Sacto 9-1-1
March 31, 2013
Lanes closed on Highway 50 after three cars collide

Two westbound lanes of Highway 50 reopened at 6:18 p.m. after being closed for nearly an hour because of a multiple-car acident.

A spin-out accident caused major injuries and led to the lane closures Sunday evening, the California Highway Patrol reported on their website.

Preliminary reports say three vehicles were involved.

-Hudson Sangree

March 31, 2013
Suspects sought in South Lake Tahoe armed robbery

Three suspects robbed a South Lake Tahoe motel late Saturday night, brandishing a handgun and holding a hunting knife at the neck of a clerk before getting away with cash, police said.

An unidentified woman knocked at the locked front lobby door at the Pinewood Lodge, 3818 Lake Tahoe Blvd., about 11:30 p.m. and told the clerk she needed a room, according to police.

When the clerk opened the door, two men wearing ski masks and gloves came into the office. One man allegedly showed a handgun and pushed the clerk behind the counter. The second man reportedly had a large hunting knife and placed it near the clerk's neck.

The female suspect demanded money, while the man with a gun opened the cash drawer and removed an undisclosed amount of cash, according to police.

The trio fled the scene in a brown four-door Cadillac headed eastbound toward the casino corridor.

The female suspect was described as a black woman, about 5-foot-4, wearing a gray sweatshirt with a hood. Both male suspects were described as black men, about 6-foot-2, wearing dark clothing. One was armed with a small black semi-automatic handgun and the other with a large hunting-style knife with a black blade.

Anyone with information on the robbery is urged to call South Lake Tahoe Police Department at (530) 542-6100.

March 31, 2013
Sunrise Mall evacuated in Saturday bomb scare

Sunrise Mall was evacuated Saturday afternoon, and the bomb squad was called in, after a suitcase was found sitting unattended in one of the walkways, Citrus Heights police said.

The suitcase turned out to be empty, and a 15-year-old girl was eventually taken into custody by police for intentionally causing the scare, according to police.

Sunrise Mall security officers saw the suitcase placed in the middle of a walkway in front of two stores at about 2:25 p.m. Mall security immediately notified Citrus Heights Police Department and evacuated the shopping center on Sunrise Boulevard.

The Sacramento County sheriff's department Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit investigated whether there was explosive material in the luggage and found the suitcase empty.

The teenager eventually came forward and claimed ownership of the suitcase, Citrus Heights police reports said. Officers said the girl placed the suitcase in the walkway with intent to cause fear and took her into custody.

March 31, 2013
Woman allegedly bites Sacramento police officer during dispute

A woman was arrested Saturday afternoon after she allegedly bit a police officer trying to intervene in a couple's argument, Sacramento police reported.

Two children were on the scene of the fracas, which occurred about 2:30 p.m. in the 4500 block of Breckenridge Way.

Sacramento police officers responded to a domestic 911 call from inside a home, and when they arrived, a child told police her father was hitting her mother. Officers could hear a couple arguing inside the home, but the couple wouldn't open the door, according to police reports.

March 31, 2013
Coroner's office identifies teen driver killed in crash near Arden Fair

Coroners identified the teenager killed in an early Saturday morning vehicle crash near Arden Fair Mall as Augustin Valdovinos Ocampo, 19, of Sacramento.

California Highway Patrol officers said the teen was driving a 1994 Nissan pickup truck westbound on Arden Way, east of Bell Street, when it crossed into the eastbound lanes and struck a Chevrolet truck.

Ocampo was pronounced dead at the scene, said CHP reports. The driver of the other vehicle was transported to a local hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

March 30, 2013
Teen killed in early-morning crash near Arden Fair

By Mark Glover
mglover@sacbee.com

A 19-year-old man was killed in an early morning crash today near Arden Fair mall, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

CHP Officer Lizz Dutton said the 19-year-old was driving a 1994 Nissan pickup truck westbound on Arden Way, just east of Bell Street, around 4:30 a.m. when he crossed over into the eastbound lanes and hit a Chevrolet truck.

The man, whose identity has not yet been released, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Chevrolet vehicle is being treated for serious injuries at a hospital.

Dutton said the 19-year-old is suspected of driving under the influence, but the crash remains under investigation.

Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

March 29, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What is status of tax preparer accused of mortgage fraud?

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

QUESTION: What is the status of Vera Kuzmenko, who was indicted in a mortgage fraud case?
Submitted by: Edward, Sacramento

ANSWER: Vera Kuzmenko, a tax preparer, is one of more than 80 people who have been indicted in 30 cases of alleged mortgage fraud filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento and involving members of the area's Slavic community, according to stories in The Bee.

March 29, 2013
Citrus Heights police seek suspect in commercial burglary

Citrus Heights police seek to identify a suspect in the burglary of a commercial complex that occurred early this morning.

Between midnight and 8 a.m., someone forced entry to a business complex through the roof, then broke through the walls of adjoining businesses to enter a convenience store in the 12400 block of Fair Oaks Boulevard.

Preliminary investigation determined that money had been taken from the business, according to a Police Department news release. No employees were at the affected businesses when the break-ins occurred.

March 29, 2013
Woodland man convicted of molesting, beating 2-year-old

A Woodland man has been found guilty of sexually molesting a 2-year-old boy.

After 10 hours of deliberation over two days, a Yolo County jury on Thursday convicted John "Tim" Ganthner, 46, of two felony counts of sexual assault of a child younger than 10 years old, four felony counts of physical abuse of a child and three additional enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury on a child younger than 5, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.

In the morning of Aug. 23, 2011, Ganthner was left alone to watch the child while the youngster's grandmother performed volunteer work for a local charity, authorities said. When the grandmother returned about 12:30 p.m., she noticed that the child had severe injuries to his private areas and chest.

March 29, 2013
Sacramento CHP officer uses life-saving skills to aid toddler, woman

In the past two months, California Highway Patrol Officer Rick Murray has done more than keep the speeds down on Sacramento freeways: He has used life-saving skills to restore breathing to both a toddler and a woman.

In the first incident, on Feb. 13, Murray, a motorcycle officer, was on patrol when he rolled up to three stopped vehicles in the center median of Highway 50, east of Highway 99. As he arrived, Cassie Moore showed Murray her 18-month-old daughter.

Moore's child had stopped breathing.

"The baby was absolutely blue," said Murray, a 17-year CHP veteran.

March 29, 2013
Judge grants delay in sentencing of convicted molester Shane Vicars

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Emily Vasquez has granted a motion delaying the sentencing for convicted Sacramento molester Shane Adair Vicars.

Vicars, a former Sierra Oaks Elementary School teacher, was convicted Feb. 8 on 13 counts of molesting two of his students. He was scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Vicars petitioned the court to replace his attorney Michael Chastaine with defense attorney Shannon Baker, who represented Vicars in his first trial. Jurors in that trial were unable to reach a verdict.

Through a filing, Baker said she would need time to review transcripts of the more recent trial to determine if grounds exist to argue for a third trial. The matter was put over until May 3, but it might not be resolved for months.

Vicars is facing a maximum term of 32 years in prison.

March 29, 2013
UPDATE: Truck driver of I-80 crash identified by CHP

The California Highway Patrol has released the name of the truck driver involved in the fiery wreck on Interstate 80 near Davis on Thursday as John Manuszak, 45, of Fresno.

Earlier in the day, authorities identified the two people killed in the accident.

The driver was identified as Phang Phetsomphou, 76, and the passenger was Bouaket Phetsomphou, 74, the Solano County Sheriff-Coroner's Office reports. Both were from Petaluma.

The CHP reopened Interstate 80's westbound lanes nearly seven hours after they were closed Thursday morning.

March 29, 2013
Spilled pool supplies block lane of I-80 near Antelope

A lane of westbound Interstate 80 is blocked this morning while emergency crews clean up pool supplies spilled when a pickup truck overturned this morning.

The crash occurred about 4 a.m. when the driver lost control of his truck on I-80 just west of Antelope Road. The driver veered to the left and struck the center divider, causing the vehicle to overturn and then land back on its wheels, according to California Highway Patrol officer Rich Wetzel.

The driver was not badly injured. His truck was carrying pools supplies, consisting of dry chlorine and muriatic acid.

Fire department personnel worked through the morning to remove the contents. Traffic was slow on westbound I-80 at 7 a.m.

There was no estimate when the fast lane on westbound I-80 at the site of the spill would be re-opened.

March 28, 2013
Sacramento man indicted for firearms trafficking

A Sacramento man was indicted today in a federal firearms trafficking case.

Dejon Andrade, 27, is charged with one count of unlawful dealing in firearms, five counts of interstate travel with intent to unlawfully deal in firearms and nine counts of illegal transportation of firearms acquired outside of his state of residence, according to a federal Department of Justice new release.

Court documents allege that Andrade used a Nevada ID to buy guns in Nevada, although he resided in California. He was prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns in California because of parole conditions, officials said, but he was able to buy firearms in Reno by providing false information on his federal firearm purchase paperwork.

March 28, 2013
One person reported dead in Yuba County crash

One person died this evening after a vehicle crashed west of Smartsville in Yuba County and caught fire.

Officer J. Bice of the California Highway Patrol said the single vehicle crash was reported about 6:10 p.m. on Timbuctoo Road, on the east side of the Yuba River, northeast of the Parks Bar Bridge. He said a passer-by had spotted smoke.

The vehicle was found 150 to 200 feet off the roadway on some rocks at the water's edge. Bice said it had been consumed by fire.

March 28, 2013
Nevada County man pleads guilty to role in Sacramento marijuana dispensary

A Nevada County man pleaded guilty today in federal court to maintaining a marijuana dispensary in Sacramento.

John Lester Gross III, 48, of Rough and Ready admitted maintaining a drug-involved premises, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, Gross helped organize and maintain a marijuana dispensary on P Street in Sacramento. It was supplied with marijuana grown on Gross' property in Rough and Ready, near Grass Valley.

March 28, 2013
Man sentenced in sex-trafficking case involving south Sacramento teen

An Oakland man has been sentenced to seven years in prison in a case involving the sex trafficking of a 14-year-old south Sacramento girl.

Jamir Imari Tatum, 20, was sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento by U.S. District Judge Morrison C.England Jr. Tatum will be subject to 10 years of supervised release following his prison term and will be required to register as a sex offender, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, in January 2012, Tatum met the 14-year-old victim outside her house. He took her to a motel in Sacramento and took several photographs of her engaged in sexuality explicit conduct. On Feb. 21, 2012, law enforcement agents were notified that the victim had run away with Tatum.

March 28, 2013
Man wanted for Sacramento County real estate fraud dies in Washington police standoff

A man who died in a standoff with police in Washington was wanted in Sacramento for real estate fraud.

The two-day police stand-off at a home in the small town of Hoquiam, along Washington's coast, ended this morning when the man was shot and killed.

The house where he had been holed up, then erupted in fire.

March 28, 2013
CHP reopens westbound Interstate 80 after fatal collision near Davis

20130328_PK_ACCIDENT_0061A.jpgBy Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

The California Highway Patrol has reopened Interstate 80's westbound lanes, nearly seven hours after they were closed following a fatal collision believed to be caused by a bigrig driver who lost consciousness while choking on his food.

Two died in the last of three collisions; they have not been identified. The bigrig driver, who has not been identified, was treated for minor to moderate injuries at a local hospital, said CHP Officer Chris Parker.

The incident, which spanned both eastbound and westbound lanes east of the University of California, Davis, exit, shut down eastbound lanes for two hours and westbound lanes for even longer. Those lanes are estimated to be reopened about 4 p.m., Parker said.

About 10:30 a.m., the bigrig was travelling eastbound in the slow lane when the driver, who was eating, began to choke on his food. He told officers that he briefly lost consciousness, and his bigrig drifted onto the right shoulder before veering left, across all lanes of eastbound traffic, Parker said.

The bigrig then struck two cars whose occupants suffered minor to moderate injuries, Parker said.

The bigrig then struck the guard rail in the center divider and passed into westbound lanes, Parker said. At that point, the bigrig's driver regained consciousness, but "unfortunately it's not in time enough to avoid a head-on collision," Parker said.

The bigrig then struck a BMW, and both vehicles burst into flames. The occupants of the BMW died. The bigrig driver suffered minor to moderate injuries, including burns, and was transported to a local hospital.

Parker said it is not yet clear whether the bigrig's driver will face charges in connection with the collisions. That decision will be made by the District Attorney's office after the investigation is complete.

