Protesters March in Memory of Victor Ortega

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Protesters March in Memory of Victor Ortega

For the past two months, headlines all over the country have been about the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, by Officer Darren Wilson. In the wake of the shooting, riots, protests, and marching have become just as much of the story, with much of these activities focusing on the fact that Wilson has not been charged with a crime (jurors have until January).

This past Thursday, October 23rd, there was similar protesting in City Heights. While those marching seemed to be doing it as a symbolic gesture of solidarity with others around the country, many were also there to commemorate Victor Ortega, a man who died under circumstances the marchers believed foreshadowed those that befell Brown.

Ortega, who was a 31-year-old married man and father, was shot two years ago after police responded to a call regarding domestic violence at his Mira Mesa home where he lived with his wife.

According to the official report, Officer Jonathan McCarthy was trying to arrest the deceased when a struggle broke out. Police spokesperson Lt. Kevin Rooney claimed that during the scuffle, one of the officers lost his gun, which then dropped to the ground and fired. A second gun was then used to shoot Ortega once more, providing the fatal bullet.

After reviewing all the evidence, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced that they believed the officer was justified in his actions and that they would not press any charges.

In light of the recent protests, a San Diego Police Department spokesperson released a statement respecting the protesters’ rights to gather peacefully.

It’s tough to provide much commentary on either case, as so much evidence is vague, missing or conflicting. However, hopefully they both serve as a reminder that you need to be familiar with a qualified lawyer at all times, in case the worst occurs. The sooner you can speak to an attorney, the better off you’ll be.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/City-Heights-Victor-Ortega-San-Diego-Police-Shooting-Protest-280174722.html

Police Shoot Dog, Arrest Owner in Oceanside

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Police Shoot Dog, Arrest Owner in Oceanside

For most dog owners, the thought of losing our four-legged friends is almost too much to bear. In fact, many of us go to great lengths to ensure they’ll live for years and years to come.

When police officers are around, though, you need to be extra careful with your pet. Though officers are trained to accurately assess a situation to determine if they are threatened, it’s not their responsibility to incur damage simply to be on the safe side.

This past Monday, an Oceanside police officer used his weapon on a dog after it charged him numerous times and the owner failed to stop it.

The incident began with a phone call to police at roughly 2:30 a.m. Residents of a house located on Morse Street told the authorities that there was a man sitting outside their home, whom they did not recognize, accompanied by a dog.

When officers arrived, they found 26-year-old Armando Castillo right where the caller had said he would be. The dog they described was with him as well.

Unfortunately, upon approaching Castillo, the police reported that the man’s dog charged them. Originally, the officers reacted by asking Castillo to put the dog on a leash and regain control of it. The man apparently responded by claiming his animal was only trying to protect him.

After the dog charged the officers a second time, one of them drew their taser and attempted to subdue the canine that way. However, after the taser missed and the dog charged at them a third time, one officer took out his weapon and fatally shot the animal.

Castillo, who is known to be a gang member, was then arrested for suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and obstruction a police officer.

While this is far from a typical scenario, it’s a good reminder to keep your dog on a leash and subdued when around anyone, much less police officers. However, if you believe your dog was killed unjustly, call a lawyer immediately.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Oceanside-Police-Kill-Dog-Arrest-Dog-Owner-279769972.html

Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Member Appears in San Diego Court

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Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Member Appears in San Diego Court

San Diego, and California in general, is no stranger to motorcycle gang members. This past Monday, the state gained one more, though it was for a decidedly positive reason. Randy Mark Yager, 58, is a former leader of the Outlaws biker gang in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. For 10 years, he was also featured on the U.S. Marshal’s list of 15 “Most Wanted” fugitives.

The indictment the judge read off in court was 51 pages long. Though the judge did not conclude by setting bail, prosecutors announced that they viewed Yager as a flight risk and overall danger to the community.

While his fugitive credentials certainly make a good case for Yager being a flight risk, his lengthy indictment makes it easy to understand why the community could be in danger if he was allowed back out on the streets.

Originally indicted in 1997, Yager was hit with charges from a Wisconsin federal judge that included burglary, robbery, trafficking counterfeit U.S. currency, trafficking narcotics, trafficking stolen vehicles, arson, possession of explosives, and even murder. He was the last defendant who had been served with that indictment to avoid arrest.

