Local News - San Mateo

Fall back with the time change this weekend

KTVU's Top Stories - Sat, 11/01/2014 - 18:12

Daylight saving time reverts to standard time this weekend, which is a good time to check things in your home that will help keep you and your family safe.

Most of the United States will set clocks back by one hour beginning at 2 a.m. Sunday morning. This is known as “fall back.”

“This is a good time of the year to check things you don’t normally think about,” said Logan Fire Chief Brian Robertson.

Robertson suggested testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and also recommended pulling the panel off the back or front of the dryer to clean any excess lint.

He also suggested sweeping behind the refrigerator and removing any dirt and dust buildup.

Jeff Miller, Community Chapter Executive with the American Red Cross of Fairfield and Hocking counties, shared some additional items to check during this time.

• Update the emergency contact information in your family communications plan.

• Choose an out-of-area emergency contact that each person in your family can call if they become separated during a disaster situation.

• Make sure your emergency preparedness kit includes at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food items and water (one gallon per person per day), a flashlight, a battery-powered or crank radio, can opener, first aid kit, copies of important documents, and special items such as medications, diapers or infant formula.

“In addition to these plans, I personally have a few routines I follow,” Miller said. “I clean the clothes dryer vent from the dryer to the outside vent.

“I also inspect the fresh air supply and exhaust from my furnace making sure they are free from plants and debris,” he added.

Standard time begins on the first Sunday each November, and daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday of March.

Undercover police operations at Daly City massage parlors lead to arrests

KTVU's Top Stories - Sat, 11/01/2014 - 18:02

Following up on several tips, police in Daly City conducted undercover operations that led to prostitution arrests at massage parlors late last month.

On Oct. 23 and Oct. 30, police completed two separate undercover operations at Union Spa & Salon located at 7345 Mission St. and at SH Body Therapy located in suite .122 at 333 Gellert Blvd.

During both undercover operations, a massage parlor employee solicited an undercover officer for sex acts, according to police.

Police arrested a 51-year-old Sacramento resident at Union Spa & Salon as well as a 57-year-old San Francisco resident at SH Body Therapy.

The cases have been turned over to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office for prosecution and to the City Attorney's Office for possible administrative action, police said.

2 men in critical condition following hash-oil apartment blast

KTVU's Top Stories - Sat, 11/01/2014 - 14:09

A day after an explosion rocked a Walnut Creek housing development, and neighbors continued to pick up the pieces. Two men who suffered severe burns could face criminal charges related to drug activity that sparked the fire.

A lone security guard scrambled to keep people out of the condo complex torn apartment by Friday's explosion. "It was like a bomb went off. Yeah. It was instant," said nearby resident Karen Barca.

The blast at the Sunnyvale Avenue complex turned into a big fire. "The windows rattled for a good 20 seconds after it hit. And I crept out to the front room expecting to find a car sitting on my couch, and there was nothing," said another nearby resident, Sharon Vanderlind.

Fire investigators have confirmed that it was a butane explosion caused by the manufacturing of hash oil. That process uses a lot of butane, which can be odorless, heavier than air, and can collect throughout an enclosed space, as it did yesterday. "It destroyed not only units there, but there's damage up to 200 feet away in all directions," said Contra Costa Fire Battallion Chief Jim Howard.

Fire officials say the ignition source could have been something as simple as a static spark from walking on carpet.

During the fire, you could still hear butane cans exploding. Two people in the apartment where the explosion happened were severely burned and are still in critical condition.

Just imagine if this powerful explosion had happened hours later while families were out trick or treating. "Numerous activities could have made this much much worse. And time of day worked in our favor,” added Battalion Chief Howard.

Some adjacent residents were allowed back into their homes on Saturday to pull out as much clothing and supplies as they could. One couple is staying with relatives because they can't stay in their apartment.

"They say that there's no power, no water, no gas, no nothing like that, so they say if you don't have that, we can't let you back in there," explained explosion victim, Enrique Dorantes.

Fire officials confirmed that for some of the affected residents, it could be two weeks before they're allowed to move back into their homes.

 

Ice cream truck driver arrested for DUI in Santa Rosa

KTVU's Top Stories - Sat, 11/01/2014 - 13:42

An ice cream truck driver was arrested in Santa Rosa Friday afternoon for driving with a blood alcohol level higher than four times the legal limit, California Highway Patrol officials said.

