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KVTA Local News

Body Found Off Ventura County Coast

KVTA News Thursday October 27, 2016

(Photo by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)

Rescue personnel have recovered the body of an adult male from the ocean off the Ventura County coast.

Ventura County Sheriff's Sergeant Gustavo Macias told KVTA News at the scene that they received a call around 10:47 AM Thursday reporting that a lobster fisherman setting traps in the ocean off Pacific Coast Highway and Deer Creek Road found the body floating in the water.

Deputies and fire personnel from both Ventura and LA counties responded and the body was recovered and returned to shore about an hour later.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department is investigating the discovery and will determine, along with the Medical Examiner's Office, the circumstances surrounding the man's death.

One thing they are looking at is whether this is a man reported missing a week ago whose abandoned vehicle was found Friday not far from where the body was discovered this morning.

Oxnard River Ridge Golf Course Fire Suspicious

KVTA News Thursday October 27, 2016

UPDATED---Oxnard fire investigators say the fire that caused $250,000 in damage to the main clubhouse at the River Ridge Golf Course early Thursday morning is suspicious.

Battalion Chief Sergio Martinez told KVTA News there's nothing in the area where the fire started that could have started the fire by accident.

It was reported shortly after 2:30 AM in a storage area on the first floor balcony outside of the west side of the building and burned up the exterior of the structure to the second floor.

Martinez says the combustibles where the fire started burned so intensely the fire overwhelmed the outside fire sprinkler system and it wasn't until the flames set off the interior fire sprinklers that the fire's progress was slowed, allowing firefighters to knock it down.

However, damage from the flames, plus water damage from the sprinklers and firefighting efforts caused about $200,000 in structural damage and $50,000 in loss to contents.

No injuries were reported.

Suspect Arrested In Simi Kidnapping Case

KVTA News Thursday October 27, 2016

Simi Valley police say they've made an arrest in connection with an incident Monday afternoon in which a man grabbed a teenage girl after they both got off a bus in that city and tried to take her with him.

They say a tip from a citizen and some work by detectives led to the identification and arrest Thursday morning of 44-year-old Elmer Montenegro outside his Simi Valley home.

They say the 13-year-old female victim confirmed he's the man who grabbed her Monday afternoon after they both got off the bus at Stearns and Cochran streets.

The suspect let go of the girl and fled after another alert citizen honked his horn after witnessing what was happening to the girl.

Police say they arrested Montenegro for kidnapping, lewd act upon a child and false imprisonment.

Drug Smuggling Concern Closes Santa Rosa Island

KVTA News Wednesday October 26, 2016

(File photo of Santa Rosa by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)

Updated--Santa Rosa Island has been closed to the public because of safety concerns that drug smugglers might be on the island.

Tuesday, federal and local law enforcement officers found a number of bundles of marijuana on the island.

They also found empty fuel containers on the island.

Law enforcement is now involved in an extensive ground and air search of the entire island in an effort to find more evidence and possible suspects.

Because of that, and the concern there might be suspects still on the island, the park service evacuated some campers who were on the island and has closed it to the public until further notice.

They say about 73 visitors who had booked trips to the island through Island Packers this coming weekend will be impacted.

“This closure, while unfortunate, is necessary to protect the public from potential harm,” said Channel Islands National Park Superintendent Russell Galipeau. “The National Park Service will reopen Santa Rosa Island as soon as the risk is mitigated.”

Woman Still Critical After Oxnard Boat Accident

KVTA News Wednesday October 26, 2016

Updated---Ventura County Sheriff's officials say the woman found unconscious and not breathing following a family boating accident near Oxnard early this morning is still in critical condition at the hospital.

She and her husband and their two young children were on an 18-20 foot outboard motor boat when it capsized off Hollywood Beach north of Channel Islands Harbor sometime shortly after midnight Wednesday morning.

The two children went to a house in that area to report what happened and the homeowner called 911.

When emergency personnel arrived on scene they found the woman unconscious and not breathing.

CPR was administered and she was revived and taken to the hospital where her condition was listed as critical.

The husband and two children were OK.

Deputies say the family left Ventura Harbor to go lobster fishing and somehow got caught in the surf line where the boat overturned.

