Crime Beat

ARREST MADE IN RAMONA SHOOTING

East County News Service

January 19, 2021 (Ramona) – Ramona resident Elias Ruiz, 32, was arrested yesterday on suspicion of murder.  The identity of the victim, a man found shot in the 700 block of Main Street around 12:30 a.m. yesterday, has not been released pending family notification.

Sheriff's deputies and officers with the California Highway Patrol responded to a report of the shooting. They attempted lifesaving measures until relieved by fire personnel. Unfortunately, the victim was pronounced deceased at the scene.

OVER 100 ARRESTED AFTER CAPITOL INSURRECTION; HUNDREDS MORE UNDER INVESTIGATION

By Miriam Raftery

January 18, 2021 (Washington D.C.) – According to the U.S. Justice Dept., more than 100 people have been arrested for federal crimes related to the Capitol insurrection on charges ranging from possession of numerous bombs and other weapons to violent entry and disorderly conduct. 

The arrests include a heavily armed man who threatened to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, another who left a note threatening Vice President Mike Pence, and others engaged in acts of violence  Another 275 people are reportedly under investigation related to the capitol insurrection.

The U.S. Justice Dept.has set up a website listing those charged to date. According to the federal site and media reports on CNN, The Hill and other major news outlets, the arrests include these suspects:

SAN DIEGO FBI ASKS PUBLIC HELP TO PREVENT VIOLENCE RELATED TO THE CAPITOL INSURRECTION AND INAUGURATION

By Miriam Raftery

 

January 17, 2021 (San Diego) – The FBI is seeking tips from the public to prevent violence locally related to the Capitol siege and potential violence related to the upcoming inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.

DRIVER WHO DRAGGED AND INJURED EL CAJON POLICEMAN IS ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE

By Miriam Raftery
 
January 11, 2021 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police today announced the arrest of the driver who allegedly dragged and seriously injured Officer Nick Cirello on December 14th. The suspect, David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan, was found and apprehended by the Los Angeles Rampart Narcotics Detail. He is charged with attempted homicide.

HOMICIDE DETECTIVES INVESTIGATING AFTER BODY FOUND IN CAMPO

East County News Service
 
January 8, 2021 (Campo) – The Sheriff’s Homicide Unit is investigating the death of Paul Anthony Castello, a 32-year-old Campo resident. His body was found by Border Patrol agents near Shockey Truck Trail and State Route 94 in Campo, Wednesday, shortly after 8 a.m.
 
Sheriff's deputies and fire personnel responded. Unfortunately, Castello was pronounced deceased at the scene by fire personnel. Based on the injuries and circumstances, the Sheriff's Homicide Unit responded and has assumed responsibility of the investigation. 

NO CHARGES FILED BY D.A. AGAINST OFFICER WHO STRUCK PROTESTER IN HEAD WITH BEANBAG DURING LA MESA RIOT

East County News Service

January 8, 2021 (La Mesa) -- San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan’s Office announced yesterday that a La Mesa police detective, who fired a beanbag round that injured Leslie Furcron during a protest that turned into a violent riot in La Mesa, will not face state criminal liability for his actions. Read the DA’s detailed review here.

Furcron was struck in the forehead and left blind in one eye after throwing a can toward officers during a confrontation in which others were hurling rocks. She has filed a civil lawsuit against the city of La Mesa over her injury.

REWARD FOR INFO ON GUNSHOT VICTIM DROPPED OFF OUTSIDE GROSSMONT HOSPITAL

East County News Service
 
January 5, 2021 (La Mesa) – Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in the fatal shooting of Jose Santos Acevedo Torresdey, 36.  A red Honda sedan dropped off Torresdey on December 30 at 6:55 p.m. in the ambulance lot outside of the Sharp Hospital Emergency Room, then left.  The driver is unknown.
 
Torresdey suffered a gunshot wound in his chest. It is unknown who shot him, or where he was shot.  He was prounounced dead after lifesaving measures were performed by hospital staff.

CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST EX-LA MESA POLICE OFFICER MATT DAGES FOR FILING FALSE REPORT IN AMAURIE JOHNSON CASE

By Miriam Raftery

January 4, 2020 (La Mesa) -- San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that a criminal charge has been filed against a former La Mesa Police Officer in connection with an arrest of Amaurie Johnson, 23, near the Grossmont trolley station in La Mesa. The criminal complaint alleges that on May 28, 2020, Officer Matthew Dages, 30, filed a police report that contained false information.

The incident was shown in a video that went viral on social media, sparking racial justice protests. The Dages incident occurred three days after the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis triggered nationwide protests and two days before a riot resulted in looting, vandalism and the burning down of three buildings in La Mesa.  The Johnson arrest has been likened to the fuse that ignited a powder keg of explosive rage over mistreatment of black suspects by white police officers.

CHILD FOUND SAFE AFTER AUTO THEFT AND KIDNAPPING IN EL CAJON

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 21, 2020 (El Cajon) – A woman who left the motor running on her vehicle parked in an alley while she unloaded groceries into her apartment at 300 W. Madison Street saw a man steal the vehicle with her 3-year-old child inside.

SUSPECT ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH MURDER OF MAN AT LAKE MURRAY SHOPPING CENTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Di'Marcus Lavonne Mayes, murder victim, courtesy of his family via LMPD

December 21, 2020 (La Mesa) – La Mesa Police today announced the arrest of Alexander Cesar Nghiem of San Diego. He is charged with murder of Di’Marcus Lavonne Mayes, 29, who was shot multiple times in his upper torso on December 11th.

La Mesa Police responded to calls reporting gunshots in the parking lot of the Marketplace at Lake Murray Village, 5600 Lake Murray Boulevard.  Officers found Mayes unresponsive and performed CPR and other medical aid until medics arrived.

DRIVER ARRESTED FOR MANSLAUGHTER, DUI AFTER KILLING CONSTRUCTION WORKER ON HIGHWAY 94

East County News Service
 
Photo: Creative Commons via Bing
 
December 17, 2020 (Spring Valley) – Arnold Lee Patton, 69, of San Diego has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.  

ELDERLY COUPLE FOUND DEAD OF GUNSHOTS IN MT. HELIX HOME

Update December 16, 2020:  The County Medical Examiner has identified the deceased as Judith Ann Caruthers, 72, and ehr husband, Herman Caruthers, 74.  Their deaths have been found to be murder-suicide; Herman Caruthers killed his wife and then himself, each with a gunshot to the head.

By Miriam Raftery

December 15, 2020 (Mt. Helix) – An elderly man and woman were found dead in their home yesterday in the 4900 block of Resmar Road on Mt Helix in unincorporated La Mesa. Both had suffered gunshot wounds.

SANTEE WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DRIVING UNDER INFLUENCE OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL AFTER CRASH KILLS MOTORCYCLIST IN EL CAJON

Update: The victim has been identified by the County Medical Examiner as Ivan Joseph Kreft, 32, of El Cajon.
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Creative Commons image, CC by NC-ND 
 
December 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – Pamela Gilmore, 59, of Santee has been arrested and charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and felony driving under the influence (DUI) following a fatal collision this morning in El Cajon.
 
According to Officer Travis Garrow with the California Highway Patrol, Gilmore was driving her 2011 Kia Sportage northbound on Plumeria Drive to westbound Pepper drive this morning at 7:05 a.m. when a 32-year-old El Cajon man riding his 2005 Suzuki GSXR 100 motorcycle eastbound on Pepper Drive approached Plumeria. 
 

SHERIFF SEEKS WITNESSES TO DEADLY SHOOTING IN SPRING VALLEY PARKING LOT

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Creative Commons via Bing
 
December 14, 2020 (Spring Valley) – Last night just after 8:20 p.m., Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a shooting in a parking lot at 8600 Jamacha Rd., Spring Valley.  Deputies found 39-years-old Carlos Enrique Callejas, of Chula Vista, who had been shot.
 
