Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Oakley man suspected in attempted Byron homicide arrested in Antioch Tuesday

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Antonio Morales in custody. photo courtesy of CoCoSheriff

The suspect wanted in connection with a recent attempted homicide in Byron is now in custody. 22-year-old Antonio Morales of Oakley was arrested on Tuesday in Antioch by a U.S. Marshals Task Force that worked in conjunction with Office of the Sheriff Detectives.

On September 2, 2017, Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to a report of a shooting on the 3000 block of Taylor Road in Bryon. Callers also reported an unknown suspect speeding through a parking lot with his vehicle aimed toward a group of people. The vehicle, a Nissan Maxima, reportedly struck numerous people and that several people were injured.

The suspect vehicle fled the scene. Deputies determined two people were hit by the car. They were treated and released from the hospital. Detectives later identified Morales, the driver, as the suspect.

On Wednesday Morales was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility on two counts of attempted murder and one count of assault with a deadly weapon. Morales is being held in lieu of $2,310,000 bail.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to contact the Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600 or call the anonymous tip line at (866) 846-3592. Tips can also be emailed to: tips@so.cccounty.us.

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High-speed chase of stolen car starts in Pittsburg ends in Antioch Wednesday night, suspect surrenders

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

The suspect’s vehicle with the front tires blown out in the intersection of Lone Tree Way and Bluerock Drive/Golf Course Road, Wed. night Sept. 20, 2017. photos by anonymous Antioch resident

Drove wrong way down city streets

By Allen Payton

A high-speed chase on Wednesday night at about 7:30 p.m. ended in Antioch at the intersection of Lone Tree Way and Bluerock Drive/Golf Course Road.

Antioch Police assisted after the fact.

According to Acting Sgt. Mike Mortimer of the Antioch Police Department, the pursuit was initiated by County Sheriff’s Deputies and Pittsburg Police joined in. The driver of the car ran it into a curb and blew out his front tires, then drove the car into the intersection of Bluerock Drive. He then got out of his car and onto the ground in the arrest position.

However, according to Jimmy Lee the Sheriff’s Dept Public Information Officer, the Sheriff’s Department wasn’t part of the chase.

“I checked with two station houses and our specialized team. None of them were involved. As far as I could tell we were not involved,” he said Friday morning.

Antioch Police use one of their vehicles to push the suspect’s vehicle out of the intersection.

Friday, 4:40 PM UPDATE: When reached for comment Pittsburg Police Captain Steve Albanese said, “the original incident started around 7 p.m. on Highway 4. One of our units had an alert from our ALPR (Automated License Plate Reader) tracking system that there was a stolen vehicle. They got in behind the vehicle. The car was actually over off Somersville. A small pursuit ensued on some of the surface streets bordering Antioch and Pittsburg.”

“As the pursuit began the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office helicopter came overhead and the vehicle actually started traveling the wrong way down one of the roads,” he continued. “So, all the patrol units backed off. The helicopter stayed overhead with the suspect vehicle.”

“Within a short time, the patrol units kind of trailed the helicopter, just kind of stayed out of the area and let the suspect vehicle go,” Albanese said. “The suspect vehicle became disabled in Antioch with the helicopter still overhead and the Antioch units along with the Pittsburg units moved in and took the suspect into custody without other resistance.”

Details about the suspect were not provided at this time.

Original post – A witness who provided some of the photos and chose not to be identified said, “They had the drug dog out and they rammed him I think from the Bluerock direction. They said it was a hot pursuit. I believe they laid down tracks because his front tires looked blown out.”

Antioch resident Denise Cantrell, who provided additional photos, said it was a high-speed chase that she witnessed on Buchanan at Somersville Road. She took Highway 4 to Hillcrest where she exited and saw a helicopter overhead and followed it down Davison to Lone Tree Way. That’s where she saw the results of the crash from the pursuit that continued onto Lone Tree Way.

See more photos on the Herald Facebook page and please check back later for details.

