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Police Blotter – Oct. 10, 2014 | Nitrous dealer at HSB tries to claim his property

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of October 2, 2014. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpdrichmondstation@sfgov.org.]

It’s a scenario that happens hundreds of times a day at amusement parks all across the world. You’re walking along with your family or group, young child in hand, but when you look down a minute later, alas, he or she is gone! You suspect they’ve run off into the large crowd and begin to panic.

How to avoid the panic.

Before you go, explain to your children what they should do if they get separated at any time from you or their guardians.

Tell them to find a uniformed park employee and explain to them that they have been parted from their group. Make it clear that it is NOT okay to ask or follow strangers for help, even if they do look friendly. Have them explain to the employee (or security officer) their name, your names and where they got lost.

Write your mobile phone number on a sticker and fix it to the inside of their shirt. If you don’t have a sticker, write it on paper and put it in their pocket. Tell them to give it to a uniformed staff member if they get lost.

Use your camera or cell phone and take a picture of your children when you arrive at the park. This way you will have a current picture with you.

Make sure everyone in your group, including parents and older siblings, are wearing the same bright, recognizable clothing. Bold orange or yellow shirts will work fine for this purpose. Avoid wearing dark colors as these will make you and your children blend in easily with the crowd, and avoid putting your child’s name on it. This will make it easy for strangers to call them out and take your child with them.

Bring along a way to communicate with your kids. You can give older siblings a cell phone (just make sure they know your number). Younger kids can benefit from the use of a walkie-talkie to keep in touch with you should they get lost. Show them how to use it and explain that it is not a toy, but a way to reunite if you do get separated.

Find a place to designate as your ‘meeting spot’ if someone from the group is separated, once you arrive at the amusement park. Crowded, commonly designated areas like the front gates of the park or at a bench next to a popular attraction are not good meeting spaces as they will be very crowded at all times of the day and relatively unsafe for a young child to be sitting at alone. Instead, choose a less popular area to meet up, like at the security booth or next to the restaurant where you plan to eat. This will make it easier to find a lost child.

Remember to stay together at all times. You probably won’t mind letting older kids go off on their own for a while (as long as they keep in touch via cell phone), but younger children should hold your hand and stay with you as you walk through the park. Keep a firm grip to prevent your child from slipping away. In especially large, crowded events, it might be better to safely fasten your child in a stroller or carrier instead of allowing them to walk, lessening the chances of being separated.

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On10/02/2014, at 12:09 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Chain of Lakes in Golden Gate Park observed a male know to them as having an active felony warrant. The male was taken into custody without incident.

On 10/02/2014, at 1:27 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Sutter and Pierce St. observed a vehicle with expired registration. The officers contacted the driver who stated that his wife neglected to take care of registration and he was unaware it was out of date. A computer check revealed that the driver’s license had also expired in January. This time the driver did not blame his wife and was cited for the registration and driving on the expired license.

On 10/02/2014, at 11:14 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of Steiner and Geary Boulevard observed two males in what appeared to a narcotics “hand to hand” transaction. The officers contacted the males and were able to determine that one of the males had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. The male was later booked at the county jail on the warrants.

On 10/03/2014, at about 4:00 pm, Officers were advised by security at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival that there were two males selling “Hits” balloons filled with “Nitrous Oxide.” When officers arrived in the area they were unable to locate the males but did recover two backpacks filled with balloons and “Nitrous” canisters. The officers seized the bags to later book at the station for safekeeping. While starting the found property report another group of officers were contacted by a male who reported that his back packs had been stolen. When the male was reunited with his property (which he identified immediately) he was cited for the violations. All the recovered property was booked as property for safekeeping.

On 10/04/2014, at 8:45 pm, Officers on patrol in the area of 3rd and Cornwall St. observed a vehicle making an unsafe turn. The officers contacted the driver and were able to identify him via his passport. A computer query revealed that the driver was suspended and revoked from driving for prior violations. The driver was cited at the scene.

On 10/04/2014, at 11:00 pm, Officers responded to a report of a vehicle driving in an unsafe and erratic manner in the area of Balboa and Funston St. Officers were able to contact the driver found the driver appeared to be driving under the influence. The officers initiated a DUI investigation which resulted in the arrest of the driver. The driver was later booked at the county jail.

On 10/06/2014, at 1:50 am, Officers on patrol in the area of the 4600 block of Geary Blvd observed a male in a parked four door sedan acting in a suspicious manner. A computer check on the vehicle revealed that it was reported stolen out of Pacifica. As the officers approached the vehicle, the driver exited and attempted to walk away. The officers detained the suspect without incident and recovered various burglary tools in the vehicle. The male was booked at county on multiple felony charges.

