<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Local News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:27:19 -0700 Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:27:19 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Invasive Insect Found in Vineyards]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:56:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/invasive-moth.jpg

A new worry for wine country: A destructive moth with an ominous name has been found in a vineyard in Calistoga.

The Western Grapeleaf Skeletonizer is non-native moth with a ravenous appetite for grape leaves. The moths lay eggs in clusters on the bottom of the leaves, and after they hatch, the larvae feed on it.

Fortunately, the metallic-bluish moth doesn’t spread diseases, but it can cause severe damage to the leaves after feeding on them, costing vineyard owners time and money.

The Napa County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is asking growers and gardeners to keep their eyes out for the caterpillar stages of the invasive species.

“We do not want this pest to become established in Napa County,” Agricultural Commissioner Greg Clark said in a news release.

The Agricultural Commissioner’s Office has set up traps hoping to catch the bugs before they rapidly spread.

Photo Credit: Jack Kelly Clark / UC Statewide IPM Project]]>
<![CDATA[Dead Marine Mammals Wash Up on Ocean Beach]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:27:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dolphin.PNG

San Francisco’s Ocean Beach was a sight for sore eyes this week when three large mammals washed up on the shore.

The bodies of a large dolphin and two sea lions were discovered Monday by beach-goer Joey DeRuy, who snapped pictures of the dead animals and shared them with the media.

The National Park Service arrived to tow the dolphin and sea lion into their pick-up truck, but the elephant seal remained on the beach, according to SFist.

This discovery follows on the heels of about a dozen dead whales, which have been found on beaches from Santa Cruz to Mendocino County since April.

The number of mammals found dead this summer is pretty average, marine mammal experts said.

“It seems pretty normal to me,” said Laura Sherr, spokeswoman for The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. The only thing that makes the Ocean Beach discovery a little more unusual, however, is the dead dolphin. A necropsy was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. She said at this early stage it’s possible that wind patterns are simply pushing dead animals ashore. Other weather experts are studying whether warmer ocean temperatures also may have a role.

“This usually doesn’t get us an exact answer to why it died but it’ll help us get a better understanding,” Sherr said.

Photo Credit: Joey DeRuy
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<![CDATA[Police Union Lashes Out vs. Sanctuary City Policy]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:36:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pier-14-shooting-victim.jpg

The San Francisco police union jumped into the national debate on immigration stemming from a random shooting that killed a 32-year-old woman walking along the pier, by pointing fingers at the county’s liberal-leaning public defender and sheriff for their stance on sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.

In a Monday post, the San Francisco Police Officers Association took aim at San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and San Francisco County Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, along with other unnamed local politicians, who by city law, don’t deport immigrants unless they have active warrants out for their arrests.

In the case of Francisco Sanchez, charged with the July 1 murder of Kate Steinle along Pier 14, the jail, run by Mirkarimi, let Sanchez go, without sending him back to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency despite a “detainer” request to do so.” Sanchez is an undocumented immigrant, who has been deported from the United States five times, records show.

"Bottom line is a young innocent woman has been murdered in cold blood, in front of her father, by a 5 time deported illegal alien drug dealer," the post read. "He is an ILLEGAL ALIEN not an undocumented immigrant and if he was where he belonged (Mexico) this innocent victim would still be alive.”

Many of the comments on the post supported the union. "PC crap is out of control," Chris Tallerico wrote.

Others took a more nuanced view. Casey Grim wrote: "Terribly sad, but the truth is it would have happened in Mexico if he had been in Mexico. A pointless murder that isn't on our soil isn't any less terrible. Many illegal immigrants are farmers looking to make money for their families back home, often they travel back home after they've saved a decent amount. This tragedy is horrific, and heart wrenching, but we shouldn't blame illegal immigrants."

For his part, Mirkarimi has defended his position on not complying with ICE detainers, and has said that the immigration agency could have put a court order on Sanchez if the agency wanted him so badly. He said on Tuesday that his officers used to call ICE on a case-by-case basis, but he told them not to in March, to comply with city and county policy.

Adachi was not immediately available for comment. But the city and county of San Francisco voted to become a sanctuary city in 2013.

The union’s post also made reference to the “tragic death of Anthony Bologna, 48, and his sons Michael, 20, and Mathew, 16, in 2008 by a previously deported ILLEGAL ALIEN.”

In that case, police believed that two suspects mistook one of the Bologna sons for a rival gang member. The triple-murder case brought national attention to San Francisco in 2008 because of the city's sanctuary policy, which shielded undocumented juveniles suspected of crimes from being reported to federal immigration officials.

One of the suspects, Edwin Ramos, 25, who was later convicted of three counts of first-degree murder, moved to the United States as a teen and remained in the country on an expired visa from El Salvador, was never reported to federal authorities despite multiple contacts with police as a juvenile.

The police union equated the same attitude toward sanctuary cities with the “tragic death of Kate Steinle. If this city and some of its elected official continue with this failed policy then it will happen again.”

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area / Steinle Family
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<![CDATA[Motorcyclist Charged With DUI After Fatal Accident]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:00:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/7-2+SF+Motorcycle+Crash+RAW+SOTVO_NBC_SHQ+-+00000503.jpg

A motorcyclist who crashed into two pedestrians in San Francisco, killing one, has been charged with a felony DUI, police said.

