<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:24:38 -0700 Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:24:38 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Murder Suspect Arrested at Marine Corps Base]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:38:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Alejandro-Lara-Miramar.jpg

A young man accused in a deadly shooting in Banning, Calif., was arrested over the weekend at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar in San Diego after his family, who’s in the military, allowed him on base.

Alejandro Martinez Lara, 19, was taken into custody at MCAS Miramar Sunday around 2 p.m. for the June 27 murder of Daniel Leonard, officials said.

San Diego Police Department (SDPD) officers were assisted by Military Police with the arrest, and Lara was then taken to Southwest Detention Center in Riverside County.

According to police, Lara is a civilian who has family living on base who allowed him to enter MCAS Miramar. Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) at MCAS Miramar is investigating this aspect of the case, officials said.

On June 27, around 3:45 p.m., Lara allegedly shot and killed Leonard in the 300 block of E. Barbour Street in Banning, about 92 miles away from the base where he was arrested.

Police said Leonard was found with multiple gunshot wounds and died at the scene. Investigators have not yet released details about the motive behind the murder.

Lara is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning. The Banning Police Department Detective Bureau is handling the investigation and says anyone with information should call (951) 849-1771.

Photo Credit: Heather Dimitrievski/Banning Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Shooting Prompts School Lockdown in City Heights]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:34:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/477948479.jpg

A man was shot in the foot in City Heights Tuesday afternoon, prompting the lockdown of a nearby elementary school.

San Diego police say officers responded to the 4400 Wightman Street for a shooting near Henwood Park.

At 1:50 p.m., Rosa Parks Elementary School, a year-round school, was placed on lockdown as a precaution.

The man was taken to Mercy Hospital to be treated for his foot wound.

According to police, the lockdown was lifted at 2:30 p.m.

The investigation is ongoing.

Check back here for details on this breaking news story.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[How to Get to Comic-Con]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:28:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDCC-0726-37.JPG

If you’re one of the thousands of costumed fans who will descend on downtown San Diego this week for Comic-Con, public transit is your best bet for getting to the massive pop culture convention.

The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) plans to boost its Green Line Trolley frequency to every 7.5 minutes during Comic-Con, increasing service for the big event Wednesday through Sunday. This line provides direct service to Trolley stations next to the San Diego Convention Center.

Trolleys will serve the Convention Center from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day. The full MTS Comic-Con schedule can be seen here.

MTS says Trolley stops with the highest capacity of free parking along the Green Line include the lower level of the Hazard Center Station, Qualcomm Stadium, El Cajon Transit Center, Old Town Transit Center and the Grantville Trolley Station.

Riders can also access Comic-Con from the Orange and Blue Lines. Both lines stop at 12th & Imperial Transit Center and from there, riders can transfer to the Green Line.

MTS says downtown is also served by many bus routes, including the new Rapid 215, which departs from SDSU via El Cajon Boulevard, and Rapid 235, which comes from Escondido via Interstate 15.

MTS says riders can make their trip to Comic-Con even faster by getting Trolley tickets via the free MTS mobile ticketing app, mTicket. Passengers can buy and store Trolley tickets on their smartphone and avoid waiting in lines at ticket vending machines or booths. Mobile tickets for one to five days of the convention range in price from $5.50 to $20 per person.

That’s it, Comic-Con fans. May the Force be with you as you brave the caped crowds. To get the latest buzz from San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC) 2015, visit NBC 7's SDCC coverage page.

Photo Credit: Brad Streicher]]>
<![CDATA[Black Tar Heroin in SUV's Transmission]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 12:43:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/BB-Black-Tar-Heroin-0706-2.jpg Images of smuggling attempts at their finest.

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection]]>
<![CDATA[Out-of-Control Car Strikes Man Mowing Lawn]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:18:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Lawn+mower+crash+0702.JPG

A Chula Vista man who was hit by a car while mowing his lawn compared the crash to being tackled by the whole San Diego Chargers team.

Carlos Rodrigues, who shared his harrowing story exclusively with NBC 7 Monday night, said he is not sure how fast the black Ford Focus was moving before impact, but it had speed enough to take out 20 feet of fence, destroy a concrete pillar and knock Rodrigues, his mower and garbage can 15 yards backward.

Now, Rodrigues’ road to recovery is focused on spanning the distance between his couch and kitchen. 

“I'm really beat up. I feel like I got hit by the whole Chargers team without wearing any kind of gear,” he said.

Photographs were taken after emergency crews arrived, one of which shows Rodrigues strapped to a gurney board.

The driver of the Ford Focus standing behind him is 31-year-old Michael Torres, who now faces two counts of DUI. He was treated for minor injuries after the crash and then was booked in San Diego County jail.

He has since been released to await his first court appearance.

Rodrigues’ wife Chris walked the distance from where the car hit her husband to where he landed -- about 45 feet away.

“You just ruined a family for what you did. You hurt us to the core. For me, I regret, have sorrow, sadness, anger and a lot of anger,” she said.

Rodrigues said the most surprising part was that at the time of the collision, he wasn't in the street; he was on his lawn.

“It's really not something you think about when you are mowing your grass,” he said.

His injuries, while not life threatening, may be slow healing. He suffered several cracked ribs, a punctured lung and bruising from his knee to his hip.

The rest are deep scrapes on his elbow and back. Still, Rodrigues is counting his blessings. “I owe it all to God. I believe he was looking out for me,” he said.

Like Carlos, the mower needs some repair. The next time the uses it, he plans to approach it far more cautiously.

“I just feel very fortunate and I am not going to take another day for granted,” Rodrigues said.

<![CDATA[Car Drove Onto Beach on 4th of July]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 15:20:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Mission-Beach-Driver-Arrest2.jpg

If you were in the Mission Beach area on Fourth of July, you may have noticed an out-of-control-car drive erratically onto the sand Saturday night.

NBC7 first heard of the incident from viewers, who wrote in about a silver SUV that plowed through the sidewalk on the bay, right outside the Catamaran resort.

Robert Thele was on the beach Saturday and saw the incident play out. He says the driver was going way too fast, hitting several abandoned bikes and scaring a lot of people.

“He could’ve hurt people very easily,” Thele said.

What started off as a fender bender on Mission Boulevard ballooned into the arrest of the driver, Villiami Pomale, on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.

San Diego Police say when two drivers got into the collision they began arguing.

When an off-duty police officer pulled over and tried to intervene, he noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from one of the drivers.

The officer asked the driver to stay at the scene but that driver jumped into his car and threatened to drive off.

The off-duty officer jumped in front of the car in an attempt to keep him from driving off.

That’s when the suspect drove off, entering the bay at San Jose and driving along the water all the way to Fanuel.

The driver abandoned his car and ran off, officials said.

Chad Wail was visiting from out of town, he saw the erratic driving incident.

He told NBC 7 the beaches were packed on Saturday because of the holiday. People on the beach were “cussing, jumping and diving out of the way,” Wail said.

Officers say they eventually caught up with Pomale and took him into custody. He faces charges of driving under the influence, hit and run and assault with a deadly weapon.

No one on the beach was injured.

Photo Credit: Mary Shepard
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<![CDATA[Tot Burned by Hot Coals at Beach ]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 11:57:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tot-hot-coals-070715_2.jpg

Mia Commer was at La Jolla Shores celebrating her sister’s 11th birthday on Sunday when her mother heard her screaming in pain.