On 10/06/2014, at 10:07 am, Officers on patrol in the area of Park Presidio and Funston St. observed a vehicle driving 20 mph over the speed limit. The officers contacted the driver regarding the violation and discovered they did not have a current license. The license had expired and the driver had failed to renew it. The driver was cited for speed and driving on an expired license.

On 10/06/2014, at 3:06 pm, a male responded to Richmond Station to make a report of an aggravated assault in the area of 10th and Geary. The male stated he was working construction that day and while being driven home he was being yelled at by the owner of the company. The victim stated that he feared for his safety and asked to be dropped off on the side walk. After exiting the vehicle the victim stated the driver threw a metal level which narrowly missed him. The victim did not sustain any injury during this incident and the investigation continues.

On 10/06/2014, at 5:30 pm, Officers responded to a report of a male assaulting a female. As the officers attempted to control the situation, the male subject started to physically assault the officers at the scene. As the struggle continued the suspect bit into the left leg of one of the officers creating a sizable open wound. The suspect was eventually subdued, but not before injuring 4 officers and the initial victim in this call. One officer was transported to the California Pacific Medical Center for further treatment on their leg and is still currently unable to work due to the injury. The suspect was transported and booked at the county jail after medical evaluation.

On 10/08/2014, at 5:55 pm, Officers on patrol in the area observed a white crown Victoria with a mechanical violation. The officer’s initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver. A computer check revealed that the driver was never issued a California drivers license. The officers cited the driver for multiple violations.

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 4:44 pm | Posted under Crime | 2 comments

LEAP’s 31st annual sandcastle contest at Ocean Beach this Saturday

The 2013 best in show gold sculpture by The Chinese Immersion School at DeAvila

This Saturday, October 11, LEAP will host their annual sandcastle contest at Ocean Beach. Every year, professional architects, contractors and designers collaborate with teams of middle school students for the contest to raise money for LEAP’s art education programs. Last year the event raised $250,000.

This year’s theme is “Food, Glorious Food”. Before the event, teams meet with students in the classroom to develop ideas based on a set theme. Plans are finalized, clay models are shaped, team structure and schedules are defined, and tasks are assigned, all in preparation for the big day. On the morning of the event, the teams and students arrive and await the whistle that signals the start of the contest. As soon as it sounds, four hours of intensive building begin.

The contest begins at 10:30am, and the public is encouraged to come out and view the final sandcastle creations around 2:30pm, when judging begins and the beach is covered with sculptures. View photos from 2013

Good luck to all the participating teams! We can’t wait to see what you create this year.

Sarah B.

The sculpture and winning signage from George Peabody Elementary School

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 4:23 am | Posted under Events, Ocean Beach | 2 comments

New fence going up around troubled property bordering Sutro Heights Park

Photo by Jason J.

We’ve written a couple of times on the blog about the troubles at the southern border of Sutro Heights Park, including one late night fire in January 2013, and the reclusive resident who lives adjacent to the park.

For several years, the adjoining property – more specifically the fence surrounding it – has been neglected. Homeless encampments have often found refuge within the fence boundaries, sometimes starting campfires.

The home (and the one next to it) is occupied by a Wing King, a licensed physician who last practiced endoscopy at UC San Francisco. In March 2013 the Examiner wrote a story about King and his house woes, which included multiple fires on the property since 2004, false 911 calls, and lawsuits related to his business dealings. When a fire does break out, it’s challenging for SFFD as they have to access the location from down below on Balboa Street.

But to the delight of some neighbors and park users, improvements are being made to King’s property which should help prevent further issues with homeless encampments.

Earlier this year, a chain link fence was installed along the western edge of the property that borders the trail that runs up from Balboa Street into the park’s south side.

And last week, we received the above photo from reader Jason J., who noticed private contractors were installing a new fence on the property’s north side.

“I was pleased to see that workers are repairing the horrible fence on the Dr. King property,” Jason wrote to us. “Perhaps this sort of positive event happens every few decades. Better late than never.”

In March of last year, the city tried to address King’s property neglect by giving him 15 days to prove that the homes are occupied or he faced penalties of up to $7,000 per home. We don’t know what happened with the case, and it’s unclear if these latest improvements are a result of city or legal pressure.

Whatever the impetus, let’s hope this prevents further homeless encampments and issues from arising.

Sarah B.

A diagram showing where the SFFD set up at 48th and Balboa to tackle the 2013
fire that broke out. The red line illustrates the path they took with their
hoses to fight the blaze.

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 5:12 am | Posted under Parks | 4 comments

“Spooky San Francisco” event at the Balboa Theater, Halloween night

If trick or treating ain’t your thing on Halloween and you can’t find a costume party to attend, head over to the Balboa Theater for “Spooky San Francisco”, featuring a documentary about the city’s cemetery history plus short films and other surprises.

