VENTURA, California — District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White has ordered CVS Pharmacy, Inc. a Rhode Island Corporation, doing business in California as CVS/pharmacy, to pay $2.4 million as part of a settlement of a civil enforcement action. The case was brought by the Ventura, Riverside and Los Angeles County District Attorneys’ Offices. The matter was brought to the attention of authorities by the State of California Division of Measurement Standards and local county Weights and Measures officials.

The settlement is the culmination of a civil action filed in Los Angeles County alleging that CVS engaged in misleading advertising by charging more at check-out than the advertised price. In addition, an investigation determined that the company failed to give cash back on gift cards under $10, as required by law. This is the second civil complaint involving misleading advertising filed against CVS in the last five years.

Pursuant to the final judgment, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office will receive $675,000 in civil penalties and Ventura County Weights and Measures will receive $14,310.45 as costs of investigation. CVS was also required to pay $275,000 to the ITT Consumer Protection Trust Fund for the enforcement of consumer protection laws. CVS agreed to the settlement without admitting any liability or wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, CVS agreed to initiate and administer pricing programs to ensure that consumers are not overcharged for their purchases.

 


 

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Wilfredo Jimenez (DOB 4/24/76), of Los Angeles, was sentenced by Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Hirsch to seven years in county jail, and restitution in an amount exceeding $100,000 for committing 22 burglaries.

Between October 28, 2009, and September 17, 2010, Jimenez, along with five other suspects, broke into storage containers that were located at several agricultural areas throughout Ventura County, including farms and construction sites. Jimenez stole more than $100,000 worth of equipment which included tools, generators, water pumps, pressure washers, cash and other various items affecting 30 victims. The crimes were investigated and solved by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Special Services Division.

 


 

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that the review by the District Attorney’s Office of the circumstances surrounding the August 14, 2012, shooting of Michael Mahoney by officers of the Oxnard Police Department has been completed.

The full report, authored by Senior Deputy District Attorney Derek Malan, is available on the Ventura County District Attorney’s Web site (http://www.vcdistrictattorney.com) and explains the District Attorney’s conclusions that Oxnard police officers acted reasonably, and the killing of Michael Mahoney was a justifiable homicide.

 


 
(l-r) Dr. Ellen Crowe, Thousand Oaks, 54 and Paul McQuillan, Thousand Oaks, 61
(l-r) Dr. Ellen Crowe, Thousand Oaks, 54 and Paul McQuillan, Thousand Oaks, 61
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On May 13, 2015, Investigators from the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the Health Quality Investigation Unit of the California Division of Investigation (formerly the California Medical Board) arrested Dr. Ellen Crowe and Paul McQuillan for multiple felonies relating to the death of an elderly patient.

Dr. Ellen Crowe and Paul McQuillan own and operate a business known as House Call Doctor Thousand Oaks (HCDTO). Polly Duntley was a patient of HCDTO. On July 31, 2014, McQuillan, who has no official medical training, responded to the home of Duntley in Camarillo. This was a follow-up visit from the day prior where a HCDTO doctor other than Ellen Crowe attended to Duntley. McQuillan injected Duntley with morphine, provided by Dr. Crowe, and ordered by the other doctor. This injection was done just prior to a planned x-ray and ultrasound that was to take place at the residence. Duntley fell into a deep sleep within minutes after the injection was given. McQuillan then left the residence to treat another patient in the neighborhood. In his absence, a technician from another company arrived at the residence and performed the ultrasound on Duntley. McQuillan returned to the residence while the ultrasound was being conducted. During the ultrasound, McQuillan realized Duntley no longer had a pulse and called 911. He then attempted to provide first aid. Emergency responders resuscitated Duntley, but she never regained consciousness. Duntley died in the hospital on August 2, 2014.

McQuillan was arrested at his home in the 100 block of Los Padres, Thousand Oaks. A search warrant was also served at his residence where evidence relating to the crime was located.

Dr. Crowe was located in Bakersfield and arrested.

