Archive for the ‘Sheriff-Coroner’ Category

Pittsburg: 5 die including 3 children in wrong way driver crash on Hwy 4 Wednesday morning

Friday, November 18th, 2022

One victim from Vacaville, four from Vallejo

By CHP – Contra Costa

Early Thursday morning, Nov 17, 2022, at about 12:10 am, CHP Contra Costa was advised of a wrong way driver traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Highway 4 near Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg. The wrong way vehicle, a Hyundai Elantra, continued eastbound in the westbound lanes and collided head on into a Ford Flex traveling in the westbound lanes of Hwy 4, west of Loveridge Road. Both vehicles sustained major damage and came to rest within the westbound lanes.

The driver and sole occupant of the Ford sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene. The Hyundai was occupied by one adult driver and three juvenile passengers, all occupants sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced deceased at the scene.

According to Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office PIO Jimmy Lee, the victims were Lasaundra Goode age 44 of Vacaville and the driver of the Elantra was Tiara Tucker age 27 of Vallejo. The three children in one of the cars was Mariah Mihailovic age 5, Keilani Johnson-Ochoa age 4 and Kaliyah Johnson-Ochoa age 9, all also from Vallejo.

At this time, it is undetermined if drugs and/or alcohol were a factor. For more details see the CBS News Bay Area report about the crash.

This incident is still under investigation. If anyone witnessed this crash, the wrong way vehicle prior to the crash, or the events leading up to the crash, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez at (925) 646-4980. Thank you.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

 

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Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office overwhelmed by concealed carry weapon permit applications

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Photo by CCC Sheriff’s Office

By CCC Office of the Sheriff

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors has recently approved additional sergeant and specialist positions for the Office of the Sheriff. They will be used to help handle the backlog of requests for concealed carry weapon (CCW) permits.

Since the Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen on June 23, 2022, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office has been inundated by requests for CCW permits. The ruling struck down New York’s restrictions on applicants for CCW’s to show a compelling need to carry a concealed weapon in public. That meant that similar restrictions requiring applicants to demonstrate “good cause” in some states, like California, were unconstitutional.

Prior to the Bruen decision, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office would typically receive about 20 CCW applications each month which would be processed by one employee. Since the decision, the Sheriff’s Office has been receiving several hundred applications a month and now has a backlog of over 1,000 CCW applications.

Obtaining a CCW is a multi-step process that requires a detailed application, California Department of Justice fingerprints, background check, interview, and training class. There is also a fee of $160 that is paid after the applicant completes the training class. In addition to new applications, the Sheriff’s Office handles the ongoing renewals for about 500 current CCW holders.

The Sheriff’s Office is now in the process of filling the new positions. We regret the delay and are processing applications as quickly as possible. Click here to Apply for a CCW Permit | Contra Costa Sheriff, CA (cocosheriff.org)

 

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In post of self-promoting comments Thorpe repeats Quinto family’s debunked false claims about Antioch Police officers, in custody death

Saturday, October 8th, 2022

Screenshot of Thorpe’s Oct. 6, 2022, Facebook post of Quinto family comments.

Quinto was not in police custody when he died in the hospital three days later from “excited delirium and prescription drugs”

Antioch Police Officers Association, Mayor Pro Tem Barbanica respond; Thorpe does not

By Allen D. Payton

In a post on his official Facebook page on Thursday, Oct. 6, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe repeated the false claims by the family of Angelo Quinto that he “was killed by Antioch Police” and that his was an “in custody death”. Both claims have been debunked by both the Contra Costa County Coroner and Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, as well as former Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks.

Thorpe posted the glowing comments about himself by Quinto’s mother and stepfather, that include the false claims which read, “‘Mayor Lamar Thorpe has been a courageous leader, helping the city of Antioch overcome a history that has often failed many members of its highly diverse community.

Our son, Angelo Quinto, was killed by Antioch Police in December 2020, soon after Mayor Thorpe was elected. A second in custody death followed closely thereafter. Mayor Thorpe was instrumental in seeking and achieving meaningful reforms, including body cams and non-police mental health response teams, that led to better policing for the Antioch community in an expeditious manner.

As a result of Mayor Thorpe’s fearless leadership, the city of Antioch has reformed or is in the midst of reforming many critical areas. His fearlessness has often made him the target of attacks by members of the community who don’t understand the need or are afraid of the reforms that have been undertaken. He is a forward looking leader who will not be silenced, and is helping Antioch overcome a legacy of exclusion and division, and transform it into a city that lives by its motto, opportunity lives here.’

