Archive for the ‘Police & Crime’ Category

Antioch teen shot, killed on trail Wednesday night, police investigating

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

By Sergeant Tom Fuhrmann, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at approximately 9:14 p.m., Antioch Police Officers were

dispatched to the area of Mark Twain Drive and Ebbetts Way on the report of shots heard in the area. While responding, additional information came in that a subject had been shot on the trail.

When officers arrived on scene they found a 17-year-old male from Antioch suffering from gunshot wounds. The victim was transported by ambulance to an area hospital where he subsequently died.

Antioch Police Investigators were called to the scene and are in the early stages of the investigation into this shooting death.

No further information will be released at this time. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Colley with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6922. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Oakland man rescued from canal in Antioch, Wednesday morning

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

By Corporal James Stenger 3604, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Wednesday, November 23, 2016, at about 7:33 AM, Antioch Police Dispatch received a call regarding a 38-year-old male who jumped into the water district canal to the rear of the Sutter Delta Hospital Emergency Room, near Lone Tree Way at Sunset Lane. An APD K-9 unit was first on scene and contacted the male in the canal. The K-9 officer used his dog leash to attempt to help the male Oakland resident out of the canal.

The ConFire Water Rescue Team arrived on scene and assisted the APD K-9 officer by providing a long pole. They were able to get the male out of the frigid water.

This was a great collaboration between the APD and ConFire. It was determined that the male intentionally jumped into the canal and because of this he was placed on a mental health hold.

This preliminary information is made available by the Field Services Bureau. There will be no further information released regarding this case at this time.

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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High speed driver dies in car crash on Lone Tree Way in Antioch, Friday night

Saturday, November 12th, 2016
Antioch Police investigate the scene of a fatal truck accident on Lone Tree Way near Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, Friday night, November 11, 2016

Antioch Police investigate the scene of a fatal truck accident on Lone Tree Way near Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, Friday night, November 11, 2016

The silver car that was struck by the truck and was forced into the white Honda Accord, in the intersection of Lone Tree Way and the Slatten Ranch Shopping Center entrance, Friday night, November 11, 2016.

The silver-colored car, which was struck by the truck and forced into the white Honda Accord, in the intersection of Lone Tree Way and the Slatten Ranch Shopping Center entrance, Friday night, November 11, 2016.

By Allen Payton

A truck traveling westbound at a high speed on Lone Tree Way near the Slatten Ranch Shopping Center, about 9:30 p.m. Friday night, struck another car and resulted in the death of the female driver of the truck.

The collision occurred at the intersection of the Slatten Ranch center driveway at Lone Tree Way, across from Buffalo Wild Wings, east of the Highway 4 Bypass and west of Slatten Ranch Road. It elicited a large response by both Antioch and Brentwood Police, as well as emergency vehicles. The west bound lanes of Lone Tree Way between Slatten Ranch Road/Shady Willow Lane and Jeffery Way were cordoned off for close to two hours.

According to three witnesses who were sitting on and in their vehicles at the southbound light on Slatten Ranch Road, preparing to turn right, westbound onto Lone Tree Way, saw a truck speed by and collide with another car, forcing it into a third.

“I was on my bike at Slatten Ranch about to turn rift and I saw a Dodge Dakota going about 100-110 MPH driven by a female who looks about 25 years old,” said 18-year-old Tyler Graves, of Oakley, who grew up in Antioch and was riding a motorcycle. “I then rolled forward and watched and just saw dust and glass and saw the truck T-bone the first vehicle; which was grey and shoved it into the white Honda.”

“The truck spun like 360 then rolled,” he continued. “She was ejected and I saw her face down in the grass hill area. The truck was a couple feet away. I don’t think she was breathing at all.”

“I pulled up to make sure these (the grey and white) cars were alright and I went up to see if she was alright and there was no movement,” Graves added. “I asked if the female was dead and the police officer said ‘you’re a smart guy’.”

Bobby Vierra, age 20 of Oakley was traveling with Graves and one other car between his car and Graves’ motorcycle, and was also stopped at the light at Slatten Ranch Road.

“We were leaving and saw the truck hauling through the intersection,” he stated. “Then we heard the loud bang. Then we pulled out and pulled in here (into the driveway of the shopping center). We walked down and checked on the girl and she was laying on the ground.”

“Two officers were already on the scene,” Vierra continued. “I got out of my car and we walked up with the police.”

Cameron Pabst, age 19 of Discovery Bay was driving the car between Graves and Vierra, and saw the truck speed by.

“I said ‘they’re going way too fast’, especially on Lone Tree Way because it’s such a busy street,” he said. “The truck almost went air born.”

The police asked the three witnesses and their friends who were in one of the cars, to remain at the scene. After obtaining their information, the police allowed the young men to leave about 10:46 p.m.

Antioch Police personnel confirmed the female driver of the truck was deceased, and a yellow body bag covering the corpse could be seen near the vehicle. In addition, one officer stated there were two people in the Honda and one person in the silver-colored vehicle. Another witness said they had seen an emergency helicopter land on the other side of the Chucky Cheese restaurant, and someone was removed from one of the vehicles and taken in the direction of the helicopter.

