Archive for March, 2021

After shooting into family’s home and stand-off barricaded Antioch gunman arrested Friday night

Saturday, March 27th, 2021

Antioch Police SWAT members on the scene with the department’s MRAP armored vehicle on Friday, March 26, 2021. Photos: APD

Both SWAT and Crisis Negotiating Team called to scene, K9 officer locates suspect in bathroom

By Acting Sergeant James Colley #4705, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On Friday, March 26, 2021, at approximately 11:00 p.m., Antioch Police dispatch received calls of shots fired at multiple addresses in the 2200 block of Mandarin Way in the Sycamore area of the city. Upon arrival, 0fficers determined a 39-year-old estranged family member had arrived at one of the residences unannounced. The suspect was acting paranoid and without explanation began firing shots inside of the house which also penetrated the neighboring residence. Officers were able to safely evacuate the family members and learned the suspect was still inside the house armed.

After surrendering the gunman was attended to by Con Fire and medical personnel before being transported to an area hospital on Friday, March 26, 2021. Photos: APD

A perimeter was set up and nearby residences were evacuated for safety. As a result, a SWAT call out was initiated as well as the Crisis Negotiating Team (CNT) response. The SWAT team responded with their Rescue Vehicle, which allowed for safe deployment of officers and provided ballistic cover in the event of gunfire from the suspect.

The gunman’s weapon and magazines. Photo: APD

Attempts to contact the barricaded suspect were initially unsuccessful. The SWAT team was able to have UAV Operators visually clear most of the residence with UAV’s. A police K9 located the suspect locked inside of a bathroom, but he refused to surrender. Antioch Police Crisis Negotiators attempted to establish communication in order to get the suspect to surrender, but he continued to refuse. Eventually the SWAT team deployed chemical agents through the bathroom door. The chemical agents were effective, and the suspect eventually surrendered and was taken into custody without further incident or use of force.

The suspect was identified as Sudan Holland. He received medical treatment at a local hospital for chemical exposure and was booked into Martinez County Jail.

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Oakley resident Tim Herode launches campaign for governor to “restore California”

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Tim Herode speaks at his campaign launch in Byron on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Photos by Allen Payton

“Together we will listen and act with integrity, transparency and accountability. Three things we haven’t had for a while.” – Tim Herode, candidate for Governor of California

By Allen Payton

On Thursday, March 18, 2021, Oakley resident Tim Herode announced the launch of his campaign to be the next governor of the Golden State with the theme “Restore California”. With about 50 people in attendance at Campos Family Vineyards in Byron, the candidate gave his reasons for running and why he should replace the incumbent, Gavin Newsom who is most likely facing a recall election, later this year. Herode vowed to return integrity, transparency and accountability to state government.

He was introduced by Michelle Campos, owner of the venue.

Tim Herode, (center front) is surrounded by his youngest son Nolan (left), daughter Hannah, wife Heather (back right) and oldest son Mitchell. Photo from the campaign Facebook page.

“We’re going to have an amazing night, tonight,” she said. “He is a man of faith. He wants you to know that he is not a politician. He’s a businessman. He’s a family man. He’s a pastor. He has a huge heart for we the people. He cares about you. He cares about this great state and he cares about restoring California back to a righteous government.”

“We can tell you with 100 percent assuredness, he operates his life with integrity, transparency and accountability and I think you can agree with me that’s what we need in our state, right now,” Campos said.

Before beginning prepared remarks, the 49-year-old internet technology professional was joined on the stage by his wife, Heather and their three children, Hannah, Mitchell and Nolan.

At one point during Herode’s speech he said, “If the truth hurts it’s going to be a painful night,” and “I’m not here to be your politician and if you think that you came to the wrong party. I’m here for we the people. We are going to restore California.”

Digital signs on the wall behind the stage where Herode spoke showed messages of “Restore California” and his campaign logo with the message at the bottom of “A Hero for California.”

