(Photos courtesy Patrick Maynard from Ventura County OES)
Update---Firefighters have fully contained a small brush fire near Santa Paula at 1.5 acres.
The blaze dubbed the "Fork Fire" was reported around 2 PM along the north bank of the Santa Clara River west of Santa Paula Airport.
Fire officials had ordered a second water dropping helicopter plus two fixed wing aircraft to augment their first alarm brush response, but they cancelled the extra aircraft because of the progress they were making on containing the fire and getting it knocked down.
No structures were ever under any immediate threat but there were engine companies standing by in case that happened.
The fire was first reported as one acre and it was pushed to the east or up stream by west or northwest winds.
Firefighters from all over the county responded to the fire.
The cause is under investigation.
Santa Maria Street was closed for a time to allow for staging fire equipment but they were in the process of reopening it as of 3 PM.
More than a dozen people living in a single story, single family home in Ventura were displaced by a fire Friday morning.
The fire was reported around 7:35 AM in the area of Katherine Avenue and Nightingale Street near the Montalvo Metrolink station.
Firefighters could see smoke as they responded to the fire.
When they got on scene they found smoke pouring from a portion of the structure.
They had the fire knocked down in about ten minutes after arrival.
The fire was confined to one bedroom and its contents with extention into the attic.
There was smoke damage throughout the rest of the home.
Still, damage estimates were placed at $200,000 to the structure and $25,000 to its contents.
The Red Cross was called in to help the 13 people displaced by the fire.
Three people were wounded in two separate shootings in Ventura County Thursday night.
The first happened in Oxnard around 11:15 PM in the 2000 block of North Ventura Road, near Azalea Street north of Gonzales Road.
Police say two men, ages 54 and 55, were wounded by gunfire from unknown assailants.
The victims were taken to VCMC and were listed in stable condition with non-life threatening wounds.
Then, around 1:20 AM Friday, a man showed up at the hospital in Ventura suffering from a gunshot wound.
He told Ventura County Sheriff's Deputies it happened in the unincorporated area of west Ventura but they were still trying to confirm his story.
No word regarding suspects or motives in either shooting incident.
(Photo courtesy of David Juarez)
Oxnard police say a pedestrian was critically injured Thursday afternoon after two cars collided at an intersection.
They say around 4:16 PM a white Dodge Challenger was westbound on Wooley Road traveling through the intersection with Commercial Avenue when it collided with a dark sedan attempting to make a left turn from eastbound Wooley to to northbound Commercial.
The collision sent the white Dodger Challenger out of control and it collided with a female pedestrian on the north sidewalk of Wooley Road.
The pedestrian, a 21-year-old Los Angeles woman, was rushed to VCMC where police say she is in critical condition.
The driver of the white Dodge Challenger stopped and cooperated with the investigation but the driver of the dark sedan fled the scene.
The incident shut down the intersection for more than three hours.
Deputies say a registered sex offender has been accused of the sexual assault of a woman in Newbury Park.
They say on April 25th around 7 PM, deputies responded to the 200 block of Wendy Drive to a report from a 20-year-old Newbury Park woman who said she had been sexually assaulted by an aquaintance after taking a prescribed medication.
Investigators say they discovered the suspect, 32-year-old Adrian Gomez of Newbury Park, is a registered sex offender currently on parole for a 2010 child molestation.
Gomez was arrested at his residence Thursday morning around 11 AM and booked into the Ventura County Jail for Rape of an Unconscious Person and a Parole Hold.
His bail was set at $120,000 but he cannot be released because of the parole hold.
Gomez is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon.
Oxnard police say the city has been experiencing a rash of commercial burglaries this week.
They say that between April 23-26 there have been eight commercial burglaries.
Police say these particular break-ins are related by the fact that the thieves are targeting cash registers and safes in the businesses.
Also, force has been used to gain entry and the burglaries have occurred during the late night and early morning hours.
During these investigations, it has come to the attention of the Property Crimes Unit that it is common practice for some businesses to leave cash in the till for business use the next day.
Please be cognizant that while it may seem more efficient, it does leave your business open to being a target for crime.
The Property Crimes Unit encourages you to consider the following tips to help your business avoid becoming a victim of crime.
• Remove all currency on-site and deposit it at your preferred financial institution.
• Leave the cash drawer open and empty after-hours.
• After-hours, if possible and your register is located close to windows, remove the cash register altogether and store in a safe, locked area.
• Consider purchasing and installing a surveillance system with cameras both in front and to the rear of your business (make sure it has the ability to record clear images at night).
• Test alarm and surveillance systems for functionality when you test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff's Department)
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says a traffic stop by one of their deputies in Oxnard over the weekend led to the seizure of a almost $2 million worth of methamphetamine.