“Our two-year-old barely stepped off the grass into a dirt circle and starting screaming in tremendous pain. As soon as we ran over we realized she had stepped in hot coals someone had dumped there,” said Lisa Commer, the toddler’s mother.

The coals were covered with dirt and just 30-feet from a playground where kids were playing, Mia's mother told NBC 7.

Lifeguards were there to help the toddler and put cold water on her foot to ease the pain. Lifeguards then told her mother that the burns looked more serious and that she needed to go to the hospital.

The family took Mia to Rady Children’s hospital but she was then sent to UCSD Medical Center’s burn unit with second-degree burns.

Click to see Mia's injury - Warning Graphic Image

“As a mom it was really frustrating to know that someone couldn’t take the time to put their coals in the proper receptacles. They definitely shouldn’t be placed where anyone let alone a two-year-old would step on them; seeing her in that much pain has been really frustrating,” said Commer.

Mia will have to undergo several follow-up sessions with doctors before her burns heal. Doctors told the toddler’s mother that she can walk on her foot but her mother tells NBC 7 that Mia is crawling and asking to be held because of the pain.

“Please walk the extra 15-feet or whatever it may have been to put those coals where they need to go," she said. "Don't take the short cut and really think about what your actions can do.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Artifacts, Donations Sought for Cedar Fire Monument]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 14:51:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Cedar-Fire-Monument-FB.jpg

A monument in the East County honoring the victims of San Diego’s devastating 2003 Cedar Fire is nearly completed and organizers are now seeking artifacts from survivors.

The Cedar Fire Monument stands next to the Lakeside Fire Administration Office on Lakeside Avenue and pays tribute to those who died in the deadly blaze that destroyed thousands of homes and left more than 100 people injured in San Diego.

The community project will include a garden and art installations inspired by the Cedar Fire.

The monument also aims to be used as a community gathering space and an educational tool on wildfires for residents and students. The main walkway to the monument contains a chronology of fires that have impacted the Lakeside area, as well as information on fire preparedness.

“The Cedar Fire Historical Monument will be a place that will be forever set aside for our community to remember the devastating wildfire that touched all of our lives,” the website for the project explains. “It will be a place for reflection and remembrance of those that tragically lost their lives. It will also be there to provide education and awareness for the next time wildfire threatens our community.”

Lakeside Fire Protection District Fire Chief Andy Parr said the site is about 90 percent completed and will be ready to officially open to the public by late October – the 12th anniversary of the fire.

For now, organizers are in the process of collecting more donations for the project, as well as artifacts from survivors of the fire that artists will incorporate into artworks that will be on display at the site. Organizers are asking survivors to bring their items from the Cedar Fire to the monument on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

“Some of that artwork might be some items from the fire that might have uniquely melted into artistic shapes or pieces of the rubble of a home that a local artisan may have turned into art or something else very special,” Parr told NBC 7 Tuesday. “We hope something like that comes forward with this call.”

To donate to the Cedar Fire Monument click here or here. Donations can also be dropped off at the Lakeside Fire Administration Office Monday through Thursday between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Checks can also be mailed directly to: San Diego Regional Fire Foundation, ATTN: Cedar Fire Monument, 2508 Historic Decatur Rd., Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92106-6138.

Parr said many community members have made donations toward the monument, and local building industry businesses and trades have been generous with their time and contributions to the project as well.

‘We'd like to raise another $25,000 to assist with the final touches and some of the educational elements/programs that are planned to accompany the site,” Parr explained.

When the project is 100 percent complete, Parr said it will be a symbol of the community.

“The monument is being built just how it was envisioned by the community. Years of committee work, fundraising and other events have turned this place from a vision into a reality,” he said.

“The Cedar Fire of 2003 touched all of us here in Lakeside very deeply and this project has been an opportunity to create something very special from a small sliver of land at the site of Lakeside's newest fire station that was built with the Cedar Fire in mind. The committee owes a great debt of gratitude to many, many people that have helped with this site,” Parr added.

Photo Credit: Cedar Fire Monument/Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[More of SD's Worst Streets Upgraded by $74M in Fixes]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:43:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/san+diego+road+repairs.JPG

Another major effort to bring San Diego's worst streets out of their shabby state of disrepair got underway Monday.

Over the next year, the city expects to upgrade about 300 miles -- double the distance of last year’s fixes -- at a cost of $74 million.

The five-year target is to fix a thousand miles, almost a third of San Diego’s roadway system.

The last complete survey of city streets in 2011 showed that 40 percent were in "fair" condition, with 25 percent rated "poor."

By now there’s increasing momentum toward getting those numbers into higher categories.

Monday’s starting point for the latest push was the 9900 block of Rio San Diego Road in Mission Valley.

It's a heavily traveled stretch through dense housing complexes, business and commercial centers that gets even more traffic during Chargers game days and holiday shopping season.

Nearby residents watching the news conference involving a delegation of City Hall bigwigs, including Mayor Kevin Faulconer and two councilmembers, were happy to get the word.

"I like that they're actually fixing the roads. Potholes can be pretty inconvenient to everybody and it's dangerous," Tonia Gamara told NBC 7.

"Especially when it rains, obviously the new potholes emerge and it's pretty important that they do this … it's the danger factor and people can get hurt," she added.

Officials say about a third of the work calls for a "mill and pave overlay," which should last about five years.

Most of the rest will take a more superficial "slurry seal" application," with a small fraction needing deep new concrete replacements.

It's a given that motorists will applaud the accelerated improvements, but the news figures to be even more welcome to folks traveling on two wheels.

Bicyclists don't have cushy tires and shock absorbers to soften the jarring of cracks and potholes, or seat belts and air bags to protect them from worse outcomes.

"It's needed, to put some money into it -- I could definitely see that,” said Greg Bayard, as he lugged a racing bike into North Park’s Adams Avenue Bicycles for tire repairs.

"It's pretty easy to get a flat tire," he said. "When the rain comes, you can see the cracks open up. It's definitely not the quality that you would see in some other cities."

Nate Whitsell, one of the shop’s mechanics, seconded that observation.

"I've had my hands knocked off the handlebars, not seeing a pothole, not seeing a crack in the road, and had some close calls,” Whitsell recalled. “But that's something we've come to expect and accept bicycling in San Diego … obviously, as they continue to pave, we're just thankful."

All this work isn't just being bankrolled by San Diego bond money.

Also in the mix are regional TransNet gas taxes and state Proposition 42 funds, accounting for the many other drivers – and cyclists -- who use city streets.

<![CDATA[Conan O'Brien in Town for Comic-Con 2015]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 07:28:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Conan-Comic-Con-bus-stop.jpg NBC 7's Catherine Garcia and Mark Mullen talk about the signs that Comic-Con is here in San Diego this week including a photo of Conan O'Brien right outside 225 Broadway.

Photo Credit: Courtesy @ConanOBrien]]>
<![CDATA[Rolando Man Jumps from Burning Home]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 06:54:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rolando-Fire-Man-Jumps.jpg NBC 7's Elena Gomez reports on the overnight fire that officials say may have started in the man's laundry room. ]]> <![CDATA[Local Family Raises Concern About Cancer Nonprofit]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 13:43:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Brianna+King+July+2015+Booking+Photo.jpg

A Rancho Penasquitos family is raising concerns about a local charity called WishWarriors, saying the nonprofit took advantage of their situation as they tried to save their 13-year-old daughter's life. 

