Crime Beat

POLICE SEEK MAN WHO ACCOSTED YOUNG GIRLS IN KAISER-ZION HOSPITAL ELEVATOR

 

East County News Service

September 7, 2018 (San Diego) — Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a man who made lewd comments to two 13-year-old girls in the elevator at Kaiser Permanente Zion Medical Center on the morning of August 25th.

SHOOTING DEATH IN LEMON GROVE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 7, 2018 (Lemon Grove) --  Shortly after midnight, sheriff's deputies saw a man and woman inside a vehicle parked in the middle of the street  in the 7400 block of Pacific Avenue, in  Lemon Grove. When the deputies investigated, they found the man bleeding from what a witness described as a gunshot wound, says Lt. Rich Williams with the Sheriff’s homicide unit.

Deputies called for Lemon Grove Fire Department personnel to assist and began providing first aid.

“The man was seriously injured and soon stopped breathing. Deputies performed CPR until relieved by fire department personnel,” says Lt. Williams. However dDespite lifesaving efforts, the man was pronounced deceased at about 12:39 a.m.

BODY OF MISSING EL CAJON TEEN FOUND IN ARIZONA

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 5, 2018 (El Cajon) – The body of Kiera Bergman, 19, a graduate of Valhalla High School who has attended Cuyamaca College, was found September 3rd along state route 85 in a rural area outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Her family and authorities are asking for public help to find her killer.

FORMER GROSSMONT COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH KILLED BY WIFE IN MURDER-SUICIDE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Dave Jordan in 2012, courtesy of Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

September 2, 2018 (El Cajon) – A Blossom Valley couple, David Wesley Jordan, 82, and his wife, Jean Adele Jordon, 83, died of gunshots to their heads in an apparent murder-suicide, the Medical Examiner’s office has concluded.

A physical therapist told Sheriff’s homicide investigators that upon arrival at the home on Toya Lane in unincorporated El Cajon at 8 a.m. Friday, a note was on the sliding glass door.  The therapist entered the home and found the couple’s bodies in the living room.  A revolver was in Jean Jordan’s hands.

David Jordan was a long-time football coach at Grossmont College, where he led the team to a statewide championship title in 2005 and won many honors for his coaching.

CAL FIRE SAN DIEGO OFFICERS MAKE ARREST FOR ARSON IN LAKESIDE

 

Source: Cal Fire

August 30, 2018 (Lakeside) -- On Monday, San Diego Unit CAL FIRE law enforcement officers arrested Daniel Reyes Ortega, 21, a transient in Lakeside. Ortega was booked on charges of willfully and maliciously setting fire to forest land. The arrest and was made with cooperation of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.

THIS LABOR DAY AND EVERY DAY: DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER

 

 

By Sgt. K. Trotter, El Cajon Police

August 28, 2018 (El Cajon) — As we enter the final stretch of summer spending time at the pool or barbequing with friends and family, El Cajon Police Department is driving home the importance of celebrating responsibly by not driving, or riding a motorcycle, impaired. 

SANTEE JOGGER KILLED; DRIVER ARRESTED FOR DUI

 

Update August 29, 2018: The victim has been identified as Susana Gotell, 41, of Santee.

By Miriam Raftery

August 28, 2018 (Lakeside) – A woman jogging on North Woodside Avenue near Riverford Road in Santee was struck by a Chevy work truck driven by Michael Woodfill, 46, tonight at 6:40 p.m.  

Susana Gotell, 41, was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital with major injuries, but died shortly after arrival.  She was the mother of two teens, ages 16 and 18, Fox 5 News reports.

HYUNDAI DRIVER KILLED AFTER CHASE THROUGH EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

August 26, 2018 (El Cajon) — A suspected drunk driver died after crashing into a tree and a retaining wall near the intersection of East Main and North Second Street in El Cajon early Saturday morning. The driver of the vehicle, a Hyundai, fled from California Highway Patrol Officers who tried to pull him over after they spotted him speeding and weaving on eastbound Interstate 8 near Severin Drive around 2 a.m.

SERIAL RAPIST PROPOSED FOR PLACEMENT IN JACUMBA: HEARING SET FOR OCTOBER 12

 

East County News Service

August 22, 2018 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – The Department of State Hospitals has proposed the release of Alvin Quarles, a sexually violent predator, at 43050 Desert Rose Ranch Road in Jacumba Hot Springs.  A serial rapist, Quarles attacked victims at knifepoint while they were sleeping in their homes or hotel rooms. He sometimes raped women in front of their husbands or boyfriends, and at times forced them to have sex while he watched.  Investigators suspect he was responsible for over a dozen assaults in San Diego County during the 1980s. In 1989, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison under a plea bargain.

COUNCILMAN BEN KALASHO PLED GUILTY TO CRIMINAL WORKERS' COMP FRAUD IN 2015, REMAINS ON PROBATION

 

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Photo: Bessmon "Ben" Kalasho, August 2015

August 9, 2018 (El Cajon)--An exclusive investigation by East County Magazine has uncovered a criminal case in which El Cajon Councilman Bessmon “Ben” Kalasho pled guilty to two counts of workers’ compensation fraud in October 2015 (court case #MD094871).  View full documents.