Though we don’t know the exact location, authorities have said Yager was arrested in Mexico, at a bar near Rosarito in Baja California. Originally, he claimed to be a man named David and had several forms of ID that carried the name David Michael Dorian. Further questions from Mexican authorities finally brought out the truth.

He is currently being held in San Diego at the Western Regional Detention Facility. However, he will be back in court on the 30th for his detention hearing.

Going fugitive is never a sound strategy for dealing with legal issues. Speak with a qualified attorney instead. If you or someone you know has anything to report on Yager, now would also be a good time to speak with a lawyer.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Most-Wanted-Fugitive-Randy-Mark-Yager-Appears-in-Court-279846132.html?_osource=outbrain_recirc=obinsite

Murrieta Mayor Steps Down after DUI Arrest

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Murrieta Mayor Steps Down after DUI Arrest

No one is above the law, as Murrieta mayor found out recently. As it turns out, no one is above the effects of alcohol either, though it should be noted that the mayor’s blood alcohol content was .07, which is below the legal limit in California of .08.

Nonetheless, this past Monday, Mayor Alan Long held a news conference to announce he would be resigning from his position. He also expressed concern for the high school students he had injured last Thursday after crashing into them.

In all, four students, ranging in age from 13 to 17, were hurt in the accident. It occurred at the intersection of Jefferson and Lily avenues. Fortunately, the four students had all been in a vehicle when the accident happened—San Diego doesn’t have a great track record as far as pedestrians are concerned.

Nonetheless, they were all still injured when Alan rear-ended their vehicle with his full-sized truck. According to local police, the students suffered injuries that ranged from moderate to major in seriousness. Three of the victims were released from the hospital the next day.  However, the condition of the fourth victim is unknown at the moment.

After conducting necessary field sobriety tests, the police decided Long was impaired. Aside from that, he is also believed to have been speeding and acting recklessly behind the wheel. Some witnesses came forward to say he had run a stop sign prior to the accident. However, other witnesses did say that Long stayed at the scene to help the victims and speak with their parents.

Obviously, you never want to get behind the wheel of a vehicle when you’re at risk of being intoxicated. This story is a good reminder that just because you’re under the legal limit doesn’t necessarily mean you can drive. However, should you find yourself in a situation like this, be sure to call an attorney immediately.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Mayor-Alan-Long-Murrieta-DUI-279833142.html?_osource=outbrain_recirc=obinsite

Motorcyclist Dies North of Vista

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Motorcyclist Dies North of Vista

This past Wednesday, October 22nd, a 49-year-old man was driving his motorcycle just north of Vista. According to reports provided by the California Highway Patrol, the driver was killed after he collided with a sedan. The driver of this second vehicle had apparently pulled out in front of him.

At the moment, we do not know the name of the motorcyclist, though he was survived by at least one son, age eight. He had been heading southbound on East Vista Way at the time of the crash, which occurred sometime Wednesday night. The 34-year-old driver of a Ford Taurus was turning from Hutchison Street onto East Vista Way, putting himself directly in the motorcyclist’s path as he did so. Though the motorcyclist tried his best to avert a crash, he was unable to avoid broad siding the vehicle.

Although we also don’t know anything about the driver of the Taurus, aside from his age and the fact that he is from Oceanside, reports say he was injured in the accident and had to be taken to a nearby hospital.

Sadly, the man’s child was soon on the scene as he had been followed by his son and landlord while he drove his Yamaha R1. CHP immediately called a trauma intervention counselor to the scene to help.

East Vista Way remained closed while an investigation was pending. Authorities have not yet said whether or not drugs or alcohol were believed to play a role. However, the driver of the Taurus had made a complete stop at the stop sign prior to then making a left hand turn.

The family of the deceased should definitely contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Even if drugs or alcohol are found to not have played a factor, they may still be entitled to damages or have other lawsuits on their hands.

