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By Russ Gordon
Hope everybody is well. Lots of capers to report…so here we go for April.
Bayview Station – Swing Watch
Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up! Officers Gabriel Alcaraz, Ali Misaghi and David Johnson are assigned to a community meeting in the area of 3rd Street and Newcomb. I might add that the officers were in full uniform and in a patrol car. Into our urban drama comes our hero, driving his car and stopping next to the officers. I imagine he is extremely thirsty for he then takes a long pull out of a bottle of vodka. A violation of the law and incredibly uncouth. The officers then stop our hero and after a short investigation determine he has no driver’s license, no identification, and was drinking while driving.
Officers Gary Cheng and Rigoberto Haro then arrived on the scene. Officer Cheng does another search on our vodka-drinking driver and finds bullets on his person. Digging even deeper, our hero had a .22 caliber revolver in his shorts (nope I won’t go there). Further investigation and phone calls are made only to discover the identity of the suspect, that he was wanted in the attempted assault with a firearm involving his girlfriend and another citizen. Due to thorough work, another bad guy and a gun are off the street, and maybe some peace of mind for the intended victims. BOOKED!
Taraval Station– Day Watch, Swing Watch
Here is another one you just can’t make up! Officers Jeff Fortuno, Fernando Leiva and Antonio Santos gear up to swing by a young gentleman’s home to arrest him for an outstanding warrant. Upon arrival at the family home, they find our hero is there. Not resisting nor putting up a fuss, he is arrested on the said warrant. A quick and lawful review of his smart phone reveals photos and videos of our hero in various posses with firearms. O SNAP, you really left that on your phone? Yep! Not only were there images of guns, but also they were taken in the bedroom that the officers were standing in! Same sheets, same furniture, etc. It was off to write a warrant and get it signed by a Superior Court Judge. With “paper” in hand, and Sergeant Susan Nangle to supervise, Officers Anthony Calasanz and Officer Eric Tindall for back up, the whole crew responds back to the family home. After a search is completed, numerous bullets, a holster, and a .32 caliber semi-automatic handgun are found. Did I mention that the family home is used as a DAY CARE CENTER during the day, and that the firearm was in possible reach of a child? O snap, I just did. Great work by these officers. Might I add that our hero, at the time of booking, threatened to kill all the officers involved? It’s nothing personal; it’s what we do. Simplify life, get a flip phone. BOOKED!
Mission Station – Day Watch
So, you’re on parole and are trying to better your life by walking into a commercial establishment, produce a knife, terrorize a store keeper and then steal headphones worth less then $600; really? Well, that’s what went down early on a sunny morning. Officers Ray Salvador, Linda Chen, Stacy Youngblood, Kate Joshua and Lt. Kirk Yin dash to the scene. There, they find a delivery driver who witnessed the crime and tried to intervene, and was also threatened. In addition – now, this is important -- there is our hero still in the area. Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. After our hero is in custody, an exhaustive investigation should be done. Well, how about a casual conversation, being mindful of Miranda rights. O snap, Lt. Yin does just that, and admissions of guilt are made. Bad guy going “back,” property returned, and another great job of teamwork bags another parolee. BOOKED!
Investigation Bureau – Day Watch
This is just like the movies, or maybe the movies are just like this! A daylight bank robbery occurs in the downtown area. Tellers are terrified, money is missing, bad guy is gone, but he leaves his robbery note. Inspector Phillip Wong arrives on scene and requests Crime Scene Investigation to respond at the quick step. Inspector Ronan Shouldice arrives, takes custody of the note, processes it quickly, and -- you guessed it -- “lifts” a print form the note. The print from the note matched the prints from a gentleman who is on felony probation and living in a halfway house. A quick call is made to Lt. John Greenwood who unleashes Officers Robert McMillan and Andrew Clifford to hunt down our fingerprint suspect. The officers find the suspect, arrest him, and turn the investigation over to Inspector Wong and Special Agents Nixon and Depasquale from the F.B.I. and Federal Probation Agent Magana.
Hey slick, your probation is not going to get modified to something like you have to eat spaghetti with a Spork. Nope, this is the real deal, federal crime! No playing around here. Should have taken your note home, BOOKED!
Tenderloin Station – Swing Watch
Hey gang, remember when we used to do this all the time: Officers Robert McMillan and Faysal Abi-Chahine are in the area of Jones and Golden Gate when they spot a stolen car. The officers attempt to conduct a felony traffic stop but the driver of the stolen car zips away at high speed. The officers knowing the dangers of such a chase terminate their pursuit. The driver of the stolen car just can’t help himself and crashes his car into another vehicle. Both the driver and passenger run from the scene. Officer Micah Hope, Derik Byrne and Randall Soohoo spring into action. One suspect is wrapped up quickly because he fell down (pathetic!), the other runs into a restaurant (what is up with the restaurant thing?) and is quickly arrested. A car wreaked, havoc on the street, putting everybody involved in great danger, whatcha think, probation? Well, that is not our call, these officers did their job and did it well, bad guys BOOKED.