According to San Francisco police Officer Grace Gatpandan, Sean McGinnis on Monday was booked for felony DUI alcohol causing bodily injury, felony DUI drugs causing bodily injury and felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

McGinnis, 26, struck two people at roughly 9:10 p.m. July 1 at the intersection of Third and Market streets. Police said all three were taken to the hospital.

Gregory Ihm, 39, of San Francisco, died at 3:05 p.m. July 2, Gatpandan said. The second pedestrian lost teeth and suffered facial lacerations and pain to the hip and leg areas, she added.

The San Francisco Sheriff's Department said that McGinnis is in custody with bail set at $500,000.

NBC Bay Area's Gonzalo Rojas contributed to this report. 

Photo Credit: Robbie Beasom]]>
<![CDATA[Marshawn Lynch Biopic Shot, Scrapped]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:38:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sb-05-462634536.jpg

A biopic on the life of Seattle Seahawks running back and Oakland native Marshawn Lynch was shot, but will not be coming to theaters or television.

The film "Family First: The Marshawn Lynch Story" has failed to meet the standards of Lynch and his representatives.

His agent Doug Hendrickson told Rolling Stone that producer Mario Bobino, described as a family friend, "did a terrible job, and the film will never be released."

Bobino posted a trailer to YouTube in February — featuring Lynch but without his consent, he later admitted — and removed it a few days days later, reportedly on Lynch's objections to the trailer's poor sound, editing and lighting. He told Rolling Stone that he invested $18,000 from his retirement savings for the project and has taken a job as a juvenile probation officer in order to pay off debts he incurred while making the movie.

The trailer, still viewable online, features stilted acting and familiar East Bay locations like Blondie's Pizza in Berkeley, spitting distance from the Cal campus where Lynch first rose to football prominence.

Though Lynch plays for Seattle, his heart is still in Oakland, home of his non-profit Fam 1st Family Foundation

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Trade David Lee]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:16:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/163*120/485680235.jpg

The David Lee era in Golden State is over.

The Warriors traded Lee to the Boston Celtics in exchange for forward Gerald Wallace, multiple league sources confirmed to CSNBayArea.com.

Read more from CSN Bay Area.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Francisco Sanchez Pleads Not Guilty to Murder Charges]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:23:18 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TLMD-juan-francisco-lopez-sanchez-pier-14.jpg

Francisco Sanchez, the undocumented immigrant charged in the murder of a 32-year-old woman strolling along a San Francisco pier, pleaded not gulity to murder charges Tuesday.

Sanchez, who was arraigned in Superior Court Tuesday, is being held on $5 million bail. His next court hearing has been set for July 22. Public Defender Matt Gonzalez said there is a high probability that the shooting was accidental. Court documents show the victim, Kate Steinle, was shot in the back.

Sanchez has a criminal history dating back to 1991, mostly for drugs, including heroin, and sneaking into the United States, sometimes fewer than 30 days after he was deported Mexico, federal records show.

A federal database has logged Sanchez's past convictions and deportations, with at least 40 entries in its system over the last two decades. The most recent was for the July 1 arrest of Kate Steinle, who was gunned down along the Embarcadero while out with her father. In jailhouse interviews, Sanchez said that if he killed her, he didn't remember much because he was high on marijuana and sleeping pills.

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The most violent crime he was arrested for was assault in Arizona, though he has not been convicted of that charge. Records also show that he was deported on five occasions back to Mexico – the first time in 1994 – and on one occasion snuck back into the United States within a month of being deported.

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Sanchez, who also goes by several aliases and dates of birth, was last sent to prison by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas on a charge of re-entering the United States after being deported.

On March 26, he was released from the federal Bureau of Prisons, and turned over the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Office because he still had an active criminal warrant for felony sale of marijuana, federal records show. On March 26, ICE lodged an immigration detainer asking to be notified when he is released. 

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On April 15, the jail released Sanchez without notifying ICE, because the city and county are sanctuary cities, and do not help the federal government deport immigrants. According to ICE, last year the agency lodged 161,322 immigration detainers in the United States, and 36,284 in California in 2014. 

Between January 1, 2014, and June 19, ICE records show there have been 10,516 detainers declined in California and 17,193 detainers declined nationwide. 

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Here is Sanchez’s complete criminal history, according to a federal database:

