Crime Beat

AS JUNE 7 PRIMARY NEARS, A CROWDED FIELD RUNS FOR SHERIFF

By Elijah McKee

 

Photos, left to right:  Dave Myers, Kelly Martinez, John Hemmerling, Charles Battle, Juan Carlos Mercado, Gundo Gunderson, Jonathan Peck

 

May 26, 2022 (San Diego's East County) — A seat of power will soon be filled in San Diego County that has not seen turnover since 2009: the Sheriff. 


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MAN ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF MOTHER, 88, IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

May 20, 2022 (El Cajon) – Chase Folkes, 55, has been arrested and charged with the murder of his mother, 88-year-old Carolyn Jean Folkes. 

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from a man requesting help at a home in the 1200 block of Corto Lane in unincorporated El Cajon at 1:30 a.m. on May 19.  They found Carolyn Folkes dead in the home with trauma to her upper body.


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ARREST MADE FOR MURDER OF MAN WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND BY HIKERS JAN. 23 IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

May 18, 2022 (Spring Valley) – Two people have been arrested for the murder of Ronald Ray McKinney, 59. His body was found by hikers on January 23 off the roadway in the 3500 block of Millar Ranch Road in Spring Valley.


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SHERIFF ANNOUNCES END TO ZERO BAIL

East County News Service

Photo:  CC by NC-ND

May 17, 2022 (San Diego) – Effective May 15, zero bail adopted as an emergency measure during the pandemic has ended.

In March 2020, the Governor’s executive order gave the Judicial Council of California and its Chairperson, the state’s Chief Justice, the authority to take actions necessary to maintain access to the essential court operations and protect the health and safety of California residents, including incarcerated persons,


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INTERNET CRIMES TASK FORCE PROTECTING CHILDREN RECEIVES FUNDING

ICAC had faced funding cuts

 

By J.W. August, freelance journalist

 

May 16, 2022 (San Diego) -- With the internet came all sorts of crimes into our homes by way of our own computers. It can be a doorway to a very dark place, and that’s the reason ICAC--Internet Crimes Against Children-- came into being. Getting the money to keep it operational is important to those concerned about the issue, like North County resident Julie Levi who wondered “why is the governor not funding the ICAC Task Force?  If you have any insights, I’d love to hear them!"


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VIEW OUR INTERVIEW WITH JOHN HEMMERLING, PROSECUTOR RUNNING FOR SHERIFF

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 10, 2022 (San Diego) – John Hemmerling is a  a retired Marine Corps Colonel and combat veteran, a former San Diego Police officer, and he’s served as head prosecutor in the city of San Diego’s Criminal and Community Justice Division. Now he’s running for San Diego Sheriff, hoping to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of former Sheriff Bill Gore. 

East County Magazine recently sat down for an in-depth interview wit Hemmerling for his goals if elected.  View the interview.   View a followup question on scanner traffic. Hear an audio version aired on KNSJ Radio.

“Probably my most relevant experience would be the leadership that I bring,” he said.  “You need strong leadership at the top. I’ve spent 36 plus years in public service.”  That includes combat tours and running jails in Iraq.  As a police officer he worked nearly a decade in City Heights, obtained his law degree and eventually became chief legal counsel for San Diego Police before his current position as chief criminal prosecutor for the city of San Diego.

Audio: 


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LAKESIDE AWAITS ANSWERS AS HATE CRIME STABBING TRIALS CONTINUE INTO SUMMER

By Elijah McKee


May 8, 2022 (Lakeside) — Lakeside residents concerned with the Sheriff’s handling of the recent hate crime stabbing investigation still await clarity, while the 16 year-old boy charged in the attack on a teen girl has his next court appearance on June 6. He has pleaded not guilty on attempted murder and hate crime charges. His 15 year-old girlfriend was also recently rearrested for further involvement in the attack than previously thought. 

 

The boy’s father, who was present for the attack, has not been arrested. The District Attorney’s office has said the investigation is ongoing. 