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Kim_Minugh.

Photo caption: The scene of a crash on Interstate 80 in Davis near Old Davis Road on Thursday. Photo by Paul Kitagaki, Jr. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com



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March 28, 2013
Investigators still searching for motive in 'brutal' killing of Carmichael man

Kenneth Azlin mugshot.JPGBy Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

Sacramento County sheriff's investigators have found no evidence of any altercation or argument leading up to the fatal stabbing of a Carmichael man Wednesday night.

The attack, described by authorities as "brutal," appears to have been "a very spontaneous event" and the motive remains unclear, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Killed in the attack was 65-year-old Roy Shier, according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office.

Just before 11 p.m., deputies were called to a home on the 6200 block of Coyle Avenue after receiving a report of a stabbing. Deputies found Shier, who had suffered "significant trauma consistent with sharp force and blunt force trauma," Ramos said. Shier was pronounced dead at the scene.

Witnesses quickly told deputies the identity of the alleged attacker and gave a description. Deputies found the alleged assailant, identified as 26-year-old Kenneth Azlin, on the campus of a nearby elementary school and arrested him. They also found the weapon believed to have been used in the attack, Ramos said.

Azlin was arrested on suspicion of murder and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail early this morning.

Azlin is the grandson of Shier's wife, Ramos said. She and two juvenile family members were at the Coyle Avenue home at the time of the attack but were not injured.

Call The Bee's Kim Minugh, (916) 321-1038. Follow her on Twitter @Kim_Minugh.

March 27, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What were sentences in truck driver's murder?

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

QUESTION: Around the late 1990s, I was on a jury that convicted several people for robbery and murder of a truck driver in a parking lot of a Stop-and-Go near 46th Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard in south Sacramento. The victim's brother, also a truck driver, saw his brother's truck in the parking lot before and after making deliveries himself to the Campbell Soup plant. Upon investigating, he found his brother partially clothed and dead in the truck from a gunshot wound. The judge determined the sentencing after we were released. What punishment did the judge impose, and what are the defendants' status?
Submitted by: Dave, Folsom

ANSWER: James "J.T." Bertram and Nikita Suzanne Powell, both of south Sacramento, were tried for the shooting death of Woodland trucker Darrel Gaskill.

March 27, 2013
Rocklin police warn of telephone scam targeting seniors

Rocklin police are alerting residents to a telephone scam targeting senior citizens in the community.

It typically begins with a telephone call made by someone pretending to be the senior citizen's grandson or granddaughter. The caller says he or she has encountered some sort of trouble while traveling abroad and asks the grandparent to wire money. The trouble typically involves having a wallet stolen, being arrested, being seriously ill or being involved in a traffic accident.

Police said the caller usually sounds believable and, in many cases, uses the names of all the parties involved.

In at least one case, police said, a victim wired money. In another case, an alert bank teller prevented the customer from losing $3,000 when he told the teller why he was withdrawing the money and the teller realized it was a scam. The customer made a few calls, and verified that his grandson was not traveling and had not been arrested.

March 27, 2013
ATV rider dies after hitting wall in McClellan Park

A 23-year-old Sacramento man died after the all-terrain vehicle he was riding on a street in McClellan Park early Sunday struck a block wall.

The crash occurred at 1:25 a.m. as the man was riding a Bombardier ATV four-wheeler north on Arnold Drive just north of Howard Street. For unknown reasons, the ATV traveled off the roadway and struck a cinder block wall, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

The rider suffered fatal injuries. His name has not been released pending notification of family.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

March 27, 2013
Reward offered in bid to find person who shot Woodland cat

A Sacramento-based animal protection organization is offering a $2,500 reward in an effort to find a person who shot a Woodland cat with a pellet gun earlier this month.

RedRover, a national nonprofit organization, is offering the reward for information leading to the arrest and arraignment of whoever shot the 3-year-old orange tabby named Annie.

Annie's owner, Amanda Hartman of Woodland, came home from work March 13 and found Annie motionless in the driveway of her Owens Valley Drive home. She initially thought Annie had been hit by a car and rushed the cat to the UC Davis Small Animal Clinic. An examination and X-rays determined that a pellet gun bullet was lodged near Annie's spine and she was partially paralyzed, according to a news release.

March 27, 2013
Carmichael couple enter no-contest pleas in 2009 homicide

A Carmichael couple have entered no contest pleas in the 2009 death of a parolee whose body was found in a rural area of El Dorado County.

Charles Gaskin, 48, pleaded no contest today to the first-degree murder of Neil Hayes, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. Gaskin's wife and co-defendant, Sandra Sheaves, pleaded no-contest to a felony charge of being an accessory to murder. Gaskin also admitted an enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon, and his wife admitted an enhancement for misuse of information obtained from the Megan's Law website.

Hayes, 66, was released on parole in June 2009 and contacted Gaskin, whom he had met while both were incarcerated in the same prison, authorities said. Gaskin and Sheaves allowed Hayes to stay in their garage because he had no permanent residence.

March 27, 2013
Motorcyclist who died in Carmichael crash identified

A 52-year-old Carmichael man died and his 16-year-old son was seriously injured Tuesday night when the motorcycle they were riding collided with a van on Fair Oaks Boulevard.

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office identified the father as Martin M. Madson.

The crash occurred about 7:38 p.m. as Elmira Atarbekyan, 51, of Sacramento, driving a green 2000 Toyota Sienna, was pulling out from a private driveway on the west side of Fair Oaks Boulevard, just south of Marconi Avenue, according to a California Highway Patrol news release. The motorcycle, a 2000 Harley Davidson, was southbound in the left lane.

March 27, 2013
LowBrau to host fundraiser for reward in midtown homicide case

Sacramento's popular new beer hall LowBrau will be hosting a fundraiser Saturday night to contribute to a reward fund for information in the case of Josiah Humphreys, the 28-year-old man fatally beaten in midtown earlier this month.

Early in the morning March 17, Humphreys was beaten at the corner of 18th and P streets by three suspects who have not yet been identified by Sacramento police. His family and friends started a reward fund for information that leads to arrests in the case and have raised almost $5,000, said Humphreys' sister, Veronica.

The fundraiser will begin at 7 p.m. at LowBrau, 1050 20th Street, and last until closing time. Several businesses and restaurants in town have donated items for a raffle that will benefit the fund, and several others are sponsoring the event, said Tom Goode, a friend of Humphreys.

March 27, 2013
Sacramento police arrest man for Molotov cocktail possession

LIU, DAVY -22.JPGSacramento police arrested a man for possessing a Molotov cocktail last night in Del Paso Heights.

Police said they were called to the 3400 block of Branch Street about 9 p.m. where a man reportedly had ignited a Molotov cocktail in the street near an occupied recreational vehicle.

No property damage occurred and no injuries were suffered. The person who allegedly lit the Molotov cocktail was known to the occupants of the RV and officers were able to find Davy Liu, 22, at nearby residence.

He was identified as a suspect and booked into Sacramento County Jail on $1 million bail. Liu was arrested on suspicion of possession, exploding or igniting a destructive device and possession of a destructive device in a public place.

March 26, 2013
Fatality reported after van, motorcycle collide in Carmichael

One person is dead and another injured after a motorcycle and a van collided at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Marconi Avenue in Carmichael.

The crash was reported at 7:38 p.m.

Rashawn Fulcher, a spokesman for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, said two people were on the motorcycle. One died and the other was transported to a local hospital.

Fulcher said no one in the van was injured seriously enough to require treatment at a hospital.

No information was immediately available on the cause of the accident.

March 26, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What news of man accused in March 21 attacks?

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

QUESTION: On March 21, my wife was attacked in our front yard in the 500 block of 44th Street in Sacramento. We subdued the man till the police arrived to take him into custody. We found out that he had reportedly cut two people that morning at 7:45 a.m. on 11th Avenue in Oak Park. Other than this, we have no other information and would love any information you could give us.
Submitted by: Jeff, Sacramento

ANSWER: According to the Sacramento Police Department's daily activity log, officers responded about 7:45 a.m. March 21 to the 4500 block of 11th Avenue regarding an assault.

March 26, 2013
Sacramento man found guilty in marijuana-growing conspiracy

A Sacramento man has been found guilty of conspiring to manufacture marijuana at homes in Placer County.

Tien Le, 47, was convicted following a six-day jury trial in Sacramento before U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Evidence was presented during the trial of a conspiracy involving Le and his two brothers. Authorities said the three men purchased high-end homes in Auburn and Foresthill to house marijuana growing operations. The three homes had basements ideal for growing large amounts of marijuana.

March 26, 2013
Former CSUS housing employee accused of embezzlement

Laini Harris 530076_547899658563471_1718586547_n.jpgCalifornia State University, Sacramento, police have arrested a former housing employee on suspicion of embezzlement.

Laini Harris (pictured), 45, had been under investigation for some time, according to a news release from the university Police Department.

Harris was employed at the Upper Eastside Lofts, a CSUS student apartment complex. She is accused of misappropriating residents' rent payments.

March 26, 2013
Investigation leads to man's arrest in child porn case

Danny+Smith+mugshot.jpgSacramento County sheriff's detectives have arrested a 50-year-old man on suspicion of distributing child pornography.

Danny R. Smith (pictured) was booked into Sacramento County Jail this afternoon and is being held on $50,000 bail.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received information that Smith was trading files of child pornography via the Internet, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. A federal search warrant was served at Smith's residence in the 2000 block of Bluebird Lane in the Arden Arcade area. Detectives discovered, however, that Smith had recently moved and tracked him to Citrus Heights, where he was taken into custody.

March 26, 2013
Sacramento sheriff's detectives arrest suspect in Foothill Farms homicide

A 23-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a woman in Foothill Farms last week.

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives allege Marquon DeAnthony Green-Vasquez is responsible for the death of 30-year-old Deandra Horton. A 31-year-old man standing next to her also was shot and suffered non-life-threatening injuries in Friday's violence at the Cambridge Park apartments on Hamilton Street.

Detectives suspect the surviving victim - and not Horton - was the intended target, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Green-Vasquez also suffered a gunshot wound in the incident, and was identified by detectives after seeking treatment at a Walnut Creek hospital, Ramos said. Detectives are still investigating who shot Green-Vasquez.

He and the surviving victim are both known gang members, and the homicide is being investigated as gang-related, Ramos said.

On Saturday, detectives arrested 29-year-old Shoreem Bryant on suspicion of accessory to murder in connection with the shootings.

Ramos said detectives are investigating whether there are any outstanding suspects.

March 26, 2013
UPDATE: Missing Colfax man found safe in Grass Valley

russell ronald MP March 2013.jpgA 76-year-old who had been reported missing from his Colfax home since Monday morning has been found safe.

The Placer County Sheriff's Department reported that Ronald Russell (pictured) was located in Grass Valley and will be reunited with his family.

Russell had been missing since about 9:30 a.m. Monday, when he left his home on Sylvan Road, in a remote area outside the city of Colfax. He was on foot, and was not carrying any identification or money, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

March 26, 2013
Motorcycle club member arrested on drug charges in South Lake Tahoe

Ryan Marino.JPGShaleen Pierson.JPGSouth Lake Tahoe police have arrested a motorcycle club member and his girlfriend on drug charges.

Police allege that Officer Travis Cabral saw Ryan Marino, a 29-year-old member of the local Brotherhood Motorcycle Club, buy methamphetamine on Monday in a parking lot near the "Y", the intersection of Highway 50 and Highway 89.

Police said the officer pulled over Marino's unregistered motorcycle in front of Marino's residence in the 1800 block of 10th Street. A frisking of Marino turned up hypodermic syringes, methamphetamine and a hunting knife, police allege.

During a search of Marino's residence, which he shares with girlfriend, Shaleen Pierson, 37, police said they found a sawed-off shotgun, ammunition, a flare gun and drug packaging paraphernalia.

Marino and Pierson were arrested on suspicion of maintaining a residence to sell controlled substances, as well as drug and weapons offenses, police said in a press release.

March 26, 2013
Placer County teacher pleads not guilty to supplying marijuana to minors

A Rocklin middle school teacher pleaded not guilty Monday to supplying marijuana to minors.

Ian Runciman, 38, an eighth-grade math teacher at Granite Oaks Middle School, was booked into Placer County Jail on March 1.

Police said Runciman allegedly kept in touch with some of his former students after they transitioned to local high schools and supplied marijuana to them.

The crimes are suspected to have occurred at Runciman's Rocklin apartment and involved three to four male juveniles aged 15 to 17.

