Category Archives: Oakland

Former Alameda County Deputies To Stand Trial On Inmate Mistreatment Charge

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A judge on Friday ordered two former Alameda County sheriff’s deputies to stand trial on a single felony assault charge for allegedly allowing an inmate to throw feces and urine at another inmate in a maximum security unit at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin two years ago.

At the end of a short preliminary hearing for Sarah Krause, 27, and Stephen Sarcos, 31, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson denied a request by their attorneys to reduce the assault charge to a misdemeanor.

Defense attorneys for Krause and Sarcos admitted that the two former deputies engaged in misconduct in September 2016 but said their actions weren’t felonies.

Krause’s attorney Paul Goyette said Krause “engaged in misconduct and used poor judgment but it’s not felony misconduct.”

But prosecutor Tim Wagstaffe objected to treating the case as a misdemeanor, saying, “This crime violates the trust of inmates and the community.”

Wagstaffe said, “It is absolutely disgusting to participate in the gassing of another person,” using the term to describe throwing feces and urine at someone.

Wagstaffe said, “It’s absolutely foul.”

Sheriff’s Detective Patrick Smyth, the only witness at the hearing, testified that the gassing involved an inmate who had an ongoing feud with fellow inmate Johnny Bowie.

Smyth said Bowie had been “very disrespectful” to Krause and the other inmate told her that he wanted to get back at Bowie and gas him.

Smyth said Krause agreed to the inmate’s plan and opened his cell door and the inmate then walked upstairs with her to Bowie’s cell.

Krause then opened the door to Bowie’s cell and the other inmate threw a cup of feces and a cup or urine at him, although it missed Bowie, Smyth testified.

Goyette said Bowie “seemed to hate” Krause from the start and she was afraid of him because he constantly threatened her.

Goyette said the inmate who tried to gas Bowie was “a sophisticated inmate” who used Krause and Sarcos, who he said were young an inexperienced, to further his feud with Bowie.

Sarcos’ attorney Joshua Olander said Sarcos was “an inexperienced young deputy who was trying to find his way and earn the trust of his colleagues but unfortunately lacked the judgment and courage to stop it (the attempted gassing).

Olander said Sarcos admitted his conduct voluntarily and resigned shortly after the attempted gassing came to light and said a felony conviction would be “devastating to him” because he has to support two children and his wife, who has health issues.

Jacobson said he understands that Krause and Sarcos “paid a high price” by resigning and ending their law enforcement careers but he believes their conduct merits a trial on a felony charge, not a misdemeanor charge.

Jacobson said it was dangerous to open the cell doors of two inmates at the high security unit and said somebody might have been killed because Bowie wanted to go after the inmate who gassed him but fortunately deputies were able to lock his door before he could do so.

Two other former deputies, Justin Linn, 25, of Tracy, and Erik McDermott, 28, of Concord, are also charged in the same case but will have a separate preliminary hearing in January because they face more serious charges.

Linn is charged with four counts of felony assault by a public officer, one count of dissuading a witness by force or threat and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice and McDermott is charged with two counts of assault and one count each of dissuading a witness and conspiracy.

Last week former inmate Miguel Soria filed a lawsuit against Linn, McDermott, Sarcos and Krause for allegedly allowing another inmate to gas him in a separate gassing at Santa Rita in 2016.

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Fear Of Gun Violence Cancels Oakland’s First Friday Event

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Organizers for Oakland First Fridays, a popular festival held every month, have announced they were cancelling the next scheduled event on Nov. 2.

Organizers said in a statement the driving reason for the cancellation was a shooting that injured five people in the early morning hours of Oct. 6. The shooting occurred about three hours after an Oakland First Fridays event.

“Gun violence is an Oakland problem, it’s an American problem, and it’s a problem we all have a stake in fixing,” organizers said in a statement.

In 2013, a man died from a shooting also a few hours after the event ended.

This time, organizers decided to cancel the November event while they come up with new security measures.

“We are responsible for bringing 30,000 people into the city of Oakland. Have to keep them safe after the event,” said Shari Godinez, First Fridays Executive Director. “We can’t do this by ourselves. The police can’t do it by themselves. We have to come together.”

The monthly event features art, performances and food and draws thousands of people to Telegraph Avenue and the surrounding areas.

Organizers said they plan on holding the event again in December and plan to conduct a “top-to-bottom” review of the event’s security, policies and procedures in an effort to increase safety and address other issues.

 

Oakland Neighborhood Searched For Gunman Who Shot At Officer

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A tense neighborhood search ended Friday morning after a gunman opened fire on an Oakland police officer who was investigating a ‘suspicious activity’ call, authorities said.

