Bay Area News Briefs
By Mike Aldux
January 22, 2008
Police investigate homicide at San Mateo T.G.I. Friday's
A robbery attempt may have resulted in the death of a restaurant
worker found lifeless on the floor of a T.G.I. Friday's in San
Mateo Monday morning, according to a preliminary police investigation.
Investigators have not yet been able to confirm whether any money
or property was taken from the restaurant or from the nightshift
employee who was killed, said San Mateo police Lt. Mike Brunicardi.
A daytime restaurant manager arrived at the eatery, located at
3101 S. El Camino Real, at around 5:15 a.m. Monday and found Douglas
Castillo, 36, of Hayward, dead on the floor.
The manager immediately called police, who arrived within minutes.
Castillo was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police began investigating Castillo's death as a homicide after
noticing trauma to his head, Brunicardi said.
The death is the city's first homicide since 2006.
Oakland teenager shot by boyfriend
A 16-year-old girl killed in Oakland Monday morning was shot
by her 17-year-old boyfriend, who was trying to scare her with
a gun, police spokesman Roland Holmgren said.
Police responded at about 12:45 a.m. to reports of a possible
suicide at 957 Seventh St., Holmgren said. Officers arrived to
find a 16-year-old girl suffering from a fatal gunshot wound,
which officers determined did not appear to be a suicide.
The girl's 17-year-old boyfriend was taken into custody and later
admitted that he shot the girl while trying to scare her with
the gun, according to Holmgren.
Police arrested the boyfriend for the victim's death, the city's
sixth homicide this year, and the case is pending review by the
Alameda County District Attorney's office, Holmgren said.
Another Oakland shooting occurred at about 3:20 a.m. Monday at
14th Street and Broadway. Two victims were injured and transported
to a local hospital where they were listed in stable condition,
according to police.
Final day for Bay Area residents to register to vote
Today is the final day for Bay Area residents to register to
vote in order to be eligible to cast ballots in the Feb. 5 presidential
All California residents who are U.S. citizens, age 18 or older
as of Feb. 5 and not in prison or on parole for a felony are eligible
to vote. Residents must register to vote in the county where they
live. They also need to register if they have changed addresses,
their name or political parties since the last election, according
to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters office.
Santa Clara County residents can check if they are registered
to vote online at www.sccvote.org or by calling (866) 430-VOTE,
24 hours a day.
Voter registration forms are available at local post offices,
Department of Motor Vehicles offices, libraries and most local
Sonoma County drug dealers arrested
Four alleged drug dealers were arrested Monday after raids of
three Sonoma County homes yielded more than 14 pounds of cocaine
and 117 marijuana plants, police said.
The arrests came after a six-month investigation that led to
search warrants for two Rohnert Park homes, at 4328 Grandview
Way and 1109 Copeland Creek Drive, and for another in Santa Rosa,
at 1705 Las Pravadas Court, according to the Santa Rosa Police
The three homes harbored a combined 14.5 pounds of cocaine with
a street value of $527,000; 117 marijuana plants worth $160,000;
2.5 pounds of processed marijuana worth $8,000; $19,000 in cash
and six vehicles, including four BMWs, a truck and motorcycle,
The suspects arrested at the homes were Frank Powers-Monachello,
24, Dan Scheiner, 42, Dana Gearardo-Scheiner, 44, and Ryan James
Floyd, 26, police said.
The four face various charges related to drug sales and conspiracy.
PG&E upgrades streetlights in Richmond's Iron Triangle
Streetlights in a five-block area in Richmond's Iron Triangle
neighborhood have been shining brighter since Pacific Gas and
Electric Co. completed upgrades last week, according to a report
from Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay.
Thirty standard 70-watt bulbs were swapped out for 150-watt bulbs
in the area between Fifth and 10th streets between Pennsylvania
and Lucas avenues. The pilot project cost the city $15,000, according
The new bulbs have made the area noticeably brighter, Richmond
police Lt. Mark Gagan said.
