Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

Location: City of Industry / Piru Area (Ventura County)
Date & Time: August 28, 2008 @ approximately 7:30 AM

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (W)itnesses City of residence Age
(S) Luis Felipe Martin (deceased) La Puente 24
(V) Female (name withheld) La Puente 20

On this date, at approximately 7:30 am, Luis Felipe Martin kidnapped his ex-girlfriend at gunpoint from her place of employment, Reuland Electric in the City of Industry. He fled the area in a black Chevrolet Silverado truck and traveled into Ventura County. Martin then raped the victim in the Piru area of Ventura County.

After the rape, the victim was able to make phone calls with her cell phone, which were transferred to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Communications Center from the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at approximately 10:17 am.

As the search for the vehicle was underway, Martin stopped on the side of the road on Main Street and Sacramento Street in Piru and shot himself in the head while still inside the vehicle. The victim was present when this occurred. Martin was transferred to the Ventura County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at approximately 11:35 am.

The victim did not suffer any physical injuries requiring hospitalization.

The incident is still under investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

 


 
Lake Rangers and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Dive Team searching for drowning victim Anatoly Smolyansky at Lake Piru.
Lake Rangers and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Dive Team searching for drowning victim Anatoly Smolyansky at Lake Piru.
Enlarge Photo
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On Monday, September 1st, 2008, at about 11:30 A.M., Piru Lake Rangers and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Dive Team located the body of drowning victim, Anatoly Smolyansky, in the water at Lake Piru. Anatoly Smolyansky drowned on the evening of August 25th after he tragically disappeared under the water at Lake Piru
At the time of the original accident, Mr. Smolyansky never resurfaced after jumping into the lake to rescue his five-year-old daughter who had fallen overboard. She was later rescued by her 9 year-old brother.

After the drowning accident, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department immediately deployed Search and Rescue resources to the lake, which included a Sheriff’s helicopter, a rescue swimmer, and Search and Rescue Dive Team. The search turned into a large scale, six-day operation involving approximately ten government agencies. The search was conducted in an area on the lake called the “Narrows and Diablo Cove.”

Rescue divers searched over 600 dive hours and were assisted by fifteen divers from Oxnard Police and Fire, Los Angeles County Sheriff and Los Angeles County Lifeguard Divers.

In addition, the Sheriff’s Department used helicopters, remote R.O.V Min-Subs, Sonar and Side-Scanning Tow vehicles to search the lake. Lake Piru. Rangers and approximately one hundred volunteers from the Hatzolah Organization of Los Angeles searched day after day for Mr. Smolyansky’s body. Daily search operations were conducted from 7:00 A.M to 8:00 P.M.

The recovery operation resumed this morning, Monday, September 01, 2008, at approximately 7:00 AM. A Sheriff’s helicopter and search and rescue marine resources, including Park Rangers and a Sheriff’s Dive Team were used. In addition, about thirty volunteers from Hatzolah were involved in today’s search.

At about 11:30 A.M, the Sheriff’s Dive Team and Park Rangers were working on the lake in an area North of Diablo Cove when they located Mr. Smolyansky’s body floating in the water. The body was recovered and released to the Ventura County Medical Examiner. The family has been notified.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department would like to thank the Lake Piru Rangers, Hatzolah Rescue Organization and all the assisting government organizations that have lent their support to this operation.

 


 
The suspect pulled over near Sacramento and Main streets in Piru.
The suspect pulled over near Sacramento and Main streets in Piru.
Enlarge Photo
Crime scene investigation in Piru.
Crime scene investigation in Piru.
Enlarge Photo

A 20-year-old woman was kidnapped at gunpoint from her job in the City of Industry this morning by her alleged boyfriend, and driven to Piru where he is alleged to have sexually assaulted her, according to reports from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s Capt. Ross Bonfiglio stated that the victim was able to escape when the suspect pulled over near Sacramento and Main Streets in Piru, and called the police at that time. Shortly thereafter the suspect shot himself in the head while sitting in the car.