McQuillan was booked into the Ventura County Jail for practicing medicine without a license and furnishing morphine.

Dr. Crowe was booked into the Ventura County Jail for conspiracy to practice medicine without a license and conspiracy to furnish morphine.

Additional charges and enhancements of elder abuse, great bodily injury or death occurring in the commission of a felony, and weapons violations are also possible.

An additional arrest is expected in this case.

Both Dr. Crowe and McQuillan secured bail and are scheduled to be arraigned in Ventura County Superior Court on May 27, 2015.

Anyone with information similar to this type of activity is encouraged to call the task force at (805) 383-8700.

The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit is a task force comprised of members from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Simi Valley Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation, and the California Highway Patrol. The primary mission of the task force is combatting the transfer of legal prescription medication to the illegal market. In addition, the task force works to identify and stop new trends of abuse among the younger population and investigates overdose deaths due to both prescription medication and illicit drug use. Anyone with information regarding these topics, or this case in particular, is encouraged to contact the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit at (805) 383-8700 or via e-mail at pharm.tip@ventura.org.

Nature of Incident: Thousand Oaks Doctor and Husband Arrested After Death of a Patient
Report Number: 15-8705
Location: Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, and Bakersfield, CA
Date & Time: May 13, 2015
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit
Health Quality Investigation Unit- California Division of Investigation

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(V) Polly Duntley, Camarillo, 88
(S) Dr. Ellen Crowe, Thousand Oaks, 54
(S) Paul McQuillan, Thousand Oaks, 61
Prepared by: Sergeant Victor Fazio
News Release Date: May 14, 2015
Media Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant Victor Fazio
victor.fazio@ventura.org
(805) 856-8793
Approved by: Captain Curt Rothschiller

 


 

The Peace Officers Association of Ventura County (POAVC) will be presenting the 2015 Peace Officer’s Memorial event at the Ventura County Government Center. The public is invited to attend. The event will start at 10:00 a.m. at the Peace Officer’s monument located near the west government center entrance on Victoria Avenue.

Family members of Ventura County fallen peace officers will be in attendance, as well as representatives from all county area law enforcement agencies.

This year we will be adding a name to the memorial wall, Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Yevhen “Eugene” Kostiuchenko. Eugene is the 32nd Peace Officer in Ventura County killed in the line of duty. Please come to support his family and friends and pay respect for his sacrifice.

This year’s guest speaker will be Saul Martinez Jr., whose father was a CHP Officer who selflessly pushed his partner to safety before being hit by a vehicle. Saul Martinez Jr. was a child when his father was killed. He has family in local law enforcement and government and we look forward to hearing his message.

The event will honor all Ventura County law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. A ceremonial procession will begin the event. The event will also include the reading of the names of each fallen peace officer, a 21-gun salute by the Sheriff’s Honor Guard, the symbolic riderless horse, and a helicopter formation fly-over.

A video message on this year’s event by Sheriff Dean can be viewed at https://goo.gl/TQbuOX. For more information on the POAVC, visit www.poavc.org.

Nature of Incident: Ventura County Peace Officers Memorial Event
Location: Ventura County Government Center – 800 S.Victoria Ave., Ventura
Date & Time: Thursday May 21, 2015 @ 10:00 a.m.
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Administration
Prepared by: Sergeant Denise Sliva
Media Release Date: May 15, 2015
Follow-Up Contact: Captain John Reilly (805) 947-6782
Sergeant Denise Sliva (805) 947-9258
Approved by: Captain Melissa Smith

 


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

On May 15, 2015, Kiwanis Club of Ventura honored several Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies by presenting them with the service club’s ‘Officer of the Year’ awards. These deputies were recognized for their outstanding performance and service to the communities they serve while on patrol and inside the custody environment at a dinner banquet hosted by the Kiwanis Clubs of Ventura County.

A recipient from each of the Sheriff’s area patrol stations and custody division was selected to receive the award. The recipients are to be commended for their exemplary work and professionalism. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office joins in congratulating this year’s ‘Officer of the Year’ recipients.

