Local News - San Mateo
Two suspects were in custody Sunday morning after police and fire officials investigated a string of eight suspicious fires set in an area of Alameda around Park Street, according to authorities.
It was a busy night for Alameda firefighters, as well as Oakland and Alameda County Fire crews who were called into help.
- Photos: Crews battle string of suspicious fires in Alameda
- WATCH: Two arrested in string of arson attacks
The two individuals were taken into custody in connection with eight cases of arson during a roughly three-hour period that happened within a seven-block radius in Alameda starting shortly before 1 a.m.
An investigation into the arsons is underway.
"There's a lot of work ahead of us but now that the sun is up we'll be visiting each and every location," Alameda police Lt. Jill Ottaviano said at a news conference at one of the city's fire stations at 8 a.m. Sunday morning.
The first three were smaller fires lit in garbage cans or dumpsters that did not spread to structures. Then at 1:30 a.m., a fire that started outside a residence on Regent Avenue, spread to the building.
No one was hurt, but several residents were displaced.
Then at 2:30 a.m., there was another fire that started outside an apartment building on San Antonio Avenue and spread to the building’s interior.
Again, no one was hurt at that fire, but there were several residents displaced.
Then, about two hours later, Alameda firefighters got a call about a three-alarm fire on the 1600 block of Park Street.
That fire was the largest of the seven Sunday morning. It damaged at least five businesses with three of them receiving extensive damage, including a dry cleaning business that has been at the location for 30 years.
Brite 1 hr. Cleaners Owner Daniel Ng said he is unsure if he will rebuild his business.
“There is nothing I can say,” Ng said. “For me, my life is gone.”
The fire was started after a car behind the building was ignited. The blaze then spread to the building.
Investigators plan to review surveillance video from a neighboring business that may have captured at least one arsonist on the property.
Authorities told KTVU the two suspects were adult males. They did not identify the suspects, but did say one was a 27-year-old Alameda resident, while the other was a 22-year-old transient known to frequent areas in Oakland and Alameda.
The transient was taken into custody on the 1500 block of Park Street. The two men were arrested separately.
In addition to the five businesses affected by the fires on Park Street, the residential fires displaced four families from their homes, according to Alameda Fire Chief Michael D'Orazi. A damage estimate was not yet available for the fire on Park Street or the residential fires, he said.
Francisco Hernandez said his family was one of the families affected. He salvaged what he could from the duplex while arson investigators assessed the damage Sunday afternoon.
“I thought it was just an accident,” he said. “I never thought somebody would do such a thing to a house, I mean, come on.”
Forty Alameda firefighters responded to the calls Sunday morning with mutual aid provided by Oakland, Alameda County and Berkeley Fire, according to D'Orazi.
Three members of the Arson Task Force comprised of investigators from other jurisdictions, the county and the District Attorney's office have been called in to help with investigation "because of the scope of the crimes," Ottaviano said.
Racy photos of Anna Kendrick, Cara Delevingne and Jennifer Lawrence reportedly were leaked Friday in a third round of celebrity photo hacks.
According to the New York Daily News, Delevingne and Lawrence were nude in the photos, while Kendrick was clothed.
The images reportedly were posted to Reddit and 4chan late Friday, and their authenticity has not been verified.
Lawrence, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Kate Upton, Vanessa Hudgens and Gabrielle Union were among the victims of two previous celebrity nude photo hacks, entertainment news site TMZ reported. The stars' iCloud accounts were compromised in the first hack in August, according to the Huffington Post.
Union and her husband, Dwayne Wade, released a statement to TMZ last Saturday.
"It has come to our attention that our private moments, that were shared and deleted solely between my husband and myself, have been leaked by some vultures," Union said. "I can’t help but to be reminded that since the dawn of time women and children, specifically women of color, have been victimized, and the power over their own bodies taken from them. These atrocities against women and children continue worldwide."
Union said she has contacted the FBI.
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin have tied the knot.
The couple married at the Aman Canal Grande luxury resort in Venice, Italy, on Saturday. Officiating the private ceremony was their close friend and the former mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni.
Matt Damon and John Krasinski were among the big names attending the ceremony.
The couple announced their engagement in April, shocking the entertainment world, which had written Clooney off as an eternal bachelor. But Alamuddin is everything Clooney had seemingly been seeking for years — smart, stunning and successful.
In April, a pal of Clooney's explained the connection to People: "He has found someone who is as smart as he is and who is her own independent woman. ... Amal seems to be the best fit for him he's ever had.”
