Go To Search
HomePrint
RSSEmail

Chief’s Community Update

July 15, 2019

 

This weekly update will include information about the recent efforts of the police department and provide you with information regarding recent incidents, crime trends, and community resource information.  Please take a moment to search our website and take advantage of the features.

 

Recent Events: 

 

San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank-Zip Code Economies Project:

On Friday, June 21st, 2019 I attended the Launch of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, Zip Code Economies Podcast series.  As indicated in my earlier email, EPA is scheduled in two parts that will air on Tuesday, July 9th and Tuesday, July 16th.  Below is the information released from Zip Code Economies regarding access to their Podcasts.

 

At a time when society seems more divided than ever, how are people building bridges at the community level? Zip Code Economies is a new podcast from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that uncovers stories of success and hope in unlikely places. The places we visit are diverse. The people we meet are unique. They are teachers, students, business owners, and more. Each one is facing issues we hear about every day, while striving to raise families, have careers, and make contributions. But the values that define them are universal.”

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

As Promised last week, I am posting some statistical information from the July 4, 2019 holiday.

 

 

Events on July 4, 2019 from 6:00pm to 2:00am

1.      What preparation did the department take to discourage the use of fireworks?

>We prepared flyers with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District in English & Spanish

>We prepared a video in English & Spanish with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District  

    reminding the community that fireworks are illegal in the city of East Palo Alto

>We distributed this information on our website, Facebook, Nextdoor, and Instagram

 

2.      How did that effort differ for 2018?

>The video was a new effort this year

 

3.      What was the on-duty staffing level for the evening?

>We were scheduled to have 1 sergeant and 3 officers working.

 

4.      How many extra sergeant/officers were scheduled to work?

>I authorized the following additional staffing: 1 sergeant and 5 officers

>This gave us a total staffing of 2 sergeants and 8 officers working 

 

5.      Were all of them in marked patrol cars?

>No. Two teams were using unmarked cars with the hope that we could get close enough to see who was lighting or holding the fireworks (possession) so we could make an arrest.

 

6.      What other resources did the department use?

  • We requested assistance from the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, and they were able to provide an aircraft for part of the evening that could spot the highest concentration of Firework discharges so we could concentrate on that area.

 

7.      How many calls for service did the officers handle from 6:00pm on 7/4/19 until 2:00am on Thursday 7/5/19?

  • The officers responded to a total of 172 calls for service for service in an eight-hour period.  There were 157 calls and 15 anonymous tips). During the same period on the two previous Thursdays (6/20/19 the officers responded to 25 calls & on 6/27/19, they responded to 25 calls and 1 anonymous tip).

 

8.      What is the normal amount of calls for service an officer would handle on a Thursday night between 6pm and 2am?

  • As indicated above, approximately 25 calls is the average and we received 173 that night which is approximately seven times the normal amount of calls.

 

9.      What was the pattern for Calls for Service?  This includes all calls during each one-hour period.

 

  • 6:00pm-7:00pm=4       (1 for fireworks)
  • 7:00pm-8:00pm=9       (6 for fireworks)
  • 8:00pm-9:00pm=38      (15 for fireworks)
  • 9:00pm-10:00pm=47     (35 for fireworks & both Domestic Violence Calls.)
  • 10:00pm-11:00pm=34    (26 for fireworks)
  • 11:00pm-12:00am=16     (12 for fireworks)
  • 12:00am-1:00am=5         (2 for fireworks & the pursuit & DUI occurred in this hour.)
  • 1:00am-2:00am=6           (2 for fireworks)
  • 2:00am-6:00am=7           (0 for fireworks)

 

10.  Were there any significant incidents during this time span?

Yes. During this time period the following significant incidents requiring multiple officers occurred;

 

>At 9:31pm, An officer observed a domestic violence assault occurring in public and intervened.  The primary aggressor was the male and he continued to assault the female in the presence of the officer.  When the officer tried to stop him, he fought with the officer.  Multiple officers had to respond to the scene to subdue the male and deal with the hostile crowd.  After the male was in custody, he claimed he was injured so he had to be transported to the hospital to be medically evaluated at San Mateo General Hospital before he could be taken to the jail.

 

>At 9:38pm, Officers responded to the West side of the city to investigate a domestic violence case where the wife was the primary aggressor and had slashed her husband shoulder, arm and chest with a knife.  Three officers responded and once the scene was stabilized, one had to transport the wife to the jail and the other had to transport the husband to the police station for further investigation.

