Crime Beat

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. 

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.

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/

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.

EL CAJON’S WILD WEEK: OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING, NUDITY BAN, PROTESTS AND PARKWAY PLAZA CLOSURE

 

Did lack of mental healthcare “PERT” team response contribute to Olango’s death? 

Suicide Help Resources included below

By Jonathan Goetz

September 29, 2016 (El Cajon) – East San Diego County’s El Cajon was rocked Tuesday with an officer involved shooting of an unarmed black man, Alfred Okwera Olango. The city has remained in the spotlight all week.  Lost amid the blitz of media coverage has been other news, including a nudity ban targeting homeless people.

In chronological order, here are the highlights and lowlights:

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

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

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.

PARKWAY PLAZA EVACUATED, CAR SHOW SHUTDOWN AMID UNREST AFTER POLICE SHOOTING

 

 

By Rebecca Williamson and Miriam Raftery

Photo, left,by Rebecca Williamson: Marchers at Mollison near Broadway

September 28, 2016 (El Cajon) – Parkway Plaza regional shopping center is shut down for tonight after protests spilled into the mall over yesterday’s fatal police shooting of Alfred  Olango, 38, an unarmed African-American man with mental health issues.  Marketing director Ken Gray told  ECM the mall shut down for the night on advice of police.

“ Where I work, a lot of people were crying and screaming,” Gage Miller told  East County Magazine shortly after police evacuated the Walmart store where he works and escorted everyone outside. He said around 3 p.m., “lots of people were marching in the mall and going into the movie theatre…Walmart had to put its gates down. Protesters were spraying water from water bottles all around.”

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.

FUGITIVE ARRESTED IN EAST COUNTY MURDER CASE

 

 

Update:  The victim has been identified as Brandon Deguzman, 21.  Cause of death has been determined to be homicide by shooting,outside the victim's home. 

By Miriam Raftery

September 25, 2016 (Santee) – A fugitive wanted in connection with a deadly shooting in unincorporated El Cajon yesterday morning is now under arrest.

SDSU’S HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAM DEVELOPS PROGRAM TO STOP ACTIVE SHOOTERS

 

Source:  Press release, SDSU Homeland Security graduate program

September 24, 2016 (San Diego) -- What can be done to stop active shooter incidents such as the one at the Washington Mall this week?  Two San Diegans who recently graduated from San Diego State University’s Homeland Security Program, have developed an innovative mobile app solution for preventing, mitigating and responding to active shooter situations. The Active Shooter Identification (ASI) application has the ability to detect a gunshot that supersedes 125 decibels.

SANTEE AND LAKESIDE STORES ABIDE BY LAW, SHERIFF’S “MINOR DECOY” PROGRAM FINDS

 

East County News Service

September 18, 2016 (Santee) — Sheriff’s deputies and agents from the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control recently conducted “minor decoy” tests at 11 retail locations in Santee and Lakeside.  All 11 retailers passed the test, refusing to sell alcohol to minors.

WOMAN SHOT IN WARNER SPRINGS DIES; SISTER CHARGED WITH MURDER

 

Update Sept. 21,2016:  Sheriff's Homicide Detectives have arrested Sandra Leigh Stoneburner, who lived at the Camino San Ignacio address.  She is charged with murder of  the victim,  her sister Carrie Deatherage, 51.

East County News Service

September 17, 2016 (Warner Springs) — A shooting at the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation in Warner Springs has left a woman, 51, in grave condition.  A 57-year-old woman has been detained as a “person of interest” at the scene, says Lieutenant Kenneth Nelson.

TWO CHP OFFICERS INJURED IN LAKESIDE COLLISION

 

East County News Service

September 16, 2016 (Lakeside) — A Hyundai Accent that was reportedly racing through a  Lakeside neighborhood ran a light at Julian Avenue and Los Coches Road at 1.a.m.,smashing into a California Highway Patrol car. The crash injured six people, including a CHP sergeant and an officer, said CHP spokesman Kevin Pearlstein.

FORCIBLE ARREST OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAN AT SDSU SPARKS OBJECTIONS FROM STUDENTS

 

East County News Service

September 15, 2016 (San Diego) — An arrest at San Diego State University today sparked protests after videos posted online showed SDSU police officers forcing the African-American man, who was not a student to the groundVideos posted on the Daily Aztec show the man standing on a balcony at the student center near where the rapper Chance was slated to perform when he was tackled from behind.(Warning, strong language). Video does not show events leading up to the incident.  The man, whose identity has not been released, shouted to the officers, “You’re breaking my arms!” and insisted he didn’t do anything wrong. He was arrested after the take-down.

Students took to social media with the hashtag #BlackUnderAttackSDSU.  But SDSU’s president Elliott Hirshman issued a statement indicating the man had jumped a construction fence and had been reported by two callers to be acting erratically.

BEWARE OF GAS PUMP SKIMMING, SHERIFF WARNS

 

Source: San Diego County Sheriff's Department

September 9, 2016 (El Cajon) - Keep your eyes open the next time you fill up at the gas pump. Someone has been installing scanning devices known as "skimmers" inside credit card readers at gas stations. They can steal your credit or debit card information, including pin numbers, and use it to make fraudulent purchases.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has partnered with local and federal agencies to investigate these crimes, which include thefts at 7-11 stations in El Cajon. Several arrests have already been made. The investigation is ongoing.