In September, Clooney gushed about his bride-to-be at an event, telling her from the stage, "I love you very much, and I can't wait to be your husband."
The pair dated for just months before the actor popped the question with a sizable sparkler. On Aug. 6, news broke they’d gotten a marriage license in London. Alamuddin is a U.K. citizen.
The two had dropped subtle hints they’d wed in Italy, visiting and bringing her mother and his parents to his villa on Lake Como. The adorable moms were even spotted shopping together. All signs pointed to preparations for a wedding.
Of course, Clooney has been a longtime fan of the country. Good pals John Krasinski and Emily Blunt even wed at his villa in 2010.
More wet weather is expected over the weekend as crews gain even further advantage on a massive wildfire in Northern California, officials said Saturday.
Rain showers and isolated thunderstorms helped firefighters make significant progress while battling the King Fire east of Sacramento, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.
The blaze has burned nearly 152 square miles of a heavily forested region east of Sacramento. It was 84 percent contained — up 16 percent from Friday, state Battalion Chief Chris Christopherson said. More than 5,800 firefighters — less than its peak of 8,000 — continue to strengthen containment lines as authorities assess the damage.
"We got a really big assist by the rain, but it's still going to be a process," Christopherson said. "We've got to dig in and mop up around the perimeter and in those deep-seated burning logs because we don't want any more flames to pop up."
The blaze has destroyed about a dozen homes near the town of Pollock Pines in El Dorado County. Nearly 300 structures remain threatened, down dramatically from about 21,000 earlier this week.
The fire has cost more than $53 million to fight since it started two weeks ago.
The rains had brought fears of flooding and dangerous conditions, but the storms have remained light so far, said Tom Dang, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. Crews were evaluating roads for potential mud and debris flow and firefighters were surrounding some homes and buildings with sandbags.
Authorities on Saturday said a police officer was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was fatally shot by a white police officer on Aug. 9.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the officer approached two men about 9:10 p.m. because the community center was closed, AP reported. The men ran away, but "one of the men turned and shot," Belmar said.
Belmar said the officer shot back, but there was "no indication" that the suspects were hit, AP reported.
Scroll down to see some photos from the scene:
A 24-year-old Oakland man was arrested in connection with stealing a car from a Belmont auto dealership last Sunday, Belmont police said.
Jeremy Redwood was arrested on Wednesday night when he was found with a 2013 Mercedes ML350, one of eight cars stolen from Autobahn Motors, according to police.
The theft occurred on Sept. 21 sometime between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. at the dealership at 700 Island Parkway, police said.
On Tuesday, six of the eight vehicles were found abandoned in Oakland, police said.
Belmont police investigators learned one of the missing cars was in the area of 19th Avenue in Oakland on Wednesday, according to police.
The information was passed to California Highway Patrol officers who found the Mercedes and arrested Redwood.
He was booked into Alameda County Jail on multiple charges including auto theft, possession of stolen property and violation of probation.
Police are at the scene of a deadly shooting in South San Jose Saturday night, a police spokeswoman said.
Officers responded to a report of a shooting in the 100 block of Azucar Avenue near Roeder Road around 9:20 p.m., police Sgt. Heather Randol said.
Arriving officers found a man shot and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Randol said.
The Police Department's Homicide Unit responded to the scene to investigate the motive and circumstances surrounding the death, she said.
No arrests were made and the suspect or suspects remain at large, according to Randol.
The death marks the city's 29th homicide this year, Randol said.
Ohio State strength and conditioning coach Anthony Schlegel, a former linebacker for the Buckeyes, body-slammed a fan who charged the field in the first half of the team's game against Cincinnati on Saturday night.
Ohio State won the game, 50-28.
Scroll down to check out some photos and videos of the commotion.
The family of the two men who drowned at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach this week returned Saturday night looking for peace. Rip currents swept Jose Garcia Sr. and Jose Garcia Jr. into the Pacific Wednesday and both men drowned.
The Garcias were in the Bay Area to visit their son and brother, Lorenzo Gonzales, who was at the beach when rescuers pulled the men from the ocean.
“My dad and my brother were having fun,” said Gonzales of Daly City.
Gonzales snapped a picture of the two in the water as he waited with his dog along the shoreline. He planned to swim when one of the men returned to watch the dog.
“It just seemed like it was a perfect day to go swimming,” said Gonzales, noting the warm and sunny weather that day.
But, Ocean Beach is deadly deceiving as rip currents pulled the two deeper into the water.
