Crime Beat

EL CAJON POLICE SHOOT UNARMED MAN IN STOLEN VEHICLE WHO REPORTEDLY TOLD OFFICERS “KILL ME, PLEASE”

 

Update February 14, 2020:  ECPC has identified the suspect who was shot as Keith Crenshaw, 21, of Arizona. The name of the officer has sitll not been  released.

By Miriam Raftery

February 12, 2020 (El Cajon) – A suspected car thief is hospitalized after being shot twice in the torso by an El Cajon Police officer this morning shortly before 9 a.m.  

According to Lt. Randy Soulard, an out-of-state law enforcement agency informed El Cajon Police Dept. that a stolen tan Kia Amanti sedan from their jurisdiction was in El Cajon.  The reported agency directed officers, who located the stolen vehicle parked in the 500 block of South Johnson.

The officers found a man asleep in the driver’s seat.  “As they planned their approach to arrest the suspect and prevent his escape, he woke up. The officers identified themselves as police officers and immediately began giving repeated commands for the suspect to show them his hands. The suspect refused to show his hands and repeatedly reached under his clothing and into his waistband,” says Lt. Soulard.

He reports that the suspect continued to ignore the officer’s commands and stated something similar to “Shoot me before I do it!” while reaching into his waistband.

STUDENT HARASSED WHILE WALKING TO GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL

 

East County News Service

Image: Creative Commons via Bing

February 6, 2020 (La Mesa) -- The La Mesa Police Department is investigating an incident of verbal harassment that occurred this morning at approximately 7:10 a.m. yesterday. The victim, a 16-year-old Grossmont High School student, was verbally harassed by an adult male suspect while she walked from the Amaya Trolley Station towards the school.

The student arrived safely at the school and immediately reported the incident to school staff. A crime report regarding the incident has been taken and the investigation is continuing.

The suspect is described as a black male adult, approximately 35-40 years old, medium to heavy build, with a full goatee, wearing a gray beanie style hat, black shirt, and black pants. The suspect was on foot and no vehicle was observed.

DEA RELEASES 2019 NATIONAL DRUG THREAT ASSESSMENT: METH AND “DEADLY” FENTANYL MOST SERIOUS LOCAL PROBLEMS

Annual report outlines strategic review of threats posed by drugs and drug traffickers

Source: Drug Enforcement Agency

February 3, 2020 (San Diego) -- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon has announced publication of the 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment, which outlines threats posed to the United States by domestic and international drug trafficking and by abuse of illicit drugs.

“This year’s report illustrates a shifting drug landscape in the United States,” said Acting Administrator Dhillon. “We’re pleased that in 2018, drug overdose deaths declined over four percent overall, with even greater decreases – over 13 percent – in overdoses from controlled prescription opioids. Many challenges remain, however, including the spread of fentanyl and methamphetamine across the country. DEA and its partners will continue to work diligently to combat the drug trafficking organizations that bring these deadly substances into our country and endanger the American people.”

“Unlike other cities, San Diego faces unique challenges by being on the U.S.-Mexico border,” said San Diego Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery. “In 2018, the DEA San Diego seized record amounts of methamphetamine and deadly fentanyl. While our battle with the Mexican drug cartels persists, our agents are more committed than ever to stemming the flow of these deadly drugs entering our community and effecting the lives of our friends and families.”

21 ARRESTED IN DRUG BUST AT LINDO LAKES

East County News Service

File photo: Lindo Lake Park, by Miriam Raftery

January 30, 2020 (Lakeside) -- This morning deputies from the Lakeside Sheriff's Substation concluded a 10-month investigation into the sale of narcotics at Lindo Lake Park, Lakeside. Search and arrest warrants were served at multiple locations in Lakeside and El Cajon regarding the sales of methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl.

Twenty-one suspects were taken into custody facing charges in State and Federal Court ranging from narcotics offences to outstanding warrants. During the operation methamphetamine and weapons were located and confiscated.

