What follows is a brief update on some recent public-safety related incidents and issues in Richmond. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or need more information.
Chief Chris Magnus
Wed., April 3, 2013, Sacramento—Chief meets with legislators on legislation related to young and school-aged children—Chief Magnus is a member of the non-profit, research-based children’s advocacy organization, “Fight Crime—Invest in Kids” (comprised of police chiefs, sheriffs, D.A.s, and victim advocates from around the state). On Wed., the Chief and other public safety personnel met with a series of different legislators to advocate for restored funding in the State Budget for preschool programs (proven to reduce crime later on). The Chief also advocated for several pieces of legislation designed to reduce the number of suspensions of grade school students and provide greater due process and resources related to expulsions.
Tues., April 2, 2013—Metro Walk Neighborhood Meeting—The Department held a meeting with residents of the Metro Walk neighborhood and other concerned members of the community to discuss safety concerns following the homicide on BART property in late March. A lieutenant from BART attended the meeting. The group had a productive discussion. Another meeting will be scheduled for late April at which the Dist. 7 board member from BART and Supervisor Gioia will be invited to attend. RPD continues to have serious concerns about the way the Richmond BART station is maintained and the regularity in which it receives BART Police patrols. We are in ongoing dialog with the BART Police Department about how to improve this situation. RPD personnel and BART police officers have been doing dedicated police patrols in and around the BART station over a 14 day period during morning and evening commute hours to create a stronger police presence and provide commuters with safety information.
Early April—Increased efforts to prevent/respond to shootings (multiple locations)--Within the past several weeks, the City has experienced an increase in shooting incidents. These incidents are believed to be as a result of the increased tensions between the neighborhoods within North Richmond and Central Richmond. Several of the shootings have occurred in Central Richmond, the near South-side, and several housing complexes on the SE side of Richmond.
The mission of the operation put in place is to safely identify suspicious persons, (on foot and in vehicles) loitering in the these areas. Special Assignment units are utilizing foot patrol, field interviews, traffic citations, and arrests to gain intelligence on suspects, potential victims, and their associates. Any information gained from this directed enforcement is being shared with the appropriate investigative personnel as soon as possible. Any intelligence or violations within the public housing complexes is also shared with the Department’s Housing Unit officers.
Sun., March 31, 2013, 10:05 p.m., 16th and Bissell--Officer Nyugen noticed a red Honda Accord at 16th/Macdonald. A license plate check revealed the vehicle was stolen. The vehicle yielded at 16th/Bissell. The driver was taken into custody. The passenger had a warrant for stealing another vehicle. She was also arrested and booked.
Sun., March 31, 2013, 7:10 p.m., 5400 block of Van Fleet—An individual at a residence on this block got into a fight with his son about the son not following the terms of his probation. The son wanted to leave the house and his father told him no. The two got into a scuffle and the father pulled a knife on the son. The son then ran away. The father, drunk and upset, went into the residence and began throwing things around and breaking things. Another son arrived at the residence and noticed the door broken and all of the lights out. Believing someone had broken into the residence, the other son grabbed a fireplace poker and began to search the house. He located his dad at the stairs of the residence. The father attacked his other son cutting him on his arm. The suspect was arrested and booked.
Sun., March 31, 2013, 9:00 a.m., Castro Ranch Rd./Amend Rd.--Dispatcher J. Jones received a call from an 8 year-old boy who said that he and his mother were involved in a car accident. During the conversation, Dispatcher Jones learned that the vehicle had careened off the road and was stuck in a ditch.
When officers arrived, they initially were unable to locate the vehicle. As the dispatcher had further conversation with the boy and the officers continued their search, the vehicle was located. The vehicle had flipped over on its side approximately 150 feet from the roadway at the bottom of a creek. The 8 year-old boy and his mother were stuck inside the vehicle.
The little boy was calm and still talking to Dispatcher Jones. RFD and Sgt. Moreno were able to get both victims out of the vehicle and back up to the roadway where they were transported to Doctors Hospital for minor injuries. The mother of the boy did not speak any English. It appeared that the vehicle had left the roadway and flipped over several times before coming to rest in the creek. The mother said that when she applied her brakes, the vehicle spun out of control and slid off the roadway. Officer Agustin authored the report.
Excellent job by call-taker J. Jones keeping the 8 year-old boy calm and on the phone until the officers could locate the vehicle.
