San Rafael Police Department
The Year in Review for 2017
01/09/17 – SRPD reported that they made 35 DUI arrests during the holiday season. Acting on a grant, they had extra patrols from 11/9/16 through 1/1/17. One arrest was a driver who had three times the legal limit in his system.
01/13/17 – SRPD reported that they were launching its first Spanish-language Citizen’s Academy. The 10-week academy was scheduled to start in March.
01/18/17 – A clerk at the Seven-Eleven store on B Street was injured when he attempted to stop a man from stealing a burrito. The clerk got into a fight with the man and he got the burrito back, but the suspect then threw a large rock through the front window. Booked for felony assault was Edward Metz, 58 years.
01/20/17 – Police arrested Stephen Carbonaro, 48 years for selling meth in the area of First and B Street. The Special Operations Unit had been investigating Carbonaro for several months as it was reported that he was selling drugs to homeless people.
01/24/17 – Several citizens reported that a man walking on Bayview Street by B Street was exposing himself to women and calling out to them. Officers located the suspect, Willie Jesse Jones, 37 years and booked him on his birthday for lewd acts and violation of probation.
01/24/17 – Police responded to a report of a large fight at a food truck at Kerner and Canal Street. A group of 15 people came up to the truck and took a tip jar and started to vandalize the truck. The group fled when officers arrived, however officers rounded up seven suspects who were booked for robbery.
02/03/17 – Marco Vicente-Gonzalez, 31 years was sentenced to 8 years in prison for molesting a girl under the age of 14 years. After he was arrested, Vincente-Gonzalez bailed out and fled. SRPD later learned that he was in Guatemala. He was located there and returned to the U.S. where he plead guilty.
02/10/17 – A food truck driver struck a 34-year-old pedestrian at Kerner and Larkspur Street. The driver fled the scene and the victim was taken to the hospital with major injuries. The suspected driver turned himself in the next day. Gerardo Mata-Reyes, 45 years, of Richmond was arrested for felony hit-run.
02/13/17 – With the legalization of marijuana coming up in less than a year, county supervisors and other cities started to make pans on how to handle the drug.
02/19/17 – Kyle James Jargiz, 22 years, was ordered to stand trial after he was accused of drugging a female visitor to his residence in 2016. The female woke up the next morning in the suspect’s bed with no clothes on.
03/01/17 – SRPD and the MCSO conducted a training exercise with the SMART train staff to prepare for rail emergencies. The train was scheduled to start operating later in the year.
03/01/17 – A body was pulled from the San Rafael Canal at the San Rafael Yacht Harbor. The person was identified as Jay Christian Mansbridge, 56 years old. He had been reported missing a month earlier by his girlfriend where she and the victim lived on a boat at the yacht club. Foul play was not suspected.
03/11/17 – Fire and police received a report of fire in an apartment at 215 Bayview Street. Upon arrival the apartment was actively burning in the kitchen area. Residents were able to pull a woman out of the apartment, however she died several days later.
03/11/17 – The Westamerica bank on Francisco Blvd. was robbed by a Black male about 25 years old. The area was searched; however, the suspect was not located. The next day police were doing an alcohol sting with a decoy at the seven-eleven store on B Street. The decoy spotted a drug deal in progress and police moved in. One of the subjects matched the surveillance photo of the bank robber. The suspect, Cedric Vincent had a large amount of cash on him and he was arrested for the robbery. He was a recent parolee for robbery.
03/14/17 – Reports were received of a man brandishing a gun at the Circle K gas station on Francisco Blvd. Officers arrived, and the suspect fled in his car. After a short chase, he backed his vehicle into a patrol and tried to escape, however he was captured a brief time later. Jason Griffin, 40 years, was booked for brandishing a gun and hit run. An airsoft gun was found in the car.
03/16/17 – Police continued their investigation of the bank robbery at the Westamerica bank and their investigation revealed that a teller was working with the robber. Booked at Marin County Jail was Javier Corona-Leyva, 19 years, for robbery and several other violations.
