These are the cops briefs with the most reads on our website NapaValleyRegister.com in 2017. For most recent cop items, visit napavalleyregister.com/news/local/crime-and-courts.
Naked man trapped in Napa fast-food restaurant
The Napa Fire Department received an improbable call Tuesday morning. A man, who would turn out to be naked, was trapped inside a wall of a south Napa eatery.
The first anyone knew of his predicament was when maintenance workers outside the Togo's/Baskin-Robbins building heard someone shouting, "Help me, help me" at 8:15 a.m.
When a fire department rescue unit arrived, they learned that the man had fallen from the roof, down a shaft and was stuck in an empty space measuring not much more than a foot square, said Fire Department Battalion Chief Charlie Rhodes.
Firefighters smashed through an exterior wall to find Robert Turbidy, 48, curled up in a fetal position, naked, officials said.
"He was very relieved. He said he had been there for about eight hours," Rhodes said.
"This was a very unique situation," Rhodes added.
Rhodes said he didn't know the story of how a man came to be inside a closed restaurant, unable to extract himself. "I'm sure the Napa Police will be following up with this gentleman," he said.
Indeed, police did follow up.
Several hours later, police issued a news release, with photos, giving their version of the incident.
"Sometime early this morning while businesses were closed, 48-year-old Robert Turbidy found himself on the roof of the south Napa Togo's/Baskin-Robbins," the release began.
"He lowered himself into a crawl space using a makeshift rope that broke. Robert was stuck at the bottom of the crawl space and without access to the businesses," police said.
Rhodes said the man in the wall may have begun his descent wearing clothes. Some articles were found in the shaft. But when firefighters freed him, he wasn't wearing a stitch.
Turbidy was taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries, police said.
And after that? He will be booked into the Napa County jail for burglary and violating the terms of his probation, police said.
Police: Fight between dentists in Napa results in arrest
A dentist was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly getting into a fight with and threatening a fellow dentist during their lunch break on Friday, according to Napa Police.
Officers arrived at the dental office on the 900 block of Trancas Street at about 12:45 p.m. to find the two dentists arguing outside in a nearby parking lot, Sgt. Nick Dalessi said. After separating the two men, officers discovered that the argument started in the office break room over money. As the argument escalated, one of the dentists, identified as 56-year-old Mark Tsuei, allegedly grabbed a kitchen knife with a 5-inch blade and went toward the other, causing him to fear for his life, Dalessi said.
A kitchen knife matching the victim’s description was found on a table in the break room, Dalessi said. Tsuei, who denied the allegations, was arrested and booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He is being held on $50,000 bail.
Police: Three teens survive car crash into Napa River
A car going at a high rate of speed with a 15-year-old girl at the wheel ran through a dead-end barrier and into the Napa River early Sunday morning, but three teenagers inside the vehicle escaped with only minor injuries, police reported.
Sometime between midnight and 1 a.m., the teens -- two 15-year-old females and a 14-year-old boy -- were in a 2012 Toyota Camry belonging to one of the girls' parents when it sped through a rock roadblock at the stub end of River Park Boulevard, according to Sgt. Nick Dalessi. The sedan landed in the river 40 feet from the bank, in about 15 to 20 feet of water, he said.
Police said the driver did not see the dead end.
The force of the crash shattered windows on the driver's side, and all three occupants escaped the sinking wreck and swam back toward River Park Boulevard, Dalessi said.
Police were not notified of the crash until about 7:30 a.m., after which officers were joined by boat teams from Napa Fire and the Napa County Sheriff's Office, as well as a sheriff's dive team and state Fish and Game personnel, according to Dalessi. The wreckage was found on the river bottom in the afternoon with all airbags deployed, he said.
The teenagers sustained minor scrapes but none was hospitalized.
Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the crash, according to Dalessi. No arrests or citations had been made as of Sunday night, and the case remained under investigation.
Napa Police: Target shopper arrested with loaded cart
A female shopper is suspected of entering the south Napa Target on Tuesday afternoon and loading a shopping cart with suitcases and purses filled with merchandise.
When the shopper wheeled the cart out the door without paying, she was stopped by a loss prevention officer and police were called, police reported.
The suspect, Charlotte Diane Linn, 32, of Napa admitted entering the store with the intent to steal, police said.
The value of the merchandise exceeded $950, police said.
Linn was booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of grand theft and false impersonation. At time of booking, she gave jail staff her sister's name, police said.
Police said Linn is on two counts of probation out of Napa and had a warrant out for her arrest.
