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Orange County News: Costly OT for Anaheim Police, OC Diaper Dumper, Coyotes in Irvine, Police Blotter

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Unrest costs Anaheim $1.7 million in cop OT

ANAHEIM – The Police Department spent $1.7 million on officer overtime during a four-week stretch when people took to the streets to protest two fatal police shootings and long-simmering politi

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cal frustration over the summer.

Anaheim police deployed SWAT officers, mounted patrols, detectives and patrol officers amounting to nearly 24,500 hours of overtime in July and August. Based on those hours, the average hourly overtime wage was $69.

“All of our officers were called in to work different aspects of the unrest,” Sgt. Bob Dunn said. “The public’s safety is the chief’s responsibility, and we staff to make sure the citizens are safe.”

The protests – sometimes violent – erupted after police shot and killed Manuel Diaz on the afternoon of July 21. Diaz’s death was the first of two police shootings that sparked nights of protest.

Police officers responded in black-padded armor wielding batons and beanbag shotguns as protesters set Dumpster fires, shattered store windows and looted a clothing store in downtown Anaheim.

Dunn said the department spent about $6.5 million in overtime for all of the 2011-12 fiscal year, which ended June 30.

The unrest cost the city more than in overtime.

“We won’t have the complete picture of what was spent for quite some time,” Dunn said, adding that would include resources provided by outside vendors such as barricades.

Councilwoman Lorri Galloway said she was disappointed to learn of the $1.7 million in overtime costs related to the unrest: “It’s concerning to have a large expense like that.” It was the “unfortunate outcome” of community tensions that had been brewing for a long time.

“Having that kind of police response was definitely necessary to keep everybody safe,” Galloway said. “But I would hope that it serves as a learning experience that ongoing community dialogue is so important. We must help people feel engaged and part of the political process so that it doesn’t happen again.”

Dunn said it’s still too early to tell whether the spike in overtime will have an impact on the department, which has a budget of nearly $115 million with 536 full-time employees.

Greg Anderson, an Anaheim resident who lives near where protesters clashed with police in July, said he’s “outraged” by police needing to use the overtime.

“People have the right to speak their minds, but it just makes my blood boil that people – some from outside of Anaheim – chose to come in and stir up trouble,” Anderson said. “And who’s left with the tab? The responsible taxpayers of Anaheim.”

 

Irvine on alert after father says coyote went after boy, 1

By THOMAS MARTINEZ/ THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

IRVINE – The city will do everything possible to protect its neighborhoods from coyotes, Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang pledged Tuesday night.

His comments come after an incident in which a large, aggressive coyote charged full-speed at an Irvine father at the front door of his townhome. The 6 feet, 3 inch, 185-pound man says the predator was after his 1-year-old son, who was sick and had been crying for hours.

Reports of coyotes killing pets are commonplace in Irvine, according to longtime resident Suzanne Nicklaus, whose cat was eaten last week by two or three of the predators.

Nicklaus pointed to her own loss and to the incident with the man and his son in asking the City Council Tuesday night to disseminate warnings and information to residents and to control or thin the local coyote population.

Irvine is so safe, she said, that it leads residents to believe they can wander through parks and open spaces into the night with their children.

“That’s a great thing, because we are not afraid of human predators, but I think we need to be more aware that the four-legged ones are in our area,” she said. “I want to feel safe when I go to the Woodbridge pools at night or when I walk in the morning.”

In response, Kang said City Manager Sean Joyce had alerted all of the council members of the incident, which The Orange County Register and Irvine World News had reported.

He assured Nicklaus that the city is on top of the issue.

“Safety and well-being in our community is our top priority, so we’ll do everything possible to protect the neighborhoods by working with public safety, the community and as a whole,” he said. “I personally sympathize with you for the loss of your family member.”

Nick Falangas, the Irvine father, found the coyote lingering at his front door, which he had left slightly open, around 1:15 a.m. Friday. The professional photographer was moving gear from his vehicle to his home, and it took several trips. He scared the coyote away, but it didn’t go far, he said.

Instead, it did something Falangas had never seen before: It turned around, started creeping toward him, and then broke out into a “full-fledged run” right at him. It came to within two or three feet of him but stopped short of attacking him. It was snarling and posturing – as was Falangas.

The coyote backed away but did not leave, and was still acting aggressive, so Falangas rushed inside and closed his front door.

Falangas said he has often encountered coyotes while shooting photos in fields, and he said they are usually skittish. This one, which he estimated to be about 50 pounds, was different – as if he really wanted something and wasn’t going to give up.

He believes the coyote was after his son because the baby boy had been up crying with the flu, and his bedroom window faces the open field near Jeffrey Road and Smoketree Lane, where coyotes are often seen. They have killed several of his neighbors’ pets, but he never thought his son would be in danger.

His wife was asleep in their bedroom, and the family’s loud air-conditioner was running, so she would not likely have heard the coyote approaching the baby’s room, he said.

Coyotes are predatory animals and like to feed on rabbits, domestic cats and even small domestic dogs, said Ryan Drabek, director of the county’s animal services department.

They hunt all year but tend to be much more active and visible in late summer and fall, he said. The county has not conducted a study to determine if coyotes are being more brazen this season compared to previous years, he said.

Irvine police Lt. Julia Engen said that because the caller reported the animal incident about two hours late, they waited until morning and sent an animal control detail, who did not find anything reportable. Typically animals are gone if there is a significant time delay, she said.

Police suspect Newport Cove man of dumping diapers

By CLAUDIA KOERNER/ THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

LAGUNA BEACH – Police are working to arrest a man they say is dumping dirty adult diapers on Pacific Coast Highway between Irvine Cove and Emerald Bay.

