Criminal Lawyer San Francisco

San Francisco Woman is the Victim of a Random Assault

Early evening on Saturday, August 20th, a woman in her 50s was brutally assaulted in broad daylight while walking in San Francisco’s Lafayette Park. She suffered a broken nose and other non-life threatening injuries that will require hospitalization and surgery.

The suspect, a man in his 40s-50s appeared to attack the woman without cause. Surveillance videos revealed that while she was walking through Lafayette Park, the 2000 block of the Pacific Heights neighborhood, the man jogged up to her from behind and grabbed her arm, then began punching her in the face without provocation. When she fell to the ground, he continued to punch her until she was no longer responsive. Afterwards, the attacker fled on foot, heading east on Washington Street before turning south on Gough Street. It is unknown where he went beyond that point. It does not appear that he stole anything off of the victim during or following the attack, suggesting the possibility that his victim was randomly selected.

Spokeswoman for the San Francisco Police Department, Giselle Talkoff, stated that “It happened really quickly. She was merely out for a walk and a stranger came up and just attacked.” She went on to say that the suspect might have asked the woman to apologize for something before striking her, despite being a complete stranger with no previous interaction. According to Talkoff, it’s possible the suspect was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol during the assault. The victim, whose name will not be released, did not attempt to speak with him. Her nose was broken in several places as a result, and she will require surgery.

The attack occurred on Saturday, August 20th, at 7:45 p.m., and remains under police investigation as of Wednesday the 24th. San Francisco Police are asking anyone with information regarding the identity of the attacker to come forward. San Francisco Police may be contacted at (415) 575-4444.


Two San Francisco Men Arrested in Series of Crimes in Bayview


San Francisco has been experiencing a series of crimes in its Bayview neighborhood this past week. Two men have now been arrested in connection with these crimes, including the theft of a cell phone that occurred, according to the police, while the victim was distracted playing the game “Pokémon Go.”

Police booked Manu Pomele, 19 and Jonathan Limu, 20, both residents of San Francisco, on suspicion of robbery, attempted carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon, other firearms-related charges, and conspiracy.

According to authorities, the two men were linked to a number of incidents that occurred on Sunday and Monday.

At approximately 8 p.m. Sunday evening, a teenage boy was robbed of a cell phone belonging to both he and his sister on Burrows Street. The 16-year-old was playing “Pokémon Go” when suddenly one of the two suspects grabbed the phone, fleeing to a waiting silver car with the other suspect driving as the getaway car took off. The victim reported no injuries.

On Monday, authorities claim the two men were involved in two more robberies that occurred from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. According to authorities, they first struck at Dakota and 23rd streets at about 1:10 a.m. demanding a 19-year-old hand over his money.

When they didn’t find any money on him after going through his pockets, they punched him several times on the head and made off with his personal belongings, including his roller blades. The victim’s injuries were non-life-threatening, police said.

While police were taking the robbery report on 23rd Street, they actually heard gunshots in the neighborhood. They watched a silver Pontiac driving by and stopped it at Tennessee and 20th streets, thinking the occupants were the ones firing the shots, according to police.

Investigators later determined that passengers in the Pontiac were the ones being targeted by the gunfire and connected this incident to Pomele and Limu.

At Mariposa and Vermont Streets, the two men approached a 58-year-old man while he was sitting in his car at about 4 a.m. and robbed him of his wallet. They then ordered him to turn over the car, but he sped away.

At about 7:45 a.m. Pomele was arrested at Madera and Wisconsin streets after officers conducted a well-being check. He was found with several rounds of ammunition in his pocket when he was arrested, authorities said. Limu was later arrested at about 11 a.m. outside the Hall of Justice, police said. He was being held on $325,000 bail at San Francisco County jail. Pomele was being confined without bail.


San Francisco Murderer Whose Crime Instigated Victims Support Group Denied Parole

steven burns

SACRAMENTO, CA – Parole officials decided to reject the release of a murderer whose crime sparked a grieving mother to create one of California’s best-known groups advocating for the rights of crime victims.

Harriet Salarno started Crime Victims United of California in response to the fatal shooting of her 18-year-old daughter by her ex-boyfriend on her first day attending college in Stockton at the University of the Pacific in 1979.

harriet salerno

California’s parole panel rejected a plea by Steven Burns, 55 to be released and instead chose to keep him locked up in Chowchilla’s Valley State Prison for murdering Catina Rose Salarno. The panel also informed Burns that he will have another parole hearing in five years.

Valley State Prison in Chowchilla. (Google Street View)

Valley State Prison in Chowchilla. (Google Street View)

“We’re very relieved and pleased that the parole board decided to keep him in prison and not release him,” said Nina Salarno, sister of the victim.