Teddy bear triggers vehicle accident on Highway 29 in Napa
A car ended up in a pond of rainwater Monday morning when the driver swerved to avoid an animal that turned out to be a teddy bear, Napa Police reported.
The incident happened a little after 9 a.m. on Highway 29, just south of the turnoff to Highway 12, said Sgt. Nick Dalessi.
The driver, who was going southbound, swerved to avoid what turned out to be a teddy bear and his brakes locked up, Dalessi said. The car left the roadway and became half submerged in a seasonal pond.
The motorist was not injured, Dalessi said.
Police: Suspected Napa burglar detained by resident with a shotgun
A suspected burglar was arrested after his alleged victim caught him in the act and held him there with a shotgun on Wednesday night, according to Napa Police.
Officers arrived at the scene of an in-progress burglary at a home on the 2100 block of Penny Lane to find that the suspect was already being detained by the resident.
The resident pulled out their 12-gauge shotgun when the suspect, identified as Daniel Raymond Hendricks, 26, of Napa, entered the home, police said.
Hendricks, who was wearing a bandana and had a folding knife, told the resident that he was being chased, police said. When police arrived, Hendricks admitted that he was paranoid and high on methamphetamine, police said.
Hendricks was arrested and booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of burglary.
Woman finds and follows her stolen car through Napa
Less than a week after her car was stolen, a Napa woman found herself following her 2010 Kia around town until officers could stop the suspected thief, according to Napa Police.
The woman left her vehicle running trying to warm it up outside her home on Louisa Street while she finished getting ready for work on the morning of New Year’s Eve, Sgt. Nick Dalessi said.
“She walked back out to her vehicle a few minutes later and it was gone,” he said.
When she spotted her Kia near Homewood Avenue on Thursday night, she began to follow it and called the police. Although the woman temporarily lost sight of the vehicle, officers located it and made a traffic stop at Kilburn Avenue and Freeway Drive.
John Thomas Carr, 42, of Napa was in the driver’s seat and found to be in possession of numerous items that appeared to be stolen as well as a concealed dagger, Dalessi said.
Carr was arrested and booked at Napa County jail on suspicion of being in possession of stolen property, being in possession of a concealed dagger, and for a probation violation.
Police: Man punches restaurant owner in downtown Napa
A small fight broke out in front of Small World Restaurant on Coombs Street on Monday after a transient man took some food off a table, according to Napa Police.
Police said that Stephen Randall Williams, 30, of Santa Clara took the food from the outdoor table while restaurant patrons were in the restroom. When the restaurant owner confronted him, police said that Williams punched him in the face and tried to flee. Several restaurant employees tackled Williams in front of the Adult Probation Office just down the street, police said. Williams was detained with help from probation officers.
Williams, who sustained some facial injuries during the scuffle, was cleared at Queen of the Valley Medical Center before being booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of robbery.
Woman escapes police after streaking through traffic in Napa
A 33-year-old woman was arrested after taking her clothes off and running into traffic on Trancas Street in Napa on Wednesday night, according to Napa Police.
When officers tried to contact the woman, identified as Cindy Marie Lona, 33, she attempted to run out into traffic again, police said. Officers restrained Lona, put her into the back of a patrol car, and drove her to the Queen of the Valley Medical Center emergency room to be cleared, but she escaped.
Lona slipped her handcuffs, reached through the bars, opened the back of the patrol unit and attempted to flee through the hospital parking lot, police said. After being detained once again by officers, Lona allegedly became more aggressive and swung at officers. She was taken to the ground and taken back into custody.
Lona was booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of resisting an officer and for being under the influence of a controlled substance.
NSIB: Sex trafficking in Napa, suspected pimp arrested
A 22-year-old Napa man was arrested on suspicion of pimping and pandering following a seven-month investigation into an alleged prostitution ring operating in the county, according to the Napa Special Investigations Bureau.
NSIB began its investigation in January after receiving information that a man was pimping out females for prostitution acts in Napa County. An undercover detective called the suspect, later identified as Miguel Mencias Tenorio of Napa, on June 29 and scheduled a meeting with a prostitute, officials said. Tenorio agreed to deliver the woman to the Napa address for a fee, officials said.
When Tenorio and the woman approached the location at about 10 that night, they were detained by detectives. The 28-year-old Las Vegas woman was determined to be a victim of sex trafficking and was offered resources, officials said.
Officials said that Tenorio admitted to his role in the sex trafficking and was arrested on suspicion of pimping and pandering. He was booked at the Napa County jail.