Kalasho was on probation for his crimes, both misdemeanors, when he ran for and won his seat on the City Council in 2016. He remains on probation until October 1, 2018. He was also fined.

Kalasho has pulled papers to run for El Cajon City Council again in November.   

WITNESS SAVES EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER ATTACKED BY HAMMER-WIELDING SUSPECT

 

East County News Service

August 8, 2018 (El Cajon) — A witness helped save an El Cajon Police officer today after a man attacked the officer with a hammer.

Police had been called to a Jack-in-the-Box regarding Robert Dille, 30, who was reportedly smashing windows and threatening people with a hammer. Officers found Dille a few blocks away at West Main Street and Van Houten around 11:20 a.m.

COPPER WIRE THIEVES ROB SANTEE SPORTSPLEX AND SANTANA HIGH

 

East County News Service

August 1, 2018 (Santee) - Thieves left Santee Sportsplex in the dark last week, making off with about $200 worth of copper electrical wiring stolen out of power boxes late Thursday night or early Friday morning.  But the theft cost the complex around $8,000, forcing cancellation of 15 youth and adult baseball and soccer games, NBC 7 reports.

POLICE SEEK HELP TO IDENTIFY SECOND POSSIBLE SUSPECT IN FATAL EL CAJON STABBING

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 29, 2018 (El Cajon) – A man stabbed in front of a 7-11 store in the 700 block of Jamacha yesterday afternoon died after being transported to a local hospital, says Lt. Walt Miller with the El Cajon Police Department. 

Soon after the stabbing, reported at 2:05 p.m. Saturday, officers responded to a burglary at an apartment in the 1200 block of north Mollison.  They took a burglary suspect to a hospital  for medical issues unrelated to his arrest, according to Lt. Miller.

“Investigators are exploring the possibility that this suspect may be related to the stabbing based on a physical description provided by witnesses,” said Miller. That suspect’s identity has not been released. However a second suspect may still be at large.

RED SUV DRIVER WANTED FOR BACKING OVER AND KILLING WOMAN ON HIGHWAY 94 NEAR STEELE CANYON, THEN FLEEING SCENE

 

By Miraim Raftery

July 27, 2018 (Jamul) – California Highway Patrol seeks public help to find the driver of a red or burgundy small SUV who reportedly backed up and killed a woman in her 30s who had gotten out of the vehicle. She was walking west on the shoulder of highway 94 near Steel Canyon Road in Spring Valley early Friday morning when the driver struck and seriously injured her. He reportedly remained at the scene for several minutes, and then fled.

The driver is described as an African-American man in his mid-30s, 5 ft. 7 to 5 ft. 8 inches tall, weighing 275-300 pounds with short hair and no visible tattoos. He was wearing light-colored clothes and a sweatband around his head.

CITIZENS HELP POLICE NAB SUSPECT AFTER STABBING OF 75-YEAR-OLD MAN IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 26, 2018 (El Cajon)—A 75-year-old man suffered multiple non-life threatening stab wounds tonight in an attack at Second Street and East Madison Avenue in El Cajon. Witnesses called police at 7:55 p.m. to report the victim was on the ground near the intersection.

The suspect fled west on Madison, says Lieutenant Jason Taub, adding, “Witnesses were able to keep the suspect under observation and advise the police department of his current location.”

LAW ENFORCEMENT CONDUCTS OUTREACH ON HATE CRIMES GEARED TOWARD EL CAJON’S MIDDLE EASTERN AND MUSLIM COMMUNITY

 

By Briana Ghaffery

July 18, 2018 (El Cajon)— Sheriff’s Captain Marco Garmo became the victim of a hate crime at a young age, along with his father, who was savagely beaten over a mistaken ethnic identity during a robbery at the Garmo family’s convenience store in El Cajon.

At a hate crimes forum in El Cajon on July 17th, sponsored by the San Diego Regional Hate Crimes Coalition and El Cajon Police Department, Captain Garmo told East County Magazine that he hopes to encourage the public to report hate crimes.

“The reason why we’re having this out here in the city of El Cajon is that it has the largest influx of refugees and immigrants from the Middle East, and we feel like they need to be educated as to hate crimes,” he said, adding that law enforcement believes hate crimes are under-reported by those who are victimized.

DRIVER ARRESTED FOR FILING FALSE REPORT OF CARJACKING AFTER RAMONA CRASH

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 19, 2018 (Ramona) – A driver who reported his vehicle had been stolen at gunpoint has been arrested for filing a false report to conceal his involvement in a crash in Ramona.

 

According to Sgt. Jeremy Sheppard with the Sheriff’s department, Luis Solis, 19 and with a juvenile passenger have been charged with filing the false report after the Toyota Forerunner that Solis was driving rolled over at 630 Gem Lane in Ramona.