 

The stabbing, which took place on April 16 around 11 p.m. at the Woodglen Apartments on Mapleview Street in Lakeside, was related to previous verbal altercations between the parties, who live near each other. Racial hate speech was present during these verbal incidents as well as during the physically violent escalation.


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STABBING SUSPECT ARRESTED IN EL CAJON AFTER DISPUTE OVER DEBT

By Miriam Raftery

May 9, 2022 (El Cajon) – Hakim Wakil Rashid, 52, has been arrested for allegedly stabbing a man in the head and back earlier today in downtown El Cajon.


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SUSPECTED SERIAL THIEF ARRESTED, TIED TO MAGNOLIA HOMELESS CAMP AS CITIES AND COUNTY WEIGH REGIONAL SOLUTION TO HOMELESSNESS

East County News Service

May 7, 2022 (El Cajon) – A man accused of stealing a bicycle and a suitcase full of goods from a Target Store was arrested following a pursuit by El Cajon Police officers on Monday, May 2.  According to Lt. Randy Soulard, the suspect, Sterle Floyd Sisco lived at a homeless camp at Magnolia near the Vernon St. overpass in the unincorporated area. Sisco was on probation for assault with a deadly weapon and has an extensive criminal history including prior arrests for assault, burglary, theft, domestic violence and drug possession. He is also a suspect in numerous prior retail thefts.

The recent arrest highlights concerns over the encampment just days after Supervisor Joel Anderson held a press conference calling for a regional solution to homelessness, an action that will require cooperation from the four cities in East County.


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BODY FOUND IN BURNED HOME AFTER RESIDENT HURLED INCENDIARY DEVICES AT DEPUTIES SERVING EVICTION NOTICE

East County News Service

Photo courtesy of NBC 7, an ECM news partner

 

May 6, 2022 (El Cajon) – One person is dead and a woman in her 60s suffered moderate burns after a man being served with an eviction notice at 1282 Redwood Avenue in El Cajon hurled incendiary devices at deputies.  


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MAN ARRESTED FOR ARSON FIRES

East County News Service

May 2, 2022 (Vista) - A man has been arrested on suspicion of setting several fires in the North County, says Sergeant Anthony Portillo with the Sheriff’s bomb arson unit.


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COUNTYWIDE EFFORT AIMS TO ELIMINATE DUI FATALITIES, INJURIES

By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

May 1, 2022 (San Diego) - About seven San Diegans are injured every day in motor vehicle crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.

On April 29, the County Health and Human Services Agency, San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan, and other community partners joined forces in support of Vision Zero, a countywide initiative to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries related to driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs to zero by 2025.

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LEMON GROVE COUNCILMEMBER TO FACE RESTRAINING ORDER AND POTENTIAL CRIMINAL CHARGES IN COURT AFTER ACCUSATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

By Elijah McKee

 

Rebecca Jefferis Williamson contributed to this report.

 

April 29, 2022 (Lemon Grove) — Lemon Grove Councilmember Liana LeBaron was arrested and charged with domestic violence on April 18 by the San Diego County Sheriff’s department, following an altercation with her husband over his life insurance policy.

 

A restraining order was filed the next day under the name Timothy C. Howell, which required that LeBaron leave her home upon its court approval. The protective order will last until May 10, when LeBaron will appear in court to address the issue. 


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MAN TRIES TO LURE BOY INTO VAN IN SANTEE

Source:  San Diego County Sheriff

April 20, 2022 (Santee) - The Santee Sheriff’s Station wants parents to be aware after a stranger followed and approached a child.  

It happened on Tuesday, April 19 around 3:30 p.m. as the 16-year-old boy was riding his bicycle home from Mast Park in the 9100 block of Carlton Hills Boulevard. The incident was reported to the Sheriff's Department an hour later.


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THREE ARRESTED IN CONNECTION TO STABBING IN SPRING VALLEY

Source:  San Diego County Sheriff

April 19, 2022 (Spring Valley) - Three people are under arrest in connection with a stabbing in Spring Valley.It happened on Monday, April 18 just before 10:00 p.m. near a fast food restaurant in the 8700 block of Jamacha Boulevard.