UPDATE: The following press release was issued by the Sergeant Rick Smith of the Antioch Police Community Policing Bureau, Saturday morning at 9:14 AM:

On Friday night, November 11, 2016 at 9:33 PM, Antioch and Brentwood Officers responded to a reported collision involving multiple vehicles on Lone Tree Way at the entrance to the Slatten Ranch Shopping Center in the City of Antioch.  On arrival, it was learned a 23 year old female driver of a white pickup truck had been westbound on Lone Tree Way prior to the collision. She failed to stop for a red traffic signal and collided with a vehicle that was turning into the shopping center from eastbound Lone Tree Way. These vehicles then collided with another vehicle turning out of the Shopping center onto westbound Lone Tree Way.

The collision caused the pickup truck to roll several times along Lone Tree Way and ejected the unrestrained female driver. The female driver and sole occupant of the truck was found deceased along side of her vehicle. The occupants of the other vehicles were transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

The Antioch Police Department Traffic Unit responded and is currently investigating this collision. All names are being withheld at this time due to the nature of this incident and the notification of the next of kin. There will be no further information available at this time. It is suspected that speed and alcohol were involved in the cause of this collision.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Antioch Police at (925) 778-2441. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

See more photos of the accident scene on the Antioch Herald Facebook page.

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Pittsburg High students arrested during large, anti-Trump protest in Antioch, four schools on lock-down

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

Principal marched with them, Pittsburg Superintendent downplays, Antioch Police Chief wants answers

By Lieutenant Tony Morefield #3320, Antioch Police Watch Commander Patrol Division and Antioch Police Chief Allan Cantando

On Thursday, November 10, 2016, at approximately 10:04 AM, the Antioch Police Department received word from the Pittsburg Police Department of a large (Anti-Trump) protest of approximately 200 to 400 Pittsburg High School Students along with their Principal headed into the City of Antioch. These protestors headed through Century Plaza in Pittsburg and into Antioch on Auto Center Way and Sycamore Drive, causing significant hazard and traffic delays in the area.

They then made their way to the Antioch High School campus in an apparent effort to involve students there. Antioch High was placed on lockdown, but this did not stop the protestors from damaging school property (knocking down fences and kicking over trash cans) before leaving that campus and heading toward Antioch Middle School. Antioch Middle was also placed on lockdown as was Live Oak High School and nearby Fremont Elementary School due to the protest, though the protestors never made it that far.

These Pittsburg High protestors continued to cause havoc on Antioch campuses and in the surrounding neighborhoods for over two hours and 15 Antioch Police Officers were tied up dealing with this protest causing a significant strain on resources. Evening shifts to be called in early. This resulted in numerous priority calls for service in the city having to wait for officers to respond.

Three male juveniles, ages 13, 15 and 17, all Pittsburg residents, were arrested during the protest: one for throwing a dangerous object at a police car, trespassing on school grounds and being a disruptive presence at school, one for inciting a fight with an area resident, trespassing on school grounds and resisting a police officer, and one for assaulting a police officer.

There is no estimate on any damage caused to Antioch High or Antioch Middle School at this time. It appears that very few Antioch students were involved in this incident. Most of the Pittsburg High Students eventually walked back to Century Plaza in Pittsburg and a few were rounded up onto school buses and taken back to their campus.

Chief Cantando Responds, Shares Pittsburg Superintendent’s Message

“In a post on the Antioch Police Department’s Facebook page at about 3:30 p.m., Chief Allan Cantando wrote the following:

“Many of you have inundated our department with inquiry regarding the incident on Century Blvd., Sycamore Dr., and in front of Antioch High School regarding student protestors in our city. Your observations were correct. Today, at approximately 10:00 AM students from Pittsburg High School and Black Diamond High School (in Pittsburg) marched to the City of Antioch and blocked traffic, knocked over garbage cans, assaulted one of our police officers, and trespassed at Antioch High School trying to incite Antioch High School students who were in class. As a result, three Pittsburg students were arrested.

The actions of these students caused the Antioch Unified School District (AUSD) to respond by locking down Antioch High School, Antioch Middle School, Live Oak High School, and Fremont Elementary School. During this incident, these students were accompanied by Pittsburg High School Principal, Todd Whitmire. We are still confirming, but there is some indication that this incident began as a rally at Pittsburg High School.

This incident tied up 15 Antioch Police Officers for approximately 2 hours.

During this incident I was in direct contact with AUSD Superintendent, Stephanie Anello, who immediately took a leadership role in assisting our department. During my conversation with Anello, I requested she contact Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD) Superintendent Schulze to send an automated message to the Pittsburg students’ parents indicating that their children were off campus, out of the city of Pittsburg, and involved in a protest in Antioch. Approximately two hours later, the following statement was issued by Pittsburg Unified School District Superintendent, Janet Schulze:

‘This Presidential election has been especially emotional. In dealing with differences and moving forward, we have to respect feelings and work in community. Today some of our high school students, like many across the Bay Area and country, organized, via social media, a peaceful protest and walk-out to protest the Presidential election.

The District always prefers to have all students in class, however, we do understand some students are passionate about the recent election.

Our staff and Pittsburg Police Department followed procedures to insure their safety, which is always a top priority. Some of the students returned to the high school and a group of approximately 200 students headed towards Antioch High School. The District informed Antioch High School and sent busses to pick up students outside Antioch High School.

Unfortunately, a small number of the students were unresponsive to directives to return to school and get on the bus. Another group of students decided to walk back to the high school. Those situations will be managed on an individual basis and students will receive appropriate consequences for their behaviors.

At this time, students have returned to school. We appreciate the professionalism and cooperation of the Antioch High School staff and the Antioch Police Department in working with us and the Pittsburg Police Department to insure all students remain safe.’

