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Close Encounters August 2022

August 1, 2022

It seems there’s an abundance of weapons out there available for the novice criminals to obtain. It doesn’t make the job as a police officer any easier not knowing what an armed felon might do once they have one. And that’s why it’s important to honor the officers out there 24/7 who are putting their lives on the line in this column.
Their jobs are unpredictable while their bravery is nothing short of admirable.

Officer Bryan Hidalgo and Officer Michael Devine were on patrol in the Ingleside District when they noticed a parked and unattended vehicle at a gas station near San Bruno and Paul Streets. A simple computer query let them know that the car was reported stolen out of Sacramento. The officers took up positions of concealment and shortly after the driver and passenger got into the car and drove away the officers conducted a traffic stop removing the 2 suspects now under arrest.
A search of the vehicle revealed a semi-automatic pistol with a high-capacity magazine that had been concealed in a manner easily accessible to both the driver and passenger.
It had also been modified to fire fully -automatic similar to a machine gun!
And it’s early afternoon in the Ingleside District when Officer Thomas Mora and Officer Jires Naser respond to a call on Alemany Boulevard of a “person holding a knife”. The officers arrive on the scene where a young woman was standing in the middle of the street aggressively swinging 2 knives around and talking to herself. The officers attempted to gain time and distance in dealing with this subject but she started banging on the patrol car with her fists yelling, “End it now”.
The officers continued to try and de-escalate the situation as much as possible using whatever time was on their side and eventually the woman threw her knives down allowing the officers to restrain her until medical units could arrive and transport her to where she would receive the help necessary.
Officer Kosta and Officer Hidalgo were working the midnight shift at Ingleside Station when they observed a vehicle driving recklessly the opposite lanes of traffic that blocked them from transferring over to pursue the violator.
Approximately 1-hour later a description of the vehicle they tried to pursue earlier was described as just having been involved in a“shots fired” incident in the Mission District.
The officers set up on the route they thought the driver of the wanted vehicle might use and, sure enough, the suspect drove by at a speed he couldn’t control and was involved in a traffic collision. The suspect ran but was captured by responding units. A search of his vehicle revealed a stolen and loaded firearm inside the car that was, again, accessible to the driver at any time.
The Mission District was just as busy as the rest of the City with the following officers responding to 24th and Potrero on a report of a person armed with a firearm: Sergeant Josey Russell, Sergeant Michael Shugars, Officer Ronald Kuchac, Officer Haylee Bryan, Officer Steven Otaguro, and Officer Orlaigh Campbell all responded. The officers had just arrived at the scene when the suspect suddenly saw them and took off running towards San Francisco General Hospital. A perimeter was quickly set up as further information was dispatched. The suspect was quickly located hiding under a parked truck and, just as importantly, his gun was found discarded at a nearby construction site located with the help of hospital employees.
Guns, guns and more guns . . . In the Mission a report of an individual armed with a firearm.
Officer K. Deidrick and Officer A. Gomez were flagged down by reporting parties informing them of the whereabouts of a person armed with a black, .45 caliber handgun in the area of Lilac and 25th Street. The officers responded and located the armed individual sitting on the sidewalk holding the gun in his hand. The officers waited for additional back-up to arrive at the scene. Officer Nelson Sagastume, Officer Dolores Castaneda, Officer Reilly Deidrick, Officer Brian Barron, Officer Yesenia Roman, and Officer Jesus Perez were all present.
The officers set up a perimeter and devised a plan to disarm the individual making sure the proper resources were in place prior to making contact with the suspect. With the perimeter now secured the appropriate commands were issued to the armed individual. The suspect complied with the commands given and the arrest team moved in and placed him in custody.
The individual detained did have a loaded firearm along with a box of additional ammunition in his possession.
It’s early evening when Officer Maria Peregrina, Officer Jake Lewis, Officer Michael Elliston, Officer Ken Kikuchi, and Officer Josh Kumli respond to a call of a person “pointing a gun at another person”on Huron Avenue. The officers did a quick check and found out that there was an individual inside the residence they were responding to who had guns registered to him. He also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
The officers interviewed family members and they feared they might have to deal with an armed and aggressive subject but that wasn’t the case. The officers, thanks to their training, were successful in negotiating with the individual involved minimizing any further action.
Lieutenant Beauchamp prepared a Captain Commendation for all of the officers involved citing, “The officers responded to this highly stressful call with swiftness and an even temper. They astutely assessed the scene, minimized the threat of a critical incident, and took control of the scene with minimal resources.”
But you never know . . .
Still in the Ingleside District at 7:00 a.m. when Dispatch receives a call of “a man walking down the street with a gun in his mouth.”
Officer Leonard Morro, Officer Lee Johnson, Officer Justin Tatlow, Officer Nicholas Thompson, Officer Alexis Dedet, Officer Jonathan Valdez, Officer Jeff Chang, Officer Justin Ocreto, and Sergeant Matthew Inocencio responded.
When the officers arrived at the location of the armed individual, he was now holding a revolver in his right hand. He was given orders to drop the weapon and lay on the ground numerous times. He finally complied and an arrest team took him into custody.
There was another gun at his residence that was retrieved by the officers for safe-keeping . . . for now.