She was adamant that Burns still poses a risk to the public almost four decades after he murdered Catina. Although he has admitted shooting her sister, he has denied stealing the gun and denied he stalked her sister before killing her.

“He won’t admit that he left her to die and everything else he did both before and after the murder,” she said. “No one can be rehabilitated until they admit to and accept full responsibility for all the crimes they committed.”

Salarno said they as a family started the victims’ organization due to the frustration they felt from the criminal justice system.

“It soon became apparent to us that our system of justice was extremely lopsided, so we formed Crime Victims United to bring some balance to our legal system,” claimed Salarno, who went on to become a prosecutor and is now president of Crime Victims United. “Victims deserve a level playing field.”

Crime Victims United is closely affiliated with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the union representing most of the state’s prison guards. Together these organizations have made their voices heard in Sacramento advocating for victims’ rights and tougher penalties for criminals.

Harriett Salarno was co-chairwoman of the Crime Victims Bill of Rights, a successful ballot initiative in 1982. She also campaigned to pass Marsy’s Law, a 2008 initiative that made victims’ rights part of California’s constitution.

Catina Salarno and Steven Burns were San Francisco neighbors, dating before she broke it off before leaving for college. He used a gun he stole from the Salarno’s business to kill her, shooting her in the head after they argued on campus grounds, according to testimony in the trial.


Catina Rose Salarno

Nina Salerno will never forget the trauma she felt when testifying at the trial as a 12-year-old. She went on to become a deputy district attorney before starting a private practice. In 1999 she was appointed by then Attorney General Bill Lockyer to be director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Victims’ Services for the state.

“When my sister was murdered, my family was thrown into a justice system that simply casts victims aside,” she said when interviewed before the hearing.


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Potential Lawsuit in Case of Dublin CHP Officer Downloading Nude Photos of DUI suspect | Blog

Potential Lawsuit in Case of Dublin CHP Officer Downloading Nude Photos of DUI suspect | Blog.


Mother of 3 kids killed in Pa. carjacking dies – Yahoo News

Philadelphia Carjacking

Perps face an additional murder charge each, totaling four counts of second-degree murder and conspiracy, as well as kidnapping, robbery, aggravated assault and sexual assault.

Cornelius Crawford, 23, and Johnathan Rosa, 19

Mother of 3 kids killed in Pa. carjacking dies - Yahoo News.


Prosecutor says Pistorius lied on stand – Yahoo Sports

Prosecutor says Pistorius lied on stand - Yahoo Sports.

Sporty Sociopath


Embezzlement Defendant Wants District He Stole From to Pay For His Defense

Brett Richards

Former general manager of the Ross Valley Sanitary District Brett Richards is attempting to get the district to pay for his legal defense in a related civil suit.

In May, the Ross Valley district sued Richards for fraud and breach of contract. He was located and arrested in the Philippines in July, and s being held in the Martin County Jail to await his trial.

His nine felonies include misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement, and multiple counts of money laundering. He is accused of taking a $350,000 housing loan from the district that was never used for its intended purpose. If found guilty, Richards faces a maximum of ten years in prison and over $1.5 million in fines.

Jai Gohel, the San Francisco lawyer representing Richards in his case, is pressing the district to pay for his client's defense. This claim is based on an indemnification clause in Richards' employment agreement with the district. It reads, ""District shall defend, save harmless, and indemnify Richards against any tort, professional liability claim or demand or other legal action or other proceeding, whether groundless or otherwise, arising out of an alleged act or omission occurring in the performance of Richards' duties as district manager for the period of his employment with the district."

Christian Picone of Berliner Cohen, the San Jose law firm representing the sanitary district, said in response to the claim, "The indemnification clause is pretty general in employment agreements. It arises out of a situation where a district gets sued, and they also name the general manager. So the district indemnifies the general manager for any liability related to his official duties."

Picone states that the clause only protects Richards within the normal course and scope of his employment, and does not extend to willful wrongdoing. Jack Govi, counsel to the Central Marin Sanitation agency believes that the district isn't obligated to pay for Richards' defense, as they are filing a suit against him for fraud, which is not protected by the indemnification clause.

The district's civil suit asserts that Richards avoided supplying a deed of trust as security for the loan by artfully deceiving the district's board of directors and interim legal counsel when the agreement was negotiated. According tot he suit, Richards allegedly intercepted an email from Sanford Skaggs, the sanitary district's interim legal counsel at the time, which was sent to board members alerting them that the agreement lacked a deed of trust requirement.

