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Close Encounters April 2020

April 1, 2020

What if, during this potentially life-threatening pandemic, you didn’t have the option of “sheltering in place” because your job depended upon you showing up and handling distress calls from the public such as requests for emergency medical responses, possibly without the protection of appropriate medical attire.

Or what if you’re summoned to a critical incident with multiple shooting victims or a serious traffic accident where immediate medical intervention is required such as pressurizing wounds to stem the bleeding.

And what if you had to work 12-hour shifts away from your family, with no end in sight?

Or if you had to help resuscitate someone who has overdosed and the immediate use of a neutralizing agent is necessary to save a life thereby exposing you before you have time to take the necessary precautions such as summoning medical personnel to the scene?

Worse yet, how many people during your watch did you have contact with that are already “carriers” of the virus . . .

Each one of these examples is not that far-fetched from occurring in The City thereby exposing the members of the San Francisco Police Department as well as their families and the other first responders in our City to a risk of contamination that no one else has to worry about except for them.

And they do. And they shouldn’t have to.


The suspect brutally beat a woman until someone called 9-1-1 to report the aggravated assault taking place at Eddy and Van Ness in broad daylight. Officer Meghan Macaulay, Officer Courtney Cunnie, Officer Anton Barron, Officer Yuka Nagamine, and Officer Jonathan Cairo responded to handle. The victim sustained injuries to her upper body stating that her ex-boyfriend was the suspect. The officers made sure she was medically treated and, when released, they connected her with La Casa de las Madres for shelter and resources during her recovery. The suspect had a history of violence including being a felon in possession of a firearm. There was also a no-bail warrant outstanding for the armed suspect’s arrest.

It was just 3 days later when Officer Macaulay and Officer Cunnie located the suspect who, when he saw them, took off running. The officers, along with Officer Cairo, tackled him before he could escape.

Sergeant Adam Shaw recognized the outstanding police work of the officers and submitted a commendation for all involved stating, “Officer Barron and Officer Nagamine were able to elicit all the relevant information from a reluctant victim due to their superior interpersonal communication skills. And through their skillful observation and proactive policing Officer Cunnie, Officer Macaulay and Officer Cairo apprehended a violent felon.”


It was early afternoon in the Mission when Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call of a violent assault taking place on the 2400 block of Folsom with Officer Kevin Sien, Officer Dolores Castaneda, Officer David Edgerson, Officer Kelly Castongia, and Officer Eduard Valenzuela responding. The suspect was reportedly viciously beating his 82-year old mother. When the officers arrived the suspect had already left the residence and the victim’s status was critical. Sergeant Jeffrey Aloise, Officer Patrick Cummins, Officer Vincent Masilang and Officer Michael Mayo immediately conducted a perimeter search for the suspect but it was to no avail since he had already left the area. The officers had a complete description of the suspect and continued to investigate.

It wasn’t until many days later that the victim was about to be released from the hospital when the suspect showed up again and was immediately taken into custody by Sergeant Aloise and posse. Sergeant Patrick Faye of the Special Victims Unit was so impressed with the investigative discipline the officers used that he commended all of them for working together on a very challenging and dangerous Elder Abuse case.


It’s another late night in the Ingleside when Officer Roderick Suguitan and Officer Joel Hornstein responded to a 9-1-1 call of an elderly woman who was threatening to commit suicide with a firearm. The officers arrived and attempted to make contact with the subject but her altered mental state made communication very difficult. The woman refused to come outside so the officers immediately established time, distance and continued to make an attempt at dialogue. A perimeter was established and Hostage Negotiators notified.

Sergeant Lisa Springer established a command post and coordinated a response of additional officers and resources. Officers at the scene maintained their various positions during extremely inclement weather conditions of rain, wind and cold temperatures.

Sergeant Maureen Leonard was finally able to convince the woman the officers were there to help her and so she surrendered after many tense hours and was transported to the hospital and admitted for a mental health evaluation.

The following officers were also included in the critical situation: Lt. Gavin McEachern, Sgt Enrigue Alejandrino, Sgt. Nate Steger, Off Darwin Naval, Off Julia Little, Off Leo Zandanel, Off Tom Hauscarriague, Off Herb Najarro, Off Jistin Ocreto, Off Oliver Lim, Off David Edgerson, Off Eduardo Valenzeula-Rodriguez, Off Simon Hoang, Off Fernando Leiva, and Off Shante Williams.

And, Captain Jack Hart, Ingleside Station, also made sure that all of the Dispatchers at ECD who were involved in this call-out were honored for their participation as well:

Dispatcher James Reclus, Dispatcher Daneshia Adamson, Dispatcher Fia Mackiewicz, Dispatcher Max Repka, Dispatcher Cat Sing, and Dispatcher Supervisor Jeffrey Mosbaugh.