 

>At 12:37am, Officers observe a vehicle leaving the area where some Fireworks were just discharged.  The officers attempted to stop the vehicle and it accelerated to 70 mph on the streets of our city.  The officers terminated the pursuit as it was too dangerous to continue it as the suspects could collide with another car and possibly cause a fatal collision.   The car was last seen entering US 101 Northbound and the CHP was notified. It was determined the car was stolen from Southern California.

 

>At 12:46am, Officers observed a vehicle driving erratically on Highway 101 Southbound and attempted to stop it.  The driver ignored them but eventually stopped on Willow road where it was determined that he was driving under the influence and he was turned over to the CHP so the EPA officers could focus on the events occurring in EPA.

 

11.  How did those incidents impact the effort to address the use of illegal fireworks?

>The two domestic violence incidents required a lot of resources during a peak time for Firework discharges.  More than half of our resources had to responded to those incidents and they happened within seven minutes of each other.  The investigation caused four officers to be tied up for several hours in order to conduct proper Domestic Violence investigations and get the first suspect medically assessed at San Mateo County General Hospital.

 

>The pursuit of the car only lasted a few minutes, so it didn’t have a significant impact on our resources.

 

>The Driving Under the Influence (DUI) to a moderate amount of time to stop the         driver, detain him and turn him over to the CHP.

 

*Unfortunately, the two Domestic Violence calls occurred during a peak time for Firework discharges which significantly impacted our ability to focus on Fireworks.

 

12.   How much Fireworks were confiscated?

>The estimate is 35-45 pounds of Fireworks and they were turned over to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District for destruction.

 

13.  How many ShotSpotter gunfire activations occurred?

>There were only three ShotSpotter activations for the evening

 

 

Crime and Arrests:   

 

7/19/19                                    5:39PM                                   1900 Block Tate Street

Officers were dispatched to a report of a robbery in which three suspects took a bicycle and jewelry from a juvenile victim.  The officers obtained video footage of the incident and identified one of the suspects. The suspect is also a juvenile and was later arrested and booked into the Hillcrest Juvenile Detention Facility in the City of San Mateo. 

 

7/11/19                                    10:18PM                                 2200 Block Addison Avenue

Officers were dispatched to the 2200 Block of Addison Avenue on the report of a driver attempting to flee the scene of an accident. While the Officers were responding, a citizen followed the suspect who fled from the scene of the accident on foot leaving his vehicle behind.  The officers located and detained the suspect who was identified as East Palo Alto resident Serapio Barrera-Banderas. Mr. Barrera-Banderas was evaluated for driving while intoxicated and found to be under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Barrera-Banderas was arrested and later released with a court date on charges related to driving while intoxicated, driving with a suspended Driver’s License and leaving the scene of an accident.

 

7/11/19                                    11:24PM                     100 Block Abelia Way

Officers were dispatched to a report of an assault with a baseball bat. The Officers located victim who was suffering several lacerations to his face as the result of being struck with a bat. The victim refused medical treatment and identified the suspect as 27-year-old East Palo Alto resident Mr. Richard Thomas.  The officers searched the area for Thomas but did not locate him. On 7/13/19, acting on a tip, officers responded to the Applebee’s restaurant located at 1135 Veterans Boulevard in Redwood City and located Mr. Thomas. He was arrested and booked into the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City.

 

7/13/19                                    9:21PM                       1700 Block Bay Road

While Officers were on patrol driving south on the 1700 block of Bay Road, their patrol vehicle was struck by a suspected drunk driver travelling at a high rate of speed. The collision with the patrol vehicle did not cause significant damage and both officers were uninjured. After hitting the patrol vehicle, the suspect who was driving a large SUV collided with a concrete bench, a sign post and a tree.  The officers contacted the suspect and determined he was injured in the collision and requested paramedics.  Officers from the Menlo Park Police Department responded to assist with crowd control due to a large group of uncooperative bystanders.  The officers on scene assisted paramedics who used the “Jaws of Life” to extricate the suspect from the vehicle.  The officers identified the suspect as 34-year-old East Palo Alto resident Friscofilise Tuipuloto.  He was transported to Stanford Hospital for treatment of his injuries. The officers obtained a Search Warrant for a sample of Mr. Tuipuloto’s blood and responded to Stanford Hospital where a Phlebotomist obtained a blood sample which was later sent to the San Mateo County Crime Lab for further testing.  Mr. Tuipuloto was issued a citation with a court date where he faces charges of driving while intoxicated.

