(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff Aviation Unit)
The annual Peace Officer's Memorial ceremony was held at the County Government Center in Ventura Thursday morning.
Family members of fallen officers as well as law enforcement officers from throughout Ventura County were in attendance.
This year the name of Deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko was added to the other names on the memorial, the 32nd peace officer in the county to die in the line of duty.
Kostiuchenko was killed last year when he was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver after completing an unrelated traffic stop on the Lewis Road on ramp to NB 101 in Camarillo.
The event included the reading of each officer's name, a 21 gun salute by the Sheriff's Honor Guard and a flyover by the Sheriff's helicopters.
(Crews continue clean-up of the oil using boom operations off the coast of Goleta, Calif., May 21, 2015. The clean-up operation for the spill commenced the evening of Tuesday May 19, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrea Anderson)
Updated--The unified command dealing with the oil spill along the coast of Santa Barbara County released some initial numbers regarding the impacts on wildlife in the area.
They say so far responders have rescued six "oiled" brown pelicans and several care facilities have been set up to deal with injured wildlife as those numbers increase.
They also say a juvenile sea lion was rescued with 35% coverage in oil and was taken to Sea World for treatment and rehab.
Meanwhile, they say more than 9500 gallons of crude oil mixed with water has been recovered.
It's believed that as much as 105,000 gallons of crude oil leaked from the pipeline and at least 21,000 gallons of that made it to the beaches and coastal waters.
The company responsible for that pipeline, Plains All American, is not commenting on an LA Times report saying the company has been cited 175 times in the past for various violations.
Company officials admitted that in the hours before Tuesday's spill, they had problems with the pumps at two locations along that pipeline and had even shut it down before restarting it.
For individuals who want to file a claim for compensation please contact 1-(866)-753-3619.
For individuals who come across affected wildlife please contact the Oil Wildlife Care Network at 1-(877)-823-6926.
Anyone wishing to volunteer in the clean-up effort can find more information at Calspillwatch.com or contact 1-(800)-228-4544.
Ventura police say they've arrested a man for alleged child sexual abuse involving multiple female victims.
They say their investigation of 54-year-old William Charles Miller of Ventura began on April 29th when police received a report of lewd conduct with a child.
Police say they were told by the juvenile female victim that she had been touched in a sexual manner.
As detectives began a follow up investigation, they say they learned that Miller had been accused of child molest by another female juvenile in 2011 and a third female juvenile had made the same allegation in 1995.
Police say that Thursday, Miller was arrested in the 200 block of Regis Avenue and booked into the Ventura County Jail on several counts of child related sexual abuse.
Bail was set at $300,000.
The investigation into this crime is ongoing and the Ventura Police Department is seeking to identify other potential victims in this case. Anyone who believes they have been victimized by William Charles Miller should contact Det. Sgt. Cain of the Ventura Police Department at 339-4488.
A judge has ordered CVS Pharmacy to pay $2.4 million as part of a settlement with three counties, including Ventura, of a lawsuit over allegations of misleading advertising.
Ventura County will get $675,000 for the DA's office and $14,310 for the County Weights and Measures Department.
The rest of the $2.4 million goes to Riverside and LA counties and a consumer protection trust fund.
The civil action brought by prosecutors in those three counties alleged that CVS was advertising one price for items and then charging more at the checkout stand.
They were also accused of failing to give cash back on gift cards under $10 which is required by law.
This is the second time CVS has faced a lawsuit over misleading advertising and the company agreed, without admitting liability or wrongdoing, to institute safeguards so this doesn't happen again.
(Photo courtesy Christina Marie)
The CEO of the company whose pipeline ruptured in Santa Barbara County Tuesday apologized for what happened and said they deeply regret the spill of what might be as much as 105,000 gallons of crude.
Greg Armstrong was one of several people who spoke during a new conference in Santa Barbara County Wednesday.
Company officials also revealed more information about events leading up to the rupture which happened at a point along the pipeline which is located on land well above the beach.
They say they were having problems with the pumps on that pipeline at two locations along the pipeline earlier Tuesday morning and had actually shut it down earlier Tuesday morning before restarting it.
Then they say it was at 11:30 AM Tuesday when the operator monitoring the pipeline in the control room noticed an abnormality and shut it down a second time.
A short time later they received a call from a first responder in Santa Barbara County reporting a strong smell coming from the area and that's when the company sent someone to check it out and discovered what had happened.
