General Crime

*Jan 28, 2009 SAN JOSE WOMAN ALLEGEDLY HELD HOSTAGE, ASSAULTED FOR DAYS, SUSPECT ARRAIGNED

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*Jan 28, 2009 OAKLAND: MAN WHO DRAGGED YOUTH UNDER CAR GETS SIX YEARS IN PRISON
*Jan 28, 2009 REDWOOD CITY: SENTENCING DELAYED FOR MAN CHARGED WITH KILLING KITTEN
*Jan 28, 2009 CONCORD: POLICE SEARCH FOR TWO MEN WHO BEAT, ROBBED 68-YEAR-OLD MAN
*Jan 28, 2009 VALLEJO: COUNCIL APPROVES MODIFIED AGREEMENT WITH POLICE UNION

Jan 28, 2009 SAN JOSE WOMAN ALLEGEDLY HELD HOSTAGE, ASSAULTED FOR DAYS, SUSPECT ARRAIGNED

A 36-year-old man who police say kidnapped and sexually assaulted a female acquaintance, keeping her hostage at his home in San Jose for two days, was arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior Court today.Hoang Phan allegedly lured the 32-year-old woman, whom he has known through mutual friends for years, to his home Friday by asking to borrow $200, police spokesman Officer Jermaine Thomas said.The victim drove to Phan’s house that afternoon, left the car running and walked up to his front door to drop off the cash, Thomas said.”That’s just her personality,” he said. “She saw someone in need and she was just trying to help him out.”Thomas said Phan pulled her inside the home, tied her up and sexually assaulted her.She was able to escape once that day and ran outside screaming, but Phan pulled her back into the house, police Detective John Moutzouridis said.The victim’s sister had reported her missing on Saturday, Moutzouridis said.After two days of sexual assaults, death threats and being told she would not be able to leave, the woman was able to talk her way out of the home Sunday morning around 9 a.m., Moutzouridis said.She went home and contacted police around 11 a.m. and was transported to a local hospital. Police did not elaborate on how she convinced Phan to let her go, saying it would reveal too much about the investigation.They found Phan on Monday morning in a commercial parking lot somewhat near the home and arrested him.He has been charged with numerous counts including kidnapping to commit sexual offense and sexual penetration by force, duress, menace or fear of bodily injury, district attorney spokeswoman Amy Cornell said.Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call police detective John Moutzouridis at. Phan has a prior record that includes convictions on two counts of first-degree burglary, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance, Cornell said.He is scheduled to enter a plea in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Department 23, at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 4.

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Jan 28, 2009 OAKLAND: MAN WHO DRAGGED YOUTH UNDER CAR GETS SIX YEARS IN PRISON

A 19-year-old Oakland man was sentenced today to six years in state prison for striking a 13-year-old circus performer with his car and dragging him 300 feet after he thought the youth hit his vehicle with a rock.Cesar Garcia faced attempted murder charges for the September 2007 incident that left Charles Stevison badly injured and has forced him to undergo 37 medical procedures, including three skin grafts.But prosecutor Jimmie Wilson said today that jurors on Dec. 8 convicted Garcia of the lesser crime of assault with a deadly weapon, plus a clause of inflicting great bodily injury, because they weren’t convinced that Garcia wanted to kill Stevison. However, Wilson said jurors were convinced Garcia intended to injure him.According to Oakland police, Garcia was driving with his girlfriend at about 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2007, when a rock struck his 1986 Chevrolet Caprice in the 9800 block of Walnut Street in Oakland.Stevison, who is now 15 and is a ninth-grader at a local alternative school, testified that he threw a rock at a bus and a friend threw the rock that hit Garcia’s car. Wilson said Garcia and his girlfriend drove off but then returned to confront the youths, who ran off in opposite directions.Garcia wound up chasing Stevison with his car and drove up on the sidewalk, hitting and knocking down a pole the teen was standing behind, then striking him and dragging him under the car for about 300 feet until Garcia hit a parked car and backed up, Wilson said.Stevison was able to break free at that point, according to Wilson.Garcia and his girlfriend abandoned the car, but Garcia was arrested about 45 minutes later when he returned to the scene to change his tire, Wilson said.Garcia testified that the incident was an accident but jurors said they didn’t believe him, Wilson said.Garcia also said he didn’t know that Stevison was under his car, but Wilson said “that’s hard to believe.” Stevison was upbeat after the sentencing hearing today and said he’s back with the Prescott Circus Theater and is able to do the same stunts he did previously, such as juggling, riding a unicycle and walking on stilts. He said he’s also able to play football and plays on the defensive line as well as participating as running back and wide receiver. However, Stevison has permanent scars on his left arm and on his chest and isn’t able to open and close his left hand. He will have surgery soon to try to correct that problem.Stevison said he’s proud he has been able to recover from his injuries because “I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot and have been able to get through it.”Garcia’s lawyer, Robert Byers, said the incident was a “tragic” accident.Byers said Garcia “feels very badly about Charles’ injuries.”Byers said Alameda County Superior Court Judge Allen Hymer, who sentenced Garcia, said the crime was mitigated by the fact that Garcia received many letters of support and didn’t have a previous criminal record.Byers said Garcia worked in city of Oakland programs and also was active in the hip-hop music world.