Detectives recovered additional evidence linking Tenorio to sex trafficking during a search of his home on the 1600 block of Verna Drive, officials said.
Napa Police: Teenagers robbed of pants and phone, 2 suspects arrested
Napa Police said they arrested two juveniles Wednesday night who robbed two other teenagers of a pair of pants and a cellphone.
The suspects, ages 16 and 17, had arranged to meet the two victims at a residence on the 1200 block Shetler Avenue at 6:30 p.m. to buy a pair of red jeans, police said.
The seller handed the jeans over for inspection, but was challenged to a fight if he wanted the jeans back, police said. He was also threatened with a knife, police said.
When the owner of the red pants ran off, the robbers demanded that the other teen empty his pockets or else he would be stabbed, police said. They took from him his cellphone.
The two suspects fled north toward Shurtleff Avenue. After a perimeter was set, a K-9 tracked the subjects and found them hiding on Quarry Drive. The jeans and phone were recovered.
The suspects, who were not named because of their ages, were arrested and booked at Juvenile Hall for investigation of robbery.
American Canyon Police arrest 6 following Safeway pastry heist
American Canyon Police were tipped off at 9:45 p.m. Thursday of a shoplift in progress at the Safeway on American Canyon Road.
A witness reported seeing a car with six young people stop at the Safeway, then three of the occupants run into the store and run out.
Police said they had stolen pastries.
Police stopped the car a short distance away on Danrose Drive. Officers ran the paper plates of the Nissan Altima and discovered it had been stolen in Fairfield, police said.
One adult, Mario Armbrister, 18, of Fairfield, was arrested for investigation of auto theft and booked into Napa County jail.
Two 15-year-old females were arrested for possession of stolen property and lying about their names. They were booked into Juvenile Hall.
Three males, 14, 16 and 17 years old, were arrested for possession of stolen property and booked into Juvenile Hall.
The juveniles were from Vallejo and Fairfield, police said.
Police: Women used stolen credit card to stay at Napa Valley hotel
Two Antioch women were arrested Saturday afternoon on suspicion of identity theft after using a Texas resident's credit card number to rack up charges at a high-end Napa Valley hotel, according to Napa Police.
Elisha Morshawna Deal, 31, and Alicia Takiah Denise Perry, 27, had booked a room at Senza Hotel in Napa online by using the victim’s credit card number, police said. After checking in, the women used the same card number to purchase massages and other services at the hotel, police said.
When the victim noticed the fraudulent charges, they contacted the hotel. The hotel contacted police and informed them that the women were in the middle of getting massages.
Police said that when they contacted the women, Perry, who was in possession of multiple cards, gave officers a false name. Deal refused to cooperate with officers, police said.
Deal and Perry were arrested and booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of identity theft and conspiracy. Each is being held on $10,000 bail.
Napa Police: Man arrested for ‘mayhem’ after battering a city employee
Maxwell Freeman Prosise was arrested by police Friday morning after allegedly rushing at a City of Napa employee, throwing a blanket over him and pushing him, causing him to fall to the ground and bust his face on a step in Fuller Park, Napa Police said.
The employee told police that he was working inside the park maintenance building when Prosise, 31, came inside, turned off the lights and fled. Assuming that he had stolen something, the employee, along with another city worker, ran after Prosise.
Prosise rushed the city employee as he was attempting call 911, Sgt. Nick Dalessi said. Officers were dispatched to the scene at about 6:30 a.m. The two employees detained Prosise until police arrived.
Dalessi said that the injured employee was bleeding profusely and was transported to Queen of the Valley Medical Center.
Prosise, who is on probation in Napa County, was arrested and booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of battery with serious bodily injury, trespassing, mayhem and two probation violations.
The employee, who received some stitches to his lip, was released from the hospital a few hours later and is expected to be back at work on Monday, said John Coates, director of Napa Parks and Recreation.
"It's unusual for anyone to venture into that area," Coates said of the maintenance shop where equipment and supplies are stored. Coates said that one employee confronted Prosise and asked him if he had taken anything while the other called the police. The one calling the police was then, "unfortunately," attacked, Coates said.
Coates said that the department will continue to have awareness training meant to teach employees how to respond to incidents like this so that they can minimize their potential to be in harm's way.
NSIB: K9 locates concealed meth during dealer arrest in Napa
A suspected meth dealer was arrested and one pound of meth was seized during an undercover operation at a shopping center in north Napa on Wednesday, according to the Napa Special Investigations Bureau.