Oakland police said the incident began at around 3 a.m. in the 2300 block of East 17th Street.

An officer was responding to a ‘suspicious activity’ call when he spotted a suspect on the street. As he approached the man, the suspect fled into the neighborhood and a foot pursuit ensued.

During the pursuit, police said, the suspect turned toward the officer and fired a shot. Fortunately, the officer was uninjured.

The neighborhood was cordoned off and an intense yard-by-yard search was undertaken. The suspect was not located, but a discarded gun was recovered.

The incident remained under investigation. Police have not released a description of the suspect.

Oakland Neighborhood Searched For Gunman Who Shot At Officer

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A tense neighborhood search ended Friday morning after a gunman opened fire on an Oakland police officer who was investigating a ‘suspicious activity’ call, authorities said.

Oakland police said the incident began at around 3 a.m. in the 2300 block of East 17th Street.

An officer was responding to a ‘suspicious activity’ call when he spotted a suspect on the street. As he approached the man, the suspect fled into the neighborhood and a foot pursuit ensued.

During the pursuit, police said, the suspect turned toward the officer and fired a shot. Fortunately, the officer was uninjured.

The neighborhood was cordoned off and an intense yard-by-yard search was undertaken. The suspect was not located, but a discarded gun was recovered.

The incident remained under investigation. Police have not released a description of the suspect.

Gunman Shoots At Oakland Police Officer; Search Called Off

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A suspect remained at large after firing a shot at an Oakland police officer during a foot pursuit early Friday morning, police said.

Shortly after 3 a.m., a uniformed officer in a marked patrol car in the 2300 block of East 17th Street “attempted to detain a suspicious person,” police said in an email Friday morning.

The male suspect fled and, during the foot pursuit, turned in the direction of the officer and discharged a firearm. The officer was not hit by the gunfire and did not discharge his own firearm, according to police.

More officers responded to search the area for the suspect, taping off about 10 blocks around Foothill Blvd. They recovered a firearm but the suspect remains at large. Police eventually called off a neighborhood search around 8 a.m. “We go block by block, house by house, yard by yard. We do an extensive search.” said Officer Felicia Aisthorpe.

Police did not provide any description of the suspect or what prompted the original attempt to detain him.

After the pre-dawn disruption and being forced to shelter in place since 4 a.m., some neighbors felt they were kept in the dark. “I put my lights on and tried to make sure nobody was in my yard because they wouldn’t give us no information,” said resident Deborah Rodrigues. “All they said was ‘get in the house.’ I mean, get in the house for what?”

 

 

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

 

Bay Area Roads Worst In The Nation, Report Finds

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Roads in the Bay Area were the worst in the nation and accounted for high costs to drivers in 2016, according to a report released by a national nonprofit Wednesday.

Staffers at The Road Information Program (TRIP), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit focused on transportation issues, used highway data to rank more than 100 urban areas that they say have the worst roads.

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The region defined as the San Francisco-Oakland urban area, meaning those two cities and others in the surrounding area, came out on top of that list. The report says 71 percent of major roads in that area are in poor repair, according to pavement data from the Federal Highway Administration.

Because of that, drivers in the area lost on average more than $1,000 annually when their vehicles depreciated, needed maintenance and used more fuel.

San Jose, another Bay Area city, ranked second in the nation in the TRIP report with 64 percent of roads in bad shape. The average San Jose driver lost $983 annually, according to the report.

Bay Area cities also topped a similar list of mid-sized urban areas. The area of Antioch was first with 57 percent of roads in poor condition, according to TRIP. A close second was Concord at 56 percent.

Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman John Goodwin said the MTC is responsible for some of the roads surveyed in the report. The others are managed by Caltrans.

Goodwin said that in general, California roads need work.

“All around the Bay Area, really all around California, we have streets, roads and highways that are suffering from years of neglect,” he said.

A year-old gas tax has been helping pump more money into road maintenance, but there’s still a ways to go, Goodwin said. The tax itself is also in danger of repeal via Proposition 6 on the state’s Nov. 6 ballot.

TRIP used data from 2016 because it was the most recently available, according to the report.

The nonprofit is sponsored by insurance agencies, equipment makers and labor unions, among others, according to its website. The full report can be found on their site at http://www.tripnet.org/docs/Urban–Roads–TRIP–Report–October–2018.pdf.

 

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Injury Accident Snarls Traffic On Southbound I-880 In Oakland

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An accident involving injuries on southbound I-880 in Oakland north of 5th Avenue briefly shut down all lanes, triggering a severe traffic alert, according to CHP.