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Jan 28, 2009 REDWOOD CITY: SENTENCING DELAYED FOR MAN CHARGED WITH KILLING KITTEN

Sentencing was delayed this morning in San Mateo County Superior Court for a 33-year-old man charged with stomping his roommate’s daughter’s kitten to death last November.Judge Clifford Cretan said he had only several minutes to sentence Jesus Calderon-Franco today before a separate jury trial was set to commence in his courtroom, so the sentencing was rescheduled for Feb. 6 Calderon-Franco faces up to 16 months in prison for killing the 4-year-old girl’s kitten on Nov. 30, a sentence Deputy District Attorney Sean Dabel said he hopes the judge will administer.Calderon-Franco initially denied killing the animal but pleaded no contest Dec. 10 to charges of felony animal abuse in exchange for a lesser sentence, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.He allegedly killed the kitten, named “Pucci,” because he was angry the girl had drawn on the bathroom door, Wagstaffe said.The roommate and his daughter were out shopping when Calderon-Franco became angry about the drawings, Wagstaffe said.The roommate’s brother was at the apartment at the time and allegedly witnessed Calderon-Franco grab “Pucci” by the neck and throw the kitten off the second-story balcony, according to Wagstaffe.He then allegedly shouted that he was going to kill the animal, walked outside to where the kitten was and stomped on it, Wagstaffe said.The roommate’s brother called the roommate, who returned home and confronted Calderon-Franco. He denied attacking the animal, Wagstaffe said.But the roommate saw blood on the sidewalk followed the trail to find his daughter’s kitten dead in a nearby trashcan, according to Wagstaffe. A necropsy indicated the kitten died from multiple fractures to the body.Wagstaffe called the killing “cruel” since the attack not only killed the kitten but also likely emotionally traumatized the 4-year-old girl.

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Jan 28, 2009 CONCORD: POLICE SEARCH FOR TWO MEN WHO BEAT, ROBBED 68-YEAR-OLD MAN

A 68-year-old Concord man was in the hospital this morning after two assailants beat him and stole his wallet and MP3 player Tuesday night, a police lieutenant said.A person driving by witnessed the attack near Clayton Road and Willcrest Drive and called police around 9 p.m., Concord police Lt. Andrew Gartner said.
Gartner said the victim was taking a stroll when the two men approached and started punching, kicking and beating him with a weapon resembling a club. He said the attack was unprovoked.The man fell to the ground and the suspects continued to hurt him, Gartner said.Police arrived to find the victim lying on the ground with head and facial injuries. Officers searched the area but did not find the suspects.The victim was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.The suspects, who were wearing white hooded sweatshirts and dark jeans, were described as thin, white males about 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall with short, dark hair.

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Jan 28, 2009 VALLEJO: COUNCIL APPROVES MODIFIED AGREEMENT WITH POLICE UNION

The Vallejo City Council approved a modified collective bargaining agreement with the police union by a 5-2 vote late Tuesday night.The Vallejo Police Officers Association approved the modified agreement over the weekend, association vice president Mat Mustard said.The agreement extends the contract with the police union by two years through June 30, 2012, said Joann West, Vallejo’s public information officer.Salary reductions exceeding 18 percent that were agreed to by the police union will save the city $6 million between July 1, 2008 and June 30, 2010, West said.”Additional long-term savings will be achieved through caps on medical benefits for current employees and retirees and reductions in sick leave and annual leave benefits for new employees,” West said in a news release.The modified agreement eliminates minimum staffing levels in the Police Department, allowing the city to modify staffing and service levels as needed over the term of the agreement, West said.”This agreement represents a very positive deal for the city and residents of Vallejo,” Police Chief Robert Nichelini said in a statement.  “It will allow the department to manage staffing and service levels while maintaining wages and benefits at a level necessary to recruit and retain officers in a very tight police labor market,” Nichelini said. As a result of the agreement, Vallejo will withdraw its motion to reject the Police Department’s existing, unmodified collective bargaining agreement and the police union will withdraw its challenge to the city’s eligibility for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.A hearing in bankruptcy court in Sacramento is scheduled for Feb. 3 on the city’s bid to the reject collective bargaining agreements with the firefighters union, electrical workers and administrative, managerial and professional employees association. Vallejo officials said one reason the city filed for bankruptcy is because public safety expenses comprised 75 percent of its general fund budget.A negotiating session with the firefighters union on its collective bargaining agreement is scheduled for today, West said, and the city is hopeful it can reach agreements with the three other unions.Mayor Osby Davis said he voted to approve the agreement because “it is good for the community.”  Councilwomen Stephanie Gomes and Joann Schivley voted against the agreement.On her Web site, Gomes said, “I wish the VPOA would have agreed to this deal two years ago, even one year ago. As it stands now, though, it’s simply not enough.”Gomes said she voted against the agreement because it does not require the police union to pay a portion of their health care premiums, police are guaranteed raises during the current recession and the city agreed to pay the union’s attorney fees if the city can’t meet the promises in the agreement.Gomes also said she objects to the “piecemeal process.””Until we know what the other employee groups will agree to, we should not be signing any agreement,” she said.Mustard said this morning the police union has made “huge sacrifices” and given money out of its members’ pockets to the city. “If when we’re due a raise and if the city doesn’t have the money, then we won’t fight to prevent layoffs,” Mustard said. There were 147 members on the police force a year ago and there are now 115, Mustard said.

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