Friday, April 24, 2009

Resident Shot During Burglary Attempt



A 40-year-old San Francisco man was shot early this morning by a man attempting to burglarize his home, according to police.

The shooting was reported at 3:50 a.m. in the 100 block of Gladstone Drive, located atop a hilly section of the Excelsior District, police spokeswoman Sgt. Lyn Tomioka said.

The suspect, described as a man in his mid-20s, allegedly broke a window of the home to get inside.

The suspect was confronted by the homeowner, pulled a gun and began shooting, and then fled on foot, Tomioka said. Police were unable to locate him.

The victim was driven to San Francisco General Hospital. The extent of his injuries was not immediately known.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Police to Increase Weekend Presence Around Nightclubs

Police hope to keep peace around city’s club venues

By: Tamara Barak Aparton
Examiner Staff Writer
04/23/09 7:58 PM

Police will fan out to nightclubs this weekend after a recent spike in violence outside SoMa and Mission district hot-spots.

“In the last three weeks, we have seen a weekend increase in violence,” police Sgt. Lyn Tomioka said. “We are redirecting some of our violence-reduction teams to be in the areas where we consider a potential [for violent crime].”

The department will pay overtime to deploy additional officers, she said.

“We’re going to have high visibility in the areas to deter criminal activities,” Tomioka said.

Among the most recent incidents was the shooting death of James Jamonte Turner, a 23-year-old Richmond man who may have left a SoMa club right before the incident. On Sunday, three men were hospitalized with stab wounds after a fight involving broken bottles outside SoMa’s The Endup.

Endup owner Sydney Leung said violence like Sunday’s fight is unusual, partly because of a constant police presence.

“We are literally one block away from Southern [Police] Station, so we’re pretty lucky. Normally, I do see [officers] during the night,” he said.

Leung said he welcomes additional patrols, especially as warm weather brings more revelers out.

Entertainment Commissioner Jim Meko said a visible police presence would be more effective than current legislation supported by club owners that would make it illegal to loiter outside for more than a few minutes.

“Ultimately, the solution is a police presence. Loitering law or no loitering law, we’ve found that foot patrols tend to make these things go away in an instant,” Meko said.

Commission Executive Director Bob Davis favors the patrols, but said the uptick in violence was not limited to clubs. There were three homicides last weekend, two of which were unrelated to clubs.

Police said next week they will re-evaluate whether to continue the increased patrols.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Woman Pleads Guilty To Accessory To Murder In Man's Death



A 23-year-old East Palo Alto woman pleaded guilty today in San Francisco Superior Court to an accessory to murder charge for her role in the stabbing death of a San Francisco father of three one year ago, prosecutors said.

Natasha McJimsey had been held in connection with the April 21, 2008, murder of Kenneth Arthur Jr., 46, who was found stabbed to death at about 12:30 a.m. at Thomas Avenue and Griffith Street, near his home in the Bayview district.

Arthur had been a celebrated recipient of the first Habitat for Humanity home in San Francisco.

Investigators believe his killing was over a drug debt Arthur had failed to pay to another man, 30-year-old David Earby Jr., of San Francisco.

According to investigators, McJimsey, a confessed crack dealer, knew Earby and that night at Earby's request, handed him the knife he used to kill Arthur, and later attempted to conceal evidence of the murder.

Earby was himself killed in an unrelated solo motorcycle crash in Pinole only days after the murder. McJimsey was arrested at her home on July 8.

McJimsey had been originally charged with murder, and today, prosecutors said she agreed to plead guilty to accessory to murder and drug charges.

Under the terms of the agreement, she faces three years and eight months in state prison, according to the district attorney's office.

Arthur became Habitat for Humanity San Francisco's first homeowner in the city in 1996. Five days before his murder, he emceed a Habitat for Humanity gala fundraiser and awards event attended by Mayor Gavin Newsom.

He left behind a wife and three sons.

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Man Robs Financial District Bank



San Francisco police today asked for the public's help in finding a bank robbery suspect who reportedly told a bank manager he was angry about corporate bailouts.

The robbery took place at about 12:50 p.m. on April 15, at a Bank of America branch at 50 California St., according to police.

Police said the man initially asked to speak with a manager because he wanted to make "a large withdrawal."

When he met with the manager, the suspect, who was carrying a black laptop case, explained he worked for an organization concerned about government bailouts of corporations, according to police.

The man then allegedly threatened to detonate a bomb he was carrying with him if the manager didn't hand over cash.

The suspect smiled throughout the encounter, and told the manager the money "would go to people who deserve it," police said.

The manager never saw any explosive device, but gave the suspect a large amount of cash from the bank's vault, and the suspect fled on foot, police said.

