California

Police Dept Gone Bad: Protecting Sexual Predators, Serving Cover-ups

The transcripts stem from the remaining civil lawsuit against the city of San Diego for the actions former officer Anthony Arevalos, who was convicted on multiple counts of sexual battery.

Lawyers for Arevalos’ 13th victim, who is only known as Jane Doe, address a 1997 incident where Arevalos detained a mentally unstable woman and took pictures as she preformed sex acts on herself with his police baton.

Arevalos’ former partner alerted police supervisors of the incident. However, court records show it was never reported to internal affairs. Arevalos would go on to assault 13 women while on duty until his conviction in 2011.

“This all could have been stopped years ago,” Arevalos’ former partner Francisco Torres said under oath in 2012. “He has his Polaroid out and when I got there the female was in the backseat again naked with her handcuffs in front of her and she had the baton.”

A court transcript revealed Lansdowne and his deputy, Ramirez, responded when the incident was reported in the media.

“When the reporters … get it in the news, we have a problem,” Ramirez said to Lansdowne, according to the transcript.

Court records show Lansdowne replied, “I want to do one thing and one thing only — find that documentation.”

…”Chief Ramirez testified under oath that he and chief Lansdowne … get together to try and figure out not if it really happened, not if there are any witnesses left, only to take documentation that is going to come around and bite them in the bottom,” Joe Dicks, Doe’s attorney, said.

Lansdowne retired weeks after Team 10 broke the story about former officer Christopher Hays, who is accused of sexual harassment while on duty.

Team 10 obtains court records suggesting San Diego Police Department cover-up. 10News.com, 4/10/2014.

Who is Christopher Hays? Possibly worse than Arevalos:

One of those sources willing to openly talk about the case is attorney Dan Gilleon. He represented some of the women Arevalos assaulted.

“I don’t know of any women who came forward and said they have had sex with Arevalos, but that’s what I’m hearing on this one,” Gilleon said. “This was Arevalos-squared.”

Team 10 broke the news Thursday that four women had come forward to say they were abused by Hays.

When Team 10 asked SDPD Chief William Lansdowne if this case was like the Arevalos case, he answered, “It’s not.”

Lansdowne later elaborated the case involved pat downs, adding, “This is not skin-to-skin touching, these are improper searches.”

Hays has not been charged, and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case.

Hays’ father-in-law, Mark Jones, is an assistant police chief.

Sources: New sex assault scandal involving SDPD Officer Chris Hays worse than Anthony Arevalos case. 10News.com, 2/7/2014.

Teen Father Bites off Infant’s Nose over Crying

The Fairfield Police Department received a call Thursday at 8:04 a.m. from a frantic female who said that her child was bleeding from his nose.

… The infant’s 18-year-old father, 17-year-old mother and other family members were present, police said.

The infant was taken to North Bay Medical Center where doctors determined that the infant’s nose had been severed and he had possible head trauma.

The infant was then transferred to Oakland Children’s Hospital, where doctors determined that the infant had suffered a skull fracture and a brain hemorrhage and that one-third of the child’s nose had been severed. The child is currently in stable condition.

According to the criminal investigation, the infant’s father bit the child’s nose off out of frustration from his crying. Police are still investigating how the infant sustained the skull fracture and brain hemorrhage.

Police: Fairfield Man Arrested for Biting Off Infant Son’s Nose. NBCBayArea.com, 3/14/2014.

Woman Shoots 6, Kills 4, Including Her Brother, over Pending Eviction

Cherie Rhoades, 44, has been arrested but not charged in the attack and is expected to be arraigned in court in Alturas on Tuesday, said a spokeswoman for the Modoc County District Attorney’s Office.

Rhoades is accused of using two semi-automatic handguns to fatally shoot her 50-year-old brother, 19-year-old niece and 30-year-old nephew in Alturas, about 30 miles south of the Oregon border, said Alturas City Clerk Cary Baker, an acting spokeswoman for the small town of about 2,800 residents.

… Two other people at the hearing were critically wounded and remained hospitalized, officials said. One of those people was alert and talking on Friday, they said.

Rhoades had once been a tribal leader with the Cedarville Rancheria tribe, Baker said.

She lived on tribal property in Cedarville, about 20 miles east of Alturas, and was being evicted from that house along with her son, Baker said. The tribal office in Alturas is where day-to-day business is conducted for the Cedarville Rancheria.

After apparently running out bullets, Rhoades picked up a large kitchen knife and chased one person she had already shot, police said.

Police: Victims in California tribal office shooting included suspect’s brother, niece and nephew. The Raw Story/Reuters, 2/21/2014.

Drunk Man Drives into Bedroom, Killing 1

Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock says authorities were called shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday after a suspected drunk driver drove a car into the front bedroom of a house in Mission Viejo.