03/17/17 – During his State of the City address, Mayor Gary Phillips reported that the city was financially sound.
03/21/17 – Police arrested Paul Van Zandt, 55 years for stabbing a man at the transit center on March 14, 2017. Van Zandt stabbed the man after an argument over a female and a jacket. Van Zandt fled on the day of the stabbing but was spotted by the victim at the Ritter Center.
03/26/17 – SRPD arrested 12 San Rafael residents of suspicion of soliciting a prostitute. The operation took place at local hotels in town.
03/27/17 – Officials started planning to replace the current MERA radio system that has been in use for almost 20 years in the county. The county signed a 34.3 million contract with Motorola to build the system.
03/28/17 – The Target Store in San Rafael was the scene of a peeping arrest. Police booked Uriel Arturo Damian-Moldonado, 24 years for using his cell phone to record women in the store fitting room. This suspect was arrested in 2015 for peeping into an apartment on Nova Albion Way and he was still on probation for this offense.
03/30/17 – SRPD launched its inaugural “Coffee with a Cop” event that was set for 4/6/17. The event, dubbed “Doughnuts with Diana” was set to be held at Johnny Doughnuts on Fourth Street in San Rafael.
04/11/17 – The County of Marin rejected all 10 applications to open medical marijuana stores throughout the county. The county administrator recommended that the county rethink the entire process.
04-14-17 – Police responded to a report of a stabbing on Francisco Blvd. Upon arrival officers found a stabbing victim with a minor would. Also present were two women who stated that they were visiting from South Dakota. Further investigation revealed that the two women were wanted for parole violation in South Dakota. Officers booked Sara Van Norton, 29 years and Bonnie Williamson, 37 years. Both were held for extradition back to South Dakota.
04/20/17 – Police received numerous calls about a car being driven recklessly in the Canal area. The car hit 12 parked cars and the driver then drove on a resident’s lawn. Several citizens held Carlos Cauich-Noh, 29 years on the lawn until police arrived. He was booked on many charges.
04/22/17 – On Sept. 25, 2014, Jose Gramajo, 25 years, got into a physical fight on Novato Street with a rival gang member. Gramajo ran to a car, got a gun and shot the other party in the head. Gramajo pleaded guilty to ADW and was sentenced to a 17-year term in state prison.
04/21/17 – On Aug. 27, 2015, Richard O’Hara, 61 years, got into an argument with his upstairs neighbor in the Canal District. He became so angry that he set fire to his own apartment and yelled to his neighbors, “Now all the Latinos will die!” Judge Sweet, who called O’Hara a, “methamphetamine-addicted bigot who displayed no remorse” sentenced him to 11 years in prison, the maximum possible.
04/25/17 – SRPD Lt. James Correa, was hired by the Novato Police Department as a Captain.
04/26/17 – It was reported that officers from San Rafael, Fairfax and Central Marin Police, would begin to carry medication that prevents opioid overdoses as part of a partnership to prevent the county’s leading cause of accidental death.
05/06/17 – Marin County hosted a drug buy back program in which about 548 pounds of unused medicines were collected.
05/07/17 – A man posing as a landlord offering housing in exchange for sex acts was arrested by officers. The suspect, Tifano Rodas-Maldonado, 38 years, posted advertisements for rentals in the Canal area. He asked for $2,000 per month and sex for respondents to rent an apartment. The suspect who had no apartments to rent, was caught after word got to police and they arrested him in an undercover operation.
05/07/17 – Chief Deputy Coroner Darrell Harris, was arrested on a warrant charging him with four felony counts of child molestation over a period of seven years. He was held on bail of $750,000.
05/15/17 – SRPD issued 502 citations for persons talking on their cell phones during a monthlong crackdown on distracted driving.
05/15/17 – SRPD held its annual awards ceremony recognizing officers for life saving and meritorious conduct.
05/22/17 – The Marin County Jury issued a report warning that retiree health care benefits could not be supported by the current amount of money the county has.