Police spokeswoman Sgt. Lyn Tomioka said today that there haven't been any similar recent bank robberies in San Francisco.

Police described the suspect as a white man, about 6 feet tall and 190 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue baseball cap with "SF" written on it, glasses, a khaki buttoned shirt and blue jeans.

Photos of the suspect are available at

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fights And Sex Offenders:

-3 men were stabbed during a fight at the End Up nightclub at 401 Sixth Street in SOMA, at around 6 a.m. Sunday morning. They are expected to survive, and no suspects were arrested.

-A man received life-threatening injuries during a fight at Market and Noe Streets, in the Castro District, at around 2:05 a.m. on Saturday. No suspects were arrested.

-A high-risk sex offender from Vallejo was arrested on Monday at O'Farrell and Polk Streets, in the Tenderloin. He has a previous record, and had a warrant out for his arrest for violating his parole. He had recently cut off his GPS tracking device, and had also been attempting to find a child between 8 and 13 years-old.

-A girl was approached by a suspicious man who told her to get into his car, as she walked to school in the Marina District on Monday morning.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shootings Kill 3 Over The Weekend

Police believe 3 shootings were impulsive acts

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

(04-20) 15:36 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- Three young men killed in San Francisco since Friday apparently were victims of spontaneous gun violence, police said Monday.

"These aren't gang-related - these are people out with guns," said Lt. Mike Stasko of the San Francisco Police Department's homicide detail. "The victims don't have criminal records as far as we know."

The first victim, Norris Bennett, 21, wanted to make something of his life - his dream was to start his own business and run a group home.

To fulfill his dream, he was taking business classes at San Francisco City College while working part time teaching recreational activities at a senior housing complex in Daly City.

After finishing his shift Friday afternoon, Bennett went to his neighborhood near Griffith Street and Navy Road in Bayview-Hunters Point.

He was shooting dice with friends when someone shot him at 4:40 p.m., police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"He was a real good kid," said Marcelia Blue, a manager at the senior complex where Bennett worked since January and a friend of his family. "He was bright, he had a future - he wanted to own a group home and help teens."

Although police say they need help solving the killing, Blue wasn't optimistic they would get it. "Somebody knows something," she said, "but nobody is going to say nothing."

Alexander Apalit of Daly City was shot about 9:15 p.m. Saturday at Otsego and Santa Ynez avenues in the Mission Terrace neighborhood near Balboa Park. He died at San Francisco General Hospital.

Like Bennett, Apalit was 21 and had a job, working as an automotive technician. He also had started a business with his cousins, running party buses.

Saturday night, Apalit was in a car with friends who were being chased by a sedan described as similar to an Infinity Q35, with five people inside, police said.

A person who was in the four-door sedan with tinted windows opened fire, hitting Apalit, who was in the backseat.

Police are unsure whether the gunman got out or fired from inside the car. They also do not know why Apalit and his friends were being chased.

Police said his friends drove Apalit to St. Luke's Hospital, where doctors tried to stabilize him. The hospital is not equipped to handle patients with gunshot wounds, so Apalit was taken by ambulance to San Francisco General, where he died.

Shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday, James Jamonte Turner, 23, of Richmond was shot at Third and Folsom streets in the South of Market.

Three men were seen fleeing the scene, police said. Turner was taken to San Francisco General, where he died.

Turner was apparently with friends at the time of the attack. He may have been the victim of a robbery or gotten into an argument on the street, possibly after going to a nightclub, Stasko said.

No arrests have been made in any of the killings, and police said they need the public's help to identify suspects. They ask that anyone with information call the homicide detail at (415) 553-1145.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Boy Killed In Visitacion Valley Shooting

Extra cops sent into S.F. project after slaying

John Koopman, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

(04-14) 12:26 PDT SAN FRANCISCO --

The San Francisco Police Department sent extra officers into the Sunnydale housing projects today following the shooting death of a 16-year-old boy late Monday.

Mark Crawford of San Francisco was shot about 10:15 p.m. on Blythedale Avenue near Hahn Street, about two blocks north of Geneva Avenue. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police spokesman Sgt. Wilfred Williams said Crawford was from the area but had recently moved away. He had come back for a visit when he was slain, Williams said.

No arrests have been reported in the slaying. Williams said it was unclear whether Crawford had any gang affiliations, or if there was another motive for the shooting.

There was little evidence of the shooting this morning, other than a wisp of yellow police tape floating in the breeze.

The neighborhood is poor, and there is significant drug and gang activity in the area. It is occasionally the scene of turf wars. The shooting occurred at the southern end of the housing projects.

Residents were reluctant to talk about the incident. A half-dozen police cars slowly cruised the area.