Luis Antonio Arias-Ramos, 25, of Fairfield had been transporting the drug from Fairfield and selling it in Napa, police said. During the investigation, which began in May, an undercover officer arranged to meet Arias-Ramos and was able to buy meth from him twice, police said.
During the arrest, Napa County Sheriff K-9 Officer Nash located a hidden compartment in the dash of Arias-Ramos’ vehicle where more meth was found, police said.
In addition to the pound of meth, detectives seized $13,000 in cash believed to be drug proceeds.
Arias-Ramos was arrested and booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of three counts of sales of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine for sale, and use of a hidden compartment.
Sheriff: Vehicle chase through American Canyon leads to arrest
A man wanted on two warrants was arrested on Sunday night after allegedly leading deputies in a pursuit from the area of North Kelly Drive into Vallejo, according to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.
The chase began at about 10:33 p.m. when a deputy observed a vehicle with an expired registration in an industrial complex by North Kelly Road, Capt. Keith Behlmer said.
The deputy attempted a traffic stop, but the motorist fled the scene, running a stop sign and a red light, Behlmer said. The motorist headed southbound on Highway 29 through American Canyon, drove over a spike strip that had been deployed and continued to drive on one rim into Vallejo, Behlmer said.
The man then attempted to flee on foot but was stopped by deputies assisted by K9 Krieger.
Behlmer said that the man, identified as Ryan James Campbell, 42, of Redwood Valley, had brandished a Taser and physically resisted the deputies.
Campbell was found with meth and hypodermic needles on him and with burglary tools in his vehicle, Behlmer said.
Campbell was cleared at Queen of the Valley Medical Center before being booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of felony reckless evading and resisting an officer in addition to misdemeanor drug charges and the two felony warrants.
Former Napa school employee jailed for string of 7-Eleven robberies
A 26-year-old Napa man was sentenced to 5 years and 4 months in state prison for his connection to a string of armed robberies across the county last fall.
Judge Elia Ortiz sentenced Andrew Vincent Starmer in Napa County Superior Court last week after he pleaded no contest to four counts of felony robbery and four special allegations.
Between 12:43 a.m. and 3:34 a.m. Oct. 6, 2016, Starmer robbed four 7-Eleven stores, each time displaying what looked like a handgun, according to court documents.
The first store hit was at 218 American Canyon Road. The store clerk said that he gave all the cash in the register to Starmer – about $150 – after he came into the store demanding money, pointing a gun at him and threatening to kill him, according to a probation report.
A witness saw Starmer speeding off in a Cadillac after fleeing the store on foot, the report said.
Starmer then went on to repeat a similar scene at three more 7-Eleven stores in Napa: 985 Lincoln Ave., 1670 Silverado Trail and 1136 Imola Ave.
The estimated loss from all four stores totaled $2,675.
Starmer was arrested later that day at his home on Juanita Court after returning from his job at Redwood Middle School. Starmer worked with children with disabilities in addition to coaching basketball teams at the school, according to court documents. He also worked at the City of Napa Parks and Recreation Department.
Police said that Starmer admitted to robbing the convenience stores using a paintball gun. He needed the money, he said, because he was having difficulty saving money to make rent and his son’s preschool payments, according to court documents.
Starmer told police that he put the money in a bag and stashed it in some bushes near Napa State Hospital. He said he threw the sweatshirt and beanie he was wearing into a dumpster and the paintball gun into the Napa River. None of those items were ever located, according to court documents.
Instead, officers found a loaded .45 semi-automatic pistol in the Cadillac Starmer had been driving. They also located a .45 cartridge and a paintball gun inside his residence.
The Vintage High School graduate had no prior record, but, according to a probation report, started using drugs and alcohol at a very young age. The report indicates that he began using alcohol at age 9, marijuana at age 10 and cocaine at age 21.
In addition to jail time and fines, Starmer was ordered to participate in a counseling or education program with a substance abuse component while he is incarcerated.
Resident takes down vandalism suspect in Napa
A 19-year-old man from Walnut Creek was arrested on suspicion of vandalism after allegedly tagging a truck and being caught by the vehicle’s registered owner, according to Napa Police.
When the vehicle’s owner found the suspect, Ryan James Blake, tagging his truck on Klamath Way Tuesday morning, he confronted him, placed him in a headlock and held him on the ground until police arrived, said Lt. Chase Haag.
Blake, who police said was visiting a friend on Klamath Way, was arrested and booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of vandalism. Blake did not have any injuries. Police said that the damage caused to the truck is estimated to be more than $1,000.