Deputies attempted lifesaving measures and were relieved by San Miguel Fire Department paramedics, but they were unable to revive the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, says Lt. Thomas Seiver with the San Diego County Sheriff’s department.
 
The Sheriff's Homicide Unit responded and has assumed responsibility of the investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Unit at (858) 285- 6330/after hours at (858) 565-5200. You can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER DRAGGED, STRUCK BY VEHICLE AND SERIOUSLY INJURED: SUSPECTS REMAIN AT LARGE

Update Jan. 11: El Cajon police announced the arrest of suspect David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan by the Los Angeles Rampart Narcotics Detail.
 
Update Dec. 18:  The officer has been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
 
Update Dec. 14, 2020 10 p.m.:  The investigation by El Cajon Police has identified a suspect who is being sought for questioning:  David Francis Cepeda Pangilinan, from Guam is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. 

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
December 14, 2020 (El Cajon) – An El Cajon Police officer is hospitalized in a trauma center in critical but stable condition due to serious injuries sustained at 8:30 a.m. during a traffic stop of a rented black Volkswagen SUV, CA license plate 8LC117.

POLICE SEEK WITNESSES TO FATAL SHOOTING AT LAKE MURRAY VILLAGE SHOPPING CENTER

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 12, 2020 (La Mesa) – A 29-year-old man was found dead of gunshot wounds in the parking lot of the Marketplace at Lake Murray Village, 5600 Lake Murray Blvd. in La Mesa last night.  Police seek witnesses as well as a dark sedan, possibly a two-door, seen leaving the scene at a high rate of speed.

FORMER LA MESA MERCHANT ARRESTED FOR VIOLATING RESTRAINING ORDER

By Miriam Raftery
 
Photo: Peter Carzis, right, was earlier charged with battery among other charges, after allegedly attacking journalists outside of his La Mesa store.
 
December 11, 2020 (La Mesa) – Peter Carzis was arrested Tuesday and charged with violating a domestic restraining order, after authorities were called to an apartment in the 8200 block  Lemon Avenue in Lemon Grove, 10 News reports. Carzis had been ordered to stay at least 100 feet away from the protected party’s address, but was arrested sitting outside.
 
Carzis, the former owner of Peter’s Men’s Apparel in La Mesa, was previously arrested in January and charged with committing a lewd act in public, misdemeanor battery and felony vandalism.  He pleaded not guilty and was ordered to undergo a medical examination at that time.
 

LMPD FIRED MATT DAGES, OFFICER IN AMAURIE JOHNSON INCIDENT, ON AUG. 7, CITY REVEALS AFTER APPEALS BOARD UPHOLDS ACTION

By Miriam Raftery

December 10, 2020 (La Mesa) – The city of La Mesa today revealed that before retiring, Police Chief Walt Vasquez terminated the employment of Officer Matt Dages. Dages was fired due to his actions during the controversial stop of Amaurie Johnson at a trolley station on May 27. Three days later, on May 30, a protest against La Mesa Police erupted into a night of looting, rioting and the burning down of three buildings.

Dages had accused Johnson, 23, of assault but the charge was dropped after body camera footage failed to substantiate Officer  Dages' version of the incident.  A video that went viral on social media prompted accusations of racial profiling by Dages.

PORCH PIRATES IN THE AGE OF COVID: REPORT SHOWS THAT SINCE MARCH, MILLIONS OF AMERICANS HAD PACKAGES STOLEN OFF DOORSTEPS

“This holiday season, online shoppers need to have a safe and secure delivery plan.” –InsuranceQuote.com

East County News Service

December 8, 2020 (San Diego) -- Have you created your safe delivery plan yet? According to insuranceQuotes.com’s newly released 2020 Porch Pirates in the Age of COVID-19 Report, 7% of Americans—over 17 million people—have had a delivered package stolen from their porch or doorstep since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to make an impact. Furthermore, 47% of Americans say that all or most of their holiday shopping this year will be done via online delivery. Locally, posts on local NextDoor.com forums confirm that porch pirates have been active locally—Grinches stealing Christmas gifts and more.

