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Close Encounters September 2021

September 1, 2021

This one had all the elements of a great crime mystery but a tragic ending that played out in 2 cities by the bay, Oakland and San Francisco.

It started with a missing person report of a young man filed by his parents that was passed over to Special Victims Unit where it was then assigned to Sergeant Andrea Creed, Sergeant Michael Horan, and Sergeant Mark Mitchinson. They did an outstanding job interviewing the victim’s friends, re-creating his last days, and taking step by step to find out what really happened.

It turned out that the missing young man’s body was eventually found in the waters off Treasure Island evidence of a brutal ending to a young life.

The investigators were able to make a case with the hundreds of hours they spent on search warrants, reviewing reports, conducting numerous interviews, and just a little luck. And on January 23, 2020 an arrest was made for the murder of Amir Alkhraisat!

Those investigators that did participate in the research and arrest were actually nominated for a Meritorious Conduct Award by Captain Sergio Chin.

The events took place some time ago in 2020, and the award nomination has sat somewhere in the Police Commission’s office until now, finally awaiting proper recognition.

Not to be outdone, but there was another incident that also had officers who deserved to be nominated for an investigation of a shooting that occurred on the 400 Block of Ellis at 1 a.m.

4 people were shot and one of them died on the way to the hospital.

Sergeant Domenico Discenza, Sergeant Nichols Chorley, and Officer Nick Donati took charge of the investigation and did such an outstanding job that members of the command staff nominated them for a Meritorious Conduct Award.

Sergeant Discenza’s relentless work watching surveillance info, locating subjects of interest, and developing investigative leads that led to an arrest took many hours. Sergent Chorley assisted him in every step of the investigation resulting in an arrest. And Officer Donati’s contributions were invaluable. At the time of the initial incident Officer Donati had been assigned to the Tenderloin Station for 15 years which enabled him to establish an open communication with the people who lived in his parish and who appreciated his professionalism. 

There were suspicious circumstances involved in the call Officer Justin Ocreto and Officer Jeffrey Chang received on 1/08/19 at 6:50 a.m. it involved a missing woman. The family all lived together and shared a duplex but could not locate their elderly 80-year old mother on this particular morning so they called for assistance. The officers obtained the route she would usually take during her early morning walk near a park on the 300 block of Leland and, retracing the route, the officers found the victim. She was in critical condition.

The victim had sustained multiple injuries to her head and face, had lost consciousness, and was bleeding heavily. The doctors at the hospital stated that the victim had also sustained a skull fracture, brain bleed, and numerous facial fractures. Someone had almost beaten her to death.

The case received instant priority so that whoever tried to kill a defenseless person walking in the park had to be taken into custody as quickly as possible. Multiple units were assigned to the case and every scrap of evidence was studied and every possible lead was followed.

The officers involved in this investigation got a break in obtaining enough evidence and were able to make an arrest.

We’re listing all of those who were involved because each one of them had a role during the investigation and they performed their tasks perfectly:

Sergeant Francis Feliciano, Sergeant Nicoh Alday, Sergeant David Almaguer, Sergeant Thomas Lee, Sergeant Jason Hui, Sergeant Brendan Caraway, Officer Justin Ocreto, and Officer Jeffrey Chang.

“Shots fired!!” is one of the more dangerous calls you can receive from Dispatch and this is exactly what happened to members of the midnight Taraval crew working on 4/30/21. Dispatch followed up the original call with notations that rounds were still being discharged from a weapon in the 700 block of Gonzalez Drive, a high-density, 14 story building.

Sergeant Erick Anderson lead a contingent of 5 officers (Officer Treyvon Hanna, Officer Arturo Ramirez, Officer Robert Navarro, Officer Alejandro Meza, and Officer Donald Sakiyama) to respond to the rounds which were still going off as the officers arrived in the area having no idea whether/not they were going to be involved in the middle of a firefight or something equally hazardous. Sergeant Anderson relied on his 20 years experience to come up with a plan to deal with an armed suspect. And he did. He made sure that perimeter control was maintained which gave the officers the ability to isolate an individual who was seen leaving the area matching the description of the shooter given by callers to Dispatch. The suspect, when confronted, threw his weapon down and surrendered to the officers.

The officers continued their investigation and managed to obtain video of the armed individual dangerously firing his weapon disregarding the safety of the public.

It’s calls like this that the public never hears about. This individual actually had 2 guns at his disposal, one that was fitted with an extended clip for more fire power.

So, for all the critics out there, rather than pushing to “Defund the Police Department” why don’t you try to “Disarm all the Criminals” first. 

The assault on the 900 block of Mission Street at 4:00 a.m. was one of the more brutal ones reported and captured on video. Officer Milad Rashidian took the lead on the report and follow-up investigation. His initial report described what took place. “The male suspect ran up to the victim and swung the object he was carrying over his head and struck the victim. The victim fell to the ground. The male suspect repeatedly struck the victim in the head with the object, which was later determined to be a hatchet. One of the blows embedded the hatchet into the victim’s skull. The male suspect had to forcibly remove the hatchet from the victim’s skull…”. The victim passed away the next day.

Officer Rashidian located a video of the incident as well as other physical evidence which assisted the Homicide investigators in their case follow-up. 6 days later the suspect was arrested and charged with murder.

Lieutenant Michael Philpott submitted a request for a Meritorious Conduct Award for Officer Rashidian citing, “It was the diligent work and professional demeanor of Officer Rashidian that led to the information that culminated with the arrests of the suspects involved in this murder investigation.”

Hopefully, the presentation of the commendation will soon take place as it should have months ago . . . Right Commissioners?