“I’m just looking, looking for the two heads that I missed and then down the shoreline somebody pulled in somebody waved to me,” said Gonzales.
A surfer pulled Garcia Jr. out first and Gonzales began CPR on his brother.
“I kept yelling my dad’s in the water. My dad’s still in the water,” said Gonzales.
Firefighters recovered Garcia Sr., but could not save him. Garcia Jr. died the next day at nearby Saint Mary’s hospital, leaving behind his four-year-old daughter.
The two men had traveled from the Central Valley to stay with Gonzales in Daly City. He says they were all unaware of dangerous rip currents.
“We just had no clue. Everything caught us by surprise,” said Gonzales.
Days later as the initial shock has subsided Gonzales returned to the beach to place flowers in the sand and seek solace in the sunset.
“I went to the beach with my family and I came back alone,” said Gonzales.
Funeral services will be held next week in Turlock. The family has set up a Go Fund Me site to help with those expenses. They say the money will also go towards future education expenses for Garcia Jr.’s daughter.
Authorities say a police officer has been shot in Ferguson, Missouri.
Tim Zoll of the Ferguson Police Department tells KSDK-TV that the officer was shot in the arm.
St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman tells The Associated Press that an officer was shot but says he has no further information.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting were not immediately clear. The city has been the scene of unrest since the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year-old, by a white police officer.
The Saturday shooting comes after Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson issued a videotaped apology earlier in the week and attempted to march with protesters, an effort that led to a clash with activists and several arrests on Thursday.
Messages left with Jackson Saturday night were not immediately returned.
Jared Goff and California found themselves on the right side of a wild, high-scoring game for a change.
Goff threw seven touchdown passes before Cal used a rare defensive stop and a 34-yard field goal in double overtime from James Langford to snap a 15-game Pac-12 losing streak by beating Colorado 59-56 on Saturday.
"It's definitely a big confidence builder, especially off of last week when we played so well and didn't win," Goff said. "This week was maybe the opposite where we didn't play as well as we wanted to but came out on top."
The win came a week after Cal (3-1, 1-1) allowed five touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a 49-45 loss at Arizona, including a 47-yard desperation heave on the final play for the heartbreaking loss.
But the Golden Bears overcame a 14-point halftime deficit and won despite allowing another late touchdown pass that forced overtime.
"Wow, I think I've aged like 100 years the last two weeks," coach Sonny Dykes said.
On a day that Goff and Sefo Liufau both threw seven touchdown passes and had 449 yards passing, and the teams combined for more than 1,200 yards offense, it ended up being defense and the kicker that won the game for the Golden Bears (3-1, 1-1).
Colorado (2-3, 0-2) could not punch it in after having first-and-goal from the 2 to open the second overtime, as Cal stopped four straight running plays capped by Jalen Jefferson knocking Liufau for a 3-yard loss on fourth down from the 1.
"I stared at the ball and saw that he kept it and just chased him down," Jefferson said.
Liufau faked a handoff and kept the ball on a broken play that did not come off as the Buffaloes planned against a Cal defense that was selling out to stop the run.
"We had something that was definitely going to beat it," Liufau said. "If we run the play right the last play I think we score easy."
Cal failed to get a first down on its possession but Langford came on and calmly drilled the kick that gave the Bears their first conference win since beating Washington State on Oct. 13, 2012.
"My cheeks kind of hurt from smiling for so long right now," Langford said.
Goff finished 23 for 41, hitting Bryce Treggs on a 25-yard score on the first possession of overtime. He also combined with Daniel Lasco on a 92-yard pass play in the first half that was the longest in school history.
Liufau was just as prolific, going 46 for 67, including a 25-yard score to Nelson Spruce that tied the game after one overtime. Spruce finished with 19 catches for 176 yards and three touchdowns.
Goff and Liufau traded big plays down the stretch with each throwing a pair of touchdown passes in the final 3:23 of regulation to send the game to overtime.
Liufau started the scoring barrage with a 6-yard TD pass to Spruce that put Colorado up 42-35.
But that lead was short-lived as Goff was flushed out of the pocket to his right and threw back over the middle where he hit Stephen Anderson in stride for the game-tying 75-yard score.
Jake Kearney intercepted Liufau on the next play from scrimmage for Cal. That set the stage for Goff's 40-yard TD pass to Chris Harper with 2:29 remaining.
The Bears once again wilted late when Bruce Bobo got behind Cedric Dozier for a 30-yard TD catch with 21 seconds to play that tied the game at 49.