At 4:30 p.m. Santa Rosa area CHP officers assisted the Sonoma County Sheriff's office in response to reports of a possible DUI coming from a clerk working at Roseland Gas Mart on Sebastopol Avenue.

The store clerk told police he watched a man pull into his parking lot driving an ice cream truck before stumbling out of the vehicle, apparently intoxicated.

The driver, identified as Hardev Singh, 57, of Santa Rosa, was detained by Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies before the CHP arrived on scene.

Singh failed a series of field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI and driving without a license, according to CHP officials.

The location of Singh's arrest was across the street from Roseland Elementary School and took place while trick-or-treaters were just beginning to walk the streets.

Victim in San Francisco shooting dies at hospital

KTVU's Top Stories - Sat, 11/01/2014 - 13:19

The victim of a shooting in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood Saturday morning has died, according to police.

San Francisco police responded to a report of a shooting at about 9 a.m. on Divisadero Street between Ellis and Eddy streets.

Officers located a victim at the scene suffering from at least one gunshot wound to the torso.

The victim was transported to San Francisco General Hospital in critical condition. The victim died of their injuries at the hospital a short time later, police said.

The suspect in the homicide remains at large and the identity of the deceased victim has not yet been released.

Police are continuing to investigate the homicide and are asking anyone with information about the homicide to contact police at (415) 575-4444 or text a tip to police at TIP411 or 847411 and start the message with "SFPD" followed by the tip.

Dallas nurse who survived Ebola reunited with dog

KTVU's Top Stories - Sat, 11/01/2014 - 13:09

A Dallas nurse who recovered from Ebola has been reunited with her dog named Bentley, who has been quarantined since she fell ill.

Nina Pham and the King Charles Spaniel were reunited privately on Saturday in a vacant residence where officers once lived at a decommissioned naval air base, where he was quarantined for 21 days. Veterinarians in full personal protective gear checked on him daily.

"I'd like to take a moment to thank people from all around the world who have sent their best wishes and prayers to me and Mr. Bentley," said Pham, who read a statement at a news conference Saturday. Bentley, whom she called "one of my best friends," was there on a leash.

Pham was diagnosed with Ebola last month. She contracted the virus while caring for a Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, who died Oct. 8.

Pham recovered and was released Oct. 24 from a Washington, D.C.-area hospital.

Earlier this year, authorities in Madrid, Spain, caused a public uproar when they euthanized a dog belonging to a nursing assistant sickened by Ebola.

"Bentley is alive and well in the city of Dallas," Mayor Mike Rawlings said, adding that he even kissed the dog Saturday. "There were a lot of human beings that spent a lot of time making sure this dog was safe."

Rawlings thanked city staff and Texas A&M University veterinarians.

4 dead, 1 injured after boat capsizes in Bodega Bay

KTVU's Top Stories - Sat, 11/01/2014 - 12:58

Three of the four people killed in a fishing boat accident Saturday near Bodega Harbor have been identified, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

Jessie Daniel Langley, 79, of Bodega Bay, Samuel Garcia, 86, of Bodega Bay and David Costa, 60, of Ripon, Calif., all died after a 32-foot fishing boat capsized just south of the entrance of the harbor just before 10 a.m., officials said.

A fourth victim, also an adult, has also been identified but investigators are still working to notify next of kin.

Bodega Bay resident Phillip Sanchez, 66, was the sole survivor of the accident.

He was found clinging to Bodega Rock, about half a mile west of Bodega Head, and rescued by the sheriff's office helicopter using a long line.

Sanchez, who was dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, had minor scrapes and bruises and was very cold, but otherwise uninjured, officials said.

Four other victims, one woman and three men, were pulled from the water.

One was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other three were taken by ambulance to the U.S. Coast Guard base at Bodega Bay before being pronounced dead.

Sanchez told officials he and the others had left at 8:30 a.m. for a day of crabbing, and were returning to Bodega at around 8 knots, or 10 miles per hour, when a wave hit the side of the boat and flipped it. Sanchez said he was launched into the water and was able to swim to the rock and hold on until he was rescued.