Hallock says a man lying in bed was killed in the crash. He was not immediately identified.

Hallock says 27-year-old Kourosh Keshmiri has been arrested for investigation of driving under the influence.

It wasn’t immediately clear how fast the car was going downhill when it jumped the curb and landed inside the house.

Kourosh Keshmiri Arrested After Car Plows Into Calif. Bedroom, Killing Man. HuffPo Crime, 12/29/2013.

“felony stupid”: Home Invasion Gone Stupid

The suspects, armed with a shotgun and three handguns, allegedly entered a house on the 2600 block of Alta Street in Lincoln Heights, said Officer Norma Eisenman of the Los Angeles Police Department. The resident, who was the only person home at the time, saw the suspects on a home surveillance system and called 911 about 2:40 a.m., she said.

As police and SWAT units arrived, one suspect was seen fleeing the scene, and was immediately apprehended by officers.

… The two men inside then allegedly told the resident to identify them to police as victims too, and convinced the resident to tie them up in the home, according to police.

The resident obliged, and fled the home, telling the police what had happened while the two suspects remained tied up inside.

Police did not immediately enter the residence, Eisenman said. After some time the suspects “got tired of waiting” and emerged.

They were arrested shortly thereafter, and the fourth suspect was found hiding in the backyard by a canine unit.

Officers recovered a shotgun and three handguns, Eisenman said, but it is unclear whether they were loaded.

…“They came out, still tied up, thinking that we were going to believe they were victims also,” Eisenman said. “That’s what you call felony stupid.”

Four suspects arrested in bizarre home invasion robbery. L.A. Times, 12/28/2013.

“pop, pop, pop”—Man in Camouflage Kills TSA Officer at LAX [UPDATES]

CBS News’ John Miller said the unidentified suspect entered the terminal wearing camouflage and opened fire around 9:30 a.m., wounding at least three people.

Preliminary indications show that he was targeting TSA employees and that one may have been killed, according to Miller.

…A large box of ammunition has been recovered on LAX property, Miller said. The LAPD Bomb Squad was also on scene.

Passenger Robert Perez told CBS2 that TSA agents came through the terminal and yelled that a man had a gun.

…Passenger Rodrigo Jara told KNX1070 NEWSRADIO he was waiting in line to go through the security line in Terminal 3 when he heard a loud sound.

“I heard ‘pop, pop, pop,’ and then we fell down, and little did I know, I looked to the side, and this guy’s going up the stairs with the rifle,” Jara said.

Jara described the shooter he saw as a white male with blonde/dirty blonde hair possibly wearing khakis, clean-cut, and “walking like he was going to buy tea.”

Suspect In Custody After Shooting Prompts Evacuation At Terminal 3 At LAX. CBS L.A., 11/1/2013.

Brian Adamick, an accountant who was waiting for a flight to Chicago, said he saw a bunch of people running and one of them shouted, “There’s shooting!”

He said he boarded an evacuation bus minutes later and saw a TSA agent get on, limping.

“His right ankle is injured and he gets on and sits in the seat next to me, and I said, ‘Are you OK?’ He said, ‘I’m fine. I got shot. Don’t worry, I’ve been shot before,’” Adamick told NBC News in a telephone interview.

“I said, let me take a look, and he pulls up the pant leg and there’s a flesh wound — 3 to 4 inches — looks like it’s straight out of Hollywood, maybe a drop of blood or two,” he said.

Shooter opens fire at Los Angeles International Airport. NBCNews.com, 11/1/2013.

Updates:

LAX shooting: Gunman targeted TSA officers, wrote anti-government note. L. A. Times, 11/1/2013.

The gunman was identified as Paul Anthony Ciancia, a 23-year-old New Jersey native who lived most recently in Los Angeles.

Authorities declined to discuss the gunman’s motivation publicly. But a law enforcement official told The Times that a note was found on the gunman expressing “disappointment in the government” and saying that he had no interest in hurting “innocent people.” Ciancia also sent a sibling a text message last week suggesting that he was prepared to die, officials said.

It appears the gunman targeted unarmed Transportation Security Administration agents. Another law enforcement official told The Times that investigators were looking into the possibility that the shooter “wasn’t a fan of the TSA.”

Authorities said he approached several people cowering in the airport terminal, pointed his gun at them, asked if they “were TSA,” and then moved on without pulling the trigger if the answer was no. And a witness told The Times that the gunman cursed the TSA repeatedly as he moved through the terminal.

 

That’s about when [Demetrius] Trammel said he saw a man emerge from the crowd with what appeared to be an AR-15 rifle in a shoulder holster.

The gunman calmly walked through the lobby with the gun pointed at an angle toward the ground, Trammel recalled.

“He was looking around,” Trammel said. “He was calm, pacing, scanning the crowd, like he was looking for somebody specifically.”