Although I appreciate the comments made by PUSD Superintendent Schulze, the statement is extremely brief and does not adequately portray the incident. This incident raises serious concerns as it impacted the police services to our Antioch citizens as well as to the Pittsburg Citizens. Because of the impact to the City of Antioch, I will be attending the next PUSD board meeting to ask several questions including:

1. Was there a school or district sanctioned Anti-Trump rally?

2. Did school or district staff encourage the protest?

3. Was school staff aware the students planned on leaving the campus?

4. Were parents aware that their students would be participating in the rally?

5. When students left the campus, were they supervised? If so, by whom?

6. What is the district policy regarding student to staff supervision ratios during off-campus activities?

7. When the students left the campus, when and how were parents informed?

8. If the students were supervised, will the district take disciplinary action against the students who committed criminal acts?

9. What was the schools plan or policy to deal with a child who may be injured during an off campus protest should it occur?

Lastly, I am extremely proud of our officers, AUSD staff, AUSD students, Pittsburg Police Department, and the citizens who patiently waited for us to respond to their calls for service.”

Antioch School District Message to Parents

Anello shared the message sent out to parents, Thursday afternoon, through the auto-dialer from Associate Superintendent for Educational Services, Dr. Adam Clark regarding the incident yesterday.

Good afternoon,

This morning a large number of students from Pittsburg High School walked out of school to protest. These students traveled on foot to Antioch High School and attempted to convince other students to join their protest. Police from Antioch and Pittsburg were there to ensure that all students remained safe. As a precautionary measure, Antioch High, Antioch Middle, Fremont, and Live Oak all locked down for approximately one half hour. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have further questions or concerns.

Thank you,

Adam

Antioch High Principal’s Message

In an email message to school district staff, Antioch High School Principal Louie Rocha thanked his school’s staff and students for how they responded to the situation and reported that some Pittsburg High students made it onto the Antioch campus.

I want to commend our school staff for their collective effort in securing our campus during the School Lockdown. Thanks to the team work of our site safety security, front office staff, teachers, school administrators and students we were able to prevent our students from being in harm’s way of a large number of Pittsburg High School students who walked out of school this morning and attempted to enter our campus.

There was a small group of Pittsburg students who were able to gain access via the Don Richardson Gym entrance. The non-students ran through the PE area and exited out of campus on to 18th Street. The Antioch and Pittsburg Police Departments arrived on site to prevent the non-students from disrupting our school day. We had a small number of AHS students who exited the main entrance gate to join the unruly crowd. However once I informed them that I was going to lock down the school preventing them from re-entering they decided to return to campus without incident. The Pittsburg High School students continued down 18th and G Streets.

The lockdown continued because the non-students returned back to 18th Street in front of our main entrance and were escorted by the Antioch and Police Departments back to L Street in the direction of the city of Pittsburg. At that point, classes were released to their regular school schedule to their 5th period classes or first lunch.

I am proud of the team work demonstrated today and our students conduct when faced with unruly students from another high school. I am looking forward to the Veteran’s Day Holiday, and wish all of you an enjoyable weekend with your family and friends.

Louie Rocha

Principal of Antioch High School

Another Protest in Concord

At approximately 9:00 a.m. a witness reported a seeing a group of protesters walking on the Olivera Road overpass, above Route 242 in Concord, blocking traffic. They appeared to be of high school age and possibly from Mt. Diablo High School, nearby. A short time later, a police officer said the overpass was cleared, as the protesters had reached the other side, near Glenbrook Middle School.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.

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Antioch Police investigate suspicious death of man found in smoke-filled home, Tuesday night

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

By Sergeant Tom Fuhrmann, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at approximately 8:45 PM, Antioch Police Officers were dispatched to an address in the 2100 block of Manzanita Way on the report of suspicious activity around a vacant residence. When officers arrived on scene they found the residence was filled with smoke. The fire department responded and found there had been a fire inside the residence and they located the deceased body of a male that had been burned. The residence had minor damage from the fire and did not affect neighboring homes.

Antioch Police Investigators were called to the scene and are in the early stages of the investigation into this suspicious death. No further information will be released at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Colley with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6922. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Deputy Sheriffs Association provides last minute attack on Glover over August 1st recommendation letter for friend facing violent criminal charges

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Glover says he thought it was a recommendation letter for a job

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: We have made it a practice of not publishing articles regarding campaigns on Election Day. However, due to the seriousness of the issue and timing of when this information came to light, which we learned of last night, on this matter I am making an exception.

By Allen Payton

In a last minute attack in the campaign for Supervisor in District 5, the Contra Costa Deputy Sheriffs Association (DSA), on Monday morning, sent out a press release expressing concern about Supervisor Federal Glover writing a letter asking for leniency for a family friend facing criminal trial. The DSA is backing Martinez Councilwoman Anamarie Avila Farias in her campaign to unseat Glover.

In his letter sent to the court on August 1st, 2016, Glover “used his status and office to lobby for leniency from the District Attorney and Judge for a family friend arrested after a violent crime spree,” the Deputy Sheriffs claim.

In the letter written on Glover’s official Supervisor letterhead, (see below) he wrote “It is with a great deal of pleasure that I write this letter of support for (the defendant’s name was redacted).”

However, when reached for comment, Glover said he thought it was a recommendation letter for a job.

“This is not uncommon. This is done all the time,” he said.

