Crime Beat

SPRING VALLEY DISPENSARY RAID FINDS COUNTERFEIT CANDY AND CHIPS CONTAINING MARIJUANA

East County News Service
 
May 4, 2021 (Spring Valley) -- Two people are under arrest after an illegal marijuana dispensary was shut down by Sheriff's Deputies in Spring Valley. Among the items seized were candy and chips containing marijuana, with counterfeit labels resembling major brand names.

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STARVED PUPPY, ABANDONED IN CRATE, DIES: HUMANE SOCIETY ASKS FOR PUBLIC HELP

Crimestoppers offers reward for information leading to arrest in felony animal cruelty case.

 

Source: San Diego Humane Society

 

May 3, 2021 (San Diego) — San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement is asking for the public’s help in a felony animal cruelty case, involving a severely emaciated puppy who was found dead in a crate on a residential sidewalk in Encanto.


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SUPERVISOR ANDERSON CALLS FOR REFORMS IN PLACEMENT OF PREDATORS AND COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: map shows disproportionate number of sex offenders placed in East County
 
May 1, 2021 (El Cajon) – Community members held another rally April 28 at Wells Park to oppose the proposed placement of Merle Wakefield and Joseph Badger, both sexually violent predators (SVPs), at 10957 Horizon Hills in unincorporated El Cajon.  Now Supervisor Joel Anderson has announced he will introduce a directive at next week’s County Board of supervisors meeting instruction County Council and the Chief Administrative Officer to fully investigate what he calls “inexcusable and irresponsible weaknesses in the County’s current policies for the notification and placement processes for sex offenders and Sexually Violent Offenders.”

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IN-PERSON VISITS RESUME AT SOME COUNTY JAILS, BUT NOT WOMEN’S FACILITY IN SANTEE OR EAST MESA SITE

East County News Service

April 30, 2021 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is rolling out a phased approach to resuming in-person visits beginning Saturday, May 1.  


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VICTIM IN LA MESA SHOOTING WAS SAILOR STATIONED AT CORONADO

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police have identified Cornelius Donte Brown, 22, as the victim shot and killed April 24 after answering a knock at the door of his apartment at 4306 Echo Court. Originally from South Carolina, Brown was on active duty with the U.S. Navy, stationed at Naval Base Coronado.

Witnesses inside the apartment told police that two black men in ski masks and black hooded sweatshirts were outside; one fired three shots at the victim, striking him twice, according to Lt. Gregory Runge with La Mesa Police.

The shooting occurred at 12:26 a.m. Police officers responding to several 9-1-1 calls reporting gunshots found Brown unresponsive, with gunshot wounds to his chest and neck.


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WOMAN SHOT IN PARKED CAR IN SPRING VALLEY DIES AT HOSPITAL

East County News Service

Photo: Creative Commons image via Bing

April 27, 2021 (Spring Valley) – San Diego resident Karmen Dionne Anderson, 40, known as Karmen Hicks, has died of a gunshot wound she received Saturday night while seated in a parked car in Spring Valley.

On Saturday, April 24 around 11:30 p.m., Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of the shooting in the 3600 block of Bancroft Drive in Spring Valley. When deputies arrived, they learned a woman had been shot while seated in a parked vehicle, but she was no longer at the scene.


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GUNMAN SHOOTS MOTORIST ON SANTEE FREEWAY

East County News Service

April 26, 2021 (Santee) – A man driving on State Route 125 north near the Mission Gorge Road exist was shot in the neck by an occupant in a black SUV shortly before 8 a.m.


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LA MESA MAN SHOT AND KILLED BY MASKED MEN

By Miriam Raftery
 
April 24, 2021 (La Mesa) – A 22-year-old man has died after answering a knock on the door of his apartment shortly after midnight. Witnesses inside the apartment told police that two black men in ski masks and black hooded sweatshirts were outside; one fired three shots at the victim, striking him twice, according to Lt. Gregory Runge with La Mesa Police.

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THOUSANDS OPPOSE PREDATOR PLACEMENTS ON HORIZON HILLS: MONDAY DEADLINE TO OPPOSE SECOND PROPOSED RELEASE

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Thousands of residents signed petitions, sent letters and/or testified against placement of sexually violent predator Douglas Badger at 10957 Horizon Hills in unincorporated El Cajon. Public officials also spoke out to oppose the plan. While the community awaits the judge’s decision on the proposed release of Badger, which would be supervised by Liberty Healthcare, placement of a second SVP, Merle Wakefield, at the same address has triggered new outrage and a planned rally tomorrow to oppose the action.