Officers said they knew little about the killing, but were on hand to try to prevent any further violence or retaliation.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Men Rob Excelsior District Bank



Three armed men burst into a bank in San Francisco's Excelsior District Friday afternoon and punched two tellers before escaping with an undisclosed sum of money, authorities said today.

According to San Francisco police spokeswoman Sgt. Lyn Tomioka, three men wearing masks and gloves, and armed with handguns, entered the Sterling Bank & Trust at 4627 Mission St. at about 3:45 p.m. and demanded money.

Two bank tellers were punched before the men took the money and fled, according to police.

Tomioka said one of the tellers was treated at a hospital.

The Police Department's initial investigation led them several blocks away to the 100 block of Florentine Street near the city's southern border, but no arrests were made.

"It doesn't appear that was where anybody lived, but that's just where the first phase of the investigation led," she said.

The incident was San Francisco's first takeover robbery this year, FBI spokesman Joe Schadler said, adding that overall bank robberies in the city are down this year from last. The FBI is assisting San Francisco police in this investigation.

"Takeovers, for a big city like San Francisco, they really are very, very rare," said Tomioka.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Man Injured In Hunters Point Shooting

SF Bayview Neighborhood Shooting Injures 1


A man was shot in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood Sunday afternoon, according to the Police Department.

Shots were fired around 4:40 p.m. at Harbor and Northridge roads, where police found a man suffering from a gunshot wound, an officer said.

The man is expected to survive.

No suspects were arrested.

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Also, a man was shot in the hand, hip, and knee at McAllister and Fillmore Streets, at 9 a.m. Sunday Morning.

Two Shootings Injure Six In The Mission And Excelsior Districts

2 SF Shootings Within 10 Minutes Hospitalize 6

San Francisco police are investigating two unrelated shooting incidents in the city that happened within 10 minutes of each other Sunday morning and left six people hospitalized.

The first incident was a drive-by shooting reported at about 2 a.m. near the intersection of Mission Street and Excelsior Avenue, according to police.

Two men were fired upon by a suspect in a vehicle that then fled the scene.

The victims suffered gunshot wounds, but they are not believed to be life-threatening, police said.

No information about the suspects or the vehicle was available as of 7 a.m., according to police.

Another shooting was reported at 2:07 a.m. and hospitalized four men, a 22-year-old, a 23-year-old, and two 29-year-olds, police said.

The shooting happened in the 500 block of Florida Street, according to police.

The victims saw a suspect, only described as a man between 20 and 25 years old, firing at them, police said.

After realizing they were shot, two of the victims transported themselves to San Francisco General Hospital, while the other two victims were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

All four victims were reported to be in stable condition Sunday morning, according to police.

No arrests have been made in connection with either shooting as of 7 a.m., police said.

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Man Stabbed In The Marina



A group of suspects have been detained after a man was stabbed in San Francisco's Marina District Saturday night, according to police.

The stabbing was reported at about 11:15 p.m. in the 1900 block of Lombard Street, police said.

The incident began as a physical altercation between a group of people and weapons ended up being used, according to police.

A victim received a stab wound to the left side of his stomach and was transported to a local hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening, police said. Another person involved in the altercation was hospitalized with heavy bruises.

A group of suspects have been detained in connection with the stabbing, but no other suspect information was available as of 12:30 a.m., according to police.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Two Injured In North Beach Drive-By Shooting

Two men injured in drive-by shooting at strip club

By Will Reisman
Examiner Staff Writer 4/9/09

SAN FRANCISCO – Two men were hospitalized after they were shot in a drive-by shooting at a strip club in North Beach early Thursday morning.

The shooting occurred at about 1 a.m. on the 400 block of Broadway Street, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

One of the men was shot while he was standing outside of the strip club, while the other was struck while he was inside the establishment, police said. They did not release the name of the strip club where the shooting occurred.

Both men were transferred to San Francisco General Hospital, but their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, according to police.

No suspects have been arrested and the case is under investigation. There was no information available about the make or model of the car involved in the shooting.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Family Sues City Over Excelsior Triple Homicide

Family Sues SF Over Triple Killing Of Father, Sons


Attorneys for the surviving family members of a father and two sons fatally shot in San Francisco's Excelsior district in 2008 have filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging its sanctuary policy contributed to their deaths.

Edwin Ramos, a 22-year-old suspected member of the MS-13 street gang, is being held without bail for allegedly fatally shooting Anthony "Tony" Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, on June 22.

The three were found shot inside their car. Police have said they may have been mistaken for rival gang members.

In a lawsuit filed Friday in San Francisco Superior Court, the Bologna family alleges the city's "illegal sanctuary policies were a substantial factor" in the killings.