“It was written over an individual that I’d known and his family,” Glover explained. “I thought it was for a job. It was a very generic letter that we do all the time. I was unaware that it had anything to do with a court case or an incident at a bar, that he was involved in. This was a letter that his father requested it.

“The letter has nothing to do with a court room,” he repeated.

Asked when the Deputy Sheriffs knew about the letter and why it came out the day before the election, DSA President Shawn Welch said, “A citizen came to us who had done a public records request, last month and he sent it to us. I received it last Thursday.”

“We were kind of going back and forth and we drafted a letter and we decided to send it out and we sent a press release, yesterday around 10:00 a.m,” he continued.

“It’s been on our Facebook page, which has gotten over 11,000 reach,” Welch shared. “The guy was arrested in the middle of July and Glover wrote the letter August 1st.”

“We had done all our opp (opposition) research (on Glover) for the IE (independent expenditure campaign) we’re running prior to that,” he added.

Welch provided a copy of Glover’s letter and documents about the charges against Glover’s friend, which can be viewed, here: glover-letter-court-documents

After receiving Glover’s explanation, Welch responded, “The letter was sent to the DA. If I send a letter of recommendation I send it to the person who requested it not the person it is about.”

“Sounds like an excuse,” he added.

The press release had more to say about Glover’s letter.

“In stark contrast to his jovial tone are the suspect’s violent criminal charges. The Supervisor is calling in favors for a suspect arrested after assaulting a man with a firearm, attempting to rob two women at gunpoint, and threatening to kill his victims,” the press release read.

“For Supervisor Glover to lobby for leniency for a dangerous repeat criminal jeopardizes the public and the efforts of hundreds of law enforcement officers throughout the County” said Welch. “The men and women of the Deputy Sheriffs Association have done an excellent job of protecting the people of the County, even during difficult times. Asking a political favor from the District Attorney to be lenient on dangerous criminals makes our job unnecessarily more difficult and dangerous”.

Welch added, “It would be a travesty of justice if Supervisor Glover’s request of leniency resulted in reduced charges for this dangerous criminal. Peace officers did their job in this case, putting a bad guy on trial. A political favor could snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in the war on crime. Frankly, the mere attempt to use one’s position of political power to gain leniency for a violent criminal is inappropriate and epitomizes the disconnect between Glover and the safety of the public in this county”.

“Every politician who lobbies for special leniency for violent criminals in this county can fully expect to be held accountable by the Deputy Sheriffs Association and its constituents. The truth about political lobbying for leniency is that it puts the public at risk. It does not put the public’s safety first and creates a dangerous situation for Deputies”, said Welch.

The press release also stated the “DSA is asking for District Attorney Mark Peterson, the Deputy District Attorneys Association, and the Sheriff to address Glover’s letter, and to reassure the public that political interference from a County Supervisor has no place in criminal justice, and that Glover’s letter will not result in more favorable plea terms for the suspect in custody.

This is only one example why the Deputy Sheriffs Association has endorsed Anamarie Avila Farias for Supervisor to replace Glover. Anamarie Farias’ steadfast support of public safety is the primary reason she won the overwhelming endorsement of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Anamarie has also earned the endorsement of police in Pinole, Hercules, Martinez, Antioch, plus the County Firefighters Local 1230.”

Multiple attempts to reach Glover for comment for this story were unsuccessful before publication time. Disrict 5 includes most of the portion of Antioch north of Highway 4 and west of Highway 160.

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Antioch woman almost hit by driver who struck husband with car, before jumping off bridge in Martinez, Monday

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016
The scene at the intersection of Court and Main Streets in Martinez, following the hit and run of three pedestrians in the crosswalk, Monday morning. Photo by Angrett Davies

Martinez Police Officers, County Sheriff Deputies and ConFire personnel attend to three victims of a hit and run, at the intersection of Court and Main Streets in Martinez, Monday morning, November 7, 2016. Photo by Angrett Davies

Angrett Davies from her Facebook page.

Angrett Davies from her Facebook page.

By Allen Payton

In a post on Facebook, Monday evening, Antioch resident Angrett Davies shared how she narrowly escaped being hit by a woman who drove her car into her husband and two others, outside a family court house in Martinez, Monday morning. A short time later the woman jumped to her death from the Benicia Bridge.

“I praised the Lord for my life tonight,” Davies wrote. “This morning as I went to Martinez family court building, I started praying parts of Psalm 91 for no reason other than I felt the urge to pray. I kept speaking and praying these words as I drove.”

“When my appointment was over, 30 seconds after I crossed the street where the white van is located, the women (sic) waiting at that intersection to hurt her husband saw her husband in the intersection crossing and she hit the gas peddle to run him over,” Davies shared. “I was spared by 30 seconds. I was in the crosswalk she went through to hit him.”

“I cried and sang praises all the way home and cried more when I told my family,” she added. “I am so grateful to God and Jesus. Thank God those people were not killed.”

Davies, who was recently certified as a new chaplain in the county, then quoted verses 3-15 from the passage in the Bible in her Facebook post.

Emergency personnel attend to one victim's injuries at the scene. Photo by Angrett Davies

Emergency personnel attend to one victim’s injuries at the scene. Photo by Angrett Davies

The woman apparently waited outside of the Family Court Center and drove her car into her estranged husband and two others, before later committing suicide by jumping off the Benicia Bridge.

According to a press release by Commander Eric Ghisletta of the Martinez Police Department, “at 10:33 a.m., Martinez Police Dispatch received a call of an injury accident at the intersection of Court St. and Main St. The reporting party advised the suspect had fled in a light blue vehicle.

