On Saturday, April 24, 2021, from 10 AM to 2 PM, the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
“This is a great way to get rid of unused prescription drugs in our homes,” said Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston. “These drugs could fall into the wrong hands and harm family members and friends. This is an opportunity for everyone to help prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.”
Needles and sharps cannot be accepted; only pills, patches, and liquids sealed in their original container will be accepted. Vape pens or other e-cigarette devices from individual consumers are accepted only after the batteries are removed from the devices.
The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Bring your pills for disposal at the following sites. COVID-19 protocols will be followed.
DROP OFF LOCATIONS:
-Office of the Sheriff Muir Station, 1980 Muir Road, Martinez, CA. (Field Operations Building)
-Office of the Sheriff Bay Station, 5555 Giant Highway, Richmond, CA. (West County Detention Facility)
-Office of the Sheriff Valley Station, 150 Alamo Plaza, #C, Alamo, CA.
-Danville Police Department, 510 La Gonda Way, Danville, CA.
-Lafayette Police Department, 3471 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA.
-Orinda Police Department, 22 Orinda Way, Orinda, CA.
Check with your local police department for a location in your city.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people aged 12 or older misused prescription pain relievers in the past year. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Take Back event, go to the DEA Office of Diversion Control website at: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov
Speakers want Sheriff’s requested $7.5 million for inmate mental health services to go to Walnut Creek’s Miles Hall Foundation
By Daniel Borsuk
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors will probably act on a proposed $4.06 billion 2021-2022 budget at a May 4 meeting and will listen to another barrage of critics of Sheriff-Coroner David O. Livingston’s proposal that a portion of $54 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds be diverted to an outside nonprofit mental health organization.
Contra Costa County’s proposed 2021-2022 budget surpasses the current fiscal year budget of $3.98 billion and includes $7.5 million designated for the staffing of additional sheriff deputies assigned to protect inmates requiring mental health services.
A contingent of speakers opposing Sheriff-Coroner Livingston’s request for the additional funds for inmate mental health services, argued instead for all or a portion of the $7.5 million be awarded to the Walnut Creek-based Miles Hall Foundation. The newly established Miles Hall Foundation is named after the Las Lomas High School graduate who was slain by a Walnut Creek police officer in June 2019 while Hall was undergoing a mental health episode.
Lois Thomas of Lafayette was one of the speakers supporting the detouring some or all the $54.2 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding designated to the Sheriff-Coroner to the non-profit Miles Hall Foundation. “Keep deputies out of mental health, “Thomas demanded.
Sheriff Livingston said the additional funding to hire 10 new deputy sheriffs arises at a time the county has a new contract with the Prison Law Office to provide improved acute mental health care while behind bars.
Even though the jails have an average daily population of 785 inmates, Sheriff Livingston said, “We have had a 43 percent decrease of inmates in our jail (about 14,000 inmates) due to COVID-19.”
County Administrator Nino prepared a chart that showed the Coroner-Sheriff’s Office, and the Contra Costa County Health Services are in line to receive over half of the county-produced general-purpose funds with health services picking up 30.5 percent of the general-purpose revenue at $162.5 million while the Coroner-Sheriff collects 19.8 percent, or $104.7 million.
Supervisors were told funds from the November voter approved Measure X sales tax increase will not begin to arrive until next fall. The county has yet to hire tax auditors. “Measure X funding is not anticipated to be received until October 2021 for the first quarter of collections starting April 2021,” Nino wrote in her budget statement. “The amount of Measure X included in the recommended budget totals $600,000 for the new Department of Racial Equity and Social Justice and $65,000 for the sales tax auditors.”
Expenses the county will need to round up funding for the upcoming 2021-2022 fiscal year is $600,000 for the operation of the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice, $300,000 for redistricting and $15.3 million for a new finance computer system.
With ongoing efforts to vaccinate every age-eligible county resident with the COVID-19 vaccine, Contra Costa County Health Department Director Anna Roth said one of the biggest hurdles next fiscal year will be the county’s negotiations with the California Nurses Association. The CNA represents 812 county nurses, and the contract is set to expire on Sept. 30.
