El Cajon Police

EL CAJON VOTES TO INCREASE FUNDS FOR POLICE DEPARTMENT

By Miriam Raftery

June 25, 2020 (El Cajon) – El Cajon City Council members received hundreds of comments sent via email on the city’s proposed budget, nearly all weighing in on police funding following a nationwide wave of protests over police violence and racial injustice issues.   Many of the commenters argued for “defunding” or shifting some funds away from police into investments in the community or alternatives to handle mentally ill and homeless people, though many others voiced support for El Cajon Police and supported increasing the department’s budget.

The Council unanimously voted for a $120,000 increase for the police.

“The motivation is to keep all the citizens safe,” Councilman Gary Kendrick told ECM.


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EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER DIVERTS GRAFFITI ARTISTS TO CREATE PUBLIC ART

By Miriam Raftery

Photos courtesy of Officer Murphy and El Cajon Police

June 19, 2020 (El Cajon) – When El Cajon Police Officer Michael Murphy found three youths spray-painting “peace” and “BLM”, he created a teaching moment.  “I explained to them that by doing that, their message gets lost and destroys another person’s property. So I decided instead of arresting them we would work together to fix the damage and work on an area where they can post their message,” he posted on Facebook.

So he arranged to meet up with them, get plywood and find a place for them to express their views and creativity in a positive way - as well as having them lend a hand to clean up the defaced property. The result is a work of art showing talent and the power of working together for creative solutions to conflicts.


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ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING OF BABY AT PARKWAY PLAZA

By Miriam Raftery

February 24, 2020 (El Cajon) – A suspect is in custody after an attempted kidnapping of a one-year-old girl yesterday afternoon outside of the Parkway Plaza regional shopping mall in El Cajon.

According to witnesses, the man tried to grab the baby from her mother at 3:18 p.m.. Witnesses gave officers a description of the man, who had fled the scene.

El Cajon Police officers located a man closely matching the description nearby. Witnesses identified the detained man as the suspect.


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JURY RULES OFFICER SHOOTING OF ALFRED OLANGO IN EL CAJON WAS JUSTIFIED

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2019 (El Cajon) – A jury in a civil trial has ruled that an El Cajon Police officer was justified in shooting and killing Alfred Olango on Sept. 27, 2016.  Olango’s sister ,Lucy,  had called 911 to ask for help for her brother, who was reportedly suffering a mental health crisis and walking into traffic.

While another officer pointed a taser at Olango, Officer Richard Gonsalves asked Olango to remove his hands from his pocket,. Olango pulled out a silver and black vape smoking device that resembled a gun and pointed it at the officer, assuming a shooter’s stance at point blank range.


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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.”


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EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER WINS COUNTYWIDE AWARD

 

By Miriam Raftery; photos by Monica Zech

Photo: El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis, left, and Officer Jordan Walker, right

March 15, 2018 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police Officer Jordan Walker was named Top Vehicle Theft Recovery Officer of the Year countywide by the Auto Theft Advisory Committee out of 33 officers honored yesterday in Balboa Park.


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ONLINE STING OPERATION LEADS TO 2 ARRESTS FOR ATTEMPTED SEXUAL ASSAULT ON A JUVENILE IN EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

December 23, 2017 (El Cajon) – “The internet has enabled endless positive opportunities for time saving applications, navigation and access to news and information that could never be possible without it.  But it also provides access for predators to monitor and interact with unsuspecting juvenile and adult victims,” says Lieutenant Rob Rainsweiler with the El Cajon Police Department. “In this case, an El Cajon Police Detective was able to locate these two suspects who were using the internet to arrange to have sex with what they believed was a 13 year old girl.  They arranged to meet her at a hotel in El Cajon where they were contacted and arrested. “

The suspects arrested are Amer Jamil Mansour, 60, and Salman Dawood Salman, 63. 


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A MILLION PUNCHES FROM THE HEART: PUNCHING OUT RACISM, GANG VIOLENCE AND MISTRUST OF POLICE SEPT. 16 IN EL CAJON

 

By Valerie Watts

September 11, 2017 (El Cajon) – Imagine a fire station hung with heavy punching bags, filled with youth, community members, police and firefighters all furiously punching away for 60 seconds at a time.  On Saturday, September 16 from 8 a.m. until noon, the public is invited to help firefighters and police officers "punch out racism, gang violence and mistrust of the police." Heartland Fire & Rescue Fire Station 6 at 100 East Lexington Avenue in El Cajon will be hosting this event put on by "ABC Youth Foundation:  an after school boxing, tutoring and mentorship program that serves at risk youth in San Diego." 


