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A 63-year-old man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after an altercation in which he was shot. The incident took place in the Jamacha-Lomita neighborhood in San Diego at approximately 4:00 p.m. Police were called to the 7900 block of Gribble Street on Friday afternoon. The police said that the victim was in an active argument with the shooter and the altercation ended with the victim being shot three times. 

The police were able to secure the victim and have him safely transported to the local hospital for treatment. The victim is expected to survive his injuries. According to the San Diego Police Department, the incident appears to be gang-related, and the detectives are conducting the investigation. The only identifying information that the police have to offer is that the suspect is a black male who had on a red t-shirt.

The Most Helpful Tips for De-Escalating an Argument

Not every argument ends in gunfire, but when tensions are high, people can be unpredictable. Depending on what the argument is about and the character or temper of the parties involved, the outcome of a verbal disagreement could be violence. To avoid this perilous situation when you are in a heated argument, consider trying the following tips:

  • Take a moment and step back to inhale deeply. This time of pause will allow you to better calm yourself and reassess the situation and your response. By internally counting to 3, you can figure out why you are having the disagreement and the best way to let the other party know you heard them, even if you do not agree with them.
  • Use facts and reason when you provide your response, Never allow your emotions to take over just because doing so may feel good at the time. An outburst will not likely do anything to help; it will likely raise the tension.
  • When you are arguing your side, it is better to make a clear explanation of your position rather than trying to compete to win over another party. You can clearly explain how you feel and why without trying to win, and this approach can lower the intensity of the confrontation.
  • Not every disagreement has to be an argument. Sometimes people fight over the most insignificant things. Pick your battles and save your energy and time for only those conflicts that really warrant the effort.
  • Keep an open mind and consider that people do not always think the same way. If, potentially, you can look at the situation from the other party’s point of view, you may not agree but you may have a better understanding of what they are saying.
  • When no resolution is in sight, it is ok to “agree to disagree,” and then move on.

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In Imperial Beach, the sheriff’s department has been told to reduce using force on suspects through the recommendations of a task force of Imperial Beach city leaders. In addition to limiting the use of force, the task force has also recommended that agencies outside of the sheriff’s department be utilized when non-emergency calls are made. 

After Imperial Beach leaders declared that the city supported and backed Black Lives Matter in June, the task force was put together. One of the stances that the BLM movement takes is to defund the police. Many cities across the country have looked into varying ways that they can restructure their funds and the responsibilities of their police forces in response. The task force, who investigated the San Diego Sheriff’s Department operations as they relate to Imperial Beach, published a report of their findings. In the report, the committee cited data from the sheriff’s department regarding incidents that take place in the city was insufficient.

Heading the task force was Mayor Pro Tempore, Paloma Aguirre, and Councilmember Ed Spriggs. The group worked with the sheriff’s department as well as with the community to collect information. The group concluded that community service officers should be used instead of police in non-emergency situations. They also recommended that deputies in the city should receive additional training on the following topics:

  • Diversity
  • Social justice
  • Unconscious bias

Has the Sheriff’s Department in the City of Imperial Beach Implemented the Recommendations?

Since the report’s completion, no actions were taken. However, members of the team that worked on the report believe that together, the city and the sheriff’s department will be successful in making the changes necessary to improve the quality of law enforcement as well as the safety of the community. While the task force has now been dissolved, the report will be reviewed and its findings considered by the city’s Mayor, Serge Dedina. Mayor Dedina urged the community to have patience as any changes that develop will be done so slowly and with time.

According to data released from the FBI, there were a total of 431 reported crime incidents in the city in 2018. Approximately 79 of these incidents were violent crimes of rape, robbery, and assault. There were no murders reported in the city that year. The rest of the 352 crimes reported that year were all property crimes of burglary, theft, and vehicle theft. Crime in Imperial Beach is lower than the national average by 39%  and violent crimes are 25% lower. Imperial Beach is showing a trend of decreasing crime rates. The FBI information shows that the city’s crime decreased by 13% in 2018 and the city is safer than 46% of all other cities across the country. Continue reading

Mario Chavez, 22, was arrested in connection with the robbery of a smoke shop. According to San Diego Police, Chavez went into the Cherokee Point smoke shop located and used a knife to rob the store. The SDPD got the call about the robbery after 11:30 p.m., and Officer Robert Heims responded to the crime scene.