Everybody – All Watches
In our next story, there is no way to neither shorten, condense, nor add my world famous snarky comments. The dedicated police work, teamwork, and devotion to duty would not be given justice if I did not tell the whole story. Hence, the following is the Captain’s Complimentary Report authored by Lt. Michael Nevin, with a few deletions:
“On January 29th, 2013 at 0902 hours an armed robbery spree began at Bacon and Girad in the Bayview District. A male victim was waiting for the bus when three suspects approached him. One of the suspects brandished a silver semi-automatic pistol as he sat down on a fire hydrant. His two confederates began robbing the victim of his personal property including a Smart Phone he was holding in his hand. Officer Thomas Fong and recruit Officer Bryan Zahn responded and took the initial report.
A short time later, three young men were walking north on Giand near Silver in the Bayview District. Three suspects approached and backed the victims up against a wall. One of the suspects was holding a silver pistol. The suspects began reaching into the victim’s pockets stealing iPhones, wallets, backpacks and other items. Officer Gregory Skaug and recruit Officer Kevin Fong took the initial report.
Soon after, three male victims were standing on the sidewalk in front of 260 Bocana Street in the Ingelside District. While the victims were engaged in conversation, two suspects walked up to them and demanded their personal property. One of the suspects brandished a handgun. The suspects took a briefcase containing a camera, computer and other items. Other stolen items included a wallet, iPhone and credit cards. When one of the victims refused to hand over his property, he was pistol whipped on the head. Another victim was able to escape during this robbery. He ran into a store alerting employees of the robbery taken place. A worker outside of the store observed the getaway vehicle flee eastbound on Cortland Avenue at a high rate of speed, going right through all the stop signs. Officer Conroy Tam and recruit Officer Miguel Cortez responded and took the initial report.
At this point, luck would run out for these violent fleeing suspects. Officer Daniel Guzman was working in the Bayview District and he was aware of this robbery spree, having responded to the first incident. He contacted one of the victims from Bocana Street and began “pinging” one of the stolen iPhones. The stolen phone was first tracked to the area of 7th and Market streets.
Sergeant A.J. Holder was monitoring the situation in the Tenderloin District and units were getting updated information from Officer Guzman. Sergeant Holder located a vehicle with three males aboard at South Van Ness and Mission Streets matching the suspect descriptions. He began to follow the vehicle onto the freeway when it made a sudden exit off I-80 onto 7th Street. When Sergeant Holder activated his red lights and siren, the chase was on. Officers Ryan Crosby Rudy Sebastian, Ronald McGoldrick and Anthony Assereto responded as well.
The fleeing vehicle was cutting off other drivers nearly causing collisions as it drove south on 101 towards the Airport. As this felonious vehicle approached the South San Francisco exit, it slammed into a Toyota Camry injuring the driver. Officer Michael Mallone rendered aid to the driver and stayed there until an ambulance arrived.
The front axle broke off the fleeing vehicle and it became disabled. Sergeant Holder captured the driver at this time.
Officer Adam Plantinga and Mathew Sullivan captured another suspect walking up a hill. Officer Sullivan located discarded clothing in bushes along the route the suspect had taken. He also heard the audible tone of an iPhone-tracking alert and he was able to locate the phone that originally led to the location of the suspects.
Officer Fong and Zahn who took the original report located another suspect in a parking garage. Officers Brendan Gardiner and Officer Eithne Cummmings assisted in taking one of the suspects into custody. After searching a large sewer pipe they located clothing and a wallet belonging to one of the robbery victims.
Officers located multiple pieces of stolen/recovered evidence at the scene of this arrest linking the suspects to multiple street robberies. The next day South San Francisco Police searched the crash scene and located the handgun believed to have been used during the robberies. Officer Mathew Dudley responded to the scene with knowledge of the backgrounds of the suspects. His investigative skills proved crucial. He knew the suspects to be members of a violent street gang. Additionally, he located incriminating Instagram photographs taken that night. Captain Michael Moran responded and coordinated the investigation.
The following Ingelside Sergeants responded to the scene: Sergeants Jason Sawyer, Seth Riskin, David Maron, and Melonee Alvarez. These Sergeants coordinated the property identification with the victims from Bocana Street via digital photographs that were taken from the arrest scene in South San Francisco.
Investigators from the Criminal Investigations Unit responded and took over the investigation. Sergeant Michael Wilbunsin was the lead investigator. Other members of this unit who assisted in this investigation were: Sergeant Nico Disenza and Inspectors Kevin Horan, James Garrity and Inspector Tim Brophy. Inspector Brophy, one of the Departments most seasoned robbery investigators, held a briefing at the Hall of Justice to ensure all reports, statements and evidence processing were completed properly.
Soon after, Officer Dudley and other officers served a search warrant at an address in San Francisco. Officer Dudley had been involved in an investigation of one of the suspects from the robbery series. The warrant resulted in another arrest of a person prohibited from possessing a firearm.
To date Sergeant Wilbunsin has linked these suspects to a total of six other robberies. This arrest(s) is an example of patrol and investigative work at its finest. All the officers involved deserve to be recognized for their outstanding efforts. Three violent, ruthless felons have been removed from the street of San Francisco.” – Lieutenant Michael Nevin, SFPD
Again, more examples of what the SFPD does everyday! See you next month. KMA 438.
KMA 438 is the SFPD FCC designator.