No one on board the boat was wearing life vests. Alcohol and drugs are not thought to have been factors in the accident.

Officials said today marks the opening weekend for crab season on Bodega Bay.

Man's own dog helps police bust him on drug charge

KTVU's Top Stories - Sat, 11/01/2014 - 12:37

Police in central Alabama say a man's own dog helped officers bust him on a drug charge.

Prattville Police spokeswoman Paula Barlow says the pooch named Bo followed his fleeing master, who was being pursued by officers. When the dog stopped and wagged his tail in tall grass, she says, officers found and arrested Edwin Henderson.

Barlow says the chase began when two drug officers arrived Wednesday with a search warrant and Henderson took off running.

After an investigator pointed at Henderson and told the dog "go get him," that's what Bo did.

Barlow says Henderson is charged with failure to obey police, manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. It's unclear if he has an attorney, and there's no word on who's taking care of Bo.

Hash-oil lab to blame for Walnut Creek explosion

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 22:30

Officials say an explosion that rocked a Walnut Creek neighborhood Friday morning was caused by a hash-oil drug lab.

The explosion destroyed one apartment unit and sent two people to the hospital with serious burns.

Police say compressed butane gas, used to cook the marijuana-based compound, leaked out causing the explosion.

The intense blow blew out windows across the street from the unit destroyed, including Sam Pura’s.

"I felt what I thought initially was an earthquake but it was a single impact greater than any earthquake or car impact that I've ever felt," says Pura.

Two roommates who live across the driveway were also startled by the boom.

“I thought a plane hit my building or something I didn't hurtle out. I did think it was an earthquake But, I knew there was some serious damage." says Vanessa Golovich.

"There was fire and there's like still little explosions going on and we just kind of ran out and across the street, try to get as far away as possible," says Niki Harrington.

They ran from their place into a burning, smoking debris field and a horrific scene. "

I saw my neighbor really badly burned all over and then I just ran out," says Golovich.

"So severe that their clothes were no longer on them.  They were burned off and they looked charred and wandering around," Pura said. 

"Basically almost naked; his whole face was bleeding, his whole face was bleeding," says Saline Hall. 

The two injured were rushed to nearby hospitals.

"One was airlifted to a burn hospital, I'm not sure which one, the other one was ground transported to John Muir Hospital," says Contra Cost Fire spokesman Captain Kent Kirby.

The damage was so great, neither rescuers nor arson investigators could get in.

"It's very unstable, so we can’t; we have to finish getting in there and searching for an more potential victims.  We have unconfirmed reports that there might be another one, another victim.  We can't get in there for a while; we have to shore up the building. A cadaver dog found no additional victim and the two known victims remain in extremely critical condition.

These “honey oil” explosions are becoming more and more common in the Bay Area as makers are cooking marijuana waste to make a new profit center.

CHP officer charged in nude photo scandal resigns

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 21:35

Thirty-five-year-old Sean Harrington resigned from California's Highway Patrol Friday after prosecutors charged him with two felony counts of stealing computer data.

Harrington is expected to turn himself in Monday morning. His arraignment is scheduled Monday afternoon in Martinez.

"That's for twice stealing scandalous photos from arrestees’ phones," said Barry Grove, Assistant DA for Contra Costa County.

Grove says Harrington is accused of stealing personal photos from the phones of two young women while they were in custody. Both incidents took place in August, one in Contra Costa County, and the other in Alameda County.

Search warrants obtained by KTVU show that on one occasion, Harrington texted the nude photos of one of the young women to two other officers who made lewd comments.

Grove explained why only Harrington is charged, "We have to charge what we can prove is a crime, not what we don't like."

Danville based attorney, Rick Madsen represents one of Harrington's alleged victims. He says she is gratified by the decision to press felony theft charges, rather than misdemeanor charges.

"I think it's an affront to all women," Madsen told KTVU. "I think it's cunning, devious and abuse of power."

Prosecutors in Contra Costa and Alameda counties are now looking into all traffic stops Harrington made in the past year that involve young women. The ongoing investigation could lead to more charges.

Madsen says a potential third victim came forward this week, that alleged incident is currently under investigation.

Website helps parents navigate Trick-or-Treating 'hot-spots'

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 20:52

You could call it, trick-or-treating like a techie. Some parents are trying to find ways to make trick-or-treating more efficient by using social media, so kids can focus on finding treats and not knocking on doors where no one is home

Carlee Davis, 6, of Walnut Creek tried on her costume as soon as it arrived in the mail.

"There's my wig, my dress my cape. I'm really, really excited," said the first grader, who explained she was dressed up as the vampire character "Mavis" from the animated film, Hotel Transylvania.

While Carlee's priority was her costume, her Dad, Aaron, was focused on logistics. He's mapped out the route they'll walk Halloween night, and where they stop and knock on the door will be based on which of his neighbors are in the Halloween Spirit.

"For my daughter, Carlee, it's a huge night for her," Davis said. "It's the candy, it's the friends. It's a whole experience."

He's using the neighborhood-based social media network, Nextdoor, to create a map based on which of his neighbors are giving out candy. The site has a Halloween "candy map" feature where users can register and let their neighbors know ahead of time if they plan on taking part in Halloween festivities, like giving out candy and hosting a haunted house.

"The candy corns are the people who've identified they're open for business," said Davis, who explained that when a user registers as a candy provider on the candy map, a candy-corn icon pops up on their address.

Other parents, especially those with small children, said knowing where to trick-or-treat ahead of time was a good idea.

"At this age they get kind of discouraged if they're just standing there and no one's answering," said Jessica Lisle, of Martinez.

"If we start walking down the street that doesn't have trick or treating we've sort of wasted their energy," said Addy Caballero of Alamo.

Nextdoor created a candy "heat" map of the entire Bay Area. The red zones show which neighborhoods have the most users who've signed up to give out candy this year. San Francisco's Noe Valley and Bernal Heights are hotspots, so is the Grand Lake area of Oakland. Several Neighborhoods near Santa Rita Road in Dublin and Pleasanton also had clusters of users register for the Candy Map, and based on Nextdoor's data, dozens of neighborhoods along the Peninsula and in the South Bay will be hubs of Halloween activity, too.

Halloween costume has special meaning for young boy

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 20:46

Children all across the Bay Area will be out in costumes Friday night trick or treating, but for one Antioch 3-year-old this Halloween is an extra special treat.

Matthew Ouimet imitated super heroes as he ran around a Red Cross Blood Drive offering words of support.

"You can do it poppa," said Matthew.

Donated blood carried him through a kidney and liver transplant June of last year.

"It's a miracle. It's amazing. I look back to that first night and how we weren't sure if we were going to have another night,” said Kelly Ouimet, Matthew’s father.

Many more nights and days came from the sacrifice of a real life hero. 

“Hey Matthew who was your donor?” asked his mother, Kristi Ouimet. “Brandon," responded Matthew with a smile. 

A 22-year-old army soldier who died in a car crash gave Matthew life by registering to donate his organs after death.  

This year Kristi’s Halloween costume is a donor's driver’s license, a tribute to those who register.

"So Brandon is our other hero. Matthew's little hero so we thought we needed to do something to push on. Donate life,” said Kelly.

People at Friday’s blood drive see how Matthew has soared towards better health.

"He's come a long way with what he's been faced with," said Paul White, as he donated blood.

Seeing first hand who their efforts help makes blood and organ donation an easy decision.

"It's so inspiring and he's so sweet and so cute. It's really a wonderful thing,” said Mary Clausen, a blood donor and registered organ donor.

The gift of life brings with it childhood memories.

"This is his first Halloween. He gets to go out and trick or treat,” said Kelly.

If you'd like to donate blood you can head to St. Ignacious, 3351 Contra Loma Boulevard in Antioch Saturday between 8 am and 1pm for the second day of the Team Matthew blood drive.

OPD swears in new officers

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 18:56

For the first time in four years, the Oakland Police Department now has a sworn staff of more than 700 officers. The 170th academy class graduated Friday morning adding dozens of new officers to the force.

35 people received their badges. Five of them are Oakland natives. And all of them are committed to making the streets safe.

"I will truly to the best of my ability," Oakland Police Deputy Chief Eric Breshears led the class in its oath of office. "For the Oakland Police Department," the officers repeated. "Congratulations," said Breshears, as the crowd erupted in cheers.