STATE ISSUES WARNING ON DANGEROUS VAPING PRODUCTS SEIZED FROM UNLICENSED CANNABIS SHOPS

Officials Urge Californians to Avoid Unlicensed Cannabis Retailers, as More Than 10,000 Illegal Vape Pens Seized

Source: Calif. Bureau of Cannabis Control

Image: Creative Commons

January 29, 2020 (Sacramento)-- A random sampling of the cannabis products seized from unlicensed retailers during a major enforcement operation in Los Angeles last month were found to contain undisclosed additives, some of them potentially dangerous, and significantly lower amounts of THC than claimed on the label.  Vaping pens containing ingredients linked to sudden respiratory illnesses and deaths were among those seized. 

CARZIS CHARGED AND RELEASED: ARRAIGNMENT SET FOR FEB. 24

By Miriam Raftery

File photo: Peter Carzis addressing La Mesa City Council i 2016

January 23, 2020 (La Mesa) – The District Attorney’s office has charged Peer Carzis, 76, owner of  Peter’s Mens Apparel in La Mesa, with one count of felony vandalism and three counts of misdemeanor battery stemming from an altercation with members of the media on January 20th.  Videos posted at multiple media sights showed Carzis punching and pushing several photographers, also destroying a $7,000 camera.

An additional misdemeanor charge of committing a lewd act in public on January 18 was also issued against Carzis.A video that went viral on social media appeared to show Carzis reaching under a woman's shirt to fondle her breasts while she was straddling his lap on a sidewalk in front of his store in the La Mesa downtown village.

MEN’S CLOTHING STORE OWNER PETER CARZIS ARRESTED AFTER ATTACKS ON NEWS PHOTOGRAPHERS AND LEWD ACT CAUGHT ON VIDEO IN LA MESA

Update January 21:  Peter Carzis was arrested this morning in San DIego for felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery on multiple reporters, Lt. Greg Runge has informed ECM,.  He is accused of destroying a camera valued at $7,000. In addition, La Mesa Police will  also be sending two reports for lewd acts in public and misdemeanor battery from a spitting incident on Saturday to the District Attorney “recommending prosecution on all charges."

Lt. Runge also confirmed that Carzis, 76, “is undergoing a medical evaluation at a local hospital prior to being cleared for booking.”  The LMPD lieutenant concluded, “I hope this will bring closure for all concerned.”

By Miriam Raftery

Photos, left, via Fox News Twitter feed and 10 News, an ECM news partner

January 20, 2020 (La Mesa) – Peter Carzis, owner of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in downtown La Mesa, is wanted for questioning by police tonight for  misdemeanor battery and felony property destruction after violently  attacking at least three news photographers today. He is also wanted by police for complaints filed over a lewd act in public caught on video Saturday and posted on Twitter, as well as for an additional battery complaint after he allegedly spit on a passerby over the weekend.

“Mr. Carzis was no longer on scene when officer went to talk to him and his whereabouts are currently unknown, so he has not been arrested. We are currently attempting to locate him so we can continue the investigation,” Lt. Greg Runge with La Mesa Police Department said in an e-mail to ECM this evening “The Investigations Division has the reports and Detectives are conducting follow up on both cases. If anyone as information regarding these cases, they are encouraged to contact us at (619)667-1400.”

SEXUAL PREDATOR CAUGHT BY BORDER PATROL IN POTRERO

Source: U.S. Border Patrol
 
January 18, 2020 (Potrero) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested five people Wednesday morning who were involved in a human smuggling event which included a man with a prior felony conviction.
 
Around 6:20 a.m., a man driving a black Nissan Sentra approached a temporary immigration checkpoint in Potrero and failed to stop at the designated inspection point. Agents stopped the vehicle several yards past the checkpoint and inspected the vehicle.

​$10,000 REWARD OFFERED FOR INFO ON ELIJAH “BEAR” DIAZ, EL CAJON MAN MISSING SINCE 2015

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 16, 2020 (El Cajon) – Authorities yesterday announced a $10,000 reward for information to help find Elijah “Bear” Diaz, a member of the Barona Band of Mission Indians who vanished under suspicious circumstances in August 2015. 
 