The event, hosted by the Western Neighborhoods Project, will screen “A Second Final Rest: The History of San Francisco’s Lost Cemeteries” from filmmaker Trina Lopez. The film looks at the early cemeteries that were spread throughout western San Francisco in what is now Laurel Heights, Rossi Park, Lincoln Park Golf Course, and the Legion of Honor. View photos of the old cemeteries

A Second Final Rest is a story of spooks, a truth stranger than that which many can imagine. It hearkens back to the film Poltergeist with its famous line that goes something like “They moved the tombstones, but they forgot to move the bodies!” But it also speaks to the dreams of a restless world and the desire to leave a mark in it before we depart. Whether there is room for the living and the dead to coexist as the years pass remains to be seen. I hope A Second Final Rest generates more questions than it answers, and reminds viewers to ponder humankind’s effects upon the earth now and after death, and to appreciate life while there’s still time. [trinalopez.com]

The evening begins at 7pm on October 31, and tickets are $10 for adults, $7.50 for seniors and children. You can purchase tickets online at the WNP website (which we recommend because the event will most likely sell out in advance).

Sarah B.

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 5:02 am | Posted under Events, History | Add comments

Police Blotter – October 2, 2014

[Reprinted from The Richmond Police Station Newsletter of October 2, 2014. To be added to the station's mailing list, email sfpdrichmondstation@sfgov.org.]

Yet again we are getting reports on scams operating within our district. It has been reported that two females, one in her teens and one in her 20’s are saying they were raising money for a trip to Spain. Another line is they are selling ???encyclopedias???

They seem to be posing as USF Students. USF has been notified and is aware of this. If you see these people operating in your area call 415-553-0123 and request a police response.

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On 09/20/14 at 1:10 am, officers on patrol in the area of park presidio blvd and Fulton Street observed a vehicle driving 20 mph over the posted speed limit. The officers initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. The officers contacted the driver who produced a California id card. While the id card was indeed valid, the driver was also suspended from driving for a prior violation. The driver had been notified previously by law enforcement regarding his suspension and was issued a citation for the current violations.

On 09/22/14 at 11:30 pm, officers on the patrol in the area of Divisadero and Pine St. observed a vehicle with a mechanical violation. The officers initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and contacted the driver regarding the violation. When asked for a California drivers license the driver was unable to produce one. A computer check on the driver revealed he had never been issued a California drivers license. The driver was cited for multiple violations.

On 09/26/14 at 2:20 pm, officers responded to the 800 block of La Playa St. regarding a theft from Safeway. When officers arrived at the scene, they spoke to the security officer who had detained the suspect. A computer query revealed that the female suspect had multiple outstanding warrants for her arrest. The female was booked without any further incident at the county jail.

On 09/26/14 at 10:23 pm, officers on patrol in the area of 36th and Cabrillo observed a silver BMW with non working tail lights. The officers initiated a traffic stop and as they approached the vehicle, they saw there was a current registration tab attached to the license plate. A computer query on the vehicle revealed that the registration was in fact expired and the tab on the plate was false. When contacted, the driver stated it was not his vehicle and did not know who had placed the sticker on the rear license plate. The driver was cited for multiple violations and due to the registration being expired over 6 months, the vehicle was towed from the scene to the police impound yard.

On 09/26/14 at 11:50 pm, officers responded to the area of 40th and Fulton regarding a report of a possible DUI vehicle. The vehicle was reportedly swerving over the double yellow lines on the St. and driving into oncoming traffic. At about 11:55 pm, officers located the vehicle, stopped in the middle of the St. at the intersection of 47th and Fulton. The officers contacted the driver who was slumped over in the driver’s seat with a cell phone in his left hand. The car was in gear and for the safety of all parties involved, the officers had to put the vehicle into park. The phone in the left hand of the unconscious driver had a partially composed text message which was not delivered, but clearly visible. A narcotics DUI investigation was initiated and the driver was later booked at county jail for multiple felony violations. Officers seized a quantity of suspected heroin, drugs paraphernalia, a baseball bat and a Smith and Wesson (BB gun) pistol with six rounds of ammunition tucked in between the front seats. The investigation continues…

On 09/29/14 at 5:31 pm, officers on patrol in the area of Martin Luther King Dr. and 25th Ave. observed a male on a parked bench who appeared to be in need of medical attention. The officers contacted the male and offered him various types of assistance, which was declined. The male told officers he was just having a bad day and did not want any help. While conducting their well being check, the officers conducted a computer query which showed he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The male was booked at county jail on the warrant without any further incident.