Upon MPD arrival, several Contra Costa County Sheriff Deputies were already on scene rendering first aid to three injured subjects. In speaking with witnesses, it appears the suspect intentionally struck three pedestrians in the crosswalk and then fled the area. All three subjects were transported to local hospitals with moderate injuries.

It appears one of the victims left a family court hearing at the Family Law Center (751 Pine St.) just prior to the incident. He was accompanied by two friends and as they were crossing the street, the victim’s estranged wife accelerated her vehicle toward the three subjects in the crosswalk. The drive struck all three pedestrians then stopped the vehicle and reversed directions. She struck one of the victims a second time with her vehicle before fleeing the scene.

Approximately twenty minutes later, Benicia Police Department received a report of a female that appeared to have jumped from the Benicia Bridge. Martinez PD, Benicia PD, CHP and the United States Coast Guard responded to the area where they located a deceased female under the bridge. A vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle in the hit and run was located on the bridge in the area where the female had jumped.

Based on all indications, it appears the female who jumped from the bridge was also the driver of the vehicle who struck the pedestrians. Her name is being withheld until positive identification from the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office.

Investigation is ongoing.”

A call to Detective Miles Williamson, who is investigating the case, received a response from Detective Craig Schnabel who said he had no updates, at this time. He has a call into the hospitals but has not heard back and also stated that the woman’s name has not yet been released.

Please check back later for updates to this story.

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Antioch Council hears latest report on crime from police chief, postpones homeless camping ordinance

Monday, November 7th, 2016

chiefs-2016q3-report-part-1-crime-statsBy Allen Payton

At their regular meeting on Tuesday, October 25th, the Antioch City Council heard Police Chief Allan Cantando’s Third Quarter Report on crime and police department activities, postponed a homeless camping ordinance, and some compliments and complaints from a few residents, including a council candidate and his wife.

Extra Mile Day Proclamation

At the beginning of the meeting, a special proclamation was read and presented to a group of Antioch residents for their efforts to clean up the blight in the city.

Mayor Wade Harper read the proclamation declaring Tuesday, November 1st as “Extra Mile Day” was presented to the Facebook group entitled “Cleaning Up Antioch One Home at a Time,” represented by Denise Cantrell, Dale Lutes, Hilda Parham and Lucas Stuart-Chilcote.

“We inherited this from Lori Cook and we just kept on going,” said Lutes.

She mentioned Denise Cantrell, “who’s actually been our hardest worker. We just go out there and clean up.”

Denise Cantrell just said “Thank you.”

Lutes then spoke of Edward Atrim.

“He was the muscle,” she said. “He and his truck were there and his pressure washer, donuts and orange bags from the city.”

Public Comments

During public comments Cantrell then spoke about the trees needing trimming on the trails.

“I’m here asking for help on some of the trails we have,” she stated. “I have sent multiple GO (Government Outreach) requests for the trails.”

She mentioned homeless camping along the trails and asked that city staff “lift the branches up for our kids’ safety.”

“I’ve emailed (Assistant City Manager and Public Works Director) Ron Bernal, (City Manager) Steve Duran, last year and there’s been fires on the Morgan Trail and recently kids doing fireworks,” Cantrell explained. “I’m like the only trimming along Pawnee and leaving them.”

She also spoke of a GO request for trash at a bus stop.

“After six months, Lucas and I trimmed the branches,” Cantrell continued. “The branches are still there. This, our third year trimming the tree and the tree is growing again. I’m hoping Public Works will see this.”

Harper responded with “I will forward this on to Mr. Duran and Mr. Bernal. You really do go the extra mile.”

Resident Valerie Kelley was next to speak with compliments and a complaint.

“I’d like to say thank you to Mr. Duran, (Mayor Pro Tem) Lori (Ogorchock) and (Councilwoman) Mary  (Rocha) for getting back to me and dealing with a problem we have with the homeless,” she said. “I want you to notice. Because Mr. Harper you haven’t called me back. I have called repeatedly. I have called Code Enforcement and all you get is an answering machine and never get a call back.”

“There’s (sic) prescriptions and bottles and bottles of booze,” Kelley continued. “They start fires and I get reported for Spare the Air Day. I’m not burning. Last night the orange glow was on the hill. But no one will go up there. They’re homeless of their choice. They’re out there panhandling.”

“I can’t wait for the day when November 1st comes and the shopping carts will be taken away,” she stated. “It’s right there between View Drive and the middle school. It’s sad this is going on. We have to do more for the homeless. But it’s not working. So I’m asking for your help.”

Harper responded, “I will be getting with you, Ms. Kelly. I have your phone number, here.”

Resident Hilda Parham, said “I’m here piggybacking on the last speaker” and spoke of the trails, as well.

Fred Rouse, candidate for city council, spoke about the current council members and said they haven’t accomplished much. He spoke of “mixed messages and empty promises.”

“Many don’t trust the propaganda and…materials,” he stated. “It doesn’t add up to us and hasn’t added up for a long time.”

Stuart-Chilcote was next to speak.

“This is an important night,” he said speaking of the Extra Mile Day proclamation. “We have put a lot of hours into this city. We have dire love for this city. We really respect the seniority and the members of the Facebook page that Lori has created. We would like to see Public Works do more of what we’re doing. I think the point is…we would like to see a more presence. We kinda feel like we’re by ourselves.”