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Credit card skimmers found at Valero station on Somersville Road in Antioch, Thursday morning

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

By Sergeant Matthew Koch, Antioch Police Field Services Bureau

On Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 11:06 AM, Antioch Police officers were dispatched to the Valero gas station located at 2101 Somersville Road on a report of a credit card skimmer located at the gas pumps. Upon the officer’s arrival, it was discovered a total of six credit card skimmers were located within the gas pumps. Officers have not yet been able to determine how long the skimmers have been in place.

The Antioch Police Department encourages those who have purchased gasoline at the Valero gas pumps using their credit/debit cards to please check with their local financial institutions for any potential theft(s) from the illegal use of their access card. If it is discovered that you in fact suffered a financial loss please contact your local authority to make a report.

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

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

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Antioch Police identify, DA charges suspect with murder in Tuesday domestic dispute turned deadly

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Dominic Griffin. Photo by APD

By Sergeant John Fortner #3264, Antioch Police Investigations Division, Violent Crimes Unit

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 9:54 AM, residents in the 300 block of Lawton Street called 9-1-1 regarding a verbal argument occurring outside between three men. It was reported that one of the men had a firearm and was pointing it at another. Shortly afterwards, several calls came into the dispatch center that gunshots were being fired. (See related article).

After the initial response by the Antioch Police Department’s patrol division, several detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit responded to initiate an investigation into the shooting. Detectives determined that suspect 31-year-old Dominic Griffin was detained at the scene after shooting his 43-year-old stepfather and 24-year-old half-brother.

Detectives learned that just before the shooting, Griffin was in a verbal argument with his stepfather at an apartment complex located on Lawton Street. During the argument, Griffin’s stepfather was joined by his adult son (Griffin’s half-brother) and the group continued to argue. As the argument escalated, Griffin brandished a pistol and fired it several times at his stepfather and half-brother striking each of them several times. Upon being shot, Griffin’s stepfather fell to the ground suffering from mortal injuries. Griffin’s half-brother fled the scene after being shot and called for help at a convenience store located a couple of blocks away. Griffin remained at the scene until police arrived.

On Wednesday afternoon Antioch detectives met with the District Attorney’s Office and presented the facts of the case. After reviewing the case, the Deputy District Attorney filed the following charges against Dominic Griffin: PC 187(a) Murder, PC 664/187 ATTEMPTED MURDER, and PC 12022.53(b) Firearm Enhancement.

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DA’s office expands education outreach on cyber-bullying, campus and online safety for kids

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Starting on September 14, 2017, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office Sexual Assault Unit, in conjunction with the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, expanded an outreach program directed at parents, teachers and students on the topics of cyber-bullying, campus sexual assault awareness and online safety for kids.  The presentations are aimed at educating parents and teachers on new trends involving social media, as well as providing students with information and tools to improve campus safety and prevent online exploitation.

“The effort was started last year, first at DVC,” according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves. “The first presentation in a high school was at Campolindo in Moraga.”

“Since then we’ve been working with police officers and those in our office on the task force,” he continued. “Campus sexual assault awareness is geared toward high school seniors and community colleges, due to the content. The cyberbullying and online safety for kids is for everyone, but mainly targeted to middle school students and parents, with presentations for both,”

“We’ve been working to have somewhere for schools to call to have presentations made for students and parents,” Graves added.

Schools, community organizations and parent/teacher groups who are interested in learning more can call Deputy District Attorney Lauren Whalen at 925-957-8603. 