The group of men and women became the city's newest officers. "It's honestly surreal. It's a blessing. I've been wanting to do this forever," said 24 year old Isaiah Harris, one of five officers who grew up in Oakland. And they all plan to use their experiences to help them work the streets. "

Just knowing that I can relate to the community. Knowing that I know how to talk to the community. That they can trust someone who was born and raised here," said Harris.

Braulio Aramburo also grew up in Oakland, "My parents were from Mexico, so I got to experience how it is to be an immigrant in Oakland, and how blessed I am to be able to speak two languages."

Ten officers live in Oakland, including 25 year old Ashley Blackwell, who moved here from New Jersey.

"It's a really beautiful place to be and I really like it. And it's something that attracted me. I said I can really do all of police work, not just some of it."

Blackwell's family, which includes her firefighter brother, couldn't be more proud.

"She's not only smart, she has common sense and she's been trained well. And I just have to pray every day when she goes to work that she's going to be safe," said Barbara Blackwell, Ashley's mother.

The class showed video of their training, which includes hand to hand combat, being shocked with a Taser, and sprayed with mace.

"Each of these new officers has sworn to protect this community. And all of them understand the serious sacrifices risks and dangers that go along with being a police officer," said Police Chief Sean Whent to the audience.

This class gets the department to 715 officers, the first time above 700 in four years. "More police officers makes us safer. It eliminates mandatory overtime for the officers that I have will be less tired, I hope," said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan.

The new officers don't get much of a break. Some of them have to start Saturday at 6am. That begins their 16 weeks of field training.

CHP officer charged for sharing nude photos stolen from female suspects' phones

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 18:43

The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office filed felony charges Friday against a California Highway Patrol officer for allegedly sending nude pictures of two women in his custody to his personal cell phone.

Prosecutors charged Officer Sean Harrington, 35, with two counts of unauthorized access to a computer and copying computer data.

Prosecutors said the first incident occurred in Livermore on Aug. 6 when a 19-year-old woman was arrested for driving under the influence.

While she was being treated at a local hospital, Harrington allegedly searched her phone and sent private photos from her cell to his.

The second incident happened on Aug. 29, when Harrington arrested a woman in San Ramon for driving under the influence and booked her in the Martinez Detention Facility. When she was released from custody, she realized several of her personal photos had been sent to Harrington's cell phone, prosecutors said.

The woman's attorney notified the District Attorney's Office, which obtained search warrants for Harrington's phone and computer.

Prosecutors said forensic evidence confirms Harrington transmitted the photos to his cell phone as well as to two members of the CHP's Dublin Office.

So far, only Harrington has been charged in the case, but prosecutors said they would charge others if more information comes to light.

Golden Gate Division Chief Avery Browne said he expects the highest level of integrity and moral strength from everyone in the CHP.

"There is no place in our organization for individuals who choose to manipulate the law and department policy for their personal gain," Browne said in a statement. "His behavior does not reflect the professionalism of the thousands of members of the California Highway Patrol who pledge to provide indispensable safety, service, and security to the people of California."

District Attorney Mark Peterson said it was the first time in the county's history his office had charged an officer with a crime of this nature.

Prosecutors and public defenders are both reviewing cases involving Harrington and the officers he sent pictures to.

Harrington told the investigator that the practice of sharing female arrestees' nude photos was not uncommon in the Dublin office of the CHP, according to search warrant records. The search warrant said Harrington first learned of the practice while working at the CHP office in Los Angeles.

Victory parade cleanup begins

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 18:15

Cheers and confetti rained down on Giants players and fans Friday afternoon in San Francisco. It was a celebration that left behind a lot of goodwill and tons of trash.

"We've heard that there's two tons of confetti, that's 4,000 pounds, that's probably the hardest thing to pick up," said San Francisco Department of Public Works spokeswoman Rachel Gordon. "2010, we picked up about 17 tons of garbage after the parade. 2012, it went up to almost 22 tons. So we don't know what to expect this time."

Batting cleanup, a crew of about 100 followed the last float, racing to clear and reopen the streets to traffic within a couple hours. Police predicted a million people might come for the festivities, and the goal was to get streets cleared and reopened in time for the Friday night commute, which included a Critical Mass bike ride and trick-or-treaters on the streets.