Shortly after 8:30 p.m., CHP reported that the accident on southbound I-880 blocked for about 10 minutes, but the #2 and #3 lanes were reopened just after 8:40 p.m.

So far there were no details available regarding the accident or the nature of the injuries.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and to use alternate routes to avoid the area. Tractor Trailers are currently being allowed to use eastbound I-580.

Authorities announced that all southbound lanes of I-880 had reopened shortly after 9 p.m.

Warriors Prepare For Bittersweet Arena Move Across The Bay

OAKLAND (AP) — If anybody understands an arena’s link to a city, to a faithful fan base, Kevin Durant does.

Durant played the final NBA game in KeyArena for the Seattle SuperSonics a decade ago before the franchise’s relocation to Oklahoma City, then returned for a nostalgic exhibition earlier this month in the venue’s final event. On Tuesday night, he will play an opener against his former Thunder team to begin Golden State’s goodbye season at Oracle Arena.

The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP wants to make sure the Warriors leave more positive memories and defining moments before next year’s move to new Chase Center in San Francisco.

“Luckily we’re not moving to the middle of the country, we’re moving across a 20- to 30-minute drive,” Durant said, “so hopefully that’s a little better for fans to take.”

The Warriors’ pending move comes amid a recent spate of upgrades for NBA franchises.

In Milwaukee, the Bucks will try to build momentum in their new downtown Fiserv Forum next door to the old Bradley Center where they spent the past 30 years. The Timberwolves will play in new-look Target Center following a two-year renovation that cost about $140 million and features a complete overhaul of the arena bowl, a glass entryway outside and other amenities such as a modernized team store and concession stands.

The Sacramento Kings begin their third season in sparkling Golden 1 Center.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer was an assistant in San Antonio when the Spurs moved from the Alamodome to a new basketball-only arena in 2002.

“There’s nothing like having a great home atmosphere, having great energy in the building,” Budenholzer said. “There’s no doubt you go into certain cities in the NBA, you know that the crowd is going to be on top of you, the crowd is going to be loud. You have a tough night as a team because of that crowd.”

In Atlanta, Hawks will unveil their $192.5 million makeover of State Farm Arena, formerly Philips Arena. The Hawks say the renovation, which overlapped two seasons, is one of the largest in NBA history. Among the most compelling new features in the arena — in which capacity has been slightly reduced to 16,600 — will be the league’s third-largest center-hung scoreboard with a rounded, 360-degree video screen.

Golden State’s move across San Francisco Bay will be a tough one for many. Fans, players, coaches, even executives, realize how much the Warriors have done for the East Bay in nearly five decades at Oracle. Even through all the down years.

In blue-collar Oakland and right off one of California’s busiest freeways, Oracle has become one of the most imposing stops for opponents on either coast — the frenzied crowd cheering the talented Warriors makes its presence felt.

“It’s still tough for us moving out of Oakland,” Durant said. “But we’re just trying to come out this season and let them know that even though we’re moving we’re still going to be here in the Bay Area, we’re still going to be your team and hopefully people understand that and realize we’re still going to be the Bay Area’s team no matter if we’re playing in San Jose, Oakland or San Francisco.”

The Warriors are offering a similar message: “We’re leaving a building, we’re not leaving a city.”

That’s the motto COO and President Rick Welts is sharing as Golden State, winner of three titles over the past four years, prepares to move into that snazzy, privately funded new arena. Welts hopes fans will stick it out through the transition — realizing full well some might feel abandoned.

“When we talk about the magic of Oracle, the magic of Oracle is the people that are in Oracle,” Welts said. “And to know that four out of five of those people are coming to Chase Center it’s one other element of wanting to maintain that incredible atmosphere that we have.”

From all the down years to the thrilling “We Believe” playoffs of 2007 when Baron Davis and the Warriors ended a 12-year postseason drought then stunned the Mavericks in the first round, loyal fans in the East Bay have experienced all the highs right along with the lowest of lows.

One of the arena’s loudest moments ever was when Davis drove left to the baseline for a powerful one-handed slam over Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko during a 125-105 Game 3 victory in the Western Conference semifinals, Golden State’s lone win of that series.

The lead up to that playoff run left a lasting impression on those players involved in the turnaround. Long before tipoff, the noise was deafening.

“It didn’t matter who showed up, whether we had 10 people, they were going to be as loud and as proud as they could be for our team,” former center Adonal Foyle recalled. “There’s a really amazing spirit to Oakland and what the teams mean to their lives. I think more than anything else what I wanted more than anything with ‘We Believe’ was to just win one for the people that were in the stands every day supporting us.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr could feel it even back during his playing days coming through.