By then, they estimate that as much as 105,000 gallons of crude might have spilled with at least 21,000 gallons making it way through a drainage system down to the beach below, just north of Refugio State Beach.
But officials still cannot say exactly why the pipeline ruptured.
And officials are still not releasing any details about the extent of the impact of the spill on wildlife, although they concede there have been impacts.
The spill covers at least nine miles of coastline with several hundred people now involved in the clean up effort.
Many volunteers have gone to the area to help but officials are asking them not to.
They say leave the clean up to professional crews brought in to conduct the cleanup.
Also, in addition to Refugio State Beach, El Capitan State Beach has now been closed.
Here's a link to an information sight for more official information about the incident...
(Photo courtesy Christina Marie)
Officials are now saying that the ruptured pipeline in Santa Barbara County might have spilled as much as 105,000 gallons of crude before the flow was stopped Tuesday afternoon.
They're still not sure how much made it to the beach through a culvert just north of Refugio State Beach and for now they're staying with an official figure of 21,000 gallons.
The company that operates the pipeline, Plains All American Pipeline, says an operator in the control room first spotted abnormalities in the pipeline around 11:30 AM Tuesday and shut it down.
They say it took a Plains employee about two hours to get to the site to confirm what happened.
They still don't know why the pipeline ruptured.
Meanwhile the spill now covers some nine miles of coastal waters and beaches as crews continue to conduct cleanup onshore and offshore.
And two experts from Ventura County are helping to assess the environmental and economic impacts of the spill.
Scientists from Cal State Channel Islands have been to the site of the spill and they both talked with KVTA's Alex Wilson today about their observations and assessments.
Biologist and whale expert Rachel Cartwright says migrating grey whales and dolphins frequent that area and contact with oil can lead to infections and pneumonia.
She says long term the oil can get into the food chain and accumulate in the blubber of marine mammals.
So far there has been no official assessment or estimate on the impact to wildfire in the area.
Environmental Science and Resource Management Professor Sean Anderson from CSUCI tells KVTA News that it's too early to gauge the ecological impact.
The immediate economic effect is from the closure of some state parks in the immediate area right before a busy holiday weekend.
A 37-year-old Ventura man was seriously injured after being struck by a train Wednesday night.
It happened shortly after 8 PM on the tracks near Arundel and Channel Drive.
Ventura police say the man was walking eastbound along the tracks when the train, also traveling eastbound, came up behind him.
The engineer saw the man and sounded the horn in an attempt to warn the man, but the victim did not get out of the way and was struck by the train and thrown 30 feet onto a small bridge that runs over a culvert.
The man was taken to VCMC, his condition unknown.
Ventura police say they've arrested a woman who they allege stole a large amount of cash from a 66-year-old relative.
Police say that in March of this year the victim called them to report that a large amount of cash was missing from his safe deposit box at his bank in Ventura.
Major Crimes detectives investigated and they say they determined that around the time of the theft a relative had illegally gained access to the victim's safe deposit box.
Search warrants were served in Oxnard and Camarillo and police say they recovered a large amount of the victim's money and evidence that allegedly linked the relative to the crime.
Police say that on May 11th they arrested 43-year-old Nancy Gordon of Ventura and booked her into the Ventura County Jail for Grand Theft and Elder Abuse.
Her bail was set at $300,000.
The Fillmore man who was arrested for attempted murder in connection with a weekend stabbing is not being charged with that.
Instead, the DA's office has charged 25-year-old Daniel Torres with felony assault with a deadly weapon and two special allegations of causing great bodily injury and street terrorism.
Torres was in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty and denied the allegations.
He remains in jail on $1 million bail.
Torres is alleged to have stabbed another young man Saturday evening in the 500 block of Santa Clara Street in Fillmore.
The victim was taken to VCMC with serious wounds to his upper and lower body.
Torres was identified as a suspect and tracked down to a residence in San Bernardino where he was arrested Monday.
(Coast Guard photo where spill made it to beach thought drain pipe)
Updated---The effort to contain and clean up that oil spill along the Santa Barbara County coastline is on hold for the night.
The US Coast Guard is overseeing the effort.
It said the spill was reported late Tuesday morning after a pipeline on land north of Highway 101 ruptured, spilling oil into a culvert and then under the freeway and out to the beach just north of Refugio State Beach which is 24 miles northwest of the city of Santa Barbara.
The Coast Guard says an initial estimate is that 21,000 gallons of crude spilled before the leak was stopped but that estimate could change.
The crude fouled beaches and coastal waters for four miles south of there.