 

 

The July 2019 Beat Meeting Schedule is as follows:

 

Due to the holiday, we are combining Beat Two & Three for the month of July:

 

Beat Two & Three

Date: Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Time: 6:30 - 8pm

Location: Peninsula Pk. Apartments (1977 Tate Street)

 

 

Beat One & Four

Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019

Time: 6 - 7pm

Location: Cabana at Woodland Pk. (45 Newell Rd)

 

How to make an anonymous tip to the police:

When providing information to the police, we need specific information about the crime or criminal.  As an example, if you are reporting someone for dealing drugs, we need to know where and when they are selling the drugs, a detailed description of them (white female, blue jeans, red jacket, baseball cap), any description of a vehicle, and any other information you have about the crime.  While I don’t expect you to jeopardize your safety to get this information it is very important for us if we make an arrest.  Not only will your tip provide us with accurate information about the suspect, we are able to serve as a witness to the crime and we can testify in court.  Please use these options for providing an anonymous tip.

 

You can make an anonymous tip to the police by calling or texting to (650) 409-6792.

 

 

Crime Trends:

 

Theft from cars and homes: Cases of suspects entering cars and residence through unlocked windows or doors when the owners are absent are increasing.  The suspects often search through the car or residence and take small items of value (cash, jewelry, electronic devices) that are easy to sell.  Please lock your car and residence when you leave.  If you want to leave a window ajar for ventilation, it is recommended that you use a locking device to prevent access.  If you notice anyone suspicious loitering in the area, please call us at (650) 321-1112 or 9-1-1 in case of emergency.

 

July 10, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekly update will include information about the recent efforts of the police department and provide you with information regarding recent incidents, crime trends, and community resource information.  Please take a moment to search our website and take advantage of the features.

Recent Events: 

San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank-Zip Code Economies Project:

On Tuesday, July 9th, 2019, East Palo Alto the first of two Podcasts is scheduled to be broadcasted.  The Podcast is scheduled in two parts that will air on Tuesday, July 9th and Tuesday, July 16th.  Below is the information released from Zip Code Economies regarding access to their Podcasts.

 

At a time when society seems more divided than ever, how are people building bridges at the community level? Zip Code Economies is a new podcast from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that uncovers stories of success and hope in unlikely places. The places we visit are diverse. The people we meet are unique. They are teachers, students, business owners, and more. Each one is facing issues we hear about every day, while striving to raise families, have careers, and make contributions. But the values that define them are universal.”

Fireworks are illegal in East Palo Alto!

Despite the efforts of the East Palo Alto Police Department and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District to curtail the use of Fireworks in our city we still experienced many residents who ignored the informational flyers and the joint Public Service Announcement (PSA) that was prepared in English and Spanish reminding them that Fireworks are illegal in our City.  The information was sent out via Social media in the weeks leading up to the holiday, yet we still experienced many residents using them.  This problem is not isolated to our city and it is a problem that affects many communities in the Bay Area, even so it is disappointing behavior by our residents. 

In my newsletter next week, I will have the statistics for the night so you can get a clear picture of what we were dealing with that evening.  Below is a copy of the things we did in preparation for the holiday;

Information disseminated in preparation for the July 4th holiday:

Please refrain from discharging fireworks in our city as it is harmful to the community.  It is a common source of structure and grass fires, it is traumatizing to pets and prevents people from getting necessary sleep so they can go to work the next day.  Extra officers will be on duty and illegal fireworks will be confiscate and people in possession of them will be arrested.  Please check the Police Department Website and our Facebook page for the Public Service Announcement we made with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.

To address the issue, the EPA Police Department is doing the below listed activities;

-A joint Menlo Park Fire Protection District and East Palo Alto Police Department flyer was produced in English and Spanish reminding people that Fireworks are illegal in our city.

-A joint Menlo Park Fire Protection District and East Palo Alto Police Department Public Service Announcement (PSA) was filmed in English and Spanish reminding people that Fireworks are illegal in our city. This will be posted on our website, Instagram and Facebook by Commander Liu.

Staffing:

-The Police Department will have an extra team of officers on duty to respond to all calls for service and address Fireworks violations within the law

Reporting Firework activity:

-Based on the circumstances, community members should do the following;

-If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1

-If it is not an emergency, call dispatch at (650) 321-1112 or call/text the type line.  To be helpful, the tip should include detailed information regarding the incident

Celebratory Gunfire Is Illegal!

I want to ask for assistance from the community to stop the random gunfire that occurs on the 4th of July.  This is a very dangerous activity that is illegal and occurs when the suspect points the gun in the air and discharges it. Unfortunately, what goes up must come down and people can be seriously injured or killed when the bullet returns to the ground. 

