HAYWARD (CBS SF) — A flight instructor died and a student suffered serious injuries Monday afternoon when a helicopter crashed at Hayward Executive Airport on Monday, a Hayward city official said.
City of Hayward public information officer Chuck Finnie said the student was taking lessons with the Pacific Helicopters flight school. The student and flight instructor were the only people in the helicopter at the time of the 2:30 p.m. crash, Finnie confirmed.
Hayward Fire officials said the helicopter crashed to the ground upside down on its top rotary blades. The instructor was pronounced dead at the scene by the Hayward Fire Department, Finnie said.
The two were practicing hovering, according to Hayward Executive Airport manager Doug McNeeley.
“They were hovering at the time. Hovering meaning they were in the air and stationary in one place. That’s one of the basic things you do when you’re learning to fly helicopters,” explained McNeeley.
He said the crash happened suddenly.
“There was no mayday or distress call at all. It happened very fast,” said McNeeley.
The Hayward Fire Department initially confirmed that two people were being transported to an area hospital in serious condition.
The FAA confirmed that a Robinson R44 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances at around 2:30 p.m. on the left side of Runway 28L at Hayward Executive Airport.
Chopper 5 footage of the scene showed a helicopter that appeared to be on its side. Several Hayward police and fire units were on the scene.
The FAA and NTSB will be investigating the crash. Authorities in Hayward are keeping the scene secure for the arrival of NTSB investigators Tuesday morning.
NOVATO (CBS SF) — Novato police are turning to the public for help in their search for a man who robbed a woman at gunpoint as she sat in her car Monday morning.
Police were called just after 11 a.m. to a parking lot behind a business First Street and Grant Avenue, where a 45-year-old woman told them she was seated in her car when the robber opened the passenger door and pointed a handgun.
(Photo: Novato Police Department)
The man took her money and credit cards and fled in a dark blue Volkswagen Tiguan parked at First and Grant. The woman was uninjured. Police searched unsuccessfully for the robber, who is described as a black male in his late 20s or early 30s, about 5-foot-10 with a medium build.
He was wearing a white sweatshirt with the NIKE brand and swoosh logo, black warm-up pants and white -and-red athletic shoes. The getaway vehicle had a roof rack, no front license plate on the
front and a temporary paper plate in the rear that may have the numbers 945.
Several surveillance recordings have been obtained from the community and police hope there may be more, as well as any information that could lead to a suspect.
Police believe the suspect vehicle traveled on Vallejo Avenue, First Street, and Grant Avenue.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Novato police at (415)897-4361, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The attorney for a man accused of posing as a rideshare driver in order to sexually assault women in San Francisco is claiming officers unlawfully obtained his DNA — DNA that prosecutors say ties him to the crimes.
During a hearing Monday in San Francisco Superior Court, Judge Newton Lam heard arguments on a motion to suppress evidence in the case regarding Orlando Vilchez Lazo, 38, filed by his attorney Deputy Public Defender Sandy Feinland.
Vilchez Lazo, a former Lyft driver, has been charged with multiple felonies, including four counts of rape, three counts of kidnapping, three counts of kidnapping to commit another crime, and two counts of sexual penetration with a foreign object, force and violence.
Dubbed by police as the “Rideshare Rapist,” Vilchez Lazo has been linked by DNA evidence to four separate sexual assaults in San Francisco: one in 2013 and three in 2018, according to prosecutors. After obtaining his DNA from a Breathalyzer during a traffic stop, investigators were able to connect him to the sexual assaults.
Officers then booked him into jail on July 12, 2018, where he’s been in custody since. In court, the two officers who conducted the initial July 7, 2018 traffic stop took the witness stand separately. Both said that they stopped Vilchez Lazo after they had been asked to assist with a suspicious vehicle report, in which a silver Honda was seen circling the block near First and Howard streets, just outside of Temple Nightclub.