Within a week of Kasey Harvey’s Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer diagnosis late last year, her parents got a letter from one of Kasey’s schoolmates. In the letter, the girl writes her father is Robert Bjork and he works for WishWarriors. According to the letter, WishWarriors “helps raise money for families of children with cancer.”

The Harveys say instead of receiving any support, they feel their daughter was treated like a marketing tool.

NBC 7 Investigates started digging into WishWarriors and found multiple emails, advertisements and texts showing organizers, particularly CEO and President Brianna King, promising the family financial support for allowing the charity to highlight them.

When the family agreed to let the charity highlight Kasey, they soon saw their daughter’s story on local news segments, on social media and in a magazine article that read, “WishWarriors is supporting Kasey and her family through their journey.”

“When they said they were helping us financially through it, we sort of said to our friends, 'That’s not correct. We haven’t had any money,'” said Susan Harvey, Kasey’s mother.

The Harveys were heavily involved in a WishWarriors-hosted golf tournament at Maderas Gold Club last April. NBC 7 Investigates confirmed the fundraiser was attended by San Diego Chargers players and received thousands of dollars in donations from other participants.

At last check, none of that money has been distributed to any families. WishWarriors said in June it would release information about the money raised. That information has not been provided.

An attorney for the charity wrote in a statement the organization is "new and small" and doesn't have the resources "to handle administrative duties full-time."

Since forming in April 2014, WishWarriors has highlighted several local families with sick children and, to date, none of them have received any money.

“You shouldn’t have to go through that when you’re also trying to save your daughter’s life,” said Rodney Harvey, Kasey’s father.

NBC 7 also learned that 45 percent of all donations is slated to go to what the charity’s website calls “today’s most advanced cancer research.” Specifically named is The Biotelesis Project, where the independent researcher and sole owner is Dr. Robert Bjork - the same man whose daughter sent the Harveys that handwritten letter. Bjork is also one of the charity’s board members and the chair of its advisory board.

“People shouldn’t be making decisions to be giving money to themselves,” said Daniel Borochoff. Borochoff is the president of Charity Watch, a national charity watchdog group.

“You need some checks and balances there,” he said.

WishWarriors says there is no conflict of interest because Bjork will recuse himself from any board votes involving donated money.

A check by NBC 7 Investigates into WishWarriors President and CEO Brianna King uncovered a criminal past.

While King was running the charity, she had two active arrest warrants. In Riverside County, King was charged in 2005 with a misdemeanor for writing bad checks to two stores. King never appeared in court. Two years later, in Orange County, King pleaded guilty to felony charges for burglary and writing bad checks.

After NBC 7 Investigates asked questions about those warrants, law enforcement arrested King late Friday in Lake Arrowhead in connection with the Orange County felony charges. Currently, she is at an Orange County jail and is ineligible for bail.

NBC 7 Investigates has asked both King and Dr. Bjork for on-camera interviews. Neither have made themselves available.

The Harveys say they feel hurt and disgusted about being involved with WishWarriors. They say the organization broke their trust and cost them valuable time with their daughter.

“You cannot do something like that to a family who’s going through cancer. You just can’t,” said Susan.

Borochoff, the president of Charity Watch, gave tips on what people should do before getting involved with a new charity:

1. You need to be able to trust the people running it.

2. Research the organizers online.

3. Ask for their qualifications. They should have past experience.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[67 Dogs Rescued After 4th of July]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 20:37:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/lost+corgi.jpg

Fourth of July fireworks scared many animals away from their homes Saturday night, so the county’s animal shelters are now trying to reunite dozens of dogs with their families.

San Diego County Animal Services says Independence Day is one of the busiest times for them, since dogs tend to panic and run away during the big booms and flashes in the sky.

Over this weekend, the county’s three shelters took in 67 dogs, compared to the prior weekend’s 37. Last year, 83 dogs were rescued over the 4th of July weekend, county officials say.

So far, only 18 owners have found their dogs, while roughly another 48 are still waiting in the shelters.

If you’ve lost your dog, check out Animal Services’ lost and found page and compare pictures. You can also call 619-767-2675. The shelters open at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

You can download and check the free app Finding Rover, which uses facial recognition, to see if your dog has been listed there.

“The best way to protect your dog from getting lost is to license your pet and make sure he is microchipped. Finally, register your dog with Finding Rover,” said Animal Services Deputy Director Dan DeSousa. “Those are the three things that will help bring Rover home.”

Those who find a lost animal are asked to make sure the dog stays on your property until it can be picked up by an Animal Services officer.

All of the county’s shelters offer a microchipping clinic Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m., which costs $10 per microchip.

Animal Services covers the unincorporated parts of the county and has contracts with San Diego, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Santee.

Photo Credit: County Animal Services]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Giraffe Explores Safari Park Home]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:52:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/congo+baby+giraffe.JPG

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park got a gangly new resident for its East Africa habitat Monday morning.

A Ugandan giraffe calf, born on June 22, left his care area for the first time, following his mother Chinde to the habitat’s watering hole.

The zoo baby, named Congo after the famous African river, already stands more than six feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds.

Zoo officials say though all nine types of giraffes are in decline, the Ugandan giraffe is the only endangered subspecies. Fewer than 700 remain in small, isolated populations in Kenya and Uganda, experts believe.

Congo is the 161st giraffe born at the Safari Park since its opening in 1972, and he joins the 11 other members of the park’s herd.

Along with Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the San Diego Zoo Global organization is trying to work with Kenyan pastoralists to protect the remaining giraffes on the savanna.

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park ]]>
<![CDATA[Selfie Stick Backlash Leads to Ban]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:33:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/selfie+stick+generic.jpg

From national parks to amusement parks, the selfie stick is everywhere.

Larry Kuntz said he sells them every day at his San Diego photo store.
"If you had told me five years ago this would be my most popular camera accessory I would have laughed," said Kuntz, owner of Nelson Photo in Little Italy.
But selfie sticks are creating some controversy. The telescoping aluminum polls that hold cell phone cameras and Go Pros are accused of creating a hazard at some locations.  
This year Comic-Con has banned the selfie stick from it's convention.  The event joins Disneyland, which has already banned selfie sticks from its park.
"They're everywhere," said Kuntz. "It's hard to control."
They are popular with tourists, common at many big attractions.  
SeaWorld and Legoland allow them into the park but not on the rides. The San Diego Zoo lets them in as long as you don't hold them over fences, dividers or put them inside enclosures.
Mike White said he can't understand why people need a stick to take a picture of themselves.
"I think it would be faster just to ask some people to take a picture of you," said White.

<![CDATA[Red Cross Seeks Real Hero Nominations]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:37:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Generic-Red-Cross.jpg

Every day we are surrounded by heroes, and each year the San Diego branch of the Red Cross honors local individuals and organizations that have made a difference through its Real Heroes Breakfast.

Starting now, the Red Cross is accepting nominations for the 13th Annual Real Heroes event.