  • Unknown date – Sanchez illegally entered the United States without admission or parole.
  •  5/13/1991 – Sanchez convicted by an Arizona state criminal court of inhaling toxic vapors - sentenced to one month in jail and up to five years probation.
  •  2/2/1993 – Sanchez convicted by Washington state criminal court of felony heroin possession - sentenced to 21 days in jail.
  •  5/12/1993 – Sanchez convicted by a Washington state criminal court of felony manufacturing narcotics – sentenced to nine months in jail.
  • 11/2/1993 – Sanchez convicted by a Pierce County, Washington, criminal court of felony heroin possession - sentenced to four months in jail.
  •  6/9/1994 – Sanchez convicted by a Multnomah County, Oregon, criminal court of misdemeanor imitation controlled substance - ordered to pay a fine.
  •  6/10/1994 - The former Immigration and Naturalization Service arrested Sanchez and placed him in removal proceedings as an alien who’s been convicted of a controlled substance violation and an aggravated felony.
  •  6/20/1994 – An immigration judge ordered Sanchez removed to Mexico. On the same date, INS deports subject to Mexico.
  •  Unknown date – Sanchez illegally re-entered the U.S
  •  7/14/1994 -Arizona state criminal court revoked Sanchez’s probation – sentenced to 93 days in jail.
  • 7/11/1996 – Sanchez convicted by Washington State criminal court of felony possession of heroin - sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison.
  •  3/12/1997 - INS arrested Sanchez on an “order to show cause,” charging him as “deportable alien” based on his illegal entry and aggravated felony conviction.
  • 4/1/1997 –Immigration judge ordered Sanchez removed to Mexico.
  •  4/4/1997 - INS removed Sanchez to Mexico.
  • Unknown date – Sanchez illegally re-entered the U.S.
  •  7/22/1997 – Sanchez arrested by Arizona law enforcement authorities for assault and threatening/intimidating. The final disposition of this arrest is unknown.
  • 1/13/1998 – Sanchez arrested by U.S. Border Patrol.
  •  1/15/1998 – Immigration judge orders Sanchez removed.
  •  2/2/1998 – Sanchez deported to Mexico.
  •  2/8/1998 – Sanchez arrested by U.S. Border Patrol after illegally re-entering. Border Patrol seeks criminal prosecution for felony re-entry.
  • 9/3/1998 – Sanchez convicted in U.S. District Court of re-entry after removal – sentenced to 63 months.
  •  2/20/2003 - U.S. Bureau of Prisons turned Sanchez over to federal immigration.
  •  3/6/2003 – Sanchez removed to Mexico.
  • Unknown date – Sanchez illegally re-entered the US.
  •  7/4/2003 – Sanchez arrested by U.S. Border Patrol in Texas – presented for prosecution for felony re-entry.
  •  11/7/2003 – Sanchez convicted of re-entry after removal and violation of supervised federal release - sentenced him to 51 months and 21 months respectively.
  •  6/29/2009 – Bureau of Prisons turned Sanchez over to ICE for removal. On the same date, ICE removed him to Mexico.
  • Unknown date – Sanchez illegally re-entered the U.S.
  •  9/20/2009 – Sanchez arrested by CBP in Eagle Pass, Texas, and he was presented for prosecution for re-entry after removal.
  •  10/14/2009 - U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas filed indictment for re-entry after removal.
  • 9/10/2010 – Sanchez charged for violating his federal probation.
  •  5/12/2011 – Sanchez sentenced to 46 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release for the re-entry and probation violations.
  •  7/13/2011 – ICE lodged immigration detainer with the Bureau of Prisons.
  • 10/9/2013 - ICE’s Southern California Secure Communities Support Center lodged an immigration detainer with the Bureau of Prisons.
  •  3/26/2015 – Sanchez released from prison custody and turned over to the San Francisco County Sheriff’s Office to an active criminal warrant for felony sale/furnishing marijuana. Bureau of Prisons transferred him directly to county jail upon his release.
  • 3/27/2015 – ICE received automatic electronic notification indicating Sanchez had been booked into jail custody and lodged an immigration detainer asking to be notified prior to his release.
  • Unknown date – Jail did not honor the immigration detainer and released Sanchez from custody. ICE is not notified of the release.
  •  7/1/2015 – Sanchez is arrested with the fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle on Pier 14 in San Francisco
  •  7/3/2015 - ICE received electronic notification indicating Sanchez had been booked into San Francisco jail and lodged an Immigration Detainer – Request for Voluntary Action.

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Photo Credit: TELEMUNDO 48]]>
<![CDATA[Murder Charge Appropriate in Pier 14 Case: Expert]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 11:59:42 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/207*120/pier3.JPG

In interviews with TV stations, Francisco Sanchez appears almost pathetic, confused, disheveled.

He told at least two stations, including Telemundo, that he can’t remember much about the evening of July 1, when 32-year-old Kate Steinle of Pleasanton was shot to death along San Francisco’s Pier 14. He said he was high on sleeping pills and marijuana, and he also told KGO-TV that he was out shooting sea lions and he had no idea a woman had been shot. He told the news outlets that he found a gun hidden under a bench wrapped in a towel or T-shirt.

But the district attorney apparently “isn’t buying it,” according to legal expert Steven Clark, a former prosecutor, who told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday that San Francisco’s DA, George Gascon, filed the appropriate charge of murder against Sanchez.

Sanchez is expected to be formally arraigned on Tuesday. He has essentially admitted his guilt to news stations and made an “admission,” according to San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr. His defense attorney cut off interviews on Monday morning.

It’s clear to Clark that the district attorney is not “at least, initially giving any credence to the idea that he was just shooting at sea lions, and that’s likely not supported by forensic evidence.”

Clark said that ballistics report will likely show that it was a close range shooting instead of a ricochet or some type of other accidental weapon discharge.

“And even if Sanchez was shooting at sea lions in a crowded tourist venue, that could be second degree murder,” Clark said. “It’s so depraved and malicious.”