He always loved playing in Oakland even when the Warriors were bad because the fans were so committed, so loud.

“It is bittersweet. I think the new arena’s going to be amazing and we’re all excited about that but we’re all bummed to be moving on from Oracle,” Kerr said. “So, we would love to finish it the right way. It’s hard to replicate an atmosphere like Oracle’s. I think back to Boston Garden, going to the new Garden, the old Chicago Stadium where I played to the new one. It’s hard to create that same sort of intimacy when you’re building a new arena with suites and concourses and everything else. We know this new arena’s going to be great for our organization. It’s going to provide an incredible viewing experience for people coming in. But that doesn’t make it any easier to leave Oracle and leave Oakland.”

At Chase Center, white exterior panels have already gone up on the east and south sides and are beginning to wrap around to the western end near the main lobby entrance. A waterfront park project is also underway.

“It is crazy. I don’t even know what to think about that yet because Oracle has always … that’s been my experience as a Warrior,” two-time MVP Stephen Curry said. “I don’t think I’m ready to think about what’s next yet.”

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Oakland May Fund Homeless Program Selling Complementary Warriors Tickets

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — One East Bay city is considering an unconventional approach to helping the homeless that involves selling tickets to see the Golden State Warriors that are usually reserved for city officials.

When the Warriors kick off their final season at Oracle Arena Tuesday, each Oakland City Council member will each get two free tickets to the game. It’s a pricey and controversial perk.

On Monday, one council member said she has a solution to stop the perk and fight homelessness at the same time.

“We have had year after year of scandal and investigation into the free tickets that Oakland city officials receive,” said Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan.

She said she’s sick of the scandals surrounding free Warriors tickets. KPIX 5 broke the story of elected officials taking tens of thousands of dollars in tickets, enjoying Warriors games from a luxury box overlooking the arena.

Most recently, several council members came under fire for reportedly accepting free VIP tickets to a December event featuring Michelle Obama to the tune of $1,000 per ticket.

“I’m proposing that we give that up, that those tickets stop coming to the elected officials at all,” Kaplan said at a council meeting last June.

Kaplan submitted her ordinance Monday. Her plan is to put the tickets up for sale and use the money made to fund a program that would hire the homeless to clean up Oakland.

It would be called “Green Teams.” The plan is the brain child of homeless activist Nino Parker, who pitched the plan at a city council meeting over the summer.

“I have a lot of folks who live 24/7 in their encampments. What a wonderful thing to be able to pay those people to work where they live,” said Parker. “No one can keep it cleaner than the people who live there.”

Kaplan says the only hurdle has been a lack of funding. Her proposal would solve that.

“We can make many hundreds of thousands of dollars by selling these tickets that currently are given for free to elected officials,” said Kaplan. “We want to get rid of the needles. We want to get rid of the threats of disease and people want to be engaged and have paid work doing something important.”

Kaplan’s bill is expected to go before the Oakland City Council in November.

Community Members Paint Mural Near Oakland Homeless Camp

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Allistair Mallillin dipped his brush in brown paint and then began carefully filling in a space on a mural near a homeless encampment near Interstate 880 in Oakland.

Mallillin and about a dozen other community members were working Saturday on a mural with the theme “Oakland for all of us.”

Dana King Works on Community Mural

Former KPIX anchor Dana King donated the wall for the
mural located near a homeless encampment near Lake Merritt in Oakland. (Bay City News)

Former KPIX anchor Dana King donated the space, an exterior wall measuring 70 feet by 20 feet, of the building she owns at East 12th Street and 13th Avenue.

The mural blooms with vivid orange poppies representing California’s indigenous people, calla lilies representing Mexican culture and Chinese blossoms. It also prominently features the name of Nikki Fortunato Bas, who is running for the City Council in District 2, where the mural is located.

King said she donated the wall in hopes of bringing the community together around political change.

Khalayla Thompson

Khalayla Thompson works on a mural located near a
homeless encampment near Lake Merritt in Oakland on Oct. 13, 2018 (Bay City News)

“Oakland is in the midst of an economic renaissance, but so many are being left behind,” said King, who is a sculptor and rents the building as live-work space to five other artists at below-market-rate rents.

Oakland muralist Leslie Lopez spray-painted the outlines of the mural by hand and is overseeing East Lake neighbors in filling it in.

“I think it’s beautiful, and a way to unite the community,” said Khalayla Thompson of Oakland as she worked on a section of the mural. “The colors are coming together well.”

© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed