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Morgan Hill
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February 25, 2020

Two injured in Morgan Hill shooting

Morgan Hill Police are looking for the suspect or suspects involved in a Thursday night shooting that left two injured, according to...

Police: Woman tries to murder boyfriend

The Gilroy Police Department responded to an attempted murder and domestic violence incident at approximately 11:54 p.m. Saturday near the 8000 block of Church Street, according to GPD Sgt. Pedro Espinoza.

Police: Suspect punched officer, tried to flee the scene

An intoxicated man punched a Morgan Hill Police officer in an attempt to escape a traffic stop late Friday night, according to authorities.An MHPD officer made a traffic stop on a vehicle driving recklessly on Butterfield Boulevard, according to police. The driver was identified as Dante Fullard, and he was on probation.Fullard appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, police said. Another officer arrived to evaluate Fullard for DUI when the suspect punched the officer in the chest and fled on foot.The officer was not injured and chased Fullard, according to authorities. The two MHPD officers caught Fullard, who was arrested without further incident.The suspect was in possession of a white powdery substance, which tested positive for cocaine, police added.Fullard was booked at Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of multiple charges.

Judge denies Garcia Torres’ request to sever cases

A Santa Clara County judge denied a request by Antolin Garcia Torres to separate his 2009 attempted kidnapping cases from that of missing Morgan Hill teen Sierra LaMar.Judge Vanessa Zecher filed a Sept. 20 order denying Garcia Torres’ earlier motion for severance of the two cases.Garcia Torres, 24 of Morgan Hill, is accused of kidnapping and murdering Sierra March 16, 2012. Sierra was a 15-year-old sophomore at Sobrato High School at the time of her disappearance, and was last seen walking to a school bus stop near her home in north Morgan Hill.Garcia Torres is also accused of attempted kidnapping in three incidents that took place in the parking lot of two Morgan Hill Safeway stores, according to police. In these incidents, police said Garcia Torres followed women to their parked cars at night on three separate occasions, forced his way into their vehicles when they opened the doors and assaulted them.Garcia Torres remains in custody at Santa Clara County Jail without bail.Prosecutors joined the Safeway cases to the Sierra case in February 2014. Defense attorneys for Garcia Torres argued that trying these two cases together allows the potential for “substantial prejudice” against the defendant, according to their motion for severance.Zecher’s order, however, noted that the defendant and his attorneys had “not made a clear showing of prejudice to support the granting of the motion for severance.”The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is seeking the death penalty for Garcia Torres on the charge that he murdered Sierra.Garcia Torres’ next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30 at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

Police: Three arrested after short vehicle chase

A high-speed vehicle chase in north Morgan Hill resulted in the arrest of three suspects from San Jose on suspicion of vehicle theft and other charges, according to police.The evening of March 19, a Morgan Hill police officer attempted to make a traffic stop for an alleged vehicle code violation in the area of Monterey Road and Peebles Avenue, according to a post on the MHPD Facebook page. The driver of the vehicle failed to yield and led the officer on a short pursuit.Other units responded and a “high-risk felony stop” was conducted, according to police. Assisting officers included the city’s K-9 unit, which was on scene to “encourage compliance from the suspects,” police said. All three occupants of the vehicle were arrested without further incident.The vehicle was reported stolen out of San Jose earlier in the day, police said. The three occupants told MHPD officers they had been driving around Santa Clara and San Benito counties throughout the day.Arrested were driver Arturo Urena, 26, Julio Mata, 23, and Teresa Garfias, 21, according to police. Urena and Mata were on probation for vehicle theft, and Garfias was booked on suspicion of vehicle theft.