The city encouraged everyone to take public transit into the city for the parade, though Marin's Jean Dalporto said problems during the 2012 championship celebration prompted her to drive in this year. "We took the ferry [in 2012]. And we had to wait about two hours, they didn't have enough," said Dalporto as she waved at the floats carrying Giants players.

In Bart & Muni stations, lines for trains formed the moment the parade ended. Bart ridership was up by 60,000 riders Friday morning and Muni saw an additional 30,000 riders over a normal Friday. Muni spokesman Paul Rose said the rain may've kept those numbers from being even bigger.

Those who rode trains in for the celebration said they didn't mind the crush.

"There's a lot of people but it shouldn't be too bad," said Taryn Stewart. "We've done it for every other parade and it's pretty simple, you just have to squish. It's so amazing and everyone's just like so pumped up on Giants energy, Giants spirit. So everyone's just really excited."

Charges dropped against Alameda arson suspect

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 17:32

Prosecutors dropped three felony charges of arson Friday against one of the two men accused of setting off a string of fires in Alameda in September.

Stephen Peterson, 27, walked out of the Alameda County Superior Court scot-free, according to Alameda County District Attorney spokeswoman Teresa Drenick.

Friends of the animal rights activist and musician had expressed disbelief at the accusations against him, saying he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Drenick said new evidence has come to light in the past four weeks that was not known to the District Attorney's Office at the time of Peterson's arrest.

"We have been diligent in reviewing this evidence. We have also listened closely to information provided by defense counsel," Drenick said.

"In light of this information, the people moved to dismiss (the counts) against Mr. Peterson, as we do not believe that evidence exists to support any criminal charges against him."

The charges against Peterson were transferred to the other defendant in the case, 22-year-old transient Andrew Gutierrez, who now faces six felony counts of arson.

The string of seven separate fires early in the morning on Sept. 28 caused $3 million in damage to 11 Alameda homes and businesses. Peterson was arrested that night outside a detached-garage fire at 2103 San Jose Ave., according to court documents.

He fit the description of a suspect spotted at the scene of two earlier fires and was identified by a witness, court documents said.

Gutierrez was arrested the same night in the 1500 block of Oak Street, according to court documents. He also matched the description provided by a witness and was spotted on video setting fire to a dumpster at

2326 Times Way just before his arrest, the documents said.

Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore wrote a letter to District Attorney Nancy O'Malley in September asking her to seek the maximum punishment allowed under the law if Gutierrez is convicted.

"Some residents had to flee from their burning homes in the dark. We were very fortunate that no one was all, eleven properties were affected: one suffered minor damage, seven were severely damaged, and three were destroyed. Five businesses have been shuttered; five residential units have been rendered uninhabitable."

Texas woman accused of sexually assaulting husband’s friend

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 16:37

A Texas woman has been charged with burglary with intent to cause sexual assault after police said she broke into the home of her husband’s friend and tried to perform sexual acts on him on Monday.

Megan Rae Davis, 31, also known as Megan Hoelting, told police she entered the man’s home through an unlocked gate and entered the house through the back door, according to the affidavit. She got into the bed, kissed the man and wrapped her legs around him, the affidavit said.

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The man told police he woke up when he felt someone on top of him trying to perform a sexual act on him. According to the affidavit, the man said he recognized the woman, who was naked except for her panties, as his friend’s wife and told her to get off him and leave the house.

When she refused, the man called the police. Officers arrested her while she was still in his room, according to the affidavit.

Davis posted bail and was released on Thursday.

Giants players smile, mug for crowd during parade

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 14:57

Under gray skies and a steady mist, tens of thousands of San Francisco Giants fans watched their favorite players take photos, wave and mug for the crowd from atop double-decker buses, as the team's victory parade wound through downtown on its way to City Hall.

Young girls with cellphones held high shrieked as shortstop Brandon Crawford rolled by.

"He's the best shortstop in the league," said Jessica Earnshaw, 17.

The San Jose high school senior snapped off several photos of Crawford.

"He's my favorite," she said. "By far."

A broadly smiling pitcher Tim Hudson waved an orange towel over his head to wild cheers. Two buses later, outfielder Hunter Pence, wearing a replica wrestling championship belt and mugging for the crowd, threw his hands up and led several chants of, "Let's go, Giants!"