Source:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/oct/22/fatal-crash-collision-vista-hutchison-chp/

Judge Rules with Cat Owner in Bizarre Case

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Judge Rules with Cat Owner in Bizarre Case

For most pet owners, it goes without saying that we would do anything for our furry friends, even if it meant going to court. Sadly, a recent case involving a cat ended up in San Diego this past Tuesday, although the pet was no longer alive.

The incident is a bizarre one, though, as it highlights the contracts that are often signed between two parties when a pet is transferred from one to another. In this case, The Rescue House, a local charity that helps find homes for stray pets, filed a lawsuit against a woman named Margaret McLean.

They asked for $1,000, claiming that McLean violated an adoption contract she had signed with them, which ultimately led to the cat’s untimely death.

According to the suit, McLean signed a contract that stated, amongst other things, that she would not let the cat, Malik, roam outside.

McLean contends that’s exactly what she did weeks ago. However, Malik’s death was not because she let the cat outside, according to McLean, but because a dog across the street escaped from its leash, chased the cat down and killed it.

Oddly enough, despite admitting she broke the contract, the judge ruled in favor of McLean. Because the signed ruling did not come with an explanation, though, we don’t know what the reasoning behind the decision was. Naturally, McLean felt vindicated all the same, though representatives of The Rescue House expressed that they believe the ruling was a mistake. Unfortunately for them, they are unable to appeal it.

Again, we don’t know what convinced the judge to rule the way he did, but we can say that The Rescue House should have had a lawyer on their side. Just because a contract exists and seems clear-cut, doesn’t mean you’ll get your way. Instead, hire a qualified attorney to help make sure you don’t wind up disappointed with a judge’s ruling.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Judge-Backs-SD-Woman-in-Dog-Mauling-Case-rescue-group-279853932.html?_osource=outbrain_recirc=obinsit

Imperial Beach Crash Kills Motorcyclist

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Imperial Beach Crash Kills Motorcyclist

October continues to be a particularly bad one for motorcyclists in the San Diego area, as yet another one has passed away from an accident that occurred in Imperial Beach. While it’s common knowledge that the San Diego area is a particularly dangerous one for pedestrians, it’s beginning to seem like the same can be said for those who ride motorcycles too.

The accident occurred at 6:10 p.m. this past Monday evening. It was then that San Diego County Sherriff’s investigators report that a 35-year-old man was heading east on Palm Avenue, riding an unspecified model of motorcycle. Unfortunately, it seems that the driver was also going over the posted speed limit of 35 mph.

When he came to the 10th Street intersection, his speed may have stopped him from noticing a woman driving an SUV who was turning left. After crashing into the SUV’s passenger side door, the impact was enough to send debris some 30 feet in every direction.

Rosaura Ramos, who owns a nearby taco shop, witnessed the accident and rushed to the motorcyclist’s aid, as she was once an emergency medical technician.

Ramos reports that the injured man’s vitals were very low, though he was moving slightly. She told to stay still but, unfortunately, by the time medics arrived, he was already dead.

Other witnesses have reported that they believe the motorcyclist—whose name is currently being withheld—was trying to beat the SUV to the turn. This would explain why he was going so fast at the time of the accident. However, investigators have yet to say if this is their finding as well. Eastbound Palm Avenue had to be closed down, while they conducted their investigation and results are expected to be forthcoming.

Fortunately, the female driver of the SUV suffered only minor injuries. Nonetheless, she should consult with a qualified attorney to understand what her next step should be.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Motorcyclist-Dies-in-Imperial-Beach-Crash-279859432.html

Hit-and-Run Leaves Cyclist with Head Trauma

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Hit-and-Run Leaves Cyclist with Head Trauma

Though the San Diego area has long been known as particularly unsafe for pedestrians, more and more stories are emerging about hit-and-runs that leave cyclists in their wake. Unfortunately, this isn’t altogether surprising. Cyclists often share the same paths as pedestrians, but cover much greater ground, making it more likely that they may end up in front of a dangerous driver.

This past Oct. 12, a 23-year-old woman from Ocean Beach suffered serious injuries when she was hit by a driver who then sped off.

Nearly two weeks later, Katie Conner is still breathing through a ventilator as she sits in intensive care. Though she is sometimes able to react to verbal commands, her father reports she has incurred serious trauma to her head.