The community plans a “Sexual Violent Predator Placement Protest” on Saturday, April 24 at 3 p.m. in the cul-de-sac at Horizon Hills Drive and Estates Way.  Comments on placement of Wakefield are due by April 26 and can be sent to sdsafe@sdsheriff.org or by calling (858)495-3619.  Residents may also contact Governor Gavin Newsom to ask that he issue an order requiring Wakefield and Badger be housed in a trailer at a state correctional facility instead of at the Horizon Hills site near Mt. Helix.


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STATE JUVENILE PRISON SYSTEM WINDS DOWN AS COUNTY SYSTEMS GEAR UP

By Suzanne Potter, California Public News Service

April 23, 2021 (Stockton) – California is putting the final touches on longstanding plans to close the state's juvenile prisons and start serving all justice-involved youth at the county level. The last three state juvenile facilities, two in Stockton and one in Ventura, will stop accepting new youths on July 1, and close in 2023.

Dan Macallair, executive director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice based in San Francisco, said rehabilitation efforts work best at the local level.


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LOCAL AND NATIONAL LEADERS REACT TO GUILTY VERDICTS IN DEREK CHAUVIN TRIAL FOR KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD

By Miriam Raftery

Updated with reactions from the President and Vice President

Photo, left: Screenshot via CNN, Derek Chauvin is remanded into custody after verdict
 
April 20, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Local social justice advocates voiced gratitude for today’s jury verdict in Minneapolis, where a jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three counts (second degree murder, third degree murder, and manslaughter) in the death of George Floyd. But activists also cautioned that more action is needed to bring about reforms in policing to prevent future injustices.
 
After video of Floyd’s death under the knee of officer Chauvin on May 25, 2020 went viral on social media, protests erupted nationwide including La Mesa, Santee and El Cajon in San Diego’s East County.
 
Francine Maxwell, President of the NAACP San Diego branch, called the verdict “a step in the right direction.” In her statement, she adds, “This has taught my son today what hope looks like, that when police don’t obey the law, this is what justice looks like. This police officer, who joined a noble profession, he was not noble. He operated under the color of the law.”

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SHOOTING DEATH IN SPRING VALLEY

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo credit: Google & partners

April 18, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a shooting around 5:30pm, Thursday, April 15, in Spring Valley. Upon arrival to the 1500 block of Presioca Street, they found David Martinez, 67, lying in the street, with trauma to his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene, says Lt. Thomas Siever.

According to an update by Siever, Martinez' autopsy Friday found the preliminary cause of death to be gunshot wounds to the head, and manner of death, a homicide.


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HUSBAND ARRESTED FOR STABBING DEATH OF WIFE IN LEMON GROVE

East County News Service
 
Update April 18, 2021: The victim has been identified as Rhona Barcelon, 30. Her husband, Jay Barcelon, has been charged with murder. He underwent surgery and is in stable condition.
 
April 17, 2021 (Lemon Grove) – Sheriff’s deputies responding to a report of an argument last night at 7:30 p.m. heard screaming inside a residence at 2200 Dain Court. The deputies forcibly entered, after nobody answered the door. Inside, they found a man and woman who had both been stabbed.

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SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR FATAL HIT AND RUN IN LA MESA

East County News Service

April 9, 2021 (La Mesa) – Scott Satterfield of Spring Valley, 61, was arrested April 7 by the La Mesa Police Department on charges of felony hit and run.  An investigation found that Satterfield struck and killed 18-year-old Jok Joseph Jok on February 27, then fleeing the scene of the accident on Bancroft Drive.

Detectives from the La Mesa Police Department’s Investigations and Traffic Divisions, working with San Diego County Crime Stoppers, the media, and our community, were able to identify Satterfield as the suspected operator of the vehicle that struck Jok. The white pickup truck depicted in the previously released photographs has been located and is in police custody for evidence processing, according to a press release issued by LMPD.


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CASH, GUNS AND $6 MILLION WORTH OF MARJUANA SEIZED AT ILLEGAL SPRING VALLEY DISPENSARY

East County News Service

 

April 8, 2021 (Spring Valley) - A search warrant was served at an illegal marijuana dispensary located in the 10600 block of Willie Baker Way in Spring Valley on Wednesday, April 7 around 11:20 a.m. 