The bags of biowaste began appearing on the southbound lanes of the busy stretch of road in May. Drivers would see the bags of between four and 12 diapers a few times a week, sometimes running over them to create even more of a mess, Laguna Beach Capt. Jason Kravetz said in a press release.

On Monday, Laugna Beach detectives were setting up surveillance along North Coast Highway when they came across bags of diapers that appeared to have been recently abandoned, the release said. In the bag, an envelope addressed to a medical office in Fullerton was attached to one of the diapers.

Officers discovered an employee of the office lived in Newport Coast and set up surveillance of his home in the gated community. At 10:45 p.m., the man left, and police followed his Lexus south into Laguna Beach. After an abrupt U-turn at Irvine Cove, detectives stopped him. Inside the car, officers saw a bag of used diapers in the passenger seat, Kravetz said.

The man was not arrested, and Laguna Beach police will work with Newport Beach to combine their cases before presenting them to the District Attorney’s Office.

Wedding reception gets out of control

BY MAGDA LISZEWSKA / FOR THE REGISTER

LAGUNA HILLS Police received a call at 12:39 a.m. on Sunday from Alicia Parkway and Paseo De Valencia and the caller at Laguna Hills Community Center reported 10 people getting into a fight at a wedding reception.

Drunk in car. 4:28 p.m. Monday. 25200 block of Cabot Road.

Court order violation. 3:15 p.m. Monday. 24700 block of San Pedro Avenue.

Id theft. 2:31 p.m. Monday. 25900 block of Anacapa Street.

Missing juvenile. 2:26 a.m. Monday. 25300 block of Stageline Drive. The caller reported his son missing.

Missing juvenile. 12:45 a.m. Monday. 25600 block of Nottingham Court. The caller reported his son missing.

Suspicious person in a vehicle. 11:16 p.m. Sunday. 24600 block of Paige Circle. The caller reported men who got out of a car and are in a truck with lights going on and off. The caller thinks there’s some sort of drug activity going on.

Suspicious person/circumstances. 9:18 p.m. Sunday. Oso Parkway and Bridlewood Drive. The caller reported people loitering on the horse trail.

Suspicious person/circumstances. 8:04 p.m. Sunday. 25800 block of Via Lomas. The caller reported a man urinating on his neighbor’s property.

Disturbance. 5:44 p.m. Sunday. 24900 block of Alicia Parkway. The caller said a woman has been in the store for a long time and is lying down and screaming.

Welfare check. 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Moulton Parkway and Santa Maria Avenue. The caller reported a boy in a car with windows up.

Disturbance. 4:14 p.m. Sunday. 24900 block of Southport Street. The caller reported two women fighting and said one of them is pregnant.

Petty theft. 2:28 p.m. Sunday. 24200 block of Avenida De La Carlota. The caller reported a cell phone taken from a shopping cart.

Stolen vehicle. 10:37 a.m. Sunday. 24400 block of Creekview Drive. The caller reported a Honda Accord stolen.

Disturbance. 11:10 p.m. Saturday. Alicia Parkway and Paseo De Valencia. The caller reported a man in the store harassing employees.

Suspicious person/circumstances. 10:03 p.m. Saturday. 27700 block of Pinestrap Circle. The caller reported a Dodge Challenger driving by him three times. He said he thinks it may be his ex-wife’s boyfriend.

Petty theft report. 7:26 p.m. Saturday. 24000 block of El Toro Road. The caller reported a theft of tequila.

Suspicious person/circumstances. 12:33 p.m. Saturday. Alicia Parkway and Moulton Parkway. The caller reported a woman stumbling around.

Stolen vehicle. 11:49 a.m. Saturday. 25800 block of Via Lomas. The caller reported a BMW stolen.

Disturbance. 10:57 a.m. Saturday. 24100 block of Laguna Hills Drive. The caller reported a man and a woman arguing about a baby who is nearby in a carrier.

Citizen assist. 8:52 a.m. Saturday. 25200 block of Gallup Circle. The caller said someone ran into her mailbox with a car.

Disturbance. 2:40 a.m. Saturday. 26700 block of Quail Creek. The caller reported schizophrenic neighbor screaming and banging on her sliding door.

Disturbance. 2:14 a.m. Saturday. 25200 block of Stockport Street. The caller reported an argument and someone saying “don’t touch her.”

Suspicious person/circumstances. 10:24 p.m. Friday. Oso Parkway and Moulton Parkway. The caller said a man posing as a police officer has three or four kids detained.

Citizen assist. 10:23 p.m. Friday. 26100 block of Laguna Court. The caller said her daughter is trying to get her clothes to live with her boyfriend.

Patrol check. 9:06 p.m. Friday. 24100 block of Laguna Hills Drive. The caller said four or five kids stole clothes from Macy’s.

Citizen assist. 7:33 p.m. Friday. 23100 block of Avenida De La Carlota. The caller said she thinks she was pepper sprayed.

Suspicious person/circumstances. 6:35 p.m. Friday. Alicia Pkwy and Hon Avenue. The caller reported two people in a car looking through coin books. The caller thinks they stole the coin books because they both have prison tats.

Citizen assist. 8:55 a.m. Friday. 25300 block of Linda Vista Drive. The caller said a mechanic has the keys to his car and won’t return them.

Prowler. 12:41 a.m. Friday. 27000 block of Hidden Trail Road. The caller said her daughter heard a man speaking Spanish in their backyard.

The blotter is compiled from the Orange County’s Sheriff’s Department website. The outcome of calls often differs from what was initially reported. No assumption of criminal guilt or association should be drawn from the information provided. For more crime news, go to ocregister.com/crime.


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