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Local News May 10th, 2007

Four Fatal Shootings by San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputies Legally Justified

The state Attorney General’s Office said Monday that the four fatal shootings by San Diego Sheriff's deputies in Vista in 2005 were legally justified, in a report that backed up conclusions reached earlier by local prosecutors. The shootings occurred between March and August 2005, and none of the deputies were prosecuted. Members of the Mexican community argued discriminatory enforcement of the law, a bias by the DA’s office in favor of local law enforcement, and argued that District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis abused her discretion when she determined the shootings were lawful. This report confirms Dumanis’ decision and actions as being both proper and legal.

Bill Flores of El Grupo, a Latino organization that joined with the Coalition for Justice in pushing for the review, agreed.“This was kind of an expected result because we all knew that the area of discretion enjoyed by the DA is rather wide, and to find abuse under that is rare,” he said.

In each of the cases reviewed, the AG’s office found that the deputies were justified in shooting because they had acted in self-defense or in the defense of others.

One man was shot while being chased by deputies. He reached for what they thought was a gun, but it was later determined to be a Leatherman-type tool. Another man was shot during the investigation of a domestic disturbance call when he swung 10-pound dumbbells at deputies. A third was shot after pointing a loaded revolver at deputies. A fourth man was shot after crashing his car into the Vista jail and then attacking deputies.

A fifth case – involving a man who was suspected in an armed robbery and was shot after he reached into his waistband while fleeing deputies – is still under review, Schons said, and results will be announced later.

Flores said it was beneficial to residents outraged over the shootings that Schons' office agreed to review the cases. He said many residents still lacked confidence in the impartiality of the shooting reviews by the District Attorney's Office.

Barbie Caldwell Receives Channel 10 Leadership Award

During this past month Barbie Caldwell was awarded the Channel 10 Leadership Award for starting and operating the Connected Through Kids program. This program seeks to link those caring for other families' children, ages birth to 18 years, to a community wide network of services and resources: An organization that provides foster families and relative caregivers with resources and support needed to care for their children; Matches up children with foster parents as well as resources to provide for as comfortable a life as possible until such time as a permanent home can be found for the kids.

Their office is located at 254 E. Grand Avenue, Suite 104, in Escondido. They can be reached by phone at (760) 743-7781.

The Elizabeth Hospice Sponsors Dramatic Reading About A Family’s Struggle With End-of-Life Issues

The Elizabeth Hospice, AARP, and the San Diego County Coalition for Improving End-of-Life Care are sponsoring a dramatic reading of “Vesta,” a play that examines a family’s struggle with end-of-life issues. The reading starts at 7:00pm on Wednesday, June 6, with an open discussion beginning at 8:30pm at San Rafael Parish located at 17252 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego 92128. Community resource exhibits open at 6:00pm.

Vesta, the main character, confronts a loss of independence after a stroke, along with a series of complex medical, economic, and personal issues. The conflicts in Vesta focus on family dynamics, particularly the relationships between Vesta, her daughter and granddaughter. To register, email or call (858) 635-1224. Seats are limited. Donations welcome.

Free Tae Kwon Do Lessons at Family Karate, Escondido

photoFor several years now Rick Pearson and Ray Plevyak have been offering clinics to area women and teens at no charge. Both are black belts in Tae Kwon Do and certified instructors. The next free clinic is Saturday, May 26th, 12:30pm- 4pm. Family Karate is located at 410 E. Felicita, Escondido, on the northeast corner of Felicita and Centre City Parkway, behind Walgreens.

The instructors emphasize this is a free clinic and is not a solicitation on behalf of Family Karate. It is a self defense class designed to teach women and other vulnerable folks how to protect themselves using the marial arts. Lessons will be given and will demonstrate effective basic techniques to avoid becoming a victim. Then students try them out themselves with both fellow students and instructors. Girls and boys 12-18, and women of all ages are welcome.

Sweat pants, a comfortable shirt, and tennis shoes are highly recommended. It is recommend that you bring a bottled water. If interested, please rsvp to Rick Pearson at to save your spot. He will reply to confirm. Please also include a phone number in case he needs to reach you at the last moment. If you prefer, you may call Rick at 858 207 1237.

Local Couple Take In The Kentucky Derby

Jeb and Martha Butler, of San Marcos, recently returned from the Bluegrass State where they attended the running of the Kentucky Derby. While at the Derby, Martha placed $7 on the number 7 horse (Street Sense). By now, readers will be aware that it won. She cashed out at $41.30. This was, perhaps, Beginner’s Luck, because it’s the first time either one of them had been to the Derby. That was, however, the only race they won.


Vista Man Pulled From Car, Beaten, Robbed

Sheriff ’s deputies are detaining suspects in an incident where a Vista man was pistol whipped before being robbed early Monday morning. At about 6am the victim was pulling out of a carport on Postal Way south of Santa Fe Avenue when three men approached and commenced the assault. They fled in a white sedan and stopped to use the victim’s bank card. Shortly thereafter deputies spotted a car matching the description, stopped the vehicle and took three suspects into custody.

Carlsbad Police Dog Puts the Bite on Assault Suspect

Some days it just doesn’t pay to hide under a bed. A 49 year old Carlsbad man found that out the hard way when a Carlsbad police dog found him hiding under a bed and bit him yesterday before officers captured the man, Carlsbad police said. On Sunday, the man was jailed on suspicion of attacking his girlfriend with a samurai sword, causing a minor cut to her hand. Police responded to a call by the woman who had called from a 7-Eleven on Palomar Airport Road about 6 p.m. Sunday.

She told officers her boyfriend had threatened to kill her and then attacked her with the sword at their home on Via Conquistador. Police didn't find him home that night, but at 2 p.m. yesterday, he answered his phone and reportedly said he would surrender, Lt. Kelly Cain said.

The man, however, then refused to come out, so officers forced their way inside about 3 p.m. A police dog found him under a bed upstairs. The man was treated at a hospital for dog bites, then jailed.





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