Digital Signs at Herode’s campaign launch show his campaign theme and slogan.

Following are the prepared and live remarks from Herode’s campaign announcement speech: (see video)

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for attending this very important and exciting official announcement to launch my campaign for Governor of the State of California. I believe in ‘We The People of the State of California, grateful to the Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution,’ our pre-amble to this great state.

And We The People, need to take the power out of government and bring such power back into our hands.

What does that mean to me? What does that mean to us as a state of great people?  Is to encourage and protect the truth.

California citizens have been confined to their homes for over a year, their children under educated, small businesses have closed or moved, suffered loss of life and possessions from lack of forest management, the jobless have been deprived of unemployment insurance, while thousands and thousands of prisoners were released from prison in the name of COVID-19, and now our EDD has suffered a $30 billion loss.

The audience inside the Campos Family Vineyards event center for the Tim Herode for Governor campaign launch.

While the lockdowns have been mandated by our current Governor and his administration, record executive orders have been made with the absence of legislative over site and most of all without the voice of We The People.  During this dire period, the current governor and fellow health advisors were dining in at one of the most expensive restaurants of the Napa Valley without masks. Our current governor and many others from his team, while mandating school closures causing many parents to quit their jobs.

In addition, homelessness grows, taxes and fuel costs continue to increase, wildfires have destroyed homes, businesses and family memories all while politicians fatten their wallets and boost their careers by answering to the “big donors” known as lobbyists.

Let’s talk about schools. Our current governor supports being indoctrinated instead of honest education and has proposed a $6.6 billion plan.  Schools should not open with political agendas.  With our current state funding, education and where a student attends school should be a parent’s preference.

Tim Herode signaled to the audience each time he said “we the people”.

We will work to develop a plan to reform California education that educates our children for their future rather than indoctrinating them for politically driven social correctness.

We will eliminate hidden agendas, the portals of evil, and stop the destructive redirection of our Delta water resources being re-routed to southern California lawns, through the process of desalination plants to not only produce water for consumption, but to also save the livelihood and lives of millions of Californians, including our first responders.

By utilizing the desalination plants as water resources for forest management, this process can contain fires before they reach our citizens.  We do not want another ‘Red Dawn’ do we?

We will begin a responsible, strategic and timely audit to end irresponsible government spending and fearlessly work to redirect those funds to offset unnecessary taxation of our citizens including our cities that are in desperate need of infrastructure upgrades.

We will implement a homelessness task force that will work with local non-profit organizations. This will help to restore the willing back to work yet, end government assisted drug use.  This will include cleaning up our homeless encampments that have turned the image of our state into that of a third world country.  In addition, we will create new and enforce effective laws to prevent panhandling and homeless citizens from infiltrating business districts.

We will create change and mandates to bring back law and order to illegal immigration, where thousands are crossing our California borders each day. And the cost, anger and despair we are paying in being a Sanctuary State.”

“Why should people be able to come into this country or this state and not live by the same laws we do?” Herode asked.

“We will have a new plan to support pro-life policies that will listen from the heart and preserve the importance of life to our future generations,” he continued. Regarding abortion and having a prolife position Herode asked, “How many amazing people are gone that we never knew?”

“And to include and with the utmost importance, to implement a ‘We The People’ committee that ensures your voices will be heard by organizing county by county, governor’s meetings to discuss the most relevant and important concerns,” he continued.

“When is the last time you got to sit down and talk with your governor?” Herode asked. “We’re going to make face to face encounters with you, from the heart. Not based on how much you donate to my campaign. I don’t care what color you are. I don’t care what your belief. I’m going to serve you.”

“Together we will listen and act with integrity, transparency and accountability. Three things we haven’t had for a while,” he added.

“In the words of our former Governor of California and eloquent President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, ‘We believe in work, family, religion and the freedom that God places in each of us.’”