To submit a nomination, visit the Red Cross website, email it events.sandiegoca@redcross.org, fax it to 858-309-1285 or mail it to the following address: 

American Red Cross
Attn: Real Heroes
3950 Calle Fortunada
San Diego, CA 92123

The breakfast, which features amazing stories, will be on Sept. 25 aboard the USS Midway Museum. Nominations are due no later than July 15.

Heroes are nominated by the public and are chosen by an awards selection committee made of local community and business leaders. They are selected based how much their actions in the community reflect the Red Cross' values, as well as the impact they will leave on residents.

Awards will be given in eight categories: adult, animal, community partner, fire/rescue, law enforcement, military, youth and the Wendell Cutting Humanitarian award.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Tap Water Used to Fill Lakes and Ponds]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:28:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chollas+lake.JPG At a time when everyone in California is being asked to cut back on their water use, millions of gallons of San Diego's drinking is being used to fill up lakes and ponds around the city. NBC 7's Greg Bledsoe has more on what's happening at Chollas Lake.]]> <![CDATA[Padres Get One All-Star In 2015]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:11:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/GettyImages-478827984.jpg

If we could put together an All-Star team full of guys with ties to San Diego, that team would be pretty darn good.

The Padres have only one All-Star representative in 2015 but it's a pretty good one. Justin Upton is going to Cincinnati for the Midsummer Classic. Upton leads the Padres in home runs, RB I and runs scored. He certainly deserves the recognition.

The list of guys who have either played for the Padres or hail from our town is awfully long. Orioles outfielder Adam Jones (Morse High), Dodgers 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez (Eastlake High) and former University of San Diego star Kris Bryant, who will replace injured Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, all earned All-Star spots.

Former Padres 1st baseman Anthony Rizzo is an All-Star as a Chicago Cub and former Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal is now an All-Star as a Los Angeles Dodger. It's that last one that will really draw the ire of Padres fans.

Forget about the fact he was popped for using performance-enhancing drugs. That's not even the main issue here. The main issue is Grandal is on the team instead of Padres catcher Derek Norris (Giants catcher Buster Posey is the starter and Cardinals star Yadier Molina are the other backstops).

The argument can be made the Grandal has better offensive numbers, even though Norris has driven in 12 more runs and scored 11 more runs (likely a product of having 78 more plate appearances. The argument can not be made the Grandal has better defensive numbers.

In fact, according to Fangraphs, Norris is the 2nd-best defensive catcher in the National League (just slightly behind Molina) while Grandal is the WORST defensive catcher in the NL (and it's not even close). So that one is a head-scratcher.

But, as many have pointed out on Twitter, Norris has played an avalanche of innings already this year. Perhaps him getting four days off is more important than the honor of being an All-Star.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[World Cup Win Re-Energizes Female Soccer]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:36:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Soccer+fever+web+img+0706.jpg

Soccer fever hit San Diego hard after the United States’ World Cup win in 1999 and has continued to surge here, coaches say.

On Sunday, 23 million Americans watched the U.S. Women’s National Team defeat Japan 5-2 and San Diego was one of the markets where the most viewers tuned in.

A lot of those viewers were young girls, like 10-year-old Maggie Taitano, who attends a soccer camp at University of San Diego.

She watches every U.S. game and even went to two World Cup matches in Vancouver, B.C.

“She tested the goalie on her third goal for a hat trick and that was really good,” Maggie said of the United States' star midfielder Carli Lloyd.

Many of the young girls who spoke to NBC 7 on Monday could rattle off the lineup of the women’s national team without hesitation. The popularity of female soccer has been felt all over the United States, as our country boast the second highest number of female soccer players in the world, according to FIFA.

Ada Greenwood, the head coach of USD’s women’s soccer team, runs a youth soccer camp every year. He saw a huge uptick in popularity of soccer after the 1999 World Cup win.

Sunday’s victory will energize the next generation of female athletes and keep that momentum going, he said.

“The numbers, the ratings on TV have been going way up over here,” he said. “The coverage has been good, so it’s been very, very positive. It’s going to have a massive effect on women’s soccer and youth soccer all over the country.”

<![CDATA[School Briefly Locked Down in Skyline Area]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 16:28:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/audubon+k-8+school.JPG

A year-round school was briefly locked down Monday after a teacher reported hearing a gunshot in the Skyline area, San Diego Unified School District officials say.

A teacher said she may have heard gunfire outside the Audubon K-8 school, located at 811 San Vicente Street, after 3:30 p.m.

As a precaution, the principal put the school on lockdown as San Diego Police investigated.

However, officers did not find anything suspicious, so the lockdown was lifted a short time later.

According to SDUSD officials, students had been released at 3:30 p.m., so it's unclear how many people were on campus during the lockdown.

The school, which sits near Lomita Park, has a prekindergarten through eighth grade classes and follows the district's year-round calendar.

Photo Credit: Google Maps]]>
<![CDATA[Man Dies After Crashing Into Tree Off SR-163]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:46:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/eucalyptus+generic.jpg

An 84-year-old man died Monday after his vehicle veered off State Route 163 and struck a tree.

According to the medical examiner's office, Charles Babin, who lives in San Diego with his wife, was driving alone in his Hyundai Sonata just before 7 a.m., heading south on SR-163.

Just north of Interstate 805, witnesses saw his vehicle turn to the right and off the road. Babin then hit a large eucalyptus tree.

Emergency crews took Babin to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The cause of his death has not been determined, the medical examiner's office says.

<![CDATA[Large Chemical Spill Reported at El Cajon Business]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 19:19:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/El-Cajon-hazmat-IMG_1315.jpg

A large chemical spill was reported Monday at an El Cajon company that sells water treatment chemicals.

Abcana Industries discovered the leak around 5:30 a.m. at the company’s location on West Bradley Avenue and North Johnson Avenue.

Concentrated bleach leaked out of a storage tank and reached a secondary container, a three-foot concrete wall, according to Heartland Fire and Rescue crews.

Employees estimate the spill at 2,000 gallons.

The company was instructed to have a private clean-up crew come in and use a vacuum truck to clean up the spill.

No word on how long the tank was leaking.

The company sells wholesale water treatment chemicals for water parks, pool service, laundry facilities and other businesses.

"We are taking soil samples, as well as liquid samples just to confirm what type of product it is,” said Chris Jensen with Heartland Fire and Rescue. “As well to see how far in the soil it may have gotten and what mitigation we may need to do there as well.”

After the clean-up phase Environmental Health will determine the cause.

Officials say the spill does not appear intentional.

Photo Credit: Greg Stickney, NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[The Real Reason the USA Won the World Cup]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 16:36:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/2015+US+Womens+World+Cup+Title.jpg

Watching the USA Women’s National team win the World Cup was awesome. Carli Lloyd, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach and Hope Solo are now household names. But there is another, unsung hero of America’s rise to soccer power. It’s been around for years and it’s going to keep the United States atop the soccer world for the foreseeable future.

You’ve probably heard of this before, but you’ve never seen it actually on the pitch. It’s never scored a goal. It’s never made a save. But without it, women’s soccer in America probably would not be what it is today.

This mysterious entity is … Title IX.

Yes, the occasionally controversial rule that (in a nutshell) makes educational institutions provide as many chances for female students as male students, including in athletics, inadvertently started a movement that turned the USA in to the world’s per-eminent soccer force. I’m not just speculating here. There is hard evidence, and plenty of it.

