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Community Policing,Community Watch,Law Enforcement, internet crime taskforce,crime news,Parole Issues,Crime Prevention,COPS Grants,Public Records,Police Staffing,Officer Safety,Traffic Enforcement,Megan's Law,Cyber Crime,Identity Theft,Discussion Forums,Caught On Tape,Behind the Badge,National Night Out,Second Amendment,Crime WebCams,Cyber Stalkers,Graffiti Abatement,Dumb Criminals,Success Stories,Restitution,Online Academy
08/21/2015 06:48:32 AM - Fresh Arrest

Update to 594 Series

Citizens Community Watch
Graffiti Watch Banner
 
 
Anatomy of 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: 

  • Offense Narratives from court records
  • Photos of the Series for which defendants were tried
  • Suspect Information from public records
  • Letters and Appointment of Community Representative
  • Transcript of the Sentencing Hearing
  • Communications on the failure of government to recover restitution
  • Progress Reports on collection efforts and changes in the works
We dedicate this effort, with gratitude and appreciation, to District Attorney Jan Scully and Deputy District Attorney Joe Williams.
 
The Suspects
 
 Robin Michael Howard 
DOB:  07/26/75 
HT.:  6' 3"  WT.:  190lbs 
Anthony Daniel Martinez
DOB:  02/26/77 
HT.:  5' 11" WT.:  220 lbs
Javier Rudolfo Aros 
DOB:  11/12/75 
HT.:  6' 3' WT.:  135 lbs 
 
Their Crimes
 
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: 

On 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 bar.   
 

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.  
 
Subsequent to finding this same type of graffiti, Officer Giacobazzi drove in the same direction that the suspects were last seen driving. Down the block, they found the same graffiti on the wall of the Thrifty's store at 5712 Folsom Blvd., County of Sacramento, California.  
 

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.  

 
On 5/12/97, at about 3:28 A.M., Sacramento Police Officers found Anthony Martinez hiding in an alley between T and U Streets and 28th and 29th Streets. Martinez was then taken to 29th and T Street. There,  Witness #3 identified Martinez as the person he observed painting the graffiti on the building at 1800 27th Street.  
 

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) P.C.  
2. 3 years felony probation granted on 10/10/96, case #96F07521 for violation of 12021(c)(1) P.C.  
3. 3 years misdemeanor probation granted on 3/7/96, case #96M02583 for violation of 245(a)(1) P.C. 

Joseph S. Williams, Jr 
Deputy District Attorney 
Felony Team Three

 
Divider Tape
 
  View Part 2 - The Community's Role 

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