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LA MESA POLICE SEEK ROBBERY SUSPECT IN RED DODGE CHARGER

East County News Service
 
April 7, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police seek public help to locate a suspect who robbed the Denny’s on Alvarado Road shortly after 1 p.m. today, then fled in a red Dodge Charger (license 5YVT249).

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COMMUNITY ORGANIZES TO PREVENT PLACEMENT OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS IN HORIZON HILLS NEAR MT. HELIX

 April 9 is deadline for comments to block Badger's release just outside El Cajon city limits

By Henri Migala

April 6, 2021 (Horizon Hills/Mt. Helix) -- The Grossmont Mount Helix Improvement Association (GMIA) hosted a community meeting on Tuesday, April 6, at 5:30, to protest the proposed placement of two sexually violent predators (SVP), Merle Wade Wakefield and Douglass Badger, at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive in their community.

Well over 200 local community members of all ages attended the neighborhood meeting.


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SUSPECT ARRESTED AFTER ”DELIBERATELY” RAMMING MOTORISTS AT FOUR EAST COUNTY SITES

East County News Service
 
April 3, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – David Archer, 56, has been arrested after deliberately ramming multiple vehicles at three locations on Thursday. The suspect then fled, leading deputies in a pursuit from unincorporated La Mesa through Lemon Grove ending in Spring Valley, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s department.

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HEARING APRIL 20 ON PROPOSED RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN EL CAJON NEAR MT. HELIX

By Miriam Raftery

 

Photo courtesy of San Diego Sheriff’s department

 

Public comments accepted through April 9

 

March 30, 2021 (El Cajon) – The state has proposed releasing Douglas Badger, a sexually violent predator, into a supervised home at 10957 Horizon Hills Drive. The site is just east of Avocado Avenue in unincorporated El Cajon, near Mt. Helix.


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SHERIFF ASKS PUBLIC TO REPORT ILLEGAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2021 (San Diego) – Unlike licensed and regulated cannabis dispensaries, illegal marijuana dispensaries have had negative impacts on communities, neighboring businesses and consumers, the Sheriff’s department warns. Recently, several have been involved in shootings and other serious crimes; moreover there is no state oversight to test products being sold and assure they do not contain pesticides, herbicides, or that they are not laced with other drugs.

“Unregulated pot shops attract criminals involved with other illicit drugs and are often the catalyst for violent crime, property crime and financial crime that affect us all.  Products sold at unlicensed cannabis facilities are cultivated and manufactured using processes which may be harmful to consumers and are often marketed toward children,” warns Sgt. Mark Knierim.


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TEEN ARRESTED FOR FATAL PEDESTRIAN COLLISION IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

March 25, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon resident Reeta Mansour, 19,  has been arrested and charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run, and reckless driving causing injury or death. The charges stem from a crash on March 12th on South Anza Street in which Mansour allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian, also hitting a parked car.

Officers responded shortly before 10 p.m., along with paramedics, to a report of a vehicle striking a parked car.  The officers found a pedestrian in a yard nearby who allegedly had also been hit by the vehicle. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.


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SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR SERIES OF VIOLENT ASSAULTS IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have arrested 28-year-old Isaiah Ugaitafa for violent assaults in which he broke down the front doors of homes and attacked two residents, says Lt. Randy Soulard. He is charged with three felonies: hot prowl burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, and elder abuse.

On Friday, March 19 at 2:15 p.m., officers responded to a home in the 400 block of South First Street, where a man had been seen by several residents acting strangely and talking to himself. A short time later, the suspect was seen breaking down the door of an elderly man’s home and attacking the senior with a metal pole, striking him in the face before fleeing the scene.


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LA MESA OFFICER'S 'HEART DROPPED' AFTER SHOOTING LESLIE FURCRON; HE'S FAULTED IN NEWLY RELEASED REPORT

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Arrow points to La Mesa police Detective Eric Knudson before he withdrew behind a wall and shot Leslie Furcron with a beanbag shell. LMPD photo

March 19, 2021 (La Mesa) - Eric Knudson, the La Mesa police officer cleared by county and local authorities in his beanbag shooting of Leslie Furcron last May at a George Floyd protest, returned to work last week, but remains under a cloud.


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FBI INVESTIGATES ST. PATRICK'S DAY ROBBERY IN POWAY

East County News Service

March 18, 2021 (Poway) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) San Diego Violent Crimes Task Force and San Diego Police Department are seeking the public’s assistance to identify a suspect believed to be responsible for a bank robbery in Poway.