Title IX was adopted in 1972 and had an athletics regulation added in 1975. Schools had until 1978 to be fully compliant. With more opportunities to get a college education, many of them through athletics, more and more young women started playing sports. The National Federation of State High School Associations has tracked participation levels since the 1970’s. Starting in the last half of the decade, the number of girls playing soccer started to skyrocket.

Exactly 13 years later the USA won the inaugural Women’s World Cup. That time frame is not coincidental. Once more girls had access to the game, they flocked to it and that first generation of Title IX athletes became champions. The 1991 Women’s World Cup didn’t make much of a splash state-side because the tournament was played in China and broadcast in the U.S. by the now-defunct Sportschannel America, which did not have nation-wide cable coverage. But it set up the unbelievable run of dominance Team USA still enjoys today (we’ve never finished worse than third in any of the seven Women’s World Cup tournaments).

In 1999 women’s soccer in the U.S. finally caught on. That team that won it on penalty kicks played all its games on American soil, with the final taking place in the Rose Bowl. It set TV ratings records and is still has the highest average attendance for the event with nearly 38,000 people in the stands for each game.

That team is often heralded as the reason women’s soccer is so popular in the United States. But, the data shows a SLOWING in the sport’s growth in the country.

From the late 1970’s to 1999, the number of girls playing high school soccer grew by nearly 225,000. From 1999 through today it’s only grown by about 125,000. Certainly nothing to sneeze at, and soccer is now the third-most popular high school sport for females (behind basketball and volleyball), but not the magnet to the game many believe it to be. Interestingly, during the last 16 years the real increases have been in other areas.

Lacrosse, hockey (both field and ice) and extreme sports like snowboarding and skiing have exploded with female participants. So you see it was not the 1999 team that made us soccer champions. That had already happened, several years before. Perhaps the real impact of the 1999 team was it inspired American girls to play sports … but not necessarily soccer.

Maybe those champions showed America’s youth they can do whatever they want to do. They can play lacrosse or jump on a half-pipe if they want to. Perhaps that will also be the legacy of the 2015 team. Only time will tell.

But one thing that I can guarantee is our standing as one of the best soccer nations on earth is in no way in jeopardy. Our sheer number of athletes will ensure that. At their last count (which took place in 2006), FIFA revealed there at about 1.6 million FIFA-registered female soccer players, of all ages, in America. That’s by far the largest participation number on earth. In fact, the seven countries we played en route to the World Cup title (Australia, Sweden, Nigeria, Colombia, China, Germany and Japan) COMBINED have 1,225,310 FIFA-registered female soccer players.

The U.S.A. will remain at or near the top of the pack for decades, and every four years we’ll be able to get together and root on a new group of women who got a chance to play because in the 1970’s people finally realized what became a popular social media hashtag this year:


And in America, we can add another one:

#WeCanWin (and usually do)

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: San Diego Soccer Star's Amazing Story]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:55:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GARZAINTVSW0705_1200x675_477824067747.jpg

The only thing more inspiring than an Olympic athlete is a Paralympic athlete.

U.S. Paralympic Soccer team captain and Chula Vista native David Garza stopped by NBC 7 SportsWrap to talk with Sports Director Jim Laslavic about overcoming a traumatic brain injury to lead Team U.S.A. to a 2016 Rio Paralympic berth.

If you or someone you know want to follow in Garza’s footsteps, U.S. Soccer is looking for players for the adult team (ages 18-35) and is currently beginning a National Youth team starting at the age of 13. Players are afforded the same rights as other U.S. Soccer teams. Meaning there is no costs associated with being on the team. Flights, accommodations and Nike-sponsored clothing and footwear are provided.

In order to try out for the USPNT one must have a background in soccer and either:
                -Been born with cerebral palsy
                -Suffered a traumatic brain injury
                -Have had a stroke

If you're interested email coach Stuart Sharp: ssharp@ussoccer.org or go to the U.S. Paralympic Soccer webpage at http://www.ussoccer.com/paralympic-national-team.

<![CDATA[Mom of Plane Crash Victim: He's a 'Miracle Dude']]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 11:06:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Nicholas-Baer-0706.jpg

A Carlsbad boy underwent brain surgery after he was struck in a plane crash on the beach Saturday.

Nicholas Baer had no idea he was in the path of danger on Carlsbad beach near Cannon Road.

He was walking back from the water after body surfing and to his left, a plane with engine trouble was flying low along the sand.

As the pilot reached the area where Nicholas was standing, the plane flipped over and landed upside down, striking the 12-year-old boy in the head.

"Nicholas was pretty much at the end of that plane's journey," the boy's mother Janice Baer said Monday. "Somehow he was in that area at the time, so I think he's a miracle dude."

Janice said she learned of the accident when a family friend called her. She admits she was having trouble connecting the dots between a plane crash and her son being injured. When she heard, "I think he got hit in the head by the propeller" she dropped the phone.

Bill Baer said he and his wife rushed to the beach and were able to join their son as emergency personnel loaded him in the ambulance.

Nicholas suffered a concussion and underwent emergency brain surgery at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.

"He's had a fantastic recovery," said neurosurgeon Hal Meltzer, M.D. "He did have to have surgery the night he came in. The surgery could not have gone better."


His parents say Nicholas doesn't remember the moment of impact.

"He's been fairly quiet about it," Bill said. "I think a lot of it, he's just tired. He wants to go home."

"Watching some of the videos, it's kind of surreal for him," he added.

FAA officials say the plane lost power before the crash. It's registered to Air Ads Inc., based out of Gillespie Field in El Cajon.

The owner of the plane told NBC7 the pilot had 700 hours of training and the plane had just been serviced and checked out okay.

The pilot was uninjured.

Baer will attend seventh grade at Valley Middle School. Some of his classmates shaved their heads as a show of support. 

The gesture meant a lot, according to Nicholas' parents.

"He was so mad about his bald head. I mean that's what makes the sweetness of his little buddy shaving their heads. It's just wonderful," Janice Baer said.

Photo Credit: Family photo]]>
<![CDATA[Beach Crowds Not Quite as Expected]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:33:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Beach+crowds+2+0703.jpg

The holiday weekend did not bring the crowds expected to San Diego-area beaches and businesses. 

“On Sunday, it was like a ghost town here,” said Dennis Fagan, the owner of P.B. Sun and Surf.

The number of people who gathered at the beach over the three-day weekend was about half of what was expected, San Diego Lifeguards reported Monday.

The gray overcast skies San Diego experienced were not good for spending a day at the beach or spending money at local businesses.

Saturday was by far the busiest day, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue spokesperson Lee Swanson.

He reported beach attendance at 313,000 people Saturday. Over the holiday weekend, a little over half a million people enjoyed the sand and surf, officials said.

Sunday was the slowest day with approximately 66,000 people heading to the shore.

In comparison, last year's crowds numbered 459,000 with the Fourth of July holiday on a Friday. An estimated 275,500 people were reported on San Diego's beaches on July 5, 2014.

Rich Walwood of Mission Surf said business may be off slightly over last year's holiday weekend.

“Business wise in terms of numbers, it was about the same as last year, maybe a little bit down, 10 to 20 percent,” he said.