RAMONA HOMEOWNERS TRACK DOWN BURGLAR

 

East County News Service

 

July 18, 2018 (Ramona) – After a burglar stole jewelry, tools, electric bicycles and other items valued at $95,000 to $125,000 out of their motorhome and a storage shed in Ramona, Michael and Veronica Mahaffey obtained an anonymous tip.  That led them to 929 East Old Julian Highway, where they confronted Christopher Payne, 24, who admitted to the theft.

14 ARRESTED IN EAST COUNTY OPERATION

 

 

By Jose A. Alvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office

Video courtesy of San Diego County Meth Strike Force

July 11, 2018 (San Diego's East County) - Fourteen people were arrested Tuesday evening by law enforcement agencies from East County during saturation patrols and probation compliance checks in known hot spots for drug-related crime.

MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED IN LEMON GROVE

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 29, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Gustavo Flores, 38, of Lemon Grove has been arrested and charged with the murder of Juan Martinez, 47. Martinez, a Lemon Grove resident who had suffered mortal wounds, banged on the door of residents in the 7600 block of Lemon Grove on June 21st shortly before 9 p.m.

EL CAJON COMMUNITY FORUM ON HATE CRIMES

 

East County News Service

June 28, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The San Diego Regional Hate Crimes Coalition and the El Cajon Police Department are hosting a free community Forum on hate crimes, law enforcement and community resources. The event will be held on Tuesday, July 17 from 6-8 p.m. at the El Cajon Police Department’s community room at 100 Civic Center Way.

Please RSVP to Shastity.urias@usdoj.gov or call (619) 546-9399.

GUNMAN INJURES 2 POLICE OFFICERS IN ROLANDO STANDOFF

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News

June 24, 2018 (San Diego) – Two San Diego Police officers who responded to a call in the Rolando area near San Diego State University last night were shot by a suspect wearing body armor.  Both officers are listed in stable condition, one with serious injuries, though Police Chief David Nisleit says both are expected to survive.

HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED IN LEMON GROVE AFTER DEATH OF INJURED MAN WHO KNOCKED ON DOOR SEEKING HELP

 

 By Miriam Raftery

Update June 28, 2018 -- The victim has been identified as Juan Martinez, 47, of Lemon Grove who suffered serious injuries to his upper body. The Medical Examiner's report determining cause of death has been sealed and the Sheriff's homicide investigation continues.

 June 22, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – An injured man who pounded on a door seeking help last night in Lemon Grove has died. A homicide investigation has been launched into the death of the man, who has not yet been identified.

 Startled residents called 9-1-1 shortly before 9 pm. after hearing banging on their door in the 7600 block of Lemon Avenue. When deputies arrived a short time later, they found a man who was lying on the ground, unresponsive, with visible injuries to his upper body.

TRUMP NOMINATES ROBERT BREWER TO BE U.S. ATTORNEY IN SAN DIEGO

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 21, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump has nominated Robert “Bob” Brewer to serve as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California.  Brewer is a former assistant U.S. attorney and deputy district attorney who once ran for San Diego district attorney, but was defeated by incumbent Bonnie Dumanis. 

Brewer has prosecuted cases including espionage, bank robberies, smuggling, narcotics, murder for hire and civil rights violations.

He has spent most of his career, however, as a defense attorney representing clients such as Sempra Energy at a time when Sempra was facing bribery allegations in Mexico. In 2011, he was named San Diego’s criminal defense white collar lawyer of the year by Best Lawyers. He’s also been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America.

SHERIFF SHUTS DOWN ANOTHER ILLEGAL POT SHOP IN SPRING VALLEY

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 21, 2018 (Spring Valley) – The Gas House 64 marijuana dispensary at 8818 Troy Street is the latest of many illegal pot shops to be shut down in Spring Valley.

Although marijuana use is legal in California, new marijuana dispensaries are illegal in the unincorporated parts of San Diego County.  Rancho San Diego Sheriff’s deputies served an abatement notice on the dispensary’s owners yesterday morning for violating a zoning ordinance.  Large amounts of marijuana, marijuana edibles, paraphernalia and other items were seized, though no arrests were made.

FBI SEEKS PUBLIC HELP TO FIND “SKINNY BANDIT” SUSPECT WANTED FOR ROBBERIES OF BANKS IN RAMONA AND SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 16, 2018 (Ramona) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) ask your help to identify a man believed responsible for robbing two banks in Ramona and a bank in Mira Mesa over the past week.

Dubbed the “Skinny Bandit”, he is described as a light-skinned black man in his mid 20s to 30s, between 6 ft. and 6 ft. 6 inches tall with a slender build, weighing 140 to 170 pounds.  He claimed to have a weapon and in one robbery, threatened to shoot the teller, but no weapon was seen.

Below are details on each of the three robberies:

INMATE FIREFIGHTER, ESCAPED FROM MCCAIN VALLEY CAMP, IS BACK IN CUSTODY

 

By Miriam Raftery

June 17, 2018 (McCain Valley) – An inmate firefighter last seen in his bunk last Tuesday night at the McCain Valley Conservation Camp in East County was taken into custody Friday night, the California Department of Corrections has announced.

Pages