At the time of the accident, Conner had been traveling east on West Point Loma Boulevard, biking toward Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. It was roughly 1:20 a.m. when a white pickup truck featuring a camper shell (which could have also been white, but which at least one witness has said was possibly orange or brown) struck her. Conner had been returning home from her job at Pizza Port that morning.

Originally from Maryland, Conner moved to San Diego after graduating college and wanting to escape from the cold East Coast winters. Aside from working at Pizza Port, she was also holding down a second job as well. She was a regular cyclist, having just joined a club and in the midst of training for an upcoming AIDS fundraiser that would take her from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Obviously, if you know anything about the vehicle or driver that struck Conner, you should report it to the San Diego Police Department immediately. It’s never a good idea to leave the scene of a crime, especially if you were responsible, but the driver’s best bet now is to speak with a legal representative and then turn themselves in.

Source:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/oct/20/bicycle-rider-hit-run-accident-katie-conner/

Brutal DUI Accident Puts Man behind Bars

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Brutal DUI Accident Puts Man behind Bars

Last Wednesday morning, City Heights was the scene of a particularly brutal drunk driving accident. Though everyone involved made it through alive—though just barely—the accident is going to most likely leave an innocent victim with an amputated arm, all because a driver made the irresponsible decision to take the wheel after too many drinks.

Another particularly damaging aspect of this accident is the fact that it occurred at 10:30 a.m. At the moment, we don’t know where Douglas Millsap, 50, was leaving from that he was as drunk as he was that early in the morning (not that it matters, legally). Nor do we know where his final destination was meant to be.

What we do know is that he was headed northbound on 54th street in a Nissan pickup truck when the accident occurred. At the same time, the victim, a 56-year-old man authorities have yet to identify, was headed eastbound in his Toyota Prius. When they crossed paths at University Avenue, San Diego Police say that Millsap broadsided the other man.

Medics responded to the accident and immediately took the unnamed driver to a nearby hospital. However, as we mentioned, authorities reported that he will most likely lose his arm because of the crash. When first admitted to the trauma center, he was reported in serious condition as well.

For his crime, Millsap has been arrested and booked into San Diego Center Jail. He is being held on $100,000 bail until his arraignment. Prior to being admitted to jail, he was given attention at the hospital for minor injuries.

The victim in this accident needs to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible. He is no doubt entitled to damages and will need them as he begins this new chapter in his life. Obviously, Millsap would do well to find a lawyer to represent him as well.

Source:

http://timesofsandiego.com/crime/2014/10/23/suspected-drunken-driver-severs-mans-arm-city-heights-accident-behind-bars/

Body Cameras May Be Coming to the Chula Vista Police Force

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Body Cameras May Be Coming to the Chula Vista Police Force

For various reasons, the recent events in Ferguson being chief amongst them, many have called for police officers to wear body cameras, so that their every interaction with the public can be documented. What a lot of people don’t understand, though, is that many police want the same thing. It could be an important step toward justifying their actions in the field.

Since 2010, police in Chula Vista have requested body cameras. The price for granting them this wish is estimated to be somewhere in the range of $500,000. If the City Council grants them this money on November 4th, when the Chula Vista Police Department plans on asking for it, some 120 cameras will be issued to the force. Provided approval doesn’t become an issue, officers could begin wearing them regularly as soon as January of 2015.

Agent Matt Hardesty has already tested a body camera while on duty. He told reporters recently that back in November he had one on when a confrontation with a suspect turned physical. Knowing the entire thing was being documented, Hardesty claims he felt much more confident fighting back and eventually subduing the man. Later, this video was used in court and the defendant pled guilty to all the felony charges.

These high-tech cameras would only take two finger taps to start working, but could then hold video for years at a time. While it could be transferred to computers, police could also use Bluetooth technology to view the video immediately on their smartphones.

Under new regulations, if the cameras are provided, non-eventful footage and traffic violations are expected to be held for 90 days before being discarded. Videos of misdemeanors would be kept for three years and felonies for five.

While all of this is good news, it’s also a reminder that long before the Miranda rights are read, anything you say or do could now be used in a court of law. This makes having a qualified attorney on call even more important.

Source:

http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/10/22/chula-vista-police-hope-to-wear-body-cameras/