Furthermore, as a convicted felon, not only is Sanchez not allowed to own a weapon, but he’s not allowed to even pick one up even if he found one, as he said, along the pier, Clark added.

In Clark’s opinion, Gascon is not bowing to any political pressure by filing a murder charge, instead of something lesser, as the story has blown into a full-on national debate over immigration.

Sanchez is a five-time deported undocumented immigrant and a seven-time felon, according to immigration records. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had put a detainer on Sanchez, asking the city and county of San Francisco to return him to federal custody after he finished up with an old marijuana case from about a decade ago.

But according to city and county policy, the San Francisco County Jail never returned Sanchez to ICE, nor did officials alert federal agents that Sanchez was released from jail on April 15 after prosecutors decided not to charge him in the drug case.

As Clark sees it, Sanchez’s story has indeed opened up an “important debate” that will likely be debated in Congress and perhaps create new laws. And the best case scenario for his defense, Clark said, is if Sanchez's lawyers argue that he was intoxicated or mentally ill.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Caltrans Shuts Down Part of 101 to Stripe Median]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 05:48:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/101jpg1.jpg

Caltrans will close a portion of U.S. Highway 101 in Palo Alto from Tuesday to Sunday so crews can pave and stripe the median. Southbound Route 101 will have a new striping configuration, where traffic would be moved towards the median k-rail.

The work is part of the San Francisquito Creek Bridge Replacement Project at the border of San Mateo County and Santa Clara County on U.S. Route 101 in Palo Alto.

Here are the closures:

U.S. Route 101 Southbound:
Lanes 1 & 2 closed between University Avenue and Embarcadero Road, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 7 - 8, from 9 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

U.S. Route 101 Southbound:
Lanes 1 & 2 closed between University Avenue and Embarcadero Road, Thursday, July 9, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

U.S. Route 101 Southbound:
Alternate Lanes will be closed between University Avenue and Embarcadero Road, Friday & Saturday, July 10 - 11, from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.

University On-ramp to U.S.Route 101 Southbound:
On-ramp will be closed, Friday, July 10, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Detour will be in place.

Embarcadero Off-ramp from U.S.Route 101 Southbound:

Off-ramp will be closed, Friday & Saturday, July 10-11, from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. Detour will be in place.

<![CDATA[Antioch Mother Fights for Speed Bumps in Her Neighborhood]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 23:46:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WEB+11P+TM+SPEED+BUMP.jpg

An Antioch mother continues to fight for installing a speed bump outside her home after her son was fatally struck by a speeding driver in the neighborhood.

Linda Hudson lost her 47-year-old son, Tim Hudson, in a car accident in May. To protect others, she installed speed bumps outside her home later that month. City officials said the speed bumps were illegal and removed them a week later.

Linda Hudson met with Assistant City Engineer Lynne Filson on Monday night to present a petition with hundreds of signatures favoring the safety feature.

Filson said a traffic survey near Hudson’s house did not show a high enough percentage of speeding drivers to warrant the speed bumps, but she said the policy could change.

"All I want is a speed bump in front of my home," Linda Hudson said. "You put it in or I will put it in. We'll keep playing that game until hell freezes over." 

It is estimated that speed bumps, if done to city code, cost around $7,500 each.

Linda Hudson said she will ask for a loan if need be and will put them in herself. She added she is willing to spend jail time for putting the speed bumps again.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SF-Bound Southwest Flight from Phoenix Makes Emergency Landing]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 22:42:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/229*120/0706-2015-Plane.jpg

A San Francisco-bound Southwest flight from Phoenix had to return to Sky Harbor Airport in Arizona for an emergency landing late Monday, according to NBC's 12News.

Southwest Airlines Flight 211 landed safely with a blown tire on the main landing gear, Southwest said in a release to 12News.

Passengers were taken back to the terminal by bus and no injuries were reported, according to 12News.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: 12News]]>
<![CDATA[SF Mission Housing Moratorium May Qualify for Nov. Ballot]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 23:42:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0706-2015-Moratorium.jpg

Activists who want to halt demolition and construction in San Francisco's Mission District moved one step closer to putting a housing moratorium on the November ballot. 

Volunteers on Monday submitted to the Department of Elections 15,000 signatures required for the moratorium to be placed before voters. The moratorium was previously rejected by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Activists said they want voters to approve the moratorium -- which calls for an 18-month stop for demolition and construction in the Mission -- to preserve housing and industrial spaces.

"Those are spaces in the Mission dedicated to working class jobs, union workers and industrial workers," said Gabriel Medina of the Mission Economic Development Agency.

But opponents said a ban will limit supply and drive prices higher.

"Moratorium seems like a dramatic thing we can do to push back against the housing crunch," Supervisor Scott Wiener said. "It won't help anyone (and will) only make the housing crunch worse."

The Department of Elections will now review the submitted signatures and determine if the moratorium will appear on the November ballot.

If approved by voters, the moratorium would take effect in January.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[SFO Continues to Review Deadly Asiana Plane Crash]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:30:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/asiana-icon-series-page.jpg

Monday marked the second anniversary of the deadly Asiana Airlines plane crash at San Francisco International Airport. Amid ongoing lawsuits, changes are also in the works to review safety procedures.

Three teenagers from China died in the July 2013 crash of flight 214 while more than 180 of the 300 passengers were injured.