Tina Chavez Rouse spoke, next giving the council members an earful.

“I’ve had it up to here,” she said. “I’ve been a resident of Antioch for 20 years. Yes, I am the wife of Frederick Rouse. All candidates are not playing fair…many of you are unscrupulous and make backdoor deals…these are lies to the citizens. You must show your true colors and true passion of what you can really do…candor, respect.”

“Sorry to say but I haven’t seen any of this these past four years,” Chavez Rouse continued. “Don’t make empty promises. Listen to the people If you make a mistake admit it don’t make excuses. Honesty is the best policy. Boycotting. That is your way of hurting your chance of getting elected. Collections of past due money owed to the city. I’m quite surprised that the City Manager hasn’t fought and negotiated harder and smarter for our city. My husband has handled millions and billions of dollars.”

She then said she would make further comments to the Police Commission about the CIA and FBI.

“Why did this take until now to come out?” she asked.

Police Chief’s Third Quarter Report

Police Chief Allan Cantando then gave his Third Quarter Report for 2016. chief-cantandos-2016q3-report

“Speaking of volunteers,” he said, “they’re the unsung heroes of our community. We couldn’t do what we’re doing without them, today.”

During a recent news interview he was asked about “the council interfering with my job as police chief. For my happiness, Council does not do that. But all of you have approached me with concerns from citizens that the department has had to address.”

“You’ll see the marijuana that we’re dealing with they’re mostly latent,” Cantando said. “We’ve been very busy with marijuana arrests.”

“We’ve had nine homicides,” he stated. “Two of those were justified homicides, according to the DA’s office. Those are not counted. So we’re sitting at seven homicides.”

“Our calls are prioritized,” Cantando continued. “All calls are important. We will get to all of them. Maybe not as fast as the public would like. But, understand we are rebuilding the Antioch Police Department.”

“We’ve had a 97% increase in proactivity in our city,” he explained. “Every time we are doing these proactive details…and it comes out to about two FTE’s (full time employees). We’re seeing drops in our crime because we have those officers out there on overtime. So we are getting the bang for our buck. Unfortunately, we are having to do this on an overtime basis.”

Regarding response times Cantando stated, “although they’re not where I want them to be they have dropped from 10:06 to 9:52. I went to get down to the nine-minute mark.”

“There were 1,100 cars removed from our streets,” he shared regarding auto abatement. “So we’re seeing a reduction in blight. People say to me, they approach me and tell me they see a difference…and they’re absolutely correct.”

We’re authorized 102 sworn police officer positions,” Cantando stated. “We have 93 sworn on the force. We have four lateral police officers starting Halloween. We’re hiring faster than any department in our county.”

“We’ve actually hired 41 police officers (since Measure C passed),” he said. “But, I can’t control time. We have people who go out on retirement. We’ve had eight people who have resigned. We’ve had to let some people go…a net of 11 officers.”

“They are getting paid while they’re working for us,” Cantando explained regarding the use of Measure C funds. “Having 41 officers on the payroll at different times, it’s going to cost the General Fund.”

“It’s not a matter of getting applicants…but qualified applicants,” he continued. “We’re not just going to put people on the street to say we’ve hired people.”

Cantando then spoke of the PAL Golf Tournament, Legos and the Law and other efforts by the APD, saying “we do a lot of community outreach.”

He mentioned Panther Tails, about how on Thursdays, the Antioch High Cross Country Team takes some dogs out and get them exercise.

“We had the APD Open House, the first one in 10 years,” Cantando shared. “Again, another huge success. It was well over 1,000 people we gave tours to. It was just a great day for the police department.”

He then mentioned the Candy Giveaway at the police facility on Saturday, October 29th. “This Saturday from 2-4 p.m. we will have a Candy Giveaway at the Police Department. They will be able to play on the vehicles we have out there. Rain or shine.”

Harper then asked, “Are we using outside background investigators for the hiring process?”

“We’ve been doing that for about 15 years,” the Chief responded. “If we can’t handle the load, we will bring on an outside contractor. Last year, we spent $14,000 or $15,000 on outside sources. We’re going full speed. I don’t know why that was even brought up.”

“Can you give an example of when a homicide is justified?” Harper asked.

“If a victim being robbed has a weapon and defends themselves and shoots the robber, the DA won’t charge them with a homicide,” Cantando explained.

“Thank you for your report, Chief,” said Wilson. “Going back to your hiring…41 officers with a net of 11. Can you talk about what you’re doing about new hires versus laterals?”

“If you have a service retirement, it’s very easy to say this person is going to retire on this date,” hestated. “But, it doesn’t always work that way.  We are still in the process of hiring police officers. “We can’t hire past the 102 because that’s the allotted number. That’s a council and city manager decision.”

“This council unfortunately has to deal with what councils decided many, many years ago,” Cantando continued. “It’s not because we’re not hiring a lot of police officers, it’s just that we have to hire so many to catch up. We’re doing everything we can with the knowledge we have. We cannot predict medical retirements or if someone is going to make field training or not.”

Wilson then asked about “homelessness and the assignment of two officers.”

“It’s still in process,” he said. “None of the council members have been shy about speaking with me about dealing with the homeless. I’m going to actually dispatch two officers to deal with…homeless, quality of life issues.”

Cantando spoke of “getting people services,” and “If we’re having a rash of a certain crime, they will deal with that.”

Ogorchock said, “Thank you for your report. It shows how hard our officers are working. They’re doing a very good job.”

