General Crime

*Feb 10, 2009 REDWOOD CITY: THREE SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN STABBING THAT SERIOUSLY INJURED ONE

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*Feb 10, 2009 OAKLAND: MEHSERLE’S LAWYER ASKS JUDGE TO LIFT GAG ORDER
*Feb 10, 2009 MONTEREY CO.: DEPUTIES TASER MAN DURING ARREST
*Feb 10, 2009 SAN JOSE SUSPICIOUS DEATH RULED A HOMICIDE, VICTIM IDENTIFIED
*Feb 10, 2009 SAN JOSE SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SUNDAY MORNING HOMICIDE
*Feb 10, 2009 SAN FRANCISCO COURT REINSTATES LAWSUIT FILED BY SIX BROTHERS ALLEGEDLY ABUSED BY PRIEST

Feb 10, 2009 REDWOOD CITY: THREE SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN STABBING THAT SERIOUSLY INJURED ONE

Officers in Redwood City made three arrests in connection with a Monday night stabbing that left one victim seriously injured, according to police,Officers responded to a report of a stabbing at about 10:15 p.m. when three suspects allegedly approached a 19-year-old man walking near a Redwood City Caltrain Station asked if he was affiliated with a gang, and when he said he was not, began hitting and stabbing him, according to the Redwood City Police Department.Police located three suspects near the intersection of El Camino Real and James Avenue, where one reportedly assaulted an officer and was taken into custody while the other two fled toward the Caltrain station, according to police, where they were taken into custody by a San Mateo County Deputy Sheriff.The stabbing victim was taken to a local hospital where he was reported to be in serious condition.Two suspects have been identified as Edgar Palomares, 19, Victor Sanchez, 20, both of Redwood City, according to police. Authorities have not released the identity of a third suspect, 14, also of Redwood City.

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Feb 9, 2009 OAKLAND: MEHSERLE’S LAWYER ASKS JUDGE TO LIFT GAG ORDER

The attorney for a former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer charged with murder for the shooting death of Oscar Grant III early on New Year’s Day is asking a judge to lift his gag order in the highly publicized case.Michael Rains, who represents 27-year-old Johannes Mehserle, said in a legal brief filed on Friday and made public late today that the gag order “has hamstrung Mehserle by preventing any attempt he might otherwise make to address the barrage of negative publicity in the case which has presumed his guilt as murderer.”Rains said Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson’s decision to issue a temporary gag order at the end of Mehserle’s bail hearing on Jan. 30 was prompted by the defense giving a copy of its motion asking for bail to the San Francisco Chronicle shortly before the hearing.Rains said the bail motion had already been filed with the court before it was provided to the newspaper.Jacobson decided at the hearing that Mehserle, who resigned from the BART police force a week after the shooting death at the Fruitvale station in Oakland, is eligible for bail but set it at a high amount, $3 million.Mehserle, who had been in custody since he was arrested in the Zephyr Cove area of Lake Tahoe, Nev., on Jan. 13, was released from the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin last Friday afternoon after raising the $3 million.He is scheduled to return to court Friday afternoon for a hearing on whether the gag order should be maintained. Mehserle also is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on March 23 to determine if there’s enough evidence to have him ordered to stand trial.The shooting incident occurred after Mehserle and other BART police officers responded to reports that two groups of young men were fighting on a train.In his brief, Rains said, “The BART shooting case has received an avalanche of media coverage, nearly all of it vilifying Mehserle.”Rains said John Burris, the attorney who represents Grant’s family, has supplied videos of the incident to the news media, “where they have been aired and downloaded to the point of saturation.”Rains alleged that Burris “has had free reign and offered a number of inaccurate and typically inflammatory statements” about the incident.The defense lawyer said media coverage of Mehserle’s bail hearing is “illustrative” of his belief that the gag order is harming the former BART police officer.Noting that newspapers reported that Jacobson said Mehserle changed his story to minimize his responsibility for Grant’s death, Rains said the result of the gag order “was to completely silence any effort by the defense to ‘set the record straight’ about information which had come to light during the bail hearing.”Rains wrote, “The media would have the public believe that the Court (Jacobson) essentially pronounced judgment on Mehserle, weighing in on the state of the evidence and his character (to be clear, the defense takes exception to some of the Court’s findings).”Referring to Burris, Rains said, “It is not the statements of the parties which are the source of prejudicial publicity, but instead statements of third parties.”Noting that the gag order doesn’t apply to Burris because he’s not
involved in the criminal case against Mehserle, Rains said, “The continuance of the protective order (gag order) will only serve to further prejudice the judicial process, rather than to protect it.”Rains said that if Jacobson is concerned about the effects of pretrial publicity, there are less restrictive alternatives than a gag order, such as moving Mehserle’s case to another county.Rains said that as an alternative to the current gag order, Jacobson could allow the prosecution and defense to speak to the news media within 30 minutes of the conclusion of every court proceeding “in order to inform the public about what has transpired and to dispel any misconceptions about what has taken place in court.”Briefs on the gag order were due at 5 p.m. today.Briefs by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office and news organizations haven’t yet been made public.