After Officers Nicole Hicks and Jose Rosales spotted the Honda, Rosales said he witnessed an illegal lane change and the officers pulled the car over near Howard and Fourth streets. When officers spoke to the driver, they confirmed his identity as Vilchez Lazo.
Rosales said Sgt. Mark Lee, his superior, then instructed him to request a PAS, or Pre Alcohol Screening. Lee also reportedly added, “Just tell him, I don’t know whatever. It’s easy, it’s a DUI… Just tell him we saw you swerving,” according to Rosales, although Rosales admitted he did not see Vilchez Lazo swerving.
Vilchez Lazo reportedly tested negative for alcohol intoxication and officers released him from the scene. Investigators, however, then later used the device to obtain his DNA, connecting him to all four sexual assaults.
Testimony from other officers who were at the scene is set to continue on Tuesday morning. In addition to the motion to suppress, Feinland has also filed a motion to traverse the search warrants used in Vilchez Lazo’s case.
OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Prosecutors presented three witnesses on Monday who contradicted testimony by Ghost Ship warehouse master tenant Derick Almena, creative director Max Harris and other defense witnesses in their trial for a fire at the Oakland building that killed 36 people in 2016.
The witnesses who took the stand were among the last in the lengthy trial, which began April 30, and testimony is expected to conclude on Tuesday.
Almena, 49, and Harris, 29, are charged with 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the blaze during a music party at the 10,000-square-foot warehouse in the 1300 block of 31st Avenue in Oakland’s Fruitvale district the night of Dec. 2, 2016.
Alameda County prosecutors allege that Almena and Harris are criminally responsible for the fire because the people at the party didn’t have the time or opportunity to escape the blaze since the warehouse didn’t have important safeguards, such as fire sprinklers, smoke alarms and lighted exit signs.
Prosecutors also allege that Almena and Harris violated the terms of the building’s lease, which only called for it to be used as a warehouse for an artists’ collective by turning it into a living space for up to 25 people and hosting underground music parties there.
Darold Leite, a friend of Almena who’s a two-time felon and lived at the warehouse, testified last week that he heard what sounded like an argument and bottles being broken shortly before the deadly blaze.
Leite also said he told the people who appeared to be arguing to “knock it off” and that said he saw seven or eight people in dark clothes who he didn’t recognize rush out a side door after the apparent argument.
Leite’s testimony supports the defense’s contention that the fire was an act of arson that Almena and Harris couldn’t have prevented.
But federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent Whitney Hameth testified on Monday that when she interviewed Leite on two occasions shortly after the fire he didn’t tell her that he heard the sound of broken bottles, heard a fight or saw a group of people wearing dark clothes go out a side door.
Hameth also said that although Leite testified that he’s a friend of Almena he claimed he didn’t know Almena’s last name when she interviewed him.
When Almena was on the witness stand last week he accused former Oakland Acting Assistant Fire Marshal Maria Sabatini of lying when she testified in May that she didn’t go inside the warehouse when she investigated an arson fire on a couch on the sidewalk outside the warehouse on Sept. 26, 2014.
Almena’s testimony supports the defense’s allegation that firefighters, police officers and other authorities who visited the building before the deadly fire in 2016 never told Almena and Harris that they thought it was unsafe or told them to make changes to bring it up to code.
But Oakland police Officer Michael Erickson testified on Monday that when he went to the warehouse shortly after the arson fire in 2014 he didn’t go inside the building because there didn’t appear to be any reason to enter the structure since it appeared that all the damage was on the outside.
Erickson said when he talked to Almena outside the warehouse Almena said Sabatini had already been there and left him her business card.
Harris testified in June that after the fire broke out on Dec. 2, 2016, he ran back to his living space to grab his cellphone. Harris also said he tried calling 911 to report the fire.
But Alameda County District Attorney Inspector Paul Baulzouman testified on Tuesday that when he interviewed Harris shortly after he was arrested on June 5, 2017, he didn’t say anything about going back to his space to get his phone.
