Suspect Arrested in Connection With Bernal Hill Hit and Run

SFPD booking photo of Aliitasi Alapati, who was arrested as the suspected driver of the vehicle that struck a pedestrian on Bernal Hill on March 22.

The San Francisco Police announced the arrest of a woman who is believed to have been the driver of the vehicle involved in a hit and run accident last month that left a victim with life-threatening injuries on the north-east side of Bernal Hill.

San Francisco resident Aliitasi Alapati, 41, was arrested last Thursday in connection with the March 28 hit and run on Bernal Heights Boulevard.

Video footage of the incident obtained by Bernalwood showed that at 8:22 am, a Jeep Liberty swerved across a lane of traffic and struck a woman who was walking along the footpath on the other side of the road. The video also showed that the Jeep did not stop and left the scene immediately after running the victim down.

Last Thursday, the SFPD moved in to make an arrest.

The Examiner reports that police executed search warrants at three San Francisco homes last Thursday, including one on the 200 block of Raymond Avenue, one on the 300 block of Chenery Street and one on the 300 block of Font Blvd. The suspect vehicle was located at the Raymond Avenue address, and Alaptati was arrested on Font.

The Examiner adds that security camera video footage and evidence provided by witnesses yielded information that helped identify Alaptati as the suspect.

The incident left the victim, an unidentified woman, with life-threatening injuries. While there have been no official statements about the victim’s status, Bernalwood has received information from credible sources that she is recovering from her injuries.

Woman Injured After Hit and Run on Bernal Heights Blvd.

Video footage shows a Jeep Liberty veering off the road and striking a woman on Bernal Heights Boulevard.

A pedestrian was injured on the northeast side of Bernal Hill at 8:20 this morning, after she was hit by a car traveling east on Bernal Heights Boulevard. The driver of the car left the scene without stopping.

A Bernal neighbor tells Bernalwood:

There was a hit & run on Bernal Heights Blvd this morning.

I hope that another Bernal neighbor may recognize the vehicle? If someone does, they should contact the Ingleside Police station: 415-404-4000. (That’s the front desk so they should ask to speak with an investigator and say it’s about a hit & run in Bernal Heights this morning.)

Here is video footage of the hit and run. The incident occurs at the 27 second mark:

Another neighbor who was also at the scene provides an update on the victim:

She was conscious but mostly non-responsive. What I overheard the medics saying suggests she has back and leg injury, but could still move her legs.

Video footage shows the vehicle that struck the woman was a dark-colored Jeep Liberty Sport  from the 2005 to 2007 model years.

The video footage also shows that the vehicle was traveling east before swerving well off the pavement on the opposite side of the road to hit the woman, who was walking along the path on the north side.

jeepswerve

Rare Bikes Stolen From Home of New Bernal Neighbor

Neighbor Erik Nohlin moved to Prentiss Street in Bernal Heights one week ago after living on 23rd Street for four years before that. Sadly, his introduction to Bernal Heights included a brazen home intrusion robbery during which six rare bicycles were stolen from his garage.

Neighbor Erik is an industrial designer for Specialized Bicycle Components, the bicycle manufacturer based in Morgan Hill, Calif. Last Monday, Feb. 13, while he was settling into his new Bernal home, someone broke into his garage between 10:30 and 11 pm and took six bikes that represent five years of Neighbor Erik’s work.

Images of all the missing bikes are available here.

“My wife and I were at home and asleep by 11.30 when two SFPD officers knocked on thee back door and said that a neighbor had seen the door open when he got home, so he called the police,” Neighbor Erik told Bernalwood. “I walked down the garage with the officers and we found that my entire bicycle collection was gone, the  wire was cut and u-locks gone.”

The thieves stole the bikes in just a few minutes, without making a sound. Examination of the scene revealed they had used a wire to reach through the garage mail slot and release the garage latch.

This sprint bike was among those stolen from a Prentiss St. garage on Feb. 13.