05/24/17 – A female reported that during the night, she was awakened by a man with a flashlight standing at the foot or her bed. The suspect did not realize that the female was sleeping with her boyfriend and he fled, being chased by the boyfriend. The suspect was able to escape.
05/31/17 – With the start of SMART Train service, SRPD started an enforcement program to keep motorists aware that they could not stop on the train tracks as a train approached. If caught, the fine was $489.
06/01/17 – The San Rafael Police Department graduated its first Spanish speaking Citizen’s Police Academy. A total of 24 people completed the 10-week program.
06/04/17 – Officers, conducting an undercover operation arrested two men for selling drugs in Albert Park. The park had become a problem area recently with citizens complaining about drug use and needles left on the property.
06/09/17 – The Grand Jury issued a report that Marin’s pension shortfall was at one billion dollars. This is the amount of future pension obligations guaranteed public workers but not currently held in reserve. The Grand Jury called the situation, “disturbing.”
06/14/17 – During a church meeting of a group of Latinos, a man wearing an ICE jacket walked into the church and began taking pictures of the group. He then left but was later identified by police. The man said that he had issues with the church regarding loud noise, but he was not able to come up with a valid reason as to why he was wearing an ICE jacket, which he had ordered on line. It was determined that he had not committed a crime.
06/14/17 – Police received a complaint of a man stopping people asking for gas money on Francisco Blvd. by Shoreline Parkway. When officers arrived, they found Rocky Jimenez, 36 years standing next to a Ferrari that he said he had just picked up from an auto shop where he had repairs done. Officers determined that the $245,000 car was stolen from a nearby dealership and they found the keys in Jimenez’s backpack. He was booked for auto theft.
06/21/17 – The San Rafael City Council declined action on placing Senate Bill 54, the so-called “sanctuary state” bill on an upcoming City Council agenda. Mayor Gary Phillips stated, “We’ve already made a pretty clear statement through our police chief that this is a federal matter and not for the state or city.
06/27/17 – Police responded to the Extended Stay Hotel on Francisco Blvd. after receiving a complaint from hotel staff of a frequently used credit card. Officers went to a room with several people inside and contacted Joseph Darling, 41 years. Officers scanned his fingerprints and it showed that he was wanted for a homicide in the East Bay that took place in 2015. He was arrested on a murder warrant.
07/02/17 – David C. Brown filed a lawsuit against the City of San Rafael alleging that the City allowed public pension “enhancements” that have cost the taxpayers millions of dollars.
07/02/17 – Officers working a Human Trafficking detail, noticed an add for an escort service. They contacted the person in the add at a local motel and determined that the female was a minor. Police located her “pimp” a short time later and arrested Jeffrey Jenkins, 26 years for human trafficking and for parole violation from a previous robbery arrest.
07/14/17 – The City of San Rafael announced that it was going to hold a public meeting regarding the new proposed public safety building to be located at the southeast corner of Fifth and D Street. The city will announce a timeline for demolition of the existing buildings and the building of the new structure.
07/13/17 – Police responded to a report of a possible burglary in progress on Cresta Way. Upon arrival, a male fled out the back of the unit. After a brief chase, officers arrested Davis Argueta, 39 years. Officers were looking into the possibility that Argueta was the suspect who made his way into the bedroom of a sleeping woman the previous month.
07/17/17 – A Terra Linda resident returned home to find two men burglarizing her residence. The two male suspects fled in a car as the homeowner called police. Officers located the car on Highway 580 and found stolen property from the home and other homes in San Rafael. Booked for burglary were Juan Martinez, 26 years and Manuel Quinonez, 23 years, both from the East Bay.
07/21/17 – The City of San Rafael started to look at the parking problems in the Canal District. With the economy improving, many cars were now in the canal, making parking a problem for residents. A meeting was held on this matter and it was mentioned that a study showed that the Canal area was short about 580 parking spaces. The City will look at options to try to solve the problem.