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EL CAJON POLICE SET UP FUND TO AID HOMELESS MOTHER OF SEVEN, WHO CAME TO AID OF UNCONSCIOUS OFFICER

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 20, 2017 (El Cajon) – The El Cajon Police Officers Association has set up a Go fund me page (https://www.gofundme.com/ieshafund ) for Iesha Booker, a homeless mother of seven who came to the aid of Officer Sioson after he was knocked unconscious by a suspect who continued to assault him, causing serious injuries.

The 34-year-old MTS bus driver, was at the KFC in El Cajon when the assault occurred.  “When everyone else at the KFC stood around shocked, Lesha quickly stepped in, using Officer Sioson’s police radio to transmit `Officer Down at the KFC!’   It was that transmission which allowed us to expedite help to Officer Sioson, quickly arrest the suspect,” says Travis Howard, president of the El Cajon Police Officers Association.


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TRANSIENT CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER FOR ASSAULT OF EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

July 18, 2017 (El Cajon) – A transient is under arrest for the attempted murder of an El Cajon Police officer that occurred yesterday shortly after 10 a.m. The suspect reportedly punched the officer repeatedly, continuing to assault him after he was unconscious.

 

Officers were dispatched to a Dollar Store, where a robbery had been reported.  Employees said the suspect had gone to a JFC restaurant nearby at 724 Fletcher Parkway. KFC had also called police to report the suspect stole soda from their fountain. There, the suspect,  Daniel Moses Cook, 42, violently assaulted the officer.


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FREE CHRISTMAS TREE GIVEAWAY FOR EL CAJON RESIDENTS DEC. 23

 

Source: City of El Cajon

December 21, 2016 (El Cajon) --Newly elected El Cajon City Councilmember Steve Goble and the El Cajon Police Department are hosting a “Free Christmas Tree” giveaway this Friday, December 23rd.

These free Christmas trees will be given out from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon at Cartwright Pest Control, located at 1376 Broadway in El Cajon.   There will be 150 trees, up to 8’ tall and some will include flocking.  The trees will be given out first come, first serve, while supplies last.


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EL CAJON POLICE DEPARTMENT HOLIDAY STOREFRONT AT PARKWAY PLAZA

 

Source: City of El Cajon

December 17, 2016 (El Cajon) -- For the 10th consecutive year, the El Cajon Police Department Holiday Storefront returns to Parkway Plaza in El Cajon during the month of December. This unique police storefront has been a popular place to visit during a hectic day of shopping.  There’s nothing to buy, but much to see and learn about holiday and year-round safety from El Cajon Police, Heartland Fire, and Recreation Departments.


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HEARING WED. ON RESTRAINING ORDER SOUGHT BY NAACP AGAINST EL CAJON POLICE AND SHERIFF

 

East County News Service

October 25, 2016 (El Cajon) – A hearing is set for tomorrow at 3 p.m. in U.S. District Court in downtown San Diego on a restraining order sought by the NAACP and several individuals who claim they were falsely arrested for holding peaceful protests and vigils in the wake of the Alfred Olango shooting by an El Cajon Police officer.


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DETAILS ON PAST SHOOTINGS BY EL CAJON POLICE EMERGE

 

ECM records document 9 of the 12 ECPD shootings in the past decade

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2016 (El Cajon)—Yesterday,  the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that El Cajon Police Department had 12 officer-involved shootings in the past 10 years, including five fatal shootings.  According to the U-T,  El Cajon had the highest rate of shooting per 100,000 people of any law enforcement agency in the county.

The U-T story mentioned only two shootings specifically: the recent fatal shooting of Alfred Olango, an African refugee reportedly having a mental health crisis who pointed a vaping device resembling a gun at an officer, and Kelsey Hauser, a white female passenger fatally shot in January 2016 following a high-speed chase of a stolen vehicle that had rammed a police car.

East County Magazine searched our records, which date back to late 2008 when we began publishing,  and found details on a total of nine of the 12 shootings.  At least four of those were fatal, including the two listed above.


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DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE IN EL CAJON; LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERTS OFFER OPINIONS ON SHOOTING

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2016 (El Cajon)—No arrests were made overnight as protests continued for a fourth night and into today, following the shooting of Alfred Olango by El Cajon Police on Tuesday.

Tensions remain despite video released yesterday and a photo showing Olango in a shooting stance, aiming a vaping device at Officer Richard Gonsalves, who has said he believed it to be a gun. 