While many restaurants and bars say they did not see that big of a drop in customers, it's the specialty shops that seemed to take the biggest hit.

The owner of Ocean's Ice Cream in PB, says business was down about $3,000 over the holiday weekend.

Fagan says his business was down some 40-percent.

“Usually on July 3rd, I'm on my knees in here praying to the weather gods that there will be no marine layer, no fog and no rain. And this year, they didn't listen,” he said laughing.

On Friday, tourism officials told NBC 7 that 99 percent of the area's hotel rooms were booked for the weekend.

San Diego Lifeguards also reported they handled 258 medical aid calls and took part in 154 water rescues over the holiday weekend.

<![CDATA[Bringing Comic-Con to Barrio Logan]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 17:07:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/liberty11P0705_1200x675_477984323831.jpg Residents in one San Diego neighborhood say their community is often overlooked in the celebrations. NBC7's Liberty Zabala reports on how neighbors are trying to bring Comic Con to Barrio Logan. ]]> <![CDATA[SUV Crashes into Tree, Water Pipe]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 07:28:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SUVCrash0706.jpg A driver was injured when his SUV crashed into a tree and a water pipe early Monday near Ruffin Road and Waxie Way in Kearny Mesa. NBC 7's Chris Chan reports. ]]> <![CDATA[U.S. Soccer Looking for Paralympic Athletes]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 11:00:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Soccer+Header+Generic+Soccer.jpg

Earlier this summer, the U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team clinched a spot for the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

But Coach Stuart Sharp and company aren’t sitting idly by. Instead, they are on the lookout, ready to add some new talent to their roster.

“The next 12 months is going to be an exciting and busy time for the USPNT (U.S. Paralympic National Team). Like any national team we are constantly looking to recruit new talent…Our key focus is now next years’ competition in Brazil and we are going to work hard to make sure we give it our all to represent the U.S.A. with a team to be proud of,” said Coach Sharp.

In order to try out for the USPNT, players must have a background in soccer and either:

  • Been born with cerebral palsy
  • Suffered a traumatic brain injury
  • Have had a stroke

U.S. Soccer is looking for players for the adult team (ages 18-35) and is currently beginning a National Youth team starting at the age of 13.

Players are afforded the same rights as other U.S. Soccer teams. Meaning there is no costs associated with being on the team. Flights, accommodations and Nike sponsored clothing and footwear are provided.

If you are interested email coach Stuart Sharp: ssharp@ussoccer.org, or go to the U.S. Paralympic Soccer webpage at by clicking here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Girl, 7, Killed Crossing Oceanside Street]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 20:13:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/oceanside-fatal-girl-0705.jpg

A family's decision to jaywalk across a busy Oceanside street Saturday cost a child her life, officials said.

The 7-year-old girl was struck and killed on Mission Avenue near Frontier Drive Sunday afternoon around 2 p.m.

Her parents had just taken the children shopping at a nearby swapmeet for one child's birthday presents, police said.

Officers said a Toyota Tundra pick-up truck hit the little girl when she ran into the street ahead of her parents.

Paramedics on scene took the girl to Tri-City Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.

Nearby resident Alma Rivera and her family took the mourning father and his other child into their home to help comfort them.

"Even though I don't know that girl. it did hit me hard," she said.

When asked if there was any lesson we could learn from the child's tragic death, Rivera said, "You need to use the light and not just cross."

Oceanside police say the family made the dangerous decision to jay walk across Mission, about 70-yards away from the crosswalk.

The initial investigation revealed DUI was not suspected to be a factor in the crash. The truck's driver will not face charges, officials said.

This is the second fatal jaywalking accident in the area over the past five years, according to investigators.

Lucy Rodriguez, who lives nearby, said she sees people dodging traffic on Mission far too often.

"Families cross the street with their kids and its dangerous there because it's a lot of traffic there," she said.

<![CDATA[Hundreds Help Clean Up San Diego's Shoreline]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 15:00:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SandPro7_0908.jpg Hundreds of volunteers are preparing to cleanup our coast. Beachgoers from the 4th of July holiday left behind lots of trash, so this morning several local groups will help clean up the mess. NBC 7's Diana Guevara reports live. ]]> <![CDATA[Two Injured After Suspected DUI Driver Crashes Car]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 14:32:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/friars+road+i15+crash+web.jpg

Two people suffered serious injuries after a driver suspected of driving under the influence swerved and struck a streetlight pole head-on late Saturday night, police said.

The crash happened at approximately 10:23 p.m. Saturday night on Friars Road near Interstate 15 when a 20-year-old female driver, suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, was driving westbound on Friars Road.

Police said that for an unknown reason, the driver swerved to the right and hit a pole, without braking before her impact.

Her 21-year-old passenger, who was not wearing a seatbelt, suffered major head and chest trauma from the impact.

The driver also suffered major trauma.

Both were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Police said they will seek a warrant for the drivers arrest. The Traffic Division is investigating.

<![CDATA[Padres Can't Beat Cardinals Rookie]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 13:59:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/174*120/GettyImages-479481754.jpg

The St. Louis Cardinals have three starting pitchers who sit in the top-10 in National League in Earned Run Average. The Padres faced all three of them in their 4-game series at Busch Stadium and the guy they could not figure out how to solve is a 27-year-old rookie outfielder.

Tommy Pham hit his first career home run in the Cards’ 3-1 win over the Friars on Sunday. Pham accounted for all three of the Cardinals runs. He also had an RBI double off losing pitcher Ian Kennedy. On both the double and the homer he drove in starting pitcher Lance Lynn, who was another big problem for the Padres.

Lynn had two hits, only one fewer than he gave up in 7.0 innings on the mound. Lynn struck out eight and only allowed one run on a Matt Kemp RBI single in the third inning.

Pham is the guy most responsible for the Cardinals splitting the 4-game series. After the Padres took the first two of their 10-game road trip Pham scored both of the St. Louis runs in Saturday’s 2-1 win. If you’re wondering how it took this guy so long to get to the big leagues, the answer is health.

Pham was drafted in 2006 out of high school in Las Vegas. He’s always had a big upside but injuries have slowed his development. Pham has never played more than 114 games in a professional season. Ironically, it’s injuries to Matt Holliday and John Jay that cleared room for Pham to finally contribute in The Show.

For the Padres offense, the last three games have been typically frustrating. Just three hits (all singles) and one run on Sunday. Nine hits (eight singles) and one run on Saturday. Eight hits (six singles) and only two runs on Friday in a game they did win 2-1.

Usually the Padres would be happy to split a 4-game set on the road against the team with the best record in baseball. But when you’ve been struggling and you win the first two, settling for a tie is going to be considered a missed opportunity.

The Friars open a 3-game set in Pittsburgh on Monday night with a good pitching matchup. James Shields takes the mound against A.J. Burnett.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Big Bay Boom Lights Up San Diego Harbor]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 06:54:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/big+bay+boom+2015+2.jpg More than 14,000 pounds of explosives lit up the San Diego Embarcadero during the city's annual Big Bay Boom.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 Staff]]>
<![CDATA[Behind the 'Big Bay Boom' Fireworks]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 12:00:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Greg6p0704_1200x675_477030467678.jpg One man took NBC 7's Greg Bledsoe through the process leading up to San Diego's spectacular Big Bay Boom. ]]> <![CDATA[Suspect, Officer in Shooting ID'd]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 15:15:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Black-Mountain-Ranch-OIS-0703.jpg

San Diego Police have identified the officer and the suspect involved in a shooting Thursday that left the suspect dead after he allegedly tried to charge at the officer with a knife.

