The fire in a home on the 8400 block of Cassatt Way about 2 p.m. Sunday began in a master bedroom closet. The residents were home but not in the master bedroom when the smoke alarm sounded.

"We always tell people that smoke alarms save lives," said Sac Metro Battalion Chief Rick Griggs. "They really do. This family was actually home with a fire building upstairs, and had no idea until their smoke alarm alerted them to the danger."

December 9, 2012
Police say shooting victim was visiting nephew in Herald

By Mark Glover
mglover@sacbee.com

A 50-year-old man visiting his nephew was gunned down outside the nephew's home this afternoon in the south Sacramento County community of Herald.

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos said the victim was shot and killed around 4:30 p.m. in a rural area in the 13000 block of Purvis Road, just east of central Herald and north of the Sacramento-San Joaquin county line.

Ramos said the victim was not an area resident but did make periodic trips to Herald to visit his nephew.

December 9, 2012
Gunman in Jack-in-the-Box standoff identified

Hostage.JPGBy Anne Gonzales
afgonzales@sacbee.com

The identity of the armed robber shot and killed Saturday by Sacramento police during a hostage situation at a fast food restaurant was released by the county coroner's office Sunday.

The gunman was identified as Xang Khang, 26, of Sacramento.

After a tense standoff of more than three hours, he was shot by Sacramento officers at the Jack in the Box restaurant at 8349 Folsom Boulevard.

December 9, 2012
St. Francis High's visual arts teacher dies photographing a train

Kathryn Mary Carlisle.jpegBy Anne Gonzales
afgonzales@sacbee.com

A St. Francis High School visual arts teacher, known for her talent and passion, died when she was struck by a train while taking photos near the campus Saturday afternoon.

Kathy Carlisle, 52, was struck by a Union Pacific train shortly before 3 p.m. near 65th Street and Elvas Avenue. She had been a faculty member at St. Francis since 2008, teaching art, painting, sculpture and photography.

Sacramento police said Carlisle was taking photos of an oncoming train, when she was hit from behind by another train coming in the opposite direction. Police said there was no indication of foul play, and she reportedly died at the scene of the accident.

December 9, 2012
Man arrested in connection with fatal road rage shooting

By Anne Gonzales
afgonzales@sacbee.com

Road rage reportedly led to the death of Duane Lomax, 36, in north Sacramento County in the early morning hours Saturday.

Sacramento sheriff's deputies arrested Brian Jones, 24, on suspicion of murder and violating probation in connection with the shooting of Lomax, a resident of Atlanta, Ga.

Just after 2 a.m. Saturday, sheriff's deputies said Lomax called 911 to report that he was following a vehicle with two women, one of whom he said brandished a firearm at him, off of Elkhorn Boulevard near North Highlands.

December 8, 2012
Robbery suspect shot, killed; two hostages unharmed at Sacramento Jack in the Box

By Debbie Arrington and Edward Ortiz
darrington@sacbee.com

Hostage.JPG

Hundreds of Saturday afternoon customers at a Sacramento shopping center witnessed a tense three-hour standoff at a Jack in the Box restaurant, which ended with a robbery suspect shot by Sacramento police sharpshooters.

Two female hostages, both restaurant employees, escaped unharmed from the eatery in the 8300 block of Folsom Boulevard in the College Greens Shopping Center.

The wounded suspect, whose name was not released, was transported by paramedics to a local hospital, where he died Saturday night.

December 8, 2012
Hostages released, suspect shot at Sacramento Jack in the Box store

Hostage.JPGBy Edward Ortiz
eortiz@sacbee.com

Multiple gunshots and at least three concussion grenades were fired at a Jack in the Box restaurant on Folsom Boulevard where a gunman has been barricaded with at least one hostage.

A woman, apparently an employee of the restaurant, rushed from the store at about 3:43 p.m. after the gunfire, where she was met by several Sacramento Police officers, who rushed her to safety behind the building.

Medical personnel and police officers are at the scene did not immediately enter the building, but police said that the suspect had been shot.

December 8, 2012
Comedian Katt Williams arrested and released on bail

Katt Williams.jpegBy Richard Chang and Bill Lindelof
rchang@sacbee.com

Comedian Katt Williams is free again, after posting bail this morning at the Yolo County Jail.