07/29/17 – The San Rafael Police Department and the Asian American Donor Program announced that they were organizing a bone marrow donor drive. The effort was to try to find a match for LAPD Officer Matthew Medina who was suffering from aplastic anemia disorder that requires a bone marrow transplant.
07/30/17 – The San Rafael Police announced that they were participating in the Red Sand Project, which is a world day to end Human Trafficking.
07/31/17 – Officials broke ground on a new 5,675 square foot building to house the Helen Vine Detox Center. The building, by McInnis Park should be completed in mid-2018.
08/05/17 – Officers received a report of a gas station robbery at the Shell station at Second and Fourth Street where two suspects stole cigarettes. A short time later the two suspects hit a gas station in Terra Linda. Police put out an APB on the suspect car, including a photo taken of the car by a witness. Later in the evening, Fairfax Police found the car in their city and arrested Leonardo Flores, 21 years of Fairfax and Calvin Franklin, 30 of San Anselmo.
08/08/17 – SRPD conducted a Human Trafficking operation in the Canal District. Five suspects were cited for contacting an undercover officer posing as a sex worker.
08/09/17 – A police officer on patrol in the Canal District, observed a subject he knew to be on probation and who was subject to search as part of his probation. The suspect ran when the officer approached him. After a foot chase, police arrested Jorge Martinez, 25 years for possession of a loaded firearm. The suspect threw the gun over a fence during the chase.
08/10/17 – SRPD released a photo and a sketch of a male who grabbed a female jogger. The crime occurred on June 18, 2017 where the suspect committed a sexual battery on the female while she jogged on a path near Pickleweed Park. A passing witness was able to take a picture of the fleeing suspect.
08/17/17 – SRPD released information on a Labor Day program called Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. The P.D. planned to do DUI saturation patrols during this time.
08/18/17 – The state Attorney General’s Office released a study reporting that during 2016 in California, officers were involved in violent encounters that resulted in the deaths of 157 people. Six officers were also killed by suspects.
08/19/17 – Officers responded to a report of a home invasion robbery in the 800 block of B Street, where two suspects, one armed with an assault rifle entered the apartment to rob the occupants. One of the victims wrestled the rifle from the suspect and held him until officers arrived. The second suspect fled and was not located. Booked on robbery charges was Bertrell Lewis, 41 years from Fremont.
08/22/17 – Police responded to a disturbance between a male and another male and female. Prior to police arrival one of the males shot himself in the head. Police stated that the incident appeared to be a suicide over a former girlfriend. The Coroners Office identified the deceased male as Manuel Primero 35 years of San Rafael.
08/25/17 – Police responded to a report of a fight in the 1300 block of Lincoln Avenue. Five subjects with knives in a Mercedes attacked a subject walking on the street. The suspects fled but the car was located later in the Canal area and all five suspects were arrested. The victim survived.
08/24/17 – The San Rafael City Council signed a $842,000 contract with CVE Contracting to tear down fire station #1. Prior to demolition, artifacts will be removed from the building and some will be put in the new Public Safety Building when it is completed around 2020.
08/31/17 – Police responded to a report of a 66-year-old man who was living in an apartment in the West End neighborhood. Upon arrival, officers found that the man had been stabbed in face, head, neck and chest. The attacker, identified as Unique Gaimes, 26 years had been allowed by the victim to live with him off and on for several years. It was reported that the attack was unprovoked. The suspect was located in a hotel in Pittsburg and was arrested for attempted murder and mayhem.
09/04/17 – Police cited six subjects in an alcohol sales sting using decoys at 11 different stores in the city.
09/07/17 – SRPD arrested a man on suspicion of sexually assaulting two girls on multiple occasions in 2007. Arrested was Abraham Vargas-Lopez, 31 years.
09/18/17 – The San Rafael City Council continued its discussion of the parking problems in the Canal area with a public meeting in hopes of soliciting ideas on the subject.
09/23/17 – Drug investigators arrested five suspects and seized more than 5 pounds of cocaine and methamphetamine. The arrests were made after an 11-month investigation of the ring that was operating in the Canal District.