Anyone with similar reports of vandalism is asked to contact Officer J. Thomson at the Napa Police Department at 707-257-9223.
Suspected burglar leaves keys inside of burgled home in St. Helena
After jewelry, credit cards and other personal items were reported stolen from a home in St. Helena, officers responding to the scene found one item that didn’t belong to residents – car keys belonging to a vehicle parked down the street.
Police said that the burglary happened sometime between 10 p.m. Saturday and 4 a.m. Sunday.
The vehicle associated with the keys was impounded and the owner has been identified. The investigation is ongoing. No arrests have been made.
NSIB: Pimp arrested in Napa
NSIB: Pimp arrested in Napa
A 35-year-old Suisun City man was arrested on suspicion of pimping and pandering after he allegedly set up a meeting between a prostitute and an undercover detective, according to the Napa Special Investigations Bureau.
NSIB detectives began communicating last month with someone on the web who was advertising activities related to sex trafficking online in Napa County. Through the ad holder, detectives set up a meeting with a suspected prostitute for Oct. 31.
The suspected prostitute was detained and released while her pimp, Harold Domingue II, was arrested on the 200 block of Coombs Street on suspicion of pimping and pandering. Domingue was booked at the Napa County jail and released after posting $10,000 bail.
Additional evidence of sex trafficking was found among Domingue’s belongings, officials said.
Homeowners thwart 2 burglaries in American Canyon
Two unrelated residential burglary attempts were thwarted by homeowners in American Canyon Wednesday morning, according to American Canyon Police.
The first incident occurred when a homeowner noticed what looked like a getaway driver outside his home on Montevino Drive about 10:45 a.m., police said. Next, he saw three males jump over his fence. The males had been trying to pry open a window, police said.
The driver of the alleged getaway car was located, identified as a 17-year-old juvenile from Vallejo, and arrested. The juvenile was booked at Napa County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of conspiracy and attempted residential burglary.
Law enforcement agencies from around the area saturated the neighborhood looking for the three male suspects who fled, but instead were called to a home on Ventana Drive where another homeowner was holding an attempted burglary suspect at gunpoint.
The suspect, Darnell Jimenez, 28, identified as a transient out of American Canyon, was trying to force his way in through the front door when he was apprehended at gunpoint by the homeowner, police said. The homeowner held Jimenez there until police arrived.
Jimenez was arrested and booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of attempted residential burglary.
Police: Woman breaks into Napa house, uses bathroom
A woman was arrested Wednesday afternoon after a reported home break-in, according to Napa Police.
Around 4:50 p.m., an intruder entered a house on Seminary Street and used the bathtub and toilet there, according to Cpl. Alfonso Ortiz. Upon being called by the returning homeowner, Napa Police sent officers who arrived and detained Wendy Trainor, 41, Ortiz said.
Trainor, who has no listed address, was booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of burglary. His bail was set at $100,000.
St. Helena officers follows strange sound, stumbles on an attempted burglary
When St. Helena Police Officer Fil Bianco heard a strange knocking sound while on patrol Tuesday morning, he decided to follow it, stumbling upon an attempted burglary in progress, according to St. Helena Police.
The unusual knocking sound seemed to be coming from somewhere west of Bianco, who was near the intersection of Hunt and Main streets in downtown St. Helena. The noise led him to Money Way, where he found Domingo Parra, 30, of St. Helena trying to break into St. Helena Antiques, police said.
Para was allegedly hammering a chisel blade between a brick wall and a sheet of plywood at the back of the store.
After being processed at the St. Helena jail, Para was booked into the Napa County jail on suspicion of attempted burglary, vandalism and being in possession of burglary tools.
Sheriff K-9 Nash helps police apprehend man in Napa
A 27-year-old Vallejo man was arrested in Napa on Saturday morning after allegedly running and hiding from officers, according to Napa Police.
Police said that Daniel Michael Matteson, who is on felony probation, appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance in the area of Soscol and Lincoln Avenues. When officers approached him about a possible probation violation, Matteson sprinted into heavy traffic, dropped a backpack and hid, police said.
A perimeter was set up in the area and K-9 Nash of the Napa County Sheriff’s Office was brought in to help locate Matteson. When Matteson emerged from his hiding spot in the brush and began to run from officers again, Nash took him to the ground, police said.
After being cleared at Queen of the Valley Medical Center for injuries related to a dog bite to the butt, Matteson was arrested and booked at the Napa County jail on suspicion of resisting an officer with force and being under the influence of a controlled substance as well as four probation violations.