Williams was arrested Saturday night in Dunnigan by Yolo County Sheriff's deputies, according to Yolo County Sheriff's Deputy Rob Harbaugh. They were acting on an arrest warrant issued by the Sacramento County District Attorney's office on Friday for felony evading of officers and driving in a reckless manner.

The warrant was issued in response to Williams' alleged wild driving in Sacramento Nov. 25.

December 8, 2012
Man arrested in connection with fatal Saturday '911' shooting

Brian Jones image.jpgBy Debbie Arrington and Richard Chang
darrington@sacbee.com

A 24-year-old man was in custody Saturday on suspicion that he shot to death another man who was on the phone with 911 emergency personnel during the shooting, authorities said.

The altercation followed a road rage incident in north Sacramento County, according to sheriff's deputies.

Brian Jones, 24, was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of murder after his arrest by Sacramento County sheriff's homicide detectives.

December 7, 2012
All lanes of westbound Hwy 50 now open after major injury collision

All westbound lanes of Highway 50 are open now after a major injury collision had reduced traffic flow to one lane in West Sacramento, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision occurred shortly after 5 p.m. and involved a sedan and a sports utility vehicle. CHP reports available online indicate more vehicles might have been involved.

The lane closure, at the West Harbor Boulevard off ramp, had traffic backed up to Jefferson Boulevard.

Traffic cams, conditions at sacbee.com/traffic.

December 7, 2012
Warrant issued in Sacramento County for comedian Katt Williams

Katt Williams.jpegThe Sacramento County District Attorney's office has issued an arrest warrant for comedian Katt Williams.

The district attorney's office confirmed Friday that an arrest warrant has been issued for felony evading of officers and driving in a reckless manner.

The warrant is in response to Williams' alleged wild driving in Sacramento Nov. 25.

December 7, 2012
Second hit over head by robber near Woodland park

Another person has been knocked over the head by a robber near Woodland's Freeman Park.

The latest assault occurred at about 12:20 a.m. Wednesday when a 46-year-old Knights Landing man was walking near the park at 1001 Main St. The man, approached by three attackers, was hit over the head with an object, possibly a bottle.

He lost his wallet in the assault. It was later recovered, minus cash.

Woodland police said that a similar robbery occurred in the area near Third Street and Lincoln Avenue on Nov. 18. In that incident, a man was also hit over the head in an attempted robbery.

December 7, 2012
Three armed robberies in Davis greenbelts

Three armed robberies occurred last night in City of Davis greenbelts.

Details are few, but Davis police say the first two robberies happened at 8:17 p.m. and again at 8:25 p.m. in the area of Catalina and Corona drives and on Pamplona Avenue in north Davis.

Later, a third robbery happened in the same area. Police searched for two men wearing hooded sweatshirts, at least one armed with a handgun.

The men took iPhones and other personal items. Police said this morning that nobody had been arrested in connection with the holdups.

December 6, 2012
South Lake Tahoe man indicted for workers' comp fraud

Federal authorities say a South Lake Tahoe man allegedly received workers' compensation while being a regular skier.

A federal grand jury returned an 11-count indictment today against Mark E. Leung, 58, charging him with mail and wire fraud -- and making a false statement to obtain federal workers' compensation benefits.

The indictment alleges that Leung worked for the U.S. Postal Service until 1987 when he claimed he sustained an on-the-job injury. He never returned to full-time work with the postal service.

December 6, 2012
Jury recommends death penalty in Hirschfield murder trial

A Sacramento Superior Court jury recommended the death penalty Thursday for Richard Joseph Hirschfield, who was convicted of murder last month in the deaths of UC Davis sweethearts more than 30 years ago.

The panel announced its verdict before Judge Michael W. Sweet in a crowded downtown Sacramento courtroom.

Last month, the jury had convicted Hirschfield in the Dec. 20, 1980, murders of John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves, both 18. They had been abducted after working as volunteers on The Davis Children's Nutcracker. Their bodies were found two days later in a ditch 30 miles away near Lake Natoma. Their throats had been slashed, and Gonsalves had been sexually attacked.

It took the jury 3 1/2 hours to deliberate before reaching its decision in the guilt phase of the Hirschfield trial. The panel informed Sweet's courtroom today at 10:30 a.m. that it had a verdict on whether Hirschfield should be executed or sentenced to life in prison without parole. Their deliberations on whether to recommend death or life without parole for Hirschfield began Wednesday and lasted a total of 2 1/2 hours.

December 6, 2012
Sacramento police officer goes 'above and beyond' in helping blind man

alford.JPGIt certainly wasn't a routine call for the Sacramento Police Department. But it was one that earned Officer Maryna Stanionis the gratitude of one Sacramento resident in need of some help.

Last week, 3-year-veteran Stanionis was dispatched to a call of a man needing help finding his dog - not a priority call by any stretch, but it was a slow day, so Stanionis headed to 25th Avenue in Oak Park to check it out.

"I was like, 'Well, that's a new one,'" she said in a later interview.

December 6, 2012
Sacramento County looking for grand jury applicants

Citizens have until Feb. 6 to apply to serve on the 2013-2014 Sacramento County Grand Jury.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, U.S. citizens and reside in Sacramento County. The grand jury serves from July 10, 2013 to June 30, 2014.

To get an application questionnaire and view a fact sheet, go to www.sacgrandjury.org or call the grand jury coordinator at (916) 874-7559.

December 6, 2012
Culprits steal Bible in trio of oddball Roseville thefts

In the category of "if it isn't nailed down, somebody's going to take it" here's three recent thefts in Roseville.

• A thief smashed the window of a car parked at a care facility in the 1100 block of Cirby Way on Nov. 29 and took a Bible.

• Someone broke into a vacant house on Duncan Way between Nov. 24 and 26 and hauled off a clothes dryer.

• A thief took a package delivered to a front porch in the 1400 block of Dallen Way on Nov. 15. Inside the parcel was a lacrosse helmet.

December 6, 2012
Sac PD: Man arrested for resisting after grabbing for officer's gun

Sacramento police said a man who allegedly grabbed for an officer's gun was arrested outside a Franklin Boulevard store Wednesday evening.

Anthony Genel, 41, was one of three people loitering outside the store in the 5000 block of Franklin Boulevard around 5 p.m. Wednesday, police said. The trio was also said to be causing a disturbance, which brought officers to the scene.

When officers approached Genel he was hostile and resisted officers when they tried to detain him, according to a police activity log. During the attempt to control Genel, he tried to remove an officer's handgun from its holster, according to police.

The attempt to disarm the officer prompted other officers to bring Genel under control. He was booked into jail on suspicion of battery and resisting arrest.

December 6, 2012
Couple missing from Citrus Heights found, boyfriend dead

A woman missing for nearly a week after leaving Citrus Heights for a trip across the stormy Sierra has been found alive, but her boyfriend is dead, authorities said.

Citrus Heights police said that Paula Lane, 46, of Gardnerville, Nev., was found alive walking along Highway 88/89 in Alpine County last night. Lane was located by a family member and she is recovering in a hospital.

Her boyfriend, Roderick Paul Clifton, 44, was found dead.

December 5, 2012
Jury deliberating in penalty phase of Hirschfield trial

A Sacramento Superior Court jury began deliberations today in the penalty phase of the Richard Joseph Hirschfield murder trial.

Jurors must decide whether Hirschfield, 63, will be sentenced to the death penalty or life in prison without parole as a result of his conviction last month for the Dec. 20, 1980, abduction and murders of UC Davis "sweethearts" John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves, both of whom were 18. He also was convicted of a sexual attack on Gonsalves. The two were kidnapped after they had worked on a production of The Davis Children's Nutcracker. Their bodies were discovered two days later near Lake Natoma.

In today's closing statements, the prosecutor urged a Sacramento jury to deliver the death penalty to Hirschfield, saying it is "the proper, fitting, commensurate punishment for what this man did and who he is."

December 5, 2012
Man convicted in Sacramento court of long list of sex assaults

A man was convicted in Sacramento Superior Court of a long list of sex charges, including lewd acts on a minor.