Arrest Made In Santa Paula Bus Incidents

KVTA News Wednesday October 26, 2016

(Photo courtesy Santa Paula Police Department)

A Santa Paula man has been arrested in connection with two incidents on board a bus involving alleged inappropriate behavior.

Police say that 20-year-old Kevin McCarty is accused of misdemeanor battery and indecent exposure regarding the incidents on board the bus that runs between Santa Paula and Ventura.

The investigation began on October 12th when a 14-year-old girl reported to police that a man had touched her thigh while they were on the bus.

Police questioned McCarty but did not arrest him.

Instead, they issued a news release that did not identify McCarty but asked the public to report any similar incidents on that same bus.

Police say a 22-year-old woman then came forward to report that earlier the same day as the first incident, a man had exposed himself while on that same bus.

Police say she identified McCarty as the suspect and when they arrested McCarty on October 21st and interviewed him, they say he confessed.

McCarty was booked into the Ventura County Jail, posted $5,000 bail and is free until his arraignment on December 28th.

Port Hueneme House Fire Displaces Five

KVTA News Wednesday October 26, 2016

(Photo courtesy Jose Cuatecontzi)

 Five people and a dog were displaced by a residential structure fire early Wednesday morning in Port Hueneme.

The blaze was reported shortly after 4 AM in the 1800 block of 7th Place.

When firefighters from Ventura County, Oxnard City and the Navy base arrived on scene they found the home on fire.

They had the fire knocked down by 4:18 AM but the damage was extensive enough to displace the three adults, two children and a dog who lived there.

The Red Cross was being called in to help the residents.

No reports of injuries.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Simi Man Sentenced For Grandmother's Murder

KVTA News Tuesday October 25, 2016

(Photo by Alex Wilson, KVTA News)

A Simi Valley man was sentenced Tuesday for the murder of his grandmother.

28-year-old Gustavo Rios was sentenced to 26-years-to-life in prison for the death of 75-year-old Isabel Hernandez at her Simi Valley home on July 1, 2012.

She was stabbed 18 times.

A jury found Rios guilty of first degree murder and found true that he used a deadly weapon to kill his grandmother.

The defense claimed that Rios suffered from mental illness and heard voices that told him to kill her.

But the prosecution said Rios killed his grandmother because she refused to give him money to buy drugs.

There was emotional testimony from family members at Tuesday's sentencing hearing.

Simi Child Molester Gets 40-To-Life In Prison

KVTA News Tuesday October 25, 2016

(Photo courtesy Simi PD)

A former Simi Valley resident has been sentenced to 40-years-to-life in prison for molesting a child, recording it, and then sharing it with various people throughout the United States via emails.

The investigation into 43-year-old Phillip Schwarz began in March of 2014 when Simi Valley Police Major Crimes Detectives received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that one image of child pornography had been uploaded to a Facebook account.

Search warrants were served including one for the email account of Schwarz who was then living in Winnetka.

Detectives say that led to evidence that Schwarz had been molesting a little girl while living in Simi Valley and had recorded it and then shared it with others across the United States.

Schwarz was immediately arrested and further investigation through 2015 indicated that he had created over 50 images of child pornography that he shared with others via email accounts.

Those subjects were identified and prosecuted in their respective jurisdictions.

Simi police say that Schwarz's wife, 36-year-old Brenda Horstmanshof, was also investigated and it was determined that she was the one who emailed the original image that he uploaded to his Facebook page that started the investigation. 

She pleaded guilty to distribution and possession of child pornography.

Simi PD Looking For Man Who Grabbed Girl

KVTA News Tuesday October 25, 2016

(Photo courtesy Simi Valley PD)

(FYI---A suspect has been arrested in this incident, see our latest story Thursday)

Simi Valley police is seeking public help in identifying a man who grabbed a teenage girl as she walked home Monday afternoon.

They say it happened around 3:45 PM Monday as the 13-year-old girl and the suspect both got off a bus at Stearns Street and Cochran Street.

Police say as she walked home, the suspect grabbed her and tried to force her to come with him but let go when a concerned citizen honked their vehicle horn when they witnessed what happened.

The girl fled home and told her dad who called police and officers searched the area but did not find the suspect.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 30-40 years old, 5'5", 160 pounds with black hair.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect should call Simi PD.

