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KVTA Local News

Pair Arrested For Ventura Homicide

KVTA News Wednesday July 23, 2014

Ventura police say they've arrested two suspects in connection with the killing of a young man near the Ventura County Fairgrounds almost a year ago.

On July 31st of last year, 18-year-old Gabriel Gutierrez of Ventura got involved in an altercation with two other young men at the fair.

Police say they left the fair and went to an area between the fairgrounds and the Ventura River where Gutierrez was shot to death.

Police say that they've arrested two suspects in that killing.

25-year-old Erick Estrada of Ventura was arrested in the Ventura County Jail where he's been in custody for an unrelated crime.

Police say 18-year-old Timothy Adams of Ventura fled the country after the killing but had recently returned to the United States and was hiding out with relatives in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

With the help of the authorities in Idaho and the federal authorities, Adams was located and arrested on July 14th as he left his father's home.

He is currently awaiting extradition.

Both will be charged with murder with a gang enhancement.

Train Kills Ventura Woman

KVTA News Wednesday July 23, 2014

Ventura police say a 54-year-old woman was struck and kiled by a train as she stood on the tracks along Harbor Boulevard just west of California Street Wednesday morning.

It happened around 9:45 AM.

Police say the northbound Amtrak was traveling at 55 mph when train personnel spotted the woman standing on the tracks.

They sounded the horn, but the woman did not move.

They tried to stop the train, but it was too late and she was struck and pronounced dead at the scene.

Her name has not been released yet.

Deputies Investigate Homicide Near West Ventura

KVTA News Wednesday July 23, 2014

Updated--The Ventura County Sheriff's Major Crimes Unit is investigating a homicide near west Ventura.

Detective Julie Novak told KVTA News from the scene that around 12:42 AM Wednesday morning there was a fight on a driveway in the area of Holt Street and Ventura Avenue between two men who knew each other.

She says during that fight one of the men fatally stabbed the other.

Novak says the victim's name is not being released yet but he was 25-years-old.

She says an extensive search for the suspect has been underway using the SWAT Team and a K-9 Unit.

As of 7 AM, he remained at large.

Novak says Ventura Avenue was shut down in front of the Pepsi plant as crime scene investigators and detectives did their work.

It was reopened around 5 AM.

Man Dies In Apparent Drowning Near Ventura Harbor

KVTA News Tuesday July 22, 2014

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says that a 32-year-old Altadena man pulled from the ocean near Ventura Harbor Tuesday afternoon has died.

Around 3:30 PM there was a report of a swimmer in distress in the ocean south of the entrance to the harbor in the area of Surfer's Knoll.  Witnesses said the man went out for a swim then suddenly started yelling for help.

Ventura City Fire, AMR ambulance, State Beach Lifeguards, and the Ventura Harbor Patrol all responded to the scene.

They found a male floating face down in the surf zone with a lifeguard in the process of rescuing him.

The lifeguard brought the victim back to shore.

The victim was in full cardiac arrest and CPR was administered.

A pulse was restored and the victim was taken to the hospital, but he later died.

Cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner's Office.

The victim's name has not been released yet.

Driver Accused Of Killing Ventura Pedestrian Pleads Not Guilty

KVTA News Tuesday July 22, 2014

The driver accused of killing a pedestrian in Ventura over the weekend while driving drunk denied those charges Tuesday.

27-year-old Sara Roche of Ventura pleaded not guilty to Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated which is a felony.

She also denied a number of special allegations including one that accuses her with having a .15 or higher blood alcohol level at the time of the incident.

Ventura police say that around 1:30 AM Saturday morning, Roche was southbound on Seaward Avenue at San Marcos Street when she allegedly struck and killed 53-year-old Matthew Alvarado of Ventura as he walked along the west curb of the street.

Police say Roche ultimately crashed her vehicle into a utility pole along southbound Seaward at Alessandro Drive.

The judge also lowered her bail from $500,000 to $100,000 and she was released from the Ventura County Jail early Wednesday morning and is due back in court in August.