Chavez reportedly walked into the shop and requested many items from the display. After he made his selections, he took his knife out and approached the clerk. He then demanded a lighter. While Chavez was still in the store and standing at the counter, the clerk alerted authorities. When the SDPD arrived, Chavez was still in the smoke shop and the police arrested him. The SDPD took Chavez to the San Diego Central Jail at approximately 3:40 a.m. where he was booked on suspicion of robbery.

Robbery in California

Under California Penal Code 211 PC, when you are charged with robbery you have taken property that belonged to another party against the other party’s will and by means of force or fear. Robbery is considered a felony in California and convicted individuals could be looking at as much as nine years in state prison.

You will need an effective legal defense strategy to combat your robbery charges. Some of the most common defenses against a robbery charge are:

  • You were not trying to do anything mischievous by taking the property because you believed you had the right to do so. For example, a friend says they are going to give you an item they no longer need. You agree to accept it and then you go to their home to pick it up but they are not home. You go to take the item, but their roommate is home and tries to stop you from taking it. A struggle over the property ensues, and you use force to pull the object away from the roommate. The roommate does not know that you were told you could have the object, which is why there is a struggle.
  • You are innocent of the crime because it was not you that committed the crime. You were mistakenly identified as the criminal.
  • You did not use force or fear to steal property. An example would be if you sat by another party, and when the other party set down their purse, you picked it up without them seeing and walked away. Yes you were near the other party and you stole, but you did not use force or intimidation to do so.
  • You were falsely accused of stealing property.   

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Over 20 people lived on a property in rural southern California in the town of Aguanga, and were involved in an illegal marijuana operation. The residents of the property lived in makeshift dwellings and had a nursery. According to Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco, marijuana was processed into a very strong concentrate on the property. A shootout there over the Labor Day holiday ended with seven people dead.

 

The Riverside County sheriff’s deputies received a call about an assault with a deadly weapon in an Aguanga home. When the authorities arrived on the scene, they found six dead bodies and one woman whom they transported to the hospital where she later died. Every one of the victims was identified as being a Laotian. Sheriff Bianco said that the operation was not small, and it could have been linked to organized crime. 

 

The town of Aguanga, located north of San Diego, is very small with only about 2,000 residents. Despite the state of California legalizing recreational marijuana in 2018, consumers have a desire to pinch pennies and avoid the pricey taxes associated with legal marijuana. In doing so, they still turn to the illegal market. However, this shooting incident and the massive amount of dead bodies that it left behind is evidence that there is violence in California in relation to the illegal manufacturing of marijuana.

 

Authorities seized over 1,000 pounds of marijuana along with hundreds of marijuana plants. No suspects were named and no arrests were made. The Aguanga sheriff’s department told residents that it was an isolated incident and not a threat to the community. Ronald McKay, the owner of the property, said that he was unaware that there was any shooting event that took place at his rentals, mobile home, and house. According to McKay, he attempted to check the well on the property on Monday but a deputy would not let him enter or tell him what happened. He also said he never heard the word of the incident from authorities even though he gave them his phone number. McKay said that the property is managed by an employee so he did not know the individuals who lived there, but he never knew of any incidents to date.

 

Aguanga’s vast open land has vineyards and horse ranches scattered about. Some southern California residents enjoy weekend getaways to the small town. However, the area is rife with illegal marijuana processing operations. In February there were close to 10,000 plants seized and 411 pounds of marijuana along with firearms taken from the town by deputies. Four arrests were made. One local real estate broker says that some of his clients are pot growers and they live in his gated community.