“In closing, I am not here to be your politician, I am here for you, to be fully ordained by We The People. I’m not here to be a politician. I’m here to help people.” Herode said to cheers from the audience. “I’m not here to be your politician and if you think that you came to the wrong party. I’m here for we the people.”

“We are going to restore California,” he concluded. “Thank you and God bless each and every one of you for being with us, tonight.”

Herode then answered a few questions from the audience before spending the rest of the time speaking one-on-one with those who attended.

According to his LinkedIn page, Herode is a “dedicated, passionate and innovative Information Systems Strategist” and “has more than 20 years of experience in various roles in Information Technology” as a business owner, in project management, system maintenance, helpdesk management, multi-site network management, procedure implementation, and international security development [I.T.A.R].” A “methodical leader” Herode “has provided strategic consultation and IT services, successfully managed and executed IT projects; conducted system installations and configurations, and spear headed regional security policy development.” An “intrapreneurship-driven professional”. he “has built strong relationships throughout his career with the purpose of building trust and a life-giving business atmosphere.”

For more information about his campaign visit www.TimHerode.com or his campaign Facebook page.

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Antioch Police seek public’s help in March 9 drive-by shooting attempted murder of two men

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Security camera video screenshots show vehicle of interest at the scene of the March 9, 2021 drive-by shooting attempted murder of two young men. Photos: APD

Release photos from security camera video of vehicle of interest at the scene

By Detective Tom Smith #5376, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

Antioch Police Investigators are asking the public for help regarding the March 9, 2021 attempted murder (shooting) of two adult males in the 2100 block of Aspen Way. During the investigation of this case, surveillance video showing a vehicle of interest was obtained. The vehicle appeared to be a dark blue 4-door Hyundai Sonata, with significant passenger side damage. Additionally, it appeared as though the rear driver side brake light may be nonoperational. (See related article)

The Antioch Police Department is seeking information regarding the attempted murder, as well as information about the vehicle of interest.

Numerous officers responded to the scene and located a sedan stopped in the street with several bullet holes in it. The vehicle was unoccupied. Officers quickly learned that the vehicle was occupied by two male victims who were wounded and fled to a nearby residence. The suspect(s) responsible for the shooting fled the scene in a vehicle and were not located.

The victims, 21 and 22 years old, were found to have both been shot. Officers immediately began providing first-aid and called for emergency paramedics. Ultimately, both victims were transported to local area hospitals. One was transported by ambulance, and the other was transported by helicopter.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Tom Smith at (925) 779-6876 (tsmith@antiochca.gov). You may also send an anonymous text tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Two-car, rollover crash in Antioch Friday morning looks serious but no major injuries

Friday, March 26th, 2021

The two cars involved in the accident Friday morning, March 26, 2021. Photos: APD

Con Fire personnel on the scene. Photo: APD

By Antioch Police Department

Folks, please slow down and avoid driving distracted on our roadways. Officers just cleared the scene of a two-vehicle collision at James Donlon Blvd. and Gentrytown Drive. One vehicle ran the red light, but despite what the photos suggest, there were no major injuries. Further proof that seatbelts save lives.

Special thanks to personnel from the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and AMR Contra Costa County for their rescue work at this scene.

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Tulare couple sentenced for 2019 road rage murder of Oakland man in Antioch

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Defendants Tearri Richard and Lakia Poles. Photos by APD

Life in prison for him, 25 years to life in prison for her

Antioch Police forensic artist’s sketch helped lead to their arrest

By Allen Payton

Homicide Case Update: Defendants Tearri Richard and Lakia Poles were sentenced on Friday, March 26, 2021 in Contra Costa County Superior Court for the road rage murder of 57-year-old Oakland resident Raul Garcia in Antioch on Sept. 1, 2019. (See related articles here, here, here and here)

Defendant Richard was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and defendant Poles was sentenced to 25 years to life. Both defendants were age 26 at the time of the murder and will serve their time in state prison. DDA Aron DeFerrari prosecuted the case on behalf of the People.

