25 June 1999

Two Riverside Officers Promoted

Riverside, Ca.—On Friday, June 25, 1999, Chief Jerry Carroll promoted two Riverside Police employees.

Special Agent Hector Heredia was promoted to the rank of Police Sergeant. He was hired as a Police Cadet in 1973, and became a sworn police officer in 1976. He was promoted to Special Agent in 1989. In the past, he has been assigned to the Homicide and Sexual Assault Units, and was recently the Police Technology Project Coordinator prior to his promotion.

Officer Rick Cobb was promoted to Police Special Agent. He was hired as a police officer in 1989. He has functioned as a Field Training Officer, Problem Oriented Policing Officer, and was part of the department's Metro or Special Weapons And Tactics Team. 


23 June 1999

Man Dies of Apparent Drug Overdose

Riverside, Ca.—At about 1:19 a.m. on Wednesday, June 23, 1999, Riverside Police received an emergency 911 call regarding a possible drug overdose victim at the Welcome Inn Motel on University Avenue. Two police officers arrived along with American Medical Response paramedics. The victim, identified as Tremaine Brown, age 21, was taken to Riverside Community Hospital, where he subsequently died. Cause of death is pending the Riverside Coroner's report. The death is being investigated by the Riverside Police Homicide Unit.

Earlier the previous evening, at about 10:46 p.m., Riverside Police Officers detained Mr. Brown near University and Dwight for suspected narcotics sales in an area known for such activity. He was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. He was on felony probation for sales of rock cocaine at the time of his arrest. He was released on his promise to appear on a citation.


Homicide/Attempt Car Jacking

Location:     E/B Highway 91, Van Buren off ramp and Indiana Avenue, Riverside
Date/Time:   06/22/99, 0327 hours
Synopsis:    The Riverside Police Department's Communications Center received a call regarding a gunshot victim in a vehicle on Indiana Avenue, east of Van Buren. Officers and medical aid responded to the scene. Investigators were also called to the scene and their preliminary investigation revealed that two victims were stopped in their vehicle on the off ramp when they were confronted by a H/M (identity unknown), brandishing a handgun, who attempted to take their vehicle. The victim driver attempted to flee by backing up at which point the suspect fired one round which struck the driver. The driver was able to drive a short distance E/B on Indiana, where the passenger then ran to a phone and called 911. The driver was transported to the Riverside Community Hospital, but did not survive the shooting. The passenger was not injured.

The investigation is continuing, there are no additional details available at this time.
Victim: Vincent Gadalla, 22 years old, a Riverside resident.

Patrick Watters, Sergeant
General Investigations Bureau (909) 320-8022


 21 June 1999

Protest March Ends With No Arrests

Riverside, CA.- On Monday, June 21, 1999, a group of about 150 protesters gathered around City Hall and listened to Maxine Waters speak. She stayed behind as the group then marched from city hall to the Riverside County Administration building without her. Protesters left the County Administrative building stopping in front of the Riverside Police Department's headquarters, and then the Riverside County Courthouse before disbanding. No one was arrested during the incident.

Attempt Murder

Date & Time:  19 June 1999, 2253 hours
Location:        4590 Sedgewick, Riverside
Arrestee:         Jackson, John Sr., 71 years old

The Riverside Police Department Communications Center received a call regarding a shooting which had just occurred. The caller stated the suspect had just shot his son. Officers were dispatched, secured the scene and detained the suspect without incident.

Detectives Shumway and Devinna (General Investigations, Persons Crime Unit) responded and conducted an investigation which essentially revealed that the suspect was involved in an argument with his 39 year old son. The suspect subsequently shot his son twice. The victim sustained gunshot wounds to his head and is presently listed in critical condition, awaiting surgery at the Riverside Community Hospital.


 17 June 1999

$5,000 Awarded to the Recipient of the Claire Connelly Scholarship Fund

Riverside, Ca.—Today at 4:30 p.m., Lisa DeLaRosa, daughter of Riverside Police Sergeant John DeLaRosa received $5,000 from the Claire Connelly Scholarship fund. The award was given at the Riverside Police Department's Orange Street conference room. Police Chief Jerry Carroll along with members of Claire Connelly's family presented the award.

The Claire Connelly Scholarship Fund was founded by her family to honor the memory of Riverside Police Officer Claire Connelly who was killed in the line of duty in July 1998 when she was struck by an intoxicated driver.

The fund distributes money toward undergraduate level educational costs associated with tuition and/ or living expenses to any past or present Riverside Police employee or family member.