It happened on around 6:30 PM on April 22nd in the area of Rose Avenue and Ives Avenue.
The deputy, with the assistance of an Oxnard police officer, pulled a BMW over for a traffic violation.
They say the driver, 53-year-old Daniel Sanchez of Poway, had an expired license.
A search of his vehicle was conducted and they found 40 pounds of methamphetamine and $25,000 in cash.
They say that much meth would have yielded over 150,000 doses worth about $1,816,000 on the street.
Sanchez was booked into the Ventura County Jail for possession of methamphetamine for sale.
Records indicate he was released from jail the next day.
The Moorpark dentist who admitted trying to burn down the offices of his rivals in Camarillo will avoid prison.
Prosecutors had wanted 65-year-old Leopold Weinstein to be sentenced to more than four years in state prison for the felony arson fires but the judge indicated state prison would be inappropriate.
The judge instead plans to place Weinstein on formal probation and have him spend some time in the county jail.
Weinstein earlier pleaded guilty to several counts of felony arson in connection with the arson fires that happened at dentist officers in Camarillo between June of 2014 and January of 2015.
Weinstein's sentencing hearing was postponed a week so a probation report could be completed.
UPDATED--Ventura police say a woman was struck and killed by a passenger train Wednesday afternoon.
They say it happened shortly before 5 PM near the train trestle behind the Ventura County Fairgrounds.
According to the engineer the Amtrak was traveling around 50 mph when he saw the victim standing in the middle of the tracks.
The train horn was sounded and he tried to stop the train but he says the woman made no attempt to get off the tracks and she was struck and killed.
The woman was described only as a 45-year-old female.
The Medical Examiner is still trying to confirm her name and notify relatives.
The train had 85 passengers and it remained at the scene for two hours while the investigation was completed.
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says it has arrested a Ventura man on drug charges.
Tuesday night around 8:20 PM, narcotics detectives served a search warrant at a home in the 1500 block of Daphne Avenue in east Ventura after they say they had seized a quarter pound of cocaine from an individual seen leaving that residence.
Detectives say they found an additional quantity of cocaine in the home and evidence of cocaine sales plus cash they believe came from cocaine sales.
Detectives say they arrested 45-year-old Chuck Daft of Ventura on narcotics violations.
They say he posted bail of $50,000 and is awaiting arraignment.
Detectives say they also seized a large amount of firearms in the residence including 61 handguns, 14 rifles, shotguns and what they described as assault-type weapons of various calibers.
They say there is evidence that Daft is a licensed firearms dealer.
UPDATE--The multiple deportee who was arrested earlier this month in Port Hueneme for peering into the window of a house on N. Sixth Place is now facing possible federal prosecution for entering the U-S illegally.
On Monday, 39-year-old Guillermo Damaso of Oxnard was released from the Ventura County Jail on probation after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor peeping charge.
The DA's office had dropped the more serious felony burglary charge due to lack of evidence.
After his release from jail, ICE took him into custody because of his status of entering the U-S illegally.
In turns out, according to ICE, that Damaso has been deported to Mexico six times over the past decade.
Because of that, his case was referred to the U-S Attorney's Office.
Repeatedly entering the U-S illegally is a felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.
So, instead of facing deportation yet again, Damaso could be facing prosecution that could land him in prison for a long time.
That decision is up to the United States Attorney's Office and they are expected to have something to say about it Thursday.
Ventura police are seeking public help in a hit and run traffic incident that left a pedestrian in critical condition.
They believe it happened around 8 AM Tuesday on the roadway that runs through the Ventura County Government Center property known as John F. Johnston Drive.
A 43-year-old Ventura woman was found down in the roadway and was taken to VCMC in critical condition.
Police say it was later determined she was the victim of a hit and run.
They say they have no information on the vehicle that hit her and they need any information the public might have that could help them find the driver responsible for what happened.
Police are asking anyone with information to call their Traffic Division at (805) 339-4323.
(Photos courtesy Patas Casimiro)
A four vehicle minor injury crash tied up traffic on Highway 118 (Los Angeles Avenue) between Somis and Moorpark Wednesday morning.
It was reported before 7 AM on the EB 118 near Sand Canyon Road east of Somis Road.
The CHP and Ventura County Fire reported four vehicles with four people experiencing what were described as very minor injuries.
The crash backed up traffic in both directions.
It was finally cleared out of the way by 8:20 AM but it still took a while for traffic to recover.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Michael Peterson)
Updated--An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in western Santa Barbara County early Wednesday morning.
The 12:03 AM launch was an operational test.
The ICBM was equipped with a test reentry vehicle, and traveled approximately four thousand two hundred miles to a test range near the Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands.