Police said there is no indication that any of his suspected crimes occurred on a school campus.

March 26, 2013
Purse snatcher stabs woman in Roseville

Roseville police arrested a purse snatcher who stabbed a woman on a downtown street.

Shane Michael England, 26, of Roseville was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery in the attack that occurred at 12:40 a.m. Saturday.

He remained in custody today in Placer County Jail today on $85,000 bail.

March 26, 2013
Woman in Roseville makes off with wallet, while in Dixon honest little girl shines

Last week, a Dixon girl was lauded for turning in a cash-stuffed wallet she found on the street. Also last week, in Roseville, the opposite happened when an adult pocketed somebody's dropped billfold.

Roseville police said that on March 19 at about 10 a.m. a man was washing his clothes at a coin laundry in the 400 block of Folsom Road when his wallet fell out of his pocket.

Police say that security cameras captured a woman picking up the wallet, quickly concealing it, and later leaving without returning it to the rightful owner. She was accompanied by a toddler.

March 25, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspect in fatal shooting outside downtown bar?

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

QUESTION: What was the outcome and reason behind the man fatally shot outside the Monte Carlo a few months back? I believe the victim's name was Jesse James Nunez. Has the suspect been charged in court yet?
Submitted by: Manero, West Sacramento

ANSWER: Elpidio Tellez was arrested following the fatal shooting of 36-year-old Jesse James Nunez.

March 25, 2013
Cooking fire damages Citrus Heights apartments

Two families were displaced after a cooking fire at a Citrus Heights apartment complex.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews responded to the 5800 block of Sunrise Vista Drive just before noon today and arrived to find a fire in an upstairs unit. The fire was largely contained to the kitchen area, with some extension into the attic, according to a fire district news release.

The second-floor unit where the fire started sustained the majority of the damage. The exterior of the unit suffered minor fire damage, and the unit below sustained water damage.

March 25, 2013
Minor injuries reported after SUV crashes into building

SUV crash BGOze78CYAEluEm.jpgA driver and passenger were treated for minor injuries this afternoon after their SUV crashed into a building in a Fair Oaks shopping center.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews were called to the Raley's shopping center shortly after noon. An elderly couple had been parking their vehicle in front of the building when the vehicle accelerated and crashed through the glass front of one shop, through the wall of a vacant unit and then into a third unit, according to a fire district news release. The SUV came to rest with its front end inside Rims Deli.

Although the three commercial units suffered significant damage, no one was seriously hurt, according to fire officials. Fire crews treated the driver and passenger for minor injuries.

March 25, 2013
Help sought identifying suspect in bank robbery attempt

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives seek help identifying a man wanted in connection with an attempted bank robbery earlier this month.

On March 1, the suspect entered the Chase Bank in the 3600 block of Fair Oaks Boulevard and gave the teller a note demanding cash, but he fled on a bicycle before obtaining any money, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

On March 13, the same man entered the Bank of the West in the 2500 block of Fair Oaks Boulevard. Sheriff's officials said he loitered inside the bank for a few moments before being directed outside by employees.

March 25, 2013
Prison inmate convicted of assaulting fellow prisoner

A California State Prison, Sacramento inmate has been convicted of a 2010 attack on a fellow inmate.

A Sacramento County jury today found Steven Thompson, 50, guilty of assault on another inmate, personally inflicting great bodily injury and possessing a weapon in prison.

While incarcerated at the prison in Folsom, Thompson stabbed another inmate on the yard with an inmate-manufactured knife, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. The victim suffered a punctured lung.

Thompson faces up to 53 years to life in prison for the offenses. He is to be sentenced May 3 by Superior Court Judge Maryanne Gilliard.

March 25, 2013
Indictment alleges mortgage fraud scheme in Rocklin, Roseville

An Irvine man has been arrested in a mortgage fraud case involving properties in Rocklin and Roseville.

A federal grand jury in Sacramento returned a three-count indictment Thursday charging Alexander A. Romaniolis, 48, with mail fraud. The indictment was unsealed after his arrest today in Huntington Beach, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

The indictment alleges that Romaniolis recruited five straw buyers to purchase eight residential properties in Rocklin, Roseville and San Clemente. He allegedly assisted the straw buyers in providing false information to lenders about their employment, income, assets and intent to occupy properties as primary residences. In most cases, authorities said, the straw buyers claimed to be executives of companies created and controlled by Romaniolis.

March 25, 2013
Doggie door burglar chased away in east Sacramento

A skinny burglar attempting to enter an east Sacramento garage through a doggie door was stopped in the act.

The burglar was attempting to enter the garage of the home in the 3900 block of H Street about noon on Sunday through the doggie door when he was spotted by one of the residents, according to police.

Police said the resident chased the burglar but he got away. The burglar was described as a thin, black man in his 20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall. He was wearing dark clothing, including a black, hooded sweathshirt.

March 25, 2013
Suspect in Davis hate crime has court hearing Wednesday

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

The man accused of hate crimes in a March 10 attack in Davis will face a Wednesday arraignment and bail hearing in Yolo Superior Court in Woodland.

Clayton Daniel Garzon, 19, faces assault allegations and hate crime enhancements connected to an early morning attack at 3rd and I streets near downtown Davis and is free on bail.

Yolo County District Attorney's officials on Monday won their bid to move Garzon's scheduled April 12 arraignment to this week.

March 25, 2013
CHP releases 911 audio of woman who drove car into river and drowned

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

The California Highway Patrol today released the audio recording of a woman's 911 call to dispatchers after she had lost control of her car and careened into the Sacramento River earlier this month.

Mussarat Chaudhary, 58, died in the March 13 accident. She told her daughter and then a 911 dispatcher that the brakes on her Toyota Camry didn't seem to be working and she couldn't control the car.

Her family has hired Sacramento attorney Chris Wood of the firm Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora to investigate whether the 2009 Toyota Camry LE she was driving was defective. Toyota had several recalls involving the 2009 Camry, two of which involved issues of the accelerator sticking, according to Wood.

March 25, 2013
Orange tabby in Woodland paralyzed by pellet gun shot

Yolo County authorities are asking for help in finding the person who paralyzed a cat by shooting it with a pellet gun.

The owners of the orange tabby named Annie were away at dinner on the night of March 13 when somebody shot their cat. When the pet owners returned to their Woodland home in the 1500 block of Owens Valley Drive they found Annie on the front porch.

She was unable to move her back legs and a bloody wound was noticeable on her shoulder. The UC Davis Small Animal Clinic diagnosed a pellet lodged next to her spine.

Tipsters who know the identity of the shooter may call the Yolo County Sheriff's Office Animal Services Section at (530) 668-5287.

March 25, 2013
Sunrise Mall auto burglaries ignite police chase

Police activity around Sunrise Mall on Saturday night involved a chase of suspected auto burglars.

Citrus Heights police said that a citizen noticed two people breaking into cars in the mall parking lot about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Officers saw a car driven by Anthony Shane Junkin, 25, leave the scene and head eastbound on Greenback Lane.

Police said Junkin sideswiped a car at Greenback Lane and Illinois Avenue in Orangevale. Junkin and a passenger, Marcus Culbertson, 28, abandoned their vehicle and fled on foot.

A perimeter was set up and one of the men was found in a nearby backyard, the other walking away from the scene. Both men were booked into jail.

Junkin was arrested on suspicion of evading an officer, drug possession, hit and run, violation of probation and resisting an officer. Police said Culbertson was arrested on suspicion of evading an officer.

March 25, 2013
Tire-puncture spree hits Woodland neighborhood

Police say that 17 vehicles had their tires punctures in a case of malicious mischief in Woodland.

On Sunday morning, police were dispatched the neighborhood where the tires were punctured as vehicle owners awakened to find the damage. Officers noted flattened tires on Hacienda Drive, Adobe Way and the 1700 block of McKinley Avenue.

Police estimated that more than $2,000 in damage was sustained.

March 25, 2013
Coroner releases name of man killed at Natomas party

The Sacramento County Coroner's office has released the name of the man shot to death at a Natomas party early Sunday morning.

He has been identified as Roland Duncan Bell, 25, of Fairfield.

Bell was killed and two others wounded during gunfire at an apartment.

March 24, 2013
One held in gunshot slaying of woman in Foothill Farms

A man has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a woman at a Foothill Farms apartment complex Friday afternoon, said Sacramento County sheriff's deputies.

Shoreem Bryant, 29, was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory to murder, as well as for a parole violation at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Deputies responded to reports of shots being fired at the Cambridge Park Apartments at 5800 Hamilton Street at about 1:30 p.m. Friday. They found 30-year-old Deandra Horton dead from multiple gunshot wounds, according to sheriff's officials.

A 31-year-old man also was shot and was taken to a hospital. He is expected to survive his injuries.

Sheriff's deputies said there could be additional suspects. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact the sheriff's homicide bureau at (916) 874-5115.

March 24, 2013
Man rescued from house fire dies later

A man died after fire blazed through his home Saturday morning.

The case has been turned over to arson investigators, officials said.

The house in the 6100 block of McLaren was in flames and filled with choking smoke when Sacramento Fire Department arrived shortly after 7 a.m., authorities said.

Three occupants in the home were able to escape the burning home, but a 67-year-old man in a rear bedroom was not able to get out. Firefighters rescued him through a side window.

Channel 10 news reports identified him as Charles Ellington, Sr. Ellington was transported to UC Davis Medical Center, where he later was pronounced dead.

March 24, 2013
Police pursuit ends in crash of stolen vehicle, report says

Joseph Porraz, 18.jpgThe driver of a stolen vehicle led Sacramento police officers on a brief pursuit Saturday morning, before crashing into another vehicle, according to police reports.

Officers identified a stolen vehicle being driven near Franklin Boulevard and 47th Avenue about 8:35 a.m., when it sped away from them, police said. The stolen vehicle collided with another vehicle at 47th Avenue near Highway 99, injuring both drivers.

The driver of the stolen vehicle got out and tried to run away, but was captured shortly afterward, officials said.

Joseph Porraz, 18, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, evading police and felony hit-and-run. He was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries prior to his arrest.

The driver of the other vehicle was also transported to a hospital with minor injuries, according to police.

March 24, 2013
Five women arrested in connection with Midtown assault

Two women were assaulted and five arrested after a midtown assault just after midnight Sunday, said Sacramento police.

Police were called to the scene of a reported fight at 12th and L streets about 12:10 a.m., and found a woman had been beaten by a group of five women. When another woman came to the victim's aid, she was also assaulted.

Arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault was Veronica Guajardo, 22; Adrianna Western, 22; Alisha Rodriguez, 20; Ashley Rodriguez, 22; and Bobbi Schotsal, 23.

Alisha Rodriguez was also arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Top row, left to right: Ashley Rodriguez, 22, and Alisha Rodriguez, 20.
Middle row, left to right: Bobbi Schotsal, 23, and Adrianna Western, 22.
Bottom row: Veronica Guajardo, 22.
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Alisha Rodriguez, 20.jpgThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Ashley Rodriguez, 22.jpgThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Adrianna Western, 22.jpgThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Bobbi Schotsal, 23.jpgThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Veronica Guajardo, 22.jpg

March 24, 2013
Three shot, one dies at Natomas party

A third victim has been identified in the Natomas shooting that left one dead during a party early Sunday morning, Sacramento police said.

Along with one man injured and another man dead, a woman was also wounded during the gunfire at an apartment, police discovered later in the day.

Police received reports of a shooting and a large fight in an apartment in the 2200 block of River Plaza Drive about 1:05 a.m. When they arrived at the scene, they found a black male in his 20's with multiple gunshot wounds. The Sacramento Fire Department pronounced him dead at the scene.

March 24, 2013
Coroner ID's fatal shooting victim found in South Sacramento

Coroners identified the body found on a south Sacramento street Friday morning.

The death of Dalando D. Barconey, 23, of El Sobrante, is being investigated as a homicide, according to Sacramento police.

Police were called to 35th Street near Fruitridge Road and Highway 99 about 4 a.m., where a body was reported in the street. They found a man who had suffered multiple gunshot wounds at 3520 35th St. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police reports indicate there was a dark sedan believed to be connected to Barconey's killing, seen in the area around the time of the shooting.

Homicide detectives said they have no known motive for the killing, and no one has been arrested.

March 24, 2013
Placerville inmate collapses in jail yard, dies at hospital

An El Dorado County jail inmate collapsed while exercising Friday evening in an outdoor recreation yard and died at a nearby hospital, said El Dorado County sheriff's deputies.

James Thomas Clark, 53, from West Sacramento, collapsed while in the yard about 8 p.m., officials said. Correctional officers immediately started CPR, and Clark was transported to Marshall Hospital in Placerville, where he was pronounced dead.

He never regained consciousness, sheriff's officials said.

There were no obvious signs of foul play, sheriff's reports said.

The incident is being investigated by the Sheriff's Office and the El Dorado County District Attorney's office.

March 23, 2013
Authorities warn of police impersonator in Citrus Heights

By Allen Piereoni
apierleoni@sacbee.com

The Citrus Heights Police Department is warning residents to beware of a police impersonator.

About 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Citrus Heights police responded to a theft in the 7500 block of Auburn Boulevard when a man wearing a police-style uniform stole clothes from a local business.

Police describe him as black, 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 155 pounds.

He has visible tattoos on his arms. He was wearing a black baseball cap with an unknown emblem, a black vest with a "Sheriff" patch on it, black cargo pants, a police utility belt with a silver star badge attached and black boots. He was driving a gold or tan Ford sport-utility vehicle last seen southbound on Auburn Boulevard.

Citrus Heights police remind motorists to drive to a well-lit public place and call 911 if they suspect they are dealing with someone who is impersonating a police officer.

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to call the Citrus Heights Police Department at (916) 727-5500.

March 23, 2013
Fugitive, parolee arrested after chase on Interstate 5

By Allen Pierleoni
apierleoni@sacbee.com

Wanted fugitive Michael Paul Thompson and parolee-at-large Ricky "Smoke" Gonzales were surprised Friday night when they walked out of the Days Inn motel off Interstate 5 and Lathrop Road.

Waiting for them about 7 p.m. in the parking lot were officers on surveillance from the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, ready with handcuffs.

Thompson and Gonzalez spotted the approaching officers, raced across the parking lot, jumped into a Cadillac Escalade and sped away, followed by the deputies.

March 22, 2013
Auburn man arrested after yearlong investigation of alleged sex offenses

An Auburn man was arrested today, accused of offenses involving sexual assault and child pornography.

Auburn police said Thomas Mitchell Hale, 53, was taken into custody following a yearlong investigation. He was arrested on suspicion of extortion by force or fear, sexual assault, sexual battery and sending child pornography. Several victims came forward during the course of the investigation, according to a Police Department news release.

After police obtained an arrest warrant, Hale turned himself in at the Auburn Police Department. He is being held in Placer County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail.

March 22, 2013
Train hits unoccupied vehicle, blocks midtown traffic

Traffic through midtown Sacramento has been blocked this evening by a stalled Union Pacific train.

Sacramento Police Department spokesman Officer Doug Morse said the train hit an unoccupied car, but it has been further delayed by concerns about pedestrians climbing between rail cars to get across the tracks.

He said efforts were being made to ensure that the area was clear so the train could safely proceed.

March 22, 2013
Ex-police officer pleads no contest to falsifying DUI reports

A former Sacramento police officer pleaded no contest Friday to four felony counts related to falsifying reports on arrests he made for drunken driving.

Brandon Michael Mullock, 27, entered the pleas in front of Sacramento Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette, who scheduled the former officer's sentencing for April 19.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Carlson said in court that prosecutors have recommended a five-year state prison "lid." Carlson said, however, that Mullock is eligible for probation, with a condition that he serve no more than a year in custody.

Mullock entered his pleas to three counts of falsiying his DUI reports and one of committing perjury. He had initially been charged in a 34-count complaint.


March 22, 2013
Update: 30-year-old woman dead in Foothill Farms double shooting

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies are investigating a double shooting in the Foothill Farms area that left a woman dead and a man injured.

About 1:30 p.m., the Sheriff's Department received calls of multiple gunshots fired outside the Cambridge Park apartment complex in the 5800 block of Hamilton Street, near Palm Avenue and Hillsdale Boulevard.

The 30-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The man, 31, who was in a wheelchair, was taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not life threatening, said Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

March 22, 2013
Jury convicts Roseville couple on pimping, pandering charges

A Placer County jury has found a Roseville couple guilty of pimping and pandering two Sacramento runaways, the defense attorneys in the case confirmed Friday.

The jury acquitted the two defendants on several other related changes, including charges against Roseville contractor Steve Putnam that he communicated with a minor with sexual intent and committed a lewd act with a minor.

Putnam, 48, maintained that he was often in the company of escorts and prostitutes, but did not financially benefit from that relationship. His ex-girlfriend Syla Debra Thongsy, 24, told the jury through her attorney that she was prostituting herself, but wasn't pimping the minors.

Thongsy was Putnam's live-in girlfriend at the time. The two Sacramento runaways, 15 and 16 at the time, briefly lived in Putnam's six-bedroom Roseville home.

The jury found otherwise, returning guilty verdicts on two felony counts of pimping and two counts of pandering.

March 22, 2013
Man stabbed in back on Woodland street

A man was stabbed in the back after being punched by four attackers in Woodland early this morning.

Woodland police said the man was walking from a market about 5:45 a.m. today on Industrial Way when four males about 18 years old approached him. He was asked for a cigarette and then repeatedly punched in the head by the four teens.

When he turned around to flee, the victim was stabbed once in the back He was driven to Woodland Memorial Hospital by a family member.

March 22, 2013
Smoke detector alerts Sacramento County apartment residents to blaze

A smoke detector is credited with alerting residents of a Sacramento County apartment to fire in their dwelling.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District firefighters were dispatched about 6:30 a.m. today to the 4900 block of Little Oak Lane, near Interstate 80 and Madison Avenue. A fire in an upstairs unit was threatening to extend into adjacent apartments when fire crews arrived.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to other units by quickly putting out the blaze. A smoke detector alerted residents to the fire, allowing to residents to vacate the apartment.

March 22, 2013
Update: Sacramento homicide victim was man in his 20s

Sacramento police have no motive for the killing of a young man whose body was found early this morning in the street.

At about 4 a.m., officers were sent to 35th Street and 26th Avenue near Fruitridge Road and Highway 99 where a body was reported in the street. Sacramento Fire Department personnel also responded and declared the man dead at the scene.

The man in his 20s suffered multiple gunshot wounds, according to police. A dark sedan, thought to be connected to the killing, was seen in the area around the time of the shooting, police said.

The man's identity has not been released. Anyone with information is asked to call the dispatch at (916) 264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357. Tipsters to Crime Alert may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

March 22, 2013
Coroner identifies pedestrian hit by car on Auburn Boulevard

The name of the man who was hit and killed by a car Thursday morning when crossing Auburn Boulevard has been released by the Sacramento County Coroner's office.

He was identified as Nikolay Gorkavchuk, 87, of Sacramento.

Sacramento police said Gorkavchuk was not in a crosswalk when he walked across Auburn Boulevard just east of Watt Avenue about 6:30 a.m. Thursday. A car heading westbound hit him.

Police said the driver stopped and rendered aid to Gorkavchuk.

March 21, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Have investigators learned what caused car to crash into river?

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

QUESTION: In mid-March of this year, a woman who was coming home from her job at a local casino in the morning crashed and died in West Sacramento from her brakes failing, the CHP was investigating. Do you know what became of that investigation? Did the brakes indeed fail, or was it driver error?
Submitted by: Rick, Sacramento

ANSWER: The cause of the March 13 crash is still under investigation.

March 21, 2013
Man arrested after 30-minute, high-speed pursuit from Rancho Cordova to Sacramento

A 23-year-old man is in custody after he allegedly led multiple law enforcement officers on a high-speed pursuit that lasted a half-hour and spanned two freeways, according to authorities.

The suspect also struck multiple cars as he raced westbound on Florin Road from Highway 99 to Interstate 5, though nobody was injured, said Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Rushing mugshot1.jpgThe pursuit began in Rancho Cordova, when deputies developed information that 23-year-old Andre Rushing, who had a felony warrant out for his arrest in connection with a robbery, was inside a home on Mills Tower Drive, Ramos said.

The deputies saw Rushing get into a car and then tried to conduct a vehicle stop shortly after 11 a.m., but Rushing failed to yield, Ramos said. The suspect led deputies throughout Rancho Cordova, blowing through stoplights and at one point crashing through a fence, while driving at freeway speeds, Ramos said.

The suspect then got on westbound Highway 50 and then headed south on Highway 99, exiting on Florin Road. While driving westbound on Florin - at times reaching 90 miles per hour - the suspect crashed into several cars, Ramos said.

He then got on northbound Interstate 5 and was involved in some sort of collision near 43rd Avenue, but continued northbound, Ramos said. When he exited at J Street, the car spun out and officers detained the driver and a female passenger just before 11:40 a.m.

The passenger was released, but deputies arrested Rushing on the outstanding warrant. Ramos said he is likely to face fresh charges in connection with the pursuit, including felony evasion.

Sacramento police officers assisted in the pursuit. Nobody was injured.

March 21, 2013
Robber guilty of murder in shooting death of partner

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Marquis Deonta Greenwood of felony murder in the shooting death of his partner during a Dec. 27, 2010, store robbery in Alkali Flat.

The panel deliberated just under two full days before returning the finding against Greenwood, 21, in the killing of Tiekarian Troutman, 18, at the Deluxe Market on 13th and E streets.

Greenwood and Troutman were robbing the store when one of the owners chased them out by throwing a pop bottle at them. Jurors found that during a scuffle with the store owner on the way out the front door, Greenwood tried to shoot the attempted robbery victim but instead fatally wounded his partner.

March 21, 2013
UPDATE: Big rig crash, fire closes one lane of Highway 99 in Galt

Big rig fire.jpgA big rig crash and fire on northbound Highway 99 near Twin Cities Road tied up traffic for hours today and forced the closure of the right lane through the night to repair asphalt, according to the California Highway Patrol.

CHP spokesman Officer Michael Bradley said the crash occurred about 2 p.m., when a big rig carrying salsa was cut off by a another vehicle.

The truck driver took evasive action and lost control of the big rig, which struck a guard rail, punching a hole in the gas tank.

March 21, 2013
Man attacked near Howe Avenue and Highway 50

Police are looking for attackers who assaulted a man outside his home early this morning in Sacramento near Howe Avenue and Highway 50.

The man in his 20s was near his home in the 100 block of College Town Drive after getting off work when he was set upon by men who struck him with a blunt object. He was treated at a hospital for non life-threatening injuries.

The initial indication is that the man did not know his attackers, but that could change as the investigation progresses, according to a police spokesman. He was not robbed.

March 21, 2013
Update: Man dies when struck by car on Auburn Boulevard

A man was hit and killed by a car this morning when crossing Auburn Boulevard, according to Sacramento police.

The man in his 60s was not in a crosswalk when he walked across Auburn Boulevard just east of Watt Avenue about 6:30 a.m. A car heading westbound hit the man.

A Sacramento police spokeswoman said it does not appear that the driver was drinking or speeding. The driver stopped to render cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

The pedestrian's body was still in a westbound lane of Auburn Boulevard at 9 a.m. and traffic was being detoured around the scene.

March 20, 2013
Death of inmate reported at Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center

A 33-year-old man has died while in custody at Sacramento County's Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center.

The man had been in custody since March 11 following a violation of parole, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department news release.

About 8:40 a.m. today, the man was found unresponsive in his cell. Custody staff members notified emergency medical personnel and attempted life-saving measures on the victim until paramedics from outside the facility arrived. Efforts to revive the man failed, and he was pronounced dead inside the correctional facility by emergency medical personnel, officials said.

March 20, 2013
Yolo prosecutors charge Davis teen with hate crime in beating

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

Yolo County prosecutors filed hate crime charges Wednesday in the March 10 beating of a Davis man.

Clayton Daniel Garzon, 19, of Davis faces three felony counts connected to the attack, including battery with great bodily injury, assault likely to produce great bodily injury and threats to cause death or great bodily injury in the district attorney's complaint.

Lawrence "Mikey" Partida, 32, was severely beaten early March 10 near 3rd and I streets in Davis as he walked home from a house party, said Davis police.

March 20, 2013
Alert neighbor leads to arrest in Rocklin home burglaries

Gonzales. Matthew Christopher .jpgA Rocklin resident who noticed something amiss at his neighbor's house led police to arrest a man suspected of burglarizing at least two homes in the city this week.

Matthew Christopher Gonzales (pictured), 25, was arrested Tuesday afternoon after Rocklin police responded to a report of a residential burglary on Deer Run Court about 12:30 p.m.

When officers arrived, a witness told them that her father had noticed that the side door to their neighbor's garage had been broken open and heard noises coming from inside the neighbor's home, which he thought should have been vacant at the time.

March 20, 2013
Sacramento man charged with interstate gun trafficking

By Phillip Reese
preese@sacbee.com

Federal authorities arrested and charged a Sacramento man late Tuesday with allegedly purchasing multiple firearms in Reno and illegally bringing them across state lines.

Dejon Andrade, 27, drove to Reno and bought nine guns over several occasions between November and January, according to an affidavit by Sara M. Lewis, a special agent with the U.S. Bureau of Tobacco and Firearms.

Andrade couldn't legally buy the guns in California as a condition of probation for a misdemeanor conviction, authorities said. That misdemeanor would have likely shown up in a state background check in California, but not in a federal background check in Nevada.

March 20, 2013
Big reward offered by bounty hunter and friends in killing of Rosemont girl

Jessica photo.PNGA reward of $100,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever killed Jessica Funk-Haslam, the Rosemont girl found dead a year ago.

The reward is being offered by the owners of Leonard Padilla Bail Bonds and friends.

"Here's a young lady who was killed in a park a year ago and there are no leads," said Sacramento bounty hunter Leonard Padilla. "Let's get something going here."

March 20, 2013
Woodland police say man stabbed wife as she slept

Woodland police arrested a man for stabbing his wife while she slept with her daughter next to her.

Police said the Guillermo Aldama, 35, stabbed his wife in the upper part of her chest. Officers were dispatched to the Aldama home on West Cross Street about 1 a.m. today.

A police investigation revealed that Aldama stabbed his sleeping spouse with a knife, according to a department press release. Their 9-year-old daughter was next to her during the attack.

The woman was transported to UC Davis Medical Center where she was treated for non life-threatening injuries. Aldama was booked into Yolo County Jail on suspicion of attempted homicide and child endangerment.

March 19, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to North Highlands man who accidentally shot niece?

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

QUESTION: I believe it was 1994 when a man in North Highlands accidentally shot his niece or daughter, then fled to Mexico. I don't remember many details, but was he ever found, or did he finally turn himself in?
Submitted by: Bebe, Elk Grove

ANSWER: Three-year-old Jamie Vongvilay was fatally shot Sept. 6, 1997, when a gun her uncle had purchased that day at a Reno gun show discharged, striking her in the chest.

March 19, 2013
Seniors advised to beware of possible medical card scam

A Citrus Heights resident and retired Prudential insurance agent is eager to alert fellow senior citizens to a likely medical card scam.

Kenneth Kenoyer said he has received five phone calls in the last two days from individuals telling him he is eligible for a medical card that could save him money on prescription and medical care costs. The various callers -- one was a woman and two were men -- knew his address but said they needed his bank account and routing numbers for identification purposes.

Kenoyer said he declined all offers, advising the callers that he had Medicare and other health-care coverage and couldn't see how such a medical card would benefit him. When he told the last caller that he was going to contact a newspaper about the offers, Kenoyer said, the caller hung up.

March 19, 2013
Cause of deaths in Marysville raceway crash released

marysville.jpgA 68-year-old man and 14-year-old boy died of blunt-force trauma when a car at the Marysville Raceway Park crashed into the pit area Saturday afternoon.

Yuba County Sheriff-Coroner Steve Durfor released the cause of death following autopsies performed today.

Marcus Johnson, 14, died of multiple blunt force trauma to the head, chest and abdomen, and Dale Wondergem Jr. died of multiple blunt force trauma to the head and chest, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

March 19, 2013
Lincoln police arrest teen suspected in school bomb hoax

Police in Lincoln have arrested a 17-year-old Lincoln High School student in connection with a bomb threat called into the school Friday, authorities said.

The false report, made around 11:30 a.m. Friday, resulted in the school being evacuated and students being sent home early before it was determined to be a hoax.

The suspect, an Auburn resident, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Auburn with the assistance of the Placer County Probation Department, said Jill Thompson a spokeswoman for the city.

March 19, 2013
Placer County jury weighing pimping charges against Roseville couple

By Ed Fletcher
efletcher@sacbee.com

If you take Roseville contractor Steve Putnam at his word, he's just a guy who likes to date escorts and that in this case, his much younger live-in girlfriend -- Syla Debra Thongsy -- slipped back into prostitution.

Thongsy's lawyer isn't disputing the fact that over the summer of 2010 she was working as a prostitute, but the lawyers for both contend their clients were not pimping two teen runaways as the Placer County District Attorney's office is seeking to prove.

"She made poor choices, but she was not pimping," attorney Dionne Choyce told the jury Monday.

Tuesday, after closing arguments from the two defense attorneys and the county prosecutor, the case was handed to a Placer County jury.

Deliberations are expected to take several days. Putnam, 48, and Thongsy, 24, were arrested in Aug. 2010. Putnam and Thongsy are facing nine separate felony charges related to the pimping and pandering a pair of Sacramento teens, then 15- and 16-years old.

March 19, 2013
Neighbor convicted in horse trainer's robbery-torture murder

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Juan Carlos Orozco of first-degree murder in the Aug. 26, 2010, torture and robbery killing of Galen Joseph May in the victim's apartment in Antelope.

Judge Greta Curtis Fall scheduled Orozco's sentencing for April 19. Orozco, 23, is facing a term of life in prison without parole on the jury's special-circumstance findings that he inflicted torture on May and that he killed him during the course of a robbery. Officials said he stabbed May 22 times with a screwdriver before asphyxiating him with a belt.

May, 69, was a retired assistant to Northern California's most prominent thoroughbred racing trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer. May had helped Hollendorfer prepare three horses for the Kentucky Derby.

According to evidence at trial, Orozco lived in an apartment directly below May's unit in the North Country Vista Apartments on Watt Avenue in Antelope. His girlfriend had kicked him out of their residence the night that May was slain. Authorities said he stole May's car and his ATM card before taking off for his hometown of Salinas and then for Delano, where he was arrested a week after the murder.

March 19, 2013
Power Inn Road clears after train v. car crash

A car was hit by a train in southeast Sacramento early this morning, blocking Power Inn Road for a time.

The car was struck by the train just north of Fruitridge Boulevard. Power Inn Road opened again by 7 a.m.

Sacramento police said nobody was injured in the crash that involved a Union Pacific Railroad freight train. The driver abandoned the car on the tracks before the crash.

March 18, 2013
Woman shot during Land Park dinnertime rush

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

A woman was shot Monday night on a busy Freeport Boulevard in Land Park, the unintended target in an argument that suddenly turned violent.

Blood pooled on the sidewalk where the unidentified woman was shot in the right thigh about 6:40 p.m. between the McDonald's and Round Table Pizza restaurants on Freeport Boulevard near 5th Avenue. She was rushed to the University of California, Davis Medical Center where she was "alert, awake and giving statements" to officers, said Sacramento Police Sgt. Bill Wann. Her wound was not considered to be life-threatening.

Witnesses described a brief argument between a man in a silver sedan and a second man on the street in the minutes before the shooting. Police did not immediately know if the woman was connected to the men involved in the altercation.

March 18, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was anyone convicted of killing gold miner found dead in Old Sacramento?

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

QUESTION: Back in the late 1980s or early '90s a gold miner named Pete Sanger was killed in Old Sacramento. Was anyone ever convicted of the crime?
Submitted by: Leslie, Sacramento

ANSWER: One man pleaded no contest to being an accessory in the shooting death of gold miner Pete Sanger, a resident of Forbestown in Butte County, but the primary suspect was not charged in the case.

March 18, 2013
Buying-alcohol-for-minors sting nets 506 arrests in California

Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, in cooperation with more than 100 law enforcement agencies, conducted a record-setting statewide decoy "shoulder-tap" operation.

The task force operation was conducted Friday and resulted in 506 arrests statewide, surpassing last year's record of 435 arrests, according to a department news release. More than 400 individuals were cited for furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors, and at least 50 were arrested for other crimes such as illegal drugs, illegal gun possession, public drunkenness, parole violations and outstanding warrants, officials said.

Arrests in the Sacramento region included nine in Sacramento, four in Rancho Cordova, two in Folsom, six in Marysville, 11 in Placer County and 16 in Nevada County, according to the news release.

March 18, 2013
Suspicious device prompts Woodland fire station evacuation

A Woodland fire station was evacuated this morning after a citizen brought to the station a suspicious device found in an empty house in the neighborhood.

Police responded to Fire Station No. 2 at 1619 West St. about 10:30 a.m. after receiving a call from firefighters. Upon arrival, officers believed the device was some type of explosive, according to a Police Department news release. They isolated the device, evacuated the fire station, blocked traffic in and around the intersection of West Street and El Dorado Drive, and notified neighbors to shelter in place. They also relocated students and staff members at Woodland Christian Elementary School to the western portion of the school.

The Yolo County Bomb Squad was summoned and took over the scene, safely attempting to detonate the device and then removing it.

March 18, 2013
Sacramento River drowning victim identified

The name of the woman who drowned last week inside a vehicle that went into the Sacramento River has been released.

The Yolo County Coroner's office identified her as Mussarat Parveen Shaudhary, 58, of West Sacramento.

A CHP 911 dispatcher spent about 10 minutes on the phone with Shaudhary, who called to report that she was inside a vehicle that had gone into the river off Old River Road.

Shaudhary worked at Cache Creek Casino and is believed to have been on her way home to West Sacramento when she phoned her daughter and said she didn't think the brakes on her car were working.

At 8:11 a.m. Wednesday, the CHP dispatch center received a call from Shaudhary, who said she was inside the car in the river.

Shaudhary's vehicle was found about 2:30 p.m. near Monument Bend, about a quarter-mile downstream from where it was thought to have entered the river. Her body was found inside.

March 18, 2013
Midtown pedestrian subjected to gay slurs, baseball bat striking

A man was hit with a baseball bat and called gay slurs last night in midtown.

Sacramento police are investigating the assault that happened about 10:15 p.m. at 20th and D streets. Police said a man in his 40s was walking home when he was approached by a young man.

The man in his twenties made derogatory homosexual comments toward the older man. Then, another young man also made anti-gay comments while striking the older man in the lower part of his body with a bat.

The first man who made the gay comments was described as black, heavy-set, 24-28 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall. He was wearing a dark green, t-shirt and blue jeans.

The man wielding the baseball bat was described as a white, 28-34 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a medium build. He was wearing a dark-colored t-shirt and pants.

March 18, 2013
Lodi man arrested for stabbing his mother

Lodi police arrested a man for allegedly stabbing his mother twice on Saturday.

Chad Elliott, 24, was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide. His mother was listed in stable condition.

Police said they were called at about 1:30 p.m. to 325 West Locust St. where they were told a person had been stabbed. Police said they found that Elliott had stabbed his 50-year-old mother two times with a knife. The woman was transferred to a Sacramento area hospital.

Police surrounded the home and order Elliott of the residence. He complied with police orders and was taken into custody.

March 18, 2013
Police dog sniffs out man in dirt hole at Grass Valley home

The U.S. Marshals fugitive task force on Sunday arrested a wanted man hiding in a dirt hole in Grass Valley.

When the marshals task force, Nevada County deputies and a California Highway Patrol police dog searched the basement of a home on Cone Tree Way they found Andrew Christian Stewart, 25, of Grass Valley.

Federal officers had been looking for Stewart since March 3 when he allegedly rammed a Buena Park, Orange County, police officer's patrol car with a stolen vehicle. The officer was injured.

The Los Angeles division of the U.S. Marshals fugitive task force learned Stewart may have fled to Nevada County. The Sacramento division of the task force picked up the job of finding Stewart -- and by Sunday they had the Cone Tree Way residence surrounded.

After entering the home, the police dog noticed someone hiding in a dirt hole in the basement. The dog was used to bring Stewart into custody.

March 17, 2013
Graffiti tagger likely fell to his death, police say

By Anne Gonzales

The body of a convicted graffiti "tagger" was found on the pavement below a Sacramento freeway bridge Saturday. Police say he may have been spray-painting on the bridge when he fell to his death.

Andrey Petkov, 22, of North Highlands was found by a street sweeper about 11 a.m. beneath the Interstate 80 bridge east of Winters Street.

Petkov was arrested and convicted in 2009 for vandalism in the Sacramento and Roseville areas as a member of the Sacramento Graffiti Killers. He and three other suspects were arrested in connection with involvement with the group, which was accused of $80,000 in property damage in some 300 cases of tagging, according to police reports.

