Oakland man arrested following chase in stolen vehicle from Antioch to Caldecott Tunnel Saturday afternoon

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Screenshot from ABC7 News report of suspect vehicle in the Caldecott Tunnel.

Fought with police; two officers struck, one dragged, another pinned by suspect vehicle; loaded gun, drugs found

By Sgt. Rick Smith, Antioch Police Field Services – Patrol

On Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019 at approximately 2:56 P.M., Antioch Police Officers located a reported stolen vehicle in the parking lot of Sycamore Square, located in the 1000 block of Sycamore Drive. Officers contacted the driver of the stolen vehicle, a 27-year-old Oakland resident, and attempted to detain him. He managed to enter the vehicle and began actively fighting with uniformed officers.

The suspect’s vehicle was blocked in by marked Antioch Patrol Units and he began ramming the stolen vehicle into the patrol cars. One officer was struck by the vehicle while attempting to detain the suspect and dragged by the vehicle. A second uniformed Antioch Officer was struck by the suspect’s vehicle and momentarily pinned between the stolen vehicle and a patrol car. The suspect was able to flee out of the parking lot. The officer in the door had managed to free himself just prior to this. Both Officers sustained minor injuries.

The suspect fled from marked Antioch Patrol units through city streets and onto the freeway westbound, eventually entering westbound Highway 24. The California Highway Patrol took over the pursuit with the assistance of Contra Costa County Helicopter Star 3. The suspect entered the Caldecott Tunnel westbound and collided with two uninvolved vehicles. This disabled the suspect’s vehicle and he fled on foot through the tunnel. A CHP Officer attempted to take the suspect into custody, but he violently fought and managed to break free, fleeing into a neighboring apartment community. As he fled, the suspect attempted to carjack several occupied vehicles.

Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Helicopter Star 3 was able to track the suspect as he fled. With the assistance of CHP, Orinda Police, the CCC Sheriff Helicopter, the suspect was located in a heavily wooded area near Tunnel Road and taken into custody. A loaded firearm was located in the suspect’s discarded clothing, along with a large amount of narcotics for sale in his vehicle.

He was eventually booked into the Contra Costa County Detention Facility in Martinez on a variety of felony charges. No civilians were injured during the collisions.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925)778-2441.You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Publisher @ February 17, 2019

Stained Glass Gospel Play by Antioch director at El Campanil Theatre Saturday, Feb. 23

Posted in: Arts & Entertainment, Faith | Comments (0)

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Publisher @ February 15, 2019

Supervisors appoint nine to 2020 Census Complete Count Steering Committee

Posted in: News, Contra Costa County | Comments (0)

By Daniel Borsuk

At their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors appointed nine persons to serve in At-Large seats on the 2020 Census County Complete Count Steering Committee, a committee designed to set goals and objectives to identify community areas or a population group that might be difficult to count.

Appointed to the committee are Fran Biderman of Kensington, Alvaro Fuentes of Richmond, Samuel Houston of Concord, Melody Howe Weintraub of Lafayette, Terry Koehne of San Ramon, Mark Orcutt of Walnut Creek, Andres Orozco of Brentwood and Ali Saidi of Pinole.

District 3 Supervisors Diane Burgis of Brentwood chairs the committee.

Formation of the 2020 Census Complete county Steering Committee will aid the county is securing up to $362,605 in state aid to support the Complete Count campaign.

Supervisors Support Creation of Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets

On a consent action, supervisors called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to create a statewide commission on recycling markets citing the severity of environmental impacts triggered by China’s National Sword, that nation’s strict mixed paper and plastic contamination policy.

Upon noting that China has recently enacted strict mixed paper and plastic contamination limits and import bans, that are commonly called “National Sword,” China has declared its intent to ban all recyclable materials by 2020.

The board’s resolution states:

“Whereas, local governments across California will soon have to comply with additional state regulations for organic waste diversion and processing, SB 1383 (Chapters 395, 2016) establishes targets to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the level of the statewide disposal of organic waste from the 2014 level by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025.  Infrastructure required to implement these regulations is expected to cost billions of dollars; and

“Whereas, these increased diversion requirements added to recent changes to international policies and a declining global market value for recyclables, has resulted in an issue of statewide concern for the resource recovery industry, local governments, and Californians;

“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Count of Contra Costa calls for the Governor to establish a statewide Commission to address these significant challenges to our recycling markets.”