“There’s a rumor about more CSO’s and less officers,” she said.

“Yes, I have heard a lot of that,” Cantando said with a chuckle. “Volunteers can’t do it. CSO’s can’t do it. It takes an officer to deal with violent crime.”

“Once we get to the 102 officers, if the budget can afford more CSO’s, it’s absolutely needed,” he said. “Resources need to be directed to those officers. I recommend we focus on hiring police officers. Because police officers can do anything a CSO can do.”

Ogorchock asked about license plate readers.

“License plate readers will be up by this Friday,” Cantando responded. “The amount of cars at those four intersections, are as much as how many go through Pittsburg on the freeway.”

“Those are live feed, correct on your phones?” she asked.

“We can set up an app for it,” he saidd. “We only have two (vehicles with license plate readers. The cost is $15,000 per vehicle.”

Asked about the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), Cantando said they have reached out to Maddy’s Fund and they will do it for ARF.

Ogorchock also mentioned the off ramp at Hillcrest and the “no right on read. It’s an accident waiting to happen,”

I agree, said Cantando.

She also asked about the U-turns on A Street near Jack-in-the-Box.

“Is there something we can do to bring awareness to that area?” she asked.

“There is,” he replied. “I will be talking to (Deputy Public Works Director) Mike Bechtold about making the signs bigger.”

Councilman Tony Tiscareno then offered his comments.

“We do not interfere I can honestly say. We let you do your job,” he stated. “I depend on your expertise…and you are transparent.”

“We are rebuilding our police force,” Tiscareno continued. “We aren’t like we used to be 10 years ago. And to have 41 officers hired..I’ve spoken with other cities…they don’t see those numbers. They’re kind of offended we’re taking some officers out of those cities. We can’t force people to stay here. People get sick…retire. I’m very proud of you guys. You’re doing a lot of good work. The crime suppression…I’d like to see that continue. I do understand the criticism. But we do know what you do for our city.”

“The officers are the ones who do the heavy lifting,” said Cantando.

Rocha said, “One thing I like about you and the department is you’ve given it the heart. I like the Legos. I want to see more open houses.”

“In this country it’s different…we do obey our laws,” she continued, then mentioned “the peddlers on the highway. What’s our plan?”

“People who are habitually panhandling on our highways,” Cantando said, and that some “are intoxicated. We do sometimes send them to county jail. They don’t always stay there. That’s why I want two officers dedicated to that.”

“I live in this community, as well, I don’t like seeing it. My family doesn’t like seeing it.” he continued. “Those same types of people are in Walnut Creek, Lafayette. They’re everywhere.”

Harper then shared his thoughts on the Chief’s report.

“We’re all happy with the PD and your efforts,” he said. “We see blight…people panhandling on our offramps…we see the man in an ace bandage in a wheelchair…dancing with his sign. We see him every day. You leave, they come back. They put up a fence by Jack in the Box…to move some of the campers along. We see they’re sharing the wheelchair…a different person in the wheelchair.”

During public comments on the report, Karen Kopps asked about staffing in Animal Services.

“I was happy to see ARF will be coming in next week,” she said. “But I’m a little confused by the information given by the Chief. Has the MOU [Memorandum of Understanding] been signed? If not what is holding that up? If it is signed when will they be coming in to make recommendations? Are they just coming in to making recommendations or are they going to be making changes? Because we’ve had recommendations by experts over the years but they haven’t all been implemented, yet.”

She also asked about “dead on arrival” and transfers of animals.

“How many died in the care of shelter staff?” Kopps asked. “What’s the difference between transfers and rescues?”

Cantando responded, “Yes, the MOU has been signed. They’re coming in on Thursday to tell us the direction they’re going to be taking. It’s still our animal shelter. They are going to be making recommendations. They said they’ll be here for a year.”

“For the last two months people have been complaining we’re not giving it (animal services) enough attention,” he continued. “Well, I’m giving it attention. Now on social media they’re saying we’re giving it too much attention with a police lieutenant.”

Proposed Camping Ordinance

City Attorney Michael Vigilia presented the options for the Council on a proposed camping ordinance, “to address blight issues related to the homeless population.”

The City would be “essentially prohibiting erecting a temporary shelter on public property,” he said. “Other cities have camping ordinances. They’re upheld across the nation. It’s when they enforce them against a certain population” that poses a problem.

“There are a line of cases and a number of courts that have come to the conclusion that a community has to take into account the amount of shelter space when enforcing ordinances,” Vigilia stated. “There’s no definitive court case.”

The city is sorely lacking in shelter space at this time…which would make it difficult to enforce a camping ordinance…as it raises the risk of civil litigation,” he explained. “It certainly doesn’t mean we don’t have options,” and then mentioned “trespassing laws” and “loitering laws.”

“The absence of this ordinance hasn’t really hindered the city’s efforts,” Vigilia continued. “It would just be an additional tool. But, under the current circumstances with the limited shelter space and the uncertainty of the law” it doesn’t make sense to adopt an ordinance “right now.”

So the city can pass one, but “the challenges arise when it comes to enforcement,” he added.

“Do we have a current camping ordinance, right now?” asked Harper

“No,” Vigilia replied.“You run into constitutional issues which you have to be concerned about” when you begin enforcement.

But he said that ordinances dealing with parks that close at dusk or next to railroad tracks, are acceptable.

“Brentwood has one but it’s under its parks ordinance and has to deal with a certain camping permit in their parks. Oakley and Pittsburg don’t have one,” said Vigilia.

