|Crimewatch & Community Partnerships|
|08/21/2015 06:48:32 AM - Fresh Arrest||
Update to 594 Series
a Crimewatch Vandalism Case:
If there were ever a need for a "Model Case" a community could use to carve out new strategies in dealing with young adults whose peers see tagging as a victimless crime, this is one you'll find of interest.
For months, our community was told by city law enforcement senior captains and deputy chiefs "This isn't Alameda County". This statement came about when we pointed to a multiple defendant, criminal conspiracy case prosecuted on behalf of Cal Trans by aggressive agencies and their District Attorney. We became acquainted with CHP officer Randy Campbell a respected graffiti expert We had contacted them for help, information and passed on what we learned to our agency leaders. Initially we were rebuked. The community didn't give up.
In this case, Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams who prosecuted it, our City Councilman Steve Cohn, Neighborhood Associations and victims, pulled together as one team. Along the way, we learned and adjusted. It was a work in progress as you will see.
These pages include:
|The first and
second quarters of 1997 were busy times for Sacramento Citizen's
Community Watch and the Graffiti Apprehension Taskforce. Bike patrols
netted the identification and first arrest of members of the XS Crew in
February. Hog, aka Leon Willis was caught in the act on April 1st.
Several near misses prompted an increase in surveillance activities.
Yellow Cab company joined in the effort to expand eyes on the street and
provide rapid response to areas outside the Bike Patrol's boundaries.
In the early hours of May 12, 1997, Bike 1 monitored a graffiti call in progress from SPD's ComCenter. Our interest was peeked by a report that victims had been subjected to an assault with a deadly weapon. This was the first time an act of violence had been associated with tagging. CCW contacted SPD's Sector Supervisor who advised, to the best of his knowledge, the incident was a bar fight and no vandalism was involved. A few minutes later, arriving officers confirmed that a graffiti incident had indeed precipitated the violent encounter. CCW provided Yellow Cab with descriptions of the suspects and the vehicle involved. Dispatch sent a cab to our Center and we responded to the incident location to take photos. While inroute, a second incident was reported, indicating this might be a series in progress. The following report, drafted by DA Joe Williams in seeking a felony warrant for the three suspects, clearly demonstrates the reason this case became a priority for the Graffiti Taskforce:
or about 5/12/97, at about 1 A.M., Witness #1 was at the bar "Club 2-Me"
at 4738 J Street in the City and County of Sacramento, California. As
she walked out of the bar, Witness #1 smelled paint. She looked towards
the odor and saw graffiti scrawled across the bar's exterior wall. The
paint used to scribble the graffiti was black in color. Standing about
two feet from this graffiti was Javier Aros. Nobody else was near the
fresh graffiti. Witness #1 saw Aros lift his shirt and conceal a spray
paint can into his right front pant pocket. Aros then walked into the
Witness #1 entered the tavern and notified the bar-keeper of what happened. The bartender called the police. In the meantime, Aros met with two other males in the bar (later identified as Anthony Martinez and Robin Howard). Aros, Martinez and Howard then left the bar. Several people told the trio to stop and wait for the police to arrive. However, Aros, Martinez and Howard left the bar and walked over to a red Nissan Pathfinder. The three subjects entered the Pathfinder. Howard was the driver while Aros and Martinez sat as passengers.
Several people stood near the Pathfinder. Howard accelerated the truck in reverse and nearly stuck several pedestrians. The Pathfinder pulled onto J Street and stopped. Howard then sped the truck back into the parking lot and veered towards several people who were standing in the lot. Victim #1, one of the people in the parking area, had to push off of the front of the truck to avoid being run over by the truck as it sped at him. After passing the pedestrians, the Pathfinder accelerated away. (Howard is pending trial in Superior Court for this crime, case number 97F03876.)
On 5/12/97, at about 2:30 A.M., Witness #2 saw a burgundy Nissan Pathfinder drive into the parking lot of the Thrifty's store at 5712 Ohio Lane, North Highlands, Sacramento County, California. The truck drove into the lot without any of its lights on. The truck stopped near the front doors, next to where plants are displayed. The driver and right front passenger exited the vehicle. The driver was described as a male white, 20s, 5'l 1", 150-160 lbs, with blond hair. The right front passenger was described as a male white, 20s, 5'l 1", 150-160 lbs, with brown hair.
The driver then took several plants from display, and placed them in the Pathfinder. The subjects then re-entered the truck and drove away. None of the subjects had permission to take the plants without paying for them.
Also about this time, Sacramento Police Officers Giacobazzi and Chesterman received a call of males stopped in the street 'tagging' the side of the bridge at 58th and J Streets. The vehicle being used by the taggers was a red Pathfinder type truck. When they arrived, they found what appeared to be fresh graffiti scrawled on the sides of the bridge. However, the truck and the suspects were gone.
Giacobazzi had been at
'Club-2-Me" earlier in the evening and saw the graffiti that was painted
on the wall of the club. Giacobazzi noticed that the graffiti was the
same type of writing on the bridge as was on the wall of the club.
On 5/12/97, at about 3:20 A.M., Witness #3 and his wife were driving southbound on 27th Street at R Street in the City and County of Sacramento, California, when they saw a subject "tagging" with spray paint on the exterior wall of a building of 1800 27th Street. This subject was later identified by Witness #3 as Anthony Martinez. Standing next to Martinez was a "tall skinny guy." A "red and silver Blazer" was parked nearby.
When Witness #3 stopped near the subjects, Martinez walked away while the other subject entered the red truck on the passenger side. Witness #3 saw the red truck back up to where he and his wife were stopped. The two subjects in the red truck began to yell at Witness #3 and his wife. The driver stepped out of the truck while holding a piece of chain. The driver then began swinging the chain. Witness #3's wife then called the police on her cell phone. While she was doing this, the driver re-entered his truck and drove off.
On 5/12/97, at about 3:28 A. M., Witness #3 waived down Sacramento Police Officer Laflamme at 26th and T Street. Witness #3 told Laflamme the suspect truck was northbound 27th Street from T Street. Laflamme drove after the truck and stopped it. This truck was actually a Nissan Pathfinder truck. After stopping the truck, Laflamme found Howard was the driver and Aros was the passenger. In the back-seat area of the truck were several plants from Thrifty's.
After Howard was told why they were being stopped, Howard blurted out that "my two homeboys been doing that. I didn't do any of that. They got into an altercation over at the 2-me. I don't know what's going on." Officers also noted that both Aros and Martinez had what appeared to be black paint on their hands. Finally, officers saw that the graffiti painted on the wall of I 800 27th Street was the same as was located at the other aforementioned locations.
On 5/12/97, at about 4:16 A.M., Witness #1 identified Howard as the driver of the Pathfinder when the truck was used to assault the pedestrians at the "Club-2-Me" earlier. Witness #1 identified Aros as the person she saw painting the graffiti on the wall of "Club-2-Me."
Anthony Martinez is presently on probation in Sacramento County on the following matters:
1. 3 years misdemeanor
probation granted on 2/20/97, case #96Ml24l I for violation of 594(a)
Joseph S. Williams, Jr
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