Cassandra Quinto-Collins and Robert Collins”

The other death they referred to, was of a man that occurred in February 2021 while he was in custody at a local hospital. He was under the influence of drugs, running into traffic on major city streets and attempted to break into a car with the driver inside and had to be tazed by police to subdue him. He was administered NARCAN and later died while still in-custody at a local hospital. (See related article)

March 2021 – Antioch Police Chief: No Knee to Neck, Quinto Died While Not in Police Custody

Yet, during the press conference held about the case, in March 2021, then-Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks said Quinto died in the hospital three days after the incident while not in police custody. (See related article)

At that press conference which Thorpe both attended and spoke during, Brooks said there was no knee on Quinto’s neck by officers and he was not in custody at time of his Dec. 26 death. In addition, Brooks released the 9-11 calls from Quinto’s family to Antioch Police demonstrating the need for the officers’ response to protect the family from Quinto who was harming them. Officers arrived on the scene to find Quinto being actively restrained by his mother on a bedroom floor of the home, Brooks further shared.

In addition, he shared he had “been in contact with the Coroner’s Office and the following four points have been jointly approved by multiple pathologists related to their findings thus far:

  1. Although the decedent had injuries consistent with a struggle with his family and law enforcement, none of the injuries appeared to be fatal.
  2. There were no fractures of the skull, torso, or extremities.
  3. A full examination of the neck revealed there was no evidence of strangulation or crushed airway.
  4. They are currently expanding toxicology testing because they were aware of reported past drug use.”

August 2021 – County Coroner’s Inquest Jury: Quinto’s Death Was Accident Caused by “Excited Delirium and Prescription Drugs”

Then in August 2021, a Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner’s Inquest Jury, after hearing the testimony of witnesses, found that Quinto’s death was an accident. He “succumbed to excited delirium and prescription drugs during the physical altercation with officers, the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office ruled”.  (See related article)

September 2022 – Contra Costa DA Report: Officers Acted In Lawful, Objectively Reasonable Manner

Finally, early last month, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office issued a 39-page, “Report of the Law Enforcement Involved Fatal Incident In-Custody Death of Angelo Voithugo Quinto on December 24, 2020” in which they wrote, “…Antioch Police officers engaged with Quinto in a manner that was lawful and objectively reasonable under the circumstances…an internal examination showed no bone fractures or damage to Quinto’s larynx and trachea…” The report concluded that, “In applying the applicable law and the California District Attorney’s Uniform Crime Charging Standards to the present case, there is no evidence of a criminal offense committed by Officer Becerra, Officer Perkinson, Officer Hopwood, or Officer Shipilov. As such, no further action will be taken in this case.” (See related article)

Thorpe Refuses to Answer Questions, Now Limiting Comments on Official Facebook Page

Questions were sent to Thorpe Saturday morning, Oct. 8 asking, “do you not believe the findings from the office of your political ally, D.A. Diana Becton? Do you not recognize the negative impacts of what you’ve shared on the morale of Antioch Police Department personnel?

Are you not aware that officers who are leaving the department are claiming in their exit interviews that it’s partially and directly related to your attitude and that of your two council colleagues, Monica Wilson and Tamisha Torres-Walker, against them, other APD officers and the department as a whole?”

In addition, posts on his Facebook page show Thorpe only allows select individuals to post comments. Below each post the following sentence can be read: “Mayor Lamar A. Thorpe limited who can comment on this post.”

He was then asked, “Why have you limited comments on this and other posts on your official Facebook page? Are you afraid of reading comments by ang engaging with your constituents who you were elected to represent and serve? Do you not want to know what your constituents are thinking? Isn’t that being cowardly? Who are you allowing and not allowing to comment on the posts on that page? What is the criteria you are using for your selectivity?”

Screenshot of Sept. 2, 2022, Facebook post of APOA statement regarding the CCDA’s Quinto case report.

Antioch Police Officers Association Responds

Asked if he had a response to Thorpe’s post Sergeant Rick Hoffman, president of the Antioch Police Officers Association provided the statement they issued to the Associated Press in September and posted on their Facebook page on Sept. 2nd:

“The death of Angelo Quinto was an unfortunate circumstance and the men and women of the Antioch Police Department continue to pray for the Quinto family. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office has cleared the Antioch Police Officers involved in this incident of any wrongdoing and we believe this is the correct decision.”