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Feb 10 2009 MONTEREY CO.: DEPUTIES TASER MAN DURING ARREST

Monterey County sheriff’s deputies used a Taser gun Monday night during the arrest of a construction worker who was wanted for spousal battery and two other charges, according to the sheriff’s office.At about 9 p.m. Monday, deputies responded to reports of an intoxicated man on the grounds of an apartment building in the 8700 block of Sabino Drive in an unincorporated area near Castroville.The deputies located construction worker Antonio Morales, 40, of Castroville, who was allegedly highly intoxicated and posing a danger to himself, according to the sheriff’s office.Morales allegedly became combative with deputies, who employed a Taser stun gun to subdue him and take him into custody, the sheriff’s office reported.Once Morales was medically cleared at Natividad Medical Center in Castroville, he was taken to county jail. Authorities determined Morales was wanted on three outstanding arrest warrants for resisting a peace officer, violation of a court order and spousal battery. Morales was also violating a term of his probation by consuming alcohol in public, according to the sheriff’s office. His bail was set at $18,500.

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Feb 10, 2009 SAN JOSE SUSPICIOUS DEATH RULED A HOMICIDE, VICTIM IDENTIFIED

San Jose police today identified a man found dead in the street Monday morning as 25-year-old Fisaha Isaac Gebremichael.Officers and paramedics were called to the 600 block of Braxton Drive at about 5:30 a.m. on reports of a person down. Arriving officers found Gebremichael lying in the street next to a curb, police Officer Jermaine Thomas said.The San Jose resident had suffered a gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police initially ruled the case a suspicious death but today declared it a homicide.Thomas said Gebremichael does not live or work in the area he was found, and it is unclear how long he had been lying in the street.No suspects have been identified in the case and the motive is still under investigation.

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Feb 10, 2009 SAN JOSE SUSPECT ARRESTED IN SUNDAY MORNING HOMICIDE

San Jose police today announced the arrest of a suspect in the Sunday morning fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man.Police received reports of the shooting at about 1:45 a.m. at a home in the 2500 block of Roslyn Court, Officer Jermaine Thomas said.Officers arrived and located the victim, San Jose resident Kimo Joshua Fernandez, who was pronounced dead at the scene, Thomas said.Police arrested Andrew Chavez, 25, of San Jose, later that day, according to Thomas Investigators today would not release additional information about the case, Thomas said.

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Feb 10 2009 SAN FRANCISCO COURT REINSTATES LAWSUIT FILED BY SIX BROTHERS ALLEGEDLY ABUSED BY PRIEST

A state appeals court in San Francisco today reinstated a lawsuit filed against a Roman Catholic bishop by six brothers who claim they were sexually abused by a priest during their childhood in Concord in the 1970s.A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal overturned a ruling in which Alameda Count Superior Court Judge Kenneth Burr dismissed the Quarry brothers’ 2006 lawsuit on the ground that it was filed after the statute of limitations.The court said the case was governed by a 2002 state law that allows victims to sue employers of abusers within three years of discovering psychological damage caused by the abuse.The brothers said in their lawsuit that they did not discover until 2006 that the cause of their adult psychological injuries was the alleged abuse.Irwin Zalkin, a lawyer for the siblings, called the ruling “a very sound opinion.”The decision refers to the defendant only as “Bishop” and does not identify the bishop, the bishop’s diocese or the priest who allegedly molested the brothers.Zalkin said state law doesn’t allow plaintiffs in such lawsuits to identify the defendants until they have filed a certificate of corroboration and received court permission.The attorney said the plaintiffs weren’t able to seek that permission before the lawsuit was dismissed in 2007, but said he now plans to ask for court approval to name the defendant.Stephen McFeely, a lawyer for the unnamed bishop, was not immediately available for comment.The six brothers, who chose to file the lawsuit under their own names, are Terry, Ronald, Michael, Jerry, Gordon and Tony Quarry.Zalkin said some of them still live in the Bay Area.

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