He was 20 years old at the time and ill from diabetes.  “He was about to get his foot amputated. He couldn’t walk. He was in a wheelchair a few days before,” his mother, Lelanie Joe Thompson told ECM in a interview last year, adding that her son weighed only 110 pounds and could not have left on his own. She said Diaz had only two weeks of insulin left when he disappeared.

SDPD SEEKS OWNER OF ELECTRIC BIKE RECOVERED FROM SUSPECTED THIEF

 
Officers also ask help to find the buyer of a second electric bike stolen from a man with Parkinson’s disease
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo, left:  Electric bicycle recovered by San Diego Police. The owner has not yet been identified.
 
January 15, 2020 (San Diego) – San Diego Police seek help to resolve two cases involving stolen electric bicycles.  Police are looking for the owner of an electric bike (photo, left) recovered from a suspect who admitted to stealing another electric bike from a man with Parkinson’s disease in Rancho Peñasquitos and selling it at the Qualcomm swap meet on January 7th. 
 
Sergeant Matthew Botkin says he hopes media coverage will help to identify the unknown victim of the bike recovered by police and also “appeal to good nature of the person who unknowingly bought the other electric bike in hopes they will do the right thing and return it.”

PAIR WANTED FOR ROBBING CITI BANK IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seeks public help to locate two men responsible for robbing the Citi Bank at 402 Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon on December 27th at 1:20 p.m.
 
According to special agent Davene Butler, one of the men approached a teller and made a verbal demand for money.  He was described as white, in his late 40s to 50s, approximately 5'9” tall, slender build, with dark (possibly dyed) hair and a dark handlebar mustache. This robber was wearing reading glasses, a camouflaged colored baseball cap, a long sleeve blue shirt with a short sleeve red shirt over top, and boots. 
 
The second robber stayed in the lobby of the bank.  Witnesses described the second man as a Caucasian male, in his late 30s, approximately 5'10"tall, with a slender build and was wearing a navy blue baseball cap with a San Diego Chargers logo, a dark colored zip-up jacket, jeans, and sunglasses.

U.S. BANK ROBBED IN FLETCHER HILLS

By Miriam Raftery

January 13, 2019 (El Cajon) – The U.S. Bank located at 2755 Navajo Road in El Cajon’s Fletcher Hills neighborhood was robbed today at 3:13 p.m. The suspect is described as a white man in his 30s with numerous acne scars on his face, unshaven with a full mustache.  He is approximately 6 ft. 1 inch tall and weighs about 180 pounds. He was wearing a gray long-sleeved shirt, baggy blue jeans and a dark gray hat with mesh on the back.

According to El Cajon Police Lieutenant J. Larson, the suspect walked up to a teller and stated, “This is a robbery, give me all your large bills.”  No weapon was seen.

The teller provided money to the suspect, who fled on foot. He was last seen running south on Fletcher Parkway near the intersection at Navajo Road and Fletcher Parkway.

“The FBI responded to the scene and will be working with the El Cajon Police Department during this investigation,” says Lt. Larson.

DEPUTIES SHOOT REPORTEDLY SUICIDAL SUSPECT IN LEMON GROVE

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2019 (Lemon Grove)—A man reported by a family member to be threatening suicide at a home in Lemon Grove was shot by multiple Sheriff’s deputies on January 6th.  The shootings occurred after the man removed a revolver from inside his jacket, according to Lt. Michael Blevins, who indicated that the man did not fire the weapon.

Shane Felix, 34, was treated at the scene by deputies for gunshot injuries until paramedics arrived. He was transported to a hospital and underwent successful surgery; he is expected to survive, according to Blevins.

CBS 8 reports that Felix had a prior conviction for arson and is expected to be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and for being a felon in possession of a firearm, once he is medically cleared.

CHP SEEKS MAN ACCUSED OF CAUSING WRECK THAT KILLED WOMAN, INJURED TWO OFFICERS

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2020 (San Diego) – The California Highway Patrol warns that a suspect accused of killing a woman in an accident near Temecula, then fleeing the scene and later escaping from law enforcement may be in the San Diego area. Antone Wayne Bayard, 23, of Anza is also accused of injuring two CHP officers during his escape.

On Twitter, the CHP posted, “Bayard is believed to be in the Temecula/San Diego area with plans to flee to Mexico.”