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TEEN SUSPECT IN STABBING OF GIRL, 16, IN LAKESIDE REPORTEDLY YELLED RACIAL SLURS

Sheriff plans community forum on public safety in Lakeside

Update 5:30 p.m:  The 16-year-old suspect has been arrested. The Lakeside Sheriff’s substation thanks the community and the Fugitive Task Force for its assistance on this case.

East County News Service

April 18, 2022 (Lakeside) -- Sheriff's deputies are searching for a 16-year-old boy suspected of stabbing a teenage girl in Lakeside Saturday night, April 16 shortly after 11 p.m. at an apartment in the 12000 block of Mapleview Street.


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VIEW OUR INTERVIEW WITH KELLY MARTINEZ, UNDERSHERIFF AND CANDIDATE FOR SHERIFF

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 18, 2022 (San Diego) – Kelly Martinez is the first woman to serve as San Diego County's Undersheriff. Now she's a candidate hoping to become the first woman Sheriff in our region, aiming to fill the vacancy left by long-time Sheriff Bill Gore’s retirement. Last week, with East County Magazine held an in-depth interview with Undersheriff Martinez, which also aired on KNSJ radio. 

She’s spent 37 years in the department, where the started the Sheriff’s Homeless Assistance Resource Team and Marijuana Enforcement teams. She helped manage the department’s responses through the pandemic and civil unrest. She says she’s committed to investing in improving public safety and jail safety, as well as filling vacancies amid critical staffing shortages.

View video of the full interview. Hear audio version.  Scroll down to read highlights.

Audio: 


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VIEW OUR INTERVIEW: DAVE MYERS, CANDIDATE FOR SAN DIEGO COUNTY SHERIFF

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 17, 2022 (San Diego) -- East County Magazine interviewed Dave Myers, a retired San Diego Sheriff Commander running for Sheriff to fill the seat left by the retirement of long-time Sheriff Bill Gore.  He says it’s time for a new Sheriff in town to change the culture of law enforcement to one that respects everyone while assuring safe communities and rebuilding trust between residents and law enforcement.

He's served in law enforcement for 35 years, won awards for exceptional service and lifesaving, volunteered in nonprofits and community groups, and led efforts to form the Sheriff’s Youth Advisory Group.

Watch video by clicking the video link. Hear audio aired on KNSJ radio at the audio link. Scroll down to read highlights from the interview conducted in late March.

Audio: 


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SHERIFF’S DEPT. HOSTS COFFEE WITH THE COMMUNITY APRIL 27 IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

April 15, 2022 (Spring Valley) – The San Diego Sheriff’s Rancho San Diego station invites you to Coffee with the Community. The event will be held on Wednesday, April 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the San Diego Youth Services East Campus auditorium 3845 at Spring Drive in Spring Valley.

For more information, contact crime prevention specialize Nancy Ortiz at (619) 660-7009 or nancy.ortiz@sdsheriff.org.


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COLD CASE ARREST FOR 2003 DOUBLE MURDER IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

East County News Service

April 15, 2022 (El Cajon) -- An arrest has been made in a 2003 shooting that killed two people in the unincorporated area of El Cajon. Michael Romero, 45, has been arrested and charged with the murders of Brandon Vigil and Patrick John Greene.


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KIDNAPPED GIRL SAFE, MOTHER ARRESTED FOR ABDUCTION AT SCHOOL IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service

April 14, 2022 (Spring Valley) – Six-year-old Jolyn Gutierez has been found unharmed.  Her mother, Wendy Gutierez, who does not have custody, has been arrested for kidnapping Jolyn on February 22 from Kempton Elementary School in Spring Valley


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SUSPECT IN CUSTODY AFTER CARJACKING EL CAJON POLICE TRUCK WITH SWAT GEAR INSIDE

By Miriam Raftery

April 14, 2022 (San Diego’s East County) – A suspect accused of carjacking an El Cajon Police vehicle containing SWAT gear and weapons last night led officers on a high-speed chase across East County before being apprehended in Chula Vista.