The parade featured Giants' legends Juan Marichal and Willie Mays. Barry Bonds rode in a convertible, holding an umbrella and smiling broadly.

The fans greeted him loudly and warmly with chants of "Barry! Barry! Barry!"

Sidewalk cannons shot clouds of confetti into the air as a giant panda hovered overhead in honor of third baseman Pablo Sandoval.

Iris Gomez, 37, arrived to the parade route with sandwiches, juice and plenty of rain gear more than 5 ½ hours before the start of noontime event.

"I love the Giants," she said. "I've been going to the Giants games since the tickets were $8. I wouldn't miss this."

The parade will end at San Francisco City Hall and Civic Center Plaza, where Mayor Ed Lee will honor the team with a giant onstage ceremony.

The 3-2 victory Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals was the Giants' third World Series championship in five years.

Parade efforts were underway long before Sandoval snagged the final fly ball and dropped on his back on the field in victory.

"Unlike most parades where we have weeks and months to plan, this all kind of came down the pipes over the course of days," The Parade Guys' Stephanie Mufson told ABC7 News.

The parade, which is free and open to the public, was a first for 43-year-old Ana Gonzalez, who rose before the sun to drive to San Francisco from her suburban Bay Area home.

With the parade falling on Halloween, it left her and many other parents with a tough choice between celebrating their team and attending school events.

"I asked the kids if they wanted to go to their Halloween parade or the Giants and they said, 'Let's go see the Giants,'" Gonzalez said.

Police Chief Greg Suhr said the number of officers on the streets Friday will be at least 20 percent higher than usual, with police dogs helping with security.

"We will prepare for any inevitability, but we are hoping for the best," he Suhr. "I wouldn't be surprised if there were 2 million people in San Francisco (for the event) Friday."

Central Sunset and Marina District pharmacies robbed of drugs at gunpoint

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 14:52

A pharmacy in San Francisco's Marina district and another in the Sunset district were robbed of prescription medication by a man with a gun on Thursday, according to police.

The first robbery was reported at about 7:20 a.m. Thursday at a Walgreens pharmacy in the Marina District.

A suspect, described as an Asian man between the age of 20 and 40, entered the pharmacy located in the 3200 block of Divisadero Street near Lombard Street.

He approached the pharmacy counter with a silver handgun and demanded drugs from the clerk, according to police.

The pharmacy clerk complied and gave the suspect four bottles of medication. The suspect then fled from the store on foot.

The second robbery occurred at about 4:15 p.m. on Thursday in the city's Central Sunset district, police said.

In that robbery, the suspect, also described as an Asian male and estimated to be in his 20s or 30s, entered Greenhouse Pharmacy in the 1500 block of Noriega Street wearing a backpack.

The owner of the pharmacy, Clarence Yuk, said he heard pills clinking in their bottles inside the man's backpack as he entered the store.

Yuk's wife was working behind the counter when the man brandished a handgun at her.

The suspect was dressed in black and had most of his face covered, Yuk said.

The suspect ordered the owner's wife to hand over whatever supply of the drug hydrocodone that the pharmacy had in stock, Yuk said.

After the clerk gave him the drugs, the suspect fled the store on foot.

Yuk said there is a camera in the store but that it wasn't plugged in at the time of the robbery.

He said this is the first time in 20 years that the pharmacy has been robbed and that it was all was quite "exciting."

No injuries were reported in either robberies and police have not yet made any arrests.

26-year-old Seattle woman who died at Lands End ID'd

KTVU's Top Stories - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 13:30

A woman who died after becoming stranded on the rocks near Lands End on the northern coast of San Francisco Thursday afternoon has been identified by the San Francisco medical examiner's office as a 26-year-old Seattle resident.

Randi Salmon was pulled out of the water and pronounced dead at the scene on Thursday afternoon.

A second victim, identified as a 27-year-old man, was pulled to safety from some rocks, according to San Francisco fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge.

Fire crews responded around 12:10 p.m. to reports of two people stuck on rocks over a cliff in the area of El Camino Del Mar and 32nd Avenue, Talmadge said.

Rescue swimmers with the fire department and some boat crews responded to the scene. Both the U.S. Coast Guard and National Parks Service were also notified.