Neighbor Erik says the stolen bikes are one-of-a-kind creations.

A cash reward of $1000 has been offered to anyone who returns the bikes, no questions asked. “The bikes are so well known and high profile that turning them will be hard – they’re too hot,” he says.  “I would hate to see these disassembled and sold as parts or sprayed black, as they’re so unique with their stories, not only to me but to cycling history.”

Bernal neighborErik Nohlin’s name appears on some of the stolen bike frames.

Anyone with information that might lead to the recovery of the bikes is asked to call 415 696 1434, or contact the SFPD at <brian.fogarty@sfgov.org>.

“We thought we had moved out of the more exposed 23rd Street to a safer place, but we certainly learned a lesson,” Neighbor Erik says. “It’s San Francisco and you need triple locks and eyes peeled 24/7.”

Two Arrested in Connection With Southwest Bernal Shooting Homicide

A shrine erected near the spot where Duby Ortiz-Guardado was killed on Jan. 23. (Photos: Courtesy of Emperor Norton)

Two suspects have now been arrested in connection with the Jan. 23 shooting in southwest Bernal Heights that left one man dead and a woman badly wounded.

Duby Ortiz-Guardado, 20, was walking with a woman near the intersection of Richland and Leese at 5:13 pm when gunfire rang out. Both Ortiz-Guardado and the woman were hit; Ortiz-Guardado later declared dead at San Francisco General Hospital.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the homicide. San Francisco residents Oscar Guadron-Diaz, 18, and Jorge Howard, 19, were taken into custody.

A statement from SFPD Ingleside Station detailed the arrests:

An investigation by the SFPD Homicide Unit led to the identification of the suspects. On January 25, 2018 at approximately 2:30 PM the SFPD Special Investigation Division (SID) officers located and arrested Oscar Guadron-Diaz, an 18 year-old San Francisco resident, and Jorge Howard, a 19 year-old San Francisco resident, on the unit block of Laura Street. Guadron-Diaz was booked into the San Francisco County Jail on murder, attempted murder, mayhem and numerous other gun related charges. Howard was booked into the San Francisco County Jail on felony reckless driving and accessory charges.

CBS Bay Area adds that Guadron-Diaz is being held without bail:

Guadron-Diaz, a stocky man with dark-framed glasses and dark hair in a crew cut, postponed entering a plea Monday and is scheduled to return to court on Thursday. He was ordered to remain in custody without bail pending a bail hearing.

According to a Facebook profile, Ortiz-Guardado and the female victim both previously attended Mission High School.

 

UPDATED: One Killed, One Wounded After Shooting in Southwest Bernal Heights

Police on the scene of the shooting on Richland at Lesse. Photo: Neighbor Chris

One person was killed and another wounded during a shooting near Richland Avenue and Leese Street in southwest Bernal Heights on Tuesday evening.

The gunfire erupted at 5:13 pm yesterday.

This morning, SFPD Ingleside Captain Jack Hart sent shared this with the Bernal community:

The shooting happened up at Leese and Park Streets and involved a couple who preliminarily appeared to be targeted by the perpetrator. Officers were on the block, heard the shots (nearly on-viewing the incident), and began rendering aid within seconds. Even though the suspect is outstanding, there is no reason to believe that residents or merchants are at any increased risk moving forward.

In an abundance of caution, our school car has been notified of the incident and are going to make their way over to [Bernal Heights] first thing in the morning to assuage fears and answer any questions.

I have a two and one-year-old myself, so these incidents are certainly matters of great concern. It’s also for these two reasons that I am up most of the time through the night. So, please don’t hesitate to reach out on email <Jack.Hart@sfgov.org> with any questions or concerns moving forward; I will promptly reply and do what I can to address them.