Deputies Check Up On Registered Sex Offenders

KVTA News Tuesday July 22, 2014

Registered sex offenders in the unincorporated areas near the cities of Ventura and Oxnard got a visit Saturday from Ventura County Sheriff's deputies.

The deputies were conducting what are known as compliance checks to make sure the offenders are living where they are supposed to be living.

Forty offenders living in areas like Saticoy, El Rio, Nyeland Acres, Hollywood Beach, Silver Strand and the beach communities north of Ventura were contacted.

Deputies say 35 of them were in compliance, but five were not found.

They were either not home or possibly had moved.

Either way, deputies will do follow up checks to make sure they are in compliance.

Deputies conduct these compliance checks in those areas of Ventura County that are under the jurisdiction of the sheriff's department.

Goleta Explosion And Fire Caused By Honey Oil Lab

KVTA News Tuesday July 22, 2014

Santa Barbara County fire investigators now have a cause for an explosion and flash fire in Goleta Monday afternoon that sent one person to the hospital with third degree burns.

They say it was what they called a Butane Honey Oil operation in an apartment in the 400 block of Ellwood Beach Drive.

Fire officials say butane is used to extract oil from marijuana.

They say however that if the butane gas finds and ignition source, it can cause and explosion and flash fire, as it did Monday.

No word on the condition of the victim from Monday's incident.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department is now conducting an investigation into the incident.

Fire At Old Halaco Site In Oxnard

KVTA News Monday July 21, 2014

(Photo by Joel Garcia)

Update--Oxnard City and Ventura County firefighters have knocked down a fire in an abandoned building on the site of the old Halaco Engineering facility in south Oxnard.

Battalion Chief Sergio Martinez tells KVTA News they received several 911 calls around 6:45 PM.

He says when firefighters arrived on scene in the 6200 block of Perkins Road they found the abandoned two story office building well involved in flames.

There was an initial report of a victim, but Martinez says that they found no victims and there was no one injured.

He did say the building has been used by transients in the past and they believe the fire was started by those transients, possibly due to a cooking or warming fire.

The fire put up a large column of black smoke that could be see over a wide area.

Firefighters had it knocked down around 7:30 PM but are still on scene doing overhaul and making sure none of the water used to fight the fire runs off into the sensitive wetlands area.

The Halaco metal recycling facility was the site of much controversy in Oxnard for several decades, even after it was shut down completely about ten years ago and it became an EPA Superfund site.

Body Of Ventura County Man Found In Lake Cachuma

KVTA News Monday July 21, 2014

Ten days after he went missing in Lake Cachuma, the body of an El Rio man was found.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department says a group of citizens on a rented pontoon boat spotted the body of 22-year-old Isaiah Sanchez around noon Monday.

He was found about a hundred yards from the spot where he went under on July 11th.

Deputies say that Sanchez apparently drowned while trying to make it to shore to get help after the boat he and two other young men were on broke down on the lake.

The Coroner's Office will determine cause of death.

Driver In Fatal 101 Crash Near Ventura Arrested For DUI

KVTA News Monday July 21, 2014

The California Highway Patrol says a Los Angeles man who was critically injured in a crash that killed his passenger Sunday has been arrested for felony DUI.

They say that 27-year-old Luis Martinez was driving his 1990 Honda southbound on the 101 south of Padre Juan Canyon around 6:15 PM when he ran off the right side of the freeway, struck a tree, and overturned into a ditch.

His 26-year-old passenger Thalia Lazo of Los Angeles was pronounced dead at the scene.

Martinez was airlifted to VCMC in critical condition and later charged in connection with the fatal crash.

The incident tied up Sunday evening traffic on the southbound 101 heading into Ventura.

Port Hueneme PD Looks For Gunmen In Store Robbery

KVTA News Monday July 21, 2014

Port Hueneme police are looking for two gunmen who held up a store in that city over the weekend.

It happened around 9:50 PM Saturday night at the Rite-Aid store at 2480 Victoria Avenue.

Police say the two men, both armed with handguns, entered the store wearing dark clothing with their faces covered.

They demanded money, got the money, and then fled on foot.

No one was hurt.