Water Main Break Shuts Down Oxnard Roadway

KVTA News Tuesday October 25, 2016

(Photo courtesy City of Oxnard)

A water main break has shut down a stretch of Hueneme Road in the Oxnard area.

The break happened Tuesday afternoon around 1 PM.

Hueneme Road between Olds and Casper is shut down until further notice.

Crews are working to repair it, but it may take well into the night.

A detour was set up using Olds Road to Pleasant Valley Road to Rice Avenue and then back down to Hueneme Road (the reverse if you're traveling westbound on Hueneme Road).

Motorists are advised to use alternate routes because even with the detour, traffic has been backing up in the area.

Three Injured, One Critically, In Oxnard Crash

KVTA News Monday October 24, 2016

(Photo courtesy Oxnard Police Department)

Updated--Three people were injured, one critically, in a three vehicle traffic collision on a busy Oxnard road Monday evening.

Oxnard police say it happened around 6:07 PM on Ventura Road at Wagon Wheel Road.

They say that a white 2016 Nissan Altima was northbound on Ventura Road approaching Wagon Wheel Road in the number two lane when it collided with a white 2016 Hyundai Sonata also going northbound in the number one lane and then a white 2014 Hyundai Elantra also going northbound in the right turn lane.

Police say after the collision, the Nissan lost control and started to spin and then slammed into a large concrete support pillar for the 101 Freeway overpass on Ventura Road just north of Wagon Wheel.

The Sonata continued northbound on Ventura Road, went up an embankment and collided with a water main, sheering off its base.

A passenger in the Nissan, a 19-year-old Oxnard man, suffered major injuries and was taken to VCMC where he is listed in critical condition.

The driver of the Nissan, a 19-year-old Oxnard Resident, suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from VCMC.

The driver of the Hyundai Sonata, a 19-year-old Oxnard resident was treated for minor injuries at VCMC and released.

The driver of the Hyundai Elantra, a 26-year-old Oxnard resident, was not injured.

Police say they are continuing to investigate the crash and do not know if alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash.

Ventura Road was closed for several hours Monday night because of the crash.

Naval Base Ventura County Holding Security Exercise

KVTA News Monday October 24, 2016

Naval Base Ventura County is holding a security exercise Tuesday at their facilities in Port Hueneme and Point Mugu.

The exercise is designed to enhance training and make sure they are ready to deal with any kind of security challenge.

The Navy says Tuesday's exercise is not in response to any specific threats.

They say they will try to minimize disruption to the surrounding communities and they say they do not expect an increase is traffic around the base or any delays in base access.

But people who live or work near the base may see or hear activity that is related to the exercise.

Man Arrested In Sex Trafficking Case

KVTA News Monday October 24, 2016

The Ventura County Human Trafficking Enforcement Team has arrested a man for sex trafficking.

They say that 47-year-old Turran Maurice Wyatt used the Internet to arrange meetings at a Ventura County Hotel between a female prostitute and men who paid for sex.

Prosecutors say Wyatt handled the money.

He was arrested for a single felony count of pimping.

Wyatt is in the Ventura County Jail with his arraignment scheduled for Tuesday.

His bail is $105,000 because he is facing a not only the pimping charge but also a separate felony charge of unlawfully driving or taking a vehicle and a misdemeanor charge of possession of burglar tools.

If convicted on the pimping charge, Wyatt could face a maximum possible sentence of six years in prison.

Missing Driver Found After Thousand Oaks Crash

KVTA News Monday October 24, 2016

Updated---Emergency personnel were faced with a strange situation Monday afternoon in Thousand Oaks.

Around 2:50 PM they responded to the Rancho Conejo Boulevard off ramp from the northbound 101 to a report of a vehicle over the side.

But when the arrived on scene they could not find the vehicle or the driver.

They searched for two hours using the Sheriff's Copter 3 plus deputies and CHP officers on the ground before they finally found the vehicle swallowed up by heavy brush in a ravine off the freeway.

The driver was injured but was able to walk out with the help of rescue personnel.

Such an extensive search for a vehicle following a crash off a rural road in the back country or other remote area of Ventura County is not unusual.

What made this incident strange was that it happened in the middle of a busy urban area right off a major freeway.

But the authorities say the heavy vegetation in the ravine and the way the vehicle crashed made it difficult to find.