Baulzouman also said he didn’t find any indication that Harris ever called 911 to report the blaze.
Prosecutors will present two more rebuttal witnesses when the trial resumes on Tuesday and then there will be a long break until closing arguments are presented the week of July 29.
Jury deliberations are expected to begin on Aug. 5.
LA HONDA (KPIX 5) — The Peninsula Humane Society has come up with an ambitious plan to provide a home for rescue animals with nowhere else to go.
Drop by the shelter and you can find plenty of dogs up for adoption. Benny is one of them–his worst habit is his tendency to destroy toys. But the real challenge for shelters like PHS is not finding homes for dogs like Benny, it’s finding homes for pets that really don’t have a suitable place to go.
“They’re animals that could live a great life. But I’m just not going to likely find a home because of the extreme health or extreme behavior,” said Director Ken White. He says that finding a refuge for those animals has become the last great challenge for shelters that want to give every animal the opportunity to live. “
This is the last big piece to the puzzle,” White said.
And it’s a very big piece, indeed. 261 acres of land, the exact location of which has not been disclosed, but the Society has announced that it’s up in the hills around La Honda.
The 261-acre plot of land that will soon be the refuge for many animals with nowhere to go (CBS)
“It’s big pasture land, open space,” White explains. “We envision walking trails for the dogs to just get out and play. [En]vision large fenced in areas for the cats to hide play and jump.”
The land was bought from an anonymous private seller at what’s described as a fair, maybe even friendly price, but it wasn’t cheap. “Donors came forward to help with this,” White said. “And we are 100 percent confident that our community will come forward now to raise the funds to build it and to keep it [in] operation.”
In recent years, some animal sanctuaries in the Bay Area have been at risk of closing because of increased financial pressures. White says he feels fortunate to have found the land and a solution that has escaped so many.
“My hope is that this will become not only our sanctuary, but the model for other sanctuaries throughout the country,” he said.
The property sale should be finalized in September. Construction on the refuge facilities should come another 12 to 18 months after that.
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A federal judge in San Francisco on Monday reduced an $80 million award levied against Monsanto Co. to $25 million for a Sonoma County man who claimed the company’s Roundup weedkiller caused his non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria upheld a jury award of approximately $5 million in compensatory damages to Edwin Hardeman, 70, of Santa Rosa, but said guidelines set by the U.S. Supreme Court required him to reduce the jury’s $75 million in punitive damages to $20 million.
Hardeman testified at the trial of his lawsuit in March that he sprayed Roundup on poison oak and weeds on properties in Mendocino and Sonoma counties for 26 years. His cancer was diagnosed in 2015 and is now in remission.
His case was the first federal lawsuit against Monsanto to go to trial. Monsanto, now owned by Bayer AG of Germany, is facing more than 13,000 Roundup lawsuits filed in U.S. federal and state courts. The ruling leaves Hardeman’s total award at $25,267,634. Bayer said it plans to appeal and Hardeman attorney Jennifer Moore said his legal team is also considering an appeal.
Chhabria said a punitive award is appropriate because evidence at the trial “easily supported a conclusion that Monsanto was more concerned with tamping down safety inquiries and manipulating public opinion than it was with ensuring its product is safe.”
The judge said there is evidence on both sides as to whether or not glyphosate, the main ingredient of Roundup, causes cancer, but Monsanto’s behavior showed “a lack of concern about the risk that its product might be carcinogenic.”
Two state court cases against Monsanto have also gone to trial and resulted in verdicts against the agrochemical company.
Last year, a San Francisco Superior Court jury awarded former school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson of Vallejo $289 million, later reduced by the trial judge to $78 million.
In May, an Alameda County Superior Court judge awarded $2 billion in punitive damages and $55 million in compensatory damages to Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore, who both developed the lymphoma. Monsanto has asked the trial judge to reduce that award.
Bayer said in its statement on Chhabria’s ruling, “The court’s decision to reduce the punitive damage award is a step in the right direction. Still, the liability verdict and damage awards are not supported by the reliable evidence presented at trial.”