SFO was largely praised for its on-scene response to the plane crash. However, measures have still been taken since then to make things safer on the runway, such as fire department training and various studies done on the Asiana aircraft.

<![CDATA[Lost Sheep Found Wandering Around in Fremont]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:28:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/199*120/sheepmain.JPG

Did you skip a sheep while counting yourself to sleep last night?

A Suffolk Wether Sheep was found running loose in Fremont on Sunday.

The sheep was corralled at a condo complex near the intersection of Ocean Breeze and Mission Blvd. with the help of animal services, a community service officer and several citizens.

The sheep is now being cared for at the Tri-City Animal Shelter located at 1950 Stevenson Blvd. It has an ear tag.

Anyone with any information regarding the sheep's owner, please contact the shelter at (510)-790-6640.

<![CDATA[SJPD Seek Help Locating Kohl's Robbery Suspect]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 21:19:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0706-2015-KohlsSuspect.jpg

San Jose police are asking for the public’s help in locating a robbery suspect who they say grabbed clothing from a Kohl's department store and left without paying.

When contacted by Kohl's loss prevention employees, the suspect made threatening comments and a reaching motion that suggested he was carrying a firearm, police said. The suspect fled the scene on foot.

Police said the robbery occurred inside the Kohl's department store located at 890 Blossom Hill Road in San Jose at approximately 3:52 p.m. on June 17.

The suspect is described to be a male standing 5 foot 4 inches to 5 foot 8 inches tall, approximately 165 to 185 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with blue jeans.

Security cameras and witnesses were able to make out two distinctive tattoos on his neck that police think may help further identify the suspect: one of the tattoos is a large teal shark fin and the other appears to be a pit bull with a spiked collar.

San Jose police are asking anyone with any information on this robbery to contact the San Jose Police Department’s Robbery Unit at 408-277-4166. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 408-947-STOP (7867).

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Surge in Suspected Gang-Related Violence in SJ]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:51:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sjpd18.jpg

San Jose police saw a spike in suspected gang-related violence over the Fourth of July weekend. Gang specialists were called back on duty due to the increase in violence and concern about retaliation.

Several suspected gang-related crimes took place on Sunday. Police records show a person was shot several times on Poco Way and another victim was stabbed multiple times on Nieman Boulevard. An eastside auto parts store was also robbed at gunpoint, according to San Jose police records. 

While gang-related crime figures showed a downward trend heading into summer, Mayor Sam Liccardo is disappointed and concerned about the recent surge.

"We’re all on high alert," Liccardo said. "Certainly in the summer time, it's not unusual we see these spikes of gang activity. That's why we've really doubled down on gang prevention and intervention strategies right now."

Photo Credit: Henry Jerkins]]>
<![CDATA[Neighbor Calls Suspect in Bat Beating "Very Violent"]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 22:54:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BLUE+BACKGROUND.jpg

A San Mateo woman allegedly killed her neighbor Saturday by repeatedly hitting her on the head with an aluminum child-sized baseball bat, police said.

The pair's neighbor Rose Johnson said the suspect -- 40-year-old Brenda Martinez -- and the still unidentified 66-year-old woman were friends for many years. However, they had a falling out about money roughly six months ago and stopped talking to each other, she added.

According to police, Martinez went to the San Mateo Police Department at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and approached officers in the front lobby. A department statement indicated that she not only "alerted officers" but also "implicated herself as a suspect" in the homicide.

Officers responded to a residence on the first block of N. Claremont St. where they found the victim. She was unresponsive, having experienced "obvious head trauma," and was pronounced dead at the scene, police added.

For her part, Johnson described Martinez as "very violent" and "very verbal" while the victim was "light-hearted," "sweet" and never spoke badly of anyone. 

"I just sat down and couldn't believe a murder happened here," Johnson said. 

Police are currently investigating a motive. Meanwhie, Martinez is in San Mateo County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday. 

Photo Credit: San Mateo Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[FasTrak Flex to Help Bay Area Drivers on Express Lanes]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:23:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0706-2015-FastrakFlex.jpg

Bay Area drivers are getting a break from the folks at FasTrak.

Starting this month, drivers may purchase a new edition of the transponder that can be toggled to indicate how many people are in the vehicle.

Officials said the old transponder will still work, but the new one, called FasTrak Flex, has a button to indicate how many passengers drivers have in the vehicle.

Drivers who have enough for a carpool will be able to drive in the express lane during commute times without any deduction from their account.

The first section of highway where the full advantages of the flexible transponders is Interstate 580 between Pleasanton and Livermore.

To prevent cheaters, amber lights along the center median strip will light up when a transponder set to carpool goes past. Officials said it will be up to California Highway Patrol officers to count heads in the vehicle.

"We certainly hope this will cut down on cheating in carpool lanes," said John Goodwin of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Pier 14 Shooting Spurs Immigration Debate]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 10:28:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/edlee1.jpg

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is the latest to weigh in on the immigration debate centered around Kathryn Steinle’s fatal shooting at Pier 14.

In a statement released Monday, Lee described feeling "deeply saddened" by the "tragic and senseless death," adding that his "thoughts and prayers" are with the 32-year-old Pleasanton woman's family. 