The health services are the county’s most expensive department to operate with general purpose funds at $162.5 million or 30.5 percent of overall general fund disbursements.
As for the five elected board of supervisors, the proposed budget designates $7.7 million or 1.4 percent of overall general-purpose funds to cover the salaries and expenses of themselves and support staff.
Board vice chair Federal Glover of Pittsburg said during the budget presentations one item that was missing was further analysis on the potential reuse of the Marsh Creek Detention Facility and “more discussion on the future of the Orin Allen Rehabilitation Center near Discovery Bay and juvenile hall in Martinez.”
Glover’s supervisorial colleagues and County Administrator Nino acknowledged the supervisor’s request that there will be discussion about the fate of the detention facility and juvenile hall.
By Allen Payton
At 4:13 pm Wednesday, April 20, 2021, all three of East Contra Costa Fire Protection District’s (ECCFPDs) engines were on scene of a fire involving a home and two outbuildings in the 10800 block of Brentwood Blvd.
Three quarters of the structure destroyed by fire, smoke and water damage to the remaining quarter. The outbuilding was fully engulfed in flames. The damage was estimated at $362,551.52 and the cause was probably electrical failure according to Battalion Chief Craig Auzenne.
A defensive stance was taken while protecting a propane tank, he reported. Water supply established by three water tenders in a shuttle. Crews were able to contain the fire to the main residence and two outbuildings. The Red Cross was notified to assist the resident. There were no injuries to either civilians or firefighters.
Drivers were asked to find an alternative route as the roadway was blocked off by crews working to extinguish the fire. High winds hampered the firefighters’ efforts.Read More
By Concord Police Department
On April 16, at approximately 7:00 PM, a 37-year-old male named Jesse Allen Alexander, went into Macy’s at the Sun Valley Mall and filled a bag full of cologne bottles, valued at over $1,400. He left the store and loss prevention personnel tried to stop him. Alexander reached into his pocket to retrieve a gun and one shot was fired, however, no one was hit.
Alexander was able to get away in his truck. Lafayette PD located him, and he fled on foot but was soon captured and arrested. Alexander was a fugitive from justice, wanted by Federal authorities for allegedly violating his Federal Probation. CPD Detectives will be presenting the case to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office.
Anyone with information regarding this case may contact Detective Nicholas Davison with CPD’s Major Crimes Unit at 925-603-5853. CPD Case #21-03538Read More
Alleged Sureños also charged with attempting to murder 5 additional victims
SAN FRANCISCO – A federal grand jury indicted Jonathan Escobar (aka Wicked, aka Rico) and Jose Aguilar (aka Slim), charging both defendants with firearms violations in connection with crimes including murder and attempted murder committed to enhance the defendants’ position in the Sureño criminal street gang, announced Acting United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Francisco Special Agent in Charge Tatum King. (See indictment document)
“Street gangs resort to violence to assert control over peaceful neighborhoods, expecting to create safe havens for drug trafficking, robberies, and other violent crimes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Hinds. “In this case, the indictment describes how firearms are deliberately used to achieve these goals through murder and attempted murder. This office will continue to partner with local and federal law enforcement agencies to wrest control of our streets from the gangs who threaten our residents.”
“Our communities have the right to be safe and not succumb to senseless violence. I am proud of the dedicated agents who have duly executed their duties in our collective pursuit of law, order and justice,” said Special Agent in Charge King, who oversees HSI operations in Northern California. “Gang violence will not be tolerated, and law enforcement’s collaborative efforts are key to disrupting the lawless activities that threaten public safety.”