Victim/Witness Program Post Approved

District Attorney Diana Becton won supervisors’ consent approval to hire a full-time Victim/Witness Assistance Program Specialist in the Human Trafficking unit.  The position will be responsible for advocacy and direct services for victims of human trafficking.  The position’s salary will be $3,992 to $4,853 per month.

Approve $149,869 Payment to Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association

Supervisors also approved the payment of $149,869 to the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association (BASMAA) for services provided to the Contra Costa Clean Water Program during the period July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.  Program funding is provided by the county and 19 cities and towns within Contra Costa County.  Contra Costa County’s share is about $22,500.

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Publisher @ February 14, 2019

3rd Annual Antioch Police Explorers Crab Feed Saturday, Feb. 23

Posted in: Community, Police & Crime, Youth | Comments (0)

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Publisher @ February 13, 2019

Frazier supports Gov. Newsom’s announcements on high speed rail, Delta Tunnels

Posted in: News, Delta & Environment, Transportation | Comments (1)

Assemblyman Jim Frazier

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, released the following statements on Tuesday after California Gov. Gavin Newsom delivered his first State of the State Address before a joint session of the Legislature.

“Governor Newsom inherited a high-speed rail project that is a mess. He showed he is ready to step up and take the reins as a leader, recognizing there needs to be wholesale changes. I appreciate his realistic and common-sense approach to this project.

The governor also has a soft spot in his heart for the intellectually and developmentally disabled and recognizes that we need to step up our game to better support the special needs community.”

The governor also announced he will appoint a new member to the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors, with the expectation the new appointee will become chair. Frazier responded with the following statement:

“I applaud the decision to appoint Lenny Mendonca to the High-Speed Rail Authority Board with the governor’s intention that Mendonca become chairman. An investigation by State Auditor Elaine Howle revealed a pattern of repeated failures at the Authority, under the direction of current Chairman Dan Richard, with hundreds of millions in cost overruns and a lack of honesty and transparency. That is just one reason I have been advocating for a change in leadership. I have high hopes for Mr. Mendonca to lead the High-Speed Rail Authority to complete the scaled down project the governor outlined in his State of the State Address today. A change of leadership at the HSRA was long overdue.”

Regarding Newsom’s announcement on scaling back the twin Delta tunnels to a single tunnel project, Frazier, whose district encompasses a large portion of the Delta, issued the following statement:

“I’m grateful Governor Newsom has been willing to listen to local stakeholders in the battle for the future of the Delta. His unequivocal denunciation of the twin tunnels project is a step in the right direction. I look forward to working with the governor to convince him there are alternative water delivery solutions that are economical and can be delivered in a timely manner, nullifying the need for even a single tunnel.”

Assemblymember Frazier represents the 11th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Antioch, Bethel Island, Birds Landing, Brentwood, Byron, Collinsville, Discovery Bay, Fairfield, Isleton, Knightsen, Locke, Oakley, Pittsburg (partial), Rio Vista, Suisun City, Travis AFB, Vacaville and Walnut Grove.

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Publisher @ February 13, 2019

Antioch man arrested after stolen truck slams into Antioch house following police chase on Sunday night

Posted in: News, Police & Crime | Comments (0)

By Lt. Tarra Mendes, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at approximately 11:33 PM, an Antioch Police Officer spotted a white Ford F250 and determined that the plates attached to it did not belong to that vehicle. The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver fled, leading officers on a vehicle pursuit. The driver ultimately lost control of the vehicle crashed into a residence on Golden Bear Drive.

While attempting to take the suspect into custody, identified as 53-year-old Mark Dickinson of Antioch, he resisted and a police service dog assisted in taking him into custody. The vehicle was determined to be stolen out of Concord. No residents were injured as a result of the collision. The case is still currently under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

See video by NBC Bay Area News, here.