Boats were called in to place booms in the ocean to contain the oil but nightfall put that operation on hold.
Officials could not confirm any wildlife that had been harmed,l but there were reports of at least a handful of seabirds covered in oil.
The Coast Guard says the pipeline that ruptured belongs to Plains All America Pipeline.
Refugio State Beach was shut down and evacuated.
The effort to contain the spill and start cleaning it up will resume at first light Wednesday.
(Photo courtesy Ventura County Sheriff)
The Ventura County Sheriff's Department says it's made an arrest in a gang related stabbing that happened in Fillmore last weekend.
The victim was stabbed Saturday evening in the 500 block of Santa Clara Street in Fillmore.
He was taken to VCMC with serious stab wounds to his upper and lower body.
Detectives from the Sheriff's Gang Unit and Major Crimes identified a suspect and tracked him to a residence in San Bernardino where they arrested him Monday evening.
They say 25-year-old Daniel Torres of Fillmore was taken into custody and booked into the Ventura County Jail for Attempted Murder and Committing a Crime For the Benefit of a Criminal Street Gang.
His bail was set at $1 million.
(Photo courtesy Ventura County Fire)
Updated---A two alarm structure fire in Simi Valley Tuesday morning significantly damaged three units of a condo building, displacing a number of residents.
The fire was reported shortly after 10 AM in the 3400 block of Highwood Court.
Firefighters could see smoke even before they arrived on scene.
When they got there, they found one two story unit well involved in flames with the fire spreading into the attic and threatening two units that share a wall with that unit.
Smoke from the fire drifted across the 118 Freeway between Sycamore Avenue and Tapo Canyon Road.
Firefighters worked to put the fire out and also check to make sure everyone in the building had evacuated safely.
There were no reports of injuries.
It took about an hour to knock down the flames but they were still checking to see if there was residual fire in the walls and attic.
The main fire unit suffered major fire damage and the two adjacent units were damaged by smoke and heat.
The Red Cross was called in to deal with at least three residents and they expected that number to rise if the residents of all the units in the building are displaced.
Cause of the fire was under investigation.
Oxnard firefighters say a fire in four garages in a condo complex caused $145,000 damage to the structure and its contents Tuesday afternoon.
The fire was reported around 1:15 PM on Holly Avenue and firefighters had it knocked down in about ten minutes after arrival.
They say it caused $100,000 to the structure and $45,000 damage to a car and several motorcycles that were in the garages.
No one was hurt.
Cause under investigation.
(Photo courtesy Ventura City Fire)
Ventura City firefighters say a battery charger started a fire that caused extensive damage at a house on the east side of town.
The fire was reported at 8:20 PM in the 6000 block of Loma Vista Road east of Victoria Avenue.
When firefighters arrived on scene they found a bedroom in the house fully involved in fire with heavy smoke throughout the rest of the structure.
Firefighters from Ventura City and Santa Paula Fire responded to the blaze confined the fire damage to the bedroom but there was significant smoke damage throughout the rest of the house.
No injuries were reported.
The fire was started by an electric battery charger that was charging a battered in that bedroom.
The Ventura County District Attorney's Office say the death of an Oxnard man at the hands of police in 2012 was a tragedy but the officers "acted reasonably" and the killing was "justifiable homicide."
The report says that on the afternoon of August 14, 2012, officers observed Michael Mahoney holding a black semi-automatic handgun to his head while sitting on the front porch of his home at 340 South H Street in Oxnard.
Two officers approached him and Mahoney refused their demands to drop the gun and he fled up his driveway and into his residence.
The report says the officers then heard a gunshot from inside the house and were not sure if Mahoney had shot at them, someone in the house, or made an attempt to shoot himself.
The first two officers, joined by two others, moved to the driveway courtyard and gave Mahoney verbal commands to exit unarmed.
Instead, they say, he emerged with a flare gun and knife and refused repeated requests to put the weapons down.
The report says Mahoney told the officers he had loaded the flare gun with a shotgun shell and then began to count down while pointing the flare gun at officers.
The DA says Mahoney then fired the flare gun at the officers, causing two of the officers to shoot Mahoney.
Mahoney was taken to VCMC where he died.
The report says Mahoney's death "reflects both the tragedy of mental illness and the inherent difficulties law enforcement faces in dealing with the mentally ill, particularly when they arm themselves with dangerous weapons."
The DA says Mahoney had suffered from mental illness and substance abuse for most of his life and family members and law enforcement had attempted to intervene on numerous occasions.