 

Because the area is so isolated, it is a prime spot for illegal marijuana activities. Adam Spiker, who is the executive director of the Southern California Coalition says the illegal market for marijuana manufacturing is not well checked.

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A man was strangled at a park in Emerald Hills by another man who was allegedly yelling “I’m going to kill you” to the victim. On July 11, a man who was described as approximately 40 years of age with a thin mustache and goatee, who was about 6’ in height and around 170 pounds. He had a look that could indicate he had jaundice or other condition that caused the whites of his eyes to be yellow in color. The suspect attacked a 23-year-old man at Emerald Hills Park on Bethune Court. The San Diego County Crime Stoppers used the information to release a composite sketch for the community of the suspect. If found, the suspect will be charged with attempted homicide.

The incident took place in the middle of the day at 1:50 p.m. According to the victim, the suspect tried to grab for the victim’s cell phone which was on a table in the park. When the victim witnessed this the two men got into a physical altercation. The suspect revealed a box cutter and began threatening the victim that he was going to kill him. The suspect used the box cutter to stab the victim in his arm, and then he proceeded to strangle the young man. After the San Diego Police arrived on the scene they were able to get the victim medical care. The victim received 18 staples to the laceration on his arm.

The last report of the suspect placed him walking into a canyon near Kelton Road and state Route 94. The SDPD is hopeful that the sketch will result in more leads from the public. The suspect was said to be wearing a bright orange, flat brim hat that had a white “C” on the front, a very large navy sweatshirt with a hood, dark-colored sweatpants, and a gray backpack that had zebra stripes at the time of the attack. The investigation is active and ongoing. 

Can Composite Sketches Lead to Arrests?

When a suspect connected to a crime is at large, the police take many actions to locate and find the individual. One of the ways that they look for information is to reach out to the community and see what details and facts they can gather to help them find the suspect. They will also release composite sketches if they have a victim or witnesses that can provide a description. The sketch can help get the public more involved in helping and potentially lead to an identification. 

There are many factors that go into how accurate the drawing will be including the recollection of a witness and the skill of the artist. While there may not be firm statistics on how effective composite sketches are at finding suspects, it is known that there are cases where a sketch was pivotal in finding a suspect and making an arrest. Continue reading

On August 28 at 12:30 a.m., Chula Vista police were called about a body in the street. When they arrived at the scene, 33-year-old Laura Rodriguez was found dead. Her body was located near Shasta and 2nd street, 10 miles south of San Diego. According to Chula Vista Police Department Lt. Dan Peak, Rodriguez was found naked with head trauma. Lt. Peak said that her death was suspicious. 

 

Rodriguez is survived by two daughters aged 12 and 14. A GoFundMe page has been established to raise money for her funeral expenses. The page has accumulated close to $18,000, surpassing its goal of $16,000. According to the GoFundMe page, Rodriguez enjoyed hiking and biking and was a dedicated mother. She was a person who cared about others and was always there to help those in need.

 

Investigators indicated that they did not find any evidence that Rodriguez was the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Her body was also void of gunshot wounds or stabbing injuries. Officers who arrived at the scene did attempt life-saving measures to save the young woman but to no avail. She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

 

Rodriguez’s brother, Daniel, identified his sister as the victim during an interview with Fox San Diego. He asked anyone with information to please contact the police. A local resident has said that he heard the noise of an engine revving prior to Rodriguez’s body being discovered. A tow truck took a gray Chevy from the crime scene.

 

San Diego Violent Crime Rate

 

In 2018, the San Diego general crime rate was 1.3 times lower than the national average. That year, San Diego’s violent crime rate was 211.3 while the national average was 207.3 making it notably higher than much of the country. This is a significant increase from 2017, when the city’s violent crime rate was 8.6 times smaller than the national average’s violent crime rate. San Diego’s crime rate was 70.4% higher than in other cities in the country. For the past five years, the city of San Diego’s violent crime rate has been trending up while property crimes have been decreasing.