Sat., March 30, 2013, 6:45 p.m., Peres Elementary School—The reporting person advised Dispatch that he could see several male juveniles breaking into the classrooms. Officers responded and set a perimeter around the school. They ultimately arrested four juveniles who had broken into four different classrooms. Three of the suspects were taken to Juvenile Hall, while one was released to a guardian.
Sat., March 30, 2013—Early Evening-- Officer Miles and Reserve Officer Andujar conducted extensive foot patrol in Point Richmond due to recent concerns from residents. Additional foot and bike patrols are also being done in several other neighborhoods in response to increases in property crimes.
Sat., March 30, 2013, 9:20 a.m., 4300 block of Macdonald Ave.--Officers responded to the above address for a report of an attempt kidnapping. A description of the suspect was broadcast over the radio. Sgt. Moreno and Officer J. Sousa detained the 28 year-old suspect on Wilson Ave. near Nevin Ave.
Officer Ruffin spoke to the victim who told him that the suspect tried to kidnap her. The victim said she was walking EB on Macdonald Ave. near 43rd St. when she saw the suspect looking back at her. The suspect stopped and put his backpack down. The victim attempted to walk around him. The suspect looked at the victim and said, “You should be my wife! Come home with me!” while grabbing her left wrist.
The victim screamed “No!” and attempted to pull away. The suspect grabbed her harder and started dragging her down the street, approximately six to eight feet. The victim was able to break free from him and attempted to run away. The suspect chased after the victim to a bus stop near Wilson Ave. The victim was able to pull out her mace and spray the suspect in the face with it. The suspect screamed and ran away NB on Wilson Ave. where he was captured by Sgt. Moreno and Officer J. Sousa.
The victim has never seen the suspect before and positively identified him as the person who assaulted her. The suspect was transported and booked into the Richmond Jail. Officer Sousa authored the report.
Fri., March 29, 2013—Follow-up to Shooting on Barrett involving 1 year-old child—The Department has been aggressively investigating the shooting (potentially between gang members) in the 0000 block of Barrett by the apartments there. Several rounds went into an apartment and fragments struck the neck of a 1 year-old child who was in the arms of his grandmother. The Department has offered a 25K reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who committed this crime due to the serious of the crime, the potential for many other injuries or deaths, and the brazen, daytime nature of the crime.
Following the shooting, the Police Department and other City/County agencies did extensive outreach with the family (who are from Fiji). Police Department chaplains along with ONS personnel assisted the family. The Police Dept. worked with the Richmond Housing Authority to help the family with relocation. The PD worked with Supervisor Gioia’s Office to set up a Relief Fund for the family at Mechanics Bank (donations can be made at any Mechanics Bank location to the “Ali Family Relief Fund” to help cover medical and moving expenses) or by credit card through PayPal (a link is on the RPD Facebook page). Your support would be welcome and appreciated.
Recent Feedback on Yelp (from Jorge F.): “I wanted to express my deep sincere gratitude to the Richmond Police that are working very hard to do their Job. They deserve our deepest gratitude at all times.
About a week and a half ago, my van was stolen outside my home. I had just bought it and I was very happy with my purchase! A couple days later on a Saturday morning I woke up and it was gone--stolen that is. Immediately after calling the Police Department, the police were sent to my home. The Police Officer was a very caring officer. He promised us they would search for it and that we should not worry. I was relieved by that. And the search began! In order to take my mind of that bitter situation of having a vehicle stolen, I started visualizing the police finding it and I started seeing myself in my mind saying, “Thank you! Thank you ! Thank you! for finding it.” With that in mind, I stopped thinking about that misfortune and I began doing my things as if my car was back on its way to me. . .
When I came home I had a good feeling and got ready to head to sleep. Then a phone call changed that plan. It was a Police Officer. She called and said, “We found your car, I will be here for fifteen minutes.” We arrived there in 10 minutes. It wasn't very far from our home in a dead end block of Richmond with very little lighting--parked the opposite way on the street. It was there, with both license plates removed. The thieves made a mess inside. They took the stereo and some other things I had inside. But that didn't matter. What mattered was that I had my van back.
I want to give deep sincere thanks from down my heart to all the Police who are out there doing their job! Of course in specific, I offer my gratitude to the Police officers from the Richmond Police Department that came to help us with the report. Thank you. Also to the police officers that found my vehicle, thank you. Their work is very appreciated. . .”