The men were arrested as part of an undercover sting by Roseville police. Roseville police said Petkov used the tag "nose" and "bape," while active with the Sacramento Graffiti Killers. The gang was not considered physically dangerous but was blamed for a dramatic spike in property damage to area businesses.

Law enforcement said the Sacramento Graffiti Killers, who allegedly practiced under railroad bridges in Roseville, were busted up when their key members were arrested in 2009.

The suspects - also including Corey Simpson-Upmeyer of Citrus Heights, Mikhail Russu of Roseville and Frederick Rivera-Valdivia of North Highlands - all pleaded no contest to vandalism charges and were expected to be sentenced to 90 days in jail and restitution. All four of the men were aged 19 or 20 at the time of the 2009 arrests.

Petkov was also convicted in Sacramento County in 2009 on a charge of graffiti vandalism and placed on probation for three years. He was convicted again in Sacramento County in 2011 of graffiti vandalism, according to county court records, but it isn't clear what sort of sentence he received.

March 17, 2013
Victims identified in fatal Marysville race track crash

The two victims struck and killed by a race car at Marysville Speedway on Saturday evening have been identified as Dale Richard Wondergem Jr., 68, of Grass Valley, and Marcus Joseph Johnson, 14, of Santa Rosa. authorities said.

Both were standing near each other in the pit area of the racetrack when a car doing warmup laps careened off the track and hit them about 6 p.m., said Yuba County sheriff's deputies.

The driver of the car, Chase Domonic Johnson, 17, of Penngrove, was not injured. The younger victim was the driver's cousin and not an official member of the pit crew. His admittance to the pit area is being investigated, Yuba County sheriff's officials said.

March 17, 2013
Sacramento homicide detectives investigate Midtown brawl fatality

A man died after reportedly being in a fight in midtown Sacramento in early Sunday, Sacramento police said.

Police responded to 18th and P streets about 12:45 a.m., after receiving reports of a bleeding person. Officers found a man in his 20s on the ground at the corner, with witnesses administering CPR.

Police believe the injured man was drunk and got involved in a fight with three other adult males near the sidewalk on 18th Street, said Officer Michele Gigante. During the incident, he sustained traumatic injuries to his head, and a bystander called police, she said.

March 17, 2013
Seven injured in Galt drive-by shooting

Seven people were shot and wounded in a hail of bullets in Galt late Saturday night at a family get-together.

Galt police said the shooting may be gang-related. All survived the attack.

Galt police said they responded to an emergency call about a shooting at 10:30 p.m. in the 200 block of Dover Drive. They found seven people shot in the front yard, reports said. The injured people told police they were leaving a family gathering at the home, and were wounded when the occupants of a passing car opened fire.

The seven wounded people were taken to nearby hospitals for non-life threatening injuries. One has already been released, according to police.

Detectives are describing the incident as a drive-by shooting, possibly with gang ties.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Galt police at (209) 366-7000.

March 16, 2013
CHP, local law enforcers on alert for drunken drivers on St. Patrick's Day

By Tony Bizjak
tbizjak@sacbee.com

The California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies report they will be on special alert on St. Patrick's Day for drunken drivers.

More than 300 people were arrested for DUI last year statewide, CHP officials said. They and state Office of Traffic Safety representatives advise people who will be drinking Sunday to designate one member of their party as a non-drinking driver. They also suggest taking a taxi or calling a sober friend or family member to pick you up.

Drivers who see a suspected drunken driver can call 911 to report the vehicle.

March 16, 2013
Sacramento County Sheriff Jones ticketed for following too closely on I-80

By Richard Chang
rchang@sacbee.com

For those who think law enforcement officials are not subject to traffic tickets, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones has a message: Think again.

JONES.jpgOn March 9, while driving an unmarked county vehicle on Interstate 80, Jones (pictured) was pulled over by a California Highway Patrol officer and cited for following too closely.

Jones told The Bee today that the stop was uneventful, the officer was "perfect and professional" and that "he didn't offer to give me a break, and I didn't ask for one."

"The public has an unspoken perception that there's a secret society where cops don't get tickets, but that's untrue," Jones said. "The reality is, officers are subject to tickets."

The sheriff said he was on his way to Colfax to pick up tickets for an official department fundraiser in Old Sacramento when he was stopped. His wife was with him in the car. He was not in uniform, but was wearing his badge and carrying his weapon.

Jones said the CHP officer saw his badge and his identification and likely knew that he was the Sacramento County sheriff, but that the subject was never discussed.

The sheriff said the stop was "rather uneventful."

"I was cooperative like anyone of the 3.7 million folks that get a ticket in California every year," he said.

And though Jones said he doesn't plan to fight the ticket, he did have a quibble.

He said the following-too-closely statute that was used to pull him over is at the officer's "subjective judgment."

Jones said he was not "tailgating in the traditional sense."

He said it was his first ticket in 25 to 30 years, and serves as a good reminder to be extra cautious.

"We all get busy," he said.

March 16, 2013
Auburn police say man fled officers after running stop sign

keith smith.jpgAn Auburn man is behind bars after allegedly failing to stop at a stop sign and then running away from police.

The incident occurred on Thursday around 11:30 p.m. when driver Keith Smith failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Lincoln Way and Cleveland Avenue, Auburn police said. The suspect reportedly led officers on a short chase toward Placer High School. Smith, 56, then drove his vehicle into a chain link fence, exited his car and ran away on foot, according to reports. Officer Chris Forman used a taser on Smith after he resisted arrest, police said.

Smith is being held in Placer County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. Authorities said he was driving on a suspended license and under the influence of methamphetamine.

March 16, 2013
Officials warn dry winter, warm weather increase fire risks

Due to lack of rain and unseasonably warm weather, fire season has come early this year.

Officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit are urging residents to use caution when burning debris. Although spring doesn't arrive until next week, the lack of moisture and the increase in temperatures in recent days have quickly dried vegetation in many parts of Northern California, according to a Cal Fire news release.

Cal Fire officials say they have responded to a large number of fires this past week that were caused by escaped debris burns.

March 15, 2013
Man sentenced to 90 years to life for 2011 sexual assaults

A man convicted of sexually assaulting three women in the south Sacramento area in 2011 has been sentenced to 90 years to life in prison.

Ladell Lamont Sanders, 42, was convicted last month by a Sacramento County jury of six charges, including rape and forcible oral copulation, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. Sanders was sentenced today by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Eugene Balonon.

The three women were assaulted in separate incidents, which occurred Nov. 15, Dec. 10 and Dec. 13, 2011. In each case, Sanders threatened the victim by stating he had a gun or by displaying a gun, authorities said. He then drove the women to areas where he sexually assaulted them. After the assaults, Sanders fled, leaving the victims stranded in the remote area.

Sanders was determined to be a suspect after a Sacramento police officer recognized the description of the suspect and the suspect's car from a vehicle stop he made Nov. 1, 2011, in the same area. Sanders also was determined to be a suspect in the Dec. 13, 2011, sexual assault through the use of DNA analysis performed by the Sacramento County District Attorney's Crime Lab.

March 15, 2013
Former Lions Education Foundation treasurer accused of embezzlement

Kent+Maloney.jpgThe former treasurer of the Lions Education Foundation was arrested today in El Dorado County, accused of embezzling more than $275,000 from the nonprofit organization.

The El Dorado County District Attorney's Office announced the arrest of Kent Maloney (pictured), 69, of Diamond Springs. The funds allegedly were embezzled over a period of seven years from the Lions Education Fund, which is associated with Lions Club International.

The DA's Office noted that according to the foundation's website, its budget is allocated to youth and education, with no administrative costs, and 100 percent of all monies going directly to support youth programs.

March 15, 2013
Mother, daughter plead guilty to burglaries targeting seniors

A mother and daughter have pleaded guilty in a series of burglaries committed in the Sacramento area during January.

Helen Costello, 43, and Shirley Costello, 22, pleaded guilty today to five counts of residential burglary as serious and violent felonies, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release. They entered the pleas before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet. Each is to be sentenced to eight years in prison April 12.

The women engaged in a series of residential burglaries during January. Their targets were elderly victims in the Tahoe Park, Meadowview and Arden Arcade areas, authorities said. They approached victims and claimed to be their former neighbors, or said they were interested in buying a home or used automobile in the area. The women often asked to use the victim's bathroom. Once inside the residence, one of the women distracted the victim while the other searched for valuables.

March 15, 2013
Sacramento police promote eight new leaders

Sacramento police officials promoted eight officers to new leadership positions today, including a new deputy chief to fill the vacancy left by newly appointed Chief Sam Somers Jr.

That new deputy chief is Ken Bernard, formerly a captain who oversaw the city's central command.

Replacing him is newly promoted Capt. Bill Champion, who was leading the department's eastern division. He is replaced by Kevin Gardner, already a captain.

Also promoted were:

• Kathy Lester, a captain overseeing personnel

• Alisa Buckley, a lieutenant and watch commander in patrol

• Lt. Shawn Rogers, a lieutenant and watch commander in patrol

• Jason Contreras, an administrative officer in records

• Brent Kaneyuki, a sergeant in patrol

• Stephen Moore, a sergeant in patrol

March 15, 2013
Man draws 65-years-to-life sentence for child molestation

A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to 65 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting children.

Santiago Sanchez was convicted by a Sacramento County jury in February of multiple counts of lewd acts with a minor and sexual assault charges. The jury also found true that Sanchez molested more than one victim in the commission of these offenses, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

Sanchez was sentenced today by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Goodman.

On Aug. 2, 2011, Sanchez was babysitting the 8 and 10-year-old victims, along with their four brothers. One of the children walked into a bedroom and discovered Sanchez partially unclothed and on top of his 8-year-old sister, authorities said. In an effort to get help, the boy rode his bike to several neighbors' homes and then to a local gas station, where he called 911. Officers learned soon afterward that Sanchez had engaged in lewd acts with the two sisters over a period of two days before his arrest.

March 15, 2013
Yolo DA warns of door-to-door sales scams targeting seniors

The Yolo County District Attorney's Office is warning residents to beware of door-to-door salespeople using high-pressure tactics.

Authorities said they have received several reports recently of salespeople who may be targeting senior communities in the area. They are ignoring clearly posted "no soliciting" signs and a using high-pressure tactics to make sales, according to a District Attorney's Office news release.

In a recent instance at a mobile home park, an 86-year-old woman who is hard of hearing opened her door to an official-looking young man in a yellow uniform who persuaded her to switch from the natural gas service provider she has had for more than 20 years to one based in Texas. Fortunately, authorities said, she checked with her son and was able to cancel the contract within the three-day time period allowed by law.

March 15, 2013
Lack of mental health resources led to murder, judge says

A Sacramento judge, in sentencing Jesus Gallegos to 26-years to life in prison for the murder of Triston Salladay, said from the bench today that the killing likely never would have taken place if the state's mental heath system had been "adequately resourced."

Superior Court Judge Steve White made the remarks after Gallegos' attorney, Assistant Public Defender Amy Rogers, told the court that her client had been treated "for a short period of time" prior to his fatal Feb. 14, 2010, knife attack on Salladay, but that he ran out of medications once he was sent home.

"Due to lack of resources, lack of funding, lack of insurance, he was not able to keep his medication," Rogers said in court. "So then he went off medication, and as a result we are here today."

Gallegos, now 23, stabbed Salladay, a 23-year-old electrician, inside the victim's upstairs apartment in the 3500 block of 53rd Street in Tahoe Park. The two knew each other and had played video games together. It was a neighborhood dispute over the theft of Salladay's PlayStation that authorities said played a role in the fatal confrontation between the two.

March 15, 2013
Lincoln High back to normal after bomb hoax

By Ed Fletcher

efletcher@sacbee.com

Normal campus activities have resumed at Lincoln High School after campus and law enforcement officials determined the threat was a hoax.

The campus was evacuated shortly before noon Friday after a non-specific bomb threat was called, said Interim Police Chief Dan Ruden.

School officials decided to evacuate the premises as a precaution while a search is being conducted.

At about 2:30 p.m., police had not yet cleared the scene but police were interviewing a juvenile with information about the incident, authorities said. The incident was taxing on the small department. Five volunteers and three paid employees came on to help out on the incident.

More details will be reported as they become available.

March 15, 2013
Placer County pedestrian is hit and killed by car

A pedestrian walking on a Placer County road near Lincoln Thursday night was struck and killed by a car.