Nature of Incident: Deputies Honored by Kiwanis Clubs of Ventura County as Recipients of ‘Officer of the Year’ Awards
Location: Four Points by Sheraton in Ventura
Date & Time: 05/15/15 @ 6:00 PM
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Patrol & Detention Services
Recipients and Assignment
Deputy John Burt – Camarillo Station
Deputy Thomas Brown – Fillmore Station
Deputy Lee Chapman – Thousand Oaks Station
Deputy Brian Dent – Ojai Station
Deputy Miguel Gonzalez – Moorpark Station
Deputy Jeff Jacobs –Headquarters Station-Ventura
Deputy Monica Smith – Detention Services

Prepared by: Sergeant Denise Sliva
News Release Date: May 16, 2015
Media Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant Denise Sliva (805) 947-9258
Approved by: Captain John Reilly

 


 

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that on May 12, 2015, Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Murphy sentenced Rosel Mayor Magistrado (DOB 11/07/80), of Agoura Hills, to serve three years four months in the Ventura County jail for her role in a mail and identity theft ring operating in the Conejo and San Fernando Valleys. In April 2015, Magistrado pleaded guilty to five counts of felony identity theft, two counts of grand theft, one count of trafficking in credit cards, and one count of mail theft. This matter was investigated by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

In January and February 2015, several victims reported their mail stolen and later that their personal checks were used for unauthorized purchases. The investigation revealed that Magistrado had stolen multiple victims’ identities and used them to lease both a BMW and an Agoura Hills apartment. Magistrado also wrote fraudulent checks to pay her personal debts. In March 2015, Ventura County sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant on Magistrado’s apartment and found stolen mail from over 200 victims and numerous stolen identifications. Deputies also recovered dozens of credit cards, a credit card re-encoder, and credit card embosser.

Magistrado was remanded to the Ventura County jail to begin serving her jail sentence. In addition to the jail sentence, she was ordered to pay restitution to the victims.

 
Luis Carrillo Rodriguez, Santa Paula, 66
Luis Carrillo Rodriguez, Santa Paula, 66

On May 5th, 2015 the Santa Paula Police Department posted a video of an unknown male subject stealing a $100 bill from a 4 year old child who was holding her mother's wallet while at a grocery store. The Santa Paula Police Department asked for the publics help in identifying the suspect and through multiple phone calls and messages we were able to identify the suspect as Luis Carrillo Rodriguez, age 66 of Santa Paula. Today Rodriguez was interviewed and arrested for the crime of petty theft. Rodriguez has a criminal history of theft and drug related charges. The Santa Paula Police Department would like to thank the public for their assistance in identifying Rodriguez in this case.

Nature of Incident:
Theft of Money From Child / Arrest
Report Number(s):
SG1500661
Location(s):
100 block of S. Mill St.
Dates & Times:
May 12, 2015 at 4:25pm
(S)uspects, (V)ictims
City of Residence, Age
(S) Luis Carrillo Rodriguez, Santa Paula, 66

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

A Newbury Park man who is currently on felony probation for Financial Elder Abuse was arrested following a search and arrest warrant at his residence.

In January 2015, the victim’s family member contacted the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office after reading a press release from the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office reference Rod Hormell’s arrest and conviction in 2013. The family member alleged Hormell had embezzled $100,000.00 dollars while employed as the victim’s financial planner. Detectives from the Major Crimes Bureau and the Department of Business Oversight conducted an investigation and developed sufficient probable cause to arrest Hormell for Financial Elder Abuse and Offering or Selling Securities.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is committed to protecting the elderly citizens within our community. We encourage anyone who believes they were victimized by Hormell to contact the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office / Major Crimes Bureau.