“Raul Garcia, the man Tearri Richard and Lakia Poles viciously murdered over a traffic dispute, received justice today,” said DDA DeFerrari. “It is unfathomable that a man’s life could be taken over disagreement about a lane merger that didn’t even result in a collision, yet defendants Richard and Poles hunted Raul Garcia down in the street and killed him for something that trivial; they both deserve the life sentences they were given.”

“The justice achieved today was only possible due to the outstanding investigation by the Antioch Police Department and their top-notch Detective Division,” he added.

APD forensic artist, Detective Joeng and sketch of Tearri Richard. Source: APD

On their Facebook page on Sunday, March 21 the Antioch Police Department posted praise for their sketch artist that helped lead to the couple’s arrest:

“On September 1, 2019, Raul Garcia was murdered after a road rage incident in Antioch. Members of the APD Investigations Bureau began investigating the case and learned of a witness to the incident. Detective Jeong (who is a forensic sketch artist) met with the witness and developed a sketch of the suspect. In the following weeks, detectives obtained additional evidence which led to the arrest of Tearri Richard and Lakia Poles. On November 24, 2020, a jury found both Richard and Poles guilty of murder. Last week, Richard was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, and Poles was sentenced to 25-years-to-life. As you can see, Detective Jeong has a special talent in the field of forensic sketches, and we are very lucky he is a member of our team.

The Antioch Police Department will not tolerate violent crime in our city and works hard to achieve justice. We do this not just for our community, but also in memory of those who are lost to senseless violence. We are grateful to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, especially Deputy District Attorney Aron DeFerrari, for his tireless prosecution of this case.

On behalf of the men and women of APD, we express our condolences to the Garcia family.”

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Two residents rescued as Antioch apartment fire claims life of dog Tuesday

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Photos: Con Fire

By Con Fire PIO

Con Fire firefighters rescued two residents from fully involved apartment fire in the 2800 block of Gentrytown Drive in Antioch Tuesday morning. Both were transported to hospital for smoke inhalation. Fire contained to one unit, which is total loss. One dog died in blaze. Fire under investigation. #gentrytownic

 

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Contra Costa Probation Department eliminates collect calling for detained youth

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

The Contra Costa County Probation Department has permanently eliminated collect calling for youth detained at the Glenn A. Davis Juvenile Hall in Martinez, and Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility in Byron. Rather than continuing the practice of charging recipients when a youth makes a call, the Department will now absorb those costs.

“Our primary goals are harm reduction and removing barriers to success for our clients and their loved ones,” said Chief Probation Officer Esa Ehmen-Krause. “Eliminating this additional financial burden and creating a pathway for increased communication with loved ones is the right thing to do.”

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has consistently demonstrated support for justice-involved youth and families. A moratorium was issued in 2016 on the assessment and collection of juvenile probation fees. In 2017, the Board took further action to permanently repeal these fees, and discharge any outstanding fees owed. These forward-thinking actions were ahead of Senate Bill 190, which required counties to eliminate juvenile fines and fees in 2018. This legislation did not include collect calling.

In these challenging times, it’s more important than ever that everyone stays connected to their families, especially youth, and I applaud the Probation Department for making it easier on families as we pursue the ultimate goal of reunification and living a healthy life,” said Diane Burgis, Chair of the Board of Supervisors.

Additionally, in response to the public health shelter in place order, the Department began utilizing video visitation in 2020, which has created the ability to offer more frequent contact between youth and their family members. The Department plans to continue this service, also provided at no cost, even after on-site visitation resumes. Video visitation affords family members who may have transportation challenges or mobility concerns with another resource to maintain contact with their loved ones.

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Supervisors reverse Planning Commission decision on East Contra Costa cannabis micro plant farm

Thursday, March 25th, 2021

Diablo Valley Farms indoor cannabis cultivation site plan.

Bay Point Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project moves forward

Honor Deer Valley High student, other winners of annual Poetry Out Loud competition

Closeup view of greenhouses.