Richards has made some payments on the loan, but the civil suit states that his debt to the district exceeds $338,00. The district seeks to recover interest, investigation costs, legal fees, and punitive damage. According to an affidavit filed by Marin Country District Attorney Ed Berberian to secure Richards' arrest warrant, the prime of the $350,000 loan had been spent on living expenses, a new truck, and several trips to Barcelona, Paris, and Venice.

(Source:Marin Journal)


Danville DUI Accident Victim in Critical Condition

Tassajara Road Dublin53 year old Danville resident Diana Gregory was hospitalized in critical condition after being struck by a man suspected to be driving under the influence on the intersection of Camino Tassajara and Tassajara Drive.

The man, identified as 50 year old Samuel Herrick, another Danville resident, had been traveling east on Camino Tassajara when he struck Gregory. Herrick stopped his vehicle after striking her. Passing cars stopped and turned their flashers on until police arrived.

Debbie Magliano, one of the first people to witness the victim after the accident, observed that Gregory had been lying in the roadway unmoving, with her limbs bent into unnatural positions.

The accident took place at about 8:45p.m. on the evening of the 20th, and shut down the two eastbound lanes of Camino Tassajara until 2:00a.m. Drivers were turned to Crow Canyon road as an alternate route.

Herrick was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence and subsequently causing injury, and was taken to the county jail in Martinez. Bail was set at $50,000, and was posted by Herrick.

Gregory was transported to the John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where she remains in critical condition.

(Source: Contra Costa Times)


Abusive Landlord Arrested in San Francisco

Norman SabelA San Francisco landlord accused of abusing his tenants made his first court appearance on Friday after assaulting an officer who was responding to a 911 call.

Norman Sabel, also known as the slumlord "Mayor of Fulton," has been the center of many a complaint to the police regarding suspicious people, noise, and drugs. This abusive landlord owns an apartment building on Fulton Street near Golden Gate Park. Now that he's facing felony charges for breaking the knee of a police officer called to the scene by Nikko Bravo, another abused tenant, video evidence of his aggressive and violent behavior is surfacing rapidly.

The incident resulting in Sabel's arrest was also recorded. Nikko Bravo had been having problems with his plumbing, and requested a certified plumber to repair the damage, but Sabel insisted that he could do it himself. After being cussed out by his landlord nad having his door kicked down, Bravo called the police, who arrived on the scene to find Sabel working on the plumbing with a knife. As they attempted to subdue him, one of the officers suffered a broken knee and had to be hospitalized. The prosecution's motion for a stay away order was granted, and now Sabel must keep at least 150 yards away from Bravo, who moved out of the complex on June the 26th, at all times.

In several other videos, Sabel is seen behaving the same way he does in the video of his arrest. In one video, Sabel shouts at a tenant for being in an area that he wanted to hose down, and then punches him after he refuses to leave. Defense attorney Hugo Torbet said that the tenant was trying to provoke Sabel by intentionally getting in his way.

In another, he assaults a tenant who asks to turn the heat up. Over the years, the complaints and lawsuits have piled up, and the 24-unit complex has acquired such infamy that it is barely half-full. Some wondered how many incidents it would take to have this abusive landlord arrested.

Sabel was out of custody on $62,000 bail, and was arraigned Friday, June 28th.

(Source: ABC)


Starbucks Juice Poisoned by San Jose Woman

Ramineh BehbehanianRamineh Behbehanian, a 50 year old resident of San Jose, was arrested Monday for allegedly attempting to poison Starbucks customers with contaminated orange juice bottles.

Early Monday, a Starbucks customer witnessed Behbehanian replacing Starbucks-owned orange juice bottles with her own contaminated bottles she had stored in her purse, and reported it to an employee. The suspect may have overheard the exchange, because she fled the scene immediately. The Starbucks employee phoned the police and managed to record the license plate on the suspect's vehicle. Behbehanian was arrested later that day after she was found to be the owner of the car leaving the scene.

The San Jose Fire Department arrived at the store following the initial call and examined the bottles, finding that the contents had a toxic smell to them. After testing with hazardous materials equipment, the bottles were found to contain a isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol.

Starbucks spokesperson Zach Hutson said that no one had consumed the tainted juice, and that all juice stocked was destroyed. Other stores in the area were asked to inspect their juice bottles' safety seals to ensure that no one had tampered with them.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Behbehanian works in the research and development department of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson corporation. She has expertise in "drug delivery and release technologies." Greg Panico, a spokesman for the subsidiary, confirmed that she was an employee of said department in Fremont, California, and has been since August 2006.

The LinkedIn profile also details a large educational history in chemistry. It states that she has a master's degree in physical chemistry and chemical engineering from Lehigh University, which is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The university has not yet responded to requests to verify her educational career.

Behbehanian is currently being held at the Elmwood Complex Women's Facility in Milpitas. No bail has been set, and her arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.

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