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Close Encounters June 2022

June 1, 2022

It’s barely daylight in the Richmond when gunshots rang out on the 1600 block of Balboa. One of the rounds fired was lodged in a bed frame in an apartment next door to the adjoining unit where the shooting was believed to have been initiated.

The individuals in the suspect apartment refused to cooperate with the investigation conducted by Sergeant Leung who had wisely locked down the perimeter of the apartment house while evacuating adjoining residences. Sergeant Leung subsequently had a search warrant prepared for the suspect residence while learning that one of the individuals involved was a convicted felon and had prior arrests for firearm violations.

The search warrant was signed, served and, just as suspected, the subsequent search of the apartment in question by the officers resulted in discovering a cache-load of multiple unregistered firearms (also known as “ghost guns”), an assault rifle, multiple handguns, firearm parts consistent with gun manufacturing, Kevlar vests and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
You just never know.

Lieutenant Greer prepared a Captain Commendation for all of the officers involved to include: Sergeant Leung, Officer Solomon, Officer Gumabo, Officer Gil, and Officer Canning.

Doesn’t matter where you live in The City there are people out there who have no boundaries when it comes to participating in a criminal act.

Take, for example, the individual who entered a property on Sea Cliff Avenue while the occupants were not at home. He proceeded to ransack the house but was caught when an occupant returned.
Officer Brendan Mannix, Officer Tracy Turner, and Officer Gordon Lee were summoned and conducted an excellent investigation resulting in the arrest of a hot prowl suspect.

Sergeant Samson prepared the Captain’s Commendation for the incident noting, “There are 2 items that should be pointed out in this incident. The first is that burglary and property crimes have been a burden for the community members of the Richmond District. The worst type of burglary is a hot prowl burglary especially when children are present and involved. Due to Officer Mannix’s complete and thorough investigation and due to Officer Turner’s and Officer Lee’s immediate identification of the suspect we were able to take into custody a neighborhood burglar.”

The Sergeant also noted that, “The second notation is the fact that Lake had knives and edged weapons in his possession. Had he used these tools for whatever reason against the occupants of the home the incident would have been far more traumatic for the occupants, the neighbors, the community and for the police officers. This arrest prevented additionally burglaries from occurring!”

The sun is barely coming up over the Mission District when Dispatch received a call of a robbery that just took place on the 500 block of South Van Ness where the suspect was armed with a machete . . . great.

Officer Steven Colgan, Officer Adam Eatia, Officer Eric Ma, Officer Lizeth Lopez, Officer Robert Dockter, and Officer David Edgerson rushed to the scene to lock down the perimeter and commence a search for the suspect.

The officers almost immediately located the individual in question. The officers implemented their training to include time, distance, and tactical spacing as well as establishing a repertoire with the individual to convince him to relinquish his weapon and comply with their directives. The plan worked and the subject was disarmed without further incident.

Their outstanding work was recognized by Sergeant Adam Plantinga who drafted a Captain’s Commendation for those involved. He particularly noted that, “The DA’s Office rebooked this case as a robbery, which is further testament to the officers’ good work.”
Yes, it was . . .

Might seem odd but a few weeks earlier there was an individual reported to Dispatch who was seen walking southbound on Valencia smashing out store windows with a hatchet. He had already damaged 7 businesses by the time the responding officers arrived. We wanted to recognize all of the personnel who responded to the call so here goes:

Officer I. Garcia, Officer A. Gomez, Officer D. Castaneda, Officer N Peraza, Officer J. Keyes, Officer K. Deidrick, Officer R. Deidrick, and Officer S. Hayes. The officers managed to corral the person of interest into a doorway and Officer Gomez was able to establish a conversation with the man.
In fact, Officer Gomez was successful in negotiating a dialogue with the subject and managed to arrive at a peaceful surrender without any further property damage and no personal injuries!!
Outstanding job!!

In another 9-1-1 call for the Mission the reported assaults were outrageously vicious:
One involved, a 64-year old man standing alone on the corner of Mission and 16th Street when he was suddenly the victim of a vicious and unprovoked attack. The suspect approached the victim and, without cause, stabbed him in the face with a knife. He continued to punch and kick the victim while he was on the ground.

30 minutes later the second unprovoked attack took place on Market Street resulting in a traumatic brain injury of a 60-year old victim.

The suspect responsible for these cowardly and completely unnecessary assaults had to be stopped. Sergeant Chienping Chou, Sergeant Thomas Ly, and Sergeant Plantinga formed their own personal task force and within days they identified the individual responsible for these felonious assaults. Turns out that it was someone who hung around the 16th and Mission area on a regular basis and it wasn’t long before Sergeant Plantinga spotted the suspect and placed him in custody.
There is no question that the Sergeants who were involved in this investigation deserve, at the very least, a Police Commission Commendation. And, now that we mention it, there are a few other cases in this month’s column that could also be bumped up to a Police Commission Commendation.
This is a great wake-up call Chief, for you and your command staff.

The outstanding work of these sergeants and the other officers mentioned prevented further mayhem against innocent victims who have to rely on the professionalism and expertise of your officers for their safety.
And the Sergeants proved that, once again, the system works for the public. Now let’s make it work for the personnel involved in this investigation by rewarding them with the appropriate recognition.

Officer Michael Parra and Officer Grahm Pfeifer were on patrol and dispatched to an Optometry business on 5th Street to investigate a possible burglary. They met with the owner of the store and conducted a search of the premises while maintaining a perimeter just in case someone was still inside. The walk-through didn’t turn up much except for the fact that whoever broke in took the most expensive items. The owner was distraught over the loss which would probably put him out of business.

But then, the officers noticed he had a video surveillance camera so they watched and could clearly see the suspect who had broken in. The officers then went back on patrol and, unbelievably located an individual a few blocks away who was in possession of the stolen equipment. All of it was there and not damaged in any manner.
The victim was, obviously, grateful for the outstanding work the officers performed but the suspect, who went to jail as a result of his felonious activity, was not.
And that’s exactly what the officers of this City do 24/7.

Did we mention they also put their lives on the line 24/7?
Consider the incident involving a suspect who had cornered his 3 targets for retribution on the 700 block of Minna. There’s no way of knowing why he was holding them at gunpoint but he was ready to carry it further.

And then he tried — pulling the trigger of his weapon — But his gun jammed.
He tried to clear it but it jammed again. He finally gave up as the victims ran off. And it was now up to Sergeant P. Haymond who picked up the case as a SIT supervisor. He did an outstanding job identifying the armed suspect and then issued a crime bulletin in hopes of getting this felon behind bars before he killed several people.

It wasn’t long before Officer D. Guo located the suspect in the Southern District. Officer Guo conducted a brief investigation and had enough information to place the suspect under arrest. He then subsequently searched the bag that the suspect was carrying at the time of the stop. Inside was a fully-loaded, 9mm firearm that had been within reach of the detained subject during the initial stop.

You just never know . . .