Nature of Incident: Former Financial Planner arrested again for Embezzling from the Elderly.
Report Number: RB# 15-6928
Location: Calle Loma Vista, Newbury Park
Date & Time: May 11, 2015 @ 0730 hours.
Unit(s) Responsible: Special Services / Major Crimes
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
Hormell, Rod Scott Newbury Park 59
Prepared by: Sergeant William Therrien
News Release Date: May 11, 2015
Media Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant William Therrien
805-384-4724
Approved by: Captain Melissa Smith

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

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

On May 4th 2015, at approximately 12:30 AM, Thousand Oaks police officers responded to the 400 Block of N. Ventu Park Road and W. Hillcrest Road in reference to a disturbance. When officers arrived, they contacted the victim and learned an altercation had occurred, which resulted in an assault with a deadly weapon. The victim was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

During the investigation, deputies learned the suspects involved in the assault were described as the following:

Suspect 1 was described as a Caucasian female, 20-25 years, approximately 5'11" and long blond hair.

Suspect 2 was described as a Caucasian male, 20- 25 years, 5'6" to 5'7", brownish red hair, and oval shaped face.

Suspect 3 was described as a Caucasian male, 20-25 years, 5'6" to 5'7", with a narrow freckled face and a goatee.

The suspects fled the area in a dark colored 4-door compact sedan, driven by one of the male suspects.

During the course of the investigation, detectives learned of potential witnesses who have not been interviewed. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Detective James Sullivan at (805) 494-8222.

Nature of Incident: Thousand Oaks Police Seeks Public’s Assistance
Report Number: 15-10025
Location: 400 Block of N. Ventu Park Road & W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks
Date & Time: 05/04/2015 @ 12:30 AM
Unit Responsible: East Valley Investigations / Major Crimes Bureau
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(S-1) White Female
(S-2) White Male
(S-3) White Male
Prepared by: Detective James Sullivan
Media Release Date: 05/07/2015
Media Follow-Up Contact: Detective James Sullivan / 805-494-8222
Approved by: Captain Mike Hartmann

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Gustavo Fregoso (DOB 12/1/1986) of Oxnard was convicted of sodomizing a six-year-old girl in violation of Penal Code section 288.7(a). The jury returned its verdict after less than an hour of deliberation.

In 2012, Fregoso sodomized the victim on multiple occasions when the child would spend the night at his home in Oxnard. In early 2013, the child reported the crime to her mother, who then reported the crime to the Oxnard Police Department.

Sentencing is set for June 9, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 26 of the Ventura Superior Court. The defendant faces a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

 
Fillmore Fire responded to a structure fire on Sunday, May 3 at 8:15pm, in the 700 block of Del Valle. An upstairs mattress had ignited and a separate fire was burning in the backyard. It is not known if the two were
related. No major structural damage was reported.
Fillmore Fire responded to a structure fire on Sunday, May 3 at 8:15pm, in the 700 block of Del Valle. An upstairs mattress had ignited and a separate fire was burning in the backyard. It is not known if the two were related. No major structural damage was reported.
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A 17-year old residential burglary suspect was arrested in the 700 block of Santa Clara Tuesday afternoon. An
alert citizen called the police. Photo courtesy VC Sheriff. Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS(8477).
A 17-year old residential burglary suspect was arrested in the 700 block of Santa Clara Tuesday afternoon. An alert citizen called the police. Photo courtesy VC Sheriff. Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS(8477).
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District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that a jury has found murder defendant Jose Manuel Amaro (DOB 3-19-80), of Oxnard, guilty on all charges and allegations against him.

On December 30, 2011, Amaro shot victim Gabriel Madrigal, who was a passenger in a vehicle which was also occupied by a two-year-old child.

Amaro was found guilty of first-degree murder, being a felon in possession of a handgun, and maliciously discharging a firearm at an occupied motor vehicle. The jury also found Amaro guilty of the July 26, 2012, commission of the following acts: using an express or implied threat of force or violence upon a witness to dissuade the witness from offering evidence against him, and of being a felon in possession of a handgun. The jury further found true the allegations that Amaro intended to cause death when he shot at Mr. Madrigal, that the shot caused the death of Mr. Madrigal, and that he used a handgun in dissuading a witness.