Council members then discussed the matter.

“If we only hammer the homeless on camping issues we open ourselves to (legal) exposure,” Harper stated. He agreed with holding off on the camping ordinance.

“I’d still like to see some options,” Wilson stated. “Berkeley has gone through this. I think Martinez has gone through this. I think it’s good to have tools in our tool box. We do have a few individuals who abuse our parks.”

“When I went to the League of Cities and saw the presentation of the three cities, all they’re doing is moving the camps, costing them money, as they move from camp to camp to camp,” Ogorchock said. “I think we need to start bringing pressure on the county to get some funding out here,” and mentioned “working with our sister (neighboring) cities.”

“Law enforcement, Code Enfocement have ample tools to deal with what’s out there, right now,” Vigilia said. “This would be an additional tool when the time is right.”

“I was thinking of four wheels moving around in the city,” Rocha said. “That’s the one we have to deal with causing problems and affecting the environment.”

“The camping ordinances that are out there don’t deal with camping in your car,” Viglia responded.

Rocha said, “this actually is what we’re dealing with is the encampments we’re talking about. Not the four-wheel.”

“I think it’s positive we explore other options,” Tiscareno stated. “There are other cities who have this ordinance. I’d like to know how it’s well received out there. I can agree to…explore some of the options that you can bring back to us.”

Budget Adjustments – More Revenue Than Expected

The next agenda item was a report on a cleanup of the budget since the Council adopted it on June 30, 2016 and contained more good news, with the City received greater revenue than expected.

Budget Amendments were requested by City Finance Director Dawn Merchant

“Revenues are coming in significantly higher than expected,” she said, mentioning an “increase by $941,000.”

But there was also a “reduction in revenues from other agencies by $800,000,” yet an “increase in other revenues of $1 million for reimbursement by the State Water Department.”

“We received…more in property tax…more in business license tax,” Merchant continued. “Per council policy on one-time revenues, 50% of the savings are to be applied to pay down the unfunded liabilities.”

She said the City was “replacing a deficit with a surplus, with the budget amendments,” for this fiscal year.

“It’s important to know to balance the budget even with healthy reserves,” Merchant continued. “Dipping into the fund balance is not a good habit to get into.”

“The General Fund is still projecting a deficit…running out of money two years after Measure C runs out,” she warned. “If Measure C is not extended, the General Fund will lose approximately $7 million per year.”

Harper spoke of being happy about Measure C funds coming in more than projected.

“We’re looking good, today,” he stated. “But we have to look out for the future.

“Very good report,” said Harper. “When are we going to get the results of our audit?”

Merchant responded, “It’s due by December 31st. It will be presented usually the second meeting in January.”

“We get questions about Cost Allocations. Is there a better way to discuss them, maybe pictures?” Harper asked.

Merchant agreed to try to make the Cost Allocation Plan easier to understand.

“I’m really happy…its’ exciting to see the unfunded liability starting to go down,” Ogorchock said. “I know it’s small right now.”

Vineyard Self-Storage

The Council then had a discussion about the Vineyard Self-Storage Facility on Vineyard Drive at East 18th Street and the associated sewer line.

Harper was the only one to speak.

“I’m not in favor of continuing this,” he said. “I think we’ve met due diligence. I think it’s time we approved this project.”

The item was approved on a unanimous, 5-0 vote.

Marsh Creek Corridor

The Council was asked for their support for a multi-use trail along the Marsh Creek corridor. 15-miles long from Clayton to an area just south of Brentwood, connecting downtown Concord to the shoreline in Oakley. While it doesn’t directly affect Antioch, Rocha raised a concern of a potential conflict of interest if the project is seeking money the city might want for something else.

“We always want to be a good partner with our neighboring cities,” Tiscareno said. He also wanted to make sure there wasn’t any fiscal impact on the city.

The City of Concord declined to go ahead with it. They’re currently redoing their bicycle plan, staff explained. Because it isn’t finalized yet they’re reluctant to go forward with support at this time. Clayton and Brentwood both support it.

“I’m all for trails and people be in more walkable communities,” Councilwoman Monica Wilson said, then asked if there is “any potential of any of our trails connecting to this trail?”

“This trail is part of a larger project. The Delta DeAnza trail which goes through Antioch would connect to Oakley.

During public comments, Juan Pablo Galvan, Land Use Manager for Save Mt. Diablo said, “I want to thank you for considering this resolution. We’ve been very enthusiastic about this project.”

“I do know we have a variety of bicyclists in the community,” Ogorchock added. “I do believe it will benefit them in our city.”

“We want to make sure we have good bicycle trails and open space…to enjoy,” Tiscareno shared. “Potentially, where I don’t think we’re going to look at any funding mechanism. We do want to see those trails go through the waterfront. I think this is a good start. I do speak in favor of the motion.”

“Hopefully we won’t have to compete for the same funds, later, for our ferry terminal,” Harper stated.

The motion to support the project passed 5-0.

Council Communications

During Council Communication, Wilson said, “I do have an agenda item request. Can we bring back all of our request list that council members have already put in to make sure we’re within the time limits?”

“We can always ask about that stuff in our one-on-ones,” Harper said. “I’m in agreement.”

The meeting adjourned at 9:41 p.m. The next Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 8th at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers. It can also be viewed either on Comcast Local Cable Channel 24 or via livestreaming on the the city’s website, by clicking here.

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