Here are things you can do to protect yourself:

BORDER PATROLOFFICER ARRESTED FOR RECEIVING BRIBES AND SEXUAL FAVORS, LETTING SMUGGLERS THROUGH CHECKPOINT

 

Source: Federal Bureau of  Investigation

September 9, 2016 (San Diego’s East  County) - FBI Special Agent in Charge, Eric S. Birnbaum announced three arrests and  filing of a six count federal complaint against a United States Customs and Border Protection Officer and two co-conspirators, as a result of a public corruption and alien smuggling investigation conducted in San Diego.

TEEN ARRESTED FOR ARSON IN POINTE FIRE

 

East County News Service

Photo by Kristin Kjaero

September 5, 2016 (Spring Valley) – A 17-year-old was arrested yesterday and is being charged with willfully and maliciously setting fire to forest land, CAL FIRE reports.  The juvenile is believed to be responsible for starting the Pointe Fire on August 17th, which charred 25 acres in Spring Valley, forced evacuation of homes, put the public at risk and injured a firefighter.

EL CAJON DOCTOR CHARGED WITH OFFERING DRUGS FOR SEX

 

East County News Service

September 1, 2016 (El Cajon) -  Dr. Naga Raja Thota has been arrested at his office on Navajo Road in El Cajon by the San Diego Drug Enforcement Administration. A pain specialist and anesthesiologist, Dr. Thota is accused of trading prescriptions for opioid narcotic painkillers for sexual acts with multiple women, prosecutors allege.

ASSEMBLYWOMAN GONZALEZ HUMAN TRAFFICKING REFORM LEGISLATION HEADS TO GOVERNOR

 

AB 1708 would implement statutory reforms and increase penalties for purchasers of sex

East County News Service

September 1, 2016 (Sacramento) - Human trafficking legislation by California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) that would create minimum penalties for those attempting to purchase sex was approved by the Assembly today on a unanimous 63-0 vote. It will now be submitted to the Governor.

SUSPECT ARRESTED FOR MURDER IN BORREGO SPRINGS

 

East County News Service

August 28, 2016 (Borrego Springs) – Mark Peter Waugh, 53, has been arrested for the murder of a man found dead yesterday morning in a home at 430 Verbena Drive in Borrego Springs,

The victim has been identified as Brett Leslie Boynton, 52. The Borrego Sun reports that the deceased worked in the kitchen at Carlee’s restaurant in Borrego Springs.

According to the Medical Examiner, Boynton died of blunt force trama and possible strangulation. His death has been ruled a homicide.

POLICE SEEK SUSPECTS IN RED VAN WHO TERRORIZED WOMEN IN LA MESA

 

East County News Service

August 26, 2016 (La Mesa) — Two women in south La Mesa awoke Tuesday around 3 a.m. to the sounds of banging on their front door.  10 News reports the women looked out and saw six people bashing the house and shattering car windows with hammers and a machete.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS ELIGIBLE FOR "CLEAN SLATE" UNDER BLOCK BILL HEADED TO GOVERNOR

 

East County News Service

August 26  2016 (San Diego) -- California’s state Senate today approved a measure which would allow human trafficking victims arrested or convicted of non-violent crimes while they were trafficked to have those charges removed from their records.

ALPINE MAN ARRESTED FOR PHOTOGRAPHING GIRL IN WALMART BATHROOM; SHERIFF SEEKS OTHER POSSIBLE VICTIMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) — A man with a prior conviction for lewd conduct has been arrested for allegedly photographing a 10-year-old girl in the women’s restroom at a Wal-Mart on Camino Canada in El Cajon, just off of Interstate 8, on August 17th.

GOVERNOR SIGNS GONZALEZ BILL REQUIRING NOTIFICATION WHEN AN ARSONIST WHO MURDERED A FIREFIGHTER SEEKS PAROLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 23, 2016 (Sacramento) – A new law will require notification of a murdered firefighter’s former fire department when the convicted arsonist seeks parole. Assembly Bill 898, authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) was signed into law by the Governor today.

SEX OFFENDER ARRESTED AFTER PHOTOGRAPHING GIRL IN RESTROOM AT WALMART IN EL CAJON

 

Source: San Diego County Sheriff's Department

August 23, 2016 (El Cajon) - Robert Becker is a registered sex offender under arrest on charges of taking cell phone video of a girl in a restroom at Wal-Mart in El Cajon. The investigation is ongoing and Becker is suspected of committing similar crimes in the East County and potential victims are being urged to come forward.

JUSTICE DEPT: JAILING PEOPLE WHO CAN’T AFFORD BAIL IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 21, 2016 (Washington D.C.) – Jailing poor defendants because they can’t afford bail is unconstitutional and violates the 14th Amendment right to equal protection, the U.S.  Justice Department argued in an amicus brief filed in federal court on Thursday.

U.S. JUSTICE DEPT. TO STOP USING PRIVATE PRISONS DUE TO ABUSES, BUT IMMIGRATION FACILITIES AND CALIF. CONTINUE TO RELY ON FOR-PROFIT PRISONS

 

Story and photo by Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Federal immigration detention facility in Otay Mesa run by Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison company exposed for abusive actions at other locations investigated

August 21, 2016 (Washington D.C.) — Private, for-profit prisons are more dangerous and less effective than government-run prisons, a new report by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General concludes.   On August 18th, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced that the Justice Dept. will be “reducing—and ultimately ending—our use of privately operated prisons.”

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