09/24/17 – A 92-year-old woman walking at the Northgate Mall had her purse snatched by a young female who had been in a car with two other females. The suspects fled and were not located.
09/29/17 – As previously reported, a female was grabbed by a male while she was jogging on a path by Pickleweed Park. Police developed several leads based on a photo of the suspect taken by a witness and a sketch. Officers arrested a 15-year-old male for this crime.
10/08/17 – Officers working a Human Trafficking detail found an internet escort website that had indications that juveniles were involved. Officers set up an appointment and went to the residence and found an Asian female who could not speak English. An investigation determined that she was being used for purposes of prostitution by the apartment renter, Walter Horat, 49 years. He was arrested for keeping a house of prostitution.
10/09/17 – Contractors started the demolition of the Blue House and Parking Services on the lot across from City Hall. This was the start of the demolition of the buildings on the property to make way for a 36-million-dollar public safety building.
10/10/17 – Many public agencies consisting mostly of police and fire, responded to Sonoma County to assist with the raging fires that were burning in the area.
10/18/17 – The county retirement board voted to cut a key investment return assumption, resulting in member agencies and employees paying more to finance the program.
10/19/17 – SRPD, working with other agencies, arrested five men in a sting targeting child prostitution. Officers placed adds on the internet offering children for sex. When people responded to the add for a meeting, they were arrested. Operation Cross Country was part of a national crackdown on juvenile sex trafficking.
11/03/17 – SRPD, working with Winner International, the maker of “The Club” offered free anti-theft devices to owners of older Honda Civics and Accords. In the past year, 290 vehicles were stolen from within the City of San Rafael.
11/02/17 – Police received a report from a family of an 8-year-old girl that a family friend had been molesting her. The suspect, Jesus Vera-Balam, 33 years, exposed himself to the girl and committed sexual battery on her. He was located at his place of employment in San Anselmo and arrested.
11/06/17 – Peggy Heath, one of our long-time meter officers retired.
11/10/17 – SRPD received a $110,000 grant from the Office of Traffic Safety to provide special enforcement and public awareness to prevent traffic deaths and injuries.
11/18/17 – SRPD received information that a man running a youth mentoring organization in his home in Terra Linda was selling drugs to teens. Acting on a search warrant, officers raided the home and seized 77 pounds of marijuana and 2.5 pounds of Hash Oil. Booked for drug manufacturing was Daniel Saint-Amans, 51 years.
11/21/17 – One of California’s most notorious criminals, Charles Manson, who spend half his life in prison, died at the age of 83.
11/22/17 – SRPD assisted the Sausalito P.D. in a program to reach out to anchor outs to remove unwanted debris on their boats. SRPD’s Lynn Murphy, a mental health outreach liaison contacted some of the anchor outs to offer services.
11/25/17 – The San Rafael Police Department and the Novato Police Department announced that they were combining their SWAT and HNT teams. It was reported that the new program would save many hours of training. The new unit will be called the San Rafael-Novato Regional Crisis Response Unit.
11/29/17 – When Michael Davis found a Mini Cooper parked in the parking lot of his family business at 3140 Kerner Blvd. that did not have a permit to be there, he took matters into his own hands. He got a forklift and he moved the car off his property. A witness called police and Davis was arrested for vandalism for damaging the car. The District Attorney’s office dismissed charges when they learned that the car had previously been damaged by its owner in a hit-run accident. Apparently, the car owner ditched the vehicle in the parking lot after the accident.
12/01/17 – A man who robbed three victims in San Rafael-including a 63-year-old Terra Linda woman he beat unconscious with a gun, was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison. Paris Ragland Jr. 32 years, robbed the woman when she returned home after work. He also robbed two other victims in downtown San Rafael.
12/04/17 – San Rafael’s Ritter Center, a main hub for the city’s homeless population, announced that it was going to move about one third of its staff from Ritter Street to an undisclosed location by the first part of 2018. The City of San Rafael had been working with Ritter over the past several years to move them out of the downtown area.