And that was a great idea on the part of Captain Hart and should be the model from now on since the Dispatchers are invaluable members of Team SFPD and more than deserve the recognition for their selfless dedication!


The suspect was walking around the Tenderloin attempting to rob people with the gun he was brandishing. One of the victims flagged down Officer Daniel Casey and Officer Marco Sanchez-Zamudio and gave them a description of the armed felon. The officers notified Dispatch and now other Tenderloin Station personnel started to circle the perimeter looking for the suspect. Officer Andrew Clifford just happened to spot him on the 300 block of Golden Gate Avenue and detained him with handcuffs while, at the same time, relieving him of the loaded gun he was concealing. A positive identification was made by the victims and the suspect, claiming gang affiliation as though it was supposed to give him a pass, was booked.

Although, considering the present status of things in The City maybe the armed suspect was right . . .


And just a few days later, Sergeant John Hallisy, was holding the fort down at the Tenderloin Task Force when a citizen came into the station reporting an armed man with a gun just a few blocks away. Sgt Hallisy notified his varsity team consisting of Officer James Shaini, Officer Danielle Tjhia, Officer Horace Liu, and Officer John Murphy and gave them the description. It wasn’t long before they had the felon trapped and Leavenworth and Ellis but he still tried to run only to be tackled and cuffed. The loaded gun he was carrying was also retrieved. Turned out he was a convicted felon, a Parolee at Large, the gun he was carrying was reported stolen and he was in possession of illegal narcotics. Can’t wait to hear the disposition on this one . . .


It’s in the middle of the day when Officer Lazaro Villalozano and Officer Laura Cremen were on patrol in the area of 20th and Wisconsin Streets. They decided to conduct a traffic stop on a car they just saw drive through a stop sign. The driver was the only one on board and he turned out to be unlicensed. He gave the officers his consent allowing them to check out his backpack that was on the front passenger seat. Turned out it was a good thing they did. Inside that backpack were 2 loaded guns. One of the guns had been stolen in a burglary in Southern California and the other one was unregistered.

Further investigation revealed that the suspect had a pending case in the juvenile court system based on a recent arrest with very similar circumstances.

Sergeant Jarrod Yee submitted a commendation for the officers citing, “As a patrol sergeant assigned to the day shift I have noticed Officer Villalozano and Officer Cremen routinely develop criminal cases from observed activity. Both officers maintain an impressive knowledge of crime bulletins with wanted suspects and vehicles. This arrest stemed from a seemingly simple traffic violation. With the team work displayed by both officers as well as their astute observations and dedication to duty, they removed 2 guns from the streets (which were in a school zone) and likely averted further criminal activity. Based on the above information I respectfully recommend the above-listed officers be commended for their outstanding police work.”


It’s the Bayview day watch to the rescue again when a woman calls 9-1-1 to report that her car was just rear-ended and, after she got out to check the damage, 2 suspects from the other car ran up and proceeded to steal her purse. The victim then tried to stop the car from driving away but that was not going to happen and, fortunately, she was not injured in that futile attempt.

Officer Yaroslav Shablinskiy, Officer Huyen Nguyen, Officer Gary Loo, Officer Luis Guitron, Officer Andrew Clifford, Officer Taylor Sherman, and Officer Joseph Navalle responded to assist. The officers checked the perimeter to no avail but continued their investigation. It was while Officer Shablinskiy was interviewing the victim that she was notified that her stolen debit card (she had immediately reported) was being used at the Nordstrom store at the Westfield Mall in the City.

The officers immediately responded to the area and observed the suspect vehicle parked curbside with the valet. It wasn’t long before the suspects were spotted returning to their car and the chase was on. Officer Guitron chased the first suspect along with Officer Loo, Officer Navalle, and Officer Clifford and they managed to capture him a short distance away. The second apprehension was made by Officer Sherman along with Officer Nguyen.

The victim’s property was recovered as well.

Sergeant Jarrod Yee prepared a commendation for all of the officers involved citing how impressed the victim was with the professionalism and empathy displayed by the responding officers.

It’s one thing for a citizen to commend the members for a job well done. It’s quite another thing for sergeants to take the time to make sure the members under their supervision are appropriately recognized and that’s the true sign of leadership!


We always end this article hoping you’ll stay safe. But it seems to be getting harder each month that passes for you to protect yourselves. Especially now.

And the silence from the Police Commission is deafening. Have they made sure that each and every officer working is protected to the extent necessary from this virus?

That’s their real job!

So, instead, we’re admonishing those individuals on the Police Commission who seem to have an issue with transparency in the everyday life of police work. All they have to do is put a pair of running shoes on and participate in a ride-along at any district station after which they just might have a different take on what the job entails.

And, at the same time, they need to take the Firearms Training Simulator challenge and see just how hard it is to make a life or death decision in a matter of seconds.

Let’s see how they do.