“As online shopping and delivery increases, so does the risk of porch pirates—which is not only being compounded by a once-in-a-100-years pandemic spurring online ordering, but also now, holiday shopping. This holiday season, online shoppers need to have a safe and secure delivery plan,” said Michael Giusti, analyst at insuranceQuotes.com and author of the report.

Among the study’s additional findings:

TEEN SHOT IN UNINCORPORATED EL CAJON

East County News Service
 
Photo: Creative Commons BY-NC-ND
 
December 5, 2020 (El Cajon) -- Deputies from the Lakeside Sheriff's Substation responded to a call of a shooting last night at 7:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of N. 2nd Street, in unincorporated El Cajon. 
 
“A 16 year-old victim was located by officers from El Cajon Police Department several blocks away on 2nd Street in the city of El Cajon,” says Sgt. Phillip Beaumont with the Sheriff’s department.  “The victim suffered from several apparent gunshot wounds and was transported to the hospital by paramedics. The victim was last known to be in critical condition.”

SANTEE FATHER ARRESTED FOR SUSPECTED MURDER OF INFANT

East County News Service
 
December 5, 2020 (Santee) – A Santee man was arrested Thursday for child abuse and murder of his infant son last April.  Daniel Charles Marshall, 35, was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force in San Diego, says Lt. Thomas Seiver.
 
The Santee Fire Department responded to a report of the 7-month-old infant in medical distress on April 22 in the 8600 block of Paseo Del Rey in Santee. Deputies responded to assist and the Child Abuse Unit responded. 

AUTOPSY CONFIRMS PEDESTRIAN KILLED BY VEHICLE IN EL CAJON INCIDENT DISPUTED BY FAMILY

East County News Service 
 
December 2, 2020 (El Cajon) – An autopsy conducted by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office confirms that Stephan Anthony Harris, 29, of El Cajon died of multiple blunt force injuries caused by being struck by a vehicle on November 25.  The finding refutes claims made by Harris’ family.

EL CAJON STABBING SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SPRING VALLEY

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 2, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – On October 23, a family member found Victor Saul Garcia Jr., 33, dead inside his home in the 1100 block of Marlene Avenue in EL Cajon.  El Cajon Police homicide detectives and the forensic lab determined that the victim had been stabbed several times after a struggle.

CAMPO MAN CHARGED WITH BURNING HISTORIC RANDALL LAMB BUILDING IN LA MESA DURING RIOT

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos and video by Jake Rose

December 2, 2020 (La Mesa)—La Mesa Police announce the arrest of Daniel Sandoval, 43, of Campo.  He is charged with arson and felony vandalism of the historic Randall Lamb building, which was set on fire during a riot on May 30-31 in downtown La Mesa, says Lt. Greg Runge.

The building had been designated a historic structure by the La Mesa Historical Society. Due to the extensive damage, it was declared a total loss.

Sandoval was arrested near his home yesterday, according to a news release issued by LMPD. He has been booked into San Diego County Jail on the warrant with bail set at $500,000.

ARMED ASSAULT SUSPECT ARRESTED IN LAKESIDE, WITH HELP FROM MOTORIST, AFTER PURSUIT

East County News Service

November 27, 2020 (Lakeside) – An assault suspect is behind bars after leading deputies on a short pursuit in Lakeside Tuesday, says Sergeant Dane Wiesner.

Deputies from the Lakeside substation responded to an assault call around 11:30 a.m. near the 11500 block of Bridle Path Lane. The reporting party told deputies the suspect fled the scene in his vehicle.

Deputies located the suspect and tried to conduct a traffic stop, but he sped off and a short pursuit ensued.