Thousand Oaks Man Sentenced In Bribery Case

KVTA News Monday July 21, 2014

A former Bank of America employee from Thousand Oaks was sentenced Monday to two-and-a-half years in federal prison for taking more than $1.2 million in bribes to approve artificially low-price short sales of bank-held properties.

In addition, the judge ordered 29-year-old Kevin Lauricella to pay the bank $5.7 million in restitution and give up his home which was purchased in part with the bribery money.

Lauricella had earlier pleaded guilty to felony charges of taking bribes and falsifying bank documents.

Federal prosecutors say Lauricella worked for Bank of America's "short sales" department in Simi Valley in 2010 and 2011 and was responsible for negotiating short sales transactions.

They say in return for the bribes, Lauricella approved short sales that he was not authorized to make that were for sales prices far below the fair market value of the property.

Proseuctors say he then altered bank computer records to make it look as if the transaction was authorized.

PHPD Investigate Weekend Stabbing

KVTA News Monday July 21, 2014

Port Hueneme police are investigating a weekend stabbing in that city.

It was reported around 9:50 PM Saturday night in the 1300 block of N. 7th Place

The victim sustained several stab wounds but none of them life threatening.

Detectives say it appears there was a family dispute that turned into a fight which led to the stabbing.

They are still trying to determine who was responsible for the stabbing.

The victim was taken to VCMC for treatement.

Contractor Interrupts Burglar In Ventura

KVTA News Monday July 21, 2014

Ventura police say a contractor caught a burglar in the act Monday afternoon.

They say shortly before 2 PM officers responded to the 700 block of Via Ondulando to a report of two men fighting in the street.

When they arrived at the scene they discovered that a contractor showed up for work at a house in the area and found the suspect stealing tools and other items.

The contractor tried to detain the suspect but the suspect got away.

Police located the suspect and took him into custody.

They say 34-year-old Joshua Davis of Ventura was booked into jail for residential burglary.

Meanwhile, two other people who were detained and questioned were not involved in the crime and were released.

One Dead, One Injured, In 101 Crash Near Ventura

KVTA News Sunday July 20, 2014

One person is dead, another critically injured, in a crash on the 101 Freeway near Ventura.

The crash happened around 6:15 PM Sunday on the southbound 101 south of Padre Juan Canyon.

Initially reports indicated a vehicle went off the right shoulder of the roadway and crashed into a ditch.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene, another was airlifted by sheriff's helicopter to VCMC in critical condition.

No details yet on what caused the crash or who was involved.

Ojai Playhouse Evacuated After Water Main Break

KVTA News Sunday July 20, 2014

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire Department)

A water main break in Ojai Sunday afternoon forced the evacuation of the Ojai Playhouse and another business in the area.

The incident was reported around 2:40 PM in the 100 block of E. Ojai Avenue.

The break was in an underground water main and was threatening to flood the structures.

Fire crews at the scene have called for at least three dozen sandbags so they can protect the buildings however some water has entered the buildings.

They report that the water flow is diminishing.

There is also concern this will create a sinkhole.

Ojai Avenue between Signal and Ventura Street is closed.

Customer Injured In Oxnard Bakery Explosion

KVTA News Sunday July 20, 2014

Oxnard fire officials say a customer was injured early Sunday morning in an explosion at a local bakery.

The incident happened at 4 AM Sunday but the fire department wasn't notified until about an hour later.

Fire investigators determined that around 4 AM the owner had opened up the Ortiz Bakery at Pleasant Valley and Saviers roads and was starting the oven when a customer came in.

They say when the owner opened the oven door, there was an explosion that blew out five windows and caused other damage.

The customer was also injured and was taken to Saint John's by private vehicle.

It wasn't until 5:12 AM that the fire department was notified and when they arrived all they found was a lot of broken glass and other damage consistent with an explosion.

They secured utilities and called in the gas company.

Cal Osha, Building and Safety, and Environmental Health were also notified as the investigation into what happened is continuing.

This was the same Ortiz Bakery that was severely damaged when a vehicle smashed into it in October of 2012.