An off-duty ECPD officer was leaving a 7-Eleven store in Santee when "a man opened the passenger door of the unmarked pickup truck, got into the vehicle and began yelling incoherently at the driver. At some point, both parties got out of the truck and the carjacker was able to get behind the wheel and drive away," says Sergeant Michael Gonzalez with the Sheriff's department.

The vehicle had SWAT gear, an assault rifle and a pistol locked in a storage locker, according to 10 News.


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LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WILL NO LONGER INVESTIGATE OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTINGS IN THEIR OWN DEPARTMENTS

East County News Service

April 13, 2022 (San Diego) – Recognizing the need for transparent and independent investigations of officer and deputy-involved shootings, members of the San Diego County Chief's and Sheriff's Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (which establishes a new countywide protocol for the investigation of officer and deputy-involved shootings.  


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JUDGE FINDS LA MESA WAS JUSTIFIED IN FIRING OFFICER MATT DAGES

By Miriam Raftery

April 13, 2022 (La Mesa) – The city of La Mesa’s decision to fire La Mesa Police Officer Matt Dages in 2020 was “supported by the weight of the evidence”, according to a tentative ruling issued by Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal.  According to the Judge, the evidence showed that Dages provided “false and misleading” information in his report on his arrest of Amaurie Johnson.


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JAIL INMATE DIED OF BLOOD CLOT IN LEG

By Miriam Raftery

April 12, 2022 (San Diego)  - Jerrell Lacy, 38, of San Diego is the latest person to die in custody locally.  


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SECOND ARSONIST SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR BURNING DOWN CHASE BANK IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jake Rose: Chase Bank in flames during May 30, 2020 riot in downtown La Mesa

April 5, 2022 (La Mesa) – One of several people alleged to have set fires which burned down the Chase Bank in La Mesa following a May 30, 2020 riot has been sentenced to 16 months in prison.  Alexander King, 20, pleaded guilty in February to a felony count of recklessly causing fire of a structure.


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PRISONER ARRESTED AFTER ESCAPING FROM SHARP GROSSMONT HOSPITAL IN LA MESA

By Miriam Raftery

April 5, 2022 (La Mesa) – A prisoner who had a medical emergency during an appearance at the El Cajon Courthouse  yesterday was taken by ambulance to Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. He escaped from the hospital at 6:30 p.m., prompting a helicopter search, and was found in a creek near the trolley tracks a half hour later.


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WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSAULT THAT LEFT PARTNER SEVERELY INJURED IN SANTEE

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson: Las Colinas Detention facility, Santee

March 31, 2022 (Santee) – Brandi McCrystal, 26, has been arrested for felony domestic violence after allegedly severely injuring her partner, a 24-year-old woman.

Deputies responded to a medical aid call on March 29 shortly after 9:30 p.m. in the 8700 block of Graves Ave., Santee. Fire department personnel provided medical aid to the victim, who was transported to a hospital for treatment.


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INMATE CHARGED WITH MURDERING CELLMATE AT COUNTY JAIL

By Miriam Raftery

Updated 5:30 p.m. with preliminary autopsy results.

March 30, 2022 (San Diego) – Derek Baker, 56, an inmate found beaten in his cell in the San Diego Central Jail on March 12, died today of his injuries. Sheriff’s homicide detectives identified Baker’s cellmate, 28-year-old Patrick Ferncase, as the assailant. The case has been referred to the District Attorney to file charges against Ferncase.


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SUPERVISORS APPROVE INTERIM SHERIFF

Source: County News Service

Mar. 28, 2022 (County of San Diego) The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously appointed Anthony Ray as interim sheriff on Tuesday. He will step into the top leadership role through January 2023 when the winner of this year’s election for sheriff takes office.

Ray will be sworn in on April 5. He is currently an assistant sheriff and has served more than 30 years in the department. He will oversee one of the largest sheriff’s departments in the nation, managing nearly 4,700 employees and providing primary law enforcement to nearly one million people.


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