The suspect slowed down and almost came to a stop in the 10400 block of Paseo Park Drive, where deputies in their patrol cars and a nearby citizen in his car surrounded the suspect's car and caused him to stop.

EL CAJON POLICE SEEK WITNESSES TO ACCIDENT THAT KILLED PEDESTRIAN

By Miriam Raftery 
 
November 26, 2020 (El Cajon) – A man in his 20s suffered a fatal head injury yesterday when he was struck by an unidentified vehicle Wednesday evening around 8:40 p.m. in the 300 block of West Chase Avenue. El Cajon Police Department is asking anyone with information to call (619)579-3311.
 
Police and paramedics responded, but were unable to save the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
 
An initial indication indicates the vehicle was traveling westbound on West Chase Avenue near Estes Street, when it struck the pedestrian, who was crossing the roadway.

EMPTY CHAIR AT THE HOLIDAY TABLE CAMPAIGN HIGHLIGHTS STORIES OF LOSS CAUSED BY “FAILED” WAR ON DRUGS

During the dual crisis of COVID-19 and opioid overdose, Moms United to End the War on Drugs Campaign representatives speak out to reduce stigma and promote harm reduction strategies during the holidays 

Source: Moms United to End the War On Drugs

 

November 25, 2020 (San Diego) -- The holidays can be a particularly painful time for families who are missing a loved one at their holiday gathering. Each holiday season mothers across the globe are joining Moms United to End the War on Drugs “Empty Chair at the Holiday Table” Campaign by sharing photos of the empty chair with a picture of a lost or missing loved one due to the War on Drugs. These photos represent the tens of millions of families that have been ravaged by punitive prohibition policies, whether it is separation due to a loved one’s incarceration; an accidental overdose; their being harmed or killed by drug war violence; or their being lost on the streets due to drug problems. During the isolation of the pandemic, this holiday season can be particularly troubling for families who have a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder, and a dangerous time for vulnerable at-risk communities.

$1,000 REWARD OFFERED IN RAMONA COMMERCIAL BURGLARY CASE

Source: San Diego Sheriff, Ramona substation

Photos: Suspect #1 and Suspect #2

November 24, 2020 (Ramona) -- San Diego County Crime Stoppers and investigators from the Ramona Sheriff’s substation are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating the suspects responsible for a commercial burglary.

On Monday, November 16 at around 10:00 p.m., two unknown suspects forced entry into the Sunbelt Rentals store located at 2055 Main Street in Ramona. The suspects cut a hole in the outer fence of the property and then proceeded to break a window of the business to gain entry inside. The suspects stole several power tools and generators totaling around $15,000.

COVID OUTBREAKS IN COUNTY DETENTION FACILITIES PROMPT QUARANTINES

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2020 (San Diego) – Several dozen COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in inmates at the George Bailey and East Mesa Detention facilities in San Diego, the Sheriff’s office reports.

On Nov. 16, the Sheriff reported that nine inmates tested positive the prior week at George Bailey in Module 1C, prompting more tests which returned 46 more positive test results.  Those who tested positive were transferred to isolation units and one was hospitalized. Fifteen tested negative but were isolated and monitored for symptoms.  Two asymptomatic inmates were released before their test results were available.

MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN DEHESA SHOOTING DEATH

East County News Service

Update: The victim has been identified as James Owens, 31, of unincorporated El Cajon.

November 21, 2020 (Dehesa) – Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call reporting a shooting Thursday night at 10:30 p.m.in the 6000 block of Stallion Oaks Road in unincorporated El Cajon.

According to Lt. Thomas Seiver, deputies learned that a person acquainted with the man who was shot had driven him away from the scene. Deputies stopped the vehicle on Stallion Oaks Road near Dehesa Road about a mile and a half away.

They found the victim inside and attempted lifesaving measures. Sycuan Fire Department arrived and relieved deputies, but unfortunately they could not revive the man and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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