Candido Perez Jr., 33, of Roseville, was walking in the southbound lane of Industrial Avenue near Athens Avenue about 10:15 p.m. Thursday when he was hit by a car traveling at about 55 mph.

The driver swerved in an attempt to avoid Perez, who was walking with his back to traffic. Perez was pronounced dead at the scene.

The California Highway Patrol said it is not known why Perez was walking in the roadway.

March 15, 2013
Sacramento men film themselves attacking prostitute, post it on YouTube

A night on the streets of Sacramento turns violent after two men walk up to a prostitute and punch her. All the while they recorded the attack then posted it Thursday on YouTube for all to see. In the video you could hear the men saying the attack was not their first. Fox40's Luana Munoz reports.

March 14, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Has anyone been arrested in deputy's 2006 killing?

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

QUESTION: Several years ago, a Sacramento sheriff's deputy was killed on a routine traffic stop of a white van. A white van was later found submerged near the murder scene. Has the killer ever been located, and what is the status of that investigation if not?
Submitted by: Steph, Sacramento

ANSWER: Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy Jeffrey Mitchell was shot and killed about 3:30 a.m. Oct. 27, 2006, while checking on a white van without a license plate on a rural road near Sloughhouse.

March 14, 2013
CHP enforcement effort targets aggressive drivers on State Route 12

The California Highway Patrol will be targeting unsafe drivers on Highway 12 during a special enforcement effort this weekend.

Officials announced that the CHP's Valley Division will deploy additional officers to patrol the route in a zero tolerance enforcement operation scheduled to begin Friday and continue through Sunday. The goal is to reduce the number of fatal injury traffic collisions attributed to aggressive driving, unsafe speed, unsafe passing and improper turning movements, along with other violations on the highway, according to a CHP news release.

Officials cited statistical data from the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System showing that from 2009 to 2011, the most recent year for which final figures are available, there were 105 collisions, resulting in the deaths of six people and injury to 90 others.

March 14, 2013
Folsom police arrest teenage girl in February stabbing

A 16-year-old girl has been arrested in connection with a stabbing that occurred Feb. 15 in Folsom.

The girl was taken into custody about 2 p.m. today after detectives served a search warrant at a residence associated with the suspect, according to a Police Department news release. She is accused of stabbing a 21-year-old man in the 9400 block of Greenback Lane.

Police previously reported that the stabbing occurred shortly before midnight after a fight broke out at a party at the Forestwood apartment complex, 9483 Greenback Lane. Detectives indicated at the time that the fight might have been gang-related. Police said the victim was stabbed multiple times.

March 14, 2013
Sacramento police seek suspect in indecent exposure incidents

Sacramento police seek the public's help in identifying a man believed to have been involved in five incidents of indecent exposure since October 2011.

In each instance, the man approached females who were walking or jogging alone near parks or on city streets. The incidents occurred on weekdays and weekends, typically in the early morning or evening hours, according to a Police Department news release.

Police said the man usually approached the victim and attempted to make small talk before exposing himself or making vulgar comments. On each occasion, he left on foot and no vehicle was seen. No injuries occurred during the incidents.

March 14, 2013
Elk Grove, Sacramento properties involved in alleged mortgage fraud scheme

A federal grand jury in Sacramento today returned a 12-count indictment in a mortgage fraud scheme that reportedly used straw buyers to purchase properties in communities including Elk Grove and Sacramento.

The indictment charges Surjit Singh, 66, of the East Bay community of Dublin, his son, Rajeshwar Singh, 38, of Pleasanton and Anita Sharma, 51, of Gilroy, with mail fraud, bank fraud, and false statements on a loan and credit application, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

The indictment alleges that Surjit Singh recruited individuals with good credit to act as straw buyers for residential properties owned by his family members and associates. Rajeshwar Singh, a licensed real estate agent, allegedly assisted in the scheme by submitting loan applications for the straw buyers, who included Sharma.

March 14, 2013
Help sought in identifying Granite Bay burglary suspects

Placer County sheriff's detectives are seeking the public's help in identifying suspects in two residential burglaries that occurred in Granite Bay late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

Items taken from the homes included bicycles, wallets, purses, credit cards and electronic equipment.

Early Wednesday, the suspects were captured on surveillance video at a Granite Bay store using a credit card taken in the burglary of one of the homes, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The videos show them inside the store as well as the vehicle they were driving.

March 14, 2013
Elk Grove police seek suspects in attempted bank robbery

EG bank robber ONE image010 (1).jpgEG bank robber TWO image011 (1).jpgElk Grove police are asking the public's help in identifying and locating two suspects in the attempted robbery Wednesday of the Wells Fargo Bank at 5120 Laguna Blvd.

The suspects entered the bank at 3:43 p.m. and confronted several employees. When they entered, one of the suspects used the handle from a scooter to prop open the front door, according to a Police Department news release. Once inside, they reportedly approached several different employees, grabbed them and demanded that they open the safe.

Before employees were able to comply with the demands, the suspects left on foot and were seen running into a residential neighborhood. They did not obtain any money from the bank.

March 14, 2013
UPDATE: Ex-Fox 40 web producer accused of conspiring to hack Internet news site

matthew keys.pngA former web producer for KTXL Fox 40, a Tribune Co.-owned television station in Sacramento, was indicted today in Sacramento for allegedly conspiring with members of the hacker group "Anonymous" to hack into and alter a Tribune Co. website.

Matthew Keys, 26, of Secaucus, N.J., was charged in the Eastern District of California with one count each of conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, transmitting information to damage a protected computer and attempted transmission of information to damage a protected computer. He was employed by Fox 40 as its web producer but was terminated in October 2010, according to a federal Department of Justices news release.

Keys did not respond to phone and email requests for comment. On Twitter he told followers this afternoon: "Im fine. I found out the way most of you did: From Twitter. Tonight I'm goiing to take a break. Tomorrow, business as ususal."

March 14, 2013
Police arrest Davis man in alleged hate crime attack

By Darrell Smith
dvsmith@sacbee.com

Police have made an arrest in the brutal beating of a Davis man that investigators are calling a hate crime.

Clayton Garzon, 19, of Davis was arrested by Davis officers Thursday without incident, department officials announced. He faces allegations of assault causing great bodily injury, committing a hate crime, assault with a deadly weapon, stalking, inflicting bodily injury during commission of a felony and committing a felony while on release from custody. He will be booked at Yolo County Jail in Woodland on the allegations.

Garzon is accused in an early morning attack Sunday on Lawrence "Mikey" Partida, 32, of Davis. Partida had just left a house party and was near 3rd and I streets about 3:50 a.m. when he was jumped and severely beaten, rendering him unconscious with major injuries, police said. Partida was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento where he remains hospitalized.

March 14, 2013
UPDATE: Teenager accused of approaching children for sex

Sacramento police have arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of communicating with minors to commit a sexual offense after receiving a report Wednesday of suspicious behavior by an individual who approached two 7-year-old boys.

Officers responded to Mark Hopkins Elementary School in the 2200 block of Matson Drive at 4:32 p.m. Wednesday after the 7-year-olds reported being approached by an unknown man on the school grounds. They reported that the stranger offered them $20 in an attempt to get them to follow him, according to a Police Department news release.

The boys ran off and alerted a teacher and another school employee. The suspect was seen leaving the area on foot.

March 14, 2013
Distracted shopping leads to purloined wallets at Roseville groceries

Distracted shopping has resulted in two women being relieved of their wallets at Roseville grocery stores.

In the first theft, a woman was shopping at a supermarket in the 6700 block of Stanford Ranch Road when a stranger struck up a conversation with her about food. The shopper later realized her wallet was missing from her purse.

She theorized that the stranger was likely working with another woman who took the wallet out of her purse, according to Roseville police.

March 14, 2013
More campus police officers for Roseville schools

More Roseville schools will have police officers on their campuses.

The Roseville City Council approved adding two more officers at last week's meeting in order to increase school security, according to a police public safety newsletter.

Already, police officers are assigned full time to Roseville, Oakmont and Woodcreek high schools. One of the new police youth service officers will be assigned to Adelante High School, and the other to the city's middle schools.

The police department hopes to have the new school officers on campus by fall.

March 14, 2013
Arrest made in Auburn bike business burglaries

bicycle.jpgAuburn police arrested a man they suspect has a penchant for burglarizing bicycle businesses.

At 4 a.m. Tuesday, officers were dispatched to the Auburn Bike Works, 350 Grass Valley Highway when a burglar alarm was activated. Brandon Lee Monsen, 28, (pictured) a homeless man from the Auburn area, was found near the business, police said.

He was detained while officers went about investigating the property. They believe that Monsen tried to cut the power to the Bike Works and enter through the back of the building.

Police said Monsen had knives and crystal methamphetamine in his possession. They believe that Monsen may also be responsible for the burglary of the Auburn Bicycle Emporium, 483 Grass Valley Highway, on Sunday.

He was booked into Placer County Jail on suspicion of burglary and possession of a controlled substance.

March 13, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Was Arden Way patio store owner's killer found?

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

QUESTION: In the mid-1990s, Lance Evans, owner of Pool, Patio and Things, was killed in his place of business. Was this ever solved?
Submitted by: David Hunt, Sacramento

ANSWER: This case remains unsolved.

Lance Evans, 41, was killed July 12, 1995, during a robbery at the Arden Way patio store that he had owned for five years with two partners.

March 13, 2013
Three people arrested in string of Truckee burglaries

Sabrina Kantlehner viewer.pngTruckee police announced the arrest of three people in connection with several residential and vehicle burglaries reported during February and early this month.

Officers worked several leads and identified two suspects related to the burglaries, according to a Police Department news release.

On Saturday, officers served search warrants related to these cases at several locations. During one of the searches, they contacted Anthony William Torres (left photo), 19, who had a large amount of crystal methamphetamine and U.S. currency on him at the time, officials said. He was arrested on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance and later on suspicion of offenses related to the burglaries and gang affiliation.

On Tuesday, officers located a second suspect in the burglaries, Sergio Sanchez (center photo), 19, in the parking lot of the Henness Flats Apartments. Sanchez allegedly tried to flee by hiding in a vehicle driven by his girlfriend, Sabrina Kantlehner (right photo), 18. Officers detained Kantlehner and found Sanchez in the rear of the vehicle.

March 13, 2013
UPDATE: Escaped handcuffed suspect caught in Sacramento County admin building

A search for a handcuffed man who escaped from a transport van unloading suspects at the Main Jail's sally port ended at the Sacramento County administration building, according to authorities.

The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Leonid Fedorchuk, was one of several suspects being unloaded from a Sacramento County sheriff's transport van when he escaped, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos. As the suspects were getting out of the van, the garage's eastern roll-up door came out to let another police vehicle out, and the suspect ran from the building, Ramos said.

The man, still in handcuffs, was seen running down the street and was caught by two security guards in the Sacramento County administration building, Ramos said.

Fedorchuk had been arrested on a felony warrant, Ramos said.

March 13, 2013
Lodi terror suspect's conviction upheld

By Sam Stanton

sstanton@sacbee.com

A federal appeals court has upheld the 2006 conviction of a Stockton man on charges that he provided material support to terrorists and made false statements to authorities.

Hamid Hayat, a cherry packer from Lodi who was 25 when he was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2007, had appealed his conviction on the grounds that the jury foreperson was biased against him and that his lawyers were limited by the court from cross examining a key government witness. He also claimed his lawyers were prevented from introducing expert testimony.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals split over the appeal, with Judges Mary M. Schroeder and Marsha S. Berzon affirming his convictions in trial in Sacramento before U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.

March 13, 2013
UPDATE: Woman found dead in car that went into Sacramento River

divers.jpgThe body of 58-year-old West Sacramento woman has been found inside a vehicle that went into the Sacramento River this morning.

Officer Cindy Leal, a spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol, said a CHP 911 dispatcher spent about 10 minutes on the phone with the woman who called to report that she was inside a vehicle that had gone into the river off Old River Road.

Leal said the woman worked at Cache Creek Casino and is believed to have been on her way home to West Sacramento when she phoned her daughter and said she didn't think the brakes on her car were working. At 8:11 a.m., the CHP dispatch center received a call from the woman, who said she was inside the car in the river. Leal said there was some difficulty in communicating because the woman spoke Punjabi and it took a few minutes to find someone who spoke the language. Leal said the connection was lost after about 10 minutes.