Sentencing for Amaro is scheduled August 18, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 45 of the Ventura Superior Court, County of Ventura. Amaro will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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

On 5/4/2015, at 0145 hours, Camarillo deputies arrested a subject for attempted murder.

In the early morning hours of 5/4/2015, Michael Benson was armed with a sword and approached a couple seated in a parked vehicle near the Charter Oak Park in the city of Camarillo. Benson hit the victim’s vehicle repeatedly with the sword in an attempt to stab the victims. He also used the sword to shatter both windows where the victims were seated. Responding Sheriff’s deputies contacted and arrested Benson who by now had thrown the sword on the ground. Benson acted alone and appeared to have chosen the couple at random.

Benson was transported to an area hospital for a medical evaluation. He was ultimately booked into the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility. His booking charges consisted of two counts of attempted murder and felony vandalism. Benson is currently being held on $1,000,000.00 bail and is awaiting arraignment.

Nature of Incident: Sword Wielding Man Attacks Couple
Report Number: 15-10026
Location: Charter Oaks Park, Camarillo, CA
Date & Time: 05/04/2015 @ 0142 hours
Unit(s) Responsible: Camarillo Investigations Unit
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
Michael Patrick Benson Camarillo, CA 51
Prepared by: Detective H. Macias #3633
News Release Date: 05/04/2015
Media Follow-Up Contact: Detective H. Macias @ 805-388-5116
Captain John Reilly @ 805-947-6782
Approved by: Captain C. Rubright

 
Photo by Sebastian Ramirez.
Photo by Sebastian Ramirez.
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Firefighters responded to three burning oil tanks west of Piru on Friday April 24.

HOPPER IC from Sebastian Ramirez on Vimeo.

A fire broke out in the oil fields east of Fillmore on Friday, April 24th. Black smoke appeared at about 5pm, near East Telegraph Road and Hopper Canyon Road, alerting a citizen who called it in. Fire crews found three crude oil tanks burning in the canyon.

One tank contained 100 barrels of crude and burned out by 5:50pm. A second tank contained approximately 250 barrels of oil and was left to burn out. One tank was empty.

About 80 firefighters worked to keep the fire contained. Some brush was burned but a Ventura County Sheriffs helicopter dropped water on the scene, quenching the flames.

No water or foam were used to fight the blazes to reduce the environmental impact on area wildlife. There was concern over liquid spilling into water drainage routes, but no significant environmental impacts were reported.
The tanks are owned by Ventura-bases DCOR. Company officials were made aware of the fire, and all pipelines into the 250 tank were shut off.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife were called, as was Ventura County’s regional hazardous materials team. Ventura County Environmental Health Division and the California office of emergency Services were also informed of the situation.

Fillmore, Santa Paula, Oxnard and Ventura fire departments were on scene, along with Los Padres National Forest fire crews.

Clean-up began after the fires were out; no obvious cause of origin reported.

 
The nine recipients along with CAL FIRE Director Ken Pimlott and California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird.
The nine recipients along with CAL FIRE Director Ken Pimlott and California Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird.
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Highest Honor Given to State Employees

Sacramento – Last Friday, nine CAL FIRE firefighters received the prestigious State of California Governor’s Medal of Valor award for acts of heroism extending above and beyond the normal call of duty. The recipients were part of 52 state employees who were honored for their extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism in order to save the life of another.

“I know each and every day our firefighters may be called upon to risk their life to protect another,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director. “These nine however went above and beyond the call of duty.”