 

Violent crime includes homicide, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. In just the first half of 2019, San Diego law enforcement reported on average 31 violent crimes every day.

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Scott Peterson became a well-known name when he was convicted of murdering his pregnant wife Laci in 2002. He was facing the death penalty for the murder. Recently, the California Supreme Court overturned his death penalty sentence. According to Justice Leondra Kruger, the trial judge dismissed jurors who were opposed to capital punishment. Discharging prospective jurors was not the right course of action. What should have happened is that these individuals should have been questioned further on their views.

 

The highest court in the state still maintained the guilty verdict of Peterson’s trial and indicated that prosecutors retained the ability to retry him for the death penalty. Not only did Peterson bring up the unfair removal of some jurors, but he also said that the immense amount of publicity that was put on his case before he went to trial precluded fairness. His trial was actually moved to San Mateo County because a judge said that there was no way he could see a fair trial if it took place in Modesto. Peterson’s lawyer said that there still was no fairness in San Mateo County, where a substantial number of jurors interviewed said that they believed he was guilty. For this reason, his trial should have been moved again to an area where there was not such rampant bias.

 

Despite the arguments surrounding the trial’s publicity, the court said that it would be difficult to find an area that had not already heard about the case so continually moving it would not have made a difference. The amount of attention that Peterson’s trial received was on the level of O.J. Simpson and the Manson family. 

 

Prosecutors are determining what course of action to take. They have not come to a decision on whether they will try him again for the death penalty or just allow him to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. One of the considerations that is going to factor into their decision will be the opinions of Laci’s family.

 

The Disappearance of Laci Peterson

 

Laci Peterson was 27 and only a month away from her due date when she went missing on Christmas Eve. According to Scott Peterson, he was fishing in Berkeley at the time of her disappearance. A search for her went on for four months, until a portion of her body and that of her unborn son was spotted by a passerby who was out on a walk. They were found on the rocky shore only a few miles from the location Scott Peterson said he was fishing. Laci’s family was supportive of Scott initially, not suspecting him. But when his mistress, Amber Frey came forward and admitted that she was dating him, that changed. Scott appeared to try to flee but authorities found him in San Diego county with bleached hair and $15,000, where they arrested him.

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The professional skateboarder, Robert Lorifice, was sentenced to five years on supervised release and one year on house arrest after his connection to the federal drug trafficking case. Jude Dana M. Sabraw sentenced Lorifice on August 7. In addition to his sentence, he must pay $2,000 in fines.

 

In 2019 Lorifice pleaded guilty for his intent to distribute the methamphetamine and heroin he had in his possession. Alongside Lorifice was Elizabeth Landis, who also pleaded guilty to the same charges. Landis was a former girlfriend of the professional skateboarder. The charges came about after a raid took place at Lorifice’s home. Authorities found the drugs as well as over 800 Xanax pills. Lorifice admitted that he and his former girlfriend organized drug deals and that they sold drugs for money.

 

Lorifice and Landis said that they attempted to get rid of the drugs in the house by flushing them down the toilet and in a sink in the master bedroom. When the authorities entered the home, they found the pair trying to flush the drugs away. Deputies found drugs next to the toilet and in the sink. They also found Xanax pills, heroin, and meth in a closet. There was money and a passport located in a safe that was in another closet. Throughout the bedroom were plastic baggies, various pills, marijuana, mushrooms, packing materials, and a digital scale. Altogether, there were 231.6 grams of heroin, 193 grams of meth, 196 grams of marijuana, as well as over $16,000 taken from the home.

 

Even Professional Athletes Fall on Hard Times

 

As a native of Encinitas, Robert Lorifice was interested in skateboarding at a young age. Since he was 6, he would go to the Magdalena Ecke YMCA skatepark and practice his craft. He admired other professional skateboarders like Tony Hawk and Andy MacDonald, who were also local to the area and would skate at the park. By the age of 16, Lorifice was good enough to turn pro. He steadily worked his way up the ranks of professional vert skating. When he was just 22, he won four X Games medals for vert and MegaRamp. 