Twenty-four-year San Diego Police veteran Michael Alberts was one of several officers that was called to a condominium complex in the 14600 block of Via Fiesta around 11:40 p.m. to investigate a reported assault among neighbors.

A couple called police to report that a neighbor started yelling at them while they were walking in the area. The couple said the neighbor then threw cigarettes and lit matches toward them and  kicked one of them.

When officers arrived, they found the victim who said he had been attacked and kicked by the man who lived in the complex.

Police went to the suspect’s home and knocked on the door. 60-year-old Ton Nguyen of San Diego exited holding a knife -- possibly a large kitchen knife, the SDPD said. Officers told the man to drop the knife, but he allegedly refused, and charged at one officer and attempted to stab him.

The SDPD said Alberts fired one shot from his service weapon, hitting the suspect in the torso. After Nguyen as down, the officers rendered aid until medics arrived on scene, the police department said.

The suspect was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital where he died a short time later. 

SDPD Homicide Lt. Paul Rorrison said detectives are now in the process of interviewing neighbors and witnesses and digging into the suspect’s past. Lt. Rorrison said police had been called out to the suspect’s home at least once before this, but he couldn’t elaborate further.

He said police officers did not have body cameras on during this shooting, as the Northwestern Division of the SDPD does not have the cameras on their uniforms yet.

The lieutenant said one other person was home with the suspect at the time of the shooting, but he couldn’t give details on that bystander.

Neighbors told NBC 7 that police had been called to the suspect’s home several times for domestic disputes. One resident said he had allegedly kicked her dog once.

Other neighbors said the suspect was generous and nice, and would share homecooked meals with them.

Lt. Rorrison said the officer is very emotional and shaken up. He is being placed on administrative leave.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information should contact the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[One Dead After Car Ripped in Half]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 10:53:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/STRINGER+fallbrook+crash.jpg


One person has died after an early morning crash in Fallbrook that split a car in half, officials said. 

The crash happened at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning on State Route 76, just east of Interstate 15. 

One car involved in the crash had to be hosed down after it caught fire and the other car was split in half by the impact.

One of the victims involved was taken to Palomar Hospital and later pronounced dead. 

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash. Officials have not released the identities of those involved. 

<![CDATA[Armed and Dangerous Suspect in Custody]]> Mon, 06 Jul 2015 06:56:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/San-Diego-Homicide-Suspect-4-July-2015-16x9.jpg

A 22-year-old suspect wanted in connection with a homicide in Logan Heights was in custody early Monday, officials said. 

Joseph Henry Garcia is accused of a homicide that occurred on the 3100 block of National Avenue  around 7 p.m. Saturday night, police said. 

Police responded to a call of a stabbing and a male down in a house's yard. When they arrived, they found 54-year-old Hermeneglido Parra who had been stabbed multiple times. He was later declared dead at the scene.

The preliminary investigation revealed that during holiday festivities, a fight started between Parra and a family member. Parra was stabbed multiple times and the suspect fled the scene in a car, which was later found in the South Bay. 

Late Sunday, Garcia was arrested at the Otay Mesa Point of Entry, according to San Diego Police.

He's been booked into county jail on one charge of murder, officials said.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[No Antonio Gates? No Problem For the Chargers]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 21:08:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-459751522.jpg

Now that they won’t have Antonio Gates for the first four games of the season, the Chargers are going to have a huge hole to fill in their offense. Believe it or not, the plug might already be in place and no, it’s not Ladarius Green.

When the Chargers signed wide receiver Stevie Johnson it was met with a collective yawn from the major football media. That’s partly because the deal came on the same day the Cowboys signed defensive end Greg Hardy, touching off a national debate.

But, Johnson’s impact on his new team might be even bigger than Hardy’s.

“I don’t want to guarantee anything,” said Johnson, “but you’ll see a different player, as far as attitude goes. I feel like it’s time to level up and get that respect that I know I should be getting.”

Johnson is no stranger to feeling disrespected. A 7th-round pick from Kentucky, Johnson only played in 16 games his first two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. When he finally got his chance he took advantage of it with three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

But, he admittedly slacked on his workouts and didn’t do as much as he should have to learn new head coach Doug Marrone’s system in 2013 and his production was cut almost in half.

Before the 2014 season Johnson, a Bay Area native (he attended Angelo Rodriguez High School in Fairfield, CA, just like Chargers defensive back Jason Verrett), was traded to the San Francisco 49ers … where his numbers got even worse. Johnson feels he was misused by the 49ers coaching staff. Now that proverbial chip that was on his shoulder early in his career is back.

“Besides in Buffalo, where it took me a couple of years to play,” said Johnson, “I kind of got that back. Going home to San Francisco and them not playing me how I know I should have and they know, the people around me, the players know I should have been playing … yeah, I definitely feel that fire inside.”

Johnson is the consummate slot receiver. He’s historically been at his best when he’s lined up inside instead of outside. Last year with the Niners Johnson only ran 69 routes from the slot (according to numbers from Pro Football Focus). Most of the slot routes went to Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis.

In 2014 the Chargers main slot receivers were Eddie Royal (86% of his routes came from the slot) and Antonio Gates. Royal is in Chicago and Gates, for the first four games of the year, at least, will be learning how to make a phone call and check on supplements. That leaves a whole lot of slot snaps available for Johnson. But, for possibly the first time in his career, Johnson is not picky about where he plays.

“Now I’m thinking about my team mates. I’m thinking about Keenan (Allen), I’m thinking about Malcom (Floyd) and how versatile they are. You put me wherever and we’ll complement each other. That’s good because I feel like we all feel like we’re the best at something and we’re going to try to prove it, so that’s good for our squad.”

Allen, especially, is another receiver who excels from inside the numbers. So does running back Danny Woodhead. But Chargers head coach Mike McCoy has said multiple times he wants to use his players in the way they’re going to have the most success, so that would suggest Stevie Johnson is going to see a lot of time in his happy place.

“I know what I can do. I don’t need people to talk about it but at this point … it’s about respect now. It’s not about the yards that I have. It’s about going out there and dominating.”

Johnson is known as one of the most creative route runners in the league. His success has come with the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick and E.J. Manuel at quarterback. Now that he has Philip Rivers to work with, and an extra bit of motivation, there’s no reason to think he can’t help the Bolts bridge the gap until Gates returns.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How to Enjoy Comic-Con Without a Badge]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 20:25:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/6PR_PKG_COMIC_CON_ANNOU_KNSD6R3V_1200x675_475525187802.jpg

If you don’t have a badge for Comic-Con, don’t worry.

On Wednesday, San Diego’s largest and most celebrated convention celebrating pop culture, comic books and entertainment comes to town and the annual festivities will begin.