Trammel said he made brief eye contact with the gunman, then he saw three men in helmets and face masks crouching along the wall, making their way toward the gunman.

Trammel turned around and cut off the lights inside the restaurant so that the gunman could not see inside. He heard five to six shots. Then silence.

When he looked up the gunman was face down and bleeding from his upper body and leg. The officers kicked the rifle away from him.

LAX shooter was ‘calm, pacing, scanning the crowd’ during rampage. L. A. Times, 11/2/2013.

Man Shoots Hostages in Car Trunk, Gunned Down by Police

And others were found dead:

Nearly two hours later a sheriff’s deputy spotted the suspect’s car and a pursuit began. The suspect fired at least 10 times from inside his black Dodge Dart, and tried to run vehicles off the road. No motorists were hurt, Youngblood said.

At one point during the chase, which lasted more than 40 minutes, the suspect pulled over and the car’s trunk popped open, revealing a man and woman inside. They appeared to shut the trunk, the sheriff said.

At the end, the man pulled over again on U.S. 395 and began shooting into the trunk. As many as seven officers opened fire, killing him.

The hostages were flown to a hospital. Their conditions were unknown.

At the original crime scene in the city of Ridgecrest, about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, a woman was found dead and a man was wounded, Youngblood said.

The suspect apparently knew all of the victims, he said.

Mojave Desert Shooting Spree Ends With Dead Suspect. HuffPo Crime, 10/25/2013.

“Fun Friday” Ruined: Man Stabs Grandmother to Death in Front of Schoolchildren

Steven Brown, 50, the father of the slain woman’s grandchildren, was arrested on suspicion of murder shortly after the stabbing Friday afternoon.

Kellye Taylor, 53, was in Orizaba Park across the street from Huntington Academy, at 2935 E. Spaulding St., watching her students play when a man, later identified as Brown, approached her and stabbed her in the neck, according to Pamela Huffman, Taylor’s younger sister who also works at the school.

Huffman said her sister had custody of her grandchildren, which had caused friction with Brown.

Huffman said her sister and two other teachers were in the park around 1:30 Friday afternoon watching as the children played on a jungle gym, part of a weekly outing at the school called “Fun Friday.” After Taylor was stabbed, some of the children ran back to the school and told Huffman, whose family owns and operates the school.

… Taylor was a teacher and aide who taught at all levels of the small K-6 school.

Teacher killed in front of students at LB park; relative arrested. Long Beach Press-Telegram. 10/11/2013.

Fight over Baseball Leaves 1 Dead

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said at a news conference that the suspects’ car was registered out of Lodi, but he declined to identify the pair because they had not been officially arrested or charged. He also said authorities are still looking for two suspects involved in the stabbing of Jonathan Denver, who had traveled to San Francisco from Fort Bragg, Calif., with his family to root on the Dodgers….

Denver, his father, his father’s girlfriend, his brother and another friend had left the game during the eighth inning, at about 10 p.m., to go to a bar for drinks, Suhr said.

…At around 11:30 p.m., Denver’s group bumped into the suspects’ group at Third and Harrison streets and the two groups exchanged some sort of “Dodgers-Giants” comments, Suhr said. The suspects’ group had not been at a game, but at a nightclub.

After the heated exchange, the two groups parted ways, but moments later a second fight erupted, and Denver realized he had been stabbed. One of the suspects was wearing a Giants hat. Denver, his brother and his father were all wearing Dodgers blue. The two suspects were detained a short time later at Second and Howard streets. Denver died later at San Francisco General Hospital. Police are now looking for the weapon.

Two in Custody In Fatal Stabbing of Dodgers’ Fan After Game Against Giants in San Francisco. NBC Bay Area, 9/26/2013.

Woman Kills Her 2 Children, Tries to Kill Self in Car Crash

Two children found dead in a Southern California hotel room after their suicidal mother crashed her car outside a shopping complex were a 13-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, a police spokesman said Sunday.

The children’s mother, Marilyn Edge, 42, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was arrested Saturday and booked on suspicion of murder in the deaths, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said. …

Edge was driving a car with Georgia license plates when she crashed into an electrical box outside a shopping complex in Costa Mesa on Saturday morning. Her most recent address was in Arizona, Bertagna said, and it wasn’t immediately clear why she had come to Orange County.

After the crash, Edge refused to get out of the car and tried to choke herself with a belt or rope as rescuers worked to free her, he said. Police found propane in Edge’s car.

As she was being taken to the hospital, Edge told authorities they could find her children at a hotel in nearby Santa Ana. After officers discovered the bodies, police obtained a search warrant late Saturday for the hotel room and worked overnight on the case, Bertagna said.

Arizona Mother Killed 2 Children, Crashed Car In Suicide Attempt: Police. HuffPo Crime, 9/15/2013.

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