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Supervisors fund illegal immigrant family aid program to monitor ICE actions in county

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Helps pay for “Rapid Response” inspectors, education workshops, legal aid sessions

By Daniel Borsuk

In response to policies and actions by President Trump and to assist illegal immigrant families “facing immediate separation due to deportation,” Contra Costa County supervisors unanimously agreed to use $500,000 of AB 109 funds to cover expenses and match funds from non-profit organizations for the launch of a Stand Together CoCo pilot project in January. Stand Together CoCo 8_16_17

The proposal by the Contra Costa Immigration Rights Alliance, originally submitted earlier this year needed a total of $1,002,750 for the program. The county will use funds from state Assembly Bill 109 automobile license fee revenues. According to their Facebook page, “CCIRA seeks to end ICE collaboration in Contra Costa and to promote immigrant rights, inclusion and a spirt of welcome in cities throughout the county.” Draft CoCoCo Immigrant Legal & Ed P-ship

The effort had already rounded up $585,000 from six non-profit organizations that will help fund Stand Together CoCo operate during its inaugural year of operations consisting of education workshops, legal aid sessions, and the hiring and oversight of 12 Rapid Response inspectors who will be dispatched around the county to observe and take notes on how United States Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents conduct themselves at arrest sites.

According to the staff report, “The proposal requests that the Board of Supervisors authorize the Office of the Public Defender to establish Stand Together CoCo as a pilot project. The requested allocation is $500,000 in FY 17/18 funding to support operations in the January-June 2018 first phase, with a further commitment that the County will provide $500,000 in annual support in each of fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-20. Working with key local partners, Stand Together CoCo will then use this commitment to generate funding from other public and private sources.”

Presently the program has received letters of commitment from the Y & H Soda Foundation of $275,000, the San Francisco Foundation of $100,000, the East Bay Community Foundation of $50,000, and the Firedoll Foundation of $50,000, and letters of intention from the Richmond Community Foundation of $10,000 and the California Endowment of $100,000.

During the public hearing portion that drew 21 persons speaking in support of the program that Contra Costa County Deputy Public Defender Ali Saidi will oversee, District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen questioned about the functions of the Rapid Response Dispatch Inspectors and whether they would create potential legal problems with the federal government should Rapid Response Inspectors interfere with ICE agents.

“I don’t want to see ordinary citizens getting in the way of the actions of ICE agents,” Andersen said

In the early going it looked like Andersen was going to possibly cast the lone negative vote, but later on she decided to vote along with her colleagues.

“I’m going to take a leap of faith.  I am concerned about public safety,” the supervisor later said before casting a yes vote for the program.

Andersen also voiced concern that this new county-backed immigrant rights program might duplicate services already provided in the county through existing nonprofit organizations like the Contra Costa Crisis Center.

“I don’t want to spend one half million dollars on duplicating services,” said the supervisor who represents a large minority population consisting of Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani residents.

“A Google search doesn’t show what’s really being done,” District 1 Supervisor John Gioia said in response to Andersen’s concern about the potential duplication of legal aid services for immigrants.

Deborah Bernstein of the Jewish Family and Community Services in Walnut Creek said her organization has served 875 county residents seeking immigration legal assistance from January through August.

“These people are living in a high level of fear,” she said.

Since January, Catholic Charities of Contra Costa County has helped 924 people receive legal immigration aid.

“We’ve seen a big increase in people needing help,” said Christopher Martinez of Catholic Charities.

Rubicon Contract Approved

In other action, supervisors approved a $408,750 contract with Rubicon Programs, Inc., an ex-felon nonprofit assistance program, after receiving a letter from Contra Costa Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston that he is now satisfied the one-year contract extension complies with contract protocol.  Last week, supervisors had delayed action on the contract because of the sheriff’s concern that the contract did not go through adequate review by a county contract panel.

The practice of assessing $30 a day cost living charges for juveniles serving sentences at the county’s two juvenile facilities – Juvenile Hall in Martinez and Boys Ranch in Discovery Bay, is over.  Supervisors voted 5-0 to officially end the bill that parents or legal guardian had to pay the county upon the release of their child for the daily living (meals, lodging, other expenses).  Contra Costa County joins other counties like San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles ditching the juvenile hall daily cost of living fee because it is viewed as being financially retaliatory to parents of children in the juvenile justice system.  The county had begun to temporarily cease the billing practice in 2016.