The indictment, filed April 15, 2021 and unsealed this morning, alleges that Escobar, 24, of Richmond, Calif., and Aguilar, 32, of San Francisco, were members of a racketeering enterprise referred to in the indictment as “the 19th Street/16th Street Sureños.” The street gang was the amalgamation of two gangs, one that claimed “territory” bounded by 19th Street to the South, 16th Street to the North, Folsom Street to the East, and Dolores Street to the West and the other that generally operated around 16th Street and Mission Street, in the Mission District of San Francisco. The enterprise also operated in Dolores Park and Franklin Square Park (also known as Bryant Park). The indictment describes how the gang sought to maintain control of drug distribution in the areas that it sought to claim and how gang members engaged in numerous illegal acts to meet its aims including narcotics sales, robberies, and other violent crimes, including murder.
According to Count One of the two-count indictment, on August 11, 2018, in San Francisco, Escobar and Aguilar used a firearm during the commission of a murder in aid of racketeering and committed the murder for the purpose of maintaining and increasing their position in the criminal enterprise. The indictment also alleges that the murder was premeditated, deliberate, and willful, and therefore “murder in the first degree” under California law.
In addition to the murder allegations, the indictment alleges in Count Two that Escobar and Aguilar used a firearm during the commission of attempted murder in aid of racketeering. In this count of the indictment, the document alleges that the defendants willfully and with deliberation and premeditation attempted to murder five additional victims, again for the purpose of maintaining and increasing position in the 19th Street/16th Street Sureños.
Both defendants are charged with use or carrying of a firearm resulting in death during and in relation to a crime of violence (murder in aid of racketeering), in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(j)(1) and 2 and use or carrying of a firearm during and in relation to of a crime of violence (attempted murder in aid of racketeering), in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 924(c) and 2. If convicted of the murder count, both defendants are eligible for the death penalty. If convicted of the attempted murder count, both defendants can be sentenced to a maximum prison term of life and a minimum term of not less than ten years. In addition to a prison term, the court may also order a term of supervised release, restitution, and fines; however, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
The defendants were arrested on April 20, 2021 and made their initial federal court appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline S. Corley. Magistrate Judge Corley ordered the defendants to remain in custody pending trial. The next federal court appearance for the defendants is scheduled for May 12, 2021, before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixon for appointment of counsel.
The case is being prosecuted by the Organized Crime Strike Force of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the San Francisco Police Department’s Gang Task Force and Homicide Unit.Read More
“the suspect attempted to run over the officer, who fired his weapon at the vehicle” – Danville Police
Officer Andrew Hall could face 22 years in state prison; same officer who fatally shot suspect with knife on March 11, 2021
By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney
Martinez, Calif. – Today, Wed., April 21, 2021, Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announces felony charges have been filed against Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall for causing the 2018 death of Newark resident Laudemer Arboleda without lawful excuse or justification. Officer Hall shot at Mr. Arboleda and hit him nine times during a slow-moving vehicle pursuit in downtown Danville. Nine shots hit Mr. Arboleda. (See related articles here, here and here)
According to the police press release of the incident, the suspect attempted to run over the officer, who fired his weapon at the vehicle. A critical incident video was released by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office at that time.
Officer Hall is charged with felony voluntary manslaughter and felony assault with a semi-automatic firearm for the alleged unlawful activity and unreasonable force used during the shooting. Each felony count also contains an enhancement concerning Officer Hall’s discharge of his firearm, a Sig 226, 40 caliber semi-automatic pistol. The second felony count also contains an enhancement for Hall’s unlawful activity causing great bodily injury against Mr. Arboleda.
An arrest warrant was signed by the Honorable Nancy Davis Stark for Hall’s arrest. His bail for the alleged offenses is $220,000.
“Officer Hall used unreasonable and unnecessary force when he responded to the in-progress traffic pursuit involving Laudemer Arboleda, endangering not only Mr. Arboleda’s life but the lives of his fellow officers and citizens in the immediate area. We in law enforcement must conduct ourselves in a professional and lawful manner when interacting with the public. Officer Hall’s actions underscore the need for a continued focus on de-escalation training and improved coordinated responses to individuals suffering from mental illness,” said DA Becton.