Mayor Pro Tem Barbanica Also Responds

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica also responded to Thorpe’s posting of the Quinto family’s comments, sharing the Sept. 2nd post on his own official Facebook page following the announcement by the DA’s office. He wrote, “I want to be very clear that the loss of any human life is tragic. This is not in any way meant to minimize that. This article speaks for itself and I believe that we should wait for investigations to be completed before making assumptions.

Screenshot of Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica’s Sept. 2, 2022, Facebook post regarding the CCDA’s Quinto case report

During this time, so many statements were made by members of the public and elected officials which led many people to believe there was wrongdoing before any formal investigation was complete. I want to point out, that I always understand the emotion and the sense of loss from family members, so this is in no way referring to their response or minimizing their grief. This is about people within our community and elected officials that should know better, that we should wait to find out the facts before jumping to conclusions.

Last year there were even statements published after being made by Assemblyman Gipson of So. CA. that there was an officer that did kneel on Mr. Quinto’s neck for five minutes, giving the appearance that this contributed to this death. This statement was made before any findings were made public.

On 9/3/21, I personally called and spoke with the Assemblyman about this, telling him that I disagreed with his public statement, especially before any findings had been published and that there was no evidence of this. I also brought to his attention at that time, the recent Coroner’s Inquest findings. During that conversation, he told me that he was going to personally call Chief Brooks and apologize for the premature statement and apologize to the APD. With Chief Brooks permission, I supplied the Assemblyman with the chief’s personal cell phone number.

On 9/13/21 I again reached out to him as that call had not yet happened, but he told me that he would be making the call. To my knowledge, that has yet to happen.”

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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Two male inmates escape Marsh Creek Detention Facility Sunday morning

Monday, September 5th, 2022

Escaped inmates Gerardo Ramirez-Vera and Jorge Garcia-Escamilla. Photos: CCC Sheriff

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

Sunday morning, September 4, 2022, at about 11:20 AM, it was discovered that two inmates had escaped from the Marsh Creek Detention Facility (MCDF) located at 12000 Marsh Creek Road.

MCDF is a minimum-security facility that houses sentenced prisoners and those who are facing lower-level charges that would likely result in a sentence served locally.

An emergency count was conducted, and a comprehensive search of the facility and the immediate area was carried out. Law enforcement agencies in the area were notified and an alert was sent to residents in the area.

The two are identified as:

33-year-old Gerardo Ramirez-Vera of Richmond. He was sentenced on weapon, burglary, and vandalism charges. He was due to be released in the first week of January 2023.

28-year-old Jorge Garcia-Escamilla of Pittsburg. He was being held on charges that include vehicle theft, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of burglary tools, and drug possession. He had a future court date in three weeks.

Both men are now facing felony charges of escape from a county detention facility and face a potential state prison sentence.

The search for the two is ongoing. Anyone with information on their whereabouts or who might have seen them is asked to call Sheriff’s dispatch at (925) 646-2441.

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Antioch teen, SF man arrested for March murder near Pleasant Hill

Friday, July 22nd, 2022

Older suspect arrested in 2021 and last month on multiple gun, drug charges

By Jimmy Lee, PIO, Office of the Contra Costa Sheriff

On Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at about 10:45 AM, Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs served arrest warrants at a home on the 4800 block of Vinewood Way in Antioch. They arrested, without incident, 19-year-old Don-Juan Defore Watson of Antioch/San Francisco and 20-year-old Jalin Washington of San Francisco.

The two are suspects in the March 23, 2022, killing of 20-year-old Basel Jilani in the unincorporated area of Taylor Road and Gloria Terrace. (See related article)

Homicide detectives from the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division have worked continuously on the case identifying the two, who are also suspects in robberies in the Bay Area.

Watson was booked into the Martinez Detention Facility (MDF) on the following charges: murder, two counts of robbery, and conspiracy. He is being held without bail.

Washington was booked into MDF on the following charges: murder, two counts of robbery, conspiracy, burglary, felon in possession of a firearm, and allowing someone to discharge a firearm from his vehicle. He is being held without bail.

According to localcrimenews.com, he was previously arrested in March 2021 by San Francisco County Sheriff’s Department for being armed with a firearm during a felony, resisting / obstructing / delaying a Peace Officer, conspiracy to commit a crime, burglary, possession of burglar’s tools, receiving or concealing stolen property, carrying a loaded firearm on person or In a vehicle while in a public place, and carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle.