Governor Brown's Executive Secretary Nancy McFadden presented the Medal of Valor, which is the highest honor that California bestows on its public servants, to the follow CAL FIRE employees:

Firefighter Brian Cali, CAL FIRE San Bernardino Unit - On August 16, 2012, Firefighter Cali was leaving work and enroute to Temecula when he came across an accident on Highway 79. A car had gone over the embankment and was resting on its driver’s side with the passenger side skyward. The engine was on fire, the car was quickly filling with smoke, and a bystander told him someone was inside. Firefighter Cali quickly grabbed a log and broke out the passenger side windows, then asked bystanders to help him put the car back on its wheels so he could reach the victim. Once the vehicle was righted, he attempted to open the doors, but they were jammed shut. The flames were now reaching the victim’s legs. Firefighter Cali reached into the burning car, placed his arms around the victim’s torso and attempted to lift him out, but the victim’s legs were tangled in the seat belt. He asked bystanders to throw dirt on the burning engine, knowing he needed more time. With the threat of fire increasing, Firefighter Cali finally lifted the man from the burning car and administered CPR until help arrived. The victim unfortunately succumbed to his injures; however, Firefighter Cali saved him from burning inside the vehicle.

Fire Captain Robert Chesnick, CAL FIRE Humboldt-Del Norte Unit - On June 30, 2012, Fire Captain Chesnick was off work and traveling on Highway 89 near the town of McCloud, when he saw headlights off to the side of the highway. Stopping to investigate, he found a truck had gone off the road and crashed into a tree. The engine was still running and the driver was unconscious, his head bleeding profusely. Captain Chesnick called for assistance and noticed smoke coming from under the truck. After quickly assessing the driver for neck injuries, he heard a loud “whoosh!” as the gas in the truck ignited, sending flames between the bed and the cab. Captain Chesnick pulled the man from the burning truck and dragged him about 15 feet away from the vehicle. The local fire captain arrived on the scene and the two began administering first aid when the truck became fully engulfed in flames, and .22 caliber bullets that had been stored in the truck, suddenly began discharging. The victim was transported to a local hospital and treated for severe lacerations on his face and neck.

Firefighter Elizabeth Marks, CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit - On June 22, 2012, Firefighter Elizabeth Marks was off-duty and enjoying a day at the Merced River near Briceburg, when beach goers suddenly began yelling and she saw a young teenage girl struggling in the water, headed straight towards the rapids. Firefighter Marks jumped into the water; she was able to reach the girl, pull her to her chest, and swim back to shore. Once on land, the girl began saying she wanted her father. A Federal Bureau of Land Management Ranger spotted the man in the water and jumped in with a rescue board. The ranger reached the man and yelled he needed help, so Firefighter Marks again entered the water to assist with the rescue. With the girl’s father in tow, they reached the slippery bank and, with difficulty, pulled him to shore. He was unresponsive and not breathing. Firefighter Marks began rescue breathing and CPR while the ranger went to contact dispatch and get additional equipment. An ambulance arrived, but it was on the opposite side of the river, so once again Firefighter Marks entered the water with two sheriffs and they took the man across the river on a rescue board to awaiting paramedics. Sadly he did not respond to the life-saving measures, however, the heroic efforts of Firefighter Marks saved his 14 year old daughter’s life.

Fire Apparatus Engineer/Paramedic Jason Moorhouse, CAL FIRE San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit - On September 5, 2011, Fire Apparatus Engineer/Paramedic Moorhouse was off-duty with his fiancé at a friend’s house in Lakeport, when he noticed a dark column of smoke nearby and ran down the street to identify the source. When he arrived at a house six doors down, he saw a man with a garden hose attempting to extinguish a fire blowing out of a broken bedroom window. The man said his mother was still inside the burning home. Engineer Moorhouse asked his friends to call 911 and went to the front door. He was met with a wall of thick black smoke and heard a woman calling for help, saying she was lying on the kitchen floor. Wearing only shorts and flip-flops, Engineer Moorhouse and his friend attempted to enter the burning house, but they were hampered by the heat and smoke. The friend went to look for another way in and Engineer Morehouse’s fiancé appeared with a towel to help with his breathing as he and another person again attempted to enter the burning house. Crawling on their stomachs, they located the 84 year old woman and dragged her to safety. Engineer Moorhouse began administering first aid as the woman was suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. She was transported by helicopter to the hospital where she was successfully treated for her serious injuries.

