Archive for the ‘Crime & Courts’ Category

Prop 8 Ban on Gay Marriage Unconstitutional – Torn Apart the Novel

Saying that “Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” the U.S. 9th Circuit Court has ruled that limiting marriage to a man and woman was in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

In her novel, “Torn Apart: United by Love, Divided by Law”, local San Jose author Judy Rickard reveals her personal story. I was not aware of the impact that U.S.immigration and federal marriage laws had on the lives of gay couples.

Torn Apart – Website and Blog

“Torn Apart: United by Love, Divided by Law” – amazon

Keep safe, San Jose

Paul Ray Castillo, suspect in the killing of Cindy Nguyen. (SJPD photo)

A little more than a week ago, a neighbor of mine a few blocks away reported in our local email list

Today the unthinkable happened. A guy in a car next to mine (11th & Taylor) pulled a gun and pointed it right in my face. …

It started in my driveway. I was backing out, very slowly, as usual, and I guess he thought I was going to hit him, so he went into road rage; total unprovoked, erratic behavior. He screeched, u-turned at the corner, passed me, then backed up speeding back across the intersection. He caught up with me at Taylor and 11th. That’s when I looked to the side and he pulled the gun. Luckily, I ducked, pulled into the intersection a little and the cross traffic stopped. He took off one way, I took off the other.

Yesterday the body of the presumed carjacking victim Cindy Nguyen was found in a garage near by on 12th Street. The manhunt for suspect Paul Ray Castillo, considered armed and dangerous, is still ongoing in this case.

At another location a few blocks to the east, another neighbor has been reporting drug activity and violence on his block for years, and the police have never felt they had sufficient evidence to act on those reports.

On the other hand, a week ago and 6 blocks west of 12th Street, a suspect was arrested and his stockpile of weapons and explosives was seized and destroyed by the police after he made threats to a neighbor.

I hope I never hear another story like either of the recent ones in my neighborhood, but I’d sure rather hear another 6th Street story than another 12th Street story. If you see someone acting dangerously or threateningly, do report it to the police. Even if there are times when it seems their hands are tied and they can’t act, there are other cases where they can take action that could avert a tragedy.

Anyone you know?

My neighbor caught these night strollers on video when they stopped to leave a calling card on an electric pole in front of his house. There’s a couple walking their small, light-colored dog. She’s in shorts and carrying a large purse. He’s wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up, dark pants, and white sneakers. The location is near 17th and Saint John Streets. The full video is on Flickr.

I won’t post the actual tag here, but you can see it in my neighbor’s Flickr stream.

What can we do about graffiti? As far as I know, the city is still operating its anti-graffiti program. They’ll provide clean-up materials and official city-beige paint to cover over graffiti. Their webpage also advertises a graffiti reporting hotline at 408-277-2758. Graffiti reported to that hotline should be cleaned up quickly if its on city property (though that “quickly” may be more of a goal than an actuality, given the city’s financial condition) or result in a notification to the property owner for graffiti on private property.

The SJPD also has a graffiti reporting webpage. Reports there won’t lead to a clean up, but they do help pile up evidence against individual taggers so that if they’re caught they can held responsible for more of the damage they’ve done.

I’ve noticed in general there has been less graffiti around the neighborhood than in past summers. I have a theory that with the mild weather kids have been staying indoors playing video games instead of looking for something to do outside. Hopefully these couple days of hot weather won’t reverse the trend.

Candle Lit Vigil For Victims of Violent Crime

Please do not bring candles - use glow sticks.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley is among the sponsors of tonights 2nd Annual Candle Lit Vigil For Victims of Violent Crime.

This event is being held in loving memory of Vahid Hosseini and Officer Jeffrey Fontana. The event will honor those who have lost their lives due to violence.

Speakers include Kathleen Flynn -Vice Mayor of Milpitas.
Key Note Speakers: DA Carr, Jose Salcido on behalf of Mayor Reed, Bobby Lopez, Forrest Williams, Casandra Hosseini, Sandy Fontana- Fallen Officer Jeffery Fontana’s Mother, and Esther Peralez-Dieckmann -Director, SCC Office of Women’s Policy.

San Jose City Hall – 200 East Santa Clara Street San Jose, Ca. 95113

Today · 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Guests are encouraged to sign up at the event to share their personal stories.

SJPD: EveryBlock – Crime Reports – Stats & Maps, and More

Sometimes you just want to know what is going on around you. You saw the PD flash by with their lights on, or you heard sirens in the night…

* Enter a ZIP Code on EveryBlock and a neighborhood will open up to police calls for service, medical calls, alarm, and traffic/accident calls. There will be published media reports, real estate listings, and restaurant inspections.

* Crime Reports will open your eyes. Just look at all of the assaults marked by the As, and the Vs where some poor soul had their car stolen…

* The official SJPD Crime Statistics and Maps.