Suicidal Subject In 2 Hour Standoff With VPD

KVTA News Sunday July 20, 2014

Ventura police were involved in a two hour rooftop standoff with an armed suicidal subject Sunday morning.

Officers were called to the 100 block of W. Main Street around 6:30 AM to a report of a suicidal subject inside a business.

When they arrived, they found the 56-year-old Ventura man on the roof of the building, refusing to come down.

They were told he might have guns, so a perimeter was set up, a crisis intervention officer was called in and the department's armored vehicle was dispatched to the scene.

Police say two hours later the subject came down voluntarily and was taken into custody without further incident.

He was taken to Ventura County Behavioral Health for evaluation.

No one was  hurt.

They did find several guns at the scene.

Driver Arrested For DUI Death Of Ventura Pedestrian

KVTA News Saturday July 19, 2014

Ventura police say a driver was arrested for DUI following an incident early Saturday morning that left a pedestrian dead.

They say that 27-year-old Sara Beth Roche of Ventura was driving southbound on Seaward Avenue near San Marcos Street around 1:30 AM when she lost control of her vehicle and it collided with the curb and guardrail on the west side of the street.

The vehicle struck a pedestrian, 53-year-old Matthew Alvarado of Ventura, who was walking northbound on Seaward Avenue on the west curb.

Police say after hitting and killing Alvarado, the vehicle continued on and collided with a utility pole at Seaward and Alessandro.

When police and fire responded to the scene, they initially did not see the pedestrian Alvardo and were focused on Roche and her 34-year-old male passenger who were injured in the crash.

They discovered Alvarado a short time later just north of where the vehicle had hit the pole and come to rest.

Roche was arrested for DUI and booked into the Ventura County Jail for Felony Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated with bail set at $500,000.

Seaward was closed in both directions until 8:35 AM Saturday.

Four Trapped In Mangled Wreckage After Santa Paula Crash

KVTA News Saturday July 19, 2014

(Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire Department)

Four people were injured in a crash on the 126 Freeway near Santa Paula Saturday afternoon.

It happened around 1:20 PM on the eastbound 126 just west of Briggs Road.

One of the vehicles went off the freeway and smashed into a tree, trapping four people inside.

Firefighters from Ventura City, the county and Santa Paula City, responded and extricated the victims.

There were two male and two females, their injuries were described by the fire department as minor to moderate but the CHP says there were major injuries.

Two of the victims were taken to VCMC in Ventura and two to Los Robles Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.

The crash tied up traffic on the EB 126.

The CHP is investigating the circumstances of the crash.

Teen Arrested For Gun Possession After Oxnard Shooting

KVTA News Saturday July 19, 2014

Oxnard police say they arrested a subject for having a gun after he took a shooting victim to the hospital.

Officers were in the parking lot of Saint John's Medical Center around 11:40 PM Friday when they spotted three subjects trying to hide in a green pickup truck.

Police say the subjects were initially non compliant but eventually came out of the truck.

A search of the pickup turned up two handguns and ammunition.

They arrested 18-year-old Omar Ramirez of Oxnard for carrying a concealed handgun in a vehicle.

The second subject turned out to be a 15-year-old boy who had been reported missing and he was returned home.

The third subject, a 19-year-old male, was questioned and released.

Police say these three individuals had taken a 14-year-old male shooting victim to the hospital Friday night.

That shooting victim was treated in the ER for a NON life threatening bullet wound.

Police say they were unable to get a straight story out of any of the four teens about exactly what happened and why one of them ended up being shot.

The investigation is continuing.

Oxnard DUI/DL Checkpoint Nets 1 Arrest

KVTA News Saturday July 19, 2014

Oxnard police say a DUI/DL checkpoint Friday night and early Saturday morning netted one arrest.

The checkpoint ran from 8 PM to 3 AM on southbound Oxnard Boulevard just south of Esplanade Drive.

Police say 857 vehicles went through the checkpoint with 804 drivers screened.

There were four DUI investigations which resulted in one DUI arrest.

No drug arrests, no criminal arrests.

There were 15 citations issued including eight to unlicensed drivers and two to drivers who had suspended or revoked licenses.

Four vehicles were towed.