The suspect was taken to the Ventura County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 11:35 a.m.

 


 
Anatoly Smolyansky of Los Angeles, CA., 39 years old.
A Sheriff’s helicopter was part of the search for a missing swimmer along with the Sheriff’s Dive team at Lake Piru.
A Sheriff’s helicopter was part of the search for a missing swimmer along with the Sheriff’s Dive team at Lake Piru.
Enlarge Photo

On the evening of August 25th, Anatoly Smolyansky tragically disappeared under the water at Lake Piru after jumping into the lake to rescue his five-year-old daughter who had fallen overboard. At the time of the accident, the boat was occupied by Mr. Smolyansky and his three children. All of the children were brought ashore safely, but Mr. Smolyansky never resurfaced and is presumed to have drowned.

After the accident, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department immediately deployed resources to the lake, which included a helicopter, a rescue swimmer, and Dive Team. A rescue diver searched under the water for over 40 minutes in lake conditions that allow for only six inches of visibility. In addition to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department resources, the initial search utilized 5 Ventura County Fire Department units (including a swift water team), Lake Piru Park Rangers, and approximately 80 volunteers from the Hatzolah Organization of Los Angeles. Search operations continued until approximately 2:00 AM the next morning, but Mr. Smolyansky was not located.

The recovery operation resumed this morning (August 26, 2008) at approximately 7:00 AM. A Sheriff’s helicopter and marine resources, including a high tech sonar system were brought to the location. A fifteen member Sheriff’s Dive Team, six boats, and approximately 70 volunteers from Hatzolah were involved in the search, which will continue until dusk.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has offered additional resources, which will arrive in an upcoming operational period. These resources are expected to include a boat, divers, and technical resources (including an underwater remote controlled mini submarine known as an ROV).

If necessary, the search will resume at approximately 7:00 AM on August 27th. In addition to the extremely poor visibility, the search conditions are difficult due to the water depths that range from 30 to 100 feet. The overall estimated area where the search is being concentrated is at least 500 yards by 500 yards. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department would like to thank the organizations that have lent their support to this operation.

 


 
(L-r) Capt. Tim Hagel, Sgt. Frank Underlin, Sr. Deputy Peter Frank, Sgt. Joe Devorick, Capt. Randy Pentis, Sgt. Paul Higgason, and Capt. Dave Kenney ran for Ventura County Cops Running for Charity in Iceland, July 2008.
(L-r) Capt. Tim Hagel, Sgt. Frank Underlin, Sr. Deputy Peter Frank, Sgt. Joe Devorick, Capt. Randy Pentis, Sgt. Paul Higgason, and Capt. Dave Kenney ran for Ventura County Cops Running for Charity in Iceland, July 2008.
Enlarge Photo

Our own Ventura County Cops Running For Charity (CRFC) adventure race took place during July. Seven Ventura County Sheriff Deputies competed as a team to successfully raise $33,000 for local Ventura County medical charities. We traveled to Iceland for an International 55Kilometer ultra-marathon trail race.
We arrived in Iceland to experience a nice, sharp, cold rain. Needless to say, we thought we were prepared. However, where was the snow? After all, the country’s name is not “Rainland.”
Soon, Iceland held up to the name and reputation as we traveled across the countless glacier covered mountains and valleys.
Iceland is the world’s newest landmass and is comprised of a giant series of glaciers, rivers, mountains and volcanoes ringed by beautiful, but cold farmland along the coast. A deep chill engulfed us as we stepped out of our bus to begin the race. We had traveled about 4 hours deep into the wilderness where “Raw” is the best descriptor.
We had about 15 minutes of prep time and the race gun was fired. It was surreal to see the seven of us running in rain and snow gear. Shiver was the word for the day, what a new experience for us. Remember, we practiced in Ventura County with the July trail temperatures that averaged between 95 and 100 degrees.
The race-day temperature varied between 30 to 35 degrees, and it brought on a constant shift between sleet/ice and horizontal rain. The 20 mph wind chill is what really brought on the challenge, driving our core temperatures to hypothermic as we ran through mountains ranges of rugged snow-fields and through (not over) 6 different rivers. CONTINUED »