"Obviously darkness is the friend to criminal activity,"
Gagan said. "There's no doubt that burglaries and loitering
will be greatly reduced when people can look out the window and
see what's going on."
The pilot project is one of many things city officials are trying
in an effort to reduce the city's homicide rate.
Richmond police reported 47 homicides in 2007, the highest number
in more than a decade. Two homicides have been reported so far
While some residents living in the pilot area think it's a step
in the right direction to brighten the crime-ridden neighborhood,
others have complained that the lights are too bright and shine
in their windows at night, Gagan said.
The city is also working on a second pilot project to replace
four conventional 70-watt streetlight bulbs with light-emitting
diode bulbs, known as LED lights. The new energy-efficient bulbs
will produce more effective white light without using any more
electricity, according to Lindsay.
Family-owned restaurant in Sonoma County to remain open
A Sonoma County Superior Court judge has issued a tentative ruling
that allows a popular restaurant in the Coddingtown Mall to remain
Judge Mark Tansil issued the tentative ruling Friday on a preliminary
injunction that prohibits the mall's landlords, Indianapolis-based
Simon Property Group and Codding Enterprises, from evicting Narsi's
Hof-Brau because it is not generating enough revenue.
The mall owners want to replace the family-owned restaurant with
a national chain restaurant, possibly the Cheesecake Factory,
as part of an effort to upgrade the mall.
"Plaintiffs have made a strong showing that irreparable
harm would occur to this longstanding restaurant business, if
injunctive relief were not continued, and that there is some reasonable
likelihood that plaintiffs will later prevail on the merits,"
Stephen Beckwith, attorney for Narsi Samii, said Tansil will
hear arguments against his ruling from the landlords Monday morning
in civil court.
Beckwith said Samii's 1983 lease required him to generate $150
per square foot when the restaurant was 2,000 square feet. The
restaurant is now 5,800 square feet and Samii is several hundred
thousand dollars short of generating the revenue called for in
Police investigate stabbing in Salinas
Salinas police are investigating a stabbing that occurred early
Sunday morning near a gas station at the corner of East Laurel
Drive and North Main Street.
According to police, James Lopez, 25, was walking by the Valero
station when four Hispanic males shouted and beckoned at him.
When Lopez approached the men they immediately fell upon him and
began punching and kicking. Lopez also felt one of the men reach
into his pockets. He managed to get away but later realized he
had been stabbed.
Lopez was treated at Natividad Medical Center for non-life threatening
stab wounds to his abdomen and left thigh.
The four males were last seen fleeing from the gas station in
an unknown sedan. Lopez was unable to provide any further information
about the incident or the suspects, according to the Salinas Police
Daly City police searching for elderly woman's attacker
Police are continuing their search for a man who savagely attacked
an elderly woman in Daly City during a Jan. 12 robbery attempt,
a Daly City police detective said Monday.
The suspect in the botched robbery, 28-year-old Jose Perez-Gonzalez,
remains at large, detective said. Police believe that he most
recently resided at 971 Sandra Court in South San Francisco, but
have searched more of the Bay Area in hopes of finding Perez-Gonzalez,
an undocumented immigrant originally from Guadalajara, Mexico.
At around 3:15 p.m. on Jan. 12 Perez-Gonzalez allegedly used
a metal bar to pry open a rear sliding door of the 78-year-old
victim's Serramonte neighborhood home. Police believe that Perez-Gonzalez
was surprised by the victim and beat her about the face with the
pry bar, leaving her "bleeding profusely from massive facial
and head trauma," according to police. The suspect then fled
the home through the front door, setting off the silent alarm.
Police responded to the alarm around 3:40 p.m. and found the
victim suffering major injuries, police reported. The woman was
taken to a local hospital where she remains in critical condition,
a police detective said.
Investigating officers discovered that the suspect apparently
called the victim's home ahead of time pretending to be delivering
a package, in order to determine what time the victim would be
out of the home.
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