"I have spoken with Kathryn’s family, and they would like everyone to remember their daughter for the wonderful person that she was," he said.

Lee endorsed San Francisco's so-called sanctuary city policy, which has received a lot of flak in the aftermath of Steinle's death, but offered a caveat.

"Let me be clear: [the policy] protects residents regardless of immigration status and is not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons," he said. 

At about 6:30 p.m. July 1, Steinle, a recent transplant to San Francisco, was walking near the Embarcadero with her father when she was gunned down. Police arrested Francisco Sanchez soon after the incident. Prosecutors charged him with murder Monday. 

From jail, Sanchez, a 45-year-old repeat drug offender, told a KGO-TV reporter that he came to San Francisco because of its status as a sanctuary city. He also claimed to have no recollection of the incident since he was high on sleeping pills and marijuana at the time.

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Sanchez is an undocumented immigrant with a long rap sheet, who has been deported to Mexico five times.

Earlier this year, Sanchez was released from federal prison — where he had served a sentence for re-entering the United States after deportation — and turned over to the San Francisco's Sheriff's Department on an outstanding drug-related warrant.

The district attorney's office declined to prosecute what authorities said was a decade-old marijuana possession case. Sanchez was freed on April 15 — instead of being handed over to federal immigration officials — despite having a "detainer" on his status in jail. 

Authorities defended their move by citing San Francisco's sanctuary city policy. The Federation for American Immigration Reform describes it as one that prohibits "local police from asking suspects about their immigration status or reporting them to immigration authorities."

Standing behind the sanctuary law, San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said he uniformly ignores detainer requests unless they are followed by an active arrest warrant.

For his part, Lee, who was born to immigrant parents, said that he wants his hometown to safeguard the "well-being and success of all families" irrespective of where they are from.

"Our city’s policy helps immigrant and limited-English speaking communities where sometimes people fear and mistrust the criminal justice system," he stressed. "We want people to report crimes, we want children of undocumented immigrants to attend school, and we want families to get access to much needed social services without fear of their city government reporting them to federal authorities."

Lee pointed to his commitment to both "civil liberties" and "public safety" as the reason why, in 2013, he decided to "veto any legislation" that undermined the San Francisco Sheriff's Department's ability to honor ICE's "detainers" on a case-by-case basis.

That said, however, Lee noted: "I am concerned about the circumstances that led to the release of Mr. Sanchez. All agencies involved, federal and local, need to conduct quick, thorough and objective reviews of their own departmental policies and the decisions they made in this case."

Lee also promised to continue working toward immigration reform so cities aren't put in the unenviable position of having to "make and enforce immigration law."

Steinle's death has prompted a flurry of criticism from ICE, politicians and commenters on social media, all of whom portrayed the slaying as a preventable tragedy.

"Most of the blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of the San Francisco sheriff, because his department had custody of him and made the choice to let him go without notifying ICE,'' said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which wants tougher immigration enforcement.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Virginia Republican who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, blamed sanctuary practices and the Obama administration, saying in a statement: "The tragic murder of Kate Steinle once again underscores the need to end these reckless policies.''

For more than two decades, San Francisco has been considered a sanctuary for people in the U.S. illegally. In 2013, Mirkarimi's office started turning over fewer people under arrest to federal immigration agents for deportation.

Many cities around the U.S. have scaled back collaboration with federal immigration authorities, but few have gone as far as San Francisco.

"We're not asking local law enforcement to do our job,'' ICE spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said in a statement. "All we're asking is that they notify us when a serious foreign national criminal offender is being released to the street so we can arrange to take custody.''

Freya Horne, legal counsel for Mirkarimi's office, said that ICE could have issued an active warrant if immigration authorities wanted to keep him in custody, and that ICE is aware of San Francisco's policy.

During his jailhouse interview, Sanchez said in a mix of Spanish and English that he found the gun wrapped in a T-shirt while sitting on a bench at the pier.

"So I picked it up and ... it started to fire on its own,'' Sanchez said, adding that he heard three shots go off.

Asked if he came to San Francisco because of its sanctuary status, he said yes.

"I only want to say that if the court wants to find me guilty, I wouldn't get mad,'' Sanchez said during the interview, in which he appeared confused and spoke incoherently at times.

The Rev. John Anderson of St. John's Presbyterian Church in San Francisco said that he favors sanctuary but that agencies should figure out how to cooperate.

"There should be, rather than a black and white, there should be, 'Let's have a conversation about certain individuals,''' he said. "It's really hard to find a middle ground, but I think we have to struggle better on a middle ground.'' 

Meanwhile, real estate mogul Donald Trump also decided to speak out.

“This senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately," the Republican presidential hopeful said in a statement July 3.

Trump continued: "The American people deserve a wall to protect our jobs, economy and our safety. I am the only candidate who would build it.”

In response, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said, "I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration."

But fellow presidential candidate Jeb Bush criticized Trump's comments about Latinos.

"I don't think he represents the Republican Party, and his views are way out of the mainstream of what most Republicans think," he told reporters in New Hampshire, according to NBC News.

Not to be outdone, Trump, on July 4, retweeted a post suggesting that Bush "has to like the Mexican Illegals" because his wife Columba is a Mexican woman.