Lisa DeLaRosa competed and won this award in five different areas. She had to articulate her educational and community goals in a written essay, provide copies of her SAT scores, provide documentation of her high school and college grade point averages, and be currently enrolled or accepted in undergraduate studies. She is 23 years old and is attending California State University of Fullerton.


 15 June 1999

Riverside Police Officers Honored

Riverside, Ca.—Two Riverside Police employees were honored today at the Riverside City Council meeting. Detective Kevin Stanton and Officer Kelly Bangert were given the "Public Safety Officer of the Month" award by Good Morning Riverside, and were honored today at the Riverside City Council meeting for outstanding professional service.

Last year, the city was victimized by a string of robberies that left little clues for solvability. Officer Bangert in veiwing a surveillance tape of one of the crimes, noticed that the ungloved suspect touched an object. A finger print search was conducted and a suspect identified, and brought in for questioning.

Detective Stanton, assigned to the department's robbery unit, then skillfully interveiwed the suspect who was a parolee at large. Detective Stanton obtained enough information to arrest a total of three suspects involved in the robberies.

A total of 13 unsolved robbery cases were solved because of Officer Bangert and Detective Stanton's commitment to excellence. 


Protest March at Riverside Police Station

Riverside, CA.- On Monday, June 14, 1999, the Riverside Police Department stood by and kept the peace as a group of about 100 to 150 protesters demonstrated at the Riverside Police Department's headquarters which is located at 4102 Orange Street in the city of Riverside. The police made no arrests.

Riverside Police Keep The Peace At Protest

Riverside, CA.- On Monday, June 7, 1999, the Riverside Police Department stood by and kept the peace as a small group of protesters demonstrated at the Riverside Police Department's headquarters which is located at 4102 Orange Street in the city of Riverside. There were approximately 50 demonstrators protesting the Tyisha Miller incident.

The police made no arrests. All of the participants in the protest disbanded peacefully, and did not violate any laws.


Homicide in Casa Blanca Neighborhood

Riverside, CA — June 7, 1999 — At approximately 10:50 p.m. Riverside Police Department's Communication Center received numerous telephone calls regarding a shooting that had occurred in the intersection of Fern Avenue and Cary Street. An unidentified male Hispanic approximately 35-40 years of age was found lying in the street with injuries that appeared to be gunshot wounds. Emergency medical personnel responded to the scene and the victim was transported to Riverside Community Hospital. The victim was pronounced deceased at approximately 11:33 p.m. by medical personnel at the hospital.

The identity of the victim has not been determined pending notification of the Coroner's Office. The official cause of death is pending autopsy results.

There is no suspect information or motive at this time. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to notify the Riverside Police Department, Detective Eveland at 320-8024 or Detective Shelton at 320-8049.


 26 May 1999

New Twist in Old Scam

Riverside, Ca.—A 78 year old man was the victim of an old scam with a new twist. At about 12 noon on Tuesday, May 25, in the United States Post Office parking lot located at 4150 Chicago Avenue, the victim was approached by a 60 year old African American male. The suspect told the victim that he needed to urgently go back to Africa today, but he had $40,000 on his person, and was afraid to take the money with him because he might be robbed. The suspect had a rolled up bandana which allegedly contained the $40,000. The suspect asked the victim to help him place the money in a safe environment until he could return from Africa.

A second suspect joined in the fraud by pretending to help the first suspect with the safe placement of his money. The victim was convinced to drive to the Bank of America located on University and Chicago where he rented a safe deposit box for the suspect's money, and withdrew $4,000 of his personal money as a "good faith gesture". The victim gave the suspects the $4,000 of "good faith money" and the suspects gave him the bandana with the alleged $40,000 to place into the safe deposit box.

While the victim was inside of the bank, the suspects left with his "good faith money" of $4,0000. The victim was left with nothing but paper inside of the bandana.


Police Arrest Five in Meth Lab Case

Riverside, Ca.—A Riverside Police Officer conducted an investigation which revealed that a parolee at large was in possession of a methamphetamine laboratory. Five people were arrested along with Mark Anthony Gonzales of Riverside who was a parolee at large.

On Wednesday, May 26, at about 12 midnight, Officers went to the residence of 7870 Casa Blanca, and contacted Gonzalez. His identity was verified, and he was arrested. Inside of the house, officers found miscellaneous methamphetamine production paraphernalia as well as the finished product of methamphetamine.

The Riverside Police Narcotics Unit responded to the scene and took control of the laboratory. 


25 May 1999

Riverside Police Co-Host Traffic Safety Event

Riverside, Ca.—The Riverside Police Department will co-host a vehicle child safety seat clinic which will include child safety seat inspections and limited child seat replacements. This multi-agency event will held on Friday, May 28, 1999 at the Wal-Mart Department Store at 2663 Canyon Springs Road in Riverside, and will commence at 2:00 p.m.