The company said the “the weight of extensive science … supports the safety of Roundup.”
Moore said on behalf of Hardeman, “This is a major victory for Mr. Hardeman and all individuals injured as a result of Roundup. “Judge Chhabria rejected every one of Monsanto’s arguments to throw out the verdict and only reduced the punitive damage award based on his interpretation of the Constitution. We disagree with any reduction of the jury’s verdict.”
SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Those who play the lottery are always hoping the winds of fortune will blow in their direction, and that was true for a 7-Eleven store in San Jose. A ticket bought there won more than $1 million in Saturday’s Powerball drawing, even though the numbers didn’t match up exactly.
The store at 5148 Moorpark Avenue sold someone a ticket that matched five out of six numbers in Saturday’s lottery for a win totaling more than $1.2 million. The store’s owner, Russ Anbirbha, said he was notified by lottery officials on Sunday morning.
Powerball Winning Numbers July 13, 2019
“They texted me actually on my cell phone and said I have a millionaire at the store, so I was very happy about that…actually, one of my customers. So, it was very exciting,” he said.
Not bad for an “almost” win. If the ticket had also picked the correct red Powerball number, it would have been worth more than $194 million. That prize was claimed by someone in a small town in Tennessee, which had lottery player Michael Reeves engaging in conspiracy theories.
“Silicon Valley is a very affluent area. The computer’s not going to go, ‘Let’s give somebody else a million dollars because they need it, right?’” he said with a laugh.
When asked if he thought the whole thing was rigged, he replied, “Well, I sometimes wonder when I see who wins…well, that comes from another rural town…”
Lottery player Lisa Garcia wasn’t quite as cynical, but she’s not very sure of herself either.
“When you’re playing, do you ever feel confident you’re going to win?” she was asked. “No, never,” she said. But she said she continues to play because “you never know.”
That same sentiment of potential luck is what fuels the dreams of lottery players. Anbirbha says he dreams of retiring one day soon, but the $3,000 he’ll get for selling the winning ticket might not be enough.
“Quarter of one percent…one quarter of one percent,” he said. “It’s time for me to retire but I don’t think I could retire on that!”
Nevertheless, he says he’s glad his store was good luck for someone and he hopes they stop by to say hello. Whoever is holding the winning ticket has 180 days to contact lottery officials and claim the $1.2 million prize.
DENVER (AP) — Brandon Crawford went 5 for 6 with two homers and tied a San Francisco team record with eight RBIs, and the Giants scored a season-high in runs in a 19-2 rout of the Colorado Rockies on Monday in the first game of a split doubleheader.
Mike Yastrzemski went 4 for 6 with a homer and Buster Posey also went deep for the Giants, who earned a rare victory at Coors Field in the makeup for a May 8 rainout. Crawford has eight home runs on the season.
It was just the fifth win in the Giants’ past 25 games at the Rockies’ ballpark, though San Francisco has been hot recently winning nine of its past 11.
Preserving his bullpen in the one-sided slugfest, Rockies manager Bud Black inserted first baseman Mark Reynolds to pitch the ninth. Reynolds allowed two runs and two hits. It was the third time in Rockies history that a position player had been used as a pitcher.
Jeff Samardzija (7-7), who had allowed 17 runs in 12 1/3 innings in losing his three previous starts at Colorado, didn’t give up a run until pinch-hitter Raimel Tapia homered to straightaway center with two outs in the sixth inning.
It was Tapia’s fourth-career pinch homer and the third this season. Ryan McMahon homered in the seventh for the Rockies’ other run.
Samardzija retired the first six batters he faced and finished with nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs and four hits.
German Marquez, who won both of his previous starts against the Giants in San Francisco this season, was in trouble from the outset.
Five of the first six batters he faced connected for hits capped by back-to-back home runs by Crawford and Yastrzemski in San Francisco’s five-run first inning.