Firefighter Jason Patterson, CAL FIRE Riverside Unit - On October 31, 2012, off duty Firefighter Patterson was at home when he smelled smoke and discovered fire was coming from the apartment below. He told his girlfriend to call 911, then ran downstairs to wake his neighbors. After pounding on the door and getting no response, he opened the unlocked front door, and fearing his neighbors were still inside, entered the smoke filled apartment. He was crawling along the floor, feeling his way, when he heard the sound of coughing coming from a bedroom. He made his way to the bedroom and found a three year old boy in the doorway, coughing violently. He carried the little boy out of the building, grabbed a fire extinguisher and went back in. The small fire extinguisher, however, was no match for the fire and once it was emptied he was forced to retreat. Despite Firefighter Patterson’s valiant efforts and the subsequent quick arrival of local fire engines, a woman was found deceased inside the apartment. The three year old boy was in fair condition and expected to recover.

Fire Apparatus Engineer Joshua Potter, CAL FIRE Riverside Unit - On August 5, 2011, Potter was off duty with his family in Half Moon Bay when he heard a man yelling for help. Engineer Potter saw a small boat had overturned approximately 300 yards from shore and a man with no life jacket was struggling in the water. Engineer Potter entered the frigid ocean water without any rescue equipment or a flotation device and began swimming towards the victim, a 64 year old man. He was joined by another man with a Zodiac inflatable boat. Engineer Potter and the other rescuers quickly put the man into the Zodiac boat and Engineer Potter began evaluating his medical condition. He stayed with the man until he was able to transfer care to the first responders.
Unit Forester/Division Chief Matthew Reischman, CAL FIRE Sacramento Headquarters - On December 3, 2012, Unit Forester/Division Chief Reischman was off-duty in his private vehicle in Grass Valley when he witnessed a head-on collision. As Chief Reischman approached the scene, he saw an SUV on its side with the engine on fire and fluid draining out. The driver was pinned under the vehicle. After checking to make sure the people in the second vehicle were all right, he assisted them to a safe location and then turned his attention to the SUV. The driver had significant head trauma and was unconscious, but breathing. Enlisting the help of two men on the scene, Chief Reischman lifted the vehicle approximately six inches to free him. The driver’s legs were still pinned however, so despite the spreading flames Chief Reischman kicked out the windshield and repositioned his legs. The driver was soon extricated and moved to a safe location. Shortly afterwards, the vehicle became completely engulfed in flames.

Fire Apparatus Engineer Joseph Walton, CAL FIRE Lassen-Modoc Unit - On March 31, 2012, Fire Apparatus Engineer Walton was off duty and at home in Paradise when he heard someone screaming for help. He and his mother-in-law ran toward the cries and saw three pit bulls viciously attacking his female neighbor. The dogs had dragged her to the ground and were biting her repeatedly, one going for her throat while the other two were biting her arms. Engineer Walton pulled the dog going for her throat off of her and threw him to the side. He then pushed the other two dogs away. He confirmed 911 was called and pulled the woman further away from the dogs so he and his mother-in-law could administer medical care. The aggressive dogs circled back repeatedly, and Engineer Walton and other neighbors fought them off with sticks and even their bare hands. The woman was transported to a Trauma Center with severe injuries. She underwent multiple surgeries and skin grafts, but survived the ordeal.

Firefighter II Joshpae White, CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit
- On June 4, 2011, Firefighter White, along with two other firefighters, responded to a call involving a vehicle crash in a notoriously rugged stretch of the Feather River on Highway 70 in Butte County. Upon reaching the area, one of the firefighters spotted a child floating face down in the swift moving river. Firefighter White decided that as company officer, he would enter the frigid water instead of waiting for a second engine to arrive. He quickly donned swift water protective equipment and a fellow firefighter positioned himself with a throw bag rope along the downstream bank. Firefighter White, fighting the rapids, reached the boy, lifted his head out of the water, secured him in his grasp, and then swam to shore with him. The firefighter aided Firefighter White with the rope and once they reached shore, they began CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Despite the decisive action of Firefighter White, the 9-year-old boy could not be revived.