On November 3, 2018, at 11:03 a.m., Danville Police Department officers responded to a call reporting that Laudemer Arboleda rang the doorbell of a resident on Cottage Place and was lingering in the area. Mr. Arboleda subsequently drove away from the neighborhood in a 2014 silver Honda. Officers initiated a traffic stop of Mr. Arboleda’s vehicle. When the officers exited their patrol car to approach him, Mr. Arboleda drove away from the officers.
Additional patrol cars joined the traffic pursuit, which lasted for a total of nine minutes and reached maximum speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Mr. Arboleda continued to drive towards Front Street in Danville. Officer Hall, who was not involved in the initial pursuit, stopped his vehicle in front of the approaching pursuit. As Mr. Arboleda began to slowly maneuver between Officer Hall’s vehicle and another police vehicle involved in the pursuit, Officer Hall ran around the rear of his vehicle and fired his semi-automatic pistol at Mr. Arboleda.
As Officer Hall fired, Mr. Arboleda’s vehicle continued into the intersection of Front Street and Diablo Road and struck a 2006 silver Jeep occupied by an adult. Officers responded and found Mr. Arboleda in his car unresponsive with his foot on the gas pedal. He was taken to San Ramon Valley Medical Center and pronounced dead at 11:44 a.m.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher Walpole and Deputy District Attorney Colleen Gleason.
This case was investigated by the DA’s Office under the county protocol concerning law enforcement involved fatalities. The protocol investigation is conducted by the DA’s Office when there is a use of force injury or death involving an officer.
Case information: People v. Andrew Hall, Docket 01-195930-3
Prepared Statement by DA Becton for April 21, 2021 Press Conference
“Earlier today, my Office filed criminal charges against Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall related to a fatal shooting on November 3, 2018. Officer Hall is a Deputy Sheriff with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and was assigned to Danville at the time of the shooting.
Officer Hall is charged for causing the death of Laudemer Arboleda. Mr. Arboleda was shot 9 times by Officer Hall on November 3, 2018 in Danville.
Our Office for the first time in recent history has filed criminal charges against a police officer for their actions during a shooting. Officer Hall is charged with voluntary manslaughter and assault with a semi-automatic firearm.
These charges are felonies and due to Officer Hall’s unreasonable force used during the 2018 fatal shooting of Mr. Arboleda. The charges also include enhancements, personal use of a firearm. The second felony count, an assault charge, also has an enhancement for Officer Hall’s unlawful activity causing great bodily injury against Mr. Arboleda.
Overall, Officer Hall could face 22 years in state prison, and he would be prohibited from being a peace officer if convicted.
I should underscore Officer Hall is presumed innocent under the law and these criminal charges are allegations. Ultimately, I am confident a jury of Officer Hall’s peers will review this case with great care and consideration and ultimately hold Officer Hall accountable.
The unnecessary death of Mr. Arboleda underscores the need for law enforcement personnel to better understand those suffering from mental illness.
To review some of the timeline of events leading up to the shooting on November 3, 2018:
On November 3, 2018, at 11:03 a.m., Danville Police Department officers responded to a call reporting that Laudemer Arboleda rang the doorbell of a resident on Cottage Place and was lingering in the area.
Mr. Arboleda subsequently drove away from the neighborhood in a 2014 silver Honda. Officers initiated a traffic stop of Mr. Arboleda’s vehicle. When the officers exited their patrol car to approach him, Mr. Arboleda drove away from the officers.
Additional patrol cars joined the traffic pursuit, which lasted for a total of nine minutes and reached maximum speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Mr. Arboleda continued to drive towards Front Street in Danville. Officer Hall, who was not involved in the initial pursuit, stopped his vehicle in front of the approaching pursuit.
As Mr. Arboleda began to slowly maneuver between Officer Hall’s vehicle and another police vehicle involved in the pursuit, Officer Hall ran around the rear of his vehicle and fired his semi-automatic pistol at Mr. Arboleda.
As Officer Hall fired, Mr. Arboleda’s vehicle continued into the intersection of Front Street and Diablo Road and struck a 2006 silver Jeep occupied by an adult.