12/06/17 – The San Rafael City Council, voted of 5-0, to allow some commercial medical cannabis users to operate in the city limits. The ordinance would allow persons to apply for permits to deliver cannabis.
12/13/17 – The San Rafael City Council proposed an ordinance to ban loitering on certain city medians. The ordinance was aimed to prevent homeless persons from standing on median areas on city streets to collect money from drivers. The city cited the fact that it was too dangerous to loiter on the medians to collect money.
12/18/17 – The San Rafael City Council approved a contract with Alten Construction to build the new Public Safety building at Fifth and D Street. It was approved to award $34,978,000 to build the facility which is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
12/30/17 – Two robbers stole a man’s cellphone and a jacket from him in the Canal District. The victim was walking down the street when the two suspects demanded his belongings. He gave the suspects his property and when he crossed the street to ask a passerby for help, one of the robbers fired two shots at him from a hand gun. The victim was not hit, and the suspects got away.
San Rafael recorded no homicides for the year 2017. The last reported homicide in the city was on 9-9-2011 when Alicia Griffiths was killed in her Canal District apartment. Robert Lee Bradley, 51 was booked for her murder and received a sentence of 9 years in prison. This is one of the longest stretches of no homicides in the history of the city.
01/09/17 – Word was received that San Rafael Police Officer Larry Russell passed away. Larry, who served as a canine officer, served from 1990 to 2003.
02/02/17 – William Schwarzer, a retired federal judge in San Francisco for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals passed away at his Terra Linda home. He served on the bench from 1976 to 2009. He was 91 years old.
02/05/17 – If you went to court you more than likely saw him practicing law. Marin attorney Carl Shapiro championed social justice causes and human rights cases through his long legal career. He practiced law in Marin for 65 years, finishing his last case in 2016. Carl Shapiro was 100 years old.
02/25/17 – Word was received that former San Rafael Police Officer Tony Hoke passed away in October of 2016 following complications after heart surgery. He started his career with SRPD and retired as a Captain from the Twin Cities Police Department after 35 years of law enforcement experience.
03/07/17 – Glen Becker, a Marin County Public Defender passed away after serving the county for 35 years. Glen started his career as a reporter for the Marin I.J. however after graduating from U.C. Berkeley he decided to become an attorney and he attended the University of San Francisco School of Law earning his degree. He was hired by Chief Public Defender Harold Truitt, which started his career in law. Glen was 73 years old.
04/03/17 – One of Marin’s law enforcement heroes passed away this year. Judge Gary W. Thomas joined the Marin District Attorney’s office in 1959 after graduating law school. In 1970, while prosecuting a case against San Quentin convicts, he, Judge Harold Haley and two jurors were kidnapped from the courtroom by Jonathan Jackson and taken to a van outside the Civic Center building. When a shootout ensued, Thomas got a gun away from one of the convicts and shot three of them. He was also shot and paralyzed from the waist down. In 1972 he was appointed a municipal court judge at the age of 34. He was later appointed a superior court judge where he served for 26 years. Judge Thomas was 79 years old.
09/11/17 – We received word that retired SRPD Lt. Kenneth Homen passed away after a sudden illness. Ken started his career with the Mill Valley Police Department and then spent 30 years with the San Rafael Police Dept. After retirement he volunteered on the Sheriff’s police boat. Ken’s great love was fishing. Ken retired from the SRPD in April of 1993. He was 80 years old.
10/29/17 – He was known as “The law west of White’s Hill.” David Baty, the last magistrate of West Marin and a career lawyer, died peacefully in his Inverness Park home. Baty served in the justice court in West Marin before becoming a municipal court judge. During his 30 years interpreting the law, he earned a reputation for being tough on cases involving poaching and drunk driving. It was always rumored that during his time in West Marin, he kept a sawed-off shotgun under his bench. Judge Baty was 90 years old.
End of Report
Copyright 2018 Harry Barbier – All Rights Reserved