Police blotter: ‘Burrito mystery’ solved, theft, fraud

DisturbanceAn angry customer at Taco Bell, 16900 Monterey Road, was warned by police not to return to the restaurant after angrily yelling at employees. The customer was reportedly upset with restaurant staff because her food did not look the same as it did in the picture of the item she ordered. The woman was “angry because she is paying for the meal and they aren’t making her the Beefy Frito Burrito the way they’re supposed to,” reads a police report. Eventually, the “burrito mystery was solved.” The incident was reported 11:38 a.m. April 11.Reckless vehicleA gray or white Toyota Tercel was seen spinning donuts in the middle of Tennant Avenue at the intersection of U.S. 101. The car was also seen running two red lights and speeding. The recklessness was reported 7:25 p.m. April 10.Hit and runA motorist crashed into a light pole and planter box on the corner of Monterey Road and Third Street, and fled the scene. The damage was reported 8:18 a.m. April 9.BrandishingTwo children were riding their bicycles in a parking lot near Hale and West Main avenues when a resident on the other side of a fence pointed what appeared to be a rifle or shotgun at them. The children reported the incident to their parents, who reported it to police. Officers determined some other children inside the fence pointed the weapon, which turned out to be a Red Rider BB gun. No arrests or citations were made. The incident was reported 3:21 p.m. April 8.AccidentPolice reported major injuries resulting from a head-on collision at the intersection of East Dunne Avenue and Church Street. A Honda Pilot and Dodge Caravan were involved in the accident, which was reported 10:12 a.m. April 12. One of the drivers complained of chest pain, and was transported to a nearby hospital.Oversized vehicle parkingSeveral motorhomes were reported parked on Vineyard Boulevard, obscuring the visibility of motorists exiting the parking lot of nearby businesses. Police told the caller that the vehicles are legally parked on the street. The oversized vehicles were reported 5:10 p.m. April 11.Municipal code violationA man was reportedly living in a blue van parked near the intersection of Keith Way and East Edmundson Avenue for three weeks. A witness called police to report the stationary vehicle, and an officer advised the man not to sleep in his vehicle in that area. The violation was reported 1:02 p.m. April 7.Petty theftSomeone stole “a lot of” baby formula from Safeway, 235 Tennant Station, and left in a green Acura Integra. The incident was reported 6:37 a.m. April 11.A thief or thieves stole about $600 worth of tools from a vehicle parked on Brookview Court. The theft was reported 6:30 a.m. April 12.Someone stole two license plates from a green Toyota Camry parked on the 200 block of Burnett Avenue. The theft was reported 1:31 p.m. April 7.A thief or thieves stole the front and rear license plates from a white Ford pickup parked at the City Ventures job site on the 18100 block of Old Monterey Road. The theft was reported 5:18 p.m. April 8. FraudA victim who lives in Morgan Hill reported he received two credit cards in the mail—one from Target and one from Nordstrom—that he did not apply for. He contacted Target, where a representative told him someone entered a store in San Francisco and applied for the card, using the victim’s name and Social Security number but a North Carolina ID. The fraud was reported 3:14 p.m. April 10.Someone stole a victim’s checkbook and used cashed three checks in the total amount of $800. The fraud was reported 6:52 a.m. April 12.Miscellaneous callA resident of Murphy Springs Drive reported that an unknown man opened his house door and yelled “Hello?” It was the second time in a week that the incident occurred at the home. The stranger did not take anything except a container of Altoids breath mints, “In case we find someone with Altoids,” a police report reads. The incident was reported 6:48 a.m. April 6.DisturbanceA man entered Wal-Mart, 170 Cochrane Plaza, “yelling and screaming” before he pulled a knife on employees who tried to escort him out of the store. The employees were able to remove the man from the store without any injuries occurring. Police responded and found the man standing in the parking lot next to his truck, and cited him on suspicion of drug violations. The incident was reported 4 p.m. April 6.All subjects are innocent until proven guilty. Information is compiled from public records.

Workplace violence ‘not a surprise’ in high-stress region

As local police continue to piece together all that transpired leading to the tragic murder-suicide June 25 at the Ford Store Morgan...

Busy night for police as 20 citations issued for illegal fireworks

Morgan Hill Police Department “pulled out all the stops” in enforcing illegal fireworks violations on Independence Day, deploying undercover vehicles and dozens of officers to cite more than 20 people for possession or discharge of fireworks, according to a July 5 press release.  The need for such a special enforcement effort was identified earlier this year, when MHPD reached out to the community and asked what issues were important when reflecting on the quality of life here in Morgan Hill, the press release continues. One of the top areas of concern cited by residents in this survey was “illegal fireworks,” and how it affects the community’s safety each year during the Fourth of July holiday celebrations.The Morgan Hill City Council subsequently amended its fireworks ordinance so that fireworks related fines were tripled during the week Independence Day. Prior to enforcement, the department sent out information through multiple formats including print, email, social media, television and word of mouth, reminding people about illegal fireworks and the police department’s plan for enforcing a zero-tolerance policy, according to police.On July 4, MHPD in conjunction with Cal Fire had specific teams patrolling the city, focused on people and places where illegal fireworks were discharged from, the press release states. The teams spent the night conducting proactive enforcement and responding to calls for service regarding the discharge of fireworks.At the end of the night, officers issued 20 citations and collected a large amount of unspent illegal fireworks, police said. MHPD Sgt. Carson Thomas added that dispatchers received more than 40 calls from residents reporting illegal fireworks throughout Morgan Hill.This was an especially busy day for the department as it staffed multiple events during the 36-hour period and two significant events simultaneously: the fireworks show at the Outdoor Sports Center on Condit Road and the fireworks enforcement detail throughout the evening.“I am especially proud of the dedication of our entire team—civilian and sworn, paid and volunteer—for their sacrifice away from their families and friends so that others can enjoy a fun and safe Independence Day celebration. Their efforts are truly commendable,” said Morgan Hill Police Chief David Swing.Thomas, who coordinated the special enforcement effort for MHPD, thanked residents who reported illegal fireworks in their neighborhoods, and encouraged others to continue to make such reports.“Please know that your MHPD works proactively to ensure safety through the abatement of crime and addressing quality of life concerns,” Thomas said. “The enforcement of fireworks violations enhances the quality of life for our residents and their pets, ensuring safety for all.”To report illegal fireworks or other possible municipal code violations, call MHPD at (408) 779-2101.

More police on streets for Cinco de Mayo

With the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday promising to bring alcohol-driven revelry to public places, Morgan Hill police will post additional officers on the streets that evening to combat drunken driving.