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VIDEO OF EL CAJON POLICE SHOOTING RELEASED

Unrest continues for fourth night, prompting business closures

By Miriam Raftery

Warning:  Graphic content in video

September 30, 2016 (El Cajon)—At a press conference in El Cajon this afternoon, authorities released two videos  in the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango, 38, by police.  The first is surveillance video from a taco shop; the second is cell phone video taken by a witness.


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DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE OVERNIGHT IN EL CAJON: TEAR GAS DEPLOYED AS PROTEST TURNS VIOLENT

 

2 men wanted for stealing photojournalist’s $15,000 camera Wednesday night

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2016 (El Cajon)--Demonstrations continued overnight in El Cajon over the killing of Alfred Olango Tuesday by police.

  After receiving several 911 calls of 50-70 protesters blocking cars and breaking car windows, police declared an unlawful assembly. 10 News reports that tear gas and pepper balls were deployed by police. The station posted video of the incident and reported that protesters also knocked a motorcyclist off a motorcycle. Glass bottles were also thrown at officers. Two arrests were made, according to police.

 “A large group of demonstrators marched through the streets throughout the evening and into the early morning hours,”said Lieutenant Rob Ransweiler.

Police are also investigating theft of a $15,000 camera taken forcibly from a photojournalist.   A video viewed by 250,000 people on social media has led to identification one suspect, San Diego News Video reports.  Public help is requested to identify a second subject shown at the end of a video here: https://www.facebook.com/SDNVtv/videos/918156954956981/


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OFFICER INVOLVED IN EL CAJON SHOOTING HAD BEEN DEMOTED FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

Women officers have fewer use of force incidents, but only 9% of ECPD officers are women. Could more females on the force have prevented death of Alfred Olango?

By Miriam Raftery

September 29, 2016 (El Cajon)—Mayor Bill Wells has confirmed that the officer who fired the fatal shots in Tuesday’s controversial shooting of Alfred Olango was  Richard Gonsalves—the same officer embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal last year. 

Could a culture that encouraged women officers to join the force have perhaps prevented Tuesday’s tragedy, before Olango pulled out a vaping device mistaken for a gun?

Multiple studies over 40 years have shown  that women police officers  are better at defusing tense situations and have significantly lower use-of-force rates than male officers,  the Washington Post recently reported.

For example, A 2002 study by the National Center for Women & Policing of excessive force incidents in seven major city police departments found that “the average male officer is over eight and a half times more likely than his female counterpart to have an allegation of excessive force sustained against him … [and] two to three times more likely than the average female officer to have a citizen name him in a complaint of excessive force.”

But the El Cajon Police Department has long drawn criticism for tolerating sexual harassment  and other sexual misconduct by male officers toward women on the force--hardly a history conducive to attracting women seeking careers in law enforcement.


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UNREST GROWS IN EL CAJON: MAN KILLED POINTED VAPING DEVICE AT OFFICERS,HAD CRIMINAL RECORD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Jonathan Goetz also contributed to this report.

Photo, left, by Rebecca Williamson, during vigil at shooting sight this evening

September 28,2016 (El Cajon) –Amid mounting tensions and protests this evening,  El Cajon Police released updates in yesterday’s fatal shooting of Alfred Okwera Olango.  

The updated information reveals the Olango, an El Cajon resident, drew a vape smoking device from his pocket and pointed it at officers. The release also indicates a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team was unavailable due to being dispatched to another call.

A 10 News investigation found  Olango had a criminal record including  a 2005 arrest in Colorado as a felon in possession of a firearm—a semi-automatic pistol in the vehicle he was driving. He also pled guilty to receiving stolen property and driving under the influence in 1999, as well as selling cocaine in 2001.

In this confrontation, however, Olango did not have a gun or any other weapon.  The Ugandan refugee who came to America  after death threats to his famliy was shot and killed after his sister called officers for help due to her brother's erratic actions.

Tonight, crowds clashed with police.  While organizers of a march and vigil sought to keep the peace, some protesters reportedly threw bottles at police and chased a counter-protester wearing a Trump hat after he shouted racial slurs.


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PROTESTS ERUPT IN EL CAJON; BLACK MAN SHOT BY POLICE DIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: El Cajon Police

Photos (rest) by Robert Gehr (c)

September 28, 2016 (El Cajon)—A shooting of a mentally ill African-American man by El Cajon Police yesterday  has sparked anger among some community members, though police have released a photo suggesting the man assumed a “shooter’s stance” before he was shot and killed.

Following a press conference this morning by police, civil rights leaders spoke at a press conference calling for a federal investigation.  Marches were held downtown and a candlelight vigil is planned tonight at 6 p.m. the El Cajon Police Station forAlfred Olango, 38.