The tweet was apparently taken down from his account the next day.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Motorcyclist Killed in Possible Hit-And-Run]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 12:56:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ambulance-shutterstock_12161325.jpg

A driver allegedly speeding through traffic struck and killed a 29-year-old motorcyclist from East Palo Alto on Independence Day, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said the death was reported on July 4 about 9 p.m. on Interststate Highway 880 by the northbound 237 exit in San Jose.

The possible suspect fled the scene, the CHP said, and witnesses described the car involved as a newer black Dodge Charger or Challenger with “retro” style wrapped taillights and possible front end damage. The CHP said the driver was traveling at a "high rate of speed."

The accident is still under investigation and CHP is asking for assistance on identifying the possible hit-and-run suspect by calling 408-467-5400.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Accused Pier 14 Killer Can't Remember Shooting]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:51:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/SF+EMBARCADERO+SUSPECT+JAIL+INTERVIEW+-+22354321.jpg

The accused killer of a Pleasanton woman who was shot to death while strolling along Pier 14 in San Francisco with her father said he doesn't remember anything about the evening because he was high on drugs.

In a brief jailhouse interview Monday that was cut short by his defense attorney, Francisco Sanchez, 45, told Telemundo that he had been taking sleeping pills and smoking pot  on the evening he is accused of shooting 32-year-old Kate Steinle.

Appearing disheveled and confused, Sanchez told the reporter that he believes he was taken into custody on July 1 at the San Francisco County jail because police told him that he killed someone.

"They say I attacked someone," Sanchez told Telemundo, which is owned by NBC Universal, in Spanish. "If that's what they say, I say it's good because I've never been the type to contradict."

He also told the reporter that he often confuses capital letters with lowercase letters and didn't get enough schooling because he never had money to pay for the school fees.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Archdiocese held a brief prayer service Monday morning for Steinle, as it does for all homicide victims in its jurisdiction. Relatives have also launched an effort to raise money to support her family and favorite charities in her memory. 

Sanchez, who was identified by the many witnesses at the scene, was taken into custody and is awaiting arraignment. A police source told the San Francisco Chronicle that Sanchez said he was shooting sea lions and hit her by mistake.

And in a longer jailhouse interview with KGO-TV over the weekend, Sanchez said he found a gun wrapped up in a T-shirt at the pier under a bench. Sanchez also told the station he kept re-entering the United States and making San Francisco as his adopted home because it is a sanctuary city, meaning he knew officials would not deport him back to Mexico. According to immigration officials, Sanchez had been deported to Mexico five times, the last time in 2008.

Sanchez also told KGO that he felt sorry for Steinle's family and that he should be given the strictest punishment so that he can tell her parents in court that he no longer wants to live.

The Steinle family has mixed emotions after learning that federal immigration agents had wanted to deport Sanchez once he finished a jail sentence for a marijuana offense, which the San Francisco County Jail did not do. The sheriff's legal counsel, Freya Horne, told NBC Bay Area on Friday that's because city, county and state law gives San Francisco the right to refuse immigration detainers if the suspect has no other outstanding warrants. Sanchez had none, Horne said, which is why ICE was never notified.

Steinle's family, however, is trying to stay away from the politics of the case, and instead, focusing on the memory of their loved one. Her brother, Brad Steinle, described his sister as the “most loving, beautiful and amazing” person with a “special soul, a kind and giving heart.”

Brad Steinle set up a GoFundMe page on July 4, asking that people support their family and also raise money for his sister's two favorite charities, the Challenged Athlete’s Foundation and PAWS. A separate page was set up by her work colleagues at Medtronic to raise money on behalf of her family.

The day before Steinle was killed, her brother said she changed her Facebook cover photo with a saying that read, “Whatever’s good for your soul….do that.”

He asked that anyone who knew his sister, and even those who didn't, honor her memory by living life by those words.

Telemundo's Cristina Londono and Gisela Crespo contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Telemundo]]>
<![CDATA[Officer Shoots Teen Who Rammed Car Into Patrol Car: PD]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 08:01:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/2015-07-06_5-48-08.jpg

San Pablo police shot a minor late Sunday night after they said the teen tried to flee in a stolen Honda Civic and then allegedly accelerated into an officer standing outside his patrol car, hitting it.

Sgt. Brian Bubar said  the juvenile was taken to a hospital in critical condition. The officer was also being treated for unknown injuries. He would not release the boy's age, but added that he was alone in the stolen car.

Bubar said that the officer-involved shooting was reported about 11:36 p.m. near Bush Avenue at Rumrill Boulevard. The officer “discharged his weapon,” striking the teen once, after his patrol car was hit.

The last time San Pablo Police Department was involved in an an officer-involved shooting was February.

NBC Bay Area spoke to three witnesses at the scene, who said they heard at least five shots fired. David Gonzalez was at the gym when he heard the gunfire.

Another witness, Jose Lopez, said he saw dozens of police officers and remembers shouting "He's been shot, he's been shot" to paramedics who arrived.

In nearby Pleasanton, a police officer fatally shot a man on Sunday morning who they said was robbing an auto dealer and started to flee through a broken window. That man died.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Giants' Buster Posey Named All-Star Starter]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 16:54:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/173*120/477813636_594_screen.jpg

The fans' votes are in and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey has been elected the starting catcher for the National League in the 2015 MLB All-Star Game.