Both teams missed field goals early in the fourth quarter with Will Oliver going wide left for Colorado from 45 yards and Langford missing to the right from 42 yards for Cal. Oliver also missed a pair of 39-yard attempts in the first half for Colorado.
"This is a real first where you feel completely responsible but it is the beauty and terrible part about being a kicker," Oliver said.
Cal trailed 28-14 at halftime before taking the lead by scoring touchdowns on its first three drives of the second half, including a pair of throws from Goff to Kenny Lawler.
But Colorado responded and tied the game at 35 in the final minute of the third on a 12-yard pass from Liufau to Spruce.
Liufau threw three TD passes in the first quarter and Colorado added a late score with help from three Cal penalties to go up 28-14 on George Frazier's 1-yard run.
It was a dream come true for a little boy in San Leandro when fire crews were called to his street Friday.
Joel, who turns three years old on Monday, wears his fire jacket every day. He wants to grow up to be a firefighter.
Joel was first on scene when a water main broke in his neighborhood on Beatty Street. He watched as Fire Engine 13 responded and the firefighters fixed the water main break.
His day was complete when Joel was invited onto the truck for a tour.
A man and woman killed when their van collided head-on with a San Mateo County Transit District bus Friday afternoon in San Mateo were identified Saturday as 84-year-old Joseph Stivala and 79-year-old Anna Stivala, according to the San Mateo County coroner's office.
The collision was reported around 12:45 p.m. near South El Camino Real and 12th Avenue, SamTrans spokeswoman Jayme Ackemann said.
Anna Stivala, a passenger in the van, was pronounced dead at the scene and Joseph Stivala, who was driving the vehicle, was transported to a hospital in critical condition but a short time later died of his injuries, Ackemann said.
Anna and Joseph Stivala were San Mateo residents, according to the coroner's office.
Five bus passengers on the SamTrans bus were transported to a hospital for injuries not considered life-threatening, she said.
A man who was shot after authorities say he beheaded one woman and attacked another at an Oklahoma food processing plant from which he had just been fired has regained consciousness and was interviewed by detectives Saturday.
Alton Nolen, 30, remains hospitalized in stable condition after Thursday's attack at the Vaughan Foods plant in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis said. He said that Nolen will be charged Monday with first-degree murder and assault and battery with a deadly weapon and that he may also face federal charges.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for an Oklahoma City Islamic group said Saturday that Nolen was a frequent worshipper at a mosque the group maintains and that he remembers the suspect as "a little weird."
"He was a nice, quiet, low-key guy," said Saad Mohammed, director of information for the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. "He acted a little odd," Mohammed said, though he added that Nolen's behavior never raised any "red flags."
Mohammed said Nolen began worshipping at one of the group's mosques in May.
Lewis said Nolen was fired right before the attack, and that he then drove from the building that houses the company's human resources department to its main distribution center.
Once inside, he attacked 54-year-old Colleen Hufford with a knife in the center's administrative office area, eventually severing her head, according to police. Nolen then repeatedly stabbed 43-year-old Traci Johnson before Mark Vaughan, a reserve sheriff's deputy and the company's chief operating officer, shot him, police said.
Johnson was treated for her injuries at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center, where she was released Saturday, said Varina Shellman, clinical coordinator for the medical center.
Lewis said Johnson was also interviewed Saturday.
Police learned Nolen was fired for "numerous reasons" involving "personnel issues," Lewis said, adding that he didn't know the specifics.
Police asked the FBI to help investigate Nolen after co-workers told investigators he had recently started trying to convert several employees to Islam. He said police asked the FBI to look into Lewis' background because of the nature of the attack, which followed a series of high-profile videotaped beheadings by Islamic State militants.
Mohammed said Nolen had attended services where sermons were delivered condemning such attacks.
"In no way, shape or form did he represent Islam in this foolish act," Mohammed said.
In a statement, FBI Special Agent in Charge James E. Finch said the motive for the attack had not been determined, but that there is no reason to believe there was a threat to anyone else.
"We don't have any reason to believe there is any danger to the area," Lewis said.
According to Oklahoma Department of Corrections records, Nolen served time in prison and is on probation for assault and battery of a police officer. He also was convicted of cocaine possession with the intent to distribute in 2011.
The records show that Nolen has what appear to be religious tattoos, including one referencing Jesus and one in Arabic that means "peace be with you."
A 58-year-old woman was found dead by the San Pablo Bay in Rodeo in Contra Costa County Saturday morning, according to the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department.
Around 9:45 a.m., officers responded to a report from the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office of a body washed up by the shore at Lone Tree Point, park district police Sgt. Tyrone Davis said.
Officers, deputies and emergency crews responded to the scene and found the deceased woman, identified as an American Canyon resident, Davis said.
The woman's name has not been released pending notification of her next of kin, according to Davis.
Anyone with information on this case or saw anything suspicious in the area is asked to call park district police Detective Gary Castaneda at (510) 690-6555.
A number of parents are getting heated over some "Frozen" Halloween costumes.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, some adult costumes have apparently "let it all go."
Racy versions of Elsa and Anna costumes, just to name a few, can be purchased through an online lingerie and costume company called Yandy.
This isn't the first time the website has offered sexed up versions of popular children's characters.
In 2012 Yandy released a sexy Sesame Street line.
Habitat for Humanity homes that are under construction in San Francisco's Ocean View neighborhood were damaged in a fire Friday night.
The three-alarm fire broke out around 11 p.m. at the development near Sagamore and Capitol Streets. It destroyed one home under construction and damaged two others.
Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco CEO Phillip Kilbridge said about 90 volunteers were set to work on the project Saturday, but construction has been temporarily halted. The development, known as Habitat Terrace, will be made up of 28 single family homes for low income families.
Kilbridge said he is optimistic the fire will not slow them down one bit.
“I’ve been getting an incredible amount of phone calls from people trying to figure out how to re-double our effort to rebuild these affordable homes,” he said.
Chief Development Officer Kristine Leja said the fire could have been much worse given that there are 28 homes to build and only three were affected.
“I know that we’re going to come back stronger than ever and be able to rebuild this,” she said.
Leja said fire crews must give them approval before they can tear down the damaged structures and rebuild.
Kilbridge said firefighters did incredible work to stop the fire. Station 33 is right across the street from the home construction site and several other crews joined in the effort to put out the flames.
“We’re going to emerge from this stronger because of the community we support,” he added.
No one was hurt in the fire and the cause remains under investigation.
Iris Grace may have autism, but that doesn’t stop her from making remarkable paintings.
“She has an understanding of colors and how they interact with each other,” Iris’s mom Arabella said. “She beams with excitement and joy when I get out the paints, it lifts her mood every time.”
Arabella said that she wants to share her daughter’s paintings to raise awareness for autism, which affects 100,000 children in the UK. Arabella knows firsthand the effect that art can have when trying to understand a child with autism.
“When you are a parent or a teacher of a child with autism and you are trying to interact with them you are constantly looking for ways to find that key that will allow you into their world,” Arabella said.
“For me seeing Iris’s love of painting was just that, a precious key,” she said.
READ MORE: http://rare.us/story/this-5-year-old-autistic-girl-is-creating-breathtaking-art/
A Redwood City man convicted of torturing and killing a puppy in front of his 4-year-old daughter has been sentenced to two years in jail.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Friday that 32-year-old Alan Benjamin Velete will spend two years in county jail and an additional year in a psychiatric residential treatment facility. Velete pleaded no contest to felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor child endangerment charges as part of a plea deal in July.
Prosecutors say a 4-month-old terrier puppy named Lucky became the object of Velete's rage when it defecated on the floor.
Prosecutors claim Velete punched and kicked the dog, sprayed household cleaner in its eyes, taped its mouth shut and fed it his psychiatric drugs. He eventually suffocated the animal.
Much of Velete's abuse was done right in front of his daughter and girlfriend.
A 19-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol following a crash on state Highway 12 in Santa Rosa early Saturday morning that injured two teen passengers, a police sergeant said.
Santa Rosa resident Brian Pipkins was driving a white 1996 BMW on state Highway 12 near Cardinal Way with three passengers in the vehicle when the crash occurred, Santa Rosa police Sgt. Lisa Banayat said.
At 2:43 a.m., Santa Rosa police began receiving multiple calls reporting a collision in the area of eastbound Highway 12, just east of Mission Boulevard, Banayat said.
The first caller reported hearing screaming and saw smoke while another caller said someone was trying to pull occupants out of the white vehicle after it had hit a tree.
When police and fire personnel arrived, they found all four occupants out of the vehicle, which was fully engulfed in flames, according to the sergeant.
Firefighters extinguished the car fire while medics transported two 15-year-old passengers to a hospital for injuries not considered life-threatening.
Police determined Pipkins was under the influence of alcohol. He was arrested for DUI causing injury and booked into the Sonoma County Jail, Banayat said.