By Daniel Borsuk

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to permit longtime Brentwood grower Bob Nunn and land planner Lisa Borba, who also serves as a Contra Costa Water District commissioner, to proceed and develop two 10,000 square foot indoor cannabis cultivation greenhouses at 4425 Sellers Avenue over the objections of residents. DVF Business Proposal

According to the conditions of approval for the project, the use “permit is for the commercial cultivation of cannabis micro plants only” and “no mature cannabis plants are permitted on the site at any time.” DVF Findings & Modified COAs 03152021

The supervisors’ action reverses a January 27th county planning commission decision that had negated an earlier approval of the proposed cannabis development in Eastern Contra Costa County that had proposed only one 10,000 square foot greenhouse.

During the hearing, supervisors listened to six unidentified speakers oppose the proposed Diablo Valley Farms project on grounds it is nearby a youth center and it will breed crime, noise and odor problems into the environment.

In a Feb. 8th letter from attorney Shawn J. Zovod, the developers Robert Nunn and Borba, and addressed to Contra Costa County Planner Joseph Lawlor, Zovod wrote: DVF SZovod Appeal Letter 02082021 SZovod 030521 Letter to JLawlor Project Planner

“The owner of DVF, Robert Nunn, and the applicant, Lisa Borba (collectively “Applicant”) appeals the CPC decision on the following grounds:

  1. The CPC decision to deny the Permit was based on an erroneous finding that Sunset Park is a “youth center.” This finding is not supported by the evidence and provides grounds for appeal under Code Section 26-2.2404c (3) Sunset Park is a park and is not a youth center within the meaning of the Cannabis Regulation and Section 11353.1 of the California Health and Safety Code…The CPC’s finding that Sunset Park is a “youth center” and thereby a Protected Use is not satisfied by evidence and is a gross misinterpretation of the Cannabis Regulation.
  2. “…. Denial of the permit based on an inaccurate and inconsistently applied reading of the requirements of the Cannabis Regulation is denial of equal protection. The CBO cannot turn its back on the laws that it adopted after years of careful consideration. Appellant has invested significant time and tens of thousands of dollars in reliance on the county’s application of its standards on a fair and equitable basis.

Appellant requests the Board of Supervisors uphold this appeal of the CPS, reinstate the Permit as approved by the Zoning Administrator, and decline to add any additional conditions requested by the City of Brentwood to the Permit.”

While supervisors heard from six unidentified Brentwood residents about concerns that the proposed Diablo Valley Farms project will produce crime, odor and noise, Brentwood Police Chief Tom Hansen said the proposed development will bring more “serious crime” to the city and his “officers will be in grave danger.” The police chief recommended that supervisors keep the county planning commission’s January decision intact.

Board Chair Diane Burgis of Brentwood turned the table when she recommended that supervisors reverse the county planning commission’s January action and to approve the Nunn/Borba project.

“They have made it clear there will be no plants of value,” said Burgis. “There will be security. There will be no cash on site. The permit will be valid for five years.”

Supervisors approved the permit on a 5-0 vote.

Approve Engineering Contract for Bay Point Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project

Supervisors approved a $590,000 contract with MNS Engineers, Inc. to provide consulting services with the county Public Works Department for construction management services for the Bailey Road/State Route 4 Interchange Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project for the period March 23, 2021 to June 30, 2022 in the Bay Point area.

The project consists of constructing a retaining wall, widening the State Route 4 westbound diagonal off-ramp, installation and modification of traffic signals, removal of the SR4 westbound loop off-ramp, storm drain modifications, and installation of sidewalk along Bailey Road.

Funding for the project is from the Active Transportation Program (ATP), Bay Point Area of Benefit, Navy Mitigation Funds, Contra Costa County Measure J transportation half-cent sales tax, and the state gas tax.