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EL CAJON REJECTS FINDINGS OF GRAND JURY REPORTS ON HOMELESSNESS AND POLICE OVERSIGHT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos:  Councilman Tony Ambrose, left, leveled harsh words at Richard Graydon, right, a citizen seeking more help for homeless people.

August 11,2016 (El Cajon) – Tempers grew heated during Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council hearing, where  Council member Tony Ambrose scolded a citizen, Richard Graydon, who had criticized the City's approach to homelessness.  The agenda included the city’s responses to two critical Grand Jury reports, one on homeless issues and the other calling for formation of a citizens’ police oversight board. 

The City determined it already does enough to help homeless people--more than other East County cities-- and also concluded there is no need to allow citizens'oversight of any complaints against El Cajon Police.


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EL CAJON POLICE CHARGE FORMER UBER DRIVER WITH 5 MORE SEXUAL ASSAULTS, INCLUDING RAPE OF A 13-YR. OLD

 

East County News Service

May 25, 2016 (El Cajon) – An Uber driver arrested for sexual assault in El Cajon in March now faces charges as a serial rapist. 

El Cajon Police have charged John David Sanchez, 52, with sexually assaulting five additional victims, including raping a 13-year-old child and raping an unconscious person.  Authorities believe those attacks occurred between 2011 and 2014 at Sanchez’s residence in San Diego.


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EL CAJON POLICE DEPT. JOINS NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO END DISTRACTED DRIVING

 

Source: El Cajon Police

April 7, 2016 (El Cajon) – Distracted driving is such an important safety issue that April is recognized as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  In California, Police, Sheriff and CHP officials are joining the Office of Traffic Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as well as law enforcement throughout the country, working together to focus on education as well as enforcement.


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IDENTITY OF MOTEL FIRE VICTIM RELEASED

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 3, 2016 (El Cajon) — The Medical Examiner’s office has identified Drake Lou Pappas, 61, as the victim found dead after a fire at the Villa Embasadora motel in El Cajon early yesterday morning.


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HOSTAGE SITUATION ENDS SAFELY AFTER SUSPECT FIRED SHOT AT POLICE IN EL CAJON

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

December 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police negotiators have successfully ended a stand-off with a man who was holding a woman hostage and fired at police through the door.  10 News reports that after a breakup with his girlfriend, he brought flowers and a gun, pleading with his ex-girlfriend's mother to allow him to see his son. 

 

After negotiations lasting nearly three hours, the suspect surrendered to police. No one was injured during the incident.


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MOTORCYCLIST KILLED IN COLLISION IN EL CAJON

East County News Service

December 18, 2015 (El Cajon) – A motorcyclist suffered fatal injuries in a collision with a silver Hyundai shortly before noon today in the 1600 block of Pepper Drive in El Cajon.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: DOUBLE RAINBOW OVER EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

Robert Gehr captured an image of this double rainbow arcing over the El Cajon Police Station.

Secondary rainbows are caused by a double reflection of sunlight inside the raindrops, and are the colors appear as mirror images. In Chinese mythology, a double rainbow, due to its reversal of colors, represents the movement from earth to heaven and is considered to be a sign of future success.


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EL CAJON POLICE REACH OUT TO PUBLIC TO IMPROVE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY, ANNOUNCE PLANS TO BEEF UP ENFORCEMENT OF TRAFFIC RULES

 

View pedestrian safety video from El Cajon Police: http://vimeo.com/116996655

By Miriam Raftery

November 3, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon has had 13 pedestrian fatalities in the past 20 months. In the prior 36 months, there were 10 fatalities. So in half the time, there have been double the number of pedestrian deaths. 

“That concerns us a great deal,” Police Chief Jim Redman told community members at a public safety forum held last month at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, where the department reached out to share safety tips, hear community suggestions, and advise about a new enforcement campaign aimed at saving lives.  A “Check before you step” campaign aims to educate the public on how to prevent pedestrian injuries and deaths.


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DONALD RAY LEWIS WANTED FOR SLAYING OF JAMES MELVIN CRAWFORD JR. IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Suspect Donald Ray Lewis, considered armed and dangerous

August 21, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have identified the victim in a fatal shooting on August 19th as James Melvin Crawford Jr., an El Cajon Police.


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DRIVER SOUGHT WHO HIT FIRE HYDRANT, CAUSED DAMAGE

 

July 27, 2015 (El Cajon ) – El Cajon Police are looking for the driver of a black Mercedes sedan who fled the scene after striking a fire hydrant near the intersection of Ballantyne Street and Madison Avenue in El Cajon on Monday.  The collision caused a 40-foot-high water geyser that damaged several trees nearby, but did not damage homes.


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