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Close Encounters November 2019

November 1, 2019
Tony Montoya - SFPOA President

There’s a certain bond between first responders that makes their relationship to one another special. That bond was celebrated on the last day of Father John Greene’s long service to the Catholic Church held at St. Monica’s during the annual Police/Firefighter Mass.
But as ‘Father John’ moves on with his future interests maybe we should re-evaluate some of ours.
Why not have a non-denominational service next year to include the women and men in the Sheriff’s Department as well as our Dispatchers
After all, the Sheriffs have an extremely high-risk environment they have to manage which has its own dangers. And each month in the POA Journal a Dispatcher is honored for handling some very difficult calls for service while watching over the officers on the street.
Of course, if we really wanted to organize a proposal like this we’d need someone who knows something about the job you do because he was always there for us when we needed him, someone with a clerical background, and, of course, someone who would have the time to put such a service together.
Sounds like a perfect opportunity for someone who just retired . . . just a thought.

It’s early evening at the Westfield Mall at mid-Market Street packed with shoppers and people leaving work when Officer Kaitlin Christ and Officer John McNamara respond to a 9-1-1 call involving a felony assault. They arrive and find the victim bleeding uncontrollably from a severe facial injury. He was able to give the officers a description of the suspect which they later confirmed after reviewing the incident captured on the store’s surveillance cameras. Once medical aid was summoned the officers conducted a search for the attacker. They weren’t successful at first but the next day, with the help of Officer Kevin Cuadro and Officer Kohl O’Keefe, the officers managed to locate the suspect and place him in custody.
And thanks to the fast work displayed by Officer Keith Lipp and Officer Gavin Kundert, a man is still alive. Keith and Gavin were walking their Tenderloin Beat when they found an individual who showed all the signs of an overdose going downhill fast. The officers, having been trained in the dispensation of Narcan, acted quickly and the medication brought him back from a deadly alternative.

And only a few blocks away Officer Ryan Jones, Officer Irvin Huerta, Officer John Crockett II, and Officer Robert Rutledge were trying to reason with a man who had climbed halfway over the ledge of the 280 freeway at 6th and Bryant Streets and was slashing his wrist with a knife while threatening to jump. The officers were soon joined by CHP personnel who took over the scene with SFPD as back-up. The CHP officers used their less-than-lethal resources but they did not phase this subject who was now cutting both of his wrists. Officer Huerta was finally able to distract the man and he was taken into custody and transported to the hospital.

The streets of San Francisco are home to a lot of people. Many of them with serious physical and psychological issues. The Police Department cannot be held responsible for solving this problem. There should probably be a closer look at all the Non-profits that San Francisco is subsidizing to reduce any duplicity of services and to evaluate the effectiveness of each one operating at a tremendous drain on the City’s total budget . . .

Some thief stole a backpack from a woman shopping at Whole Foods in The City. She had been distracted at the time but now realized that her laptop, cell phone, wallet, driver’s license, passport and keys were gone. It was up to Officer David Dito, Officer Raymond Zuroski, and Officer Jesus Nevarez to save the day. And they did.
After reviewing the store’s surveillance tapes the crew from Co B knew exactly who they were looking for. Then they located the cell phone through a successful investigative te

chnique. That led to finding the suspect living in a tent under a freeway nearby. And, finally, they recovered all of the victim’s belongings.


Officer James Horan and Officer Gary Kunaboot responded to a car burglary in-progress at the Sutter/Stockton Garage and located a suspect matching the description given. The individual was detained and later placed under arrest after the officers completed their investigation. Turns out he had broken into 3 cars and his getaway car had been reported stolen earlier in the morning. And, as it turned out, the subject’s criminal record showed that he was currently on probation for similar crimes and had a lengthy criminal history as well.
And just five days later Officer Vanessa Johnson and Officer Joseph Marte responded to another auto burglary at the Stockton/Sutter Garage and met with the victims. The parties told the officers that they parked on the 7th floor of the garage and left their little dog in the car. When they returned from shopping they found their dog lying dead in the street in front of the garage having been thrown over the side by whoever was responsible for the break-in. The officers succeeded in obtaining video of the break-in along with photos of the suspect. The next day Sergeant William Toomey located and arrested the suspect who was, ready for this, already on felony probation for burglary.

The individual who was wanted for an outstanding felony drove by Officer Ronald Kuchas and Officer John Cathay who were patrolling the Mission 5-car sector when he should have known better. The officers immediately recognized him and double-checked to see if the felony arrest warrant that was issued in his name was still in play. It was. The traffic stop resulted in the arrest and, subsequently a search of his residence with the help of Officer Vincent Masilang and Officer Michael Beaird and the court-imposed search condition. An unsecured, unregistered, and loaded .40 caliber handgun was recovered along with narcotics. And, no, it’s never a slow day in the Mission.

The car was driving at a reckless and excessive speed when Officer Mark Walker and Officer Kevin Chang spotted it at noon in the Bayview. The officers pulled the driver over for further investigation. Turned out that he had outstanding warrants for his arrest for robbery, burglary, and possession of stolen property. They incidentally also discovered his driver’s license was suspended.
And, as luck would have it, he’ll probably spend more time at the DMV waiting in line for a replacement license then he will in prison.

Officer Michael Cunnie, Narcotics Division, was in possession of a search warrant for several homes owned by a major drug dealer in the Tenderloin. The warrant was the culmination of surveillance over several weeks conducted by Officer Cunnie of an individual who was currently on federal probation for selling large quantities of narcotics. Officer Cunnie enlisted the assistance of numerous other officers in order to coordinate the service of the warrant at the different locations. Once the main suspect was taken into custody the search of the other homes was conducted resulting in the seizure of over 3 pounds of methamphetamine, a pound of cocaine, a pound of heroin and more than $10,000 U.S. currency.
When Sergeant Darren Nocetti was preparing the Captain’s Commendation for Officer Cunnie, he knew Mike would settle for nothing less than including the entire team he worked with. That’s the sign of a good cop and Sergeant Nocetti agreed.
Members participating in the incident: Officer Michael Montero, Officer Christina Hayes, Officer Michael Tursi, Officer Anthony Scafani, Officer Brenton Reeder, Officer Timothy Brophy, Officer Derek Schutz, Officer Eduard Ochoa, Officer David Johnson, Officer Blake Cunningham, Officer Denis O’Connor, Officer Christopher Leong, Officer Andre Taylor, Officer Christopher Costa, and Officer Stephen Orengo.
Stay safe.