30th Space Wing Commander Colonel John Moss said the launch was, in his words, "an important demonstration of our nation's nuclear deterrent capability."
The Minuteman system has been in service for 60 years.
Deputies say burglars left empty handed after breaking into a commercial business in Camarillo early Wednesday morning.
It happened shortly after 2:30 AM at the Jersey Mike's Subs in the 300 block of N. Lantana Street.
Deputies say the thieves smashed a window to make entry and then tried, but failed, to remove the safe.
They fled before deputies arrived.
An Oxnard man was sentenced Tuesday to 51-years-to-life in prison for trying to kill a police officer in El Rio.
On January 31st, a Superior Court Jury found 45-year-old Jose Luis Ortiz guilty of attempted murder of a police officer, use of a firearm, armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The jury took less than a day to convict him.
Prosecutors say on May 5, 2012, in the 2900 block of Vineyard Avenue, Ortiz pointed a gun at a convenience store clerk and robbed him of the cash in the register.
They say he fled on foot.
On nearby Cortez Street Ortiz encountered an Oxnard PD K-9 officer who had responded to the robbery call.
Prosecutors say as the officer approached, Ortiz opened fire.
The officer and his K-9 partner were not shot and were able to subdue Ortiz and take him into custody.
Ventura police are investigating a stabbing.
They say that it happened around 2 PM Tuesday.
Police found out 48 minutes later when Community Memorial Hospital called to say a stabbing victim had showed up in their emergency room.
The 20-year-old male had non-life threatening wounds to his arms.
The victim, who is from out of town, told officers that he and some friends were on the beach when they were confronted by several subjects.
The verbal altercation turned violent when one of the subjects in the other group pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim and then fled.
Police aren't sure exactly where it happened but they believe it was somewhere on the beach in the Pierpont area.
Police had no other details right now.
Update--A pedestrian was critically injured in a traffic incident in Oxnard early Tuesday morning that shut down a major intersection for about two hours.
The incident happened in the area of Wooley Road and Commercial Avenue.
The male pedestrian was taken to VCMC with head and leg injuries.
The driver stopped and cooperated with the investigation which shut down the intersection until around 6 AM.
Meanwhile, there was a second vehicle v. pedestrian incident in Oxnard around 6:30 AM at First Street and Rose Avenue.
Initial reports indicated one person taken to the hospital, their condition unknown.
No other details right now.
A member of the Ventura Unified School Board has won her legal battle with the district and the DA's office over keeping her son out of class for an extended period of time.
Prosecutors had taken Jackie Moran to court over what they said was her failure to provide valid excuses for keeping the child out of class.
Moran argued that the school had failed to provide needed services for her son when he was in crisis and she had no other choice.
Following a non-jury court trial before a judge, the judge decided in Moran’s favor and found her not guilty.
She tells KVTA News she feels vindicated by the judge’s decision.
An Ojai man has been sentenced to 13-years-8-months in prison for a fiery DUI crash that killed one of his passengers who burned to death, paralyzed a second passenger and injured a third passenger.
23-year-old David Antonio Andrade-ruiz had earlier pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, leaving the scene of accident and other charges.
According to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office...
"On January 23, 2016, Andrade-Ruiz drove at unsafe speeds on highway SR-33 while under the influence of alcohol and while his driver’s license was suspended. He crashed into the side of the road, ejecting one rear passenger through the front windshield, causing the other rear passenger to suffer a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed, and causing great bodily injury to the front passenger. After the crash, Andrade-Ruiz fled the scene, leaving the paralyzed passenger lying on the side of the road, and leaving the other passenger stuck in the front windshield of the burning car. Nearly a half-mile away from the scene, Andrade-Ruiz was contacted by responding police and fire department personnel. He denied being involved in the crash and said nothing about the people he had left behind at the scene of the fiery crash."
His blood alcohol level was .13 at the time of the crash.
The double deportee arrested in Port Hueneme for burglary and peeping earlier this month will be getting out of the Ventura County Jail, but where he will wind up next is anybody’s guess.
This after prosecutors dismissed the felony burglary charge against 39-year-old Guillermo Damaso and let him plead guilty to misdemeanor peeping in connection with the Port Hueneme incident.
The DA’s office indicated they had to drop the felony burglary charge because the evidence did not support it.
The judge then sentenced him to time served in the Ventura County Jail and placed him on two years conditional probation.
The judge then ordered Damaso released although he’s wanted in Florida on an outstanding warrant for indecent exposure and there’s the question of whether ICE plans to deport him for a third time.
The incident on April 5th in the 1500 block of Sixth Place in Port Hueneme involved a woman who went to her window and found Damaso standing there looking back at her from outside the house.
He ran and was later caught by police.