LA MESA POLICE SEEK WITNESSES TO CRASH NEAR GROSSMONT CENTER: INJURED PEDESTRIAN UNIDENTIFIED; DRIVER ARRESTED

By Miriam Raftery

January 7, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police seek witnesses to a serious injury accident that occurred at 6:16 p.m. at the intersection of Grossmont Center Drive and Center Drive.  Police also seek the identity of the victim, a white male pedestrian in his 50s who was struck while crossing the street by a 2004 Nissan SUV.

The victim suffered a compound fracture to his lower right leg and a fractured left hip, according to Lt. Brian Stoney. “Unfortunately he did not have any identification on him and we have not been able to positively identify him at this time,” he said.

100 MPH CHASE ENDS IN CRASH, ARREST IN SPRING VALLEY

East County News Service
 
January 6, 2020 (Spring Valley) – A driver pulled over for an equipment violation in Chula Vista at 3:45 a.m. fled from officers, resulting in a pursuit at speeds of approximately 100 miles per hour on State Route 125 
 
The drive exited at Jamacha Road in Spring Valley, where he lost control of the vehicle, which rolled over and struck a power pole, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
 
The driver, 42, suffered minor injuries and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.  He was arrested for felony evasion and for two outstanding felony warrants.

LAWSUITS NAME DECEASED EAST COUNTY PRIESTS AS ALLEGED CHILD ABUSERS

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 6, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Multiple lawsuits filed against the Catholic Diocese of San Diego and many local parishes allege past childhood sexual abuse by several local priests, including at least three who served in East County.
 
The litigation was filed on behalf of alleged victims previously unable to sue due to the statue of limitations, but a new law, AB 218, allows victims of child sexual abuse to file a suit up to age 40; the previous limit was age 26. Victims have three years from January 1st of this year to take legal action.
 
The alleged abuse occurred in the 1960s and 1970s.  All of the accused priests have since died.  According to Irwin Zalkin, attorney for the plaintiffs, the diocese routinely moved priests accused of abuse, often to desert communities where “they thought that the people there – mostly Hispanic – would not speak up.”  

HEARING FEB. 3 ON PROPOSAL TO RELEASE YET ANOTHER SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS; COMMENTS DEADLINE IS JAN. 17

By Miriam Raftery

January 6, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Despite recent protests over the highly disproportionate percentage of sexually violent predators placed in rural East County, the Department of State Hospitals is proposing to place yet another in Jacumba Hot Springs.  A hearing will be held Feb. 3 at 9 a.m. in San Diego Superior Court (1100 Union St., Dept. 2202) to determine whether Michael Poulsom should be placed at 45612 Old Highway 80, Jacumba Hot Springs, a community of just 561 residents, according to the 2010 Census.

Poulsom is diagnosed with Pedophilia Disorder. In 1985, he was convicted in Georgia of child molestation with two victims. In 1989, he was convicted in San Diego County of a lewd act on a child under 14. In 1995, he was convicted again locally for a lewd act with a fourth victim, also under 14 and served 15 years in prison. Prior to his release, the San Diego County District Attorney’s office filed a petition to have Poulsom civilly committed to a state hospital as a Sexually Violent Predator . He was committed, underwent treatment and petitioned for conditional release, which was opposed by the San Diego D.A. and the hospital. A year later he filed for release into the conditional release program for sex offenders, which the Dept. of State Hospitals supported over the objections of D.A. Summer Stephan.

The public may submit comments between Jan. 3 and Jan. 17 to be considered by the court. You can email comments to sdsafe@sdsheriff.org, or call (858)495-3619. Comments may also be mailed tol the SVP Release/Safe Task Force at 9425 Chesapeake Drive, San Diego, CA 02123.  Comments will also be accepted at the hearing.

CORONER: JAIL INMATE KILLED SELF BY CHOKING ON SOCK

By Miriam Raftery

January 3, 2020 (San Diego) – Don Ralph, 52, was found unresponsive on October 26 by deputies doing a security check at the San Diego Central Jail. Deputies found a sock lodged in his throat, removed it and performed first aid until relieved by paramedics, but despite lifesaving efforts, Ralph was declared dead a half hour later at 4:05 a.m.