Officers responded and found Mr. Arboleda in his car unresponsive with his foot on the gas pedal. He was taken to San Ramon Valley Medical Center and pronounced dead at 11:44 a.m.
The filing of this case took time due to a backlog of prior law enforcement involved fatal incidents my office is investigating. I am doing everything I can do end this backlog and ensure our independent investigations conclude in an expeditious manner.
Last year, I completely re-tooled my office’s approach to investigating these complex and sensitive incidents. I have instilled a team approach to these investigations to ensure we are independent and thorough.
I am committed to publicizing the results of our investigations. Further, if we do not file charges, we will release a full public report.
Officer Hall used unreasonable and unnecessary force when he responded to the in-progress traffic pursuit involving Laudemer Arboleda, endangering not only Mr. Arboleda’s life but the lives of his fellow officers and citizens in the immediate area.
We in law enforcement must conduct ourselves in a professional and lawful manner when interacting with the public.
Officer Hall’s actions underscore the need for a continued focus on de-escalation training and improved coordinated responses to individuals suffering from mental illness.
In terms of next steps, Officer Hall will be arraigned before a judge. We do not have a timeframe yet on when that will happen.
Thank you for coming today. I am here to answer your questions.”
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
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We’re located at 1201 W. 10th Street in Antioch.
Follow us and Like our Facebook page.Read More
DA to hold press conference Wednesday afternoon announcing charging decision against same officer for 2018 shooting death
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County, Office of the Sheriff
The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff is releasing series of critical incident videos depicting the officer involved shooting involving Tyrell Wilson that occurred in Danville on March 11, 2021. (See related articles here and here)
The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Sheriff continue to investigate this incident pursuant to the countywide law enforcement involved fatal incident protocol. The Sheriff’s Office is committed to a thorough investigation, transparency of all the facts, and is releasing these videos to provide the public with facts, evidence and information surrounding this incident.
“Any loss of life is tragic, but the community can now see the truth,” said Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston. “Tyrell Wilson did in fact threaten the lives of passing motorists by throwing objects, possibly rocks, from the overpass down onto Highway 680. He was found with numerous rocks in his jacket pocket. He did pull a knife on Officer Hall. He did threaten Officer Hall. And he did start advancing toward Officer Hall in the middle of a major intersection. Officers are forced to make split second decisions to protect themselves and the public and that’s what happened here.”
The videos can be viewed at the following links. They contain graphic content and language that may be disturbing and not appropriate for all viewers.
Contra Costa Sheriff – Official Facebook Page:
Anyone with any information on this incident is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division at (925) 313-2600 or through Sheriff’s Office dispatch at (925) 646-2441. For any tips, email: email@example.com or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
The Contra Costa District Attorney will hold a press conference today, Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. announcing charges against the same officer for a separate shooting death in 2018, according to a Fox2 KTVU news report.Read More
Nearby middle school placed on “lockout”
On Friday, April 16, 2021 at around 10:00 a.m., Brentwood officers responded to the area in the 700 block of Rocky Creek Terrace regarding a welfare check. When officers arrived on scene, they learned a Brentwood resident in his 40’s was having a mental health crisis due to family issues. The subject threatened to use a firearm to harm himself; therefore, out of an abundance of caution Bristow Middle School, in the nearby area was placed on a “lockout” for the safety of students and staff.
Police department staff used a crisis negotiator to communicate with the subject, and after several hours determined there was no threat to the subject’s immediate family or a threat to public safety. In an effort to safely deescalate the situation, the decision was made to withdrawal law enforcement resources who continued to monitor the scene from a safe distance.
At around 4:05 p.m., officers contacted the subject in his own camper trailer parked on the street, passed out, after having reportedly ingested an unknown substance. The subject was safely taken into custody without incident and transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital for mental health treatment. A firearm was recovered, and nobody was injured as a result of this incident.
Traffic to the area was closed for several hours and we would like to extend our gratitude to our citizens who were directly impacted and remained patient with us while we worked toward a peaceful resolution.