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A man is facing a plethora of charges after he shot a BB gun at a business in Oceanside. The man was identified as Steve Soto, 23, of Carlsbad. Soto allegedly drove to Bliss Tea & Treats at approximately 7:10 p.m. and fired a BB gun at the business, which resulted in a shattered window. The cost of the damage was estimated at over $1,800. 

 

The business had signage posted that they were owned by black people and that they were in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Using surveillance footage, San Diego detectives were able to identify the vehicle that Soto was in when he shot at the business. Eventually, that footage helped the authorities arrest Soto.

 

Soto is facing vandalism and  hate crime charges for his actions. Additionally, he also is looking at assault with a deadly weapon for a prior offense in which he used his BB gun to shoot another man. The criminal complaint states that both incidents have also added two misdemeanor counts of discharging a BB gun in a grossly negligent manner to the list. 

 

Soto pleaded not guilty to all of the charges during his arraignment. The owners of Bliss Tea & Treats served him with a protective order requiring him to keep his distance from them, and the victim who was shot in the May incident also received a protective order against Soto. Soto is being held in custody and will be going back to court this month.

 

After the news came out about the incident, a GoFundMe page was created for the shop. The page successfully raised over $3,000 for the owners of Bliss Tea & Treats to put toward fixing the damage caused by the shooting.

 

Is a BB Gun Considered a Weapon in California?

 

In California, PC 245(a) makes it illegal to assault another party using a deadly weapon or any type of tool that is not a gun. The law does identify BB guns as an instrument, not a firearm. This is so because PC 16700 dictates that BB guns are not considered real guns, but rather imitation guns. Despite not being considered a real gun, they are still considered a weapon when they are used to commit an assault on another person. When you intend to cause another person harm by shooting your BB gun, and the BB pellets connect with a victim causing injuries, you could be looking at an assault with a deadly weapon charge in California.

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A 24-year-old woman was seriously injured when she was hit by a flying object while walking to her car in Carmel Valley. According to authorities, the incident took place in the parking lot located at 12600 Torrey Bluff Drive at approximately 9:45 p.m. The woman was with friends when a dark-colored SUV drove past and a person in the car threw an object out of an open window, striking the woman. She was hit in the eye and her injuries were so severe that she reportedly sustained permanent orbital-bone damage.

 

Now, investigators are asking the community to help identify the person who threw the object. If found, the individual will be facing felony battery charges. Currently, there is no description of the individual. Using surveillance footage from around the area where the attack happened, the authorities are trying to look for clues as to who did it. They are not getting much help because they have yet to find video documentation of the incident. The San Diego Police Department does believe that the assault was unprovoked. 

 

Anyone who has information on the incident has been asked to call San Diego Country Crimes Stoppers or to go online and provide their feedback. All contact with the agency is anonymous, and an individual with helpful information may be eligible for a monetary award of as much as $1,000.

 

What is the Orbital-bone of the Eye?

 

The cup-shaped bone that encapsulates your eye is what makes up the eye socket. The structure of the eye socket is shaped by seven different bones. The bones protect the eye and give it a place to sit within the face. Muscles for eye movement, tear glands, nerves, blood vessels, and ligaments are also held within the eye socket. When the eye socket sustains an injury like a fracture, 28% of these cases will result in damage to the eye and some amount of vision impairment.

 

All of the seven bones are vulnerable to being fractured, or only a few may be damaged depending on the details of an accident. The type of fracture that results will then be classified into one of three categories based on how the fracture took place and how the bones respond to the impact. When a person sustains an eye fracture, the victim may experience any of the following symptoms:

 

  • Reduced vision
  • Seeing double
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Bruising 
  • Bleeding around the eye
  • An eye that tears up
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sunken eye or a protruding eye
  • Loss of eye movement

 

For some eye fractures, surgery will be required. In other cases, surgery is unnecessary and the injury can heal with time. 

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