Ralph shared a cell with another inmate, however the Sheriff’s department concluded there was no preliminary evidence of foul play.

Now the Medical Examiner has concluded that the cause of death was asphyxia due to occlusion of Ralph’s air way with the sock, and determined that the manner of death was suicide.

BURGLARY SUSPECT ARRESTED IN LEMON GROVE AFTER STAND-OFF

East County News Service
 
December 31, 2019 (Lemon Grove) – Deputies responding to a call reporting a burglary in progress in the 1600 block of Colfax Drive in Lemon Grove shortly before 9 a.m. arrived and saw a man run into the house. Deputies established a perimeter around the home, with help from the Sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter. 

PROTESTS HELD OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE OVER PROPOSED RELEASE OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATOR IN JACUMBA NEAR BOULEVARD

East County News Service
 
December 21, 2019 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – Despite Jacumba Hot Springs already having 11 of San Diego County’s 14 released sexually violent predators, the state is proposing yet another:  Thomas Joseph Cornwell, 41, who was convicted in 2008 on two counts of lewd act with a child under age 14.  
 
Local residents protested outside the Superior Court in downtown San Diego yesterday, where Judge Albert T. Harutunian III took the proposal under consideration after the judge earlier granted Cornwell’s petition for conditional release.
 
The judge will issue a written decision in the future on whether or not to allow Cornwell to be released under supervision in the 2100 block of McCain Valley Rd. in Jacumba Hot Springs, a facility that the Department of State Hospitals indicates has previously housed sexually violent predators. The site is near rural Boulevard and is also close to campgrounds in a federal recreation area and two federal wilderness areas.

EL CAJON POLICE SHUT DOWN ILLEGAL POT DISPENSARY NEAR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL; FOUR ARRESTED

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jill Barto

December 20, 2019 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon Police Department today shut down an illegal marijuana dispensary at 1358 Broadway, within 300 feet of Bostonia Language Academy. During the search of the illegal marijuana dispensary, approximately 322 pounds of marijuana and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) infused products, and approximately $7300 in cash was seized.

Lieutenant Walt Miller told ECM, “This is the last marijuana dispensary that we know about in El Cajon.”  But he acknowledged, “They’re like weeds. They keep popping up.”  He added that California law often hampers enforcement efforts in a process that can take months to get illegal dispensaries shut down.

Cajon Valley Union School District trustee Jill Barto is among those who filed a complaint with El Cajon Police about the latest illegal dispensary near the Bostonia school. “I called the El Cajon Police, El Cajon City, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) and the District Attorney,” Barto told ECM. “I said this can’t be a two month deal—this needs to be shut down now.”

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO SHUT DOWN ILLEGAL POT SHOPS?

By Miriam Raftery

December 19, 2019  (San Diego’s East County) – Although personal use of cannabis is legal in California, each city and county has the right to ban or restrict sales.  But closing down illegal pot shops has become a challenge for law enforcement and a headache for neighbors, since the process often takes months and once closed, illegal dispensaries often pop up again nearby or even in the same building repeatedly.

How concerned should residents be about an illegal marijuana operation in their neighborhood?

Unlike licensed dispensaries that are subject to inspections, state and local regulations, illegal dispensaries may sell marijuana that is adulterated with contaminants and is dangerous to customers. Some illicit dispensaries locally have also been caught selling other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamines.  They may sell drugs to minors. The operators may create hazards to neighbors by tapping illegally into electricity, overloading circuits, and if manufacturing hash oil extracted from marijuana, utilize drums filled with flammable chemicals that can and have exploded, causing fires locally.

At times, illegal dispensaries  have engendered other crimes. Robberies and shootings have occurred; illegal operators tend not to report these crimes to police.  Corruption has also allegedly happened locally. Former Rancho San Diego Sheriff Captain Marco Garmo has been indicted for allegedly tipping off his cousin, an illegal dispensary owner, on raids by law enforcement, among other federal charges that he faces.