Marquez (8-5) allowed a career-high 11 runs on 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings. It was the second time in four days that Rockies pitchers had been tagged for 17 or more runs in a game. The Reds beat Colorado 17-9 on Friday.
The Giants put together a seven-run third that included a two-run homer by Posey off Jesus Tinoco.
Crawford added an RBI single in the fourth, a two-run drive off Tinoco in the sixth and a two-run single in the ninth off Reynolds. Others in the San Francisco era with eight RBIs in a game are Willie Mays on April 30, 1961, and Orlando Cepeda on July 4, 1961.
Giants: 3B Evan Longoria was placed on the 10-day injured list because of left foot plantar fasciitis. His roster spot was filled by the recall of RHP Ray Black from Triple A-Sacramento. Longoria was lifted from Sunday’s game at Milwaukee in the fifth inning because of left foot soreness.
The Giants had RHP Sam Coonrod as their 26th man for Monday’s split doubleheader while the Rockies appointed RHP Yency Almonte. Both appeared in the first game. Coonrod threw a scoreless ninth and Almonte allowed a run and two hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Giants: RHP Dereck Rodriguez (3-5, 5.27 ERA) was scheduled to be recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to start Game 2 of the doubleheader.
Rockies: RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-1, 6.00 ERA) is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to start the second game.
OAKLAND (CBS SF) — After a whirlwind three weeks of NBA free agency, Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers sat down with reporters Monday to reflect on the departures of stalwarts Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
The Warriors saw several other players depart after their fifth NBA Finals appearance including DeMarcus Cousins, Jordan Bell and Quinn Cook. So like his counterparts around the league, Myers has been scrambling to assemble a squad for the inaugural season at the Chase Center.
“There are lot of thoughts around it,” Myers said of the post-season scramble. “There’s Kevin leaving. Processing it. Missing him just as a person, for what he did for us, for our organization at the highest level. MVP of the Finals twice. A couple championships. He was a great part of our fabric. That’s a loss, you fell that.”
“Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of time. We didn’t have a lot of time to pivot. I think from a holistic level we just got a lot younger. Which is probably something we had to do…I think we went from the second or third oldest (team in the league) to the second or third youngest. It’s hard to do that in this league, to get young players…A lot of change, a lot of new challenges.”
Myers said he had always been a big believer in continuity and “now we have to work to get that back. We got it at some level with some of the core guys (Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney)…It’s a lot of new pieces and that takes time to gel.”
On Durant, Myers said he had no idea what his decision was going to be until he met with him in New York.
“There was a lot of speculation of what Kevin was doing, but I wasn’t aware of any finality until I saw him and talked with him,” Myers said. “From that point on we explored some pretty immediate possibilities and as you all saw, anyone who covers our sport, the rapidity of free agency, I never saw it go so fast. Ever…Never have I seen things move as fast as they did on that first evening. Whether it was our business or anyone’s business.”
Myers characterized the emotions surrounding the departure of Durant and Iguodala as “very difficult.”
“Those are people I like,” he said. “Those memories, relationships don’t change just because they are going to go work for another company, a different team…That hurts. If they don’t hurt I guess you never had a relation with those guys anyway.”
On Durant, Myers called it a blessing to have him on the roster for three amazing seasons.
“To me, it was a blessing that he came (to the Warriors),” Myers said. “That he wanted to be a part of us. This is a guy who can move in any direction he wants because of his talent. He came and he delivered. He represented us on the court, he represented us off the court. He still has a great relationship with a lot of his teammates, our coaching staff, myself. He just wanted to try something new.”
Myers said his meeting in New York with Durant was “more to see how he was doing as a human being.”
“Kevin and I talked all the time during his three years here,” the Warriors GM said. “We talked about a lot of different things. It (the New York meeting) was probably an hour or two. Just life and stuff like that..It wasn’t like slamming the door. To be honest I was kinda sad because I like him…Just to watch him play was a treat for me as a basketball fan.”