On March 17 at approximately 4:15 p.m., a Black man believed to be in his mid-20s entered the Wells Fargo Bank  at 10675 Scripps Poway Parkway. He was wearing a green sweatshirt and a black “beanie type” hat on his head, with the hood of the sweatshirt pulled up.  He is approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall.

The robber presented a message to the teller demanding money from the bank.  After receiving a sum of cash, he fled on foot.  

The robber’s lower face was covered by a light blue paper COVID-19 face mask.


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ACLU FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST SHERIFF SEEKING PROTECTION FROM COVID-19 FOR PEOPLE IN JAIL; SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT DEFENDS PROCEDURES

By Miriam Raftery

Photo Credit: This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-ND

March 18, 2021 (San Diego) -- On March 11, the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties (ACLUF-SDIC); Community Advocates for Just & Moral Governance (MoGo); and Singleton, Schreiber, McKenzie & Scott, LLP (SSMS) filed a class action lawsuit demanding that San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore take steps to protect people incarcerated in local jails from exposure to COVID-19.

Filed in San Diego County Superior Court, the lawsuit demands that Sheriff Gore reduce the population of the jails to levels that allow people to practice and maintain safe social distancing, and to provide widespread vaccinations in the jails at levels that can ensure the safety of everyone incarcerated there

San Diego County jails are in the midst of a months-long COVID-19 outbreak where at least two people, Edel Corrales Loredo and Mark Armendo, died of COVID-19 after apparently contracting the virus while incarcerated in county jail.

In late December 2020, there were 527 people with active COVID-19 infections in custody. There have been more than 1,200 cumulative positive cases in the jails since the start of the pandemic.


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DOUBLE SHOOTING AT SPRING VALLEY DISPENSARY; SHERIFF SEEKS TIPS

By Miriam Raftery and Rick Nothano

Photos by Rick Nothano

March 12, 2021 (Spring Valley) – Two shooting victims have been hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries resulting from gunfire outside of an illegal marijuana dispensary in Spring Valley Wednesday night.

Sheriff’s detectives from the Rancho San Diego station responded to multiple calls of gunshots at 8:33 p.m. near Dolores Street and South Barcelona in the Casa de Oro neighborhood, an area where numerous illegal dispensaries have previously been raided and shut down.

Deputies found a 22-year-old shooting victim along with evidence of a shooting outside a dispensary at 9966 Dolores Street, unit 107, as well as a firearm, says Sergeant Karen Bloch.


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COUNTY RESIDENTS GRADUATE FROM FIRST SPANISH LANGUAGE SHERIFF'S ACADEMY


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OWNER OF MENSWEAR STORE IN LA MESA AVOIDS JAIL TERM OVER SCUFFLE WITH REPORTERS

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo via ECM news partner 10 News
 
March 11, 2021 (La Mesa) – Peter Carzis, 77, owner of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in downtown La Mesa, was sentenced to two years of probation on Wednesday for destroying a TV reporter’s camera valued at $7,000.

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LA MESA POLICE SEEK LEADS ON SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF JOK JOSEPH JOK, FOUND UNCONSCIOUS ON BANCROFT FEB. 27

By Miriam Raftery

March 11, 2021 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police seeks public help to identify who injured Jok Joseph Jok, who later died of his injuries. A possible vehicle of interest is also sought: a white 2009-2014 Ford F150. The vehicle is an extended cab, with a silver metal tool box, and possibly missing a front bumper. 

On Feb. 27 around 9:10 p.m., police responded to a call and found Jok lying on the eastern edge of the roadway on Bancroft Drive just south of Golondrina. He was unresponsive with injuries to his head and shoulder. He later succumbed to his injuries; the manner and means of his death remains under investigation.

Video surveillance shows vehicles in the area at the time of the incident. The La Mesa Police Department is actively looking for witnesses or any other information regarding this incident. 


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LA MESA POLICE SAVE LIFE OF DRIVER AFTER OVERDOSE

Source: La Mesa Police

 

March 10, 2021 (La Mesa) -- Early this morning, La Mesa Police officers responded to a collision involving two vehicles near the intersection of Baltimore Drive and Fletcher Parkway. The first officer on scene identified that the driver had overdosed on an opiate and immediately administered NARCAN, saving his life. 

The driver was transported to the hospital for medical treatment. 


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