DUI CHECKPOINT IN EL CAJON TONIGHT, EXTRA HOLIDAY PATROLS NOW THROUGH JAN. 1

By Sgt. Steve Paz, El Cajon Police Department
 
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over This Holiday Season: National Enforcement Campaign Through New Year’s
 
December 20, 2019 (El Cajon ) -- El Cajon Police Department encourages everyone attending holiday parties and gatherings where alcohol may be involved to use a designated sober driver. 
 
This holiday season, from now until New Year’s, El Cajon Police Department will have more officers on patrol looking for drivers suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
In addition, El Cajon Police Department will hold a DUI/Driver’s License checkpoint tonight, December 20, 2019 from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. in the 1400 block of east Washington Avenue in El Cajon.
 

MAN ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED ROBBERY IN EL CAJON; VICTIM LEFT WITH BROKEN ARM

East County News Service

December 17, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have arrested Ammar Hassan, 19, of San Diego for an attempted robbery that left the victim with a broken arm, ECPD announced on Dec.10.  The attempted robbery happened in the 500 block of North Mollison on Friday, December 6. 

According to Lt. Walt Miller, the victim, 44, was walking on the sidewalk when he was approached from behind and punched numerous times. He was knocked to the ground and the suspect demanded money.  The victim told the suspect he did not have any money and the suspect fled on foot.

SPRING VALLEY MAN ARRESTED AFTER POSTING MOCK MASS SHOOTING VIDEO

By Miriam Raftery

December 14, 2019 (Spring Valley)  -- A Spring Valley father was arrested after a tip to the FBI revealed two videos posted on YouTube showing Homoki simulating a mass shooting from a window in the Sofia Hotel in downtown San Diego. A search of his home turned up 14 guns including assault rifles and illegally modified weapons.

 Steve Andrew Homoki, 30  pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of owning illegally modified firearms and child abuse due to loaded guns accessible to his three children.

The prosecution contends that the videos amounted to rehearsals for a mass shooting, though Homoki has not been charged for making or posting the videos.

FLEEING SUSPECT HITS VEHICLE, THEN CAUSES DEPUTIES TO COLLIDE IN LAKESIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos by Robert Ryan

December 11, 2019 (Lakeside) – Sheriff’s deputies in Lakeside received a call reporting a man in a vehicle holding a gun in the 9600 block of Marilla Drive last night around 5:25 p.m.  When deputies arrived, the suspect fled at a high rate of speed and a short pursuit ensued.

The suspect ran a stop sign and struck a civilian vehicle, but kept going. “The suspect came to an abrupt stop in the middle of Lakeshore Drive, causing the pursuing deputies to collide with one another as well as the suspect vehicle,” says Sergeant Amber Reeves.

POLICE SEEK HELP TO SOLVE STREET ROBBERIES IN EAST EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2019 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Department is warning the public about a rise in street robberies, some targeting elderly men. The robberies have occurred in the vicinity of the 1000 block of East Main Street and the 800 block of Buena Terrace in recent weeks.

HUNTER TO RESIGN AFTER HOLIDAYS: MAY FORFEIT CONGRESSIONAL PENSION

By Miriam Raftery

December 6, 2019 (San Diego) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter today issued a statement which reads,"Shortly after the holidays I will resign from Congress.  I has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years." 

The announcement comes after Hunter pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds for personal use. His sentencing is scheduled in March. He could face up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, the amount that he and his wife were accused of taking from the campaign coffers.

But prison and a hefty fine may not be the only penalties for his actions.

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: DECEMBER IS NATIONAL IMPAIRED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH

By David R. Shorey

East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

December 5, 2019  (San Diego’s East County) -- Holiday time in the East County is marked with tree lightings, trips to the snowcapped peaks, and the sound of holiday music floating in the air. It is also the most popular time of year for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this time of year has the highest rate of driving under the influence incidents, injuries and deaths. In fact, preventable alcohol-related deaths account for almost one-third of all traffic fatalities, according to NHTSA.

That’s why each year, December is declared National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Law enforcement officials in the East County participate by annually increasing patrols and DUI checkpoints in the region. We observe Impaired Driving Prevention Month to highlight steps we can take to improve safety on our streets and raise awareness of these preventable dangers.

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