Fangirls and fanboys looking left without a badge can still come enjoy the fun from outside the convention center.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Xbox lounge in the Seaport Ballroom in the Grand Manchester Hyatt will be filled with nearly 100 gaming station. Gamers can get their hands on unreleased titles for nearly the entire day, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

Get ready to pull out your geekier side for the second annual Her Universe “Geek Couture” Fashion Show, where finalists’ designs will walk the runway in front of an esteemed panel of judges at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Harbor Ballroom. The audience and judges will vote to pick a first and second place winner that will go on to develop a collection to be sold at Hot Topic. The show will take place Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Put on your running shoes for "Assassin’s Creed" Experience, a life-size obstacle course built from the upcoming video game "Assassin’s Creed Syndicate". Give the course a run-through or play the game or perform the Leap of Faith for no charge, Thursday through Sunday starting at 10 a.m. and heading into the late afternoon. 

Step into new worlds and new spheres in the FX Fearless Arena from Thursday to Sunday at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Lawn. Live through "American Horror Story", escape vampires in "The Strain"’s virtual reality mission, put on your winter coat for "Fargo"’s blizzard. On Thursday, the area will be there from noon to 6 p.m. On Friday and Saturday it will go from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

From nightly screenings to live-streaming events, this year’s Adult Swim on the Green is back at Comic-Con. Step into the Carnival Midway and The Meatwad Full Dome Experience, feast of daily live-streaming events, nightly screenings and more. The area will be behind the Convention Center from 9:30 a.m. onward all four days. 

Jump into the worlds of some of your favorite pop-culture phenomenon events around the city. NBC’s "Heroes Reborn" and "Blindspot" will be on Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Square, Fox Television’s "Scream Queens" will be spread throughout downtown and the "Game of Thrones" Experience the Realm will be across the Omni Hotel. Gamers can head over to the Marriott Marquis & Marina for the Nintendo Video Game Lounge.

Last, but not least, "Conan" bingo - a game and party rolled into one, organizers promise - will take place Wednesday and Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. at an undisclosed location as well as Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. There is a waitlist for the event you can join. 

<![CDATA[Crowds Pack Local Beaches for Holiday Celebrations]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 19:24:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rascon6p0704_1200x675_477008963903.jpg Downtown people are staking out their positions for tonight's big fireworks shows, but it doesn't compare to the beaches, which have been packed since early Saturday morning. NBC 7's Matt Rascon has more on the massive crowds and ramped up security. ]]> <![CDATA[Small Plane Carrying Banner Crashes into Beach]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 16:48:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/KAZ+CANNING+2.jpg A single-engine plane carrying a banner crashed into the Carlsbad coast line.

Photo Credit: Kaz Canning]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Miss Chance(s) To Beat the Cardinals]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:29:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/191*120/GettyImages-479481758.jpg

The Padres had plenty of opportunities to score runs, but failed to take advantage of them. The Cardinals only had a few opportunities to score runs, but did not let chance pass them by. That's how St. Louis beat San Diego 2-1 on Saturday at Busch Stadium.

The Padres had a baserunner in every inning except the first and eighth. They had multiple baserunners in three different innings but failed to score in any of them. They had nine hits in the game ... eight singles and the one where they scored their only run of the afternoon, a solo homer by Yangervis Solarte in the 4th that put the Friars on top 1-0.

But other than that the Padres kept getting themselves in to, then out of scoring opportunities. Take the 6th inning, for example.

Yonder Alonso led off with a single. But then Solarte hit a rocket up the middle that glanced off the glove of Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez and ricocheted to 2nd baseman Kolten Wong, who doubled off Alonso at first because Yonder failed to freeze on a line drive. Justin Upton and Derek Norris followed with 2-out singles, but Will Venable struck out to end the inning.

To recap, the Padres got three hits in one inning and managed to score no runs.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, only had four hits in the game, three of them singles ... but they managed to score the game-winning run without even getting one hit. In the 8th inning Thomas Pham hit a routine ground ball to Alexi Amarista at shortstop. Amarista tried to play it off to his side and didn't get the glove down all the way. The error put Pham at first with nobody out.

That's the kind of breakdown in fundamentals you don't see from consistently winning teams. Pham then stole second base, advanced to third on a ground ball to the right side by Matt Carpenter, and scored on a Jhonny Peralta sacrifice fly to give the Cardinals their 2-1 win.

Missing chances to score runs has been an issue for the Padres for years now, and it continues to hurt them. Either the entire organization, from the top down, needs a shift in its approach at the plate, or they need to find guys who know how to handle at-bats like that. Just look at St. Louis. They seem to have a roster full of them and it's no coincidence the Cardinals own the best record in baseball.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Plane Towing Banner Crashes on Beach, Pilot Uninjured]]> Sun, 05 Jul 2015 15:11:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/KAZ+CANNING+5.jpg

A single-engine Piper PA18 banner-towing plane has crashed into the beach in Carlsbad, officials said. 

The incident happened around 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon on the 4600 block of Carlsbad Boulevard near Cannon Road when the plane experienced a loss of engine power, FAA Pacific Division Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor and CHP officials said. 

The plane flipped over and was partially submerged, Gregor said. The 23-year-old pilot, the only person on board, was not injured. A 12-year-old boy was clipped by the plane or nearby debris, officials said, and was taken to Rady Children's Hospital. 

The plane crashed near the warm water jetty, close to a power plant. 

The plane is registered to Air Ads Inc., based out of Gillespie Field in El Cajon. The owner of the plane told NBC7 the pilot had 700 hours of training and the plane had just been serviced and checked out okay.

"This airplane, I inspected no more than last week," said Jim Oakley, the plane's owner. "Changed the oil. Everything was perfect, flew yesterday, everything was fine."

Eyewitness accounts from scene say a person was struck by the plane but officials cannot confirm any injuries or if anyone has been transported yet. 

Witness Cory Vaughn said she first saw the plane’s banner drop about 50 feet from the air before it made a 180 degree turn and crash-landed on the beach.

Photo Credit: Kaz Canning]]>
<![CDATA[FIFA Women's World Cup Finale Viewing Spots ]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:35:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SD-World-Cup-Fan-9.jpg

World Cup fans, rejoice.

As the FIFA Women’s World Cup finale approaches, two downtown locations will hold viewing parties.

On Sunday, the U.S. Women’s team will face off against Japan in the World Cup finale, starting at 4 p.m.

Petco Park’s Park at the Park will hold a public viewing of the finale at 4 p.m. The park will be open to the public throughout the day and discounted parking at the Padres Parkade on 10th Street will be available for the match. Attendees will also be able to buy certain concessions at the park.

The County’s Waterfront Park will also hold a viewing event on Sunday to play the soccer championship match.

Photo Credit: Travis MacKenzie]]>
<![CDATA[Comic-Con Eats & Sips]]> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 08:55:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Comic-Con-Eats-1.jpg Inspired by Comic-Con, some downtown San Diego eateries will offer special drinks and snacks for fanboys and fangirls as the pop culture convention takes over the streets from July 9 through July 12, 2015.]]> <![CDATA[Crash Closes Part of SR 78 in Both Directions ]]> Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:15:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/police-stock-breaking-119818994.jpg

A crash at State Route 78 near Cape Horn Avenue in Julian has closed the road in both directions, Caltrans San Diego said. 

The route is located in the city of Julian, they said. 

It is unclear if there are any injuries or when the route will reopen.

Check back for updates on this breaking news story.