 
Following a half-hour executive session at Tuesday’s regular council meeting, Fillmore City Counsel Ted Schneider, far right, announced the city has purchased a half-acre parcel east of B Street, from the Fillmore-Piru and Saticoy Citrus Assn. for use of the water recycling Project. The land is located north of the railroad tracks. The price was $113,335.
Following a half-hour executive session at Tuesday’s regular council meeting, Fillmore City Counsel Ted Schneider, far right, announced the city has purchased a half-acre parcel east of B Street, from the Fillmore-Piru and Saticoy Citrus Assn. for use of the water recycling Project. The land is located north of the railroad tracks. The price was $113,335.
Enlarge Photo

Fillmore City Council held its regular monthly meeting August 26, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The North Fillmore Initiative Report was presented. The Council approved a Water Softener Buyback program. The Council presented the Soroptimist Club with a proclamation recognizing the World Day of Peace. The formation of Community Facilities District #8 to manage the Fillmore Business Park was postponed, and some city development fees were slightly increased.

The Council approved a Brine Discharging Water Softener Buyback Program. The City will buy back softeners for $500-$750 each until the allotted $50,000 runs out. Right now, only 50 brine discharging water softeners have legal permits in Fillmore. There are an estimated 385 illegal softeners in Fillmore. The penalty for having an illegal softener is a $1000 fine and up to 30 days in prison. The Council voted to grant amnesty to anyone who voluntarily gives up their illegal softener. If the softener owner wants the City to uninstall the softener, a $50 un-installation fee will be deducted from the buyback price. The City is setting up a hotline so people can call in for more information or voluntarily report illegal water softener use.

According to a City memo, "With the construction on Central Avenue beginning to wind down, the merchants have scheduled a grand re-opening event for October 25, 2008." This event is the ArtHarvest, and it will feature not only sidewalk chalk art, but also visual art hung in area businesses, artists, musical entertainment, interactive art, and dramatic performances. An outdoor market, films, and lectures are also being planned.

The Council is supporting ArtHarvest and has approved a temporary use permit so that streets can be closed, but has authorized advertisement for bids for a Central Avenue Federal Pavement Improvements Project. According to another City memo, "The work consists of: cold planing existing pavement, asphalt hot mix overlay and striping from Hwy 126 to Sespe Avenue." The Council plans to award a contract for this work on September 23, and anticipates construction from October 13, 2008, to February 12, 2009. Public Works Director Bert Rapp assured the Gazette that a construction blackout period will be arranged so that the area will be neat and clean for the ArtHarvest Festival. The City's goal is for the street to be re-paved by Thanksgiving, in time for holiday shopping. Unfortunately, there is only one asphalt batch plant in Ventura County, and difficulties in scheduling asphalt deliveries might prevent this from happening. Rapp explained that the plant gives priority to larger CalTrans projects, and that one-day projects such as this one have lower scheduling priority. Brian Sipes suggested that the city use concrete instead of asphalt, and provided information on the advantages of concrete. The Council was receptive, but this particular project had to be approved by both the Federal Highway Association and CalTrans (an 18-month process), and changing materials now would not be timely. The Council instructed Rapp to submit future paving projects with both asphalt and concrete alternatives. The current project was submitted with asphalt and rubberized asphalt alternatives. Rubberized asphalt is more durable and environmentally friendly than regular asphalt. CONTINUED »