March 13, 2013
West Sacramento welcoming candidates to replace retiring police chief

West Sacramento is looking for a new leader for its police department, following the announced retirement of Chief Dan Drummond.

Drummond, who has served the city since 2004, recently announced that he would be stepping down in July. Mayor Christopher Cabaldon said West Sacramento became a safer place during Drummond's time on the job -- with property and violent crime declining.

An online listing for the open position notes that the police department, with 70 sworn positions, is divided into two divisions: field operations and administration support.

March 13, 2013
Citizen reclaims possessions for woman mugged in Sacramento

A woman robbed of her belongings on a city street has the kindness of another person to thank for getting them back.

Sacramento police said the 75-year-old woman was waiting at a bus stop about 7:30 p.m. Monday on Stockton Boulevard at Sixth Avenue, between the Oak Park and Tahoe Park neighborhoods. A man in his 30s approached and asked for money.

When she refused to give him any money, he roughed her up and took her utility cart containing her belongings. A citizen nearby witnessed the assault and followed the robber.

Once confronted by the citizen, the robber eventually handed over the woman's possessions to the good Samaritan. The robber, who fled, was described as a black man, about 6 feet 1 inch tall, 180 pounds, wearing a dark puffy jacket and blue jeans.

The woman was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.

March 12, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man accused of killing his mother in 2011?

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

QUESTION: What happened to the son of Lisa Barber, who was allegedly stabbed and killed by him just before Thanksgiving in 2011?
Submitted by: Jacquelyn Williams, Sacramento

ANSWER: Angelo Dunya Wright, 21, is in Sacramento County Jail charged with murder in the death of his mother, Lisa Marie Barber.

March 12, 2013
Meeting set for prospective Rocklin police, fire volunteers

Rocklin's police and fire departments will hold an orientation meeting for people interested in assisting the public safety agencies as volunteers.

Volunteers play a key role in helping the departments provide a high level of service to the community and undertake projects not otherwise feasible because of limited resources, according to a Police Department news release.

The Police Department has openings for volunteers in patrol, records and front counter clerical support, code enforcement and child safety education, including giving presentations at elementary schools. These functions require volunteers who are available during the day Monday through Friday.

March 12, 2013
Deputies rescue man from ledge of hospital parking structure

A man who threatened to jump from the top of a parking structure at Mercy San Juan Medical Center early Monday was rescued by Sacramento County sheriff's deputies.

The incident began at 1:30 a.m. when the sheriff's communication center received a call from a man who expressed suicidal thoughts, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. The man said that he was sitting atop the parking structure at the hospital at 6500 Coyle Ave. in Carmichael and wanted to jump off of it.

Deputies arrived at the scene while communications center personnel kept the man on the phone. In a rescue that was captured on video, several deputies went to the top of the structure, where the man was seen sitting on the upper-most ledge, with his feet dangling over the side.


March 12, 2013
Sacramento men arrested in smart phone trafficking case

Two Sacramento men were arraigned today in Sacramento Superior Court on felony charges related to a multimillion-dollar international cell phone trafficking conspiracy that allegedly involved recruiting individuals from homeless shelters.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced the arraignment, which followed a six-month, multistate investigation by the state Attorney General's eCrime Unit into the trafficking of stolen smart phones.

Shou Lin Wen, 38, and Yuting Tan, 27, both of Sacramento, allegedly bought large numbers of stolen smart phones in California for resale in Hong Kong, raking in nearly $4 million in less than a year, according to a California Attorney General's Office news release. The two were arrested March 6 and arraigned today on felony counts of money laundering, grand theft, possession of stolen property and conspiracy. They are being held in Sacramento County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail each.

March 12, 2013
Inmate work crew finds human skull in Redding

A state inmate work crew found a human skull when clearing brush in Redding.

The crew from the Sugar Pine Conservation Camp was working next to a canal near Locust Street when a prisoner found a skull in thick brush on Monday afternoon. The inmates were then moved to another location.

Redding police called in experts from the Human Identification Lab from California State University, Chico to help the Shasta County Coroner's Office in identification of the skull.

The Chico experts are at the scene today.

March 12, 2013
Update: Woman hit by RT light rail is identified by coroner

The identity of a woman who was struck and killed by a light-rail train Monday morning has been released by the Sacramento County Coroner's office.

She was identified as Lorie Christine Muma, 47, of Sacramento.

Her death occurred about 6:30 a.m. on the tracks along Folsom Boulevard near Mercantile Drive, just east of the Sunrise station. A Regional Transit spokeswoman said Muma was walking a bicycle on the tracks.

Crossing arms were down at Mercantile Drive and bells were ringing when she walked into the path of the train, the RT spokeswoman said.

March 12, 2013
Visiting priest arrested on suspicion of child molest in Yuba City

Julio Cesar Guarin-Sosa.jpgA Catholic priest has been arrested on suspicion of child molestation, according to a press release from the Diocese of Stockton.

The Rev. Julio Guarin-Sosa, pictured, a visiting priest from Colombia, was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery and molestation of a minor in Yuba City. He is being held in the Sutter County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned today.

Guarin-Sosa had been helping out at St. Anne's parish in Lodi. Stockton Bishop Stephen E. Blaire had required, and was provided a letter, attesting to Guarin-Sosa's good standing prior to the priest's ministry work at St. Anne's.

His arrest has caused the Diocese of Stockton to revoke Guarin-Sosa's permission to exercise ministry. The Stockton diocese has also told Guarin-Sosa's home diocese of his arrest.

March 12, 2013
Pit bull mauls neighbor, taken in for investigation

A Sacramento man is in the hospital after being attacked by a neighbor's pit bull. Animal control says the dog won't be put down. Fox40 reports the animal will be quarantined while the investigation is ongoing.

March 12, 2013
Woodland police seeking information on crash that injured child

Police are asking for help in an investigation into a crash that injured a Woodland driver and a 5-year-old passenger.

Woodland Police said that about 3:30 p.m. Monday, a vehicle swerved off the Gibson Road between West Street and College Avenue. The vehicle struck a tree in front of a home, causing non life-threatening injuries to the 50-year-old driver and the child.

Both the driver and the child were taken by ambulance to UC Davis Medical Center.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Woodland Police Department Traffic Division. Anyone who may have witnessed the crash is asked to call traffic investigators at (530) 661-7800.

March 11, 2013
Sacramento police seek witnesses to Natomas crash

Sacramento Police Department traffic investigators would like to speak with witnesses to a crash involving a single vehicle this afternoon in the South Natomas area.

Officers responded about 3:27 p.m. to a report a single-vehicle rollover at Grasslands Drive and West El Camino Avenue, east of Interstate 5.

The driver of a black BMW sedan was traveling east on West El Camino Avenue at a high rate of speed when he lost control of the vehicle, which left the roadway and struck multiple objects, according to a Police Department news release. The driver, a man in his early 20s and the only occupant of the vehicle, was transported to UC Davis Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or has any information about the incident is asked to contact the Traffic Investigation Unit by calling the Police Department's dispatch center at (916) 264-5471, or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357.

March 11, 2013
Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to suspects in 2009 slaying at Florin apartment complex?

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

QUESTION: What happened to the people who killed Curtis James Anderson Jr. in 2009?
Submitted by: GodsOwn, Sacramento

ANSWER: Two men pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of 20-year-old Curtis James Anderson Jr. at a Florin-area apartment complex.

March 11, 2013
West Sacramento man headed to prison for attacking girlfriend

A West Sacramento man has been sentenced to 21 years in state prison for attacking his girlfriend and then threatening her in an effort to prevent her from testifying against him.

Michael Robert Hernandez III, 33, pleaded no contest to two "strike" felonies and multiple enhancements, including assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, infliction of great bodily injury due to domestic violence and dissuading a witness, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release. He was sentenced March 7 by Yolo Superior Court Judge Paul Richardson.

On Oct. 11, 2012, West Sacramento police officers were dispatched to a residence on Circle Drive regarding a report of a fight between Hernandez and the victim. A verbal argument became a physical fight when Hernandez pushed the woman to the floor and choked her, causing her to nearly lose consciousness before he released his grip, officials said. Hernandez then reportedly punched and kicked the victim multiple times. While the woman was lying on the floor, Hernandez straddled her and choked her again, this time to the point of unconsciousness.

March 11, 2013
Sacramento police K9 association seeks donations for raffle

The Sacramento Police Canine Association is asking for donations of items to be raffled off to raise money for the care of current and retired police K-9s.

The items would be raffled off at the association's annual comedy night fundraiser Monday.

bodie.JPGTickets to that event are sold out, but the association is asking for new items such as gift certificates, complimentary passes and merchandise for the raffle.

The association is a nonprofit group that covers expenses not covered by the Sacramento Police Department, such as community outreach efforts, some training equipment and veterinary care and burial expenses for retired police dogs.

Sgt. Steve Oliveira, head of the K-9 unit, said three K9s - Crash, Hutch and Sonic - are expected to retire this year and will need the association's support. K9 Bodie, who is pictured at left and was shot by a suspect last year, is still receiving treatment for his injuries and also might be a beneficiary.

Anyone interested in donating items can contact the association at (916) 551-4300 or (916) 808-8282 or www.spdk9.org.

March 11, 2013
Shingle Springs teen accused of attacking sleeping couple

A Shingle Springs teenager is in custody, accused of attempted murder after allegedly assaulting a couple Sunday night.

The El Dorado County sheriff's dispatch center received a call about 10 p.m. from 42-year-old Deborah Lewis who reported her husband, Craig Templin, 51, had been stabbed. The couple had been living in a tent along the railroad right of way outside the town of El Dorado, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Lewis told authorities that the man, whom the couple did not know, entered their tent while they were sleeping. They awoke when the assault began.

March 11, 2013
Folsom police end standoff with man in custody, child safe

A suspect is in custody and a child is safe after a domestic violence call in Folsom led to a two-and-a-half-hour standoff with police.

About 11:15 a.m., Folsom police responded to the 100 block of Van Winkle Court after receiving a report of a domestic violence situation. As officers were headed to the home, they received an update that a woman had fled the home, and that the suspect and a child remained inside, said police Sgt. Jason Browning.

When police arrived, the man was in the home with the child and refused to come out. Police were "fairly confident" there were no weapons in the home, which did not belong to the suspect, but called out negotiators and the SWAT team as a precaution, Browning said.

Nearby Carl Sundahl Elementary School was locked down "due to the uncertainty of the situation," police said, though students and staff members there were not believed to be in danger.

The standoff lasted about two and a half hours before the suspect sent the child out and then surrendered, Browning said. The man was arrested and the child is safe, he said.

Police later identified the suspect as 22-year-old Mark Weider. He was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on suspicion of domestic battery, child endangerment and taking a hostage to avoid arrest, according to police.


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March 11, 2013
Antelope Home Depot armed shoplifter sought by deputies

A gun-toting Home Depot shoplifter is wanted by the Sacramento Sheriff's Department.

Deputies need help in finding the man who entered the Home Depot, 5859 Antelope Road, at 7:20 p.m. March 1. The shoplifter then selected some merchandise and started to head out the door. When confronted by store shoplifting prevention employees, the man pulled out a semi-automatic handgun, according to authorities.

The shoplifter-robber fled in a vehicle.

He is described as a white man in his 20s, about 6 feet 1 inch tall with a medium build. He wore a black baseball cap, black t-shirt and jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call the robbery bureau at (916) 874-5115.

March 11, 2013
Mayor's aide pleads guilty to misappropriation of public funds

By Andy Furillo

afurillo@sacbee.com

Former mayoral aide Lisa Serna-Mayorga pleaded guilty today to a single felony count of misappropriation of public funds and was sentenced to a nine-month term in county jail.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Laurel D. White also ordered Serna-Mayorga, 40, to pay $19,043.29 in restitution to the city for personal purchases such as two trips to Disneyland that she rang up on her city-issued credit card.

Officials said Serna-Mayorga intends to apply wiht the Sheriff's Department to serve her term on home electronic monitoring. She also could apply to have the last 90 days of her sentence transferred to sheriff's work project.

March 11, 2013
Sacramento police: Land Park search ends with arrests, weapon seizures

Sacramento police said two weapons were recovered during a search of a vehicle in Land Park last night.

The incident also resulted in the arrest of two people after a long search of the neighborhood around 9 p.m.

It all began when an officer drove over to speak to a man and a woman standing outside a car at a gas station near Sutterville Road and South Land Park Drive. The man tried to reach into the car but the officer stopped him.