Posey, 28, will be playing in his third All-Star Game after participating in baseball's Midsummer Classic in both 2012 and 2013.

Going into Sunday night's game, Posey is hitting .304/.375/.502 with 14 home runs. He's also produced 86 hits, 14 doubles, 57 RBI and 44 runs scored in 78 games played.

In comparison to his Giants teammates, Posey is fourth in batting average, third in on-base percentage, first in slugging percentage, first in home runs, second in hits, fourth in doubles, first in RBI, and first in runs scored.

Posey has been superior offensively to nearly all other catchers in all of baseball. Among catchers, he leads in batting average, is second in on-base percentage, second in slugging percentage, first in home runs, first in hits, third in doubles, first in RBI, and second in runs scored.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hayward Firefighters Contain Hayward Brush Fire]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 16:40:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/haywardfirejuly5.JPG

The Hayward Fire Department has contained a fire near W. Winton Avenue Sunday afternoon.

According to a tweet from the Hayward Fire Department news account, no homes are threatened by the fire. Mutual aid was requested.

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<![CDATA[Oakland CHP Officer Rescues Possum on I-880]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 11:37:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/POSSUMMAINCHP.jpg

California Highway Patrol rescued a possum on I-880 on Friday, after receiving multiple calls from passing drivers.

CHP responded right away and Officer Wood was able to catch the possum before it got hit, said Officer Sean Wilkenfeld of CHP Oakland. The rescue took place on I-880 near 7th Street. 

After being transported off the freeway, the possum was safely released into a wooded area.

However, that wasn't the only animal-related call CHP Oakland received on Friday. That morning, a dog was found running in between lanes on I-880. Even though "officers ran multiple traffic breaks," the dog managed to get off the freeway and run up Ashby Avenue, said Officer Wilkenfeld.

Once the dog got off the freeway, animal control and Berkeley Police Department took over. 

Officer Wilkenfeld recommends that drivers do not get out of their cars on the freeway to catch animals that may be loose. 

Photo Credit: CHP Oakland
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<![CDATA[San Mateo Woman Allegedly Kills Neighbor With Bat]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:41:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BLUE+BACKGROUND.jpg

A San Mateo woman turned herself in Saturday night after allegedly killing her neighbor with a baseball bat, police said.

According to police, the suspect, identified as Brenda Martinez, went to the San Mateo Police Department at 8:30 p.m. and approached officers in the front lobby.

A department statement said that Martinez, 40, not only "alerted officers" but also "implicated herself as a suspect" in the homicide.

Officers responded to a residence on the first block of N. Claremont St. where they found an unresponsive 66-year-old woman. The victim experienced "obvious head trauma," the statement said, adding that she was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Police said that detectives have the weapon - the baseball bat, adding that all the evidence indicates that Martinez is the "sole suspect in this crime."

Police believe that the homicide is an isolated incident. They aren’t on the lookout for other suspects and don’t believe there is ongoing danger to the community.

The San Mateo County Coroner’s Office will not release the victim’s name until her family has been notified. 

This is San Mateo’s first homicide in 2015.

People with information about this incident can call dispatch at 650-522-7700 or the Secret Witness Line at 650-522-7676.

Photo Credit: San Mateo Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting in Pleasanton]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 12:49:54 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/210*120/police+siren.JPG

A Pleasanton officer fatally shot a man early Sunday morning, police said.

According to a department statement, officers responded to a burglary report at auto dealer Specialty Sales Classics just after 2 a.m. Upon arriving at 4321 1st St., police noticed a Caucasian man acting "agitated and aggressive" in front of the business.

Instead of obeying officers' commands, the man ran back into the business and exited via a rear broken window, police said. An officer who was stationed at the back of Specialty Sales Classics chased the man.

Police said the officer fired his pistol during an altercation with the suspect. The man was transported to Eden Medical Center where he died.

The officer, who remains unidentified, was treated for minor injuries at ValleyCare Medical Center, police said. He has since been released.

An investigation is ongoing and the Alameda County Coroner’s Office will assist with identifying the man, police said. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Illegal Fireworks Spark Fires Across Bay Area]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:17:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/fireout1.JPG

Before July 4, Bay Area law enforcement agencies reminded people that it is illegal and dangerous to set off fireworks. Still, many didn’t heed their warnings.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Illegal Fireworks Start SJ House Fire, Revelers Light More Fireworks]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 13:39:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/209*120/sanjosefire4.JPG

Four people have been displaced after a home in San Jose caught fire Saturday night when illegal fireworks landed in the back yard, according to a fire captain.

Firefighters responded to the 800 block of Yerba Buena Road at 9:44 p.m. on reports of a fire.

A resident saw the firework land in his back yard start a fire. He attempted to put it out, but the fire ignited his home and threatened the house behind him, according to Capt. Mitch Matlow.

But that didn't stop revelers from lighting additional pyrotechnics while the house was burning.

"When our crews were on scene they were watching other neighbors still launching fireworks," Matlow said.

Information about the extent of the damage caused by Saturday night's fire was not immediately available.

Photo Credit: Ian Cuil]]>