Next week, supervisors will vote on permanently ending the $17 daily electronic surveillance fee of minors in the juvenile justice system.

The county can afford to eliminate the daily cost of living fee and daily electronic surveillance fee because county officials laid off two fulltime juvenile hall clerical positions.

Supervisors also instructed John Kopchik, director of the Conservation and Development Department, to present to the board by next February proposed regulations for short-term rentals in unincorporated areas of the county.  Supervisors especially representing Discovery Bay, Kensington, Alamo, and Black Hawk have seen a surge in short-term rentals that have produced parking, noise and other problems.  County planners will develop an ordinance by examining what other jurisdictions like San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Sacramento and other counties have drafted.

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Contra Costa teens targeted in large-scale voter registration effort

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

25 high schools to hold registration drives

The Contra Costa County Elections Division is coordinating a large-scale registration campaign with 25 Contra Costa County high schools as part of National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 26th.

The Elections Division is providing ready-made registration kits to facilitate on-campus events, which contain everything needed to conduct a registration drive.

In addition to registering 18-year-old students, those who are 16 and 17 years old can also “pre-register” to vote.

“We’re happy to partner with schools across Contra Costa County and help register eligible voters and pre-register soon-to-be-voters,” said Joe Canciamilla, Contra Costa Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters. “As someone who first ran for office at age 17, I can personally attest to the value of registering and becoming involved in the electoral process as soon as one becomes eligible.”

National Voter Registration Day is an annual event to create awareness of voter registration opportunities and to reach those who may not otherwise register.

The Elections Division joins 2,500 organizations across the country in promoting voter registration and celebrating democracy on National Voter Registration Day.

This is the third year Contra Costa Elections has organized National Voter Registration Day efforts with county high schools, and over 1,000 students have registered or pre-registered to vote as a result.

Concord High School civics teacher Andrew Shetterly expressed his excitement, noting that very few of his students are currently registered to vote. “I think it will be powerful to have them all register together. The kits help turn the act of registering into a life event that students can share and it feels official,” Shetterly said.

The Elections Division urges all eligible voters to register or update their registration, which can be done online at www.registertovote.ca.gov.

Interested groups are encouraged to hold their own voter registration events on September 26th. Contact our office at 925-335-7805 for information or visit www.NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org for ideas and details.

National Voter Registration Day is celebrated annually on the 4th Tuesday in September and has been endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State and the National Association of State Election Directors.

Each kit contains:

  • Voter registration cards
  • A voter registration card stand
  • Instructions on completing a registration form
  • National Voter Registration Day posters
  • “I registered to vote” Stickers
  • A table cover
  • Photo props
  • Table decorations
  • Pens
  • Sticky hands
  • A return envelope for completed registrations
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Shoot out results in one death in Antioch Tuesday morning

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

By Sergeant John Fortner #3264, Antioch Police Investigations Division, Violent Crimes Unit

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 9:54 AM, residents in the 300 block of Lawton Street called 9-1-1 regarding a verbal argument occurring outside between three men. It was reported that one of the men had a firearm and was pointing it at another. Shortly afterwards, several calls came into the dispatch center that gunshots were being fired. Witnesses calling in reported that one male victim was down on the ground, one male victim fled the area on-foot, and one male suspect remained at the scene who was armed with what appeared to be a pistol.

Several officers responded to the area and detained one male suspect who complied with police commands. Afterwards, officers began administering CPR to one male victim who was down on the ground. The Fire Department responded and took over life-saving measures, but the victim was mortally wounded and passed away at the scene.

The male victim who fled on-foot ran to a local convenience store and was contacted by police. The victim sustained at least one gunshot wound to the upper torso and was transported to a local area hospital. The surviving victim was admitted into surgery and is currently listed in stable, but critical condition.

At this time, it appears that all the involved parties to this incident have been contacted, accounted for, and/or detained. The firearm allegedly used in this incident was recovered.

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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