Washington was arrested again last month by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for possession of a narcotic controlled substance, possession of 28.5 grams or less of marijuana,
discharging a firearm in a negligent manner, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded firearm, concealed firearm – unregistered gun with ammunition, and
carrying a loaded concealed weapon.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600 or through Sheriff’s Office dispatch at (925) 646-2441. For any tips, email: tips@so.cccounty.us or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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Contra Costa voters re-elect Sheriff Livingston, DA Becton, Assessor Kramer

Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

Results for the Contra Costa DA and Sheriff’s races as of early Wednesday, June 8, 2022, showing Becton and Livingston winning. Source: CoCoVote.us

One billionaire Soros-backed progressive DA wins, two other progressive DA’s lose in the state Tuesday night; in County Clerk’s race it’s Connelly vs. Gordon; Pleasant Hill Councilman Carlson, BART Director Allen leading in 4th Supe District race; only 18% turnout; ballots mailed by election day can still be received until next Tuesday

Sheriff Livingston checks the voting results at the DSA Election Night Watch Party Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Photo: Allen D. Payton

By Allen D. Payton

Following an election season filled with attacks, accusations and over $1 million spent in the Contra Costa District Attorney’s race, the incumbents, Sheriff David Livingston and DA Diana Becton, along with County Assessor Gus Kramer were each re-elected by wide margins, Tuesday night. They were the only countywide incumbents facing challengers, this year in an election that only saw a 17.95% voter turnout, so far. Incumbent county Treasurer-Tax Collector Russell Watts, Auditor-Controller Robert Campbell and County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey were re-elected without facing opposition.

In the only other contested countywide race, for County Clerk-Recorder, Kristin Connelly will face former Community College Board Trustee Vicki Gordon in a November run-off. In the races for county supervisor, District 1 incumbent, John Gioia was re-elected easily beating his opponent, Hulan Barnett, Jr. 15,018 votes to 2,800, and in District 4, Pleasant Hill Councilman Ken Carlson who and BART Board Director Debora Allen are leading. Allen was trailing Concord Councilwoman Carlyn Obringer by 211 votes until late in the evening, when she pulled into second place by 389 votes. Carlson is leading Allen by 569 votes. The top two candidates will face off in the November run-off.

Sheriff Livingston and Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox with former Martinez Councilman Mike Menesini and another supporter at the DSA Election Night Watch Party, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Photo: Allen D. Payton

When reached for comment Allen said, “I’m not declaring victory at this point because there are still ballots to count.”

In the biggest battle in the county, Becton was re-elected to her second, full, four-year term beating Deputy District Attorney Mary Knox, a 37-year prosecutor, by 56% to 44% with 63,147 votes against 49,599 for Knox. Becton was the beneficiary of $1 million spent by an independent expenditure committee campaign supporting her and opposing Knox, with the majority of funds contributed by out-of-state billionaire George Soros. (See related articles here and here)

The same night a Soros-backed, progressive district attorney was re-elected in Contra Costa, another progressive D.A. in San Francisco, Chesa Boudin was recalled by voters in that city and county who had enough with his policies. Becton and Boudin have been part of the Prosecutors Alliance of California, along with L.A. County D.A. George Gascon who is also facing a possible recall, and San Joaquin County D.A. Tori Verber Salazar, who was losing for re-election according to the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters website as of Wednesday.

In the other hard fought countywide race, Livingston was re-elected to his fourth term as sheriff beating Richmond Police Officer Ben Therriault by an even wider margin, 61.2% to 38.8% with 67,906 votes to 43,125 for the challenger.

Attempts to reach Livingston and Becton for comment about their victories were unsuccessful prior to publication time.

County Assessor Kramer eased to another victory for his eighth term, beating his only opponent Floy Andrews by 57.6% to 42.4% with 63,164 votes to 46,456 for the challenger.

When reached for comment Kramer said, “I am on bended knee thanking the voters for seeing through the garbage in the East Bay Times, having faith in me and re-electing me for another four years. The citizens have spoken, the people for whom I serve. This is not a victory for me but for the property owners in the county.”

Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer celebrates his re-election with supporters at the DSA Election Night Watch Party, Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Photo: Allen D. Payton

Livingston, Knox and Kramer attended the Election Night Watch Party at the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association Hall in Martinez, waiting for the updates and speaking with their supporters.

In the Clerk-Recorder’s race, Connelly is in first place with 34,049 votes, Gordon is in second with 24,152 votes and is ahead of Pinole Councilman Devin Murphy by 3,781 votes.

Asked for a comment on the election results Gordon said, “The first thing I want to say is to thank all my supporters, people who donated and walked. I want to thank everyone for their support, it was grassroots effort. My husband and family were also amazing.”

“I am honored to move on to November,” she added.