On 09/29/14 at 5:00 am, officers responded to the 3500 block of Sacramento St. regarding a reported robbery. The victim in this incident was grabbed from behind by a male suspect who told him he would be killed if he did not comply. The victim told the suspect he did not have a wallet with him and it was at this time he was approached by a second suspect who was female. The female removed a set of car keys and loose change adding up to about one dollar ($1.00). Both suspects fled on foot in an unknown direction. The investigation continues…

On 09/30/14 at 2:15 am, officers on patrol in the area of west bound Geary and 12th Ave. observed the vehicle with multiple vehicle code violations. The officers initiated a traffic stop and contacted the driver who stated he was picking up his friends who were at another location and felt too intoxicated to drive home. While the driver was being a good Samaritan in driving his friends home, he failed to realize, you should not drive a vehicle while your license is suspended. The driver was cited for multiple violations and called a ride share company to safely take both himself and his friend’s home.


We are still suffering from vehicle break-ins along Fulton St. and around the Sutro Baths – Point Lobos Areas. We are actively addressing the vehicle break-ins that occur but we also need the assistance of the general public in this endeavor.

We would ask you to follow these general guidelines.

    You should lock doors and windows, even if the car’s in front of your home.
    Remove valuables from your automobile.
    Remove ‘pull-out’ style radio face plates (if equipped).
    Park in well lit areas when possible.
    Park where your car will be easily & frequently viewed (natural surveillance).
    Park in your garage if you have one.
    Use a car alarm, it will alert anyone nearby.
    Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you’re away from it, even for a short time.
    Use anti-theft devices like “The Club” or an alarm system. You may get a discount on your auto insurance.
    You should never leave portable electronic devices such as smart phones and GPS navigation systems in a vehicle.

The San Francisco Police Department remains committed to the reduction and prevention of vehicle thefts and auto burglaries, and to the prosecution of those that steal vehicles. We hope the information provided will help the members of our community.

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 3:26 pm | Posted under Crime | 4 comments

Photo: Sunrise birds at Ocean Beach

October 2, 2014. Photo by Vince M.

Getting their fill of Vitamin D…

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 11:07 am | Posted under Ocean Beach, Photos | Add comments

14th Annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music fest in GGP this weekend

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass music festival will take place in Golden Gate Park. The 14 year old festival features over 100 artists across 7 stages and admission is free. The event typically draws 750,000 concertgoers during the weekend.

Highlights in this year’s lineup include Ryan Adams, Lucinda Williams, The Time Jumpers Featuring Vince Gill, Kenny Sears, Dawn Sears and Ranger Doug Green, Mavis Staples, Social Distortion, Emmylou Harris, T Bone Burnett, Dwight Yoakam, and Chris Isaak. View the full festival schedule

Festival hours are 10:30am to 7pm on Friday, 11am to 7:15pm on Saturday, and 11am until 7pm on Sunday. The stages are setup in three main areas of the park – Lindley Meadow, Marx Meadow and Hellman Hollow. The latter is named for the festival’s late founder and benefactor, Warren Hellman. Download the festival map

If you’re heading to the festival, be mindful of what you can and cannot bring. Coolers, blankets, and short-back chairs are all allowed. Cameras for photos and video are ok. Weather is expected to be toasty this weekend, with sunny skies and high temps in the 80s. So bring lots of water and sunscreen.

There will be vendors on-site selling food and non-alcoholic beverages. No alcohol will be for sale in the park, however, alcohol can be brought in as per park rules: no hard alcohol or glass is allowed; beer and wine is allowed but only in non-glass containers.

Many neighborhood schools open up their lots for parking fundraisers during the festival, including Argonne Elementary (680 18th Avenue @ Cabrillo), Lafayette Elementary (4545 Anza Street @ 36th), Presidio Middle School (450 30th Avenue @ Geary), and Washington High School (enter on 30th Ave between Geary & Anza). Parking fees range from $25 to $40 per day.

Self and valet bike parking will also be available on JFK Drive near Park Presidio and on Overlook Drive (which will be closed to car traffic). See the festival map for exact locations.

Ruckus is usually less than Outside Lands, but if you are a neighbor and have issues with parking or noise, call the festival hotline at (415) 386-8584.

Mobile apps are available for the festival for iPhone and Android and the HSB website will stream select performers from the various stages throughout the event. Check the Live Webcast page Friday for more details.

Rock on!

Sarah B.

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 9:30 am | Posted under Events, Golden Gate Park, Live Music | 4 comments

Video: Richmond SFPD pulls over cyclists running Arguello stop sign

In Stanley Roberts’ latest “People Behaving Badly” segment (KRON-4), an officer from the Richmond District station pulls over cyclists on Arguello at Washington. He gives them warnings about running the stop sign. No tickets were issued.

Sarah B.

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 4:30 am | Posted under Crime | 48 comments