There had been many prior incidents involving law enforcement and Mahoney and one veteran Oxnard police detective had worked hard to assist him and his family in seeking mental health treatment but the law limits how much people can do for an adult in such circumstances.
The report also says all of the officers involved in the fatal shooting that afternoon in August of 2012 had received special training in crisis intervention.
Here is a link to the full report by the DA's office...
The Ventura County Sheriff''s Department released more details Monday about a cockfight that was busted by deputies Sunday morning.
Deputies, armed with information about a cockfight in progress, raided an orchard around 7:15 AM in the 19400 block of Telegraph Road east of Ventura
The participants and "a crowd" of spectators scattered when deputies arrived, but three individuals were detained and later arrested on animal cruelty charges.
One dead rooster and at least 47 live roosters were found at the scene along with other evidence of the cockfighting operation.
Updated--Deputies in Camarillo are still trying to determine who sent a vague online threat regarding a Camarillo school, but they say they're confident it was not credible and the school is safe.
The threat prompted a lockdown Monday morning at Monte Vista Middle School while deputies searched the campus for any threats.
They found none and declared the school was safe.
Deputies say that parents who wanted to retrieve their kids and take them home for the day were allowed to sign them out, otherwise school stayed in session.
Deputies say they have been interviewing students who may know something and are trying to determine who was behind the incident.
Updated--Oxnard police were looking for suspects in a stabbing incident that left three victims, one who was critically injured.
Shortly after 8:30 PM Sunday, officers were called to the 800 block of West Wooley Road where they found three stabbing victims, an 18-year-old male, a 21-year-old male, and a 16-year-old male.
The 16 and 21-year-olds were taken to VCMC with minor, non-life threatening, stab wounds.
But the 18-year-old male was rushed to VCMC and was undergoing surgery for life threatening stab wounds.
Meanwhile, officers determined that the stabbing actually happened about a half mile away, in the 500 block of South K Street.
They were looking for three suspects, described only as Hispanic males in dark clothing.
They do not know the motive for the attack.
A former Ventura City official has pleaded no contest to theft of public funds.
Prosecutors say that while the director of the Ventura Avenue Adult Center, 33-year-old Kathryn Torres of Santa Clarita diverted public funds for her personal use.
They say between January 2009 and September 2013, Torres misappropriated more than $60,000 in city revenues.
The DA's office says that Torres was responsible for the safekeeping and deposit of revenues generated from the rental of the Avenue Adult Center facility and donations that were supposed to go to the Senior Nutrition Lunch Program.
Once Torres entered her no contest pleas, she was found guilty by the court.
She remains free on her own recognizance pending sentencing on August 21st.
Port Hueneme police were investigating an incident involving shots fired in a residential neighborhood late Sunday morning.
Around 11:21 AM, officers responded to a report of shots heard in the 2600 block of Sextant Avenue.
They discovered the incident actually happened in a driveway at 2596 Sextant Avenue.
Officers discovered several bullet casings on the ground and a fresh bullet hole in the trunk of a vehicle parked in the driveway.
No one was reported injured and no suspects were located.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Gary Jones at the Port Hueneme PD (805) 986-6530.
Updated--The Ventura County Fire Department and the Ventura County Sheriff's Air Squad 8 helicopter are on scene of a motorcycle crash on Highway 33 in the Los Padres National Forest.
It was reported around 12:15 PM Sunday on the highway near Pine Mountain Road.
Initial reports were that two motorcycles were involved in a head on crash with one of the motorcycles reported 200 feet over the side of the road, according to the CHP.
One rider was reported in critical condition, the other was reported with minor to moderate injuries.
The critically injured rider was airlifted by Air Squad 8 to the trauma center at VCMC.
Ventura County Sheriff's deputies busted up what appears to be a cockfighting operation in an orchard near Santa Paula.
The incident happened around 7:30 AM Sunday in an orchard near Telegraph Road.
Deputies chased down and detained several individuals who tried to flee on foot and in vehicles, but some others got away.
A large number of roosters were found at the site and an investigation is underway to gather evidence and other information about what was going on.
Updated---Five people were sent to the hospital following a fire in a Simi Valley home Sunday morning.
The fire was reported around 7:23 AM in the 200 block of Galway Lane.
When firefighters arrived on scene they found fire in a two story home.
They had the fire knocked down by 7:37 AM.
There were two adults and three children in the home.
An adult male was transported to Simi Valley Hospital suffering from an unspecified injury while the other adult and three children were taken there just as a precaution.
Cause of the fire was under investigation.