Other exciting activities include an air bag demonstration, vehicle rollover demonstration, and testimonials from families that have survived major collisions due to the use of child safety seats and seat belts. Buckle Bear, the national safety belt mascot, will also be there to greet the children. Many local politicians and dignitaries will also be present.

A press conference will be held at 2:00 p.m. to explain the new VIP car seat court diversion program. Starting June 1, 1999, the Superior Court of Riverside will begin offering Car Seat Diversion for violators of the child passenger safety law.


Riverside Police Arrest Protesters at Rally

Riverside, CA.—The Riverside Police Department arrested fifteen (15) protesters today on Monday, May 24, 1999. The protesters were arrested after they participated in a demonstration of civil disobedience by blocking and obstructing public access to the Riverside Police Department's headquarters which is located at 4102 Orange Street in the city of Riverside. The arrested were among approximately 60 to 80 demonstrators which attended the protest.

All fifteen (15) people were charged with section 602.1 (b) of the California Penal Code, and were released after being issued a citation. Ten (10) of the arrested were from the city of Riverside, Three (3) from the county of Riverside, and two (2) from Los Angeles County.

A list of the names of those arrested can be obtained by telephoning Officer Paul Villanueva at (909) 782-5542.


Riverside Police Arrest Protesters at Rally

Riverside, CA.—The Riverside Police Department arrested fourteen (14) protesters today on Monday, May 17. The protesters were arrested after they participated in a demonstration of civil disobedience by blocking and obstructing public access to the Riverside Police Department's headquarters which is located at 4102 Orange Street in the city of Riverside. The arrested were among approximately 200 demonstrators which attended the protest.

All fourteen people were charged with section 602.1 (b) of the California Penal Code, and were released after being issued a citation. Six (6) of the arrested were from the city of Riverside, three (3) from the county of Riverside, and five (5) from Los Angeles County.

A list of the names of those arrested can be obtained by telephoning Officer Paul Villanueva at (909) 782-5542.


Thirteen year old girl abducted and sexually assaulted

Riverside, Ca.—On Saturday, May 15, 1999 at about 10:30 PM, a thirteen (13) year old female was abducted from the area of Pierce Street and Collette Avenue. She was forced into a white late model full size Dodge van at gunpoint.

The victim was driven to a remote area within the County of Riverside where she was sexually assaulted by the two suspects. She was driven back to the area of the original abduction and dropped off by the suspects. There were no additional injuries to the victim.

The suspects are described as two male Hispanics nineteen (19) to thirty (30) years of age. Both suspects have a heavy build, and weigh approximately 180 to 220 pounds. The victim overheard one of the suspects call the other the nickname of "Chongo."

If anyone has any additional information, please call Detective Steve Johnson at (909) 320-8038. 


Promotions

Chief Carroll is please to announce Sergeant Ron Orrantia and Sergeant Alex Tortes have been promoted to the rank of Police Lieutenant effective April 30, 1999.

Ronald G. Orrantia
Ron began his law enforcement career with the Riverside Police Department on February 13, 1973, as a lateral transfer from the Colton Police Department. Ron has since worked a variety of assignments including motorcycle duty, as an Officer, Special Agent and as a Sergeant. Ron was promoted to Special Agent on February 27, 1991, and in addition to Traffic and Patrol duties, Ron has also served as a Special Agent in both Crimes Against Property and Crimes Against Persons. In addition, he participates as part of the Major Accident Investigation Team, and also as a negotiator for the Hostage Negotiation Team. Ron was promoted to Sergeant on February 26, 1993 and is promoted to Lieutenant effective April 30, 1999.

Alexandro D. Tortes
Alex began is law enforcement career with the Riverside Police Department on July 2, 1973, as a Police Officer. Ron has worked a variety of assignments including Patrol, Traffic and the Robbery/Burglary Task Force. Alex was promoted to Special Agent on August 29, 1980, and his assignments included the Juvenile Unit and the Crimes Against Persons Unit. On February 6, 1987, Alex was promoted to Sergeant and during his tenure he has supervised in Patrol, the Street Narcotics Unit, Vice, Criminal Intelligence/Gangs, Internal Affairs and the Community Oriented Policing Team. Alex is promoted to Lieutenant effective April 30, 1999.