* California Megan’s Law: Please go over the information and read the disclaimer. Pay special attention to Legal and Illegal Uses.
The site is available to protect the public – not to be used to harass an offender.

Bike Party Hit & Run, During Memorial Ride

So sad- if you have any information, please contact the police:
(from official SJ Bike Party post)
These are two follow-ups to two separate Hit & Run incidents.

* Race St (Green Ride) on March 19, 2010
* Hwy 9 on April 8, 2009


This incident occurred on Race St on Friday, March 19th. The fact that this happened on the ride where we were honoring Joshua Ryan West who was killed by a driver on Feb. 1, 2010 is especially ironic.

The SJ Police need all of the eyewitness accounts. If any eyewitnesses have not gotten in contact with the victim and/or SJ Police, now is the time to do so. Please act NOW before it’s too late!

“Citizen Jane” Murder in San Jose

Jane Alexander was determined to solve her aunt Gertrude McCabe’s (1983) murder in San Jose. Jane’s investigation coupled with her insistence that authorities stay on the case helped to bring the accused to justice. Alexander’s tenacity gained much attention which led to the book “Citizen Jane”, and to a Hallmark Channel Original Movie.

“Citizen Jane”
September 12
9 PM Hallmark Channel (Comcast 66 or 185)
Ally Sheedy, Meat Loaf, Sean Patrick Flanery – (TV-PG,V), 2009

Citizens Against Homicide

Citizen Jane the book

Citizen Jane the movie site

I was disappointed that there were no location shots filmed in San Jose.

Although the fake SJPD building in the movie was better looking than the real deal.

San Jose neighborhoods participate in National Night Out 2009

police carTuesday August 4 is the 26th Annual National Night Out.

So, what the heck is National Night Out?

It is America’s night out against crime, a way to strengthen community partnerships with local police and to create a united front to combat crime and drugs.

It is designed to:

Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness;

Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs;

Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and

Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Scheduled participants include Mayor Chuck Reed, Vice Mayor Judy Chirco, San Jose Councilmembers Pete Constant, Ash Kalra, Sam Liccardo, Kansen Chu, Nora Campos, Pierluigi Oliverio, Madison Nguyen, Rose Herrera, and Nancy Pyle, Police Chief Rob Davis, along with community members throughout San Jose.

National Night Out
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
4:00 pm to 10:30 pm (times vary by location)

Participating San Jose Neighborhoods

A new tool to fight graffiti

Graffiti in bathroom at Backesto Park

Graffiti in a bathroom at Backesto Park

Starting tomorrow, the San Jose Police Department will be providing a new tool to allow residents to help fight graffiti. A new web page will allow us to report graffiti, including uploading pictures.

SJPD will use the reports to identify taggers for further investigation. The photos will be kept in a database to ensure that when caught, taggers can be held accountable for more of their actual offenses.

I sure hope this works. There’s too much graffiti out there. For the city, it means parks and library workers are busy repainting things when they could be doing other important maintenance in their facilities. Small business owners are forced to pay for clean-up at their businesses. And for the rest of us, graffiti makes us feel like we live in a city run by gangs instead of citizens.

EveryBlock: Police blotter info for San Jose neighborhoods

Ever wonder what’s really going on in your neighborhood? You may not want to know.

But for those of you who do, try this: Type in your zip code, your address, the name of your neighborhood, whatever, into EveryBlock in San Jose. It will tell you all the crime reported in your area, the real estate for sale, the news items posted recently about your neighborhood, restaurant inspections, recent Yelp! reviews… and it’ll even have detailed maps to spell it all out for you. Sheesh. That’s a lot of information. Scary, scary information.

But… oddly… helpful.

You can decide whether you want to be creeped out by the number of burglaries by your house by signing up for email or RSS notifications, constantly reminding you what life would have been like if you were only richer.

The best way to use the site is just to enter where you live, but you can still see some city-wide statistics, categorized into zip code or neighborhood. Some of the highlights of what you can dig up:

  • The charts for police calls for service pit neighborhoods against each other. As of today, downtown has the most, but Willow Glen comes fourth. Go figure.
  • Check out the city council agendas and see if there’s any items hidden in them with an address near you.
  • Get all your building and housing information here. What property is for sale? Any foreclosures? What about building permits nearby?
  • Have a lot of restaurants around your block? See if anyone’s been messing with the food inspectors here or are planning to change their liquor licenses here. Or just check out what your neighbors are saying about them here.
  • Seeing your zip code repeatedly in the Merc is never good. So find out what the news is saying about where you live here. (Plug: if San Jose Metblogs posts about an address in your area, it’ll show up there too. Don’t make us mad.)
  • Sometimes geotagged photos pulled from Flickr and Panoramio may be more telling than any visit for prospective homebuyers.
  • Zip codes may not accurately break down your neighborhood, so browse through this list and see if that works any better. Or if you’re more daring, browse by street.
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