It is a felony crime to negligently discharge a firearm in the city and if a person is arrested, they will be booked into the County jail, have a criminal record, need to post $25,000.00 bail to get out before their court date, be required to appear in court with an attorney, and may have to serve time in jail. 

Simply put, this behavior is harmful to the community so if you know anyone that engages in this behavior, please ask them to stop. 

As always, you can report any crime to the police department by using any of these methods.


Crime and Arrests:
  

 

July 4, 2019                                          12:25am                        2101 University Avenue

Terry Lee Gaines trespassed at the Chevron Gas Station again.  Gaines is on probation for trespassing at the same Chevron gas station and has been arrested over 80 times at this very Chevron.  The last time Gaines was arrested at the Chevron Gas Station (May 30, 2019) he had just gotten off the bus from the jail where he had just been released after being booked into jail for trespassing at the Chevron on May 29, 2019).  Gaines was booked into the county jail. 

 

July 4, 2019                                             4:03am                      1779 Woodland Avenue 

In the early morning hours of July 4, 2019, patrol units responded to the report of two suspects firing a handgun negligently into the air.  During the investigation, police obtained a video recording of the suspect with the firearm.  During an area check, the two suspects in the video were located.  One suspect, 18-year-old Ronaldo Hernandez lived in the same apartment complex as where the crime occurred.  The second suspect is a 16-year-old male East Palo Alto resident.  The juvenile suspect was cited and released to his mother.  Mr. Hernandez was booked into the San Mateo County Jail. 

 

July 4, 2019                                     9:31pm         Cooley Avenue / Runnymede Street 

While patrolling for fireworks violations, an officer noticed a male and female fighting each other on the corner of Cooley and Runnymede.  The officer approached the couple to break up the fight.  At this point the suspect, 21-year-old Dominic Powell of East Palo Alto, started cursing at the officer and behaving very aggressively.  As the officer was listening to Powell’s verbal abuse, his girlfriend became very confrontational with the officer as well.  Both Powell and his girlfriend were very intoxicated.  Mr. Powell started physically pushing his girlfriend back and yelling for her to shut up while he was talking.  When Mr. Powell kept battering his girlfriend, the officer grabbed Mr. Powell to stop his attack.  The Mr. Powell started physically fighting with the officer until additional police arrived and took him into custody.  The crowd of fireworks spectators became unruly and were upset that Mr. Powell’s was arrested.  Mr. Powell was transported to the hospital for a complaint of pain and later cited and released at the hospital. 

 

July 4, 2019                                             9:38pm                 240 East O’Keefe Street 

The victim and his wife, 35-year-old Reshma Prakash of East Palo Alto, were engaged in a verbal argument.  As the victim was trying to leave their apartment, Prakash blocked the door while holding a large kitchen knife.   When the victim tried to walk past Prakash, she slashed him several times on his chest with the knife.  The victim was able to disarm Prakash and throw the knife out of her reach before leaving the apartment.  Although the victim did not want to prosecute Prakash for cutting him with the knife, Prakash was booked into the San Mateo County Jail domestic violence and assault with a deadly weapon. 

The July 2019 Beat Meeting Schedule is as follows:

Due to the holiday, we are combining Beat Two & Three for the month of July:

 

Beat Two & Three

Date: Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Time: 6:30 - 8pm

Location: Peninsula Pk. Apartments (1977 Tate Street)

 

 

Beat One & Four

Date: Thursday, July 18, 2019

Time: 6 - 7pm

Location: Cabana at Woodland Pk. (45 Newell Rd)

 

How to make an anonymous tip to the police:

When providing information to the police, we need specific information about the crime or criminal.  As an example, if you are reporting someone for dealing drugs, we need to know where and when they are selling the drugs, a detailed description of them (white female, blue jeans, red jacket, baseball cap), any description of a vehicle, and any other information you have about the crime.  While I don’t expect you to jeopardize your safety to get this information it is very important for us if we make an arrest.  Not only will your tip provide us with accurate information about the suspect, we are able to serve as a witness to the crime and we can testify in court.  Please use these options for providing an anonymous tip.

You can make an anonymous tip to the police by calling or texting to (650) 409-6792.

 

 

Crime Trends:

Theft from cars and homes: Cases of suspects entering cars and residence through unlocked windows or doors when the owners are absent are increasing.  The suspects often search through the car or residence and take small items of value (cash, jewelry, electronic devices) that are easy to sell.  Please lock your car and residence when you leave.  If you want to leave a window ajar for ventilation, it is recommended that you use a locking device to prevent access.  If you notice anyone suspicious loitering in the area, please call us at (650) 321-1112 or 9-1-1 in case of emergency.