 3 May 1999

Killer(s) of Baby and Mother:
Search by Police and FBI Intensifies

Riverside, CA — April 28, 1999 — Riverside Police are continuing to investigate the double Homicide of a mother and her young daughter. Mary Kopatz 35, and her young 3-year-old daughter Carley were brutally murdered on April 22, 1999. The bodies of the mother and her young daughter were located inside the family van, a distinctive teal blue Dodge Caravan, with a bright yellow "KFROG 95.1" Radio Station Sticker on the back bumper, in the 9300 block of Duncan Avenue at approximately 4:47 p.m. the same day. The preliminary investigation revealed that Mary was a devoted mother, friend and co-worker. The 35-year-old working mother of two young daughters has been described by family members, friends and co-workers as a fun, outgoing, witty and dependable young woman with a bright future. Mary had recently been promoted to a supervisory position at her place of employment.

Carley has been described as a cute, loving, lively little girl who was adored by everyone that met her. Carley was very creative, loved to draw and enjoyed playing with her eight-year-old sister. Close family friends and grandparents have expressed disbelief that someone could have murdered this defenseless little girl.

Investigators are very optimistic about the extensive forensic examinations that have been conducted and are scheduled to occur within the next week. Due to the brutal nature of the killings mother and young child, numerous agencies are involved in the murder investigation. Agencies assisting in the murder investigation include the California Department of Justice and the FBI. The FBI's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) located at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, commonly known as the "Profiling Unit" is conducting a behavioral analysis of the details of the murders. The NCAVC has examined numerous crimes with circumstances similar to those seen in the Kopatz murders. FBI Supervisory Special Agent Mary Ellen O'Toole & Mark Safarik, of the NCAVC, stated that, "often these types of crimes involve multiple offenders, however not all the offenders are equally involved in the commission of the crime."

Based on the information obtained in this investigation, the offender or offenders responsible for the brutal murders will face charges of First Degree Murder. California state law states that persons found guilty of First Degree Murder and those who conspire with them will face penalties of death or confinement in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole.

The NCAVC and Riverside Police Department investigators have a high level of confidence that forensic evidence located in the area where the Kopatz van was discovered and at several additional locations will provide the necessary information which will lead to the arrest of the offender or offenders who brutally killed young Carley and her mother, Mary. The offender or offenders in this case took quite a risk leaving the distinctive looking van in that particular location, and they cannot be sure they were not observed by someone in the neighborhood. Additional information and evidence were also located by the use of a law enforcement trained blood hound.

Extensive interviews are being conducted near the Kopatz residence and at the location where the vehicle was located on Duncan Avenue. The Riverside Police Department and the FBI will be conducting a number of strategically planned canvassings to locate additional witnesses or persons with information regarding the murders. In addition, SSA's Safarik and O'Toole have advised that with this type of close-up interaction between the offender(s) and the victims, key physical evidence is almost always recovered.

Anyone with information regarding the Kopatz murders is asked to notify the Riverside Police Department, Detective DeVinna or Shumway. 


 30 Apr 1999

KILLER OF MOTHER AND BABY SOUGHT BY POLICE AND FBI

Click here to view the information wanted flyer.
This is a graphic file and make take a few moments to load. Please be patient. 

 13 Apr 1999

Despondent Subject Critically Injures Girlfriend

Riverside, CA—The Riverside Fire Department responded to a subject down in the 4000 block of Ninth Street. They discovered a stabbing victim and requested assistance from the Riverside Police Department. Officers responded and ascertained the female stabbing victim that she had been assaulted by her boyfriend.

While interviewing her, the boyfriend, Jose Herrera, 22 years old of Riverside walked out of a residence in the 4000 block of Ninth Street. He advanced on the officers, covered in blood and yelling for the officers to shoot him.

Officers observed that Herrera was unarmed and immediately they took him into custody. It was further observed that Herrera had major slashing wounds to both wrists and his throat. These were found to be self-inflicted.

Both the victim and suspect were transported to Riverside Community Hospital for treatment. The victim is listed in serious condition and Herrera is listed in critical condition. If Herrera survives his injuries, he will be charged with attempted murder.

The couple's 1 month child was inside the residence at the time of the assault and was released to area relatives.


Tagger Receives Jail Sentence

Riverside, CA—An eighteen year old Riverside resident was sentenced to six months in the County Jail. The subject, Dominic CARLOS of Riverside had been arrested March 26, 1999 for a series of vandalisms in the Magnolia Center area of Riverside. The "tagging" resulted in damage to several businesses with a total loss in excess of $5000.

CARLOS also received 3 years formal probation and a $200.00 fine. He will also be required to provide restitution to the victims. Any subsequent vandalism arrests could result in a two year state prison sentence for CARLOS.

If anyone observes subjects tagging, the community is urged to call Riverside Police Department at 787-7911 and report it. For Graffiti Eradication you are encouraged to call 351-6127 to have it removed.