Dion Dametrice Tolliver, 36, was convicted Tuesday, by a jury of rape, sodomy, performing a sex act on an unconscious victim, sex assault and committing a lewd act on a child under the age of 14 and performing a sex act on a child under the age of 10.

Tolliver assaulted five victims from 1998 to 2009, according to a press release from the Sacramento County Office of the District Attorney. At the time of the offenses, the young people he assaulted ranged from 7 to 16 years old.

December 5, 2012
Hirschfield death penalty would be 'on him,' DA tells jury

The prosecutor today urged a Sacramento jury to deliver the death penalty to Richard Joseph Hirschfield, saying it is "the proper, fitting commensurate punishment for what this man did and who he is."

"This is not on you," Deputy District Attorney Dawn Bladet told the jury, anticipating defense arguments to play on any guilt that members of the panel might have about imposing capital punishment. "This is on him."

Hirschfield, 63, was convicted last month of the Dec. 20, 1980, abduction and murders of UC Davis "sweethearts" John Riggins and Sabrina Gonsalves, both of whom were 18. He also was convicted of a sexual attack on Gonsalves. The two were kidnapped after they had worked on a production of The Davis Children's Nutcracker. Their bodies were discovered two days later near Lake Natoma.

December 5, 2012
Man killed by falling tree is identified

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the man killed Tuesday when a large oak fell on his pickup truck

He was identified as Bryan Lee Vandeventer, 48, of Shingle Springs.

A California Highway Patrol officer said Vandeventer was driving his Ford 150 pickup westbound on Green Valley Road near Ponderosa Road near Rescue about 8 a.m. Tuesday when the tree fell.

Vandeventer died but a 10-year-old boy inside the crushed cab of the truck was not injured, according to the CHP.

December 4, 2012
Placer County inmates craft children's toys for holidays

A handful of Placer County minimum-security inmates are hoping to brighten the lives of area children through a new holiday toy-making operation.

patrol cars.JPG

Two inmates crafted some 300 wooden patrol cars, ducks and boats. The toys were then painted by another inmate. They are to be distributed to Toys for Tots, Child Protective Services and the Children's Receiving Home, department officials said.

Materials were either surplus, donated or purchased by jail staff. The pilot program was headed by Sgt. Rebecca Lyke and corrections officer Felix Sanchez.

ducks.JPG

Photos provided by Placer County Sheriff's Department

December 4, 2012
Arrest made in Red Hawk Casino stabbing death

El Dorado County Sheriff's deputies on Monday arrested the 33-year-old man suspected in the Thanksgiving-eve murder at Red Hawk Casino.

After getting a tip on Juarez Estephen's location, deputies first set up surveillance on Cothrin Ranch Road and then took him into custody at around 10 p.m. Monday, authorities said.

Estephen, who was previously called a person of interest in the Nov. 21 stabbing death, surrendered peacefully, according to the El Dorado County Sheriff's department.

December 4, 2012
Driver dies, boy survives crushing tree in El Dorado County

A heavy oak tree fell on a truck this morning near Rescue, crushing the driver but sparing the life of a boy.

A California Highway Patrol officer said the Ford 150 pickup was traveling westbound on Green Valley Road near Ponderosa Road about 8 a.m. today when the tree fell. The limb crushed the cab of the truck.

The driver, about 50 years old, died but the 10-year-old passenger was not injured, according to the CHP.

December 4, 2012
Suspected child molester arrested in El Dorado County

Ellsworth.jpgEl Dorado County Sheriff's deputies have arrested a man who they allege was caught in the act of molesting a child by the youngster's mother.

Deputies were called at about 5 p.m. Monday to an apartment near Green Valley and Cambridge roads in Cameron Park by a mother who reported she had caught an acquaintance in the act of molesting her child. Deputies declined to identify the gender or age of the child.

Deputies spoke with the mother and their investigation revealed that the acquaintance was 52-year-old Jeffrey Michael Ellsworth. Ellsworth is a registered sex offender, according to a sheriff's press release.

Ellsworth, a transient living in the Cameron Park area, had fled the apartment complex before deputies arrived. He was later tracked to Oak Hill Road in the Pleasant Valley area where he was arrested on suspicion of child molestation.

PHOTO CAPTION: Jeffrey Michael Ellsworth