Recognize 2021 Poetry Out Loud Winners

Supervisors passed a resolution honoring Pinole Valley High School Senior Jermaine Gitana who won first place honors in the Contra Costa County Poetry Out Loud 2021 Competition. Gitana topped second place winner Esmeralda Noyola, a junior at Antioch’s Deer Valley High School, and third place winner Tessa Brubaker, a junior at San Ramon High School in Danville. (See related article)

Initiated by the National Endowment for the Arts and run by the California Arts Council in the state and locally by the Arts and Culture Commission of Contra Costa County, the program, now in its 14th year, engages high school students in the presentation of poetry through memorization and performance.

Almost 1,000 viewers watched the students’ recitations that were viewed at the Virtual Screening and Awards Ceremony Facebook Live event.

Recognize Melody Hung-Fan and Eric Moe for Years of County Service

Supervisors passed two resolutions recognizing the years of service for Melody Hung-Fan, director of the Contra Costa County Public Health Laboratory, and Eric H. Moe, a 35-year Contra Costa County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office expert in automation and streamlining workflow of default-tax procedures.

Ms. Hung started her career at CCCPH in 1988 as a public health microbiologist and rose through the ranks to become director of the Public Health Laboratory in January 2013 where she has spent the last eight years planning, evaluating, organizing, and directing all activities and staff of the CCCPH.

She became a licensed Public Health Microbiologist (PHM) through the California Department of Public Health in July of 1988 after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Services and a Master of Public Health, both from the University of California at Berkeley.

Ms. Hung has been recognized for her background in research through the publication of various abstracts and journal articles, the most recent including articles published by the American Society for Microbiology, entitled: “A Population-Based Surveillance Study of Shared Genotypes of Escherichia coli Isolates from Retail Meat and Suspected Cases of Urinary Tract Infections.”

Her work has been credited in all phases of creating, running, and evaluating testing procedures for a variety of public health issues including HIV, West Nile virus, Zika virus, Influenza, SARS-CoV-2 and other diseases.

Moe is retiring from a long career in the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Officer where he became an expert in defaulted=tax collections, bankruptcy claims, and the annual sale of properties subject to the Tax Collectors Power to Sell. He began his career with the county in 1986 as a Clerk-Beginner. He rose up the ranks and his major accomplishment include automating and streamlining workflow of default-tax procedures to more accurately and expeditiously address and manage the many accounts that transfer to the Redemption or delinquent Secured tax roll annually, and the documenting and re-organizing of standard operating procedures of the tax-default program into a comprehensive electronic manual.  Moe has also been helpful in assisting the California State Controller’s Office with review and feedback to the “Annual Pre-Notice Guide”, the “Review and Taxation Code,” and “The County Tax Collectors’ Reference Manual.”

County Awards Contract to Labor Attorney Kramer

Supervisors awarded a contract with labor attorney Karen Kramer, who is not related to Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer, for workplace investigation and workplace legal advice.  Ms. Kramer specializes in employment law and litigation. She will be of assistance to the County Counsel in the county’s workplace investigations.

Kramer Workplace Investigations will bill the county at an hourly rate of $325 for legal and investigatory services and $400 per hour for testimony.

She is not related to Assessor Kramer, who last November had misconduct charges dropped against him by Superior Court Judge John Cope for accusations of making sexual comments to employees and at least one ethnic slur to a co-worker.

Approve Property Cleanup Cases in Oakley, Martinez and El Sobrante

Supervisors approved three abatement cases. No public speakers were heard on the cases.

The biggest case totaling $38,056.20 was charged to the owners of 2600 Dutch Slough Road in Oakley. The residential property is jointly owned by Darlene Joy Gargulia, Nguyen Ha and Long Hoang Le.

Another residential abatement action costing $4,306.70 occurred at 5321 Alhambra Valley Road in Martinez.  The property is owned by Carol M. Gainey.

Supervisors approved abatement action totaling $4,296.70 at 3870 Valley Lane in El Sobrante. Greg Fremont Livermore is owner of the property.

 

 

 

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