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Close Encounters

May 1, 2017

Sergeant Michael Moody was recently contacted by an investigator from the Fremont Police Department asking for assistance in apprehending a career criminal who was responsible for approximately twenty armed commercial robberies throughout the East Bay. This suspect also led police in 2 high speed chases one of which resulted in the death of an innocent pedestrian the other in the attempted murder of two police officers.

Sergeant Moody immediately rallied his investigative team consisting of Officer David Goff, Officer Michael Montero, Officer David Johnson, Matthew Seavey, Officer Carlos Padilla, Officer Adrian Payne, Officer Denis O'Connor, and Officer Kevin Nestor together and prepared them for the worst.

There was a tremendous amount of background information that had to be reviewed in order to get a better understanding of just how this ruthless suspect was operating. Once that info was obtained Sergeant Moody’s team members did an outstanding job of locating, and then following, an individual who they believed was one of the suspect’s closest allies. And their hunch paid off as he eventually led them to the suspect himself.

It wasn’t long before the subject of their intense interest was finally cornered and this time there was no chase, no assaulting police officers, and no injuries to innocent bystanders. Even though there was still a tense stand-off, this time the felon was convinced by the mere presence of Sergeant Moody and posse that he was thoroughly outgunned - and that was the end of that story.


On 11/18/16, Sergeant Mark Hutchings, Homicide, was assigned to investigate a murder that had occurred on Hyde between Fulton Street and McAllister Streets. Sergeant Hutchings was fortunate enough to have obtained video footage of the incident as part of his investigation and he was also able to gather a collection of clear images of the multiple suspects involved in this vicious killing. Sergeant Hutchings provided these images to members of the Narcotics Division for assistance in identifying those involved and Officer Adrian Payne and Officer Michael Tursi immediately recognized two of the suspects.

It was some time later while Officer Payne was conducting a narcotics investigation in the O'Farrell and Larkin Street area, that he recognized one of the individuals involved as being a possible third suspect in the murder video he had viewed previously. So after placing him under arrest for the current crimes he had committed, Officer Payne contacted Sergeant Hutchings and additional murder charges were assessed.

Then, thanks to the long hours and outstanding investigation conducted by Sergeant Mark Hutchings in addition to all the work of the other officers, the pieces started to fall into place and all of those involved in the brutal murder had been identified with 1 already in custody.

Sergeant Scott Biggs and Officer Michael Montero arrested one of the 2 outstanding suspects while Officer Denis O’Connor, Officer Eduard Ochoa, and Officer David Johnson captured the last of the three wanted for the homicide. And that’s what teamwork can accomplish!


It was a family dinner that went tragically wrong when an argument broke out and a son stabbed his own mother. Sergeant Paul Doherty, Officer Denise Hoang, and Officer Chris Vehweg were the first on the scene and had an extremely difficult job of obtaining details as many in the family were reluctant to tell the officers what actually happened. They were finally able to obtain the necessary information and while the injured matriarch was sent to the emergency room in stable condition, the search was on for the individual responsible.

Sergeant Eric Anderson was conducting a perimeter search when he spotted the party in question riding on an LRV through the West Portal business district. He was soon accompanied by Officer Eric Tindell and Officer Dominic Coyne. The officers boarded the transit vehicle and took the suspect into custody. There is no happy ending here.


The car was double-parked at 3rd & LaSalle, an area branded by shootings and many other penal code violations too numerous to mention, when Officer Mikael Pusung approached the driver to admonish him and have him move his vehicle. Good thing Mikael’s partner, Officer Juan Lara, covered the passenger side of the car because that’s when he saw a gun wedged between the driver and the center console. Juan let his partner know immediately. The driver, caught by surprise, threw the car in gear but wisely changed his mind and chose to cooperate with the instructions of the officers.

The suspect was a convicted felon prohibited from possessing a gun. The gun he had in his possession was fully-loaded and recently reported stolen .


There are still some “tricks of the trade” being utilized by law enforcement officers that will not be revealed in the Close Encounter column since they work so damn well in making sure that the morons who belong in jail actually get there. And one of those investigative techniques was recently used by Officer Andre Taylor in helping the California Highway Patrol solve a brutal beating that occurred on US Highway 101 by suspects driving off-road motorbikes. Officer Taylor made sure the CHP had all the necessary information to proceed with felony prosecution of the suspects who were responsible for the aggravated assault.


Now, on the other hand, Officer Kimberly Ng and Officer Robert Glenn used a bit of the old-fashioned kind of police work and stopped a car the driver was operating without a valid sign of current registration. The driver, being on active CDC parole, had really no excuse for carrying the fully-loaded, 9mm semi-automatic weapon that was in his possession so he definitely had to go to jail . . . again.


And nothing like knowing your clientele. Officer Joseph Obidi and Officer Collin Ryan spotted a subject driving a car who they knew did not have a valid license for doing so as well as the fact that he was still on felony probation for firearm related crimes. So a traffic stop was initiated and, true to form, their subject of interest was carrying a fully-loaded, Glock semi-automatic firearm. Creatures of habit . . .


There was a huge crowd outside of the bar on Geary right around midnight which, in and of itself was not a problem . . . yet. But it didn’t take long until someone either got mad, jealous, or just plain unreasonable and started brandishing a gun at the other people in the immediate vicinity. Officer Josue Gonzalez and Officer Mark Holland were the first officers on the scene and found the suspect but he was unarmed when they stopped him. Officer Nicholas Nagal and Officer Allen Mulliken soon arrived as back-up and a search was initiated to see if the weapon could be found. Sure enough, Nicholas and Allen discovered where the suspect stashed it - case, and bar, closed.

Stay safe.