 
Rev. Ernest D. Miller
Rev. Ernest D. Miller

The WW II era Navy Chaplain's Gear Case of the Rev. Ernest D. Miller, former pastor of the Fillmore United Methodist and Fillmore Community Churches, has been donated to the Smithsonian Institute, in Washington, D.C.
The Chaplain's Gear Case and military artifacts were of interest to the Smithsonian Institute for their historical value to the Division of Military History and Diplomacy, at the National Museum of American History. The items were presented to Smithsonian Associate Curator, Kathy Golden, in Washington D.C., on July 21, 2008, by Rev. Miller's son, Dan Miller.
After graduating from Andover Newton Theological School, in 1942, Rev. Miller joined the Navy, in June of 1943, and served as a Lt. in the Chaplain's Corp. He ministered to both marines and sailors. He served at sea and on land in the Philippines and New Hebrides, in the S. Pacific Theater of Operations campaigns, during WW II. He also served at Quantico, Virginia, as well as Camp Pendleton and El Toro Marine Bases, in S. California. Chaplain Miller was assigned to the USS Oakland, serving in China, after the war. In 1948 he returned to civilian life and served as a pastor with the United Methodist Church; S. California Conference. He died, in Fillmore, in 1982 while pastor of the Fillmore Community Church.
Rev. Miller's, widow, Ruth E. Miller, a retired Fillmore High School teacher, resides in Fillmore.

 
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On August 25, 2008, at approximately 0815 hours, deputies from the Santa Clara Valley Station in Fillmore and a Sheriff’s Department helicopter responded to the Sespe Creek area north of Grand Avenue in Fillmore, reference three overdue hikers. One hiker was immediately located by deputies at the north end of Grand Avenue and within minutes the two remaining hikers were located by the helicopter crew as they were hiking out of the Sespe Creek.
All parties were reunited with no one sustaining any injuries.

 
Photo of sheriff rescue copter on scene at drowning. Photo was taken last night while the copter rescue diver was underwater for 40 minutes searching. The search continues with huge family and Jewish Temple groups helping.
Photo of sheriff rescue copter on scene at drowning. Photo was taken last night while the copter rescue diver was underwater for 40 minutes searching. The search continues with huge family and Jewish Temple groups helping.
Enlarge Photo

Location: Lake Piru
Date & Time: August 25, 2008 @ 5:45 P.M.
Unit Responsible: West County Police Services – Fillmore / Santa Clara Valley Station.

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (W)itnesses, City of residence, Age
(V-1) Adult Male, Los Angeles, Ca., 39 yrs.

On August 25, 2008, at approximately 5:45 pm, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department deputies assigned to the Fillmore / Santa Clara Valley Station responded to Lake Piru after receiving a call that two people were possibly missing at the lake.

When deputies arrived it was determined that the victim, a 39 year old Los Angeles resident, had possibly drowned after rescuing his five-year-old daughter who had fallen over board during a daytime outing on the lake.
A Ventura County Sheriff’s Department helicopter with a rescue swimmer on board was in the area and immediately began search operations. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team was also deployed. Search operations continued well into the night with negative results. Search operations are to continue at daybreak on Tuesday.

 
City budget issues, including controversial salary increases for staff, will be approved or denied by city council at regular meeting, sometime in September.
City budget issues, including controversial salary increases for staff, will be approved or denied by city council at regular meeting, sometime in September.
Enlarge Photo

We all know it takes money, lots of it these days, to run a country, a state, a business, a household, or a city, even one as small as Fillmore is. On a personal level, most of us understand that the only way to successfully survive and grow within one’s financial means, is to set a realistic budget and stick to it. A budget is a two-pronged battle that includes setting strict guidelines that accurately address anticipated income versus necessary obligations, and having the fortitude to live by them without dipping into savings.

City officials, like the head of a family, are the custodians of the wealth and health of their community. They make decisions that can affect thousands of lives for decades to come. One of their most important duties is to create a workable annual budget that accurately reflects available funds gathered from a great number of sources, and administer it wisely, very wisely! This is not an easy task, especially considering the numerous interests and influences involved. CONTINUED »