The lawsuit claims Ramos was in the country illegally, had a history of violence and several prior contacts with San Francisco police as a minor, but the sanctuary policy kept police and juvenile probation officers from reporting him to federal immigration authorities for deportation.

"What we're saying is that the city adopted and enforced a policy that was actually inconsistent with and prohibited by federal law," Michael Kelly, an attorney for the Bologna family, said Tuesday.

Kelly said if the case goes to trial, a jury would decide to what extent the city was responsible for the deaths.

The city attorney's office declined to comment on the case. A statement from Mayor Gavin Newsom's office also declined to address the case specifically.

"I am deeply sympathetic to the Bologna family's devastating loss," said Newsom in the statement. "A terrible crime was committed and my heart goes out to the family."

Ramos faces three counts of murder and multiple special allegations involving gang membership, firearm use and multiple murders that could result in life in prison without parole, and is still awaiting trial.

A preliminary hearing in the criminal case is scheduled for May.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Man Arrested For Brother's Death In The Western Addition

Man arrested in death of his brother

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, April 6, 2009

(04-06) 17:59 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco police have arrested a man stemming from the one-punch death of his brother last week in the Western Addition, authorities said today.

Michael Cavness, 46, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on a charge of manslaughter for allegedly striking his older brother Edward Cavness, 48, in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement.

The incident occurred Thursday and Edward Cavness died Friday at San Francisco General Hospital. Police say they have unable to determine what the dispute was about.

Both men lived with their mother in her Western Addition home. Michael lived in the garage and Edward lived upstairs. Both men were unemployed and had criminal histories.

The incident occurred outside the home and was witnessed by a cousin, said Lt. Mike Stasko of the homicide detail.

Katherine Cavness said Monday she has no idea what triggered the fight between her sons. She declined further comment.

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

3 Women Sentenced In Robbery And Murder of Russian Immigrant

3 women get prison in slaying of immigrant

Jaxon Van Derbeken, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, April 4, 2009

A San Francisco judge sentenced three women to prison terms ranging from eight years to 21 years Friday in the slaying of a Russian immigrant they had lured to an isolated area, robbed and shot in the head.

Kimberly Gutierrez, 21, who prosecutors said pulled the trigger, was sentenced to 21 years in prison in the death of Eugene Gorenman, 26, of San Francisco, who was found dead near a gun battery at Fort Funston on March 29, 2004.

Guiterrez was 16 at the time but was charged as an adult with murder. She entered a guilty plea to voluntary manslaughter as part of a settlement in the case. She could have faced 25 years to life if convicted of murder.

Felicia Mehrara, 21, was also a juvenile at the time of the killing but was also charged as an adult. She was sentenced to eight years in prison for voluntary manslaughter by Judge Jerome Benson.

A third defendant, Jillian McIlvenna, 24, was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Police homicide investigators traced the use of one of Gorenman's credit cards to McIlvenna.

Gorenman was a Russian immigrant who grew up in Walnut Creek, graduated from UC Berkeley and worked as a computer engineer with Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

In a statement to the court, Gorenman's parents called the defendants "human filth" and "vicious savages."

"For a mere 20 dollars he was murdered without the slightest regard for his life, promise of future, his family and friends," they said.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

SFPD Warns Of Extortion Attempts



San Francisco police today warned of attempts to extort Chinese businesses by someone demanding tens of thousands to help relatives allegedly jailed in China.

According to police, businesses are being phoned by a Mandarin-speaking man claiming he needs $20,000 to $30,000 to release his brother from a Chinese jail.

The man threatens physical harm if the money is not paid, but doesn't detail how the money is to be paid, police said.

Police said 15 cases have so far been reported in San Francisco, and about 60 similar cases have been reported in San Jose, Fremont, Sunnyvale and Milpitas.

The San Francisco Police Department's gang task force is cooperating with other law enforcement, including the FBI's Asian Organized Crime Squad, in the investigation, police and the FBI said.

Anyone receiving such a phone call is asked to contact San Francisco police Inspector Jameson Pon at (415) 553-9221 or the anonymous tip line (415) 575-4444.

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Man To Stand Trial For 2007 Murder, Sexual Assaults



A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that a 32-year-old man accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death in 2007 should stand trial for murder.

Umar Hudson, of San Francisco, is also accused of sexually assaulting the two young daughters of the girlfriend, 32-year-old Jernell Scott, in 2006 and 2007.

One of the daughters reported the alleged crimes in February 2007. On April 6 of that year, Hudson allegedly stabbed Scott 39 times, prosecutors said.

The stabbing happened in the 900 block of Ellsworth Street, according to police. Hudson was arrested later that night.

Hudson now faces trial on one count of murder and four counts of sexual assault, according to the district attorney's office.

Hudson remains in custody on $10 million bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Superior Court on April 15.

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