UPDATE, 26 January: The victim killed in the Jan 23 shooting was Duby Ortiz-Guardado, 20. The injured victim was a female. According to the San Francisco Examiner, the SFPD has made an arrest in the case:

Officer Robert Rueca, a San Francisco police spokesperson, said officers spotted a wanted vehicle around 2:34 p.m. near Alemany Boulevard and Regent Street. A pursuit began when the driver refused to stop for the officers. Rueca said police arrested the suspect when he pulled over near Laura Street and Huron Avenue.

Rueca would not say why the suspect was wanted, but a source with knowledge of the arrest told the San Francisco Examiner that the suspect was arrested in connection with a fatal shooting Tuesday.

Cash Drawers Stolen During Early Morning Break-In at Healthy Spirits

Security camera footage shows the intruder entering Healthy Spirits at 5:30 am.

It’s tough to be a merchant in San Francisco — as Heathy Spirits discovered yet again today.

In the early morning hours today, thieves broke in to the Healty Spirits store at 249 Cortland to steal the cash register.

This is the second time this has happened to Healthy Spirits; a similar incident took place in July 2016.

Rami from Healthy Spirits tells Bernalwood:

This morning approximately at 5:30 I received a call from police notifying me of a break in at my business located at 249 Cortland Ave.

The video footage shows that one of the thieves opened the front door using a crowbar and the second thief enters and proceeds to yank the cash register and runs away with two cash drawers. The cash drawers had a small amount of money but the robbery leaves me with a broken front door and a very expensive POS system to replace.
This same scenario almost exactly happened back in July 2016 where the thieves were only interested in the cash register as well.

It is days like today that I choose to count my blessings and I spend my time thinking about how lucky I am to be a part of this wonderful Bernal family. I shall restore whatever was damaged as soon as possible and I can’t wait to be back serving our clients and our Bernalese family at large.

Here are additional security-camera photos of the intruder inside Healthy Spirits this morning:


Anyone with further information about this incident is encouraged to contact SFPD Ingleside Station at (415) 404-4000.

At Community Safety Meeting, City Officials Promise Action After Banks Street Gunfire

There was a community meeting last Wednesday to discuss the circumstances surrounding the disturbing gunfire that erupted during a mid-October party at 212 Banks Street.

Neighbor Rebecca lives near the Banks Street house where the gunfire occurred, and she attended the meeting on Wednesday. Here’s her summary of the discussion:

The community meeting at BHNC went really well. Lots of neighbors (at least 60) showed up, which demonstrated community engagement, and the leaders who were present.

Supervisor Hillary Ronen, Captain Jack Hart, and Kevin Guy from the City’s short-term rentals office all remarked on the involvement of neighbors.

When someone asked about forming a formal Neighborhood Watch, Captain Jack Hart basically said, “no need for that – you guys ARE that!” Airbnb has offered to pay for any damage from the party’s fallout; repairing windows and cars with bullet holes.

SFPD has stepped up patrols and is taking this incredibly seriously. Captain Hart outlined lots of ways that they are ensuring that this “NEVER happens again.” That means foot patrols, closer contact with short-term lease oversight, gang task force outreach, etc. He reiterated how unusual and shocking this incident was, even to him.

The meeting was very focused on the Banks Street incident and how they’re working to avert any future such problems. One woman did ask about other issues: She acknowledged that we were here to discuss the Banks Street event, but she also wanted to know how SFPD is addressing the issues more regular, recurring problems. Specifically: package theft and car break-ins.

Captain Hart said they’re working on all of these things, and that his biggest request is that people report ANY and ALL crimes we see. He said that he pulled over a stolen car full of stolen goods with identifying info, and none of those theft victims had reported it and he was so frustrated. Always report car break-ins, report package thefts, and if you see anything in progress call 911 and let THEM triage it — don’t just write it off that police are doing “more important” things elsewhere.

Captain Hart is committed to Bernal almost to the point of absurdity; during the meeting he was rattling off street names and his family’s personal history, and he threatened to get a tattoo that said “212 Banks.”

Suffice to say, I think we’re in good hands.