The countywide Measure G which continues the $2 per car fee to pay for picking up abandoned vehicles and required a two-thirds vote is passing with 68.7% of the vote, with 79,126 in favor to 35,978 opposed.

The only other measure on the ballot was in Martinez. Measure F, also requiring a two-thirds vote to pass, is barely failing with 65.9%. If passed, the measure would add a $79 annual parcel tax for the next 30 years to preserve open space and a ridgeline, allowing the City of Martinez to purchase the 297-acre Alhambra Highlands.

The Contra Costa Elections Division can still receive ballots that were mailed by Tuesday for up to seven days after the election, according to executive secretary, Melissa Hickok, who said she read it straight from the Secretary of State’s website. They have up to 28 days to certify the election.

This year, voters who went to the polls didn’t put their own ballots into the counting machines, as has been done in the past.

“Contra Costa County has returned to a central count, instead of having hundreds of counters at all the polling places, we bring all the ballots back and run them through the high-speed scanners at the Elections Office,” Hickok explained.

That resulted in updates of the results on election night to take longer than in the past.

The next update is expected this Friday, June 10 at 5:00 p.m. For more information visit CoCoVote.us.

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Body of yet unidentified man recovered from river along Antioch waterfront Monday

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

Multiple Antioch Police officers and vehicles were in the Marina boat launch parking lot to investigate a man’s body found in the river on Memorial Day afternoon, Monday, May 30, 2021. In the distance can be seen Monica’s Riverview restaurant near where Sheriff’s Deputies recovered the body. Photo by Ronn Carter

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff & Allen D. Payton

View of boat launch from I Street near where the body was recovered on Monday, May 30, 2022. By Ronn Carter

On Monday, May 30, 2022, at about 3:53 PM, Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol was dispatched to a report of a body that was floating on the water on the San Joaquin River near the Antioch marina boat ramp. Marine patrol deputy sheriffs arrived and recovered the body, an adult male. He was pronounced deceased on scene. The Coroner’s Division took custody of the body.

An autopsy was conducted today, Tuesday, May 31. The cause of death is listed as asphyxia due to drowning. The Coroner’s Division is still trying to identify the man.

Antioch resident Ronn Carter who was out for a bike ride on Memorial Day afternoon said Antioch Police were investigating a body found in the water near the boat ramp at the Marina and part of the boat ramp was taped off. As of 5:00 p.m. the body had not been recovered, according to Antioch Police Officer Kendall.

Antioch Police Officers on Monica’s Riverview pier on Monday, May 30, 2022. By Ronn Carter

Another Antioch resident, Michael Mello said he saw three police cars at the Amtrak station, two on the west side of Monica’s Riverview as he was driving into the restaurant’s parking lot and three or four more cars in the boat ramp parking lot.

Carter later said he saw law enforcement personnel in a boat remove the body from near Monica’s Riverview. But the boat carrying the body – which wasn’t visible – didn’t use the boat ramp near the marina because there were too many people nearby. Instead, it turned and headed east.

The Sheriff’s Marine Patrol boat went to another location to meet the coroner.

Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Division at (925) 313-2850. For any tips, email: tips@so.cccounty.us or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.

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Coroner’s Inquest Jury finds April 2021 death of Antioch man was suicide

Tuesday, April 19th, 2022

Police and emergency responders at the scene of the suicide on Green Hill Way Thursday night, April 1, 2021. Herald file photo

By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston announced on Friday, that a coroner’s jury reached a finding in the April 1, 2021 death of 61-year-old Jonathan Lynn Richardson of Antioch. The finding of the jury is that the manner of death is suicide. (See related article)

The coroner’s jury reached the verdict in the inquest after hearing the testimony of witnesses called by hearing officer Laura Pagey.

As previously reported, on April 1, 2021, at approximately 7:52 PM, Antioch police officers were dispatched to a residence on Valley Way for a 9-1-1 call regarding a family disturbance. The caller reported a male resident was armed with a firearm and suffering from some type of mental health crisis.

The male resident left the house with the firearm and drove away. Several officers responded to the area and located the victim driving in the neighborhood. The officers turned around and fell in behind the victim’s vehicle. Afterwards, the 61-year-old victim pulled to the side of the road, exited his vehicle, and shot himself.

A coroner’s inquest, which Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston convenes in fatal incidents involving law enforcement personnel, is a public hearing during which a jury rules on the manner of a person’s death. Jury members can choose from the following four options when making their finding: Accident, Suicide, Natural Causes or At the hands of another person, other than by accident.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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