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Publisher @ February 12, 2019

Comedy Show at the Solid Rock Cafe Saturday, Feb. 16

Posted in: Arts & Entertainment, Dining | Comments (0)

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Publisher @ February 10, 2019

Antioch man found guilty of attempted murder of two Antioch Police Officers

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Mario Serrano. Herald file photo.

Shot one officer in the head

By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Office the Contra Costa County District Attorney

On February 6, a Contra Costa County jury found defendant Mario Serrano of Antioch guilty of 13 counts, including the attempted murder of two Antioch Police Department officers, Thomas Smith and Scott Duggar. Serrano used a stolen shotgun to fire at police officers after a high-speed chase on May 4, 2016. Officer Thomas Smith was shot in the head with birdshot as a result of Serrano’s actions. The jury found multiple enhancements true against Serrano, including that he was armed with a firearm and the intentional discharge of a firearm. The jury also determined that Serrano’s attempted murder of the Antioch officers was premeditated. (See related article).

Serrano now faces a possible life term in state prison. Sentencing will occur on April 12, 2019 in front of the Honorable Nancy Davis – Department 20 of the Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez. Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Bell prosecuted the case on behalf of the People. The case originated in the Office’s Community Violence Reduction Unit.

“I am thankful that defendant Serrano has been held accountable for his actions. He endangered the lives of many innocent civilians simply because he believed that his girlfriend was cheating on him. I also commend Officer Smith and Officer Duggar, whose bravery put an end to the defendant’s incredibly violent and senseless crime spree,” stated Deputy District Attorney Kevin Bell.

Serrano’s illegal activity started on May 2, 2016. He parked his car in the drive thru of a McDonald’s in Antioch to annoy his girlfriend who worked at that location. He later returned to the McDonald’s to smash the glass front doors with a lug wrench. After he left McDonald’s he went to the Mt. Diablo Landscape Center on the Pittsburg Antioch Highway where he doused his girlfriend’s car in gasoline and set the car on fire.

Between May 2 and May 4, Serrano broke into a house in Clayton off Marsh Creek Road. The residents were not home at the time. He ransacked the house and stole their shotgun and truck.

On May 4, 2016, in the early morning, Serrano drove the stolen truck and fired four shots at the same McDonald’s. One of the shot’s was fired into the Children’s Playland – no children were inside at the time of the shooting.

He fled the scene and drove to a residence in Pittsburg. He used the same shotgun to fire a shot through the window. Later that day Serrano carjacked a group of high school students and took a vehicle on Cummings Skyway and Franklin Canyon Road near Crockett.

Upon driving back to Antioch in the stolen car, police located the vehicle and began a pursuit. The pursuit continued into Pittsburg as Serrano fled from the officers. During rush hour traffic, Serrano crashed into a car at the intersection of Loveridge Road and East Leland Road in Pittsburg. After the crash, Serrano exited the vehicle with the shotgun and took a position of cover while he waited for officers to arrive. He began to shoot at the officers upon their arrival to the intersection. Serrano shot Officer Smith in the head with birdshot.

The guilty counts against Serrano found by the jury:

Count 1, Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer

Enhancement 1, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm

Count 2, Assault with a Firearm Upon a Peace Officer

Enhancement 1, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm

Count 3, Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer

Enhancement 1, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm

Count 4, Assault with a Firearm Upon a Peace Officer

Enhancement 1, Personal and Intentional Discharge of a Firearm

Count 5, Vandalism Over $400 in Damage

Count 6, Arson of Property of Another

Count 7, First Degree Residential Burglary

Count 8, Petty Theft Firearm (misdemeanor)

Count 9, Driving or Taking a Vehicle Without Consent

Count 10, Shooting at an Inhabited Dwelling

Count 11, Shooting at an Inhabited Dwelling

Count 12, Carjacking

Enhancement 1, Personal Use of a Firearm

Count 13, Fleeing a Pursuing Peace Officer’s Motor Vehicle While Driving Recklessly

Enhancement 1, Armed with Firearm

Case information: People v. Mario Guadalupe Serrano, Docket Number 05-171324-7

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Publisher @ February 8, 2019