 
Edward Quintero Becerra, 26, Oxnard/Ojai
Edward Quintero Becerra, 26, Oxnard/Ojai

On March 25, 2015, around 9:10 p.m. a couple was driving north on State Route 33 near Casitas Vista Road and Foster Park. As the couple was driving, they saw a possibly injured female near the edge of the roadway. The couple turned around to help the female and phoned 911 because they thought a car had hit the female. The couple learned the female had been stabbed.

Deputies from the Ojai station were on scene quickly along with Ventura County Fire personnel and American Medical Response ambulance personnel. The female was treated and transported to the Ventura County Medical Center for serious stab wounds to her face, neck and body.

Deputies quickly learned the female had been stabbed repeatedly by Edward Becerra, the female’s former boyfriend. Deputies learned Becerra fled in the female’s truck with their two-year-old child. Patrol Deputies, Sheriff’s Major Crimes Detectives and the Sheriff’s Gang Unit began a coordinated effort to locate the child and investigate the attempted murder and possible kidnapping.

An Amber Alert was issued and the Sheriff’s Gang Unit was able to track and locate Becerra at his home in the unincorporated area of Oxnard, near El Rio. Becerra was arrested without incident and the child was located in Becerra’s home unharmed. Becerra was arrested for attempted murder and booked into Pre-Trial Detention Facility. Becerra’s bail was set at $1,000,000 dollars. The victim remains in the hospital in stable condition. Becerra’s motive for the attack is still under investigation.

Nature of Incident: Attempted Murder Arrest
Report Number: 15-9408
Location: Foster Park, 438 Casitas Vista Road, Ventura
Date & Time: March 25, 2015 at 9:10 p.m.
Unit(s) Responsible: Ojai Station Patrol, Sheriff’s Gang Unit and Sheriff’s Major Crimes
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(S)Edward Quintero Becerra Oxnard / Ojai 26
Prepared by: Sergeant Ian Laughlin
News Release Date: 4-26-2015
Media Follow-Up Contact: Captain John Reilly
Approved by: Captain Melissa Smith

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 
A brush fire on Grand Avenue was quickly extinguished last Wednesday by firefighters. It is believed the fire was accidently started by a dirtbike. Photo by Sebastian Ramirez.
A brush fire on Grand Avenue was quickly extinguished last Wednesday by firefighters. It is believed the fire was accidently started by a dirtbike. Photo by Sebastian Ramirez.
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

On Saturday, April 18th, 2015, detectives assigned to the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau conducted compliance checks at the residences of registered sex offenders in the areas of Fillmore, Piru, and Moorpark. The compliance checks were part of the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE / ELEAS) Grant.

Thirty (30) of the thirty three (33) registered sex offenders were found to be in compliance with their registration requirement. Three (3) registrants were not contacted because they were not home or had moved. Sheriff’s detectives will follow-up to determine if the registrants are out-of-compliance.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting similar sweeps on an ongoing basis, to verify registered sex offenders are living at their reported residences and in compliance with any probation or parole terms.

Residents of Ventura County can visit the Megan’s Law website (www.meganslaw.ca.gov) to familiarize themselves with the sex registrants in their community.

Nature of Incident: Sex Registrant Compliance Sweep
Report Number: N/A
Location: Areas of Fillmore / Piru / Moorpark
Date & Time: Saturday, April 18th, 2015 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Unit(s) Responsible: Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau
Prepared by: Sergeant Ryan Clark
Sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau / Sexual Assault Unit
News Release Date: April 20th, 2015
Media Follow-Up Contact: Investigator Jim Botting / 805-384-4743
Jim.botting@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Melissa Smith

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).